Weekend links 686


The Great Lab (2020); speculative architecture by Gytis Bickus. “This room is where the majority of the hallucinogenic substances are archived, within the walls & floors. It seems as though the architecture itself is being affected by the hallucinogenic substances stored within its fabric.”

• “They ran the recording through a vocoder, so it sounded staticky, like a voice infused with white noise, and put it at the end of the song. Then they went home.” Mark Dent on Change The Beat by Beside (aka Bee-side or Beeside), a song produced by Bill Laswell & Michael Beinhorn that includes one of the most sampled vocal lines in hip-hop. A great piece of audio-archaeology: I knew the sample but had no idea this song was its source. I only got to hear the Change The Beat very recently when I found a copy of Materialism, a collection of early Laswell productions, in a charity shop.

• At Unquiet Things: Artist, Chemist, Goofball: Catching Up With Tyler Thrasher.

• DJ Food looks at psychedelic posters created for London’s Middle Earth club.

His last commissioned work for Radio Berlin was a fantastical play he had composed himself. The transcript, titled “Lichtenberg: A Cross-Section,” ranks among the strangest things that he ever wrote. Beings who live on the moon are charged with the task of investigating the career of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, a prominent physicist of the German Enlightenment. The moon beings have uncanny names—Labu, Quikko, Sofanti, and Peka—and they convene as the Moon Committee for Earth Research, which deploys odd contraptions for its work, each of them “easier to use than a coffee grinder.” There is a “Spectrophone,” which permits them to hear and see everything that happens on Earth; a “Parlamonium” that translates human speech into music; and an “Oneiroscope” that allows the researchers to observe human dreams. With the aid of these devices, the moon beings seek to understand why humans are so afflicted with misery. Their investigations finally reach the tentative conclusion that even if humans are unhappy, “perhaps it is their unhappiness that allows them to advance.” To honour the scientific achievements of Herr Lichtenberg, they conclude by naming a crater in his honour, a crater from which shines a “magical light that illumines the millennium.”

Peter E. Gordon on Walter Benjamin’s radio years

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…Brigid Brophy In Transit (1968).

15 lighthouses from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest.

Sathnam Sanghera’s favourite songs.

• RIP William Friedkin and Jamie Reid.

• New music: The Long Song by Drøne.

Lighthouse (1978) by Tim Blake | Walk To The Lighthouse (1980) by John Carpenter | The Lighthouse (1994) by Hector Zazou ft. Siouxsie

Weekend links 208


The Blue Girl (2013) by Sungwon.

• “Meanwhile, in her parents’ room [Max] Ernst painted aardvarks eating ants and big human hands around the windows. ‘Sexual connotations, I think,’ she says shyly.” Agnès Poirier talks to Cécile Eluard about her childhood among the Surrealists.

• “Thrilling and prophetic”: why film-maker Chris Marker‘s radical images influenced so many artists. Sukhdev Sandhu, William Gibson, Mark Romanek and Joanna Hogg on the elusive director.

• At Dangerous Minds: Throbbing Gristle live in Manchester in 1980, and Brian Butler talks about the rediscovered early print of Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising. There’s a trailer!

• From 1981: The Art of Fiction No. 69 at The Paris Review, an interview with Gabriel García Márquez. Related: Thomas Pynchon reviewed Love in the Time of Cholera in 1988.

• “Seven years ago, a stolen first edition of Borges’s early poems was returned to Argentina’s National Library. But was it the right copy?” Graciela Mochkofsky investigates.

• “What was Walter Benjamin doing with his shirt off in Ibiza?” Peter E. Gordon reviews Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life by Howard Eiland & Michael W. Jennings.

• A video by Marcel Weber for Måtinden, a track from Eric Holm’s Andøya album. Another album on the Subtext label that I helped design.

• More Ian Miller: Boing Boing has pages from his new book, The Art of Ian Miller, and there’s an interview at Sci-Fi-O-Rama.

Outrun Europa, a free compilation of 80s-style electronic music. There’s a lot more along those lines here.

• Praise Be! Favourite religious and spiritual records chose by writers at The Quietus.

Ralph Steadman illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1973.

British Pathé is uploading 85,000 of its newsreel films to YouTube.

• Drawings by Lebbeus Woods at The Drawing Center, New York.

• At Pinterest: Ian Miller and Kenneth Anger.

Lucifer Sam (1967) by Pink Floyd | The Surrealist Waltz (1967) by Pearls Before Swine | Which Dreamed It (1968) by Boeing Duveen And The Beautiful Soup