Weekend links 426

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Self Preservation (1970–77), a collage by Penny Slinger from the series An Exorcism.

• RIP John Calder, one of the most important British publishers of the last century whose death was acknowledged in the Washington Post (and in the Telegraph, a paper that would have given him no support during his censorship battles) but at the time of writing hasn’t been mentioned at all in the increasingly useless Guardian. The omission in the latter seems even more surprising when Calder himself wrote obituaries for the paper, and they ran an archive piece two weeks ago for the 50th anniversary of Calder & Boyars’ successful court defence of Last Exit to Brooklyn. “Publishing is an industry run by capitalists now.

• Another 50th anniversary: David Bushman asked Alan Moore for his memories of Patrick McGoohan’s superb TV series The Prisoner.

Michael Moorcock in conversation with Hari Kunzru at Shakespeare and Company, Paris.

Stephen O’Malley presents Acid Quarry Paris – In Session with Richard Pinhas (Heldon).

• When a rock is a stone: Louise Steinman on finding Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty.

• Victorians, Vaults, and Violet Water: a profusion of links at Greydogtales.

• Mix of the week: FACT mix 666 by Róisín Murphy.

• The amazing adventures of Melinda Gebbie.

Starbirthed

Exorcism (1971) by Lucifer | The Final Calling (Physical Exorcism) (1984) by CTI | Exorcism Of The Hippies (2010) by Mater Suspiria Vision

Weekend links 250

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Untitled artwork by Melinda Gebbie.

• “Johnny Rocket is like a Chaucerian epic retold by David Peace with music by Bruce Haack and The Focus Group for a music hall located in Hell.” John Doran talks to Maxine Peake and the Eccentronic Research Council about their “psychedelic ouija pop”.

Allison Meier looks at a new exhibition of Victor Moscoso’s psychedelic drawings. Related: Julia Bigham writing in Eye magazine in 2001 about London’s psychedelic poster scene.

• “Oh to eye the very enfilade through which that orchidaceous entity would make his stately progress…” Strange Flowers on the eccentric Count Stenbock.

Melinda Gebbie: What Is The Female Gaze? The artist is in conversation next month with Mark Pilkington and Tai Shani at the Horse Hospital, London.

Pamela Colman Smith: She Believes in Fairies. The Tarot artist and illustrator in a rare interview from 1912.

• Minimalist posters: “a lack of nuance disguised as insight,” says John Brownlee.

• Saturday night in the City of the Dead: Richard Metzger on the John Foxx-era Ultravox.

The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble plays the Brandenberg Concerto No. 3.

• “In a weird way”: a brief history of a phrase by Ivan Kreilkamp.

Die Hexe: An installation by Alex Da Corte.

• RIP Daevid Allen

Istaqsinaayok

You Can’t Kill Me (1971) by Gong | Master Builder (1974) by Gong | When (1982) by Daevid Allen

Weekend links 191

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Two cover designs from Eliash Strongowski’s 30 Days—30 Covers project.

My thanks once again to Dennis Cooper for placing this blog on his end-of-year lists. Meanwhile. one of the albums I designed earlier this year, Cold Mission by Logos, made the 30 Best Album Covers of 2013 list at FACT.

• “Many of their more outlandish ideas never saw fruition: an organ powered by an entire factory, an electro-acoustic orchestra mounted on a fleet of airplanes.” Colin McSwiggen reviews Sound in Z: Experiments in Sound and Electronic Music in Early 20th Century Russia by Andrey Smirnov.

Queer Pagan Punk, a major film retrospective of the work of Derek Jarman, will take place in February and March 2014 at the BFI Southbank, London.

• “For over forty years, Iain Sinclair’s work has combined obsessive myth-making with urban despair. But what do we know about him?” asks Fatema Ahmed.

• “Rather than trying to intercept alien communications, perhaps we should go looking for alien artefacts.”

• Mix of the week: Radio Belbury Programme 12, and Winter Hours, the Cafe Kaput 2013 winter mix.

BEEP BEEP. BLOOP BLEEP: Road Runner cartoons soundtracked by a Eurorack synthesizer.

Historia Discordia: Documenting the Origins, History & Chaos of the Discordian Society.

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Pink Boy by Melinda Gebbie.

Suffered From The Night: Queering Stoker’s Dracula edited by Steve Berman.

• At Dangerous Minds: An interview with soundtrack composer Cliff Martinez.

