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

Archive for December, 2013

 

Abbeys by MR James

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MR James is remembered today for his ghost stories but the four collections published during his lifetime represent a small percentage of his written work. His scholarly studies inform his stories, of course, but they also contribute to a pair of popular non-fiction books which have peripheral associations with the ghost collections: Suffolk and Norfolk: […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {photography}, {typography} | 3 comments »

 


The Tractate Middoth

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The recent interest in the BBC’s Ghost Story for Christmas series has been a thing of mixed blessings, as is often the case when nostalgia fuels a reappraisal. On the one hand aficionados such as myself no longer have to hoard and swap rare tapes or video files now that the BFI has made all […]

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

 


Weekend links 192

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“Chloromgonfus detectis, a dragonfly that can detect volatile pollutants.” A speculative insect by artist Vincent Fournier. • “…a modern taxonomist straddling a Wellsian time machine with the purpose of exploring the Cenozoic era…” Butterflies tied together Vladimir Nabokov’s home, science, and writing, says Mary Ellen Hannibal. • More ghosts: Kira Cochrane on the Victorian tradition of […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {borges}, {burroughs}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {science fiction}, {science}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »

 


Night Music in two parts

Night Music One by Feuilleton on Mixcloud Night Music I The Hafler Trio – Soundtrack To “Alternation, Perception, And Resistance” — A Comprehension Exercise (1985) Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II: Untitled 4/1 (Hankie) (1994) Michael Brook – Earth Floor (1985) Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II: Untitled 10/1 (Tree) (1994) […]

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

 


Uncharted islands and lost souls

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The pulp fiction of the early 20th century favoured remote or uncharted islands as locations for the bizarre and the fantastic; in isolated jungles all manner of savage and grotesque behaviour could take place out of sight of the civilised world. Islands are secure from interference; they can be visited by accident or intention, and […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {horror} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 191

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Two cover designs from Eliash Strongowski’s 30 Days—30 Covers project. My thanks once again to Dennis Cooper for placing this blog on his end-of-year lists. Meanwhile. one of the albums I designed earlier this year, Cold Mission by Logos, made the 30 Best Album Covers of 2013 list at FACT. • “Many of their more […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {science}, {technology} | Comments Off

 


Nigel Kneale’s Woman in Black

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The British television tradition of screening a ghost story at Christmas was filled in 1989 with Nigel Kneale’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel The Woman in Black. This isn’t one of the best contributions to the annual ghost drama but at 100 minutes it’s one of the longest, and it has its supporters, some of […]

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

 


Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type

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You don’t see many type specimen books in colour; offhand I can’t think of seeing any before this one. Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, Etc. Manufactured by Wm. H. Page & Co dates from 1874, and features 100 examples of the very bold typefaces and border designs you find on 19th-century billboards and posters. […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | 2 comments »

 


Opening the Seven Gates of Transcendental Consciousness

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Wilburn Burchette Opens The Seven Gates Of Transcendental Consciousness (1972). Art by Caren Caraway. For the next two weeks I’ll be playing out the end of the year with a 2-CD compilation from Light In The Attic, I Am The Center (Private Issue New Age Music In America, 1950–1990), 20 tracks of ambient/meditation music, most […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {religion} | Comments Off

 


Doctor Moreau book covers

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William Heinemann (first edition, 1896). The inevitable book cover post. The examples here are among the better ones, Wells’ novel having been blighted over the years by monstrosities as hideous as those that fall from Moreau’s vivisection table. That said, some early covers might be bad but they look like masterpieces next to some of […]

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The Island of Doctor Moreau

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Painting by Paul Lehr for the Berkley Highland paperback (1970). The Island of Doctor Moreau is one of those Victorian novels everyone thinks they know well enough from various film or television adaptations, even when those adaptations have accreted a layer of misconception around the story. In the case of HG Wells’ novel we have […]

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

 


Harry Willock book covers

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This time last year I happened to be re-reading my way through the collected short stories of HG Wells; this year I’ve been reading The Island of Doctor Moreau, not to continue the seasonal trend, I simply felt the urge. More about Moreau tomorrow. These covers are from a series of Penguin reprints which first […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators}, {science fiction}, {typography} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 190

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Seam Stress (1987) by Laurie Lipton. The Drawings of Laurie Lipton is out now from Last Gasp. • The Quietus continues to be essential reading: John Doran talks to Richard H Kirk about Cabaret Voltaire | Sarah Angliss, musician and inventor of music machines, talks to Stuart Huggett | “…the most overt literary lodestar for The […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {television} | 3 comments »

 


Aleister Crowley: Wandering The Waste

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I mentioned this graphic biography of Aleister Crowley earlier in the year but pressure of work has meant it’s taken me all this time to finally read it. Aleister Crowley: Wandering The Waste is written by Martin Hayes and illustrated by RH Stewart. The title alludes to Alastor, or The Spirit of Solitude, a Shelley […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {occult} | Comments Off

