Saturday, December 29, 2007
There has never been a film like Le Sang d'un Poete (Blood of a Poet). It was not only the first film made by Cocteau, one that ignited another satisfying scandal, but it brought all his diverse talents into focus in a medium that was new to him. The work represents an aesthetic milestone in Cocteau's career.
The idea of a film had its germination during a house party given by Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles at Hyeres in 1929. Georges Auric, Cocteau's lifelong musical collaborator, surprised his hosts by announcing that he wanted to compose the score for an animated cartoon. Cocteau was asked on the spot to provide a scenario. After some discussion, the Noailles agreed to give Cocteau a million francs to make a real film with a score by Auric. This became The Blood of a Poet, still one of the most widely viewed of all Cocteau's screenworks. Cocteau described its disturbing series of voyeuristic tableaux as "a descent into oneself, a way of using the mechanism of the dream without sleeping, a crooked candle, often mysteriously blown out, carried about in the night of the human body."
Technically, The Blood of a Poet reflects Cocteau's trials and errors as a novice filmmaker who had to turn irreversible mistakes to his advantage and improvise every celluloid foot of the way. During shooting, he used the dust raised by studio cleaning men to enhance the mysterious atmosphere of the final scenes. Special weightless effects were obtained by camera trickery to show the little girl flying up to the ceiling and the poet moving painfully along the corridor wall. Once Cocteau discovered that he could turn shooting disasters into happy accidents, he was off on a career of making films that carried his cachet of surprises: the miraculous mirror and mercury scene in Orphee, he live arms holding candlebra from he walls of La Belle et la Bete, and the accelerated time sequences of flowers opening in Le Testament d'Orphee are only a few of his trucs.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Dragnet, starring our favorite TV cop, Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday. In this episode The Big Seventeen. Joe is working hard to find a 17 year old kid who has a stolen a bunch of high grade heroin. If he starts selling it to other kids Joe fears a lot of kids will overdose on the uncut drugs. But the police are too late, and the kid who stole the drugs dies of a drug overdose. Overall, a terrific Dragnet episode also features an interesting part where the kids went crazy and trashed the movie theater. And the owner turns over a little box filled with drugs to Joe. What's in the box? Two joints of marijuana. Is that what I think it is. I am not wrong am I?? Joe responds ? No sir, no mistake, it marijuana. Weed of insanity.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Documentary film presented by The Late Shift on the 1971 Glastonbury Festival - 1 hr 33 min 18 sec. More info at UK Rockfestivals
One of the most legendary and mystical festivals held in the Uk, the second Glastonbury Festival was held to coincide with the summer ... all » solstice - mainly because of the deeply held beliefs of the organizers - who instead of being hard faced promoters - were pretty much immersed in the pudding of mysticism. In this sense they were far more in tune with their potential audience than those who were only into promoting festivals to make money. Those who attended this bash attest that this was something out of the ordinary, the festival transcended the usual obstacles to having a great time.
The weather was, for a British 'summer' - very good, there were no major hassles from locals, the police or health inspectors. It shows how, given the right circumstances, a music festival could really break through the conventional barriers that regulate behaviour and which prevent us from really being ourselves. This was one of the rare UK festivals where the British reserve was truly dissolved and almost everyone let their hair down, the barriers between audience and performers melted, at times they became one and the film attests to the truth of this happening, its the only film of a British rock festival which is truly uplifting .Possibly one reason for this was that the event was only attended by about 7,000, and was more or less free, being subsidised by a coterie of well heeled heads.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
This 15 minute video is based on a public reenactment of a speech originally given by author and activist Howard Zinn at a peace rally on May 5, 1971. In this stirring speech, Zinn defended the use of civil disobedience to protest the war in Vietnam and called on Congress to impeach the president and vice president of the United States for the high crime of waging war on the people of Southeast Asia. The reenactment was staged on Boston Common on July 14, 2006. It is part of the Port Huron Project:
The Port Huron Project is a series of reenactments of protest speeches from the New Left movements of the 1960s and '70s. Each event takes place at the site of the original speech, and is delivered by a performer to an audience of invited guests and passers-by. Videos, audio recordings, and photographs of these performances are presented in various venues and distributed online (MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Blip.tv) and on DVD as open-source media. Three reenactments have been staged to date; three more are planned for 2008.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Live - unknown venue
One of the finest musical groups ever fashioned under the Australian sun....
Monday, December 03, 2007
"Joe Coleman (b. 1955) has been known through the last decades as an "infernal machine", a "fish-fucking satanist" and by the Charles Manson qoute "Joe Coleman is a caveman in a spaceship!". His early days as a wild and unhinged performance artist were documented in the Re/Search "Pranks!" book, which hardly mentioned that he was a painter. Later, his paintings has reached a large audience and fan base through cover art for many of the Amok and Feral House books, like "You Can't Win" and "Apocalypse Culture". Also, the two Coleman "solo" books "Cosmic Retribution" and "Original Sin" gives a great and impressive view into his visuals. The former also includes his early b&w illustrations of the life stories of the killer Carl Panzram and the travelling hobos Boxcar Bertha and Jack Black. Nowadays he's doing paintings that requires him to use a magnifying lens and brushes that are down to just one hair. When seeing his work reproduced, one imagines that the paintings are huge, but they're actually only 20 to 25 inches wide.
