Dasychira | Digital Rituals And Releasing The Dybbuk Box Diablo NFT

Today, Dasychira continues the ritual begun in their video for “Eternal Family” off of their Hollywood Forever mixtape, minting the Dybbuk Box Diablo as an NFT, now available through Async Art. The box, originally purchased for the “Eternal Family” video—directed by Charlie Grant and Guilherme Santos—cursed and wretched, later disappeared after shooting the video. Now, Dasychira passes the box onto others via the digital realm it left to, much like the owner of the original Dybbuk box, as legend says, passed off as a gift to others.

Released via Async Art as a programmable artwork, rendered in layers, allowing for modification of the artwork—in this case, including the gate, the note that reads “amazing grace,” and the pins, all housed within the Dybbuk box.

The Hollywood Forever mixtape, released on May 7th via unseelie, takes listeners on a journey through a fantastical soundscape, inspired by the crooked, haunted and ritualistic of Los Angeles. Created during lockdown in 2020, the mixtape leans further into rituals, many originating in a digital realm, such as the “Elevator Game” (with which the introductory track shares a name), “Dry Bones,” “Heaven’s Gate,” and more.

In the video for “Eternal Family”, Dasychira, Charlie Grant, and Gui Santos create a ritual of their own, with the Dybbuk box as its central object through which the characters escape to a new realm to be together forever.

Flaunt caught up with Adrian aka Dasychira, Grant and Santos to talk about rituals, lore, the music video and minting the box as an NFT. Read below!

I’m curious as to how the casting came about for these characters in the video for “Eternal Family” and then how that all came together. 

Adrian: Charlotte was a lead in another video that Gui directed for me when I was in LA last year, and we went up the the Queen Mary… and filmed this ghost wedding video and stayed in the most haunted room. Charlotte stayed with us, so it was half video shoot, half trying to prove to ourselves if ghosts are real. Charlotte, we had filmed with before. As for the other characters in the video, like the women, Charlie and I were originally watching a lot of YouTube videos. These cliché ghost hunter teenagers click baiting videos, where it’s something like a midnight challenge, get together at someones house and they play the midnight man ritual or Bloody Mary. They try to conjure something on video to get a lot of subscribers or a lot of views and Charlie and I were sort of captivated by it, because there is this element of humor. There’s this playfulness. It’s kind of funny that it’s like there is these teenagers that are kind of playing with these malevolent forces—not taking it seriously just to get more subscribers. But then in some of the videos, there are some genuine moments were they seem afraid or spooked out by stuff and they are not taking it seriously. The irony is, what if they are actually conjuring and they are kidding about it. 

Charlie: There is one in particular where the whole crew of 4 boys; they are super YouTube-y and young. One of the videos, everything was lighthearted and childish, but then half way through, they did a blood offering. They actually cut themselves and bled on this piece of paper, which is strange compared to the rest of the video because you see they are actually cutting themselves. (It) stumped me the most out of all of watching those series of haunted YouTube videos. 

Gui: As far as I remember, everyone asked about Charlotte as a gatekeeper, but when I got into the project, Adrian and Charlie, they were already talking about these ghost YouTube videos…They are sending me all these videos and we were discussing ideas almost like ghost hunters in a haunted house, but we never mentioned the presence of a gatekeeper. That came after all we discussed. That’s why it’s funny that it started with this male version of YouTubers and stuff, and it reverted into this completely different style. 

Adrian: It was like there were two roads that we were thinking of going down. The first was like we’ll recreate one of these clickbait-y YouTube video format… and do it our own way. Charlie had the idea to cast the opposite of a teenage boy, like an older woman, doing this like still kind of acting like teenagers still hanging out in the same way and still acting like a YouTube personality. But, we also wanted it to be kind of meta and there wasn’t that much of a ritual as an act. We wanted to present it as if they are doing this group activity, but everything you are seeing is real. It’s not fabricated, but it’s being presented in this clickbait-y way. What if they are real witches but they are just acting like YouTubers?

Gui: The casting was basically using Backstage. We were hunting for people who were down to shoot because it was in the middle of the pandemic. We were afraid of how we were going to shoot. Also, I shot a movie four years before and one of the ladies that I shot was an original cast. This lady started gossiping to the other ladies that like ‘how are we going to do the pandemic thing’ and almost convinced all the other ladies not to do the video. She was like ‘how are you guys going to be 6 feet apart?’ and we were like…we are constantly being tested because we were quarantining and taking the precautions. Then in the end, all of the ladies were getting together because there was a wrestling scene between the gatekeeper and one of the ladies. One of the ladies came before, and there was a really weird energy and vibe. I think everything in the video was cursed. The parts of the characters were kind of random. We didn’t have anything in mind except for the idea of YouTubers. 

We’ll get more into the curse thing later, but this project is kind of bridging that spirituality with science, or mysticism with science, and the video does that in that weird way.

