Weekend links 463

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Eye 98: Beatrice Display Black, Sharp Type, 2018, and a detail from an original drawing for Lexicon by Bram de Does, 1989.

Issue 98 of Eye, the international design journal, is out this month. The new issue is a typography special but also features my review of Mark Dery’s Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey. This is the second time I’ve written about Dery’s book, with the new piece focusing more on Gorey’s work as a designer/book creator, and his place in the history of illustration.

Portal is a new release by Slovakian metal band Doomas, the artwork of which adapts one of my illustrations for Lovecraft’s Monsters. The band also have a suitably Lovecraftian video.

• Reading recommendations by M. John Harrison: the old (the excellent Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys) and the new (Underland et al).

I first started drawing in my Wake to count the number of rivers mentioned in an episode, one page alone counting 85. Gradually, I would be so moved by a line or a character I would colour them in, the most obvious being the 28 Rainbow girls to the more obscure nebulae, railroad tracks, hidden mythical islands and turn of the century lightships. Themes began to emerge which demanded documentation and always the sad, ecstatic relief of finishing a chapter merited some sort of coloured tribute. By the time I finished four years later, I simply drew a leaf to reflect Joyce’s metaphor on the last page: my leaves have drifted from me. All. But one clings still.

Susie Lopez on Finnegans Wake at 80

• Old ghosts at The Paris Review: a preview of The Spectacle of Illusion by Matthew L. Tompkins.

• At Dangerous Minds: Malcolm McDowell and the making of Lindsay Anderson’s O Lucky Man!

Herbie Hancock: “I felt like I stood on the shoulders of giants and now it’s my turn”.

• Mix of the week: XLR8R Podcast 590 by Christian Löffler.

• The discography of Diamanda Galás is now at Bandcamp.

• RIP Quentin Fiore, graphic designer and book creator.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Haunted dolls.

Antique Doll (1967) by The Electric Prunes | The Doll’s House (1980) by Landscape | Voodoo Dolly (1981) by Siouxsie And The Banshees

Weekend links 427

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Inside an O’Neill Cylinder, an orbital megastructure. Painting by Don Davis, 1975.

• RIP Lindsay Kemp: dancer, actor, choreographer and (if we have to drop names) mentor to David Bowie and Kate Bush. Kemp’s work has been featured here on a number of occasions, particularly his landmark productions of an all-male Salomé, and Flowers, A Pantomime for Jean Genet. There was also considerable overlap with Kemp’s troupe and the films of Derek Jarman via appearances by Kemp himself, David Haughton and the irrepressible Jack Birkett. The Genet production was filmed in 1982, and is now available on DVD. (There’s also a rougher copy with unmatched audio and video.) From 1970: Pierrot in Turquoise, or The Looking Glass Murders, a Commedia dell’arte performance for Scottish TV featuring David Bowie. And reversing roles, Mick Rock’s video for Bowie’s John, I’m Only Dancing featuring Kemp and company.

• At Expanding Mind: Erik Davis in conversation with activist and writer David Nickles about “the DMT Nexus, psychedelic militancy, extraction tek, the Statement on Open Science for Psychedelic Medicines, MAPS, and the trouble with for-profit psilocybin companies”.

• From the end of August to January 2019: Spellbound at the Ashmolean; “Spellbinding stories, fascinating objects…from crystal balls and magic mirrors to witch bottles and curse poppets”.

On Earth, as on the International Space Station, the collective misperception of a flat plane helps build community and culture. We are all equal in our geometric relationship to one another. The reality, of course, is that we do not stand parallel. Each of our bodies corresponds with a distinct radial vector on the surface of a sphere, pointing away from a common center that we can never perceive or occupy. Our vectors diverge by imperceptible angles.

In “inside-out” worlds like the Bernal Sphere and the concave Earth, the situation is reversed. Our feet all point outward, into an inaccessible, but technologically habitable void, while our heads point inward, some of us apparently “upside-down.” Standing, we rise toward a visible center, which can be reached simply by climbing a hill, strapping on wings, and jumping into the air, as low-tech as Icarus.

The Shape of Space by Fred Scharmen

Michael Moorcock again, interviewed this time by Bernard Braden in 1968. I think this one was for a Braden TV series which was never broadcast.

• “Stupid things are best”: Neil Fox on Conny Plank: The Potential of Noise, a documentary about the great music producer.

• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 556 by Helios, and An Ode to Eris with An Other Ode to Eris by The Ephemeral Man.

• A monstrous primer on the works of HP Lovecraft by Emma Stefansky. With illustrations by Michael Bukowski.

Silent Agents by Julius-Christian Schreiner: photographs of hostile architecture from around the world.

• Back to the Futuro: Mark Hodgkinson on the spaceship house that landed in Yorkshire.

• The Great Chinese Art Heist by Alex W. Palmer.

Rhizome: a new recording by Drew McDowall.

The Starman Tarot

Mad Pierrot (1978) by Yellow Magic Orchestra | Spellbound (1981) by Siouxsie And The Banshees | Sphere (2011) by Emptyset

Weekend links 379

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Male Nude, Leg Up (1952) by Horst. From a series of photo prints at Wessel + O’Connor Fine Art until 5th November.