What Coleman does is often called "outsider art". The original term was "art brut", and referred to mentally disturbed artists like the unschooled and schizophrenic Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930), who started painting at the age of 31, after being institutionalized for raping a 5 year old girl. The term "outsider art" today encompasses all sorts of intuitive, visionary art, self-taught art and contemporary folk art. The main characteristics of outsider art according to the experts are "dense ornamentation", "compulsively repeated patterns", "enigmatic calligraphy" and "wayward symmetry". All of this certainly applies to Coleman's work, but Coleman is also separate from the "outsiders" because he has some formal education, a huge knowledge of art history and an acute awareness of his own psychology." by Jan Bruun
Friday, November 30, 2007
4′33″ (Four minutes, thirty-three seconds) is a musical composition by American avant-garde composer John Cage (1912–1992). It was composed in 1952 for any instrument (or combination of instruments), and the score instructs the performer to not play the instrument during the entire duration of the piece. Although commonly perceived as "four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence",the piece actually consists of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed.Over the years, 4′33″ became Cage's most famous and most controversial composition.
Conceived in 1948, while Cage was working on Sonatas and Interludes,4′33″ was for Cage the epitome of aleatoric music and of his idea that any sounds constitute, or may constitute, music.It was also a reflection of the influence of Zen Buddhism, which Cage studied since the late 1940s. In a 1982 interview, and on numerous other occasions, Cage has stated that 4′33″ is, in his opinion, his most important work.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Condition One level weather in Antarctica. Filmed at McMurdo Station, where it is relatively sheltered by the surrounding hills. The weather in Antarctica is classified as being Condition 3 (nice weather), Condition 2 (not so nice), or Condition 1...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The Sunday Times November 18, 2007
SCIENTISTS leading global research into climate change have set out a stark vision of how the world will change if humanity fails to tackle surging greenhouse gas emissions.
A report issued yesterday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described how a warming world would threaten billions of people with thirst and malnutrition, endanger more than half of wildlife species with extinction and initiate a melting of the Greenland ice cap that could raise global sea levels by more than 22ft.
Such warnings have been heard before but never with so much scientific certainty. The IPCC’s report was based on 29,000 observations taken around the world and published in more than 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Yesterday, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, who unveiled the report in Valencia, Spain, said: “All humanity must now assume responsibility for climate change.”
Ban has just been on a trip to Antarctica and South America, where he saw melting glaciers and ice-shelves. He said: “I come to you humbled after seeing some of the most precious treasures of our planet threatened by humanity’s own hand
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Two decades after Agricola’s legions routed the Britons at Mons Graupins, it was the Romans who were sent packing from their fort at Vindolanda. This program uses outstanding reenactments of period combat and archaeological treasures from the dig at the fort to re-create garrison life along Rome’s northern frontier. And the greatest treasure of all? Letters, lists, and notes written on wooden tablets, preserved in the ground for 2,000 years, that tell the story of the men who lived and died near the future site of Hadrian’s Wall—in their own words. Topics range from weapons and tactics to post-battle surgery, from punishments to the pleasures of the bathhouse.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Fritz Lang's 'M' has been called many things: 'frightfully good', 'the predecessor to all serial killer thrillers like Psycho and The Silence Of The Lambs', 'one of the defining movies of European pre-WWII cinema' and much more. 'M' premiered May 11th 1931 in the Ufa-Palast am Zoo in Berlin to the standing ovations of an enthusiastic audience. Cyberroach
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
When I lived in Amsterdam for most of 1998 I played didgeridoo almost everyday in the small Flower Market, the Kalverstraat, the Leidseplein and along Damrak. One of the highlights of this period of my performance practice was spending a few days in the company of SK Thoth. I performed on the Kalverstraat with Thoth about three times. This is Thoth today, what an inspiration!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
This morning I listened to Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee. When I was 15 years old a local sharecropper (who was also a Scottish fisherman from Dundee) gave me a harmonica and some photocopied pages about Terry and McGee. I started hitchhiking at about the same time, between the small towns that my school friends (and a girlfriend) lived in. It was the beginning of a life of travel. I got the key to the highway, a harp some good shoes and a pack with some bread in it.......
Thursday, October 18, 2007
FLCL (フリクリ) all episodes strung together - 2 hr 16 min 57 sec. FLCL is an anime OVA series co-produced by Gainax and Production I.G.. The series was created and directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki, and written by Yōji Enokido.
Furi Kuri follows Naota Nandaba, a twelve-year-old boy living in the fictional Japanese suburb of Mabase. The industrial town houses the Medical Mechanica building, the reason for Haruko Haruhara's visit to the usually quiet suburb.
Naota's life is confined to going to school and living with his father and grandfather. The usually tranquil life in Mabase in interrupted with the arrival of Haruko Haruhara, who burst on the scene by running Naota over with her Vespa motor scooter and hitting him on the head with a Rickenbacker bass guitar. Later, Naota finds Haruko working in his house as a live-in maid.
