Weekend links 446

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The Ghost Box label releases a new album by the excellent Pye Corner Audio in February (previews are here). The spectral design, as ever, is by Julian House.

• “In October 1966, Phyllis Willner arrived on motorcycle in San Francisco as a teenage Jewish runaway from Jamaica, Queens. She quickly fell in with the Hell’s Angels, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and, most crucially, the Diggers, who were just getting their street radical thing together in the Haight-Ashbury. The next two years would be eventful: many extraordinary highs, some really terrible lows.” Jay Babcock talks to Phyllis Willner about her involvement with “the executive branch of the hippie movement”, the Diggers.

• At Expanding Mind: Erik Davis talks with religious scholar Diana Pasulka about UFOs, scientific believers, book encounters, elite cabals, studying weirdness, and her new book American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology.

• Kenneth Anger is now 91 but he still appears hale, and looks even more magus-like than ever. This short film by Floria Sigismondi finds him reminiscing in the antiquated confines of the Chateau Marmont hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

David Wojnarowicz did not write dark fantasy. He wrote real life. In The Waterfront Journals he brilliantly captures electric tales from the mouths of strangers, those he described as “junkies, prostitutes, male hustlers, truck drivers, hobos, young outlaws, runaway kids, criminal types”, whose lives echo his own ostracized existence. He was thirteen when he was first paid for sex and sixteen when he started “turning tricks” regularly. His mother kicked him out of the house. By the time Wojnarowicz came out to friends in New York, he was in his early twenties. He was on the cusp of finding his voice as a writer and his confidence as an artist. It was the mid-1970s. AIDS was about to tear through the gay community.

Lara Pawson reviews three books by artist and writer David Wojnarowicz

John Banville reviews Kafka’s Last Trial by Benjamin Balint: “A scrupulous study of the squabble between Germany and Israel over Kafka’s papers, and the two women caught in the middle.”

• A sitting with the diva of the diode: electronic musician Suzanne Ciani in conversation with Christine Kakaire.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 076 by KK Null, and XLR8R Podcast 574 by SHXCXCHCXSH.

Cassie Packard on the colorful and clairvoyant history of aura photography.

Edward Gorey’s Children’s Books Illustrations, Revisited.

Alison Flood on the fascination of miniature books.

Magic Hollow (1967) by The Beau Brummels | Hollow Stone (1972) by Khan | Through Hollow Lands (For Harold Budd) (1977) by Brian Eno

Weekend links 421

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The Death of American Spirituality (1987) by David Wojnarowicz.

Dau: “Art imitating life on an unprecedented scale”. Siddhant Adlakha on a colossal Russian feature-film project that sounds like a real-life equivalent of Synecdoche, New York. Adlakha’s piece, which claims that Dau is finished, was written a year ago but there’s still no sign of the film itself. Wikipedia has more details and links.

Metropolis Magazine from Phantasm Press is a facsimile republication of the 32-page theatre programme produced for the UK premier of Fritz Lang’s feature film.

Children Of The New Dawn is a preview of the score for Mandy by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson. From last year: The Drowned World (live) by Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ’Round the World (1848) by Benjamin Russell & Caleb Purrington is the longest painting in North America.

• “This summer, there is only one book to take to the Terminal Beach”: Applied Ballardianism: Memoir from a Parallel Universe by Simon Sellars.

• “La série des Fredi en trois volumes est une étude sincère et consciencieuse de l’inversion sexuelle.”

• “The Book was Mallarmé’s total artwork, a book to encompass all books,” says Sylvia Gorelick.

• At BLDGBLOG: Graphic Inferno, art by Rico Lebrun based on Dante’s Divine Comedy.

• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 549 by Hólmar, and FACT Mix 661 by Kelly Lee Owens.

• “Dealing with creative block? A deck of cards might help,” says Abigail Cain.

The Instagram account archiving exquisite interiors from vintage porn.

Polish composers report from Outer Space

Wind From Nowhere (1994) by Uzect Plaush | Slolooblade : The Drowned World (1994) by Mo Boma | Inner Space Memorial for JG Ballard (2014) by Janek Schaefer

Weekend links 342

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La femme et le pantin (1909) by Ángel Zárraga.

• RIP John Berger. Berger’s essential TV series on art, Ways of Seeing (1972), is at YouTube and Ubuweb; “Such freedom is unthinkable today,” says series director Mike Dibb; the book of the series was designed by Berger and Richard Hollis; ways of seeing Ways of Seeing; Geoff Dyer, Olivia Laing & Ali Smith on Berger; M. John Harrison on Berger.

• The beginning of January means the LRB posting Alan Bennett‘s diary for the previous year. In related news, Network DVD will be releasing Six Plays by Alan Bennett next month, a collection that includes a favourite of mine, Me! I’m Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1978).

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Acid Westerns Day (Restated). Related: Jodorowsky’s El Topo and The Holy Mountain are being released on Blu-ray (Region B) by Gryphon Entertainment.

