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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for October, 2012

 

A playlist for Halloween: Hauntology

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Flyers by Julian House for tonight’s Ghost Box event at Mono Cafe Bar, Glasgow. It’s a tradition here to post some recommended listening each Halloween. This year there’s an embarrassment of riches with five listings chosen from the multitudes at Mixcloud. Hauntology is the theme, not Jacques Derrida’s spectral musings but Simon Reynolds‘ deployment of […]

Posted in {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


The Stone Tape

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The Stone Tape has accrued a considerable cult reputation since it was first broadcast as a BBC ghost story during Christmas, 1972. I was too young to see the original transmission—I used to hear awed reports from those who remembered it—and didn’t get to see it until the BFI brought out on DVD a few […]

Posted in {horror}, {television} | 9 comments »

 


Haunted: The Ferryman

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Another television ghost story from the 1970s, The Ferryman (1974) is no relation to the 2007 horror film of the same name. This 50-minute drama isn’t in the same league as Schalcken the Painter, or the other BBC ghost films, but it’s one I remembered and was surprised to find on YouTube. Haunted was a […]

Posted in {film}, {horror}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 132

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La Hora del Fantasma (no date) by Joaquim Pla Janini. • Many of the art links featured here are tips from Thom Ayres, so it’s only right to point to his new album project which he’s funding through Kickstarter and embellishing with his own nature photography. • Anne Billson is another writer beguiled by Philippe […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {comics}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {politics}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Schalcken the Painter

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Next week the BFI releases a box set of the BBC’s Ghost Stories for Christmas, a series of hour-long TV films broadcast during the 1970s, most of which were adaptations of stories by MR James. One film that isn’t among them, unfortunately, is Leslie Megahey‘s superb Schalcken the Painter, a 70-minute drama based on Strange […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {horror}, {painting}, {television} | 7 comments »

 


Steampunk Revolution

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The “S” word again. One of the jobs from earlier this year is now available for purchase from publishers Tachyon and other outlets. Steampunk Revolution is the third in a series of steampunk story collections edited by Ann VanderMeer (Jeff VanderMeer was co-editor on the first two volumes). I designed the previous title, Steampunk Reloaded, […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {science fiction}, {typography}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Astronomy in China: The Pekin Observatory, 1888

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Observatoire de Peking (c. 1790). Work this week has necessitated going through more 19th-century journals. For a while now I’ve had some downloaded copies of Scientific News, a kind of London equivalent of Scientific American, but I hadn’t noticed this particular article until I had to look through it again. The uncredited piece describes the […]

Posted in {architecture}, {magazines}, {science} | 2 comments »

 


Gloves

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A Glove: Anxieties (1881) by Max Klinger. Although the Glove‘s scenario was given its due Germanic explication by contemporary critics, it defies rational analysis. The last picture, which was seen as a kind of happy ending to the glove’s peregrinations, is particularly ambiguous and leaves the whole meaning of the series in doubt. The story is […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {black and white}, {film}, {painting}, {photography}, {surrealism}, {symbolists} | 5 comments »

 


Splendor Solis revisited

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1. The Arms of the Art I have something of an obsession with the plates of the allegorical alchemical text known as the Splendor Solis, hence another post on the subject. This new entry is partly a bookmark for my own convenience, and also a pointer for those who keep arriving here searching for these […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {occult} | 4 comments »

 


Shorpy arcades

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The Arcade, Cincinnati (1905). Some arcade views from the Shorpy Historical Photo Archive, home of many wonderful high-res pictures. The Colonial Arcade below has appeared here before since some of Shorpy’s prints can also be found at the Library of Congress. This page has details about Cleveland’s arcades while the photos themselves show the changing […]

Posted in {architecture}, {photography} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 131

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Japanese poster (1982). At The Quietus Steve Earles looks back at John Carpenter’s visceral and uncompromising The Thing which exploded messily onto cinema screens thirty years ago. It’s always worth being reminded that this film (and Blade Runner in the same year) was considered a flop at the time following bad reviews and a poor […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {kubrick}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {science} | Comments Off

 


Balloons in the Grand Palais

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Autochrome by Léon Gimpel. The Grand Palais exhibition hall in Paris is one of the few sites remaining from the Exposition Universelle of 1900 (see yesterday’s post), and is still in use today as a venue for art exhibits, fashion shows and the like. The huge and graceful canopy ceiling makes it a far better venue […]

Posted in {architecture}, {photography}, {technology} | Comments Off

 


Exposition Universelle photochroms

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Grand entrance. Every time I think I’ve said enough on this subject something else turns up. I’ve linked before to the Brooklyn Museum’s tinted photographs of the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 but these photochom prints at the Library of Congress are so sharp, detailed and subtly hued they make all other views seem crude […]

Posted in {architecture}, {photography}, {technology} | 4 comments »

 


Golem (2012)

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“There are always more golems,” I wrote back in August, and here’s another. The artificial entity this time is a military computer that’s the subject of Golem XIV (1973), a science fiction story by Stanislaw Lem that was later expanded into a novel: The book is written from the perspective of a military AI computer […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 4 comments »

 


Borobudur panoramas

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Photo by Ursula & David Molenda. Panoramas of Borobudur, the Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, which lay undisturbed and overgrown for centuries until restoration began following the British occupation of the island in the 19th century. The bell-like structures are stupas, many of which contain statues of the Buddha in different symbolic postures. The […]

Posted in {architecture}, {photography}, {religion} | 3 comments »

 


Long Live the New Flesh: The Films of David Cronenberg

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I used to have this documentary on tape but it vanished years ago so it’s good to find it again on YouTube. Long Live the New Flesh: The Films of David Cronenberg was directed by Laurens C. Postma and broadcast on British television in 1987 as a tie-in with the UK release of Cronenberg’s The […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {science fiction}, {television} | 3 comments »

