Weekend links 634

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Cover for Amazing Stories, October 1992, by Douglas Chaffee. A delightfully strange painting that suggests a no doubt unintentional homoerotic scenario when divorced from its original context. Via.

• “The most curious aspect of Buckminster Fuller’s arc is that he became a counterculture icon while entrenched in the very things that betrayed its spirit.” Pradeep Niroula on Buckminster Fuller (again) whose self-importance is deflated in a new biography, Inventor of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller by Alec Nevala-Lee.

• “I love both King Diamond and Weird Al. Lana del Rey and Anna von Hausswolff. Golden age illustrations of elegantly levitating fairies in a lush vibrant summer garden and the gothic charcoal rendering of melancholy moth singed by a candle’s flame.” S. Elizabeth talking to Luna Luna Magazine about inspirations and The Art of Darkness.

• “I’m writing this from my office which has a record player, currently about eight thousand records, and just one CD.” Vinyl-head Jonny Trunk talking to Norman Records about the finding and releasing of rare music.

A painter’s brilliant achievements, the unique traits of his particular style, rest on an abiding substratum of coordinated specialized crafts, a body of knowledge and practice safeguarded by a tradition upheld by the guilds. Beneath the glimmer and foreground of art history, like a powerful underground river, flow the patterns of training and production developed in the crafts. Art history is centred on individual talents romantically bringing forth their creations on their own, out of nothing. Craft is collective and anonymous. Someone had to weave the pieces of cloth that form the giant canvas of Las Meninas. Someone had to sew them together so that the stitching would show as little as possible. Someone had to cut and to assemble the struts for its support and then nail to them a canvas which in fact is not of the highest quality. It seems that Velázquez enjoyed the roughness of a surface that favoured his subtle veils and ambiguities. The loose manner of painting developed in Venice is linked to the quality of the pigments that could be purchased there, as well as to the oil medium and the thick, porous quality of a cloth that allowed subtle veils and ambiguities that are impossible to achieve on the surface of a wood panel.

Antonio Muñoz Molina on the materiality of painting, and its highest expression in the art of Diego Velázquez

• The films of Japanese director Kinuyo Tanaka are criminally overlooked, says James Balmont.

Winners of the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2022.

• From 2012: The Disappeared by Salman Rushdie.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Standish Lawder Day.

• New music: Octopus by Sunfear.

Come Sta, La Luna (1974) by Can | Fontana Di Luna (1978) by Michael Rother | La Luna En Tu Mirada (2003) by Ry Cooder & Manuel Galbán

Weekend links 629

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UFOs: The Psychic Solution (1977) by Jacques Vallée. A retitled reprint of The Invisible College (1975) with cover art by Peter Tybus.

• “In the summer of 1992…a curious experimental interstellar ambient-house album, made it to number one in the UK charts, promoted by a top ten single that was almost forty minutes long.” Darran Anderson navigates the noösphere with my favourite Orb album, U.F.Orb.

• Among the recent arrivals at Standard Ebooks, the home of free, high-quality, public-domain texts: Hope Mirrlees’ strange fantasy novel, Lud-in-the-Mist (1926).

• James Balmont’s guide to the intricate cinema of Hong Kong’s crime auteur, Johnnie To.

Shortlisted photos from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…Jean Genet Miracle of the Rose.

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Ambicase.

• New music: Two Sisters by Sarah Davachi.

• RIP Peter Brook and James Caan.

Unidentified Flying Object (1970) by UFO | Psychic And UFO Revelations In The Last Days (1994) by Bill Laswell & Pete Namlook | UFOnic (1995) by Sabalon Glitz

Weekend links 610

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Pillow Studies (1493) by Albrecht Dürer.

• “Without ever writing a song, without ever fronting a group, Khan changed the face of British music.” Michael Hann talks to Morgan Khan about bringing New York Electro to the UK with his Streets Sounds label.

James Balmont offers “an introduction to Japan’s visceral cyberpunk cinema in five cult films”. This reminds me that I’ve not seen Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo films for years. Time to reacquaint myself.

• At Aquarium Drunkard: 15-minutes of Alice Coltrane from 1970, talking about her music and performing with Pharoah Sanders et al. Amazing.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins presents Beauty & Beast, an animated fairy tale made to showcase his toy theatre design.

