Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Albert Hofman Dead at 102

Dr Albert Hofman died yesterday aged 102. It will be a long time before what he did is evaluated in mass culture in a level and calm way. The discovery of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on November 16, 1938 was initially ignored. Its psychedelic properties were unknown until 5 years later, when Hofmann, acting on what he has called a "peculiar presentiment," returned to work on the chemical. While re-synthesizing LSD-25 for further study on April 16, 1943, Hofmann became dizzy and was forced to stop work. In his journal, Hofmann wrote that after becoming dizzy he proceeded home and was affected by a "remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness". Hofmann stated that as he lay in his bed he sank into a not unpleasant "intoxicated like condition" which was characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. He stated that he was in a dreamlike state, and with his eyes closed he could see uninterrupted streams of "fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors." The condition lasted about two hours after which it faded away. Hofmann had attributed the psychoactive effects he experienced to accidentally absorbing a tiny amount of LSD-25 into his skin.

Hoffman later said:

"I produced the substance as a medicine. ... It's not my fault if people abused it,"

Hofman's most famous text, LSD: MY Problem Child is online.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Food Crisis

We've plunged into a world food crisis-- soaring crop prices sowing inflation and squeezing households round the world, 100 million more facing starvation and food riots flaring from Egypt to Bangladesh. In Sierra Leone alone rice prices have doubled, leaving 90% of the country unable to provide food for their family--so we're joining with their foreign minister Zainab Bangura (right) to press world leaders to act.

Both rapid emergency action and fundamental reform are needed to end this crisis, so we'll deliver the campaign in the coming days and weeks to a string of key political meetings and summits--add your name urgently to the petition below, then watch Zainab’s video message and spread the word:

Petition to G8, UN and EU leaders:
We call on you to take immediate action to address the world food crisis by mobilizing emergency funding to prevent starvation, removing perverse incentives to turn food into biofuels and managing financial speculation, and to tackle the underlying causes by ending harmful trade policies and investing massively in sustainable agricultural productivity in developing nations.

Monday, April 28, 2008

It Must be the Moon..

When I was a younger person I used to go to parties like this...since the kids were born it does not happen so must be the moon Chk Chk Chk.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Stones on Rolling

The recent chat about Shine a Light, the Scorsese monument sent my thoughts to the 1968 crazed pyschedlic collage "Sympathy for the Devil"/"One Plus One". A single song becomes the backbone mantra for staged interviews, executions, revolutionary plots, LSD salvation, Park times, Situationist unravelment, Brian Jones' disintergration, transmedial assemblages, Hippy love outs, Cut ups of consciousness and the gyrational poutings of Mick.

Godard's documentation of late 1960's western counter-culture, examining the Black Panthers, referring to works by LeRoi Jones and Eldridge Cleaver. Other notable subjects are the role of the media, the mediated image, A growing technocratic society, Womens Liberation, the May revolt in France and the power of language. Cutting between 3 major scenes, including the Rolling Stones in the studio, the film is visually intercut with Eve Democracy (Wiazemsky) using graffiti which amalgamates organisations, corporations and ideologies. Godard also examines the role of the revolutionary within western culture. Although he believes western culture needs to be destroyed, it can only be done so by the rejection of intellectualisation. "There is only one way to be an intellectual revolutionary, and that is to give up being an intellectual"
'Getting back to zero' represented an idea Godard raised in Le Gai Savoir where Juliet Berto's character says "I want to learn, to teach myself, everyone, to turn back against the enemy that weapon with which it attacks us: Language." Language as a weapon is above all the main subject within Le Gai Savoir and is represented in numerous ways in One Plus One. To Godard, film language and the visual image had lost its educational or instructive purpose, especially in the commercial cinema. One Plus One then represents an attempt to redefine the visual image into an instructive force, which is created from the destruction of film language. If Le Gai Savoir diagnoses the problem of language, the culture that produces it, and its inherent fallibility, One Plus One is the antecedent about its destruction.

"'One Plus One' does not mean 'one plus one equals two'. It just means what it says, 'one plus one'" From The Depiction of Late 1960’s Counter Culture in Jean-Luc Godard’s One Plus One/Sympathy for the Devil by Gary Elshaw

And now the old men are gathering again to play their songs and charge admission:

How things have changed....and not.

Upon completion of the film, and unbeknown to Godard, the producers changed Godard's ending of the film to include a completed version of the Rolling Stones song 'Sympathy for the Devil'. Premiering at the London Film Festival in November of 1968 Godard was said to have risen from his seat and stormed from the cinema, but not before striking the producer. The film was marketed as a 'Stones Film' and renamed to include reference to the song. Consequently both audiences and Godard were disappointed. The Depiction of Late 1960’s Counter Culture in Jean-Luc Godard’s One Plus One/Sympathy for the Devil by Gary Elshaw

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Support Palestine

Plats: Verket

Life in Palestine (Amateur video) فلسطين

Date and Time: 26 april 2008 klockan 21:00
Verket, Umeå
Party to support the work of the ISM (International Solidarity Movement) in the occupied territories of Palestine. Playing: Industri Royal, Team Pro, Hadar Kasch, The Crystal Caravan plus DJs. Damage: 80 Kronor. Buy at Burmans (with 10 kronor surcharge), Folkkök 20/4 Hamnmagasinet or University Lindell-hallen 24-25/4 12.00-13.15. 18 Years and over.

