Weekend links 327

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The Green Knight Arrives by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Part of a series based on the theme of Gawain and the Green Knight.

• RIP Don Buchla, inventor of the Buchla Electronic Musical Instrument (or simply Buchla to aficionados). The early Buchlas were produced contemporaneously with the Moogs but never achieved an equivalent popularity. Morton Subotnick was an early serious player, using one of the first Buchlas to record Silver Apples Of The Moon in 1967. By coincidence, this month has seen the release of Sunergy, an album created by two Buchla enthusiasts, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani, the latter having been a Buchla player for many years. Sean Hellfritsch made a 25-minute film of the pair playing their machines, while they talked about their collaboration to Danny Riley.

• Erik Davies talks to occult book-dealer Todd Pratum about rejected knowledge, growing up Californian, book synchronicities, and the loss of knowledge in the age of the Internet.

• Mix of the week (month, year, etc) is undoubtedly this 12-hour history of Spiritual Jazz. Less intimidating (and more eclectic) is an exclusive mix by Fenriz for The Wire.

• More electronica: (The Microcosm): Visionary Music of Continental Europe, 1970–1986, another quality music collection from Light In The Attic.

Flying Saucers Are Real! is a history of 20th-century UFOdom by Jack Womack. Related: A map of the last remaining Flying Saucer Homes.

• Coming soon from the Ghost Box label, Peel Away The Ivy by The Pattern Forms. Jon Brooks gives an account of the album’s creation.

• Uri Bram meets computer scientist David Chapman to discuss the limits of formal learning, or why robots can’t dance.

Andrew Male on Julius Eastman: the groundbreaking composer America almost forgot.

Ship found in Arctic 168 years after doomed Northwest Passage attempt.

Anna Cafolia on the resurgence of witchcraft in 1970s Britain.

• Welcome to the Austronesian Embassy of Anaphoria Island.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top chooses some favourite records.

A profusion of Marty Feldman links.

• The Flying Saucer Pts 1 & 2 (1956) by Buchanan And Goodman | Flyin’ Saucers Rock’nRoll (1957) by Billy Lee Riley and The Little Green Men | Flying Saucers Have Landed (1972) by Paul St. John

Weekend links 306

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• The Midian Books Occulture catalogue launched this week sporting a cover that I pieced together for Midian’s Jonathan Davies. The design pastiches the look of the Process Church magazines of the early 1970s; inside there’s a haul of Process material on sale together with COUM/Throbbing Gristle ephemera (that’s Cosi Fanni Tutti on the right, as seen on her modelling business card), Kenneth Anger ephemera (that’s Bobby Beausoleil on the left) and much more.

• More occulture: Lost Envoy: The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare launches on 11 May at Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG, from 7–9pm. All are welcome.

• Out this week: Close To The Noise Floor – Formative UK Electronica 1975–1984: Excursions in Proto-Synth Pop, DIY Techno and Ambient Exploration.

• Mixes of the week: Spin Doctor’s All Vinyl Prince Tribute Mix, and the Rum Music Mix by Russell Cuzner.

David Gentleman’s illustrations for New Penguin Shakespeare books, 1967–1977.

• More electronica: Walberswick by Jon Brooks is now available in a digital edition.

• Blown up: Steve Rose on how cinema captured the dark heart of the swinging 60s.

• Six Quietus writers choose favourite Prince songs. Related: The A–Z of Prince

A Timeline of Slang Terms for Male Homosexuality by Jonathan Green.

Berenice Abbott’s views of New York streets then and now.

• Jan Svankmajer is crowd-funding his next film, Insects.

Laurie Anderson on the creation of O Superman.

• Blood Ceremony: The Great God Pan (2011) | Oliver Haddo (2011) | Ballad Of The Weird Sisters (2013) | Let It Come Down (2014)

Weekend links 296

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Mars (variant design): one of three new posters for NASA by Invisible Creature.

• “If the point of Sade’s work was to marry sexual frustration and release to the practice of interpersonal violence, he could confidently gaze out on the landscape of our popular culture and declare it a fait accompli.” Hussein Ibish on The United Sades of America.

• Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them by Nicola Twilley. Sean Carroll explains the importance of the discovery.

• Another This Heat interview: Bruce Tantum interrogates Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward about being a group ahead of their time.