• Carl Dreyer’s horror masterpiece, Vampyr (1932), is released on blu-ray by Eureka in May.

• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine explores the mysteries of the Egg Language.

• DJ Food unearths paintings by Syd Mead for a Celcon Steel brochure, 1965.

• Jamie Sutcliffe enters The Strange World of Junji Ito.

• Mix of the week: Isolatedmix 117 by Refracted.

Keeley Forsyth‘s favourite music.

Electrocharge (1980) by Blackbeard | Electrodub1 (1980) by Chris Carter | Ano Electro (Andante) (1993) by The Sabres Of Paradise

Weekend links 599

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Taarna by Chris Achilleos for Heavy Metal, September 1981. A typical piece by Achilleos, whose death was announced this week, and very typical for a Heavy Metal cover. Achilleos was a prolific illustrator.

• New music: The Truth, the Glow, the Fall (Live At Montreux) by Anna von Hausswolff, from her forthcoming album, Live At Montreux Jazz Festival. The last gig I went to was in October 2019, to see Sunn O))) supported by Anna von Hausswolff. Easily one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. Meanwhile, Anna von Hausswolff has had to cancel a Paris church concert following protests by a rabble of outraged Catholics. Bravo les crétins!

• “…it is easy to forget that Montesquiou—regardless of his own work—was not merely emblematic of Decadence, he was essentially patient zero in its viral spread.” Strange Flowers explores the exquisite life of the bat-obsessed, hydrangea-cultivating Robert de Montesquiou.

• “Kotatsu have been around longer than we imagine. And art history has the proof.” Spoon & Tamago on an old Japanese method for warming a room during winter. Also further evidence that cats always find the warmest place in any house.

Dennis Cooper‘s favourite fiction, poetry, non-fiction, film, art, and internet of 2021. Thanks again for the link here!

The Wire magazine has opened its collection of articles by the late Greg Tate so they may be read by non-subscribers.

• “Neil Bartlett is a gay writer’s gay writer,” says Jeremy Atherton Lin reviewing Bartlett’s latest, Address Book.

• James Balmont on the psychedelic cinema of Nobuhiko Obayashi.

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Erotique.

Northern lights photographer of the year.

• The Strange World of…Takuroku.

• RIP Robbie Shakespeare.

• Robbie Shakespeare’s bass x 3: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown (1974) by Augustus Pablo | Nightclubbing (1981) by Grace Jones | Bass And Trouble (1985) by Sly & Robbie

Weekend links 598

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The Wire, July 2004. Illustration and design by Non-Format. Christopher Cox’s interview with Lucier is available to read here.

• “I went into experimental overdrive. Lyrical motifs became literal imagery. A hammer shattering a plate of glass. A lyrical maze of geometric tunnels and formations.” Chris Mosdell talking to Aquarium Drunkard about writing lyrics for Yellow Magic Orchestra and others (you can hear his voice on YMO’s Citizens Of Science), plus the recording of his own debut album, Equasian.

• At Public Domain Review: “…this short, odd book confronts a question that has vexed naturalists for thousands of years: how do we account for the precipitation of animals?” Odd Showers; or, An Explanation of the Rain of Insects, Fishes, and Lizards (1870) by George Duncan Gibb.

• “…few writers on our list could have functioned in the culture that, today, sees literature as a profession for which you prepare like any other: going to the right school, meeting the right people.” Francine Prose on her encounters with the literary strange.

• “Where was glass first fashioned? How was it worked and coloured, and passed around the ancient world?” Carolyn Wilke presents a brief scientific history of glass.

• RIP Antony Sher and Alvin Lucier. In 1969 Lucier was sitting in a room different to the one you are in now. Elsewhere: Alvin Lucier at Ubuweb.

• New/old music: Zeitgeist: Ambient Music from 2012 to 2020 by Marco Simioni & Mattia Saviolo.

James Balmont on five unmissable films from the Japanese New Wave movement.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Illuminated paintings of Tokyo after dark by Keita Morimoto.

• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 724 by Laura BCR, and Isolatedmix 115 by HVL.

• At Strange Flowers: part two of James Conway’s Secret Satan end-of-year list.

• “Jony Ive’s first major design since leaving Apple isn’t what you’d expect.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Yasuzo Masumura Day.

Glass (1968) by Sagittarius | Glass (1979) by Joy Division | Glass (2009) by Bat For Lashes