Weekend links 723

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Flags of the Undiscovered Planets: 3 (1985) by César Manrique.

• “That mysterious font is Festive, not Stymie.” Ray Newman goes looking for a typeface that immediately says “Britain in the 1950s”. I used to refer to one of its relatives as “the launderette font”, although it was also a common sight on shopfronts, public buildings and other mid-century signage. Today I know it as the slab serif named Profil (aka Decorated 035), although as Newman demonstrates, this is only one of several slab-serif variants popular in the 1950s and 60s.

The Man Who Killed Google Search is a deep dive by Ed Zitron into why Google’s search has turned to shit. I recently changed the search option for all the browsers on my machines to DuckDuckGo. It’s not perfect but it’ll do for now.

• New music: Daddy’s Gonna Tell You No Lie, music by Sun Ra performed by Laraaji and the Kronos Quartet; Chroma by Loscil / Lawrence English; Homage To Hennix (The Electric Harpsichord Reinterpreted) by Dave Seidel.

• At Colossal: Tune into your own brain waves with Steve Parker’s suspended constellations of salvaged brass.

• At Bajo el Signo de Libra: Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840): Icono del Romanticismo Alemán.

• At Public Domain Review: Maria Catharina Prestel’s Printed Cabinet of Drawings (ca. 1780s).

• At Unquiet Things: The teeming, tumbling, tangled cosmos of Madeline Von Foerster.

• Mix of the week: A mix for The Wire by FUJI||||||||||TA.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: 77 planetariums.

Planet D (Portishead Remix) (1994) by The Sabres Of Paradise | Planet Munich (1998) by Add N To (X) | Planet Vega (2000) by Air

Weekend links 688

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Ascending to the Cathedral, Barcelona (1938/1960) by Kati Horna.

The rise and fall of Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong’s infamous urban monolith. Related: a four-and-a-half-hour walkthrough of Stray, a game in which you help a cat escape from a deteriorated robot-filled housing complex.

• Quote of the week: “The true master requires the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” Thus Vladimir Nabokov at Lawrence Weschler’s Wondercabinet.

• New music: Orion Nebula by Christian Wittman, and Chthonic by Lawrence English & Lea Bertucci.

Chapter by chapter, Flaubert lampoons his poor pair, who fail at discipline after attempted discipline: landscape architecture, anatomy, history, literature, phrenology, religion, even love, and on and on. In each pursuit, they never lose the optimism or the hubris of thinking they can put their knowledge to work in the world. When they become interested in pedagogy, they adopt a pair of abandoned children who are at turns mystified by and contemptuous of their efforts to improve their well-being. The fruit trees fail, the novel is abandoned, a cat is boiled alive, the children cause scandals.

David Schurman Wallace explores the hazards of distraction with a detour through Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pecuchet

• At AnOther: Peter De Potter’s new book explores the erotic performance of social media.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Hobart LaRoche presents…15 experimental video games.

Take a look at a book chronicling the albums of Island Records.

• At Colossal: Gabriel Schama’s laser-cut plywood reliefs.

Orion (1986) by Metallica | Shades Of Orion (1993) by Shades Of Orion | Orion (2001) by Jah Wobble and Bill Laswell

Weekend links 676

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Sleeve Study, from Kakitsubata (1998) by Paul Binnie.

• “London was not a project for me. It was the curse that never stops giving.” Iain Sinclair talking to Matthew Stocker about his new book for Swan River Press, Agents of Oblivion.

The Ultimate DMT Breakthrough Replication Compilation, a video guide to the DMT experience by Josie Sims. Related: Kristen French on what hallucinogens will make you see.

• At Spoon & Tamago: A return to Tokyo Genso’s depictions of an urban Japan transformed by vegetation and neglect.

• New music: The Shell That Speaks The Sea by David Toop & Lawrence English.

• At Bajo el Signo de Libra: San Sebastián de Mártir a Icono Homosexual.

• Cosmic views from the Milky Way Photographer of the Year, 2023.

Nakamura Mitsue makes a Noh mask from a single block of wood.

• Mix of the week: A mix for The Wire by Eleni Poulou.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Delphine Seyrig Day.

