Weekend links 113

leonard.jpg

Wunderkammer (2011) by Emma Leonard.

As someone who was eight years old at the time of the Apollo moon landing, I remember calculating that I would be thirty-nine in the magic year 2000 and wondering what the world would be like. Did I expect I would be living in such a world of wonders? Of course. Everyone did. Do I feel cheated now? It seemed unlikely that I’d live to see all the things I was reading about in science fiction, but it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t see any of them.

A quote from Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit, an essay by David Graeber. Related: Another World: David Graeber interviewed by Michelle Kuo at Artforum.

Constellation, a series of portraits by Kumi Yamashita: “This body of work consists of three simple materials that, when combined, produce the portraits: a wooden panel painted a solid white, thousands of small galvanized nails, and a single, unbroken, common sewing thread.”

Nicole Rudick at The Paris Review on the history of psychedelic art. Related: The psychedelic art and design of Keiichi Tanaami. Also Manifesting the Mind: Footprints of the Shaman, a two-hour documentary about psychedelic drugs.

• Already mentioned here, The Lost Tapes, a 3-CD collection of previously unreleased recording by the mighty Can, is out on Monday. There’s a preview of ten of the tracks here.

• “I can’t think of anybody who would have a good word to say for centipedes…” Duncan Fallowell (a Can associate for many years) interviewed William Burroughs in 1982.

Herb Lubalin: American Graphic Designer and the Herb Lubalin Study Center’s Flickr sets.

Strange Flowers goes to the movies with everyone’s favourite Bavarian king, Ludwig II.

The Sphinx’s Riddle: The Art of Leonor Fini at the Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco.

• More Teutonica: A Spacemusic Primer by Dave Maier.

Van Dyke Parks: return of a musical maverick.

Forty Posters for Forty Years at Pentagram.

Donovan’s Colours (1968) by Van Dyke Parks | Sailin’ Shoes (1972) by Van Dyke Parks | Clang Of The Yankee Reaper (1975) by Van Dyke Parks.

Weekend links 106

oshiro.jpg

Gold Head 2 (2011) by Kouji Oshiro.

Josef Hartwig’s 1922 Bauhaus chess set. Contemporary copies can be bought from Naef Spiele but they’re not cheap. Related: Bauhaus: Art as Life, a major exhibition at the Barbican, London. Related, related: Art as life by Fiona MacCarthy.

• Rattera is a new font by Barnbrook Design for Fuse 1–20, Taschen’s collection of the experimental typography publication. Related: The Fuse poster explained.

Genesis (1981), video feedback and computer animation by Ron Hays with an electronic score by Ragnar Grippe.

Deadly Doris, a recording by Malcolm Mooney-era Can from the forthcoming Lost Tapes collection.

• “How did a pop band end up in a museum” Sasha Frere-Jones on Kraftwerk.

Philip Glass & Robert Wilson on how they made Einstein on the Beach.

• An astonishing aerial photo of post-quake San Francisco in 1906.

• More electronic music: Buddha Machine’s SoundCloud page.

My Baby, music and video from Julia Holter & Jib Kidder.

Homotography‘s photos can now be browsed at Pinterest.

Deviates, Inc., a Tumblr.

• Raoul Björkenheim live: Apocalypso pt. 1 | Apocalypso pt. 2 | 1-2-11 DMG, NYC

Weekend links 102

flannery.jpg

Flannery O’Connor with one of her many peacocks.

When the peacock has presented his back, the spectator will usually begin to walk around him to get a front view; but the peacock will continue to turn so that no front view is possible. The thing to do then is to stand still and wait until it pleases him to turn. When it suits him, the peacock will face you. Then you will see in a green-bronze arch around him a galaxy of gazing haloed suns. This is the moment when most people are silent.

Flannery O’Connor

Essay of the week was without a doubt Living with a Peacock by the great Flannery O’Connor, originally published in Holiday magazine in September 1961. I’d heard about Flannery’s peacocks before but had no idea she was such a pavonomane. Thanks to Jay for the tip!

• “‘He’s chameleon, comedian, Corinthian and caricature.’ But he was more like the very hungry caterpillar, munching his way through every musical influence he came across…” Thomas Jones reviews two new books about David Bowie for the LRB.

• In June Mute Records release The Lost Tapes by Can, a 3-CD collection. Here’s hoping this doesn’t merely repeat the outtakes that’ve been circulating for years as the Canobits bootlegs. This extract is certainly new.

• Animator Suzan Pitt, director of the remarkable Asparagus (1979), discusses her new film, Visitation, inspired, she says, by reading HP Lovecraft in a cabin while wolves howled outside.

Night Thoughts: The Surreal Life of the Poet David Gascoyne, a biography by Robert Fraser reviewed by Iain Sinclair.

oelze.jpg

The Dangerous Desire (1936) by Richard Oelze (1900–1980) at But Does It Float.

• Making the Mari: the stuff of nightmares brought into the world by Jefferson Brassfield.

• The Background to the Moorcock Multiverse: Karin L. Kross reviews London Peculiar.

Orson Welles’s lost Heart of Darkness screenplay performed for the first time.

The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome: the new BFI DVD collection reviewed.

• Page designs by Alphonse Mucha for Ilsée, Princess de Tripoli (1897).

• A Slow-Books Manifesto by Maura Kelly.

Tim Parks asks “Do we need stories?”.

Musical table by Kyouei Design.

Horror Asparagus Stories (1966) by The Driving Stupid | Peacock Lady (1971) by Shelagh McDonald | Peacock Tail (2005) by Boards of Canada.

