Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Doors: When You're Strange

When You’re Strange uncovers historic and previously unseen footage of the illustrious rock quartet and provides new insight into the revolutionary impact of its music and legacy. Directed by award-winning writer/director Tom DiCillo and narrated by Johnny Depp, the film is a riveting account of the band’s history.

Said Depp, “Watching the hypnotic, hitherto unreleased footage of Jim, John, Ray and Robby, I felt like I experienced it all through their eyes. As a rock n’ roll documentary, or any kind of documentary for that matter, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. What an honor to have been involved. I am as proud of this as anything I have ever done.”

The film reveals an intimate perspective on the creative chemistry between drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and singer Jim Morrison — four brilliant artists who made The Doors one of America’s most iconic and influential rock bands. Using footage shot between the band’s 1965 formation and Morrison’s 1971 death, When You’re Strange follows the band from the corridors of UCLA’s film school, where Manzarek and Morrison met, to the stages of sold-out arenas.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees (1992)

Film by David Blair. It's the first independent feature film to have been edited on a digital non-linear system. It is also the first film (independent or otherwise) to have been re-formatted as hypertext and posted on the internet.
"Wax: Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees," had to be reduced from full color to a blurry black and white. And true, the spotty audio occasionally went silent. But coming as companies in the cable TV, telephone and computer industries are hot on the trail of 500-channel, all-digital TV, let history record that Saturday night marked the first baby steps in that direction.
The movie, an 85-minute feature by David Blair about a beekeeper who ends up being kept by the bees, has attracted a cult following since its release in 1992. Mr. Blair transmitted it Saturday night from a film production studio in midtown Manhattan. He played it on a VCR and fed it into a computer that converted it into digital form and fed it into the Internet. Promises, Promises
Mr. Blair's effort demonstrated that while information industry giants like Tele-Communications Inc., A.T.& T. and Time Warner are tantalizing the nation with promises of hundreds of channels of ultra-high-resolution interactive pictures transmitted via fiber-optic superhighways, the technology is still in its infancy.
Indeed, it was not until halfway through the digital network premier of "Wax" that the engineers gathered at an office of Sun Microsystems Inc. in Mountain View, Calif., were even able to find the movie signal in the Internet datastream and direct it to play on their color work stations. -  New York Times

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Mindscape of Alan Moore (2003)

The Mindscape of Alan Moore is a 2005 documentary film which chronicles the life and work of Alan Moore. In it, he details his startling and profound worldview.

Alan Moore presents the story of his development as an artist, starting with his childhood and working through to his comics career and impact on that medium, and his emerging interest in magic.

The film features the first film adaptations of scenes from Moore's acclaimed series V for Vendetta and Watchmen, shot in early 2002. Another key scene features a direct reference to the character of John Constantine from the comic book Hellblazer. The film also contains a brief look into Lost Girls, which would not be officially released until years later.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ginger Baker's Air Force (Jazz and Rock, 1970) Full Show

The man known as The Greatest Ever Rock Drummer releases Live 1970. This studio date was the only one played by the band in October 1970 and would be the final concert in Germany for the Airforce band before they split. The performance captured by the cameras features Sunshine Of Your Love both as part of an extended jam which included Early In The Morning a featured track from the first Airforce album and also later in the set as a stand alone performance and 12 Gates Of The City a Graham Bond composition which featured on the second Airforce album. The total running time of this performance is over fifty minutes and for transmission on the 20th October 1970 the decision was made to edit the performance and therefore the great majority of this historic and rare television appearance has remained in the vaults. Ginger Baker remains a hugely influential artist and as such commands a massive fan base most of whom will be interested in this rarely seen archive performance.


2. 12 GATES OF THE CITY (6:40)
3. WHAT A DAY (6:03)
4. JOKING (2:05) 
6. TELL ME A STORY (9:08)

GRAHAM BOND-Vocals/Hammond Organ/Saxes,
KEN CRADDOCK-Organ/Guitar/Vocals ,
STEVE GREGORY-Tenor Sax/Flute,

Julius Eastman (1940-1990): Creation (1973)