Of Ancient Memory (The Oblivion Seekers) (1994) by Jarboe | Oblivion (2001) by Lustmord | Oblivion (2004) by Redshift

Weekend links 644

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Yoshitoshi’s Ghosts (2004) by Paul Binnie.

• “The later Grand Etteilla series, printed well into the nineteenth century, and the present-day proliferation of Tarot decks, following ephemeral fads and fashions, all trace their origins to this beautiful and beguiling creation from the enigmatic Egyptophile at 48 Rue de L’Oseille.” Kevin Dann on the Livre de Thot Tarot (ca. 1789) by Jean-Baptiste Alliette, better known as “Etteilla”.

• “Death is not a subject he has ever shied away from, in his fiction or conversation. Indeed, he has measured other writers by how seriously they address it.” Richard B. Woodward on his friend, Cormac McCarthy, and McCarthy’s new novels. There’s an exclusive extract from The Passenger here.

• “…addicts, psychopaths, lovelorn outsiders, cult leaders, lesbian and gay icons…you name it, the vampire has become it.” Christopher Frayling on the perennial popularity of the vampire, and a new book collection of vampire film posters.

Robert Wilson‘s new production of Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry is “a sinister, multilingual pantomime bathed in red light and looped in noise…fittingly violent, absurd, ominous and infantile”.

• “What kind of music goes with a show that originates in deep space?” Aquarium Drunkard on Sonny Sharrock’s final recordings, the soundtrack music for Space Ghost Coast To Coast.

• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine takes a fresh look at the health of secondhand bookshops in Britain.

• Tokyo nightlife photographed by Hosokawa Ryohei.

• New music: Approach by Lawrence English.

The Passenger (1977) by Iggy Pop | The Passenger (1987) by Siouxsie And The Banshees | The Passenger (1997) by Lunachicks

Weekend links 642

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A light wheel. Via.

• “Part of the instrument’s draw is its fallibility. Famously, or perhaps infamously, every Rhodes is different: some freakishly responsive, some with keys that stick like glue, and all with uneven registers, darker corners, and sweet spots.” Hugh Morris on the delicate art of reinventing the Fender Rhodes.

Rambalac’s YouTube channel of first-person walks through Japanese locations is a vicarious pleasure, especially on a big screen. It’s not all city streets but if you like urban meandering then Tokyo walk from day to rainy night – Higashi-Ikebukuro, Mejiro, Ikebukuro is a good place to start.

• At Igloomag: Chang Terhune interviews Stephen Mallinder in a gratifyingly lengthy piece which covers Mallinder’s recent solo recordings and collaborations, his work with students on his sound-art course, and (unavoidably) the late Richard H. Kirk and Cabaret Voltaire.

What I think might be a useful approach—perhaps impractical, but bear me out—I think that if we were to reconnect magic and art as a starting point, because they’re practically the same thing anyway, make art the product of your magical experiments, the way that Austin Spare did for example, then that would give magic an enormous sense of purpose and I think it would also lend art the vision that it seems to be lacking at present. A lot of modern art seems rather empty and hollow conceptualism that lacks any real vision or substance or power. A linking of magic and art would help both of those fields. Then, once you’ve done that, maybe linking art and science. There’s plenty of work already done in that regard.

Alan Moore talking to Miles Ellingham about the usual concerns plus his new story collection, Illuminations

Wheels of Light: Designs for British Light Shows 1970–1990 is a book by Kevin Foakes (aka DJ Food) which will be published later this month by Four Corners Books. The author talks about his book here.

• “The Sandjak of Novi Pazar always sounded as if it were a title, like the Sultan of Zanzibar or the Dame of Sark…” Mark Valentine on discovering outdated maps in forgotten books.

• “My brief was to find tracks that had been left by the wayside or disregarded.” Lenny Kaye on 50 years of his influential garage-rock compilation Nuggets.

• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 768 by Lawrence English, and King Scratch (Musical Masterpieces from the Upsetter Ark-ive) by Aquarium Drunkard.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959).

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

• This Wheel’s On Fire (1968) by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity | Cosmic Wheels (1973) by Donovan | Wheels On Fire (1985) by Haruomi Hosono