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

Archive for July, 2013

 

One Way Street: Fragments for Walter Benjamin

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I thought I was going to intensely dislike One Way Street (1993) owing to the deployment of that bane of documentary film and television: the actor impersonating a historical figure. But these moments are sporadic, and John Hughes’ film is a reasonable introduction to Walter Benjamin’s elusive philosophies. It probably helps if you already know […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {film}, {politics} | 2 comments »

 


42 One Dream Rush

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A 45-minute omnibus film from 2009 in which Abel Ferrara, Arden Wohl, Asia Argento, Brian Butler, Carlos Reygadas, Charles Burnett, Charlyn Marshall, Chris Graham, Chris Milk, David Lynch, Dee Poon, Floria Sigismondi, Florian Habicht, Gaspar Noé, Grant Morrison, Griffin Marcus, Harmony Korine, James Franco, Joe Coleman, Jonas Mekas, Jonathan Caouette, Kenneth Anger, Larry Clark, Leos […]

Posted in {film} | 2 comments »

 


Year by Angus MacLise

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The Ascension of St Rose of Lima (1896) by Aubrey Beardsley. There’s something about the idea of renaming the calendar that I find very attractive even if this is only workable on a personal level. When the Gregorian calendar is a reinvention of the Roman calendar based around Christian holidays (and with the days of […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {books} | 5 comments »

 


Weekend links 170

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Owl portrait by Iain Macarthur. • “Ghost Box is a glance through a window seeing something running alongside our version of reality. Like, what if Paul McCartney had made records with the Radiophonic Workshop?” Ghost Box designer and Mr Focus Group, Julian House is interviewed. • “…that book with the girl with the hatchet in […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


La Tour Eiffel

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Another Google visit to a very tall structure. The views from the Eiffel Tower may not reach as high as those of the Burj Khalifa but you are at least looking at one of the greatest cities in the world. These pictures were taken in June of this year on a particularly gloomy day, possibly […]

Posted in {architecture}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


Keramic Studio

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A recent addition to the Internet Archive, Keramic Studio was a monthly American ceramics magazine whose first number dates from May, 1899. If you’re like I am these days, and always looking out for new sources of period design, this is a useful title for the large number of decoration templates. The examples here from […]

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Light Leaks

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A scattered array of fifty mirror balls reflect light from three projectors, filling a room completely with small reflections, casting patterns that fill the visitor’s peripheral vision. Creating a curious space that alternates between a meditative state, and an uneasy imbalance. An experiment in combining a found object with computer vision to create a profound […]

Posted in {art}, {sculpture}, {technology} | 2 comments »

 


This Is Sand

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Several hours wasted today trying to root out a computer problem so I’ve little to offer apart from this polychrome sand game. Have fun.

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Design as virus 17: Boris and Roger Dean

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The compact disc for Flood (2000) by Boris. The music of Japanese heavy rock trio Boris has been soundtracking the past few days hence this addition to an occasional series which has already seen the band mentioned once before. It’s common for rock groups at the heavier end of the spectrum to find a visual […]

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Mati Klarwein book covers

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The World’s Desire (1972) by H. Rider Haggard & Andrew Lang. Painting: Astral Body Asleep (1968). The use of Mati Klarwein’s paintings on album covers is well documented, the official Klarwein site has a small section devoted to some of the covers. Less well-known are these book covers which were evidently the product of a […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {painting}, {science fiction} | 7 comments »

 


Weekend links 169

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Cover illustration by Gray Morrow, 1967. One of the less exploitative examples from a collection of hippy book covers. • Ten Photographs by Alain Resnais: Mise en scène of Memory, Aesthetics of Silence by Ehsan Khoshbakht. In the comments to that post someone shows an old Penguin book with cover photos by Chris Marker. This […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {photography}, {politics}, {technology}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


Pay It All Back

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Two things of interest to William Burroughs aficionados are looking for funding this month. The Burroughs Century is an event being planned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Burroughs birth next year in Bloomington, Indiana: We are calling this event the Burroughs Century, but we are not looking backward; rather, we believe that the Burroughs […]

Posted in {books}, {burroughs}, {technology} | 1 comment »

 


Summer

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Summer (1896) by Alphonse Mucha. With the temperature rising inexorably throughout the week—today it hit 30C—it’s been easy to identify with Alphonse Mucha’s languid spirit of summer, and the urge to drape yourself on a branch beside some water. Mucha produced many picture series on different themes, with several attempts at depicting the seasons. This […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art} | 1 comment »

 


Nathanial Krill at the Time Node

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Nathanial Krill at the Time Node (1978) by Richard Glyn Jones and Robert Meadley. Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds magazine resumed publication in 1978 after a hiatus of two years following the end of its New Worlds Quarterly paperback format. The issues for the years 1978 and 79 are the oddest in the entire run of […]

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The Residents: Twenty Twisted Questions

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The art/music/performance group known as The Residents has been pushing their work into the media landscape for over 40 years but you could be forgiven for not knowing this. The Residents were delving into their own brand of the sinister and absurd years before the world had heard of David Lynch, but unlike Lynch their […]

