Weekend links 666


Muy Mago (Portrait of Aleister Crowley) (1961) by Xul Solar.

• “…snails amaze with their capacity to move so far, to spread so widely, while doing so little. This, it seems to me, is one of the real marvels of snail biogeography. Individuals do not need to exert great effort because natural selection has acted for them, acted on them, acted with them, to produce these beings that are so unexpectedly but uniquely suited to a particular form of deep time travel, drifting. From such a perspective, rather than being any kind of deficiency, the highly successful passivity of snails might be seen as a remarkable evolutionary achievement.” Thom van Dooren on how snails cross vast oceans.

• “Slow art has layers. And this is why it requires time and effort. We should see this as a good and necessary thing. If this is a kind of obstacle in the way of easy assimilation then it is an obstacle that is integral to the value of the thing itself. The mind is calmed, or disturbed, or made exultant by the art that rewards us for our goodwill and our capacity to take our time.” In Praise of Slow Art by Chris Horner.

• “I have set naturalism and the supernatural in binary opposition but perhaps there is a third way. Let’s call it the supranatural stance…” Paul Broks explores the roots of coincidence.

• At Unquiet Things: The art of Hector Garrido, an illustrator who specialised in the Gothic staple of women in gowns fleeing at night from sinister mansions.

• “The writer Jorge Luis Borges once referred to his friend the artist Xul Solar as ‘one of the most singular events of our era’,” writes Miriam Basilio.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Japanese craftsmanship meets Pokemon at Kanazawa’s National Crafts Museum.

• At Public Domain Review: Martin Frobenius Ledermüller’s Microscopic Delights (1759–63).

• New music: Rest Of Life by Steve Roach.

The Four Horsemen (1972) by Aphrodite’s Child | Supper’s Ready (1972) by Genesis | Six Six Sixties (1979) by Throbbing Gristle

Weekend links 664


Caduceus: Tarot Card Study – Love by Holly Warburton.

• The week in stage magic: Ken Carbone, writing about playing cards and graphic design, points the way to an hour of Ricky Jay demonstrating his miraculous abilities with a pack of cards. Elsewhere, Erik Ofgang asks “Who was Mr. Electrico, the sideshow magician who inspired Ray Bradbury—then vanished?”

The 1980 Floor Show – Uncut / Unedited: 8 Hours of David Bowie in Ziggy Stardust guise performing for American TV cameras at The Marquee, London, in October 1973. That’s more Bowie than most people would want—there’s a lot of repetition—but it’s good to know things like this can still surface.

• “A supernova has gone out,” says David Grundy about the late Wayne Shorter. Also this: “Sci-fi fan Shorter suggested the title to [Weather Report’s] second album I Sing The Body Electric, taken from Walt Whitman via Ray Bradbury.”

• “We need to get away from thinking of ourselves as machines… That metaphor is getting in the way of understanding living, wild cognition.” A long read by Amanda Gefter about the secret life of plants, and “4E” cognitive science.

• “…why take a soft approach to safety when you can scare the sensible into the next generation with some of the most effective horror shorts of all time?” Ryan Finnegan on the notorious PIFs (public information films) of the 1970s.

• “I am increasingly of the Lynchian mindset of ‘never explain’…” Lynda E. Rucker talking to Steven Duffy about her latest story collection, Now It’s Dark.

• James Balmont presents a brief introduction to the mind-altering cinema of Sogo Ishii.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Hidari: An epic wooden puppet samurai stop-motion film.

• Old music: Musique De Notre Temps (1976) by Éliane Radigue.

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Juma.

Body Electric (1982) by The Sisters Of Mercy | Super-Electric (1991) by Stereolab | Electric Garden (Deep Jazz In The Garden Mix) (2013) by Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald

Weekend links 661


Zephyr (1970), a blacklight poster by Jupiter Rubin. Via.

• I wouldn’t usually expect Clark Ashton Smith’s Zothique to be mentioned at Literary Hub for any reason, but there it is. Emily Temple recommends some of the best stories from a century of Weird Tales that you can read online.

• Mixes of the week: A mix for The Wire by Gamut Inc, and The Last of Us, “a non-stop mix of ambient soundscapes, experimental electronics and modern classical music”.

• “…Yaggy believed that wonder was the helpmate of learning.” Sasha Archibald on Levi Walter Yaggy’s Geographical Maps and Charts (1887/93).

