Weekend links 514

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Athanasius Kircher welcoming two guests to the Collegio Romano, a detail from the frontispiece to his Romani Collegii Societatis Jesu Musaeum celeberrimum (1678).

Opium (1919) by Robert Reinert: “A Chinese opium dealer takes revenge on Westerners who have corrupted his wife.” With Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt a year before their pairing in The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.

Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain: in which the gallery thinks that 7 minutes is enough to give us a taste of a major exhibition that we can’t otherwise see.

Joe Pulver (RIP): His Highness in Yellow. A memorial piece that includes artist Michael Hutter talking about his paintings of Carcosa.

Court Mann on the strange history of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, 50 years old this month.

• “Invisible Little Worms”: Athanasius Kircher’s Study of the Plague by John Glassie.

Sophie Monks Kaufman on why literary lesbians are having a moment on screen.

• Photographer Ryan McGinley: “I was taught to believe in Satan. It scared me.”

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Ellen Burstyn Day, and the ghostly novels of WG Sebald.

Dorian Lynskey on where to start with Nina Simone’s back catalogue.

• Wie funktioniert ein Synthesizer? (1972). Bruno Spoerri explains.

• Banham avec Ballard: On style and violence by Mark Dorrian.

John Boardley on the most dangerous book in the world.

Improvisation for Sonic Cure by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

• The Strange World of…JG Thirlwell.

Diet Of Worms (1979) by This Heat | Stomach Worm (1992) by Stereolab | Heartworms (1998) by Coil

Weekend links 161

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My friend James Marriott died last year. He was 39. His final book, The Descent, a study of Neil Marshall’s acclaimed horror film, is launched on Friday at the Cube Microplex in Bristol. The book is published by Auteur, a UK imprint, in their Devil’s Advocates series. James was finishing the book a year ago this month, and sent me a late draft for comments. In addition to examining Marshall’s film in detail he also looks at its sequel and explores the micro-genre of cavern-oriented horror. When it came to literature James preferred Robert Aickman and Thomas Ligotti; he enjoyed their cinematic equivalents too but he also had a great appetite for horror films of any description, and would happily wade through hours of giallo trash in the hope of finding something worthwhile. I miss our long, digressive email exchanges, and the opportunity they afforded to swap new discoveries.

• “For artists not working in digital media — those who cut, build, draw, paint, glue, bend, and make things in the more traditional manner — there is something of a ‘Surrealist’ popularity at hand today,” says John Foster.

• At Open Culture: Duke Ellington’s Symphony in Black starring a 19-year-old Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone performs six songs on The Sound of Soul (1968).

• I’m not remotely interested in Baz Luhrman’s latest but I do like the Art Deco graphics and logos created by Like Minded Studio for The Great Gatsby.

Alejandro Jodorowsky: “I am not mad. I am trying to heal my soul”

• The Clang of the Yankee Reaper: Van Dyke Parks interviewed.

• A 45-minute horror soundtrack mix by Spencer Hickman.

• At But Does It Float: Album art by Robert Beatty.

Topological Marvel: The Klein Bottle in Art

Anne Billson on The Art of the Voiceover.

Soviet board-games, 1920–1938

A Brief History of Robot Birds

Le Chemin De La Descente (1970) by Cameleon | Descent Into New York (1981) by John Carpenter | The Descent (1985) by Helios Creed

Weekend links 28

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The Expansion of the First Great Ornamental Age: 3 Distances (2009) by Seher Shah.

Great Female Artists? Think Karachi. “One reason for the unusually high ratio of female artists in Pakistan has to do with the fact that the art industry has not traditionally been viewed as a lucrative business by men, says South Asian art historian Savita Apte, who administers the internationally renowned Abraaj Capital Art Prize. Until very recently, creatively inclined males tended to focus on fields such as advertising or illustration, leaving the art field wide open for some very talented women.” Related: artist Seher Shah (and also here).

• Hardformat looks at the luxury/collectors/whatever edition of the forthcoming Brian Eno album. “What’s the music like?” Colin asks. Indeed.

Strange Flowers is “a celebration of the most extraordinary, eccentric and unfairly forgotten figures of the past 200 years”.

Warsaw Warble: Illustration and design in Poland, 1917 to 1938. More marvels from A Journey Round My Skull.

• Strange Attractor hosts talks at London’s Little Shoppe of Horrors throughout the autumn.

• Barney Bubbles in Mojo and more details of the new edition of Paul Gorman’s BB book.

• A blog devoted to all things having to do with Howard Pyle (1853–1911).

Erik Davis on Dreaming, Writing, Philip K Dick and Lovecraft.

10 Reading Revolutions Before E-Books.

Secular Exorcisms by Evan J Peterson.

• RIP Jean Benoît.

Street haikus.

I Put A Spell On You (1965) by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins; I Put A Spell On You (1965) by Nina Simone; I Put A Spell On You (2001) by Natacha Atlas.

Weekend links 14

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A drawing by Eric Fraser from the Radio Times, 1947. From this Flickr set.

• I helped put together the design for the Pursuit Grooves album recently. FACT magazine interviewed Vanese Smith about her work.

• One of the books whose interiors I designed last year for Tachyon was The Secret History of Science Fiction, a story collection edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel. (And a book which I’ve yet to add to my web pages, I’m still behind with updates.) The LA Times has a piece about the anthology here, focusing on the Don DeLillo contribution, Human Moments in World War III.

• It’s been another week of Facebook hate; being a self-satisfied refusenik I can’t help but find this amusing. Too many good pieces to list but Gizmodo had more reasons why you should still quit Facebook, Jason Calacanis gathered lots of links to other stories on his blog while social media expert Danah Boyd got to the heart of the matter with a very cogent polemic.

• If you want an alternative to Facebook, Diaspora is “the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network”.

• David Toop has a new book out next month. “Sinister Resonance begins with the premise that sound is a haunting, a ghost, a presence whose location is ambiguous and whose existence is transitory. The intangibility of sound is uncanny – a phenomenal presence in the head, at its point of source and all around. The close listener is like a medium who draws out substance from that which is not entirely there.”

• Coilhouse looks at the late Decadent artist and designer Hans Henning Voigt (1887–1969), better known as Alastair.

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come, been and gone.

• “After a sold out season at the Barbican in 2009 Michael Clark Company returns with the next instalment of his critically acclaimed production made primarily to the music of David Bowie. come, been and gone also embraces the work of Bowie’s key collaborators: Lou Reed , Iggy Pop , Brian Eno and touches on some of his influences; The Velvet Underground , Kraftwerk and Nina Simone……This production contains loud music and graphic images.” I should hope so.

• “Why should boys always be boys, and girls always be girls?” Brutal/Beautiful, photography by Austin Green.

• John Foxx, Iain Sinclair and others appear at Short Circuit 2010 next month.

Black, Brown, and Beige: Duke Ellington’s music and race in America.

Jane Siberry has made all her albums available as free downloads.

Ruth Bayer photographs people after they’ve inhaled poppers.

Swiss artist catalogues mutant insects around nuclear plants.

Pompeii’s X-rated art will titillate a new generation.

The Happy, Haunted Island of Poveglia, Venice.

The Art of American Book Covers, a blog.

Kanellos, the Greek protest dog.

• Song of the week: Twiggy Twiggy (1994) by Pizzicato Five.