Adrian: They are kind of the vessel in a way of this energy, or it’s transferred through them. The video itself is the medium for this spiritual exercise, so maybe, in a way that’s also how the spiritual side meets the science, because their ritual in itself is a YouTube video. 

More about that sort of bridge—as someone who is chronically online, people are becoming more attracted to spirituality, but very much so it’s happening in this cyberspace realm. Can you talk about that? 

Adrian: That’s also something that was on our minds in concepting the video. In the beginning, Charlie and I were sending references back and forth, and Charlie asked me if I heard of this Randonautica thing. I wasn’t familiar with it before, but it’s this trend on TikTok. Last year, there was this famous story where these kids found a dead body in a briefcase.

Charlie: Yeah, and they did it in classic TikTok form. They were like: me and my friends went Randonauting and it brought us to a beach with a body in a suitcase. 

Adrian: That one is certainly true. There are a bunch of them that were like: okay, this is scripted. That was one of the initial things we were thinking about in making the video. The whole vibe of something like Randonautica is like, you have this powerful tool, this technology, that allows you to generate this quantum blind spot on your map. Whatever you set your intention to is sort of what you’ll find. So similarly, whatever we set our intention for in making this video, would come to fruition because we have these powerful tools in 3D. We have effects, we have music, we have video, and acting,… which are all means of manifesting. I think where this spiritual meets science, there is this manifesting process. 

Charlie: It doesn’t have much to do with the video, but similar to that TikTok Randonautica trend; once one thing happens that’s true and horrific, something insane and crazy happened, and it is in the horror element. The rest of the trend that follow if there are hundreds of thousands or millions of videos. Same as YouTube. If you do other videos in the trend, even if Randonautica sends you to a forest, and you hear a random noise and run away, it’s all kind of influenced by the first real thing that happened that actually is scary and true. It blurs the lines for the rest of the videos that fall after it, and they all kind of are ambiguous where it could be true, it could not be true.

But it sort of opens that realm of possibility. 

Adrian: It’s that fantasy of: it’s real through your fantasy or belief in it. 

Photographed by Charlie Grant

You’ve talked about the elevator game, or that stuff that was done when you came to LA, and it’s that same searching for something.

Gui: The whole Hollywood Mixtape, when we started back then, we were talking a lot about how Hollywood hides a lot of secrets and some stuff that is showcased by regular stuff like normal things you walk by. There is so much symbolism, and we were fascinated by that. I am from Brazil, and I’ve only been in LA for two years, but one year was pandemic. Basically when we were doing this whole thing, we were on the same page of figuring out how most things work. For me, it was almost like a fantasy. You guys are from LA. It’s familiar, but for me, it’s something otherworldly. We are discussing what a lot of those things mean. So the whole idea for the Hollywood Mixtape is thinking of the history. It was about manifestation.

Adrian: That was the first domino, and I think that’s really well-said Gui. I think, around LA especially, there’s so many rituals and so many acts of manifestation in everyday life. I mean, even this idea of fulfilling one’s dream and the rituals one goes through to achieve that, like going auditioning for stuff and believing they’ll get it. You know, wanting to find a ghost, so you go to the Queen Mary, and you believe you are going to see one, so you see one. 

Rituals are such a part of daily life, and even things that are kind of mundane, and we don’t register what rituals are. We think something’s going to happen, so we ask it out, and it does happen. That was a lot of the mentality behind this mixtape. What can we conjure in reality? The elevator game was something that I wanted to try. I think it was my final night after Gui was moving apartments, and we stayed at the W in Hollywood. The weirdest thing about it though, is that it did exactly the sequence that it said on the webpage. When the doors opened, I actually didn’t want to get out. I was like ‘okay, the pandemic is kind of enough.’ 

Yeah, you don’t want to mess with entering the other realm or whatever. 

Adrian: But as a ritual itself, that’s also something I wanted to touch on a bit more. We wanted to create a sort of ritual. We were also really interested in the story with the Dybbuk box. It’s basically an urban legend. There’s this box that was bought by this guy who ran a furniture touch up business. He bought the box at this liquidation yard sale, and it belonged to this granddaughter of a woman who lived to be 103 years old. She lived through the Holocaust, and she lost her whole family in the Holocaust, and had this really insanely tragic story. (She) migrated to the U.S. from Spain, and in the many possessions she brought with her, one of them was a box.

This guy bought the box at a yard sale thinking ‘oh, you know this will be a great gift for someone.’ He wanted to give it to his mother, and I think that very same day, he has to run out and do some errands. He leaves this second person in charge. Thirty minutes later, he gets a phone call from her saying there’s someone swearing and breaking glass inside the building, and they lock the security gates and they lock the emergency gates so there’s no exit at all. He has to speed all the way back to this furniture store, has to work out how to open the security gate, which was actually locked when he got there, and when he went inside, this woman is basically in fetal position next to his desk super freaked out. He goes down to the basement, because if someone was in there that’s the only place they could be, but he didn’t see anyone there.