 


Wildeana #8

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Illustration by H. Paul. Continuing an occasional series. • Front Free Endpaper has illustrations by one H. Paul from a “talking book” adaptation of Wilde’s The Happy Prince. This was a hardcover volume published in 1948 which came with a 78rpm vinyl disc containing a recording of the story by BBC newsreader Frank Phillips. Callum […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {politics} | 5 comments »

 


Weekend links 130

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Sarah and Writhing Octopus (New Wave Series, 1992) by Masami Teraoka. Strange Flowers continues to push all my buttons. For a while now I’d been intent on writing something about the strange (unbuilt) temples designed by German artist/obsessive naturist Fidus (Hugo Höppener) but I reckon James has done a better job than I would have […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {cormac}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {theatre}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


Petulia film posters

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Illustration by Bob Peak. Further examples of those things you find when you’re searching for something else, these posters for Richard Lester’s Petulia (1968) are a good example of just how differently the same film can be presented by its advertising materials. Petulia (“the uncommon movie”) is a fascinating, unjustly neglected gem, a serious adult […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {illustrators}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 7 comments »

 


Views of Old Manchester

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I’ve always been curious about the history of the places I live in so for a while I was reading a lot about the history of Manchester, mostly via small booklets published by the City Council. The drawings in this Internet Archive discovery are familiar from some of those publications which tended to recycle the […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {cities} | Comments Off

 


In the Key of Blue by John Addington Symonds

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I probably overspent a little on this charity-shop purchase, the third edition (published 1918) of In the Key of Blue by John Addington Symonds (1840–1893), a personal selection of writings first published in 1893. First edition copies sell for over a thousand pounds so this was an opportunity to acquire something close to the original […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {books}, {design}, {gay} | 4 comments »

 


Salomé by Upside Down House

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Big thanks to Mr. Kenneth at Radio Shirley for drawing my attention to this 1985 music video by Australian group Upside Down House. From their brief listing at Discogs the group don’t seem to have lasted long or released a great deal, Salomé being their second and final single. Given the quality of the music […]

Posted in {film}, {music} | 1 comment »

 


Vampyroteuthis Infernalis by Vilém Flusser

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Cover design by Michel Vrana. This, then, is the book that arrived a fortnight ago when I just happened to be in the midst of a week of tentacle posts. Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste was originally published in Germany in 1987. This new edition is […]

Posted in {books}, {borges}, {science} | Comments Off

 


Design as virus 15: David Pelham’s Clockwork Orange

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Design by David Pelham (1972). Continuing an occasional series. Pity the poor designer who has to create a new cover for Anthony Burgess’s novel when David Pelham’s Penguin cover—created in haste forty years ago—is more visible than ever. Pelham’s design is a familiar sight on these pages but it’s also an increasingly familiar sight elsewhere, […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {film}, {kubrick}, {science fiction} | 9 comments »

 


Weekend links 129

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Daughters of Maternal Impression by Arabella Proffer. A genre’s landscape should be littered with used tropes half-visible through their own smoke & surrounded by salvage artists with welding sets, otherwise it isn’t a genre at all. M. John Harrison, incisive as ever, on what he memorably labels “Pink Slime Fiction”. Elsewhere (and at much greater […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {borges}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {sculpture}, {theatre} | 1 comment »

 


Posters: A Critical Study, 1913

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An appraisal of the state of poster design from almost a century ago by Charles Matlack Price. Lots of the names you’d expect from Europe and the United States—Steinlen, Mucha, Beardsley, Will Bradley, Maxfield Parrish, etc—plus a number of examples I hadn’t seen before. Also a surprising scarcity of Italians and Germans. Scroll down for […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design} | 2 comments »

 


The art of Guido Reni, 1575–1642

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Atalanta and Hippomenes (c. 1612). More golden apples appear in this painting by Guido Reni, not the most famous ones in art history—those would be all the Apples of Discord seen in the various Judgements of Paris—these are the fruit of the sacred tree in the Garden of the Hesperides which Hippomenes drops to prevent […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {painting}, {religion} | 5 comments »

 


Golden apples and silver apples

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The Wind Among the Reeds (1899). Cover design by Althea Gyles. 1: The Song of Wandering Aengus by WB Yeats. I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {magazines}, {music}, {science fiction} | 16 comments »

 


The Horse of the Invisible

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Can Carnacki make any claim to be taken seriously as a detective? If he solves anything it is by force of will, rather than the application of deductive powers. He is no Sherlockian ironist, no high-domed mental traveller. He stands as close to Holmes as Mike Hammer does to Philip Marlowe. His methods are enthusiastic […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {television} | 3 comments »

 


Hanging in Lovecrafton

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Lovecrafton. I’ve had online art exhibitions in the past but this month some of my work can be seen inside a virtual space. Lovecrafton is a Lovecraft-themed town in Second Life created by illustrator John Aardema. As is evident from the screenshots, the atmosphere is suitably autumnal with the requisite Colonial architecture. I was slightly […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {horror}, {technology} | 4 comments »

 


Viktor Koen’s Dark Peculiar Toys

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Toy No. 20 Two prints by artist Viktor Koen who was born in Greece but currently lives in the US. Koen’s Dark Peculiar Toys will be showing throughout October at United Photo Industries, Brooklyn, New York. This month there’s also an exhibition of dismembered toys showing at the October Gallery in London. Benin artist Gérard […]

Posted in {art}, {photography}, {sculpture} | Comments Off

 


 


 

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“feed your head”