Weekend links 548

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The Aurora Borealis by Charles H. Whymper.

• “In 1829, when the celebrated Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai was almost 70 years old, he created more than 100 drawings of a dazzling array of subjects: playful cats, serene landscapes, even severed heads. Hokusai’s fame continued to grow after his death in 1849, and the suite of small, elaborate drawings was last purchased a century later, at a Paris auction in 1948. Then it disappeared from the public eye.” The British Museum now has the drawings which may be seen here.

• The week in cover design: Emily Temple compares US and UK covers for the same books, while Vyki Hendy collects recent titles with objects as the main feature of the cover designs. One of my recent covers (which will appear here soon) is less minimal than these but also features an arrangement of objects.

• The compilation experts at Light In The Attic Records have put together another collection of obscure Japanese music. Somewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds Of Japan 1980–1988 will be released in January.

“A Jamesian world is one of cursed artefacts, endlessly subsuming landscapes, forgotten manuscripts and tactile beings that punish the curious and intellectually arrogant.” Adam Scovell visits the grave of MR James.

• Dragons and Unicorns: John Boardley on the lost art of the Hieroglyphic Bible.

• I almost missed John Waters’ favourite films of the year.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Sade’s Castle, Cardin’s House.

Northern lights photographer of the year.

Aurora Hominis (1970) by Beaver & Krause | Aurora (1971) by Tonto’s Expanding Head Band | Soft Aurora (1979) by Tod Dockstader

Weekend links 544

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“You may if you please, call a partial View of Immensity, or without much Impropriety perhaps, a finite View of Infinity.” An illustration from Thomas Wright’s An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe (1750).

• If you read about electronic music for any length of time today you’ll eventually come across the term “pad”, referring to a feature of the music itself not the instrumentation. I’ve noticed increasing instances of this with no accompanying explanation of what the term actually refers to. Rob Wreglesworth has the answer.

• At Dangerous Minds: Richard H. Kirk talks to Oliver Hall about Cabaret Voltaire and Shadow Of Fear. No comment from Kirk as to why the new album warrants the CV name when the music is indistinguishable from his many solo works.

• Eyeball Fodder: The Art of the Occult Edition. S. Elizabeth presents artwork featured in her new book, together with links to artist interviews, including one to the interview we did for Coilhouse magazine a few years ago.

• More electronica: Music From Patch Cord Productions is a new compilation of music by Mort Garson that features some previously unreleased pieces. Great cover art by Robert Beatty as well.

• A trailer for Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds, a documentary film about meteorites by Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer.

• From 2019: John Waters and Lynn Tillman in conversation. “The pair discussed Waters’s recent exhibitions and art career.”

Harlan Ellison’s The Last Dangerous Visions may finally be published, after a five-decade wait.

Turn your feline into a god with this cardboard Shinto shrine for cats.

• Mix of the week: XLR8R Podcast 670 by Dadub.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Harry Dean Stanton Day.

John Cooper Clarke‘s favourite songs.

Meteor Storm (1994) by FFWD | The Third Chamber: Part 5 – 7pm Tokyo Shrine (1994) by Loop Guru | Fireball (1994) by Sun Dial

The écorché saint

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An addendum to the previous post after Daniel in the comments reminded me of Saint Bartholomew who is often depicted in paintings and sculptures carrying his flayed skin. Having suffered considerable torture, Bartholomew spends eternity as the patron saint of tanners and leatherworkers. This sounds like a cruel joke on the part of medieval martyrologists but the history of the Christian church contains many such ironies, along with some equally surprising imagery. The luckier saints, like Lucy and Agatha of Sicily, are shown in paintings with their gouged eyes and lopped breasts restored in Heaven, the original (miraculously unbloody) articles being proffered to the viewer on plates; Peter of Verona, meanwhile, offers benedictions to the faithful with the hatchet that killed him still protruding from his head. The sculpture of Bartholomew by Marco d’Agrate in Milan Cathedral dates from 1562, and is more écorché than saint, a marvellous exercise in anatomical fidelity that just happens to double as a religious icon.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Écorché
Cephalophores

Weekend links 514

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Athanasius Kircher welcoming two guests to the Collegio Romano, a detail from the frontispiece to his Romani Collegii Societatis Jesu Musaeum celeberrimum (1678).

Opium (1919) by Robert Reinert: “A Chinese opium dealer takes revenge on Westerners who have corrupted his wife.” With Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt a year before their pairing in The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.

Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain: in which the gallery thinks that 7 minutes is enough to give us a taste of a major exhibition that we can’t otherwise see.

Joe Pulver (RIP): His Highness in Yellow. A memorial piece that includes artist Michael Hutter talking about his paintings of Carcosa.

Court Mann on the strange history of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, 50 years old this month.

• “Invisible Little Worms”: Athanasius Kircher’s Study of the Plague by John Glassie.

Sophie Monks Kaufman on why literary lesbians are having a moment on screen.

• Photographer Ryan McGinley: “I was taught to believe in Satan. It scared me.”

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Ellen Burstyn Day, and the ghostly novels of WG Sebald.

Dorian Lynskey on where to start with Nina Simone’s back catalogue.

• Wie funktioniert ein Synthesizer? (1972). Bruno Spoerri explains.

• Banham avec Ballard: On style and violence by Mark Dorrian.

John Boardley on the most dangerous book in the world.

Improvisation for Sonic Cure by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

• The Strange World of…JG Thirlwell.

Diet Of Worms (1979) by This Heat | Stomach Worm (1992) by Stereolab | Heartworms (1998) by Coil

Weekend links 485

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Art by Augustus Jansson for the Queen City Printing Ink Company (c.1906).

• Much of my music listening for the past couple of weeks has been the compositions and soundtracks of the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, so these links are pertinent: Jóhannsson and ensemble live at KEXP in 2010, and a memorial performance of Virdulegu Forsetar from last year.

• “[Her] approach to making electronic music was hard work, too, but it was less about controlling sounds and more about surrendering to them.” Geeta Dayal on Éliane Radigue whose Chry-Ptus has been reisssued by Important Records.

• Safe From Harm: Tim Murray on how Coil helped AIDS awareness on VHS. The video in question, The Gay Man’s Guide to Safer Sex, may be viewed at the Internet Archive.

• In the LRB podcast Ian Penman and Jennifer Hodgson discuss Penman’s new collection of essays, It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track.

• “A land of fog and emotional nightmares.” Oliver Wainwright on why Britain booted out the Bauhaus.

• Mapping Scotland’s Grim History of Witch-Hunting by Feargus O’Sullivan.

• Long-Haired Stars & the End of the World: John Boardley on comets.

My Will by Minimal Compact, a new version of an old song.

• La Danse Des Comètes (1970) by Nino Nardini | Kohoutek-Kometenmelodie 1 & 2 (1973) by Kraftwerk | Cometary Wailing (Valley Plateau) (1981) by Bernard Xolotl