The English word comes ultimately from Greek magike (in which the original Persian word is spliced with tekhne, “art”), while the Persian magos “one of the members of the learned and priestly class” ultimately derives from magush, “to be able, to have power”, from which we may also derive the word “machine”. So my social hierarchy is your magic, and my magic might be your craft—or even your machinery. My religion is your magic. Your religion is my fairy lore. Or your religions might be a mass of fakery and trickery and foolery. Hence in making magic into an intellectual discipline, I theorize based on my observations, which might not be mine but those of others, heritable observations. But because what I do looks very like empiricism, as I examine materials for the tricks or fooleries, or for the real alterations, checking my results against descriptions of previous experiments, what I do feels like science, feels like the template for Baconian empiricism and its great instauration.

Diane Purkiss reviewing The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment, edited by Brian Copenhaver

• The Strange World Of…The Residents: Sean Kitching talks to The Residents’ resident artist, Homer Flynn.

• At Strange Flowers: film of Natalie Barney in 1962 reminiscing about Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust.

• From Battleship Potemkin to Baker Street: Ian Christie on Sergei Eisenstein’s trip to London.

• Mixes of the week: Krautrock Mix by Tarotplane, and Mix #15 (Transversales) by Jon Brooks.

• From Rock en Stock (France, 1973): Can and Agitation Free in live performance.

• Twenty classic British folk-horror stories: a selection by Kai Roberts.

Immemory: a Flash version of Chris Marker’s CD-ROM.

Cronenberg Valentines

Static Gravity (1980) by Chrome | Zero Gravity (2001) by Monolake | Gravity (2013) by Roly Porter

Weekend links 252

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Waiting by Liz Brizzi.

• “Music, politics, sex, and art were also widely represented by Evergreen. Gerald Ford famously maligned the magazine on the floor of Congress for printing the likeness of Richard Nixon next to a nude photo.” Jonathon Sturgeon on the return of an avant-garde institution.

• “The hallucinogenic properties of language are widely recognized by all repressive societies…which treat words like other tightly controlled substances.” Askold Melnyczuk reviews Where the Bird Sings Best, a novel by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

• Mixes of the week: A Mix For Thomas Carnacki by Jon Brooks whose Music for Thomas Carnacki has been reissued on vinyl; Solid Steel Radio Show 27/3/2015 by DJ Food.

One of the few vice-friendly cities left in the US, New Orleans remains his spiritual home, or whatever the atheist equivalent is. Waters’ supposed favourite bar in the world is here in the historic French Quarter. The Corner Pocket is a gay dive bar with tattooed strippers—filthy in exactly the way Waters likes.

“Trash and camp just don’t cut it any more,” he told a rapt audience at his interview panel on Friday. “Filth still has a punch to it. The right kind of people understand it and it frightens away the timid.”

John Waters growing older disgracefully

Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti are being republished in a single edition by Penguin. Jeff VanderMeer wrote the foreword.

• “The film is brimming with Bacchanalian revelry, arcane mystery and mortal dread.” Robert Bright on The Saragossa Manuscript by Wojciech Has.

Alistair Livingston has posted page scans from When Darkness Dawns, volume two of his zine from the early 80s, The Encyclopedia of Ecstasy.

• “Without first understanding the flâneur we cannot understand the development of arcades,” says Aaron Coté.

• At A Journey Round My Skull: Jo Daemen cover designs; at 50 Watts: the art of Manuel Bujados.

• Vast spacecraft and megastructures: Jeff Love on the science-fiction art of Chris Foss.

• At Dangerous Minds: RE/Search’s Vale on JG Ballard and William Burroughs.

• RIP John Renbourn

Pentangling (1968) by Pentangle | Lyke-Wake Dirge (1969) by Pentangle | Lord Franklin (1970) by Pentangle

The weekend artists, 2014

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The Crystal Gazer (or The Magic Crystal, 1904) by Gertrude Käsebier.

Once again the annual review of artists/designers/photographers featured in the weekend posts arrives at the beginning of the new year rather than the end of the old. Scroll down to see what caught my attention over the past twelve months.

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We Are The Water – Snow Drawings Project, Colorado (2014) by Sonja Hinrichsen with 50 volunteers.

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Le Palais des Merveilles, 1907 – 1927 – 1960 by Clovis Trouille.

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The Three Witches (2014) by Lorena Carvalho.

Continue reading “The weekend artists, 2014”