What is the mushroom? And who am I?

Like most questions in life—indeed perhaps the entire spectrum of possible inquiry, but one can never be totally sure—the answer to the question, “what is The Mushroom?” has many answers, in many contexts, and each and everyone interrelate.

As for who I am? Well, my name is Cavan McLaughlin, and this is my personal website. I am a filmmaker, graphic designer, web designer, writer and academic. I have created this space to have conversations about my passions and my work. To keep it published, exhibited and freely shared. I have also created it to keep a record of my musings, ramblings, bumblings, postulations and rantings. Find out much more about what The Mushroom is and who I am, by clicking below...


I am a practicing filmmaker: a director, editor, producer and screenwriter. As a media professional of some 16 years, I have been involved in almost all aspects of audiovisual production, specialising for many of those years in promotional music videos. My music videos have been broadcast on a number of channels including Kerrang! TV, Scuzz and Redemption TV (now Rockworld TV).

I am Creative Director for Trans- States Media and run an independent production company called Occultural Production.

I recently produced, directed and edited a co-creative occultural collaboration with Dr Jasmine Shadrack, to produce a film used within both of our practice-based PhD research, where she sought to reimagine herself in matrifocal, occultural terms—avoiding hegemonic constructs of femininity. The piece, very well received, features a cameo from the indomitable Alan Moore.

With a number of short films in preproduction, film remains one of my greatest passions. To see examples of my work, click below.


I built my very first website for the first company I worked at, Sirius Retail Television. We were launching a multitude of digital satellite channels and I was perturbed by the size of the invoices crossing my desk for web developers, so with a free CD from a web design magazine I built a web store for our shopping channel, coding html directly in notepad.

These days, like 25% of the rest of the World Wide Web, and because I believe deeply in the open-source software movement, I build websites solely with Wordpress: the amazing open-source content management system.

Like this very website you are on, I continue to develop numerous websites—both personally and commercially, and I am available for freelance web design. To see examples of my work, click below.


I discovered Adobe Photoshop the year I got my first email address and visited my first chat room—I have engaged in digital art and graphics since my early teen years. I initially went from hobbyist to professional by designing onscreen graphics for broadcast, before starting my own digital media company and producing a wide array of logos, branding, print and web advertising, clothing and just about everything else that could be printed on. Eventually, teaching graphic design (and video production) in Higher Education.

My real passion, once again, is in less commercial forms of digital art and particularly in the freedom of expression and impact found in designing album sleeves. To see examples of my work, click below.


I am a Senior Lecturer in Media Production at the University of the West of England (UWE), with research interests related to the role and function of occulture. Editor of the recent volume Trans- States: The Art of Crossing Over (2019); I have also published on Crowley, solar symbolism and narrative, and open-source occultism. I am currently undertaking a practice-based PhD entitled ‘Occultural Production as Re-visionary Mythmaking.’

I am the founder of Trans- States (trans-states.org), a transdisciplinary conference series, art, media and research project exploring occultism, mysticism, shamanism and other esoteric and spiritual practices in contemporary occulture. I am also co-founder, and editorial board member, of Monad: Journal of Transformative Practice (monadjournal.com) a transdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, open access online journal.