Haruko's search for Atomsk puts her at odds with Medical Mechanica. At the same time, Naota is being watched by Commander Amarao. The Commander believes Haruko is in love with Atomsk and Medical Mechanica is out to conquer the galaxy. The fortuitous circumstances get Naota involved in a three way battle between Haruko, Amarao and Medical Mechanica.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Jodorowsky For One Week Only (Jonathan Ross, BBC)
Alejandro Jodorowsky or Alexandro Jodorowsky (born February 7, 1929, in Iquique, Chile) is a philosopher, scholar in comparative religion, playwright, director, producer, composer, actor, mime, comic book writer, tarot card reader and historian, and psychotherapist.
He started his film career in Mexico with Fando y Lis (1968). The feature-length film debuted in Acapulco at the Film Festival and is famous for having incited a full scale riot there, requiring that Jodorowsky be smuggled out in a limousine.
Alejandro Jodorowsky speaking in Sitges festival of cinema 2006El Topo (1970), a mystical western, was his second film and is now considered a cult classic. John Lennon and Yoko Ono helped to arrange the film's release and distribution in the United States through Beatles manager Allen Klein.
Jodorowsky's third film, La Montaña Sagrada (The Holy Mountain) (1973), was entirely financed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. At a projected budget of $1,500,000 (in USA dollars), it was the most expensive Mexican film production to date. It has been suggested that the Holy Mountain may be inspired by Rene Daumal novel Mount Analogue.
Jodorowsky began working in 1975 on an adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune. The project was intended to involve his son Brontis (Paul), Orson Welles as the Baron, Salvador Dalí as the Emperor, Mick Jagger as Feyd Rautha, Alain Delon as Duncan Idaho, Geraldine Chaplin as Lady Jessica, Dan O'Bannon for the script, Chris Foss, Pink Floyd, H.R. Giger and Jean Giraud (Mœbius). Ultimately, its funding evaporated, but Jodorowsky claimed it was sabotaged by the major studios in Hollywood because it was too French, a strange claim considering that Jodorowsky, while a naturalized citizen of France, has never identified with any particular country or culture (although the funding and his producer, Jerome Seydoux, were French). Many close to the project claim that the set designs later turned up in Star Wars. Several of the people working on Jodorowsky's version of Dune later worked on Alien with elements (specifically those designed by Giger) similar to that of the failed Dune project. In the early 1980s, David Lynch would later make the first film adaptation of Dune.
In 1989 Jodorowsky completed the Mexican-Italian production Santa Sangre. The film received limited theatrical distribution, putting Jodorowsky back on the cultural map despite its mixed critical reviews. The film delved into psychodrama territory with its protagonist becoming the amputated arms and hands of his mother and committing a string of murders in the process. Several of Jodorowsky's sons were recruited as actors.
He followed in 1990 with a very different film, The Rainbow Thief. Though it gave Jodorowsky a chance to work with actual "movie stars" Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif, the producer effectively curtailed most of Jodorowsky's artistic inclinations, threatening to fire him on the spot if anything in the script was changed.
Monday, October 08, 2007
"In 1968 The Living Theatre, led by Julian Beck and Judith Malina, triumphantly returned to America from years of self-imposed exile in Europe with their theatrical breakthrough Paradise Now. The play introduces the practice of collective creation, dissolving the boundaries of human interactions and forging a harmony between the actors and audience. Of this process, Julian Beck writes, "Collective creation is the secret weapon of the people... This play is a voyage from the many to the one and from the one to the many. It's a spiritual voyage and a political voyage, a voyage for the actors and the spectators. The play is a vertical ascent toward permanent revolution, leading to revolutionary action here and now. The revolution of which the play speaks is the beautiful, non-violent, anarchist revolution. The purpose of the play is to lead to a state of being in which non-violent revolutionary action is possible."
Order the DVD.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Things to Come (1 hour 32 mins) is a 1936 British science fiction film, produced by Alexander Korda and directed by William Cameron Menzies. The screenplay was written by H. G. Wells and is a loose adaptation of his own 1933 novel The Shape of Things to Come. The film stars Raymond Massey.
Plot: On the Christmas Eve of 1940, war begins as the city of Everytown is bombed. The war lasts 66 years, during which time civilization falls into anarchy. Eventually the warlord who calls himself The Boss emerges to establish brutish control over the chaos. But then a scientific group called Wings Over the World emerges and is able to quash the regime of The Boss using a peace gas. The scientists then set about building a shining white new scientific Utopia on the ruins of the old civilization. In the year 2036, the culmination of the new society's scientific vision is the launching of the first Moon shot. «
Monday, September 10, 2007
Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian soft science fiction novella by Ray Bradbury that was published in 1953.