• At Bandcamp: “Tuareg guitar mixed with traditional rural folk”: Eghass Malan by Les Filles de Illighadad; “Pan dimensional spacecraft hover over ancient pyramids on worlds undreamed of”: Lemurian Dawn by Memnon Sa.

Songs of Discomposure: Quietus writers pick their most disturbing pieces of music. Also at The Quietus: John Foxx on his collaborations with Harold Budd and Ruben Garcia.

Eros In Arabia, the first album by Richard Horowitz, has been deleted since 1981, and is consequently very difficult to find. Freedom To Spend are reissuing it next month.

JG Ballard—The Interview Concordance. A companion to the concordance of Ballard’s published works. Some of the interviews may be found here.

• At Dangerous Minds: The Male Figure: Bruce of Los Angeles and the perfection of midcentury beefcake.

• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 508 by Jennifer Cardini, and Secret Thirteen Mix 231 by Alex XIII.

Post Punk: a set of postage stamp designs by Dorothy for punk and post-punk bands.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Kanban: The exquisite art of historic Japanese store signs.

• At Greydogtales: Photography of the Folk Horror Revival.

The Spomenik Database

• The Secret Life Of Arabia (1977) by David Bowie | Arabian Knights (1981) by Siouxsie And The Banshees | Arabiant (2002) by Radar

Weekend links 354

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The Dolly, Dolly Spy (1968).

• As mentioned previously, Concrete Desert is a musical collaboration between The Bug (Kevin Martin) and Earth’s Dylan Carlson inspired, they say, by Los Angeles and the fiction of JG Ballard. Martin & Carlson talked to Patrick Clarke at The Quietus about the album’s creation. Elsewhere, Kevin Martin compiled a list for Bleep of ten musical influences on the album, and Dylan Carlson had a Fireside Chat with Red Bull Music.

• Phil Legard of Xenis Emputae Travelling Band and Hawthonn has released a new EP, Hesperian Garden, featuring compositions derived from the Monas Hieroglyphica of John Dee.

• More Ballard: Mike Holliday maps the evolution of Crash, a novel which is published in a new “Collector’s Edition” by Fourth Estate next week.

Teleplasmiste “bridge the oscillation gap from deep listening ambient music and the heaviest of doomy drones,” says Richard Fontenoy.

David Barnett on Adam Diment, “the superstar spy novelist who vanished for four decades”.

• The queer art underground of 1980s London as photographed by David Gwinnutt.

A sculpture of a Buddhist deity made from 20,000 beetles.

• Mix of the week: XLR8R Podcast 483 by Jane Fitz.

• RIP Gilbert Baker, designer of the rainbow flag.

• Rubber Dolly Rag (1930) by Uncle Bud Landress with Georgia Yellow Hammers | Voodoo Dolly (1981) by Siouxsie and the Banshees | Cosmic Funky Dolly (2003) by Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

Weekend links 268

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A City on Pluto (1940) by Frank R. Paul. Related: Paul’s predictions about life on other planets.

23 Skidoo’s Peel Session from September 16th, 1981. Only 18 minutes of music but I’m thrilled for its being unique material that’s never been given an official release. There are many more Peel Sessions at the uploader’s channel, not all of which were reissued on the Strange Fruit label. Download favourites in their as-broadcast form (some with John Peel’s introductions) before they vanish or get blocked like the 1981 Cabaret Voltaire session. Related: Wikipedia’s list of Peel Sessions.

• Mixes of the week comprise two collections by Jon Dale of strange and beguiling Italian music: The Prevarications Of The Sky Against The Earth and La Verifica Incerta; the Summer Window Mix (“telly detritus, new-not-new synth nonsense & off-colour pop oddities”) by Moon Wiring Club; and Secret Thirteen Mix 158 by Haunter Records.

• “Hello, this is David Bowie. It’s a bit grey out today but I’ve got some Perrier water, and I’ve got a bunch of records…” Two hours of the Thin White Duke playing favourite music on BBC Radio One, 20th May, 1979.

Some of Vidal’s guests were writers, not exactly his favorite group. “Writers are the only people who are reviewed by people of their own kind,” Vidal said in an interview. “And their own kind can often be reasonably generous—if you stay in your category. I don’t. I do many different things rather better than most people do one thing. And envy is the central fact of American life.”

Frank Pizzoli reviews Sympathy for the Devil: Four Decades of Friendship with Gore Vidal by Michael Mewshaw

• Yair Elazar Glotman’s new album, Études, conjures “bone-rattling resonance, thick, alien-like atmospheres, and percussive fragments”. Stream it in full here.

• London’s Lost Department Store of the Swinging Sixties: Inge Oosterhoff on the splendours of Biba.

• It’s that Ungeziefer again: Richard T. Kelly on 100 years of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

• The History of Creepy Dolls: Linda Rodriguez McRobbie explores the uncanny valley.

• At Dangerous Minds: Matt Groening tells the story of The Residents in 1979.

• The NYT collects NASA’s photos from the New Horizons Pluto flyby.

The Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments

Written on the Body: tattoos in cinema

The Doll’s House (1981) by Landscape | Voodoo Dolly (1981) by Siouxsie and the Banshees | Devils Doll Baby (1986) by Sonny Sharrock