Weekend links 623


A symmetrical ink blot from Gobolinks, or Shadow Pictures for Young and Old (1896) by Ruth McEnery Stuart & Albert Bigelow Paine, a book where the blots are much more interesting than the interpretative verses that accompany them.

• “…within a year, they were on The Tube, performing their German-language extrapolation of Throbbing Gristle’s Discipline to a visibly nonplussed audience.” Alexis Petridis on the return of Propaganda. The group’s debut album, A Secret Wish (previously), has long been an obscure object of desire round here.

• RIP Alan White, drummer in Yes for much of the 1970s (see Sound Chaser for details), and also—although nobody mentioned this at the time—the originator of the drum sounds sampled on a Fairlight for Beat Box by the Art Of Noise.

• “For the anthropologist Stewart Guthrie, pareidolia is not a fringe phenomenon: it is at the core of religious experience.” Hunter Dukes on the interpretation of ink blots.

• “…self-righteousness is the one thing that I don’t agree with,” says John Waters. “We used humour to fight when I was young.”

• New music: October Cut Up by Black Glass Ensemble, and New Witness by Michael Begg.

• Also RIP Shiv Kumar Sharma, master of the santoor.

• “Scientists recreate Cleopatra’s favourite perfume.

Simon Fisher Turner’s favourite albums.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Len Lye Day.

Cleopatra’s Barge (1962) by Alex North | Cleopatra’s Needle (1963) by Ahab And The Wailers | Cleopatra King Size (2002) by Jah Wobble & Temple Of Sound

Skull, 1983


Mention yesterday of pencil drawing prompted me to dig out this item from one of my old portfolios. It was drawn shortly after I was given a somewhat battered human skull by a student nurse (hello, Victoria, wherever you are), an object I sketched on a number of occasions before eventually making it into the finger-slashing fetish object below which appeared recently in the The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. The drawing dates from 1983—I remember listening to the Art of Noise EP Into Battle whilst working—and it’s unusual for me in showing the drawn object alone on a sheet of paper with no attempt made to place it in a scene. It’s also a slightly misjudged rendering; this ink drawing from a year later shows a more careful representation of the skull’s proportions, spoiled a little by the pointless and unconvincing seascape I placed behind it.