 


Empire Creep Joint

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December brings a new chapbook story from Supervert: Empire Creep Joint, a tale of the Empire State Building being transformed into “102 Floors of Sodom”. Or so the citizens of New York believe… Rather a Ballardian idea, if there’s any currency left in that over-used label. To find out more you’ll need to acquire a […]

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

 


Gare d’Orsay to Musée d’Orsay

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Gare d’Orsay, coupe transversale (1898). Plan de Victor Laloux. The Google Art Project is currently featuring a slideshow history of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, showing the museum’s evolution from the world’s first all-electric rail terminal to its current status as a major repository of 19th-century art. The Gare d’Orsay was built to bring visitors […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {film}, {painting}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »

 


Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds

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I was working on this book throughout the autumn, and it could hardly be more different to some of the visual extravagance that came before and after. Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds is published by Savoy Books this month. Predominantly an examination by David Brittain (no relation to David Britton) of the connections between artists […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {magazines}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {sculpture}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Bad Behaviour Boys 2014 calendar

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Marco Blaze. Who knew there were hot guys in the Black Lodge? Not another calendar of mine (I don’t know anyone this attractive) but a new calendar from Ross Brownsdon and Travis de Jonk at Bad Behaviour Publishing who notified me about this yesterday. See François Sagat as a drawing, Chi Chi LaRue as herself, and […]

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | Comments Off

 


Steampunk Calendar

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This one arrives two months late, the months of October and November being overly preoccupied with other work. I chose a steampunk theme for this year since this has been a productive area recently. The idea was one of those simple notions—rework some book covers into calendar pages—that in practice ended up taking much longer […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {science fiction}, {work} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 189

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The Outsider (1956), 1963 edition; The Occult (1971), 1973 edition. The cover of the 1973 UK paperback of Colin Wilson‘s mammoth overview of occultism can still be offered as a pinnacle of hyperbole. The book itself is a very serious and informative study but its success set Wilson on a path as a writer about […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {horror}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {television}, {theatre} | 5 comments »

 


Raphaël Freida’s Torture Garden

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The guarded, the cautious, the small-scale, the modest, the well-crafted—such books may be rewarded (in our own time, at the national level), but they are rarely preserved. They are not preserved because guardedness, caution, smallness, modesty, and craft can be replaced in any given generation. What is irreplaceable is excess: Of verbal kinesis, religious intensity, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {horror}, {illustrators} | 8 comments »

 


Albert Goodwin’s fantasies

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Viriconium (Millennium/Gollancz, 2000). Painting: The Gates of the Inferno (no date). The web continues to be an incomparable treat for anyone interested in art history. One of the great advantages of the BBC’s Your Paintings site is having the opportunity to see pictures by artists whose output would rarely be deemed important enough to appear […]

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

 


The Court of the Dragon

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50 Rue de Rennes (1900) by Eugène Atget. I live in the Court of the Dragon, a narrow passage that leads from the Rue de Rennes to the Rue du Dragon. It is an “impasse”; traversable only for foot passengers. Over the entrance on the Rue de Rennes is a balcony, supported by an iron […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {horror}, {photography} | 7 comments »

 


Lovecraft’s Monsters

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Graphic for the title page and ends of chapters. I don’t usually post things so far away from publication, but editor Ellen Datlow put these pictures on her Facebook page a few hours ago so I may as well do the same here. Back in February I bought a Wacom Intuos drawing tablet, something I’ve […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {collage}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {science fiction}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Jarman (all this maddening beauty)

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February 2014 will see the 20th anniversary of the death of Derek Jarman. Between then and now I expect we’ll see some retrospectives, although we’ve already had an excellent cinematic one, Isaac Julien and Tilda Swinton’s memorial/documentary Derek (2008). I’d be pleased to see more of Jarman’s films given a decent release on disc: In the […]

Posted in {film}, {gay}, {theatre} | 7 comments »

 


Martin Sharp, 1942–2013

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Oz magazine no. 15, October 1968. The psychedelic art of Australian artist Martin Sharp has featured here on several occasions. Unlike his British and American contemporaries who maintained a single graphic style, Sharp was a versatile artist whose work could range from loose, often cartoony drawing and painting to very detailed collage designs; he was […]

Posted in {art}, {collage}, {film}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia} | Comments Off

 


Weekend links 188

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The Baron in the Trees (2011), a book-cut sculpture by Su Blackwell. Kurt Andersen at Vanity Fair examines the latest claims that Vermeer used a combination of lenses and mirrors to aid the creation of his remarkable paintings. David Hockney caused a considerable fuss in 2006 when he made similar assertions. Andersen recounts how Tim […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {painting}, {politics}, {sculpture}, {technology} | Comments Off

 


 




 

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