The novel presents a future in which all books are banned and critical thought is suppressed. The central character, Guy Montag, is employed as a "fireman" (which, in this case, means "book burner"). 451 degrees Fahrenheit is stated as "the temperature at which book-paper catches fire, and burns …". (451 °F equals 233 °C) It was originally published as a shorter novella, The Fireman, in the February 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. A film adaptation, by François Truffaut, was released in 1966, and another is anticipated to begin filming in 2008. In addition to the movie, there have been at least two BBC Radio 4 dramatizations, both of which follow the book very closely.
Over the years, the novel has been subject to various interpretations, primarily focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. However, Bradbury has stated that the novel is not about censorship, but is a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which ultimately leads to ignorance of total facts.
Bradbury has stated that the entirety of his novel was written in the basement of UCLA's Powell library on a pay typewriter. His original intention in writing Fahrenheit 451 was to show his great love for books and libraries. He has often referred to Montag as an allusion to himself.
Friday, September 07, 2007
This is a video about conditions inside Kerobokan Prison in Bali, Indonesia. This is not a place you would want to find yourself in. Indonesia has over 450 reported prisons. It will come as no surprise to anyone that Indonesia has imprisoned large amounts of Papuans during its occupation of and genocide in West Papua. Kept in terrible conditions, prisoners are often tortured and many ‘disappear’ or are poisoned. As well there are over 30 Australians in jail in Bali of which 6 are facing the death penalty. For information and assistance regarding jail in Indonesia of non-residents see the Foreign Prisoner Support Service - Indonesia.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Scratch (92 mins) is a 2001 documentary film, directed by Doug Pray, that examines cultural and historical perspectives on the birth and evolution of hip-hop disc jockeys (DJs), scratching and turntablism and includes interviews with some of hip-hop's most famous and respected DJs.
Interviewees include: Grand Wizard Theodore (the inventor of the scratch), Grand Mixer Q-bert (Title given by Grand Mixer DXT to Q Bert in the movie), Grand Mixer DXT, Z-Trip, Mix Master Mike, Rob Swift, DJ Premier, Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzy Jay, Cut Chemist, NuMark, DJ Craze, DJ Shadow, DJ Babu and DJ Krush. Madlib and Peanut Butter Wolf also make uncredited appearances at a scrathching jam session.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Fitzcarraldo Dir. Werner Herzog (1982)
Yesterday I saw My Best Fiend (German: Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski, literally My Dearest Enemy - Klaus Kinski) the 1999 documentary about the professional and personal relationship between German film maker Werner Hezog and actor Klaus Kinski. It was a fascinating protrait of two manic and dedicated artists. Dedicated to the point were life seemed secondary to the vision of creation. I have seen ( a long time ago) two of the five films Hezog and Kinski made together, Fitzcarraldo (above) and Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972):
These films are like hallucinations which seep through a rip in the fabric of time. Ghosts emerging from the mist swirling round the riverhead of consiousness. After I watched My Best Fiend at a friends place we emerged from the apartment to an oncoming rain storm. As the large drops began to fall I cycled fast through the forest to get home, everywhere my eye fell upon seemed wonderous. Green leaves holding water as they slowly bowed beneath the crystal weight. A plastic toy tractor left in a parking space in a full carpark. The playground deserted outside our home. Ín the documentary Herzog said he had trouble directing Kinski when the latter came to realize he was just a speck on the landscape and not the focus of the film image. The jungle, river, mountain were the stars of these films. The Kinski figures which gesticulate (á la Artaud) in the landscape, attempting to escape or master it are actually in a death struggle and are unaware of it. I think these films are important documents which witness the emergence of a new subjective state in the western ideal; I suppose one could say postmodernist but I think the term is fast becoming redundant. Perhaps posthuman is better:
N. Katherine Hayles, whose book How We Became Posthuman grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism - which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a "shell" or vehicle for the mind - becomes increasingly complicated in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries because information technology put the human body in question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technological advancements while understanding information as "disembodied," that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices. 
The posthuman is a being that relies on context rather than relativity, on situated objectivity rather than universal objectivity, and on the creation of meaning through 'play' between constructions of informational pattern and reductions to the randomness of on/off switches, which are the foundation of digital binary systems
Thursday, August 23, 2007
“Society can only be changed if human beings who have created it ... all change themselves. That is the real problem, the real core of the problem.… Unless humanity, of which we are, changes fundamentally you cannot bring about a society which is healthy, sane, rational. The materialists won't accept this. They say, change the environment then man changes. That is the totalitarian attitude.” J. Krishnamurti
Sunday, August 12, 2007
This is the Mu-Mesons a group which centered around the younger of the two singers in this film, Jaimie Leonarder. I saw the Mesons play maybe 10 times in the early 1990s including at a wedding at the old Journalists Club near Central Station (like no other wedding I have ever been to, Liz and Nick where are you now??) In 1994 I accompanied the Mesons and Phlegm, Lucas Abela and various other Sydney noise identities on a tour of Melbourne. A week away it was a turning point in my life, as I wrote an article about it for the fanzine I would work on the following year, Gar Gah Gag. We published some of Dr Bill's poetry (he is the pirate looking member of the Mesons). The genius of the Mu-Mesons was the freedom one experienced at their gigs; nobody was ever sure what would happen. Elvis numbers could follow a 40 minute noise wave and then space age bachelor pad music until the band removed their clothes and sang nursery rhymes. True joy. Here is a trailer for a film about jamie.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
On December 10, 1992. The Hon. Paul Keating Prime Minister of Australia gave the following address to launch the International Year of the World's Indigenous People. This speech was recently voted as the most important speech ever given in Australia. (more)
Monday, August 06, 2007
Narrated by Leonard Cohen!
