Weekend links 224

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Zona: concept art by Alex Andreyev for a planned TV series based on Roadside Picnic by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky.

The Black Sessions are a long-running series of concerts by international artists recorded for radio station France Inter. UK group Broadcast were recorded by the station in May, 2000. While copies of the shows can be often be hard to find, files of the Broadcast concert may be downloaded here. A fantastic performance, especially the white-hot psychedelic freakout at the end.

• Further investigations from the radio age: Invention for Radio No. 1: The Dreams (43 mins, 1964): “an attempt to re-create in five movements some sensations of dreaming—running away, falling, landscape, underwater and colour”. Voices recorded by Barry Bermange with Radiophonic manipulation by Delia Derbyshire.

• “…in his first description of Cthulhu he gives you a list of four things that Cthulhu isn’t quite like.” Nick Talbot talks to Alan Moore about HP Lovecraft. Related: one of my depictions of Azathoth appears in this list of “gods who have forsaken you”.

• Tracking the locations of JG Ballard’s Super-Cannes: an investigation by Rick Poynor. Related: houseboats, architecture and eco-disaster; Justin Sullivan photographs California’s extreme drought.

• “As her writing career existed outside the realm of respectable ‘high-lit’ fiction, she cast herself as an outsider icon.” Chris Kraus on I’m Very Into You, a collection of Kathy Acker’s emails.

• Cover design inspiring fiction: Susan Coll on how a photo of a Bauhaus chair on the cover of her new novel, The Stager, made her alter her text at the last minute.

• “People were either taken by it or felt it was the Antichrist.” MetaFilter on Clair Noto’s unmade science-fiction film, The Tourist.

The Norwood Variations is a new album by Drew Mulholland (Mount Vernon Arts Lab et al).

• Thought Maybe has a collection of the television essays made by Adam Curtis.

• From 1974: How To Make Magic, a children’s handbook of the occult.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 126 by Mira Calix.

One Minute Blasts Rising To Three And Then Diminishing (2000) by Mount Vernon Arts Lab | Dashwood’s Reverie (2001) by Mount Vernon Arts Lab | Warner’s Reverie (2002) by Mount Vernon Astral Temple

Weekend links 219

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Grendel Monster (2013) by Anna & Elena Balbusso.

Rick Poynor looks at the Guide de la France mystérieuse (1964), a fantastic (in every sense) doorstop of a volume whose collage alphabet by Roman Cieslewicz can be seen on the cover of Carnival In Babylon (1972) by Amon Düül II.

• Boolean mathematics, Charles Howard Hinton, The Voynich Manuscript, and the effects of surveillance on the political process: Adam Curtis firing on all cylinders as usual.

• At Strange Flowers: The Picture of John Gray, remembering the minor fin de siècle figure who gave Oscar Wilde a surname for his most famous creation.

In “32 Cardinal Virtues of Dennis Cooper,” Wayne Koestenbaum remarks: “Cooper’s quest for the unseeable is virtually religious. I mean: sedulous, abstract, perpetual, unrewarded, unreasonable.” There’s much more to be said of Gone, its power, its pain, its odd intrigues, but perhaps it will suffice to say that it is revealing: unlike Burroughs’ scrapbooks hidden away by some private collector, never to see the light of day, Gone (and its sister texts at the Fales Library) illuminate in perpetuity Cooper’s obscure quest for the unseeable.

Diarmuid Hester looks at Dennis Cooper’s scrapbooks

The Sallow Tree, a single by Lutine. More music: An hour of Julia Holter‘s St John’s Sessions performance.

• At Dangerous Minds: Christian televangelists listen to Stairway To Heaven forwards.

• Cathy Camper reviews Fearful Hunter, a graphic novel by Jon Macy.

• Mix of the week: FACT mix 452 by Claude Speeed.

Roman Cieslewicz at Pinterest.

The Adobe Illustrator Story

The House of Julian

Unofficial Britain

• Amon Düül II singles: Rattlesnakeplumcake (1970) | Between The Eyes (1970) | Light (1971) | Lemmingmania (1971)

Weekend links 206

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Nova Express (2014) by Paul Komoda.

• Last week it was Kraftwerk, this week it’s Can in another astonishing 70-minute TV performance from 1970. For those who know where to look in the torrent world there are copies of these recordings circulating there.

JG Ballard: five years on. Extracts from introductions by John Gray, Hari Kunzru, Robert Macfarlane, Deborah Levy, James Lever, China Miéville and Michel Faber for a new series of Ballard editions.

• Mix of the week: Needle Exchange 147 by Inventions. Also at Self-Titled Mag: Suzanne Ciani on her Buchla beginnings, talking dishwashers, and why no one got electronic music in the ’70s.

• At Dangerous Minds: It’s So Far Out It’s Straight Down, a Granada TV documentary from 1967 featuring Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, International Times, Pink Floyd et al.

The Wonderful World of Witches: Portraits of English Pagans. A photo-special from the 1960s at LIFE. Related: From 1974, the US TV ad for Man, Myth and Magic.