Fest till stöd för ISM:s arbete i Palestina. Spelar gör Industri Royal, Team Pro, Hadar Kasch, The Crystal Caravan samt DJ:s. På festen finns bar, falafel, veganmilkshake m.m. Inträde 80 kr, endast förköp gäller: Burmans (obs förköpsavgift 10kr tillkommer), Folkkök 20/4, Universitetet hörsalsrundan 24-25/4 12.00-13.15. Åldersgräns 18 år.


Arrangör: ISM (International Solidarity Movement) Umeå


Monday, April 21, 2008

Lecture: DJ Spooky - That Subliminal Kid -Remix Culture

DJ Spooky (Paul Miller) talks about the history of media and thoughts about media in culture. He discusses and demonstrates the unexpected side effects of free speech, law, and copyright while showing the power of remixed art. The future and meaning of remix culture is discussed.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why We Fight (2005)

Why We Fight describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military–industrial complex and its 50-year involvement with the wars led by the United States to date, especially its 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The documentary asserts that in every decade since World War II, the American public was misled so that the government (incumbent Administration) could take them to war and fuel the military-industrial economy maintaining American political dominance in the world. Interviewed about this matter are politician John McCain, political scientist and former CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson, politician Richard Perle, neoconservative commentator William Kristol, writer Gore Vidal, and public policy expert Joseph Cirincione.

Why We Fight documents the consequences of said foreign policy with the stories of a Vietnam War veteran whose son was killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks, and who then asked the military to write the name of his dead son on any bomb to be dropped in Iraq; and that of a 23-year-old New Yorker who enlists in the United States Army because he was poor and in debt, his decision impelled by his mother's death; and a military explosives scientist (Anh Duong) who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee child from Vietnam in 1975.

WHY WE FIGHT, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, it is an unflinching look at the anatomy of the American war machine, weaving unforgettable personal stories with commentary by a who's who of military and beltway insiders. Featuring John McCain, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, Gore Vidal, Richard Perle and others, WHY WE FIGHT launches a bipartisan inquiry into the workings of the military industrial complex and the rise of the American Empire.

Inspired by Dwight Eisenhowers legendary farewell speech (in which he coined the phrase military industrial complex), filmmaker Andrew Jarecki (THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER) surveys the scorched landscape of a half-centurys military adventures, asking how and telling why a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war. The film moves beyond the headlines of various American military operations to the deeper questions of why why does America fight?

What are the forces political, economic, ideological that drive us to fight against an ever-changing enemy? Frank Capra made a series of films during World War II called WHY WE FIGHT that explored Americas reasons for entering the war, Jarecki notes. Today, with our troops engaged in Iraq and elsewhere for reasons far less clear, I think its crucial to ask the questions: Why are we doing what we are doing? What is it doing to others? And what is it doing to us?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask by Isaac Julien

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Frantz Fanon (July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961) was an author from Martinique, essayist, psychiatrist, and revolutionary. He was perhaps the pre-eminent thinker of the 20th century on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization. His works have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades. Black Sikn White Masks was published in 1952.

Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask explores for the first time on film the pre-eminent theorist of the anti-colonial movements of this century. Fanon's two major works, Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth, were pioneering studies of the psychological impact of racism on both colonized and colonizer. Jean-Paul Sartre recognized Fanon as the figure "through whose voice the Third World finds and speaks for itself." This innovative film biography restores Fanon to his rightful place at the center of contemporary discussions around post-colonial identity.
Isaac Julien, the celebrated black British director of such provocative films as Looking for Langston and Young Soul Rebels, integrates the facts of Fanon's brief but remarkably eventful life with his long and tortuous inner journey. Julien elegantly weaves together interviews with family members and friends, documentary footage, readings from Fanon's work and dramatizations of crucial moments in Fanon's life. Cultural critics Stuart Hall and Françoise Verges position Fanon's work in his own time and draw out its implications for our own.
Born in Martinique in 1925, Fanon received a conventional colonial education. When he went to France to fight in the Resistance and train as a psychiatrist, his assimilationist illusions were shattered by the gaze of metropolitan racism. Out of this experience came his first book Black Skin, White Masks (1952) originally titled "An Essay for the Disalienation of Blacks." Fanon here defined the colonial relationship as the psychological non-recognition of the subjectivity of the colonized.
Soon after taking a position at a psychiatric hospital in Algeria, Fanon became involved in the bitter Algerian civil war, eventually leaving his post to become a full-time militant in the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN). Out of this struggle, Fanon wrote his most influential book, The Wretched of the Earth, which Stuart Hall describes as the "bible of the decolonization movement."
Fanon died of leukemia in 1961, just as Algeria was winning its independence. But his seminal texts continue to challenge us to liberate ourselves from all forms of psychological domination.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Studio Azzurro

Music from "Landing Talk" (Studio Azzurro) and others bizarre compositions.
Alberto Morelli (prepared piano, sanza, piffero, bendir, darabuka, objects), Stefano Scarani (electronics, live electronics, stuzzicadenti, mechanics monkeys).