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The art of Marijke Koger

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Love Life (1966). A slight return to The Fool, and specifically the work of Marijke Koger. Since The Fool was a collective it can be difficult separating out the work of individuals but all of these examples are credited as hers in Norman Hathaway & Dan Nadel’s excellent Electrical Banana (2011) book. The nature of […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »

 


The Fool album covers

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The Fool (1968). Many people know the work of design collective The Fool even if they couldn’t tell you the name or the names of any of the individuals involved.  The accelerated career trajectory of Dutch artists Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma took them from a hippie enclave on the isle of Ibiza in 1966, […]

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Weekend links 168

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Window to the Universe (1967) by Roberta Bell. From Summer of Love: Psychedelic Posters from SCMA currently showing at the Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA. • Sympathy for the Shoggoth: China Miéville’s Revolution of the Weird Tale, an essay by Christina Scholz which features one of my Cthulhu pictures among its embellishments. Related: […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »

 


Psyché Rock

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Messe Pour Le Temps Present (1967). Electro-acoustic composer Pierre Henry probably wouldn’t thank you for calling Psyché Rock his finest moment but it’s a favourite of mine. It’s also his most well-known composition although most people know it as a putative inspiration for Christopher Tyng’s theme to Futurama. The YouTube version here is the original […]

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

 


Design as virus 16: Prisms

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The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) by Pink Floyd. Design by Hipgnosis. Dark Side of the Moon is one of seven or eight suggestions we submitted to Pink Floyd. It relates to the Floyd’s concerts and their use of light shows. Specifically it was sparked off by Rick Wright who wanted something very simple, […]

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Astronomiae Instauratae Mechanica

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Let there be no complaints about lack of variety: fetish photography one day, 17th-century astronomical instruments the next. Tycho Brahe’s Astronomiae Instauratae Mechanica (1602) is a description of the astronomical devices used at Brahe’s Stjerneborg (Star Castle) on the island of Ven in Oresund, Denmark. One of the plates below shows the layout of the Star […]

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

 


Fetish photographer Rick Castro

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Photographs by Rick Castro. Presenting another guest post from John Wisniewski who back in May contributed an interview with William E. Jones about gay film director Fred Halsted. The subject this time is Rick Castro, pioneering bondage/S&M photographer, and also the proprietor of the Antebellum Gallery in Los Angeles which bills itself as the only […]

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The poster art of Frank McCarthy

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The Venetian Affair (1967). “Murder! Spies! Women!” If you added “guns” and “explosions” to that list you’d have the ingredients of the wild poster art of Frank McCarthy (1924–2002). I used to love posters like this when I was a boy, especially those from the everything-happening-at-once school which, by the look of these examples, was […]

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Red Shift by Alan Garner

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“I know things, and feel things, but the wrong way round. That’s me: all the right answers at none of the right times. I see and can’t understand. I need to adjust my spectrum, pull myself away from the blue end. I could do with a red shift. Galaxies and Rectors have them. Why not […]

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

 


Weekend links 167

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Poster by Luke Insect & Kenn Goodall. In recent years I’ve had little patience for British cinema: too much dour “realism” with little of Alan Clarke’s vitality, too many comedies that aren’t funny, too many Hollywood calling cards, too much Colin Firth… So it’s been a pleasure to see Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio followed […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film

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The Beatles’ second feature, Help!, was released on Blu-ray last month. The origin of the film’s visual humour and frenetic style can be found in this short directed by Richard Lester over two weekends in 1959, a collaboration between Lester, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and others. It may be nothing more than ten minutes of […]

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

 


Mistaken Memories Of Mediaeval Manhattan

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The first ambient film, at least in the Brian Eno sense of the term, although one can think of other examples prior to this, not least Andy Warhol’s Empire (1964) which is possibly alluded to in a sequence showing the Empire State Building in the distance. Eno filmed several static views of New York and […]

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Strange Days

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Strange Days was the second album by The Doors, released in October 1967. It’s the album that veers the closest to what people think of today as a psychedelic sound—which puts it in my favour—and is also unique in the group’s catalogue for minimising their presence on the gatefold sleeve, something Jim Morrison was always […]

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Fiendish Schemes

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Now that this cover has appeared on Amazon I can mention it here. As usual, the machinery of publishing grinds slowly: this cover was commissioned in November last year, and worked on from the end of that month up to Christmas. Fiendish Schemes is a sequel by KW Jeter to his Infernal Devices, one of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {collage}, {design}, {fantasy}, {science fiction}, {work} | 6 comments »

 


Top of the world

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How quickly things change. When I began this blog in February, 2006 the Burj Khalifa in Dubai had been under construction for two years but wouldn’t be finished for another three; Google’s Maps was an ongoing thing but the company had yet to introduce their Street View. Now you can use the one to visit […]

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The art of Sergius Hruby, 1869–1943

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Sergius Hruby was an Austrian artist who specialised in that fin de siècle staple, the malevolent or sinister woman. Or so it would seem from these examples which, since I’ve chosen the more assertively Decadent fare, may be doing him a disservice. The style is very similar to another Austrian artist, Franz von Bayros, albeit […]

Posted in {art}, {painting} | 2 comments »

 


 


 

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