Weekend links 233

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Alchemical Stone (2014) by Daniel Lasso Casas. Via full fathom five.

• “I am unsure if this reality is an everyday one. We don’t know if the universe belongs to a realist genre or a fantastic one, because if, as idealists believe, everything is a dream, then what we call reality is essentially oneiric.” Jorge Luis Borges in 1984 in conversation with Argentinian poet and essayist Osvaldo Ferrari.

• “I am transgender, so ‘he’ is not appropriate and ‘she’ is problematic. I’m what I think of as pure transgender.” Antony Hegarty talks to Cian Traynor about Turning, a new DVD and album project.

Unearthing Forgotten Horrors 2014 is a weekend festival of rural weirdness at the Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Henry Darger, one of the most celebrated examples of an outsider artist (see: Vivian Girls), has been uniformly ignored by the literary firmament. Despite the success of his artwork, none of his fiction manuscripts have seen print. The language of literature is the language of privilege, in which even the stories of the working class are regularly clad in a bourgeois prose. The language of literature cannot be extricated from its white, genteel roots. Those of us without access to education are welcome to practice, but we must come in from the cold, adopt the house language. We must be civilized, scrubbed clean. Naiveté has no place in the colosseum of words.

Ravi Mangla on Coming in from the Cold: Outsider Art in Literature

Carel de Nerée tot Babberich en Henri van Booven, a collection of Beardsley-like drawings by a neglected Dutch artist.

Forever Butt is a new collection of the best of recent issues of BUTT magazine, still the best print mag for gay men.

Anne Billson’s guide to Brussels, another European city I’d like to visit some day.

• At BibliOdyssey: Schönschreibmeister, a calligraphy master’s album.

Third Ear Band live (and in colour!) on French TV in 1970.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen mix 132 by Spatial.

• The Internet Archive now has an Internet Arcade.

Crazy Cat Lady Clothing

The Pattern Library

Stone Circle (1969) by Third Ear Band | Sacred Stones (1992) by Sheila Chandra | Stoned Circular I (1996) by Coil

Weekend links 222

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A self-portrait by Nadia Wicker from her Projectie series.

• “And boy, did that Rain Parade sleeve look cool with its picture of the insouciant band sitting in front of large hot-house (or glass palace), the sky behind them tinted a sickly shade of apocalypse pink…” Joe Banks on the Rain Parade’s finest moment, Explosions In The Glass Palace.

• “…there are pleasures to be had from books beyond being lightly entertained. There is the pleasure of being challenged; the pleasure of feeling one’s range and capacities expanding…” Rebecca Mead on the pleasure of reading to impress yourself.

• “If Gengoroh Tagame performed the acts he drew in his comics he’d probably be dead or in jail,” says Zac Bayly, interviewing Tagame for BUTT.

Crime does not fascinate James Joyce as it fascinates the rest of us—the suggestion of crime dismays him. He tells me that one of his handicaps in writing Work in Progress is that he has no interest in crime of any kind, and he feels that this book which deals with the night-life of humanity should have reference to that which is associated with the night-life of cities—crime. But he cannot get criminal action into the work. With his dislike of violence goes another dislike—the dislike of any sentimental relation. Violence in the physical life, sentimentality in the emotional life, are to him equally distressing. The sentimental part of Swift’s life repels him as much as the violence of some of his writing.

Padraic Colum attended Joyce’s 47th birthday party.

• I’m currently reading The Wanderer, “a weird document” by Timothy J. Jarvis, which is officially published this week.

The Changes, another remarkable children’s TV series from the 1970s, is out on DVD next week.

Sir Richard Bishop has made all 14 of his solo albums available as free downloads.

• “How long do CDs last? It depends, but definitely not forever,” says Laura Sydell.

• “Readers absorb less on e-readers than on paper, study finds

• Book designer Craig Mod wants to talk about margins.

• Mix of the week: a mix for The Quietus by Helm.

Ozu’s passageways

• The Rain Parade: No Easy Way Down (BBC TV, 1984) | No Easy Way Down (studio, 1984) | No Easy Way Down (Tokyo, 1984)

Weekend links 216

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Why Do The Heathen Rage? (2014) by The Soft Pink Truth. Cover art by Mavado Charon.

Drew Daniel’s latest release as The Soft Pink Truth is Why Do The Heathen Rage?, a witty electronic riposte to the often reactionary attitudes of black metal music and the people who create it. (The album is dedicated to Magne Andreassen, a gay man stabbed to death by the drummer from Emperor.) Dorian Lynskey talked to Daniel about queering the metal world, as did Angus Finlayson at FACT. Daniel’s project has been receiving press everywhere but you wouldn’t know it to read US/UK gay news sites where the music coverage is relentlessly narrow and insular. To date, only BUTT magazine has mentioned Why Do The Heathen Rage? but then BUTT have always stood apart from their parochial contemporaries. Never mind, here’s another fucking article about “petite pop princess” Kylie Minogue.

• “By the letter of the law, Ulysses was obscene. Obviously, gratuitously, relentlessly obscene.” Josh Cook on censorship and dangerous books. One of my own dangerous publications, the fifth issue of the Lord Horror comics series, Hard Core Horror (declared obscene in a UK court in 1995), received a very belated review at The Comics Journal. More censorship: Judy Bloom on the perennial panics in US school libraries. Lest we feel superior to American prudery, Leena McCall’s painting of a semi-naked woman caused some consternation in a London gallery last week.