Part 1: A Way Of Life
Part 2: The Great Liberation
According to Buddhist scholar and translator Robert Thurman (father of Uma), The Tibetan Book of the Dead, or Bardo Thodol, “organizes the experiences of the between—(Tibetan, bar-do) usually referring to the state between death and rebirth.” While The Book of the Dead has, of course, a long and illustrious history in Tibetan Buddhist life, it also has its place in the history of the West, particularly among 20th century intellectuals and artists. In the 1950s, for example, there was talk among Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, and Aldous Huxley to turn the Bardo into a ballet with a Greek chorus. Huxley, who famously spent his final hours on an acid trip, asked that a passage from the book be read to him as he lay dying: “Hey! Noble one, you named Aldous Huxley! Now the time has come for you to seek the way….”
In another, less trippy, example of Eastern mysticism meets Western artist, the video above (continued below) features poet and troubadour Leonard Cohen narrating a two-part documentary series from 1994 that explores the ancient Tibetan teachings on death and dying. As Cohen tells it above, in Tibetan tradition, the time spent in the between supposedly lasts 49 days after a person’s death. During that time, a Buddhist yogi reads the Bardo each day, while the consciousness of the dead person, so it is believed, hovers between one life and another, and can hear the instructions read to him or her. The film gives us an intimate look at this ceremony, performed after the death of a villager—with its intricate rituals and ancient, unbound, hand-printed text of the book—and touches on the tricky political issues of Buddhist practice in largely Chinese-controlled Tibet. In this first installment above, The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Way of Life, the Dalai Lama weighs in with his own views on life and death (at 33:22). Before his appearance, the film provides some brief context of his supposed incarnation from the 13th Dalai Lama and his rise to governance, then exile.
The second installment of the series, The Great Liberation (also above), follows an old Buddhist lama and a thirteen-year-old novice monk as they guide another deceased person with the text of the Bardo. The National Film Board of Canada, who produced the series (you can purchase the DVD on their website), did well in their choice of Cohen as narrator. Not only is his deep, soothing voice the kind of thing you might want to hear reading to you as you slipped into the between realms (or just slipped off to sleep), but his own journey has brought him to an abiding appreciation for Buddhism. Although Cohen has always identified strongly with Judaism—incorporating Jewish themes and texts into his songs and poetry—he found refuge in Zen Buddhism late in life. Two years after this film, he was ordained as a Zen Buddhist monk at age 62, at the Mount Baldy Zen Center east of Los Angeles (where Ram Dass, Oliver Stone, and Richard Gere also practiced). Cohen’s “Dharma name”? Jikan, or “Silent One.”
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Perhaps the overriding theme of Gibson's work is the knowledge that, as Bukatman (1993: 5) (rather clumsily) puts it '[t]echnology and the human are no longer so dichotomous'. The boundaries between subjects, their bodies and the 'outside world' are, like everything else, being radically reconfigured (Haraway, 1991; Plant, 1993). The division between technology and nature is dissolving as the analytic categories we draw upon to give structure to our world - the biological, the technological, the natural, the artificial, and the human - begin to blur (Stone, 1991: 101-2). The mainstreaming of cosmetic surgery and the rise of biotechnology, genetic engineering and nanotechnology have led some to contemplate that the next 'generation could very well be the l ast...of "pure" humans' (Deitch, 1995). A programmatic users guide on new technological developments (Rucker et al., 1993: 100) puts it like this: 'We are already cyborgs. My mother, for instance, leads a relatively normal life thanks to a pacemaker. Beyo nd that, genetic engineering and nanotechnology...offer us the possibility of literally being able to change our bodies into new and different forms...a form of postbiological humanity can be achieved within the next fifty years'. Cyberpunk as Social and Political Theory
RJ Burrows, March 1995
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Very Nice, Very Nice is a 7 minute long avant-garde film made by Arthur Lipsett in 1961. It was completed with funding from the National Film Board of Canada. While working at the National Film Board, Lipsett collected pieces of audio and pieced them together as a hobby. When his friends heard the product of this they suggested that he add images to it. This film is the result. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject in 1962. This film brought Lipsett much acclaim and for a time allowed him great freedom in the Canadian film industry, however, his follow up films were less mainstream and the public quickly lost interest in him. By 1970 this film had 200 prints in circulation. It is often shown at film festivals and in film schools.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sonic Outlaws, a fragmented, gleefully anarchic documentary by Craig Baldwin, approaches this incident from several directions. Some of the film is about the legal nightmare that ensued from Negativland's little joke. In a highly publicized case, U2's label, Island Records, charged Negativland with copyright and trademark infringement for appropriating the letter U and the number 2, even though U2 had in turn borrowed its name from the Central Intelligence Agency. SST then dropped Negativland, suppressed the record and demanded that the group pay legal fees. Trying to remain solvent, Negativland sent out a barrage of letters and legal documents that are now collected in "Fair Use", an exhaustive, weirdly fascinating scrapbook about the case.
