Weekend links 694


Reading the Tarot at Southend-on-Sea (c.1968) by Linda Sutton.

• “Starship Africa, released in 1980, was a densely textured audio collage emulating the sensation of intergalactic space travel, though it freaked out some in the scene. According to [Adrian] Sherwood, DJ David Rodigan told him: ‘What do you think you’re doing to reggae music?'” David Katz on the return of Creation Rebel.

• Coming soon from Strange Attractor: Subcontinental Synthesis, a history of India’s first electronic music studio, edited by Emptyset’s Paul Purgas. There’s also a related compilation album, The NID Tapes: Electronic Music from India 1969–1972.

• New music: The Lamentations Of Jeremiah by Vince Clarke, and Tidescape by Roger Eno.

But even when it’s a signal, even when it’s a microbe, we’ll likely never know if it’s aliens. Not just because of the vast distances involved or because of the wild possibilities presented by chemistry and biology, but because science seldom works that way. Discoveries almost never arrive as we think they will, as lightning bolt eurekas. They are slow, gradual, communal. Alien life may not be something we ever ‘find’, but instead inch towards, ever closer, like a curve approaching its asymptote. For all our desire to know who’s out there, that may have to be enough.

Jaime Green on the scientific method and the search for extraterrestrial life

• At Public Domain Review: Charles H. Bennett’s Shadows (ca. 1856).

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is JAF Herb.

Make a Spawn of Cthulhu mask.

Theon Cross’s favourite music.

Herb (1980) by Sly And The Revolutionaries With Jah Thomas | Pause In Herbs (1995) by Ken Ishii | Herb Is Burnin’ (2010) by Method Of Defiance

Weekend links 684


Playing cards designed in 1977 by Taro Okamoto.

• “This practice of looking does not prioritise academic or historical perspectives on art. It is divorced from the artist, the industry and the formal study of the arts. By paying attention to the form, title and other perceptible ‘clues’ in the work, this practice is primarily interested in using the intuitive, sensory, suggestive and aleatory to engage in conversation with a creative work. The point is not to develop an answer, an interpretation that ‘settles’ the ‘question’ of the painting, or to intellectualise the work in terms of form, style, history or the concerns of the artist. Rather, in this practice, a piece of art or writing becomes a test or opportunity for working one’s imagination—an exercise in making associations.” Aparna Chivukula on choosing art over wellness apps.

• “But with the discourse about the limitations of moralizing steadily growing, the question of an alternative naturally arises. The critics of self-righteousness and trauma mongering are for the most part not calling for a return to the amoral ironism that governed the Nineties and early Aughts—the sensibility that surely gave rise, at least in part, to the overgrowth of didacticism that followed. But if not this, then what? Where do we go from here?” Anastasia Berg on “the aesthetic turn”.

• “…by choosing ordinary creatures, the fabulist naturalises the stories in a world that is close to hand, which helps the writer communicate opinions that are often subversive.” Marina Warner on Kalilah wa-Dimnah and the animal fable.

• Coming soon from Strange Attractor: Austin Osman Spare, a revised and expanded edition of Phil Baker’s excellent biography of the artist/occultist.

• At Rarefilmm: The Marat/Sade (1967), Peter Brook’s film (previously) of the 1965 Broadway production of Peter Weiss’s play.

• New music: Hostile Environment by Creation Rebel, and Tone Maps by Field Lines Cartographer.

• Mixes of the week: Isolatedmix 122 by Mary Yalex, and XLR8R Podcast 810 by Zaumne.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Pierre Clementi Day.

Sade Masoch (1968) by Bobby Callender | On Sadism (1979) by Material | Sadistic (1995) by Stereolab