• “Over and over, we’re told that nobody buys [compact discs] anymore.” Steven Hyden on the latest obituaries being written for a music format. Ten years ago the death of vinyl was being confidently predicted: “The physical presence of the popular song is gone,” Paul Morley declared. Related: The death of mp3s.

There is nothing quite like Maryanne Amacher’s third ear music. It is alarming. Some of her fellow artists never quite believed that their ears were not being damaged. Third ear music invades you, wraps inside your body, your head, your eyes — just like she says. You can’t be sure, after a while, if the sounds you hear are those created by your ears or Maryanne Amacher.

Stefany Anne Golberg on the music of Maryanne Amacher

• At Dangerous Minds: Nothing Lasts Forever (1984), Bill Murray in a “lost sci-fi comedy set in a totalitarian New York City”.

• More Joyce (there’s always more Joyce): Humument Images to Accompany James Joyce’s Ulysses by Tom Phillips.

• Another celebration of Penda’s Fen by David Rudkin, and another reminder that it’s still not available on DVD.

• Stairway to Heaven: Atlas Obscura on the Gustave Moreau Museum, an essential stop if you visit Paris.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 121 by Higher Intelligence Agency.

• MetaFilter has a wealth of links to pulp magazine archives.

Yan Nascimbene’s illustrations for Italo Calvino’s stories.

• Rebecca Litchfield’s Orphans of Time and Soviet Ghosts.

• RIP Charlie Haden

Going Home (1972) by Alice Coltrane (Charlie Haden, bass) | Earth (1974) by Joe Henderson Featuring Alice Coltrane (Charlie Haden, bass) | Malkauns (1975) by Don Cherry (Charlie Haden, bass)

The art of Robert W. Richards

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The latest interview at the essential BUTT magazine is Danny Calvi talking to ex-fashion illustrator and erotica artist Robert W. Richards about his life and work. I’d seen some of Richards’ drawings before but this is the first time I’ve seen him interviewed; one of the many commendable things about BUTT is the way they seek out people such as this to talk to, people who’ve been producing gay art for years but who the glossy, celebrity-obsessed mags will seldom mention. My only complaint is that some of their interviews aren’t longer.

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As can be seen from the examples here, Richards’ career in the fashion world helped hone a technique and a command of line that’s very accomplished. When you’re this good it’s easy to stick to doing strictly commercial work, and avoid anything overtly explicit, gay or straight. Richards doesn’t seem to have been too worried about maintaining a sex-free reputation. BUTT has more examples of his drawings, as does Juxtapoz. There’s also a book, Allure, published by Bruno Gmünder. Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall, an exhibition of Richards’ art at the Leslie + Lohman Museum, New York, runs from March 28 to May 25, 2014.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Weekend links 178

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Pretty Pictures, a new book by designer Marian Bantjes, is out on October 1st.

• A writer admired by Angela Carter, Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, Anthony Burgess, Jonathan Meades and Iain Sinclair; a “writer’s writer…[whose] best stories bear comparison with the Ficciones of Jorge Luis Borges”; a writer with an “unsettling quality to his writing, a whiff of brimstone that links him to fin-de-siècle occult figures such as HP Lovecraft—and even, at a further remove, Aleister Crowley”. David Collard explains why you may want to read something by Gerald Kersh (1911–1968), four of whose books are being republished.

• The Eccentronic Research Council and Maxine Peake pay homage to Delia Derbyshire’s The Dreams project with a new single out at the end of the month (Pye Corner Audio and Carol Morley appear on the flip). Ms Peake’s barm-cake reverie may be heard here.

• “Applying for grants, writing artist statements, showing up to openings—artists have to do far more than just make art if they want to find an audience for it.” Jen Graves on lies and deception in the art world.

The material does not make the work. The life does not make the art. Exactly the opposite. The work creates the material. The art creates the life. Did Trinidad exist before Naipaul? Did cargo ships exist before Joseph Conrad? Did Newark and the New Jersey suburbs exist before Philip Roth? Did women in playgrounds in New York City exist before Grace Paley? See how the writer invents the material? These places did not exist as literary subjects. They were invisible to literature. The magic of a great book is that it makes its own subject seem inevitable. The danger is, it makes the subject seem like the source of power in the work.

Phyllis Rose on life and literature.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 087, 40 minutes of original electronic music by Geistform (Rafael Martinez Espinosa).

• “You’ve Got This“, an It Gets Better-style video support campaign for people recently diagnosed with HIV.

• At Dangerous Minds: Babalon Working: Brian Butler’s trippy occult odyssey with Paz de la Huerta.

Manfred Mohr‘s computer-created artwork, from the 1960s to the present.

Robert Macfarlane on the strange world of urban exploration.

Rick Poynor on Bohumil Stepan’s Family Album of Oddities.

• Oli Warwick talks to Martin Jenkins, aka Pye Corner Audio.

• The 384-page BUTT calendar for 2014 is now on sale.

• Pye Corner Audio: We Have Visitors (2010) | Toward Light (2011) | The Mirror Ball Cracked (2012)