Studio Azzurro is an artistic research studio, that bases its expression on the languages afforded by recent technology. It was first set up in 1982 by Fabio Cirifino (photography), Paolo Rosa (visual arts and film) and Leonardo Sangiorgi (graphics and animation). In 1995 Stefano Roveda, an expert in interactive systems, joined the group.
For over twenty years, Studio Azzurro has been investigating the poetic and expressive potential of these systems that have had such an impact on relations in this age. Through video-environments, sensitive and interactive environments, theatrical performances and films, it has blazed a trail that is now acknowledged worldwide, by countless major artistic and theatrical institutions and events. In addition to experimental work, the groups activities are also tied in with more formative experiences such as the designing of museums and theme exhibitions whose cultural value has been recognised at all levels. In both cases, Studio Azzurro has taken care to create communicative environments that require an active and significant participation on behalf of the spectator who is part of the narrative structure, inspired by a use of multitextual approach and a continous shift between virtual and real elements.



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Roy Anderson: Swedish Surrealist

Seven TV commercials by Swedish director Roy Andersson. Roy Andersson (born March 31, 1943) is a Swedish film director, best known for his films A Swedish Love Story and Songs from the Second Floor. More than any other, Songs from the Second Floor succeeded in cementing his personal style — a style characterized by long takes, absurdest comedy, stiff caricaturing of Swedish culture, Felliniesque grotesque, sight gags, and heavy anti-capitalist themes. He has spent much of his professional life working on advertisement spots, directing over 400 commercials and 2 short films, but only directing 4 major, feature-length films in three decades. His last movie is You, the Living (Du levande), from 2007.

Songs from the Second Floor (2000)

Friday, April 11, 2008

La Fura Dels Baus: SUB


The Matria performed by La Fura dels Baus takes place entirely on board the ship NAUMON. The hold of the NAUMON is like a 300 m2 ,5 m high womb of a whale. This is the emblematic space for this matrias and can be “experienced” by a maximum of 1,500 people.
The public enters the hall where the ticket office and the bar are located. There they can decide whether to descend into the hold (the inferno, a dance floor or a dark experience...), or go up on deck to get some air (a “chill-out” or gentle experience). Each individual decides. The hold is harsh, dark, claustrophobic— to enter, you must overcome your misgivings. The deck is fresh air: the sky, breeze, the moon and stars. The hall is the purgatory, and the place where facilities are located: drinks, food, bathrooms and exit. The idea is that the majority of the audience will constantly be moving in a hall-hold-deck circuit, since theatrical action unfolds on all three levels, moving from one place to another. This show deals with the fear inherent to the human condition, fear as a mysterious virus that amputates our experiences. The fact that the audience is floating and not touching the ground makes people more ready and willing to be manipulated. The performance deals with monsters: monsters of language and non-communication, of manipulation and interculturality.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Nue Drummer Dead

The great Klaus Dinger has died, aged 61. The German drummer was best known as half of Neu! alongside Michael Rother.
Dinger was a provocative and inspirational figure in the German music scene of the 1970s. He first surfaced, briefly, as drummer in a very early line-up of Kraftwerk, before he and Rother (another fleeting Kraftwerk member) broke off to form Neu!
Neu! went on to record three extraordinary albums that epitomised the motorik strain of Krautrock, thanks to Dinger's pattering, insistent drums. He also began to contribute wild and vivid vocals, so that tracks like "Hero" and "After Eight" from Neu! 75 were an acknowledged influence on an impressionable John Lydon.

Nue! Negativeland from their album Neu!(1972)

Live 1974: Hero

Klaus Dinger was a German musician and songwriter most famous for his contributions to the seminal Krautrock outfit, Neu!, and his invention of the Motorik beat. Less known is that he was the former percussionist and founding member of Kraftwerk. He died March 20th, 2008, four days before his 62nd birthday.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Terrible Power of Psychedelic Music and the Dockers

Get Smart - The Groovy Guru - Season 3 Episode 15 1968
Bumbling Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, with a great deal of help from his competent partner Agent 99, battles the forces of KAOS.
In this hilarious classic episode, when teenagers start turning into zombies, Max and 99 go after their idol the Groovy Guru.
The Groovy Guru's mind control band is called 'The Sacred Cows', a parody of 'The Grateful Dead'. Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 get swept up in the Flower Power and Psychedelia scene - will things ever be the same?

The sacred Cows song, 'Kill Kill Kill' was released as a cover by Australian wierdos The Painters and Dockers in 1986 (??). Here it is:

"Make the scene..bump off the dean"
I saw the Dockers a few times in the late 1980, madness: beer, transvestites and a brass section.