Weekend links 659


The First Day of Spring (Risshun), from the series Fashionable Poetic Immortals of the Four Seasons (c.1768) by Suzuki Harunobu. Risshun in Japan begins on the 4th of February.

• “…after centuries of imbibing alcoholic beverages as their main source of potable water, European’s new fondness for boiled drinks—coupled with the psychoactive properties of caffeine—swapped societal tipsiness with a mindstate primed for the Enlightenment’s intoxication with reason.” Hunter Dukes on A Treatise Concerning the Properties and Effects of Coffee (1792) by Benjamin Moseley.

• Steven Heller on John Wilcock, Master of the Underground: “[He] was one of the great ‘happening’ characters of midcentury America, beat myth to Hippie legend. He was founder of half a dozen underground papers, and started one of the first citizen-access cable television shows. His achievements are a dense package.”

• At Fonts In Use: Florian Hardwig explores the origin of “the Dune font” as used on the covers of Frank Herbert’s novels during the 1970s and 80s.

• At Smithsonian Magazine: “Hundreds of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs were never built. Here’s what they might have looked like.”

• Mix of the week: Fact Mix 893 by KMRU & Aho Ssan & Sevi Iko Dømochevsky.

• New music: Hypnagogia by Martina Bertoni, and Cosmos Vol. II by Ran Kirlian & Jaja.

• “Forgotten ‘Stonehenge of the north’ given to nation by construction firm.”

• At Aquarium Drunkard: Soft Machine live at Jazz Bilzen, 1969.

• RIP Tom Verlaine.

Goofin’ At The Coffee House (1959) by Henri Mancini | Bring Me Coffee Or Tea (1971) by Can | Starfish And Coffee (1986) by Prince

Weekend links 656


Mobius Strip II (1963) by MC Escher.

• Old music: Warp Records is reissuing two recent Jon Hassell discs later this year: The Living City (Hassell’s ensemble playing live in NYC, 1989) and Psychogeography (Zones Of Feeling) (remixes from City: Works Of Fiction), which will be available as standalone releases or bundled together as Further Fictions together with Hassell’s Atmospherics book.

• “His library is an immense and enviable wellspring, a demimonde of objects by murky creators who for decades have gnawed away at the inner organs of polite society.” Steven Heller talks to Glenn Bray about Library, an 800-page collection of scans from Bray’s trove of books, comics and print ephemera.

• New music: Tsathoggua, the latest in the Lovecraftian series of Cryo Chamber Collaborations which reminds me that I’m still missing the more recent entries. Also the non-Lovecraftian Coil by Ian Boddy.

• “Music is a way to express yourself beyond words,” says Hildur Gudnadóttir.

• See this year’s winners of the annual Close-up Photographer of the Year competition.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…Ishmael Reed The Last Days of Louisiana Red (1974).

• A few new photos of Michael Heizer’s City in the Nevada desert.

City Of Night (1994) by David Toop & Max Eastley | City As Memory (1995) by John Foxx | City Appearing (2013) by Julia Holter


Weekend links 654


Drawing for a New Year’s Card (c. 1900) by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

• “Almanacs appealed to the perennial lust for wonder and weirdness in the world. They were the fantastic literature of the day.” Mark Valentine on English Almanacs 1500–1800. Reading this had me wondering whether Old Moore’s Almanac is still being published. Yes, it is.

• “Meet the designer of the fanciful subway entrances to the Paris Métro.” Susannah Gardiner on the architecture, design and anarchist philosophy of Hector Guimard.

• “Apocalypse is not alien to HR Giger,” says Steven Heller, reviewing Atomkinder, a book of the artist’s early cartoons for which he also provided an introduction.

• “Nabokov loved film, hopelessly.” Luke Parker on a short poem, The Cinema (1928), from Vladimir Nabokov’s Berlin years.

• From Loki to Behemoth: waves of the English coastline photographed by Rachael Talibart.

• Mix of the week: Winter Solstice 4: “In C” by ambientblog.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Grace Zabriskie Day.

Atom Sounds (1978) by Jackie Mittoo | Atom Blaster (1985) by Vangelis | Atomic Buddha (1998) by Techno Animal

Weekend links 651


The Horror of Living (1907) by Tyra Kleen. Via

• “Voss suggests Af Klint was a pioneer of abstract painting, a label that fits in some ways – her work certainly isn’t representational in the normal sense – but jars in others. She saw her work as a spiritual calling, supercharged with meaning in ways most of her contemporaries struggled to grasp. Most, but not all. Af Klint socialised and collaborated with other visionary women. Some were artists, others were writers, but all were adherents of the new philosophies sweeping Europe in the late 19th century: spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, theosophy.” Madoc Cairns reviewing Hilma af Klint: A Biography by Julia Voss.

• “I want to insist on an amateur internet; a garage internet; a public library internet; a kitchen table internet. At last, in 2023, I want to tell the tech CEOs and venture capitalists: pipe down. Buzz off. Go fave each other’s tweets.” Robin Sloan looking for new avenues away from the corporate cul-de-sacs of social media.

• “Even when subjects take psychedelics in clinical environments devoid of nature…many of them still emerge with stronger relationships to the natural world.” Simran Sethi on the connections between psychedelic use and eco-activism.

• At A Year In The Country: A Shindig! Selection: From Celluloid Hinterlands to Children of the Stones via The Delaware Road and a Sidestep to the Parallel World of él Records.

• At Public Domain Review: Mighty Mikko: A Book of Finnish Fairy Tales and Folk Tales (1922) by Parker Hoysted Fillmore.

• “When coffee is all gone. It’s over.” Spoon & Tamago gets existential at Tokyo’s Museum of Wonky English.

The “S” Word: Spirtuality in Alternative Music is a book-length study by Matthew Ingram (aka Woebot).

• New music: Does Spring Hide Its Joy by Kali Malone (featuring Stephen O’Malley & Lucy Railton).

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Geetype.

Spiritual Awakening (1973) by Eddie Henderson | Spiritual Blessing (1974) by Pharoah Sanders | Spiritual Eternal (1976) by Alice Coltrane

Weekend links 646


It’s that lethal book again. A sample of wallpaper impregnated with arsenic, one of many such pages in Shadows from the Walls of Death: Facts and Inferences Prefacing a Book of Specimens of Arsenical Wall Papers (1874) by RC Kedzie.

• “I like to spend time in the now because there I can create something new but in the past I cannot.” Damo Suzuki, former vocalist in Can, on creativity and his resilience in the face of long-term illness. Related: a trailer for Energy: A Documentary about Damo Suzuki.

• “I enjoy Carnival of Souls, but it is a dark form of enjoyment, with high stakes, because the enjoyment is predicated on me being able to shake myself free of the film after it is over, and that can be a struggle.” Colin Fleming on fear as entertainment.

• “Some people like fantasy epics or Regency romance or Sudoku or science-fiction world-building or the gentle challenge of cozy mysteries; I like the undead.” Sadie Stein on encounters with ghosts.

• “You’re now standing on the blocks of the Great Pyramid at Giza. For the first time ever you can explore the entire pyramid interior.” The Giza Project.

• “What do we think about when we watch films set in vanished decades that many of us experienced at first hand?” asks Anne Billson.

• At Bandcamp: Touch celebrates forty years of not being a record label.

• “Why scientists are sending radio signals to the Moon and Jupiter.”

• At DJ Food’s: Retinal Circus gig posters 1966–68.

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Feneon.

The Pyramid Spell (1978) by Nik Turner | I Am Damo Suzuki (1985) by The Fall | Carnival Of Souls Goes To Rio (2001) by Pram