David Bowie’s cigaretted fingers and bulging silver crotch point the way to the future. This summer sees the fortieth anniversary of the Ziggy Stardust album’s release. The Melody Maker ad above can be found with a wealth of other Ziggy-related material at the very thorough Ziggy Stardust Companion site. For me the definitive artefact isn’t the album itself but DA Pennebaker’s film of the final concert from the 1973 tour; the songs really come alive and Bowie’s performance is overwhelmingly electric. Related: Cracked Actor, the BBC documentary from 1975 about Bowie’s post-Ziggy life on and off the stage.
• The week in books: Amanda Katz described the remarkable history of a single copy of The War of the Worlds by HG Wells then asked “Will Your Children Inherit Your E-Books?” | Bosnian novelist Aleksandar Hemon in The Browser’s FiveBooks interview put Blood Meridian on his list. | “Call me the greatest American novel”: Christopher Buckley on Moby-Dick. | The Brit Lit Map.
• For another anniversary, the Alan Turing centenary, there’s The Strange Life and Death of Dr Turing (part two here) and Breaking the Code (1996), Derek Jacobi playing the tragic genius in a biographical drama.
• Commissioner of Sewers (1991) a William Burroughs documentary by Klaus Maeck in which the author reads some of his work and endures a Q&A session with surprising equanimity.
• Music, flesh and fantasy: When Mati Klarwein’s hyperactive paintings stole the psychedelic show.
• Move Over Casio: Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 Portable Synth Looks Cool, Does Everything.
• A retrospective of art by Madge Gill (1882–1961) at The Nunnery, London.
• “Art is unavoidably work”: Terre Thaemlitz interviewed.
• A trailer for Document: Keiji Haino.
• Pathétique 1 (1994) by Fushitsusha | Pathétique 2 (1994) by Fushitsusha.