Weekend links 290

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The Royal Mint celebrates 400 years of William Shakespeare with new £2 coins. The “Tragedies” design gives Britain the Gothiest coin of all time.

• “I hate successful films that travel on an easy wave of ‘good taste’: for me, that is simply anti-culture.” Cinematographer Luciano Tovoli talks to Alexandra Heller-Nicholas about photographing Dario Argento’s masterwork, Suspiria.

• Mixes of the week: Für die Liebe II, an hour of ambient drift by Matthew Dekay, and Carwyn Ellis Mixtape No. 354 by The Voice Of Cassandre.

• Americans in Europe: Frances Mayes on the enduring mystique of the Venetian lagoon, and David Farley on the trail of Kafka in Prague.

“We’d read that Brion Gysin and William Burroughs had played around with some scientific equipment from Columbia University,” [Jim] Jarmusch recalls. It was “some kind of strobe light that they claimed, by placing eidetic pulses on the outside of your eyelids, could cause states of hallucination and trance. We found out how to check out this machine and experimented with … not fantastic results! In a way though, Luc [Sante] channels ghosts: he’s able to imagine and mentally reconstruct events and places from the past and weave them into stories. He can cross influences like Blaise Cendrars and JG Ballard with James M Cain and Raymond Roussel.”

[…]

If New York celebrates amnesia, perpetual transformation, accelerated obsolescence – and offers newcomers a blank slate, a chance to be born again – then Sante offers a mordantly heretical vision of the city. For him it’s full of layers and depths, of echoes and eerie reverberations, of occult whispers. “The tech crowd thinks that we can’t afford the past to be sitting on our shoulders. It’s a burden, a dead weight. We’ve got to innovate constantly. We have to … disrupt. But the 20th century is littered with valuable stuff – writers, ideas, daily certainties – that gets discarded and that needs to be picked up and looked at again.”

Sukhdev Sandhu profiles writer Luc Sante

The Edge Question for 2016: What do you consider the most interesting recent (scientific) news? What makes it important?

Bradley L. Garrett’s foreword for Secret Tunnels of England: Folklore and Fact (2015), a book by Antony Clayton.

Caitlin R. Green on the monstrous landscape of medieval Lincolnshire.

Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan by Brian Eno.

Arche (live, 2013) by Master Musicians of Bukkake.

A Year In The Country returns for another year.

Kafka (1982) by Masami Tsuchiya | Manhattan (1984) by Seigen Ono | Tunnel (1997) by Biosphere

Weekend links 42

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Blasphemous Rumours (2009/2010) by Ryan Martin. The artist now has a dedicated site for his paintings.

The Museum of Censored Art, a mobile gallery, will be showing the withdrawn David Wojnarowicz film outside the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, until their contentious gay art exhibition closes next month. Related: Bishop of Mallorca criticises calendar—which shows Catholic youths posing naked—for ‘not respecting Christian symbols’.

• Didier Lestrade published French gay zine Magazine in the 1980s, and later co-founded Têtu. He’s interviewed at BUTT and has started uploading the entire run of Magazine about which he says: “I don’t want to stamp some kind of logo on this material. It’s gay. It’s gay history. It belongs to everybody. If you want to take a piece of it, please try to mention the origins of it, a simple code word “Magazine” will be enough. If you wanna be more specific, be my guest.”

HMV, Britain’s last big music chain, is closing 60 branches. Yet a new wave of CD stores is thriving. Oh, HMV, how I’ll miss your £17 CDs (and double-CDs at £34)… On second thoughts, no I won’t, your wretched retail barns always exemplified the greed endemic in the music business.

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Love Comes/Destroyer by Stephen Kasner.

• Artist Stephen Kasner‘s work has adorned music releases by Sunn O))), Isis and others. He’s currently another American creator in need of assistance with medical expenses. Details here.

The Ghosts of Old London: the gloomy Victorian metropolis in all its deteriorated splendour. See also: In Search of Relics of Old London.

• “It’s time to recognise [Sandy] Denny as not simply a folksinger but one of Britain’s great poets of song,” says Rob Young.

Louis Pattison talks to Locrian about JG Ballard, old VHS tapes and their new album The Crystal World.

The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: Lebbeus Woods’ big drawings.

Hannes Bok portfolios at Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

An Iranian rapper named Salome. Also here and here.

A Moment of (Alan) Moore.

RIP Mick Karn.

Book Worship.

Sons of Pioneers (1981) by Japan; Tao-Tao (1982) by Masami Tsuchiya; Glow World (1983) by Bill Nelson.