BH: NOKO is an art research project which represents the performing aspect of my esoteric engagements. It has provided me with a creative mode of exploring and developing magical ritual practice and involves longstanding collaborations with Scott Barnes [sound realization] and Michael Strum [visualizations]. We met at Sydney College of the Arts in 1993 and have an ongoing friendship that provides absolute creative freedom within a structured ritual work environment. The products and residues include sound recordings, AV works, installed works, live performance, 2D mixed media, animation, writing and photo documentation.
RF: What started you guys working together?
BH: Our earliest work was an exploration of the Four Great Watchtowers of the Enochian magical system of John Dee and Edward Kelley. This project spanned several years and culminated in an exhibition, NOKO MADA (1995), which included art residues, an AV compilation VIDEO CHANOKH, and an audio cd, NOKO TEX. The series included the contributions of Michelle Moo, who was also a member of NOKO from 1993-99.
The working process used the magical technology of the Enochian keys or calls to investigate the subquadrants of the Enochian watchtowers in their entirety. Michael created visuals incorporating 2D and 3D animation with processed live video recording of the rituals, whilst Scott responded sonically with pre-recorded material and live improvised content. These events were recorded live as a residual documentation of the workings.
Later came NOKO: Q231, magical sound works undertaken with Scott Barnes generated from magical workings with the Qlippoth of Liber 231. This was followed by a catalogue of further magical sound pieces by Scott that revolved around a new investigation into the Enochian magical system, with particular focus upon the Angelic alphabet: NOKO:210, NOKO: 7×3=21 sq (which included a sound piece by Daniel Winter), and NOKO: PA Gsq. Scott often creates virtual machines, defining potential phase spaces that provide a variety of sonic outcomes. Raw material gleaned from these data sets is then fed back into the compositional process. The work exhibits plasticity; themes coalesce from disparate elements, or disintegrate into a range of new material. This consequently draws inspiration from a broad palette of musical influence. The sonic response to the ritual is often intuitive and improvisational. And more recently, NOKO ORDER 41: CONJuRATION OF BEELZEBuB was produced in conjunction with my book, Legion 49, and a CD of the audio was included with the deluxe edition, so it’s pretty rare. An AV feature was also produced under the same title which was performed at the Equinox Festival in London, 2009. Other residual products included sound and AV works, notably an audio-visual grimoire of the 49 Servitors of Beelzebub drawn by Michael Strum, and consisting of 49 short animation loops that we have scheduled for a future release.
RF: And recently NOKO were asked to perform at the Sydney Biennale?
BH: Yes, in 2010 we were asked to perform CONJuRATION OF BEELZEBuB as a live AV performance at the seventeenth Australian Biennale. It was great, and since then we have been asked to perform in Tokyo, and elements of our latest project were presented at the Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle  and at the FRINGE festival in Adelaide earlier this year.
RF: And what are you working on at the moment?
BH: Oh, Hypercube 210. It’s the culmination of a long-term magical exploration and an interdisciplinary research project. It has opened a new direction in the investigation of the angelic alphabet system, with particular focus on the Lingua Angelica vel Adamica, received by Dr John Dee and Edward Kelley. It comprises 21 discrete elements, analogous to the 21 letters of Enoch, which have been arranged as a triptych where each of the seven compositions structurally references its numeric correlates.
RF: And how are these elements brought together?
BH: [Laughs] Well, from the start of the Hypercube 210 project we recognised that presentation would be a challenge, but throughout the creative process particular attention has been given to the form that the final published work would take, because it is essential that the final form conceptually reflects its content. You could say it’s a multimedia project that deconstructs the more traditional notions of the book, collapsing linear narratives for a rhizomatic model. It will provide for the participant multiple points for entering the Hypercube 210, and multiple routes of departure. In a sense it is a mapping of the exploratory process that can continue to be expanded upon… the idea is to produce an immersive engagement with the contents that becomes wholly interactive, the conceptual quintessence of the Hypercube 210 being reflected through the multiple facets that compose it. And of course, we are working with Rob Ansell at Fulgur to make this happen.
RF: We shall certainly look forward to it. Thanks Barry.
BH: Thanks Robert, as always it has been a pleasure.