Sonic Outlaws covers some of the same territory while also expanding upon the ideas behind Negativland's guerilla recording tactics. Guerilla is indeed the word, since these and other appropriation artists see themselves as engaged in real warfare, inundated by the commercial airwaves, infuriated by the propaganda content of much of what they hear and see, these artists strike back by rearranging contexts as irreverently as possible. Their technological capabilities are awesome enough to mean no sound or image is tamper-proof today.
The is a documentary from, I think Colombian TV about the suburb of La Sierra in Medellin. Much of the program is made up of the amazing doumentary La Sierra by Scott Dalton and Margaita Martinez. Dolton and Martinez's film is one of the most incredible pieces of documentary film making I have seen. The Colombian TV program does not convey the pace and intensity that La Sierra has but it does have some good background information on those featured in the original film. It is in Spanish.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
John Fahey (February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001) was an American fingerstyle guitarist and composer who pioneered the steel-string guitar as a solo instrument. His style has been greatly influential and has been described as American Primitive, a term borrowed from painting and referring mainly to the self-taught nature of his art. Fahey himself borrowed from the folk and blues traditions of America but incorporated classical, Brazilian, Indian and abstract music into his eclectic oeuvre. In 2003, he was ranked 35th in Rolling Stone's "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Sunday, July 22, 2007
[The fraidy cats at Youtube have taken down the nude Blah Blah Blah In the Raw clip...so here is the official video from the Goat, still gives you the throaty thrill of Stu and the lads but without the knob shots]
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
David Graeber is an anarchist and anthropologist. He is an associate professor of anthropology at Yale University, although Yale has controversially declined to rehire him, and his term there ended in June 2007. On June 15, 2007, Graeber accepted the offer of a senior lectureship in the anthropology department at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He will begin teaching there in September 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Gummo by Harmony Korine (1997). I had my first brush with this film tonight and it really does make an impression. It reminded me a lot of where I grew up and for that reason perhaps it disturbed me on one level. But then it is also a surrealist film, just too bizzare to take as complete realism. I know I have to watch it again (and maybe a few more times) before I can take it all in. Needing to do that is a sign it is a great film.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Ira Cohen (born February 3, 1935) is an American poet, publisher, photographer and filmmaker born in New York City to deaf parents. During the 1960s, he traveled to Tangier, where he published the exorcism magazine GNAOUA. He also published The Hashish Cookbook under the name of Panama Rose. He continued to travel until 1980, when he returned to New York City, where he now resides. ....In his loft on the Lower East Side, Cohen created the "mylar images", future icons developed by a "mythographer". Among the reflected artists in his mirror: John McLaughlin, William Burroughs and Jimi Hendrix who said that looking at these photos was like looking through butterfly wings. Timothy Baum, noted expert in Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, said that these images were jewels and should be shown at Tiffany's. With this shamanic and tantric exercise Cohen explored the whole spectrum of photography from infrared to black light. In 1968 he also directed the "phantasmaglorical" film Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda and produced Paradise Now, a film of the Living Theatre's historic American tour. Invasion Of Thunderbolt Pagoda was inspired by the films of Kenneth Anger and Sergei Parajanov and began as an extension of his photography work with his
He went to the Himalayas in the '70s where he started the starstream poetry series under the Bardo matrix imprint in Kathmandu, publishing the work of Charles Henri Ford, Gregory Corso, Paul Bowles and Angus Maclise; and developing his art of bookmaking, working with native craftsmen. In 1972 he spent a year in San Francisco reading and performing and then returned to New York mounting photographic shows.
During the 1980s Cohen made trips to Ethiopia, Japan, and back to India where he documented on video the great kumbh mela festival, the largest spiritual gathering on the planet. In the latter part of the decade Synergetic Press (London) published On Feet of Gold, a book of selected poems. He was also a contributing editor of Third Rail magazine, a review of international arts and literature based in Los Angeles.
Ira Cohen saw his poems published during the 1990s in England by Temple Press under the title Ratio 3: Media Shamans Along with Two Good Poet Friends, Gerard Malanga (Factory) and Angus Maclise. He had a show called Retrospectacle at the October Gallery in London and he also took part along with William Burroughs, Terry Wilson and Hakim Bey at a Here To Go Show in Dublin.
In 1994 Sub Rosa records released his first CD, The Majoon Traveller, with dj Cheb i Sabbah, which also included the work of Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman. (more) (less)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Human, All Too Human : Nietzsche
1999 Video Documentary
"’Ee says somewhere that, “you yourselves are this will-to-power.” And I think that Nietzsche thought that, er, ultimately the task was one of self-mastery – that is, of acquirin’ a certain kind of self-knowledge that would not be merely intellectual or abstract, because for Nietzsche all knowledge is ultimately rooted in the body – so for him, self-mastery involves acquirin’ as much knowledge as is possible about the human body, about your body, about its physiology, about its psychology."