The acre of suburban lawn surrounding our house became like the Paramount lot for my feverish theatrics. I graduated to building “spook houses” in the family garage out back. Inspired by the ride-through Trimper’s Haunted House in Ocean City, Maryland, designed by Bill Tracy (and it’s still there in operation), I remembered excitedly wheeling through this attraction in these rickety little coffin-shaped cars and dreaming of befriending the crudely built, motorized corpses, cannibals, and skeletons who lived inside. I fantasized the cars breaking down, the panicked, chickenshit children screaming, bolting from their seats, tripping over live wires, and electrocuting themselves. I wanted to take this imagined fear, this frightened happiness, back to my own house where I knew I could preserve, protect, and stylize it on my own adolescent terms.

John Waters on his childhood home

Strange Flowers‘ latest reading recommendations include books on lesbian decadence, occult Paris, flâneurie and the queerness of the Benson family.

Where Evil Dwells (1985), a 28-minute preview of a longer piece of weird cinema (now destroyed) by Tommy Turner and David Wojnarowicz.

Francis Ford Coppola and Brian De Palma having a conversation about Coppola’s The Conversation.

The Edge Question for 2017: “What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?”

• Mixes of the week: Drone Theory with Roly Porter, and Secret Thirteen Mix 205 by Stavaris.

Simran Hans suggests where to begin with the films of Todd Haynes.

• More decadence, this time among the Mexican Modernists.

Moon Wiring Club at Bandcamp.

No Name, No Slogan (1989) by Acid Horse | Those Tapes Are Dangerous (1997) by The Bug | Spooky Action At A Distance (2014) by Sqürl

Genet art

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Portrait of Jean Genet II (1950) by Leonor Fini.

Artworks depicting Genet or based on his work are more plentiful than I thought. These are some of the better examples. It’s good to know that the great Leonor Fini was one of the earliest portraitists; in addition to painting two pictures of Genet she also produced a series of erotic engravings based on his writings.

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Jean Genet (1952) by Jean Cocteau.

A portrait by Cocteau I hadn’t seen before.

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Portrait of Jean Genet (1955) by Alberto Giacometti.

One of three portraits. Genet speaks favourably of Giacometti in Antoine Bourseiller’s film.

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For Jean Genet (1969) by Anselm Kiefer.

Continue reading “Genet art”

Weekend links 138

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Heartsick (2011) by Kelly Durette.

• Now that Scott Walker’s Bish Bosch album is out and causing the usual consternation, the spotlight-shy singer/composer has been doing a surprising amount of promotional interviews. Simon Hattenstone talked to him for the Guardian at the end of last month; this week it was John Doran’s turn at The Quietus. One quote from the latter piece stood out in the light of this week’s posts: “…the music we’re making is meant to be an aural version of the HR Giger drawings for Alien. It always sounds to me like those look.”

Satanica is a limited-edition publication curated by Gio Black Peter & Christopher Stoddard “for anyone who rejects societal norms, for those dedicated to a life of pleasure, excess and self-reflection”.

• Sci-Fi-O-Rama has put five years’ worth of blog pictures onto Pinterest. I don’t really need to do that, there’s already a diverse crowd of Pinterest users compiling their own selection of things posted here.

As Susan Sontag once observed, pornography is practical. It was designed as a marital aid, and its vocabulary should follow natural biological rhythms and stick with hot-button words in order to produce a predictable climax. It is not about sex but is sex. Whereas the great sex writers (Harold Brodkey, DH Lawrence, Robert Gluck, David Plante, the Australian Frank Moorhouse) have a quirky, phenomenological, realistic approach to sex. They are doing what the Russian formalists said was the secret of all good fiction – making the familiar strange, writing from the Martian’s point of view.

Edmund White on writing about sex in fiction

• When pirate DVDs of films by Cocteau, Bresson and Pasolini are on sale in a Mexican market, life in the 21st century increasingly resembles a William Gibson novel. Joanne McNeil investigates.

• Copies of City Fun, Manchester’s premier music fanzine/alt culture mag (founded 1978), can now be read online at the Manchester District Music Archive.

• Linked everywhere during the past few days, the astonishing map of bomb hits on London during the Blitz (October 1940 to June 1941).

• At 50 Watts: 30 Vintage Magazine Covers from Japan and Alfred Kubin’s illustrations for Lesabéndio: An Asteroid Novel (1913) by Paul Scheerbart.

• Earlier this year for Frieze Magazine Geeta Dayal talked to musical collaborators of the great German producer Conny Plank.

Invisible Ink by Christopher Fowler, “the extraordinary stories of over one hundred forgotten authors”.

Cynthia Carr talks about Fire in the Belly, her biography of American artist David Wojnarowicz.

• “Blasphemy, Filth, And Nonsense” More Aleister Crowley ephemera at Front Free Endpaper.

• At Strange Flowers: Surrealist art by Jindrich Heisler (1914–1953).

Vladimir Nabokov wrote to Alfred Hitchcock in 1964.

• Scott Walker’s four tracks from the Nite Flights album (1978): Shutout | Fat Mama Kick | Nite Flights | The Electrician.