Weekend links 530

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Kami #58 -bloom- (2019) by Momo Yoshino.

• “Set amid the countryside and the beaches of coastal Sussex, They depicts a world in which plundering bands of philistines prowl England destroying art, books, sculpture, musical instruments and scores, punishing those artistically and intellectually inclined outliers who refuse to abide by this new mob rule.” Lucy Scholes on They: A Sequence of Unease (1977) by Kay Dick, which she calls “a lost dystopian masterpiece”. This is revelatory in a minor way since for years I’ve remembered seeing a slim volume with the title They in a bookshop, and which I later thought might have been a Rudyard Kipling book (there’s a Kipling story with the same title). The timing is right, the sighting would have been in 1977 or 78. The combination of that short, one-word title with a stark cover image and a sinister description on the rear was hard to forget but I didn’t take note of the author’s name. (I also didn’t buy the book, opting instead for some inferior work.) A shame that it seems to be resolutely out of print.

• “The threat to civil liberties goes way beyond ‘cancel culture’,” says Leigh Phillips. It makes a change seeing this coming from Jacobin when so much of the left today can find nothing wrong with censorship so long as it’s in a good cause. (Every censor that ever lived believed they were acting in a good cause, were on “the right side of history”, etc, etc.) The piece includes a dismissal of the increasingly common riposte that “only the state can censor”: this would be news to my colleagues at Savoy Books who endured years of police harassment including the seizure and destruction of printed material; the same with the long history of police action against UK rap artists. Related: “Work that’s cancelled for being ‘of its time’ was probably objected to, at the time.” Dorian Lynskey on chronocentrism and “the narcissism of the present”.

• “Cruising baths, bars, and subway toilets, snorting poppers and ‘fist fucking with 40 guys for 14 hours’ (as he recalled in You Got to Burn to Shine, his 1993 collection of prose and poems), he found meaning in a religion of radical eros whose sacrament was anonymous sex.” Mark Dery reviewing Great Demon Kings: A Memoir of Poetry, Sex, Art, Death, and Enlightenment by John Giorno.

Aubrey Powell says his best photograph is the burning man from the cover of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

• Mixes of the week: Fact mix 770 by Lyra Pramuk, and mr.K’s Kooky Kuts Vol.4 by radioShirley & mr.K.

• The Alchemical Brothers: Brian Eno & Roger Eno interviewed by Wyndham Wallace.

• Origami-inspired optical illusion oil paintings by Momo Yoshino.

Alexander Larman on the demise of the second-hand bookshop.

• New music: Follow The Road by Yumah, and Röschen by Pole.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Lighting.

• RIP Linda Manz.

My Boyfriend’s Back (1963) by The Angels | Carnival of the Animals, R. 125: VII. The Aquarium (Camille Saint-Saëns) (1975) by the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, Heilbronn with Marylene Dosse & Anne Petit, conducted by Jörg Faerber | Kill All Hippies (2000) by Primal Scream

Weekend links 303

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Design by Julian House.

• The last major release by Ghost Box recording artists Belbury Poly was The Belbury Tales in 2012, so news of a new album is most welcome. New Ways Out by The Belbury Poly (that definite article is a fresh addition) will be released next month. The Belbury Parish Magazine has links to larger copies of Julian House’s artwork for this and the recent release from Hintermass, The Apple Tree.

But before New Ways Out appears there’s a compilation album from A Year In The Country released at the end of April. The Quietened Village is “a study of and reflection on the lost, disappeared and once were homes and hamlets that have wandered off the maps or that have become shells of their former lives and times. Audiological contents created by Howlround, Time Attendant, The Straw Bear Band, Polypores, The Soulless Party, The Rowan Amber Mill, Cosmic Neighbourhood, A Year In The Country, Sproatly Smith, David Colohan and Richard Moult.” I’ve been fortunate to hear an advance copy, and it’s an excellent collection.

• “London’s architecture has become laughably boorish, confidently uncouth and flashily arid,” says Jonathan Meades in a review of Slow Burn City: London in the Twenty-First Century by Rowan Moore.

I feel very ill, physically and mentally ill when I hear Christmas carols. I feel so angry, so much like getting out a sniper’s rifle when I hear that kind of music. And Broadway shows with their sentimental songs, those kinds of things are terrifying for me because they call up memories from far back and I don’t necessarily know what they are but they just break me, they break my heart, they break my soul. Iannis Xenakis, the great Greek composer, he said the same thing. He couldn’t listen to the music his mother had played to him when he was young, because it was akin to thinking of someone who was disemboweled. And so for me, if I do a song that’s what you’d say is pretty, my interpretation takes it to another place because it shows the death of the virgin, the animal that goes out in the spring and then gets shot by a hunter. It is prettiness that is very alarming to me, so I tend to do a juxtaposition of something that might be pretty with something that is harsh, just because I feel that they occur in life together.

Diamanda Galás talking to Louise Brown about her work

The Fantastical Otherworlds of Adam Burke: S. Elizabeth talks to the artist behind Nightjar Illustration.

• “I try to frighten myself”: Master musician and curator David Toop on his extraordinary cassette tape archives.

• Silver Machine: Hawkwind’s Space Rock Journey throughout Science Fiction and Fantasy by Jason Heller.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 179 by Mesmeon, and a new Italian Occult Psychedelia Festival Mix.

• Offset Identities: Kenneth FitzGerald on graphic designer Barney Bubbles.