• Suspicious Minds: Adam Curtis on Stephen Knight, Jack the Ripper, squatters, heists, From Hell, and why people no longer trust those in authority.

• Here be men with beards and syntezators: Andy Votel‘s Top 10 Early Patch-Bay Polymaths From Eastern Europe.

The New York Public Library has made 20,000 maps available as free, high-res downloads.

• An oscilloscope video by Vincent Oliver & Steve Bliss for Riff Through The Fog by Clark.

Anne Billson interviewed Alejandro Jodorowsky in 1990.

• At BLDGBLOG: When Hills Hide Arches.

Do gay people still need gay bars?

Pixelord Dreams

I’m So Green (1972) by Can | Nova Feedback (1978) by Chrome | Gay Bar (2003) by Electric Six

Weekend links 76

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Despite appearances I’m still doing bits of design and layout work for various musicians. In the past week I’ve been trying to reorganise this sprawling website a little so it’s easier to add new work quickly and easily. One recent job was more layout than design, a CD and vinyl package for a Roly Porter collection of instrumentals entitled Aftertime. Each track on the album is named after a different planet from Frank Herbert’s Dune books although the music isn’t as illustrative as that implies. Porter’s use of an Ondes Martenot and various acoustic instruments which he subjects to degrees of distortion is just the kind of thing I like hearing. One track can be heard at FACT where Porter is interviewed about his work. Aftertime is released this month on the Subtext label.

It is a rollicking saga that involves all sorts of things not normally associated with think tanks – chickens, pirate radio, retired colonels, Jean-Paul Sartre, Screaming Lord Sutch, and at its heart is a dramatic and brutal killing committed by one of the very men who helped bring about the resurgence of the free market in Britain.

Adam Curtis on the strange history of Britain’s think tanks and their hidden agendas.

• Other assorted music business: Getting down to the Cabinessence: “This is the first of what may become an intermittent series of observations about Smile, and how Brian Wilson tried to put his dream on this planet.” | After The Flood: Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock 20-Years On: a lengthy and detailed Quietus piece on one of the best albums of the 1990s. | Jonathan Barnbrook uses an old analogue video synth to create a visual accompaniment for Interplay by John Foxx & The Maths. The HD version is an eye-searing delight.

Meredith Yayanos favours the sister instrument of the Ondes Martenot, the theremin, which she uses to provide a spooky score for a new film, Empty Rooms. There’s more spectral ambience at her SoundCloud page.

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A Jules Verne cover by Carlo Giovani for Editora Ática.

• Sculptor and writer Josiah McElheny transforms the Whitechapel Gallery into a hall of mirrors.

Jacob’s Lament, an animated collaboration between illustrator Ian Miller and Stijn Windig.

Pornographic Poem (1967) by John Giorno.

Oscar Wilde grandson scorns “new” play.

• Manhattan in marble by Yutaka Sone.

Paul Atreides pt. 1 (1978) by Richard Pinhas | Harkonnen (1979) by Zed (Bernard Szajner) | Prophecy Theme (1984) by Brian Eno.

Weekend links 68

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Every man and every woman is a star by Sveta Dorosheva.

• Matt Taylor (illustration) with Gregg Kulick and Paul Buckley (design) provide new Penguin covers for John Le Carré. I love the look which seems inspired by Daniel Kleinman’s title sequence for Casino Royale even if it doesn’t quite suit the shabby world of George Smiley and the Circus.

[Deborah Kass] told me that when she was going to art school in the ’70s, she tripped on LSD almost every week and she said she felt it was her “moral duty as an artist to take the trip.” […] I think psychedelic experience makes you think that there are multiple realities, that there isn’t just this one normal real world to which we’re supposed to conform, but that the reality changes depending on the state of consciousness that we’re in when we’re experiencing it. So, any different kind of art kind of posits a different reality. (more)

New York Times art critic Ken Johnson discussing his new book Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art.

• “That got me thinking that evolution really isn’t survival of the fittest, when it comes to these things, it is more like survival of the interesting, survival of the beautiful, survival of the weird, cool stuff that managed to evolve.” Laurie Anderson and David Rothenberg discuss music and animals.

• Laura Cumming on the late Lucian Freud. And Stephen Heller on Alex Steinweiss, the originator in 1939 of the artistic record sleeve who also died last week.

• Alan Moore says “Think Locally: Fuck ‘Globally'”. He and Queen Calluz explain how Dodgem Logic magazine puts their ideas into practice.

Adam Curtis gets interviewed while Alan Bennett returns to Armley Public Library in Leeds.

Peacock’s Garden, a celebration of pavonine splendour.

• A visit to Seher Shah’s studio in Brooklyn, New York.

• Maximum androgyny at Epicenity, a Tumblr.

Does your god have a penis?

Chrysalide (1978) is an album of “cosmic” guitar instrumentals by Michel Moulinié which sounds at times like a French equivalent of Manuel Göttsching. It’s never been released on CD but a copy can be found here.