Zooey Glass (aka Seamus Doheny) is the Creative Director of Manifest and Manifest's first resident. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, he has a degree in creative film production and rhetoric and a background as a filmmaker, DJ, and creative consultant. His path from Chicago passed through Los Angeles, New York, and Portland, OR before bringing him home.
who is Zooey Glass? both you and the basis of the name.
Zooey Glass is a character from JD Salinger’s fiction. Zooey is most prominently featured in Salinger’s novella “Franny and Zooey." In that book, Zooey coaches his younger sister through a spiritual crisis… Zooey is clever, deeply versed in western and eastern religious traditions, and (though seemingly aloof) ultimately a very kind character. It’s the character in literature that I most deeply identify with…I don’t know that there is a separation between that character and the individual that occupies the booth.
As a DJ my goal is to create transcendent moments on the dance floor. To do so I utilize a variety of tools…white noise, tension, confusion, surprise, reference, silence, space. I re-contextualize the work of others and create something new from it. The work of a DJ is to capture the radical present…which is disappearing from our society rapidly.
how does your spirituality relate to salinger’s zooey?
There are a few really poignant quotes for me:
'As a matter of simple logic, there's no difference at all, that I can see, between the human who's greedy for material treasure—or even intellectual treasure—and the human who's greedy for spiritual treasure. As you say, treasure's treasure, God damn it, and it seems to me that ninety per cent of all the world-hating saints in history were just as acquisitive and unattractive, basically, as the rest of us are.”
“I don't know what good it is to know so much and be smart as whips and all if it doesn't make you happy.”
“Who in the Bible besides Jesus knew--knew--that we're carrying the Kingdom of Heaven around with us, inside, where we're all too goddam stupid and sentimental and unimaginative to look?”
What I take away here is that we are all divine. We must strive for a practical spirituality that has (at its’ root) a love of all human beings. Transcendent in epistemology while thoroughly grounded in the present.
Overwhelming and cascading love is the truth.
how does the notion of unity relate to the creative world of today? how does that affect your creative direction?
We are experiencing an evolution of human consciousness, the flattening of the world. As gatekeepers are cast aside by democratized information and resources we occupy a world of pure ideas & execution. In this century artists will not be limited by medium because that is unnatural…specialization is unnatural (it was created for the assembly line, not the human being)…What is natural is ideation and execution.
Institutions will have to adjust their strategies in this age. We are entering the age of the individual. The individual is by nature expansive, a product of spectrum and multiplicity.
We strive to create transcendence in our work by engaging all of the senses to envelop our attendees in the present. This is why interdisciplinary work is so vitally important, it is far easier to transcend when more than one sense is engaged simultaneously. We believe in empowering creativity and democratizing beauty. That requires recognizing that the basis of all reality is unity. While things appear separate on the surface, when you look close enough, at an atomic level, everything is connected. I think we all come upon that truth in our own way, I heard it first from recordings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the parent of Transcendental Meditation. But once you see it in one spiritual tradition, or scientific theory, or work of art, you see it everywhere.
how does that relate to the manifest mission?
The answer there is two-fold.
One, we believe that recognizing and celebrating our unity will result in more positive actors in the relative world. That means acknowledging equality and acting equitably, living sustainably, and valuing communal success over wealth and growth.
Two, when we experience transcendence we return as more positive actors to the relative world…Cities should be hosts of transcendent beauty because they will expand the consciousness of their component humans. Our ultimate goal is to work on a civic level, democratizing beauty in all its forms and offering it to everyone.
do you have a philosophy in the booth of something you want folks on the dance floor to feel?
“We should know that the purpose of creation is the expansion of happiness."
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
what do you want next for manifest? for the chicago creative community?
I think the ultimate goal of Chicago creatives will be to work on a civic level. Manifest will be a catalyst for change and for creation in the city of Chicago. We will contribute our ideas and efforts to projects that increase civic consciousness and improve the quality of life for our City’s citizens. We will expand the definition of basic human rights. We will mobilize plants, music, visual art, film, friendship, experience, community, conversation and love to make Chicago a home for the avant-garde and a place known for fostering creativity and progress in all its forms.
To say we want is not enough. Words dictate reality. We will is the only acceptable statement in this dire moment.