A verbatim transcript
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Rudolf Steiner said "rhythm is the carrier of life." I believe how a person carries their body and moves is an insight into the character of the person. This video of George W Bush shows us the man has no sense of rhythm. He throws himself around like a sheet in the wind. Lacking coordination, timing and any sense of awareness or empathetic understanding for those moving and making sound around him. He fumbles between gestures, grasping for something that catches his attention, drops it and moves on to the next thing with an equal amount of clumsiness.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Extracts from Tonight Lets all Make Love In London (1967)
Part 4. (a long interview with Brian Jones)
Charlie is My Darling: This is the documentary that Peter Whitehead did of The Rolling Stones during their tours in 1965. It received only brief release in '66, until it became ignored entirely.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Viktor Schauberger (30 June 1885–25 September 1958) was an Austrian forester/forest warden, naturalist, philosopher and inventor.
The inventor of what he called "implosion technology", Schauberger developed his own highly idiosyncratic theories based on fluidic vortices. Very little of Schauberger's work has received mainstream acceptance, and the bulk of his work would likely be classified as pseudo-science.
Viktor Schauberger could be called the father of implosion technology. The implosion principle is, of course, diametrically opposite to what today's explosion oriented technology utilizes. Implosion has to do with a self sustaining vortex flow of any liquid or gaseous medium, which has a concentrating, ordering effect and which decreases the temperature of the medium, in opposition to the dictates of "modern" thermodynamics.
Viktor Schauberger constructed water sluices, which, with controlled water temperature and vortex flow, were able to transport logs of a higher specific weight than would normally allow their transport on water. He proposed a more effective means of utilizing hydroelectric power by his jet turbine. In the second world war he was forced to develop his concepts of vortex dynamics at the service of Hitler's military goons, and, is said to have produced working prototypes of levitating disks using these principles.
At the end of the war, the remains of his work fell partly into Russian, and American, military hands. After the war, Schauberger worked on a concept of water-based power generation, through vortex action, in a closed cycle engine. In 1958 he was brought to the USA, by promises of a possibility he would get his technology further developed and applied. Afterwards, he was thoroughly debriefed, his writings and prototypes were kept, and, he apparently had to sign a legal document and 'promise' not to promote his technology further - all so that he would simply be able to return home to Austria. Five days after his return to Austria - on 25 September 1958 - he died. A book that details some of the life story of Schauberger was written by Olof Alexandersson.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The first ten minutes of digital artist and poet, Jason Nelson, discussing his work at the Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH) in College Park, MD. More from Jason at http://www.heliozoa.com/
Monday, May 07, 2007
Although this 10-minute work-in-progress draws from interviews used in the documentary Copyright Criminals: This is a Sampling Sport, it does not reflect the overall look, feel, and narrative of the full-length documentary.
Copyright Criminals will be completed in Spring 2007 and submitted to film festivals, to be followed by a DVD release.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Christian Raetsch on the ethnology of psychoactivity. The first of Friday morning's presenters was Christian Rätsch, who gave a talk entitled, "Psychoactivity: the Fountain of Culture." A Multidisciplinary Conference on Plants, Shamanism & States of Consciousness, Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 1-4, 1998.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
"These experiences illustrate the thesis that one can protect one's self by maintaining one's ignorance by belittling disturbing experiences? Or one can newly recapture sensitivity and be openminded (even painfully so) and discover new facts. Discovery, in my experience, requires disillusionment first, as well as later. One must be shaken in one's basic beliefs before the discovery can penetrate one's mind sufficiently above threshold to be detected A certain willingness to face censure, to be a maverick? To question one's beliefs, to revise them, is obviously necessary. But what is not obvious is how to prepare one's own mind to receive the transmissions from the far side of the protective transparent wall separating each of us from the dark gulf of the unknown Maybe we must realize that we are still babies in the universe taking steps never before taken. Sometimes we reach out from our aloneness for someone else who may or may not exist. But at least we reach out, and it is gratifying to see our dolphins reach also, however primitively. They reach toward those of us who are willing to reach toward them. It may be that some day not toa far distant we both can draw to an end the 'long loneliness,' as Loren Eiseley called it." John C. Lilly
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Magical Power Mako and Friends live at roppongi superdeluxe 2006.04.08
We continue our trawl through the most beautiful music every made. Magical Power Mako whose 1973 debut album Magical Power he made at home, is a musical alchemist who will lead you into a flower stewn glade that lies just behind your eyes. More film of Mako HERE.
Friday, April 06, 2007
"If you want to be a different fishy you gotta jump out of the school"
Don van Vliet (1982)
This is Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band led by Don van Vliet (b.1941). Live in Detroit in 1971. It may take some time to orientate yourself to such sound but believe me, it is worth it. From my first hearing the band in the late 1980's I became a fan because of the scope, freedom, pliability, liberation, originality, space, challenge, atmosphere, education, expanse, poetry, and experience of non time that they give and keep giving every fractal time. The Captain is not well these days but he still follows his hairs each day. When he goes the clouds are gonna sigh. I ganna play now...godnight.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
For old times sake I include this 10 minute interview with The Doors. Obviously intelligent people, it is interesting to hear Jim talk in a rational and very unhyped way about the shamanism that so many attribute to his image.
