• Cover art for a new album by John Foxx which will be released on CD in March. This catches my attention for being based on Walter Benjamin’s compendious collection of esoterica, with the music being solo piano pieces. If the latter are anything like the albums Foxx recorded 20 years ago with Harold Budd then this is all very promising. Is the cover design by Jonathan Barnbrook? The typography and formal treatment of the photo suggest as much.
• “The new game was not providing access to everything but finding out how many expensively licensed properties you could cull from your service before people started to question how much they were paying a month.” Sam Thielman on the sudden unavailability of hundreds of classic Warner Brothers cartoons. Regarding his comment about the unplayability of Internet Archive videos: you download them and put them on a USB drive.
• Frost Flowers on the Windows (1899) is a book that documents “the extraordinary power of windowpane frost to take ‘ice photographs’, images capable of expressing the ‘vital qualities’ of life forms close to the glass,” according to its author, Albert Alberg.
• New music: ev THe norTH, “a sound journey through the winter of the far north” by Lorenz Weber. (The encoding of the album title won’t display properly on this page.)
• RIP Yukihiro Takahashi, singer, songwriter and drummer with the fabulous Yellow Magic Orchestra. The space-disco video for YMO’s Rydeen never gets old.
• “I want an indescribable feeling”: composer Kali Malone on her search for the sublime.
• Old music: Roundtrip by Don Cherry & Jean Schwarz, a live performance in Paris, 1977.
• At Spoon & Tamago: Glass artist Genki Sudo crafts tentacle earbuds.
• At Unquiet Things: The Incandescent Otherworlds of Gervasio Gallardo.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Acid Westerns Day.
• Arcade (1987) by Chris & Cosey | The White Arcades (1988) by Harold Budd | Arcade (2018) by Philip Jeck
The Horror of Living (1907) by Tyra Kleen. Via
• “Voss suggests Af Klint was a pioneer of abstract painting, a label that fits in some ways – her work certainly isn’t representational in the normal sense – but jars in others. She saw her work as a spiritual calling, supercharged with meaning in ways most of her contemporaries struggled to grasp. Most, but not all. Af Klint socialised and collaborated with other visionary women. Some were artists, others were writers, but all were adherents of the new philosophies sweeping Europe in the late 19th century: spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, theosophy.” Madoc Cairns reviewing Hilma af Klint: A Biography by Julia Voss.
• “I want to insist on an amateur internet; a garage internet; a public library internet; a kitchen table internet. At last, in 2023, I want to tell the tech CEOs and venture capitalists: pipe down. Buzz off. Go fave each other’s tweets.” Robin Sloan looking for new avenues away from the corporate cul-de-sacs of social media.
• “Even when subjects take psychedelics in clinical environments devoid of nature…many of them still emerge with stronger relationships to the natural world.” Simran Sethi on the connections between psychedelic use and eco-activism.
• At A Year In The Country: A Shindig! Selection: From Celluloid Hinterlands to Children of the Stones via The Delaware Road and a Sidestep to the Parallel World of él Records.
• At Public Domain Review: Mighty Mikko: A Book of Finnish Fairy Tales and Folk Tales (1922) by Parker Hoysted Fillmore.
• “When coffee is all gone. It’s over.” Spoon & Tamago gets existential at Tokyo’s Museum of Wonky English.
• The “S” Word: Spirtuality in Alternative Music is a book-length study by Matthew Ingram (aka Woebot).
• New music: Does Spring Hide Its Joy by Kali Malone (featuring Stephen O’Malley & Lucy Railton).
• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Geetype.
• Spiritual Awakening (1973) by Eddie Henderson | Spiritual Blessing (1974) by Pharoah Sanders | Spiritual Eternal (1976) by Alice Coltrane
Cover art by Gray Morrow; design by Henry Berkowitz, 1967.
• “Dial-a-Poem received more than a million calls before it lost funding and ended in 1971. There were complaints of indecency, claims that the poems incited violence. The FBI investigated…” Ralf Webb on John Giorno’s Dial-a-Poem project which is still active at the US and UK numbers on this page.
• Mixes of the week: Halloween approaches so for those who require themed mixes you can take your pick from these selections by Kaptain Carbon; at The Wire there’s a Halloween-free mix by Kuunatic.
• New music: New Moon by Laetitia Sadier, and The Reinterpretation Of Dreams (Remixed) by Tomoroh Hidari; not-so-new music: Velocity Of Sleep by Kali Malone.
The activist’s whole identity is tied up in him being denied, as opposed to him manifesting. Nobody can give you your freedom. You ARE free. It is your natural state, okay? You can give it all away if you want, but: no. I can’t GIVE you your rights. I can’t give you your freedom. And to go and beg the Man for your rights and BEG the Man for your freedom? LIVE your freedom.
One of Berg’s phrases was “life actor.” “Theatre of the streets.” All of this as theatre. As opposed to in a different arena you would call politics or activism or so on. But using theatre as a way to open doors that might not be opened if someone was approaching it in other ways. Out of that comes this whole sense of “create the reality you want to live in.” Which is a powerful, profound concept. People are trapped in the paradigm: you can’t even think there is an outside of the box. Just that notion of thinking, and living outside that paradigm, was real powerful stuff.
Claude Hayward of the San Francisco Diggers talking to Jay Babcock for the eighth installment of Jay’s verbal history of the hippie anarchists
• Joanna Moorhead on the creation of the Mae West lips sofa, a collaboration between Salvador Dalí and Edward James.
• The latest book from Rixdorf Editions is Papa Hamlet by Arno Holz and Johannes Schlaf.
• At Sweet Jane’s Pop Boutique: Op and Pop | Art Forms in Furnishing (1966).
• Denis Bovell’s favourite music.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Coffins.
• Love At Psychedelic Velocity (1966) by The Human Expression | Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow) (1982) by The Birthday Party | The Art Of Coffins (2002) by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore