Weekend links 278

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El Hotel Satina (2006) by Oscar Sanmartin.

Andrew Kötting’s By Our Selves is “a melancholy, maverick film” says David Jays. With Toby Jones following in the footsteps of poet John Clare, Iain Sinclair in a goat mask, and Alan Moore warning about the “vision sump” of Northampton.

• “Shunga means ‘spring pictures’. They depict sometimes spectacular sexual contortions and come imbued with the power of taboo. For years they have largely been out of sight—until now.” Related: shunga prints at Ukiyoe Gallery.

• “Who else could link Smokey Robinson and JG Ballard, Iggy Pop and Josephine Baker, James Bond and Stephen Sondheim, Gary Numan and Johnny Cash, Tricky and Tom Moulton…” Grace Jones is the best, says Joe Muggs.

Ballardian space – what he called “inner space” to differentiate it from the science fiction that concerned itself with distant planets and space rockets – is in fact a fusion of inner and outer space. There is no “out there” totally separate from his characters; just as there is no exclusively private, isolated inner life. His most psychologically fulfilled characters look to transcend their physical surroundings, however hostile, by embracing them.

Chris Hall on High-Rise by JG Ballard

• “In March 1984, Jorge Luis Borges began a series of radio ‘dialogues’ with the Argentinian poet and essayist Osvaldo Ferrari, which have now been translated into English for the first time.”

• “I came up with a couple of tunes, literally in my bedroom. People think of bedroom recordings as a modern, laptop invention. It wasn’t.” Daniel Miller on the accidental success of Mute Records.

• “It was in Prague that I first awoke.” Strange Flowers on Gustav Meyrink’s life in Prague.

• At 50 Watts: Stencilled ornament and illustration by William Addison Dwiggins.

• Mix of the week: The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. X by David Colohan.

Wyrd Daze, Lvl2 Issue 4, is free and brimming with the weird.

Mythology, a new series of drawings by Howard Hardiman.

Spike Jones is the best, says MetaFilter.

Peacocks at National Geographic.

Warm Leatherette (1980) by Grace Jones | Warm Leatherette (1998) by Chicks On Speed | Warm Leatherette (2013) by Foetus

Compass Road by Iain Sinclair

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I was hoping to get my delayed 2011 calendar launched today but other work needed completing so here’s an interim post.

Think of your journey through mortality as a sequence of valid movies and the pain is ameliorated. Forget the tedious 60-minute division of the lecture hall or dead television (quartered by adverts): arrange just enough markers for the 90-minute slots of Golden Age cinema. And then it’s only a question of nominating the eight guides, culture-figures who will dominate your thoughts (and reveries) for as long as you stay upright. The road is endless, you aren’t. Iain Sinclair

There may be a recession on but people still keep putting out the luxury goods; maybe the bankers are buying all this stuff with their unwarranted bonuses. Compass Road is a limited edition wristwatch from Mr Jones Watches, London, and sports a design commissioned from writer Iain Sinclair, a somewhat surprising choice given that these things are more usually farmed out to those individuals we have to call celebrities. Sinclair is too intelligent and interesting to be a mere celebrity and consequently designs a watch I’d probably buy if I had an excessive income. The watch middle and the hands are based on the British road signs designed by Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir while the typeface used for the compass points is Calvert and Kinneir’s Transport (below) which is also used across Britain’s road signs. For the destinations Sinclair has chosen eight writers with London associations: John Clare, Gerald Kersh, Bram Stoker, Joseph Conrad, William Blake, HG Wells, JG Ballard and Louis-Ferdinand Céline. The last seems an odd choice but he did work in London for a while.

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Sinclair’s design is a flexible enough to be applied to other literary cities which raises the question of which names you’d choose for Paris, say, or New York. And which signage systems? Subways or the local roads? Compass Road meanwhile can be yours for £145.