And then from that point onward, it just spirals. He tries to give the box to his mother as a gift, and the day that she gets to see him ends up being Halloween. He literally looks at the box for five minutes, and he goes to the other room. She has a stroke and loses the ability to speak, and they take her to the hospital and the only way she can communicate with him is by pointing at this sign with letters. She spells out the phrase ‘hate gift.’ Eventually, he goes on the internet and puts it up on Ebay, and ever since, that posting has went viral and sparked so much mystery and intrigue about this subject. But it’s also created this whole culture on Ebay of this ghost box market. Ever since then, if you go on Ebay and type in Dybbuk box, there’s pages and pages of these different boxes that all kind of look the same. Half the time, you don’t know like ‘is this just a fantasy? Is it just someone messing with people or someone just trying to make a buck, or are they really just into the lore of if all, the fantasy of it all?’ There’s really no way to know.

We thought it would be really funny for our video if we did a ritual with one of these boxes. We really wanted to do a ritual, specifically a blood ritual, where we would get one of these boxes off of Ebay (and) send it to set. On set it would be opened, and in the video, the ladies would use it. That’s the central object of the story, where their souls fly into the box and they can be together forever. We were also pretty inspired by the story of Heaven’s Gate. Similarly, it’s a ritual where they wanted to be together forever. So we got the box, we sent it to set, and when we opened the box, there was some pretty crazy stuff. 

Charlie: Back to the ritual part, we were also really inspired by TikTok as a whole, and the ritual for the video is supposed to be kind of modeled after a TikTok dance. It ties everything together, because with the Dybbuk box, I remember the clip that Adrian showed me was Post Malone in this museum seeing the Dybbuk box and touching it and acting like he was shocked. Then, Post Malone apparently maintained this box as the most evil energy he’s ever seen. 

Dasychira: He swears by it. 

Charlie: So it was this viral video like TikTok shit; it’s all in the same world in terms of references. We originally had the idea of one of the scenes being Charlotte (taking) the blade and go like your classic blood scene, and some blood was going to drop into the box and then the box was going to open up etcetera. So the night before, my sister’s fiancé was at the house, and he had some tools in his truck. Me and Gui were trying to open this fucking box, and so the box wasn’t meant to be opened. 

Gui: It’s not designed to open up normally. It was impossible. We had to drill holes in the sides and then go in with a knife. 

Charlie: Then we put the knife in the hole trying to go around the whole side, and I did maybe halfway, and then the knife slid and I sliced my thumb really badly. It was really deep and I did bleed all over the whole box.

Gui: We dropped you inside of the house cause you were barely walking. He was like a vampire. He saw the blood and was so pale and almost fell. 

Charlie: Outside it wasn’t bad, but then when I got into the kitchen and saw it, it was really deep and I was bleeding a lot, and I just got completely white. I looked like I was going to die. Gui was on his knees next to me waving. I was lying on the floor. Gui was holding Gatorade over my head. 

Adrian: Charlie was the first one to do the ritual 

Gui: I was looking on my phone, because we have pictures before the moment and after, so like in between, there’s a long clip that’s only like a black screen, because it was probably in my pocket, but we can’t hear anything.

Adrian: The audio is all muffled and distorted.

Charlie: Might’ve been placebo but I will say that I did feel some physical reaction to the box.

Adrian: It was energy.

And then I saw that there was like another shooting the next day.

Charlie: The next day, at that house was a photoshoot and the camera assistant was like, ‘I left the box on the kitchen counter’ and the camera assistant was just looking at it. She knew nothing about it (and) said ‘what the fuck is that? I don’t want that box in the house’ and she was acting scared about it. So, I put it in the garden just because I was busy and I just needed to put it somewhere quickly, and then it disappeared.

Well, I was going to say now it kind of lives in this digital realm. You’ve minted the box as an NFT. Tell me about that.

Adrian: Basically, I’ve spoken to some of my friends here all about the NFT thing and basically they all said we should share the story because it’s such an insane story and continue the lore of the box. Because similarly to the Ebay posting, it’s like the way this sort of story starts. It was listed on Ebay and there was this whole description about what had happened. It was basically this guy was saying ‘who wants to help me? who wants to take this off my hands?’ for whatever purpose.

Charlie: I think that one idea that you are alluding to, Adrian, is that you know it became a trend to make these Dybbuk boxes online. That’s the story that the box maintains and the energy it had while we had it, and then Radimir turned into this 3D image with this story in mind. So he created the box with this story in mind, not with the intention of selling it, but with the energy of the story and the lore. Now, that’s how it exists in that space.

Gui: Personally, I also feel like it’s almost a way to release myself and ourselves of this specific box curse, because I feel like the other guy. He was sending this box like a gift, and in this case, we love the gift but it’s kind of like we want to pass this curse to the next collector…

Adrian: Yeah, in a way that continues the story.

Charlie: It would be cool if someone like bought the box and incorporated it into a different video or music video.

Gui: Post Malone (everyone laughs).

Published By : Flaunt

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