Stylistically, Beardsley’s pictures for Salome are among his most derivative and original. In the sharpness of their lines and great swaths of black and white, we see the well-documented influences of Japanese woodcuts and Ancient Greek vase-painting. And yet, Beardsley’s work bridges these grand traditions of East and West with such fresh dynamism and taboo as to be undeniably, and ultimately definitionally, Nouveau.

Mirror and Window Both: The Brief Superabundance of Aubrey Beardsley by A. Natasha Joukovsky

• New music: Rhinog Fawr by Somatic Responses, and Sargo/Posidonia by Sleep Research Facility/Llyn Y Cwn.

• “Why is there such a voracious consumer appetite for miniature things?” asks Steven Heller.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…Julio Cortázar Blow Up and other Stories (1967).

• At Unquiet Things: The Prolific Pioneering Pulp Art Of Ed Emshwiller.

Random images from DJ Food’s desktop.

Miniature Sun (1989) by XTC | Adventures In A Miniature Landscape (2009) by Belbury Poly | Miniature Magic (2020) by Plone

Weekend links 660


Cover painting by Kelly Freas for Mayenne (1973) by EC Tubb.

• “The kamishibai (literally “paper play”) is a Japanese form of storytelling that involved a narrator using illustrated paper boards to tell stories. As the story would progress, a new board would replace the previous board, propelling the story forward. This concept served as the inspiration for graphic designer Katsuhiko Shibuya and his class of students at Joshibi University of Art and Design. The task, however, was to deconstruct fairy tales even further using only graphic symbols.” Graphic design kamishibai tell visual fairytales at Spoon & Tamago. Great stuff.

• “If it’s not magical it’s not worth doing it… Without magic there’s no quality.” Musician/producer/catalyst Bill Laswell in conversation.

• At Public Domain Review: Lara Langer Cohen on the emancipatory visions of a sex magician: Paschal Beverly Randolph’s Occult Politics.

• At Smithsonian Magazine: Nicola Jones on the scientific history of cannabinoids.

• “Deep beneath the streets of London, musical wax cylinders reveal lost histories.”

• “The Moon smells like gunpowder.” And all that fine dust is bad for your lungs.

• At Aquarium Drunkard: Guiding Light : A Tom Verlaine Appreciation.

• New music: Sacred Tonalities by Mike Lazarev.

Supernatural Fairytales (1967) by Art | X-Rated Fairy Tales (1985) by Helios Creed | The Fairy Tale (1991) by Biosphere

Weekend links 658


Also Sprach Zarathustra (1972), a blacklight poster by Asher Ein Dor.

• “Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis) is a reasonably informative, if rather dry, look at a subject with much more potential for exploration,” says Dan Shindel, reviewing Anton Corbijn’s feature-length documentary about the album-cover design team. Sounds like a missed opportunity, on the whole, although the history of Hipgnosis has been so thoroughly explored over the course of several books (including a very recent one by Aubrey Powell) that any documentary seems almost superfluous. What I’d most like to see is something we’ll never have, a film about the company directed by the late Storm Thorgerson. And on that note, Thorgerson’s two-part documentary about art and drugs, The Art of Tripping (previously), has resurfaced on YouTube here and here.

• “LunaNet consists of a set of rules that would enable all lunar satellite navigation, communication and computing systems to form a single network similar to the Internet, regardless of which nation installs them. Setting lunar time is part of a much bigger picture. ‘The idea is to produce a Solar System internet,” says Gramling. ‘And the first part would be at the Moon.'” Elizabeth Gibney reports on plans to create a consistent time zone for the Moon.

• “Listening to 12, one cannot help but be struck by this deep expression of Sakamoto’s pain, of his human frailty, strength, and uncertainty about the future.” Geeta Dayal on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s latest album.

• At Public Domain Review: Illusory Wealth: Victor Dubreuil’s Cryptic Currencies by Dorinda Evans.

• At Aquarium Drunkard: Journey to inner space with The Groundhogs.

• DJ Food investigates the High Meadows psychedelic poster site.

• New music: Sub-Photic Scenario by Runar Magnusson.

• At Wyrd Daze: Disco Rd: 23 pages 23 minutes.

The Strange World of…Chris Watson.

Lunar Musick Suite (1976) by Steve Hillage | Lunar Cruise (1990) by Midori Takada & Masahiko Satoh | Luna Park (2006) by Pet Shop Boys