Sarah Schoenfeld puts recreational drugs under the microscope.

• Powerplant Art-déco, a set of photos by Romain Veillon.

Adrian Curry chooses the best film posters of 2013.

Portent’s Content Idea Generator

Tarkovsky at Pinterest

The Sea Named Solaris (1977) by Tomita | Is That What Everybody Wants? (2002) by Cliff Martinez | Reyja (2011) by Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason

Weekend links 182

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Mirror of Water (1981) by Reika Iwami.

• The week in comics: Paul Gravett interviews Enki Bilal. | Paul Kirchner’s wordless and inventively surreal strip, The Bus, was republished in France last year but it’s been out-of-print for years everywhere else. Read it online here. | Bill Watterson has made the entire run of Calvin and Hobbes available for free.

• “…seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.” Leland de la Durantaye reviews Italo Calvino: Letters 1941–1985.

• Artist Charles Ross says “My interest in science is related to how mysterious it is.” Ross Andersen visited Ross’s Star Axis, “a masterpiece forty years in the making”.

There is a satirical intent at work here, as well as mordant humour, a potent mix that reminds one more of the absurdist fictions of the French jazz musician Boris Vian than of anything in the SF canon. Science fiction is not central in Harrison’s work – not even as a target of his sharp wit – and it is a mistake to regard him as being chiefly interested in demolishing a genre that is only one of several he has mastered.

John Gray on M. John Harrison’s Kefahuchi Tract trilogy. This week Harrison posted a new piece of fiction on his blog.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 091 by Sugai Ken, and Bride of the Abominable Marshman, an early Halloween mix by Hackneymarshman.

• Clive Hicks-Jenkins on Schandmasken (masks of shame), and the clay visage of Paul Wegener’s Golem.

• A version of Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express by Chicago band Disappears.

Postcards to the Curious: MR James-themed artwork by Alisdair Wood.

Clive Barker: Why I Once Gave Up Horror Movies Entirely.

• Artist Melinda Gebbie at Phantasmaphile.

Fragment, a new video from Emptyset.

38 photos of airships through the ages.

• This Much I Know: Kenneth Anger.

• Trans Europe Express (2000) by Señor Coconut Y Su Conjunto | Trans Europe Express (2007) by Receptors | Trans Europe Express (2012) by Daniel Mantey

Art is magic. Magic is art.

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Cover concept by Chip Kidd.

I noted the imminent arrival of Gary Spencer Millidge’s labour of love last month and the volume itself turned up this week, and what a book it is, a heavyweight hardback that’s far more lavish than I anticipated. The first surprise comes when removing the dust jacket to find Alan’s scowling visage embossed on the boards. Inside there’s a wealth of Moore ephemera from biographical material (lots of family photos) to insights into the scripting process behind the comics. I already knew Alan made little thumbnail sketches of his comic layouts before writing his scripts, having been fortunate enough to see one of the work-in-progress books for From Hell one time when I was chez Moore. Now everyone can have that opportunity. In addition there’s a thorough overview of Alan’s career, from the earliest juvenilia through to recent issues of Dodgem Logic. The comics career often overshadows his other work but in a later part of the book there’s considerable attention given to his collaborations with musicians, dancers and others for the Moon and Serpent performances. For my part it’s a pleasure to see some of the designs I created for the Moon and Serpent CDs printed large-size and in better quality than pressing plants manage with compact discs. None of those releases sold in great quantities and all are now out-of-print so the artwork often feels lost.

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The front board.

What else? How about two sections of the book with fold-out pages? How about the first ever public appearance of Alan’s huge chart mapping the progress of every character through the unfinished Big Numbers? How about an introduction by Michael Moorcock where he calls Alan “a Robert Johnson of the Age of Doubt; questioning, confronting, mourning and yearning, representing his readers in profound ways, an intellectual autodidact, one of my few true peers for whom I have limitless respect.”? How about a compact disc featuring extracts from the Moon and Serpent CDs plus many other previously unreleased songs including pieces by the Emperors of Ice Cream? This is a gorgeous production designed by Simon Goggin and art directed by Julie Weir, and I haven’t even begun to read it yet. Is it necessary to state that it’s an essential purchase for anyone with more than a passing interest in Mr Moore and his many talented collaborators? Yours for twenty-five quid from Ilex Press. Some page samples follow.

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Front endpapers showing Alan’s working notes and sketches.

Continue reading “Art is magic. Magic is art.”