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

Archive for the ‘Aldous Huxley’ tag

 

Weekend links 419

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Cover art by Leo & Diane Dillon, 1975. Art is not supposed to be easier! There are a lot of things in life that are supposed to be easier. Ridding the world of heart attacks, making the roads smoother, making old people more comfortable in the winter, but not Art. Art should always be tough. Art should demand […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction} | 6 comments »

 


Weekend links 405

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Taro Okamoto’s Tower of the Sun on the cover of an Expo ’70 guide. • Last week I was watching the restored print of Howard Brookner’s excellent William Burroughs documentary, Burroughs. Among the later scenes are shots of the writer visiting Britain in the autumn of 1982 for the Final Academy events, a visit also […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {science fiction} | 1 comment »

 


The Strange World of Willie Seabrook by Marjorie Worthington

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This is a curious book. Marjorie Worthington (1900–1976) was the second wife of William Seabrook, an obscure figure today, known—if at all—as much for the lurid details of his life as for his books. In the 1920s and 1930s Seabrook was a well-regarded and very popular writer, delivering to the American public reports of his […]

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

 


The Big Fix!

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One of the stories that was new to me in recent book purchase, Strange Ecstasies (1973), was The Big Fix by Richard Wilson, a science-fiction piece about a junkie in New York City looking for something newer and better than the heroin habit he’s trying to quit. The story first appeared in Infinity Science Fiction […]

Posted in {books}, {burroughs}, {drugs}, {science fiction} | Comments Off

 


Art that transcends

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Late last year, US design magazine Communication Arts asked me to write a piece about psychedelic art, past and present. The resulting feature has been out for a couple of weeks in the May/June issue (no. 56) but I hadn’t seen it in print until a copy turned up today. Attempting to wrangle discussion of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


NY, NY, a film by Francis Thompson

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In Heaven and Hell (1956) Aldous Huxley considers various forms of art that might be said to imitate or resemble the intense visuals generated by psychedelic agents. In past centuries this would include firework displays and the vivid hues of stained glass windows; when discussing the present, mention is made of NY, NY, a short […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »

 


Two covers

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More new work of mine has been unveiled in the past few days so I can show these here. The Buried Life and Cities and Thrones are a pair of fantasy novels by new author Carrie Patel being published by Angry Robot. I was asked to provide something in an engraved style set against a […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {fantasy}, {typography}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 204

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RIP Steve Moore. We never met, unfortunately, but I was very pleased he asked me to create a cover for his unique occult novel, Somnium, in 2011. Prior to this we’d been connected by shared acquaintances, colleagues, and membership in the informal cabal that was (and maybe still is) The Moon & Serpent Grand Egyptian […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {television}, {theatre}, {work} | Comments Off

 


The Art of Tripping, a documentary by Storm Thorgerson

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How does this sound? 100 minutes of solidly informative documentary about the use of drugs by artists from the early 19th century on; a production that calls upon a remarkable cast of contributors (see below), with music by David Gilmour, and the whole thing “devised and directed” by Storm Thorgerson, better known as one third […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {drugs}, {film}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 133

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Lower Manhattan (1999) by Lebbeus Woods. RIP Lebbeus Woods, an architect and illustrator frequently compared to Piranesi not only for his imagination and the quality of his renderings but also for the way both men built very little from a lifetime of designs. Lots of appreciations have appeared over the past few days including this […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {illustrators}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {television}, {theatre} | 3 comments »

 


Animating Piranesi

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Piranesi Carceri d’Invenzione (2010). When Peacay at BibliOdyssey linked to this short film by Grégoire Dupond I thought it might be one I hadn’t seen before but it turns out I have, and I mentioned the exhibition it was produced for in 2010. No matter, it’s worth drawing attention to again since Monsieur Dupond makes […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {film} | 6 comments »

 


Weekend links 91

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Untitled (1978) by GR Santosh at 50 Watts. • Evertype Publishing produces a range of Lewis Carroll special editions including Ailice’s Àventurs in Wunnerland (a translation in Scots), Alicia in Terra Mirabili (a Latin version), and an edition printed in the Nyctographic Square Alphabet devised by Carroll. • This week’s bookshop animations: Type Books, Toronto […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {painting}, {photography} | Comments Off

 


Carceri, thermae and candelabra

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Piranesi’s etching which purports to show a statue gallery at Hadrian’s Villa was published in 1770 as part of the artist’s Vedute di Roma series, and conveniently provides a themed link for a pair of new exhibitions. The artist’s attribution of statue gallery was a mistaken one, the structure is actually the remains of Hadrian’s […]

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

 


La Tour by Schuiten & Peeters

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La Tour (1987) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the third story in the Cités Obscures series, although it’s the fourth volume if you want to be strictly canon about things, L’archivist, a guide to places in the Obscure World, having preceded it. Carcere Oscura by Piranesi (1750). This is another book where Schuiten […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 7 comments »

 


Psychedelic vehicles

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Further: the second version of Ken Kesey’s Merry Prankster bus. The word psychedelic, like surreal before it, slipped from its original meaning through appropriation. Humphrey Osmond’s neologism was first coined in drug-related correspondence with Aldous Huxley in 1957 and was specifically intended to describe the “mind-manifesting” quality of the hallucinogenic drug experience. The drug-inspired art […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 11 comments »

 


Set in Stone

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Urban Chiaroscuro 6: Paris (after Piranesi) (2007) by Emily Allchurch. Pitzhanger Manor-House in Ealing, London, hosts an exhibition with architecture as its theme, a suitable subject given that the house was designed by notable 18th century architect (and friend of Piranesi) Sir John Soane. Artist Emily Allchurch has some meticulous and clever photo-collage reworkings of […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {cities}, {painting}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


The etching and engraving archive

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Previous posts about etchings and engravings. • Bruegel’s sins • The World of Wonders • LVCIFER • Gérard Trignac’s Invisible Cities • La Ronde du Sabbat • Meyer’s Todtengessängen • Jacques Houplain’s Maldoror • Athanasius Kircher’s Pan • Robert Fludd’s Temples of Music • Musaeum Hermeticum • Rodler’s Fine, Useful Booklet • Rules and Examples […]

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Happy birthday { feuilleton }

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It was a year ago today that I sat down and wrote some words of Charles Fort’s, “One measures a circle beginning anywhere…”, as a headline for the first entry on this page. Some posts over the ensuing year have been more popular than others (and it should be pointed out that the “most popular” […]

Posted in {wordpress}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Aldous Huxley on Piranesi’s Prisons

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I scanned this essay years ago from a library copy of a 1949 edition of Piranesi’s Carceri d’Invenzione (Trianon Press, London). It’s worth reproducing here since it’s still one of the best analyses I’ve read of these fascinating and enigmatic drawings. Online reproduction quality of Piranesi’s work is dismayingly low for the most part. And […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white} | 10 comments »

 


 



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