Weekend links 725

Springtime in Paris (1923) by Georg Kretzschmar.

• I’ve been asked to mention that the tribute book put together for Alan Moore’s 70th birthday, Alan Moore: Portraits of an Extraordinary Gentleman, is still available. As before, the book features contributions from many well-known comic artists, a foreword by Iain Sinclair, and this piece of my own.

• “I never posted any lecture of mine on Tumblr, even though Tumblr would seem to have plenty of elbow-room for hour-long, learned, European public lectures (with many lecture slides).” Utopian Realism, a speech by Bruce Sterling.

• Reading the Signs: John Kenny in conversation with Mark Valentine about Mark’s new collection Lost Estates.

There remains something suspect about blotter, a stain that is both a blessing and a curse. As the blotter producer Matthew Rick, who started selling sheets as non-dipped ‘art’ collectables at festivals in 1998, puts it: ‘[B]lotter is the last underground art form that’s going to stay underground, simply because you’re creating something that looks like and functions like a felony.’ In other words, blotter is ontologically illicit; it is, as Rick says, ‘drug paraphernalia by its very existence’.

Erik Davis (again) on LSD and the cultural history of the printed blotter

• At Colossal: Uncanny phenomena derail domestic bliss in Marisa Adesman’s luminous paintings.

• Standing stones, urban hellscapes and male nudes: Andrew Pulver on Derek Jarman’s Super-8 films.

• “ [breaking news] An anomaly on earth has brought the cats to over 150 meters. Please be patient.”

• At We Are The Mutants: Alien Renaissance: An interview with illustrator Bob Fowke.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…René Crevel My Body and I (1926).

• At Public Domain Review: The Little Journal of Rejects (1896).

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

• RIP Steve Albini.

Sandoz In The Rain (1970) by Amon Düül II | Bon Voyage Au LSD (2001) by Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. | Careful With That Sheet Of Acid, Eugene (2019) by Jenzeits

Weekend links 722

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Desert Sunrise (no date) by Kay Robinson.

• RIP Richard Horowitz, a composer and musician whose soundtrack work makes the headlines but who I’ve always known best via his appearances on albums by Jon Hassell and others, and his collaborations with his partner, Sussan Deyhim. Majoun (1996) is my favourite among the Horowitz and Deyhim albums but it’s one of those releases that received little attention at the time and hasn’t been reissued since. Related: Revisiting Morocco, Magic, Majoun, Horowitz and Deyhim: Robert Phoenix talks to Horowitz and Deyhim for the final issue of Mondo 2000. | Desert Equations (For Brion Gysin) (1986).

• “A typeface is like an orchestra, and the type designer is its conductor.” Dr Nadine Chahine on the music of type design.

• At Colossal: Flip through more than 5,000 pages of this sprawling 19th-century atlas of natural history.

• At Unquiet Things: Become one with the moss, mushrooms, and magic in the art of Brett Manning.

• At Public Domain Review: Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater’s Occult Chemistry (1908).

• New music: Reality Engine by 36, and Transformation Sonor by Hannes Strobl.

Photos of undersea life for the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest.

• Mix of the week: DreamScenes – April 2024 at Ambientblog.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Book.

The Blue Flame (1981) by David Byrne (with Richard Horowitz) | Ravinia/Vancouver (1987) by Jon Hassell (with Richard Horowitz) | Bade Saba (The Wind Of Saba) (2000) by Sussan Deyhim (with Richard Horowitz)

Man with a Newspaper

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René Magritte with a newspaper.


La Nouvelle Médication Naturelle Traduit de l’Allemand – Vol. 2 (1899) by FE Bilz

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Man with a Newspaper (1928) by René Magritte

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Fuzz Against Junk (1959) by Akbar Del Piombo

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The Oxford Book of Short Poems (1986) edited by PJ Kavanagh and James Michie

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Mensonge (1987) by Malcolm Bradbury

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2015), illustrated by Anthony Browne

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Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Surrealism archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Fuzz Against Junk & The Hero Maker

Weekend links 716

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The Vision of Endymion (1902) by Edward John Poynter.

The Art and History of Lettering Comics by Todd Klein. Eight of the pages in the forthcoming Moon & Serpent book have been lettered by Todd.

• At Igloomag: Chang Terhune looks for music to help you sleep. No mention of an obvious (and superior) candidate, Sleep by Max Richter.

• New music: Ghosted II by Oren Ambarchi, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin; and The Ship by David Shea.

But unlike macroscopic drugs like cannabis, LSD is so small and so powerful that its consumption almost always requires an inert housing—the water, tablets, sugar cubes, bits of string, or pieces of paper that transport the drug from manufacturer to tripper. In the law, this vehicle is described as the “carrier medium,” an object impregnated with drugs, one that can be sold, seized, presented as evidence, and dissolved into the hearts, minds, and guts of consumers.

When you print images onto a paper carrier medium, you are adding another layer of mediation to an already loopy transmission. Hence, a meta medium, a liminal genre of print culture that dissolves the boundaries between a postage stamp, a ticket, a bubble gum card, and the communion host. This makes blotter a central if barely recognized artifact of psychedelic print culture, alongside rock posters and underground newspapers and comix, but with the extra ouroboric weirdness that it is designed to be ingested, to disappear. Blotter is the most ephemeral of all psychedelic ephemera. It is produced to be eaten, to blur the divide between object and subject, dissolving material signs and molecules into a phenomenological upsurge of sensory, poetic, and cognitive immediacy.

Erik Davis, in an extract from Blotter: The Untold Story of an Acid Medium

• At Wormwoodiana: John Howard on The London Adventure, or, The Art of Wandering by Arthur Machen.

• At Unquiet Things: Hidden Marvels on Your Bookshelf: The Artistic Legacy of Laurence Schwinger.

• “Some intelligent civilizations will be trapped on their worlds”. Evan Gough explains.

• At Vinyl Factory: The Latin-American women of 20th-century electronic music.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Steve Erickson presents A Black Psychedelia Primer Day.

• At Public Domain Review: Animated Putty by Walter R. Booth.

Vinita Joshi’s favourite music.

Sleepy Theory (1982) by Weekend | Sleep 3 (1995) by Paul Schütze | Sleep Games (2012) by Pye Corner Audio

Valentine Hugo’s Contes Bizarres

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Looking around at the weekend for drawings by Valentine Hugo (1887–1968), I was reminded of a defunct bookselling blog which hosts scans of the illustrations that Hugo created in 1933 for Contes Bizarres, a collection of stories by Achim von Arnim (1781–1831). I posted a link to this place in the past but since neglected sites have a tendency to abruptly vanish I thought it worth bumping the illustrations into the future here. Valentine Hugo never seems to receive the same attention as the other well-known women Surrealists despite her evident talent and closer connections to the original Surrealist group than those who came later. Her careful renderings are easy to recognise, often done with pastel or crayon on textured black paper or card. This edition of Contes Bizarres was a collection of translations by Théophile Gautier with an introduction by André Breton which suggests the stories are bizarres enough to be considered Surrealist precursors. Not having read any of them I can’t say much about them but Max Ernst counted von Arnim among his favourites poets. André Breton, meanwhile, favoured German Romanticism enough to make Novalis the Magus of Flames in the Jeu de Marseilles card deck but Achim von Arnim is one such writer who still seems to be more popular in France than he is in the Anglosphere. Valentine Hugo apparently illustrated an edition of Les Chants de Maldoror around the same time as Contes Bizarres. If this is the case I’ve yet to see the illustrations anywhere.

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Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive
The Surrealism archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Max Ernst’s favourites