Jim Morrison and Ray Manzerek do most of the talking in this 10 minute cut of an interview with band taken in 1969. Jim wears shades throughout the interview and seems knocked out or up on something. They talk eloquently and with very considered response to the interviewer about their thoughts over many various topics. They talk about their thoughts on comparisons that have been suggested between their music and rock concerts becoming religious or spiritual experiences for the Youth of America at the time.
Note, the interesting response of Jim Morrison suggesting that he can see a time where concerts will be given by one man with a lot of machines.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Three furiously full-on years from the eco-war of the mid 90's. featuring treetop and rooftop action from Claremont Road, Newbury, Solsbury Hill, Reclaim the Streets... where we became "more possible than they could powerfully imagine". Edited by Neil Goodwin. Shot by scores of video activists. Music by Coldcut and Outerbongolia.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
MORE DECEPTION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Attorney Misleads Public About “Danger” of Harmless Bacteria in Case of Professor Kurtz
March 13, 2007, Buffalo, NY—Today, in response to a local news report featuring a YouTube video about the Orwellian case of internationally acclaimed artist and SUNYBuffalo Professor Steven Kurtz, U.S. Attorney Terry Flynn deceived Buffalo viewers.Flynn claimed on WGRZ-TV News that the Department of Justice is pursuing charges against Kurtz because harmless bacteria used in his art were “dangerous,” “not available to the general public,” and that Kurtz had “misled investigators.”
These outrageous allegations fly in the face of the prosecution’s own admission sin court, of the charges against Kurtz, and of scientific consensus about the harmless nature of Serratia marcescens, Bacillus subtilis, and gut Ecoli. The three bacteria were used in Kurtz’s participatory science-theater performances with Critical Art Ensemble, an art and theater group Kurtz co-founded in 1987 with hiswife Hope Kurtz. Prior to Kurtz’s detention he and Critical Art Ensemble had safely used these bacteria in performances and projects at many of the world’smost important cultural institutions, including the London Museum of Natural History, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the London ICA, The New Museum in NYC, the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, and many others.
The bacteria cultures, frequently used by science hobbyists and in classrooms, are available from most science supply outlets and require no license or government authorization to obtain. These bacteria are not restricted by law, and are not governed by any government regulations. The prosecution admitted this in a pre-trial hearing on May 17, 2005 under questioning by Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder.
The other claim, that Kurtz mislead investigators, is also completely false. Kurtz cooperated with investigators until advised by his attorney to stop. Kurtz has not been charged with lying to the FBI or obstruction of justice.
CONTINUED PUBLIC PRESSURE CRITICAL: In order to counter the ongoing smear campaign by the Department of Justice (DoJ),the CAE Defense Committee has launched a new education fund. The CAE Education Fundwill focus on producing and distributing information to the public that is factual and grounded in the realities of the case, as well as on creating other opportunities and events that will explain how supporters can help and how to keep public pressure on the DoJ. The current corruption scandal in which the DoJ has been transformed by the Bush administration into a conservative political enforcement agency makes such action more necessary than ever.
BACKGROUND TO THE CASE: As detailed in the short film “Steve Kurtz Waiting”, Kurtz’s surreal nightmare began when his wife of 20 years died of heart failure. Medics arrived, became suspicious of Kurtz’s art, and called the FBI. Within hours the artist was detained as a suspected "bioterrorist" as dozens of agents in hazmat suits sifted through his work and impounded his computers, manuscripts, books, his cat, and even his wife’s body. Today Kurtz and his long-time science consultant Dr. Robert Ferrell, former Chair of the Genetics Department at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, face up to 20 years in jail on trumped-up “mail fraud” and“wire fraud” charges.
For more information about the case, please visit http://www.caedefensefund.org/.
To donate to the CAE Education Fund, please visit http://www.caedefensefund.org/donate.html.
To receive updates by email, please join http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CAE_Defense.
CONTACT: media @ caedefensefund.org
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Baraka is a 1992 non-narrative documentary film directed by Ron Fricke. The title Baraka means blessing in a multitude of languages, deriving from the Arabic بركة, descending from a common Semitic ancestor and cognate to the Hebrew Berakhah.
The film is often compared to Koyaanisqatsi, the first of the Qatsi films by Godfrey Reggio for which Fricke was cinematographer. Baraka was the first film in over twenty years to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format, and the first film ever to be restored and scanned at 8K resolution.
Demeure du Chaos
An artist has turned a coaching inn near Lyon into a warzone - all in the name of art.
French artist Thierry Ehrmann has turned a 17th century coaching inn in near Lyon into a warzone.
The outside walls are daubed with portraits of Osama bin Laden and Iran's president, while the swimming pool inside is filled with fake blood.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Hunter S. Thompson: 1978 BBC Documentary 'Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision'.
When I was 19 I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I loved it.