Weekend links 75

darde.jpg

Eternal Pain (1913) by Paul Dardé. (And also here)

Rain Taxi caused a stir this week with its savaging of Hamlet’s Father by science fiction writer Orson Scott Card. The book is another of Card’s blatherings about the hell of being homosexual dressed in garments stolen from the unfortunate William Shakespeare. Rain Taxi made the obvious point about many of Shakespeare’s sonnets being homoerotic. For my part I was more appalled by the quoted extract which reduced one of the greatest plays in the language to that lifeless, cardboard-character-speak which is endemic in bad genre writing. News of the travesty quickly spread to gay news blogs, The Outer Alliance and elsewhere, ensuring that what’s left of Card’s reputation continues to spiral down a Mel Gibson-shaped black hole.

• “Sounds only like itself, like no one before or after.” Julian Cope on Tago Mago by Can which will be reissued in a new edition in November. Nice to see the return of the original sleeve design, something I saw once in a record shop then didn’t see again for years. For a long time I thought I’d imagined it. Related: two German art exhibitions inspired by the group.

The Responsive Eye (1965), a catalogue for the MoMA exhibition that launched Op Art. Also at Ubuweb: La femme 100 têtes, a film by Eric Duvivier based on the collage work by Max Ernst.

• More apocalyptic art: William Feaver on John Martin whose exhibition will be opening at Tate Britain later this month. There’s a trailer here.

Borges and I, an essay by Nandini Ramachandran. Related: Buenos Aires: Las Calles de Borges, a short film by Ian Ruschel.

• “Who was JG Ballard? Don’t ask his first biographer,” says Robert McCrum.

Biologically-inspired fabric and material design by Neri Oxman.

• Cross-pollinating subgenres: “Steampunk ambient” at Disquiet.

In the Shadow of Saturn, a photo by the Cassini spacecraft.

• The art and fashion designs of Alia Penner.

Fleet of hybrid airships to conquer Arctic.

• RIP Jordan Belson, filmmaker.

• Ten years of Ladytron whose new album is released on the 12th of September: Playgirl (2001), Seventeen (2002), Destroy Everything You Touch (2005), Sugar (2005), Ghosts (2008), Ace Of Hz (2011).

Weekend links 58

delpozo1.jpg

Oya by Alberto del Pozo (1945–1992). Also known as Yansa, Oya is Changó’s third wife. She is the goddess of the winds and of lightning and is mistress of the cemetery gates. Passionate and brave she fights by her husband’s side if needed. Her favorite offerings are papaya, eggplant and geraniums. From Santeria at BibliOdyssey.

Austin Osman Spare is a good example of the dictum that quality will out in the end, no matter how long it remains buried. Overlooked by the art establishment after he retreated into his private mythologies, a substantial portion of his output was equally ignored by occultists who wanted to preserve him as a weird and scary working-class magus. One group dismissed his deeply-felt spiritual interests in a manner they wouldn’t dare employ if he’d been a follower of Santeria, say (or even a devout Christian), while the other group seemed to regard his superb portraits as too mundane to be worthy of attention. Now that Phil Baker’s Spare biography has been published by Strange Attractor we might have reached the end of such short-sighted appraisals and can finally see a more rounded picture of the man and his work:

[Kenneth] Grant preserved and magnified Spare’s own tendency to confabulation, giving him the starring role in stories further influenced by Grant’s own reading of visionary and pulp writers such as Arthur Machen, HP Lovecraft, and Fu Manchu creator Sax Rohmer. Grant’s Spare seems to inhabit a parallel London; a city with an alchemist in Islington, a mysterious Chinese dream-control cult in Stockwell, and a small shop with a labyrinthine basement complex, its grottoes decorated by Spare, where a magical lodge holds meetings. This shop – then a furrier, now an Islamic bookshop, near Baker Street – really existed, and part of the fascination of Grant’s version of Spare’s London is its misty overlap with reality.

Austin Osman Spare: Cockney visionary by Phil Baker.

Austin Osman Spare: The man art history left behind | A Flickr set: Austin Osman Spare at the Cuming Museum | HV Morton meets Austin Spare (1927).

• More quality rising from obscurity: Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End. Skolimowski’s drama is one of unpleasant characters behaving badly towards each other. Anglo-American cinema featured a great deal of this in the 1970s when filmmakers disregarded the sympathies of their audience in a manner which would be difficult today. John Patterson looks at another example which is also given a re-release this month, the “feral, minatory and menacing masterwork” that is Taxi Driver.

delpozo2.jpg

Echú Eleguá by Alberto del Pozo. Among the most ancient of the orishas Echú Eleguá is the messenger of the gods, who forges roads, protects the house, and is heaven’s gate-keeper. In any ceremony he is invoked first. He owns all cowrie shells and is the god of luck. A prankster, Echú Eleguá frequently has a monkey and a black rooster by his side. Like a mischievous boy he enjoys gossip and must be pampered with offerings of toys, fruit, and candy.

Minutes, a compilation on the LTM label from 1987: William Burroughs, Jean Cocteau, Tuxedomoon, Jacques Derrida, The Monochrome Set, and er…Richard Jobson. Thomi Wroblewski designed covers for a number of Burroughs titles in the 1980s, and he also provided the cover art for this release.

Mikel Marton Photography: a Tumblr of erotic photography and self-portraits.

From Death Factory To Norfolk Fens: Chris & Cosey interviewed.

NASA announces results of epic space-time experiment.

Oritsunagumono by Takayuki Hori: origami x-rays.

Plexus magazine at 50 Watts.

Mother Sky (1970) by Can | Late For The Sky (1974) by Jackson Browne.