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 716


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

Weekend links 713


Black Cat (1910) by Shunso Hishida.

• “A duck goes quack quack in English but coin coin in French. In Spanish a dog goes guau-guau, not woof woof, while in Arabic it goes haw haw, and in Mandarin wang-wang. In Japanese cats go nyaa, and bees—having no access to the zz sound—go boon-boon.” Caspar Henderson asks “Could onomatopoeia be the origin of language?”

• Coming soon from MIT Press: Blotter: The Untold Story of an Acid Medium by Erik Davis; “the first comprehensive written account of the history, art, and design of LSD blotter paper, the iconic drug delivery device that will perhaps forever be linked to underground psychedelic culture and contemporary street art.”

• At Aquarium Drunkard: The late Damo Suzuki is remembered with a recording of Can playing at the Volkshalle Wagtzenborn-Steinberg, Giessen, October 22, 1971.

• At Unquiet Things: Another collection of Intermittent Eyeball Fodder. I was sorry to hear from that post that artist Dan Hillier had died recently. RIP.

• At Bandcamp Daily: Mouse On Mars discuss 30 years of dynamic electronic music.

• Old music: Rare Soundtracks & Lost Tapes (1973–1984) by Alain Goraguer.

• At Spoon & Tamago: The imaginary architectures of Minoru Nomata.

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

• At Vinyl Factory: Julia Holter on some of her favourite records.

• At Public Domain Review: Wanda Gág’s Millions of Cats (1928).

• Steven Heller’s Font of the Month is Cuatro.

A brief history of London’s gas lamps.

• New music: Pithovirii by Aidan Baker.

Black Cat Bone (2000) by Laika | Black Cat (2005) by Broadcast | Black Cat (2008) by Ladytron

From Beyond


Nothing to do with the HP Lovecraft story of the same name, this From Beyond is a short science-fiction film directed by Fredrik S. Hana: “A kaleidoscopic vision portraying mankind’s first meeting with alien life, told through faux archival footage combined with practical FX, miniatures and old school in-camera trickery.” Since I compiled the big list of unusual, offbeat, experimental, etc SF films earlier this year I’ve been keeping an eye out for further examples. From Beyond would certainly qualify. Watch it at YouTube or Vimeo.

The tip to this one came via Scotto Moore’s This Newsletter Cannot Save You which I added to my RSS feed recently, and which is full of more links to interesting short films. And the link to Scotto Moore came via Erik Davis. Thanks, Erik!

Weekend links 693


Imaginary (no date) by Sidney Sime.

• Victor Rees was in touch this week to alert me to a one-off screening of The Gourmet (previously), a cult TV drama from 1986 written by Kazuo Ishiguro and directed by Michael Whyte. The screening, which will take place at Swedenborg House, London, on 16th October, is one of a series of retrospective events based around an exhibition from 1974, Albion Island Vortex, by Brian Catling and Iain Sinclair. The film, which is connected to Sinclair’s oeuvre by its use of one of the Hawksmoor churches, will be followed by a Q&A session with Sinclair and Michael Whyte. The screening is free but places are limited so prior booking is required.

• “Alongside his thieves and vagabonds, Hotten includes religious slang, public schoolboy slang, pirate slang, equine stable slang, phrases coined by Dr. Johnson, the slang of softened oaths, workmen’s slang, stagehand slang, shopkeeper’s slang, and dozens of other argots.” Hunter Dukes on A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words (1860) by John Camden Hotten.

The Night Land, William Hope Hodgson’s “Dying Earth” doorstop, is republished in an abridged version as part of MIT Press’s Radium Age series, “proto–science fiction stories from the underappreciated era between 1900 and 1935”. All the reprints come with new introductions, the one for Hodgson being by Erik Davis.

• “My partner wanted me to stop buying lava lamps. It was an expensive hobby, and we were running out of room in our apartment.” Nora Claire Miller on the lure of the lava lamp. I only own a single one but I appreciate the obsessive attraction.

• Rambalac takes his roaming camera for a walk through teamLab Planets, Tokyo, a labyrinthine exhibition featuring plenty of water (and wet feet), and a moss garden filled with large silver eggs.

• At Strange Flowers: An examination of the connections between the self-mythologising Marie Corelli and her fictional counterparts in the Mapp and Lucia novels of EF Benson.

• Coming soon from Strange Attractor: Cabarets of Death, a book about the otherworldly cabarets of Montmartre by Mel Gordon, edited by Joanna Ebenstein.

• Among the new titles at Standard Ebooks, the home of free, high-quality, public-domain texts: The Secret Glory by Arthur Machen.

10 essential Japanese reggae releases selected by Kay Suzuki.

• Mix of the week: A Fact Mix by Venus Ex Machina.

Modern Art in Mid-Century Comics.

• RIP Michael Gambon.

Planet Caravan (1970) by Black Sabbath | Planet Queen (1971) by T. Rex | Oszillator Planet Concert (1971) by Tangerine Dream