Weekend links 349


• Before Stanley Kubrick fixed an image of Alex and his droogs in the popular imagination, artists could get away with playing on the threat of biker gangs as Wilson McLean does in this vaguely psychedelic cover from 1969. (McLean’s interpretation may possibly derive from a 1965 edition.) LibraryThing has a collection of Clockwork Orange covers from around the world which run the gamut of cogs, orange hues and variations on David Pelham’s famous Penguin design from 1972. Meanwhile, AL Kennedy celebrates 100 years of Anthony Burgess by examining the writer’s career as a whole, although the web feature still manages to get a photo of Malcolm McDowell in there.

• “Even bad books can change lives,” says Phil Baker reviewing The Outsider by Colin Wilson and Beyond the Robot, a Wilson biography by Gary Lachman. I wouldn’t call The Outsider a bad book but Wilson’s more wayward opinions (and later works) are best treated with scepticism.

• “Murtaugh refers to his subject’s ‘pervasive sense of doom’ and Welch himself speaks of ‘the extraordinary sadness of everything.'” David Pratt reviewing Good Night, Beloved Comrade: The Letters of Denton Welch to Eric Oliver, edited by Daniel J. Murtaugh.

• At The Quietus this week: Tinariwen bassist Eyadou Ag Leche is interviewed by Richie Troughton, Jane Weaver unveils a new song from her forthcoming album, Modern Kosmology, and Danny Riley explores the strange world of Ben Chasny.

• “A micro-history of cultural gatekeeping: once told by the censors what we may read, then by critics what we should, we are now told merely what we can read.” Ben Roth writing against the use of “readability” as a literary value.

• Yayoi Kusama’s amazing infinity rooms are at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, until May. For the rest of us, Peter Murphy’s panoramic photo is still online.

• More music: my friends Watch Repair have become visible enough to be interviewed by an Argentinian website. The group’s Bandcamp page recently made three new releases available.

• Yet more music: They Walk Among Us, a new song and video by Barry Adamson, and Anymore, a new song and video by Goldfrapp.

• Earth and The Bug announce Concrete Desert, a collaborative album inspired by Los Angeles and the fiction of JG Ballard.

• Bad Books for Bad People: Episode 7: The Incal – Epic French Space-Opera Comics.

• Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 589 by Aisha Devi, and Secret Thirteen Mix 212 by Qual.

Eduardo Paolozzi‘s forays into fashion and furnishings.

Cooking with Vincent [Price]

Moroccan Tape Stash

• Tin Toy Clockwork Train (1986) by The Dukes Of Stratosphear | Clock (1995) by Node | Clockwork Horoscope (2009) by Belbury Poly

Eno’s Luminous Opera House panorama


I’m a bit late with this one but better late than never. Brian Eno’s illuminated transformation of the Sydney Opera House, part of the city’s Luminous Festival, was widely publicised last month but I never got round to checking it out properly. This week Thom drew my attention (thanks Thom!) to this panorama by photographer Peter Murphy whose marvellous view inside one of Yayoi Kusama’s mirror rooms I linked to in March. Looking on Murphy’s site I see he has another Kusama panorama showing a view inside Phalli’s Field (or Floor Show). And while we’re on the subject of Ms Kusama, she currently has a room at London’s Hayward Gallery as part of their Walking in My Mind series by different artists. You can see a reaction to that here.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The panoramas archive

Infinite reflections


Fireflies on the Water by Yayoi Kusama (2002).

One of my favourite contemporary artworks, Fireflies on the Water by Yayoi Kusama, receives a new showing at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Her mirrored room features 150 lights and a pool of water and while most photos show an impressive work, none of them can match this fantastic 360º panorama by Australian photographer Peter Murphy. Kusama isn’t the only artist to use mirrors this way but mirror rooms and reflective surfaces have become as much a recurrent feature of her work as her trademark spots.

Fireflies on the Water is being shown as part of the Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years exhibition and can be seen until June 8th, 2009. (Via Nevertheless.)


Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras (1966).

I’ve often wondered how far back the invention of the fully-mirrored room can be traced. Halls of mirrors are historically common but the mirrors tend to be on the walls only. American artist Lucas Samaras produced his Mirrored Room (with mirrored chair and table) in 1966, something which fascinated me when I first encountered it in art books.


It evidently fascinated ex-art student Brian Eno who I’m sure must have borrowed the idea for the cover of his collaboration with Robert Fripp, (No Pussyfooting), in 1973. I’ve always assumed this was a room in Eno’s home at the time but never seen that confirmed. Anyone know whether this is the case?

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The panoramas archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Josiah McElheny
Yayoi Kusama
The art of Yayoi Kusama
Exposure by Robert Fripp