The Cine-Tourist lists some of the many cats in the films of Chris Marker.

John Patterson on Ran (1985), Akira Kurosawa’s last great masterpiece.

• Britain’s scarecrows photographed by Colin Garratt.

Strange Flowers explores the city of Turin.

The Museum of Talking Boards

Giallo-themed playing cards

Origami bookmarks

Silver Machine (1972) by Hawkwind | Silver Machine (1973) by James Last | Silver Machine (1988) by Alien Sex Fiend

The Art of Shadowgraphy

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Though Shadowgraphy has been known from time immemorial, and as ’twere a thing of bye-gone days, Trewey’s practice of the art comes as a novelty, and is highly entertaining alike to the schoolboy and the lean and slippered pantaloon.

Thus the overwrought prefatory note in this small book of hand-shadow exercises by Felicien Trewey. In addition to diagrams showing the creation of the familiar animal shapes there’s a brief life of Monsieur Trewey, “the original Fantaisist Humoristique”, and some details of Trewey’s shadow pantomimes. Since these involve various props I find them a bit of a cheat, rather like origami shapes that require two sheets of paper or even a pair of scissors.

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The book opens and closes with ads for Hamley’s toy shop, still the most celebrated shop of its kind in London. If it’s a surprise to see Hamley’s promoting their wares with devils and skulls, the latter seem fitting for the page of sinister “ventriloquial figures”, two of which are shown smoking cigarettes. The walking figure with “pneumatic mouth” is no doubt the one that tries to strangle you while you sleep.

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Continue reading “The Art of Shadowgraphy”

Origami tessellations

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I seldom try origami these days despite an enthusiasm for it when I was younger, but I still like to see how people are developing the artform. These tessellation designs are part of a sub-genre of abstract paper-folding that’s a long way from the traditional Japanese animal shapes. The examples here are by Ray Schamp from his Flickr set. There are many more examples at the Origami Tessellations Flickr pool.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Sipho Mabona’s origami insects
Robert Lang’s origami insects

Weekend links 58

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Oya by Alberto del Pozo (1945–1992). Also known as Yansa, Oya is Changó’s third wife. She is the goddess of the winds and of lightning and is mistress of the cemetery gates. Passionate and brave she fights by her husband’s side if needed. Her favorite offerings are papaya, eggplant and geraniums. From Santeria at BibliOdyssey.

Austin Osman Spare is a good example of the dictum that quality will out in the end, no matter how long it remains buried. Overlooked by the art establishment after he retreated into his private mythologies, a substantial portion of his output was equally ignored by occultists who wanted to preserve him as a weird and scary working-class magus. One group dismissed his deeply-felt spiritual interests in a manner they wouldn’t dare employ if he’d been a follower of Santeria, say (or even a devout Christian), while the other group seemed to regard his superb portraits as too mundane to be worthy of attention. Now that Phil Baker’s Spare biography has been published by Strange Attractor we might have reached the end of such short-sighted appraisals and can finally see a more rounded picture of the man and his work:

[Kenneth] Grant preserved and magnified Spare’s own tendency to confabulation, giving him the starring role in stories further influenced by Grant’s own reading of visionary and pulp writers such as Arthur Machen, HP Lovecraft, and Fu Manchu creator Sax Rohmer. Grant’s Spare seems to inhabit a parallel London; a city with an alchemist in Islington, a mysterious Chinese dream-control cult in Stockwell, and a small shop with a labyrinthine basement complex, its grottoes decorated by Spare, where a magical lodge holds meetings. This shop – then a furrier, now an Islamic bookshop, near Baker Street – really existed, and part of the fascination of Grant’s version of Spare’s London is its misty overlap with reality.

Austin Osman Spare: Cockney visionary by Phil Baker.

Austin Osman Spare: The man art history left behind | A Flickr set: Austin Osman Spare at the Cuming Museum | HV Morton meets Austin Spare (1927).

• More quality rising from obscurity: Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End. Skolimowski’s drama is one of unpleasant characters behaving badly towards each other. Anglo-American cinema featured a great deal of this in the 1970s when filmmakers disregarded the sympathies of their audience in a manner which would be difficult today. John Patterson looks at another example which is also given a re-release this month, the “feral, minatory and menacing masterwork” that is Taxi Driver.

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Echú Eleguá by Alberto del Pozo. Among the most ancient of the orishas Echú Eleguá is the messenger of the gods, who forges roads, protects the house, and is heaven’s gate-keeper. In any ceremony he is invoked first. He owns all cowrie shells and is the god of luck. A prankster, Echú Eleguá frequently has a monkey and a black rooster by his side. Like a mischievous boy he enjoys gossip and must be pampered with offerings of toys, fruit, and candy.

Minutes, a compilation on the LTM label from 1987: William Burroughs, Jean Cocteau, Tuxedomoon, Jacques Derrida, The Monochrome Set, and er…Richard Jobson. Thomi Wroblewski designed covers for a number of Burroughs titles in the 1980s, and he also provided the cover art for this release.

Mikel Marton Photography: a Tumblr of erotic photography and self-portraits.

From Death Factory To Norfolk Fens: Chris & Cosey interviewed.

NASA announces results of epic space-time experiment.

Oritsunagumono by Takayuki Hori: origami x-rays.

Plexus magazine at 50 Watts.

Mother Sky (1970) by Can | Late For The Sky (1974) by Jackson Browne.