"Eastman's experimentalism shared some tropes with Cage's, particularly the juxtaposition of disparate sonic materials, amplification, electronics, and tape music. 'Creation' (ca. 1973) is exemplary in this regard. Eastman composed it for the S.E.M. Ensemble, and it was played by Kotik, Eastman, and Williams on their European tour in the summer of 1973. The piece is, like 'Tripod' and 'Thruway', bifurcated into a prerecorded sound collage and a live acoustic component. Eastman's tape collage brings together wildly divergent sounds—vocal drones on an open fifth, sounds of screaming, laughing, crying, and electronic feedback. On the recording Eastman, Williams, and Kotik quote popular songs ('Danny Boy' and 'The Girl from Ipanema' stand out). Gay signifiers emerge periodically as well on the tape. Eastman and his fellow performers affect a lisping comic tone of voice while discussing subjects more expected in a John Waters film than in a classical music concert. This tape accompanies live sounds of percussion, flute, and piano that blend repetition, improvisation, and virtuosic displays from the performers. Eastman's inclusion of queerly surreal material is in line with a long tradition of avant-garde shock techniques in which abject subject matter is joined to an equally disruptive musical surface or formal conceit." - Ryan Dohoney, "John Cage, Julius Eastman, and the Homosexual Ego", in: Benjamin Piekut (ed.), "Tomorrow is the Question. New Directions in Experimental Music Studies", Ann Arbor MI 2014, pp. 39-62, here p. 43

"Creation" for flute, piano, percussion, and recorded sounds (1973)

played by Petr Kotík, Julius Eastman & Jan Williams (S.E.M. Ensemble)

photo (by R. Nemo Hill): Julius Eastman with a charming lady named Bill Paradise

An interview and vocal recital from 1984 by Julian Eastman can be heard here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Antifascists (Full Film 2017)

A low-intensity war is being fought on the streets of Europe and the aim is on fascism. This critically acclaimed documentary takes us behind the masks of the militants called antifascists.

In 2013 a group of armed nazis attacks a peaceful demonstration in Stockholm where several people are injured. In Greece the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn becomes the third largest in the election and in Malmö the activist Showan Shattak and his friends are attacked by a group of nazis with knives and he ends up in a coma.

In this portrait of the antifascists in Greece and Sweden we get to meet key figures that explain their view on their radical politics but also to question the level their own violence and militancy.

Subtitles available in CC.
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Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Greek, Polish, Indonesian

Sunday, December 17, 2017

FELA and Egypt 80 Live Oct 1 1996 Water Parks in Ikeja, Lagos

Proof that Fela Kuti had the power right to the end. Fela was 10 months away from death when this was filmed. It seems more like a ritual than a concert. The performance begins with raw rhythms and bodies on stage and then comes the music; trance rhythm, call and response without the strong brass section one associates with Fela's earlier more famous pieces (not the best audio quality on this film but the power of it still comes through). Fela seems to be in good spirits but his usual on stage banter is absent and he appears to be emaciated. By the 23rd minute of the performance the capacity crowd is starting to reach a frantic emotional high and people are rushing the stage. At the 45 minute mark Femi Kuti comes out for a saxophone solo, perhaps his father did not have the strength for it by this stage, with Fela only playing keyboard up to this point. Now the band takes off and Fela is sadly no longer on stage. He returns later to lead an emotional build up with the brass section from his position at the keyboard and then with the microphone center stage. This is an intense documentation of the last days of a master musician, his band and dancers. "The taste of excitement".

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Occult Symbolism in Art

Occult symbolism in art. Art curator/historian Lisa Derrick explains some of the occult symbolism in both classical and modern art and helps decipher it for the passive viewer.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Manufacturing Dissent

This video presentation is a documentary-based analysis of the role of the media in the political strategy of former Queensland Premier, Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen.

The video documentary was submitted as part of a thesis for a Master of Arts degree at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in July 1997.

The documentary was compiled by Debra Beattie, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Sources include:
The Sunshine System (1986) Quentin Dempster and Ross Wilson (50 minutes)
The Moonlight State (May 1987) ABC Four Corners, Chris Masters (reporter), Andrew Olle (presenter) and Peter Manning (executive producer) (59' 59")
The Battle For Bowen Hills (1975) Peter Gray and Garry Lane (Crowsfoot Films) (21 minutes)
Earth First (1987) Gaia Films Jeni Kendall (director/producer) and John Seed (producer) (54 minutes)
If You Don't Fight, You Lose (1978) Leslie Mannison, Joseph Monsour and Ian Curr (24 minutes)
The Whole World Is Watching (1982) Amanda King and Peter Gray (25 minutes)
Friends And Enemies(1987) Tom Zubrycki, Jotz Productions (88 minutes)
Portrait Of A Premier (1978) Brian Benson
State Of Shock (1989) David Bradbury
Joh's Jury (1993) ABC Television, Ken Cameron (98 minutes)
Bruce Dickson footage (1977)

Laurie Anderson's "The Dream Before" is sung by Christine Johnson, recorded at one of the early performances of Women In Voice at the Sitting Duck (cafe and performance venue) in Brisbane in the early 1980s.

Lyrics: History is an angel being blown backwards into the future
He said: History is a pile of debris
And the angel wants to go back and fix things
To repair the things that have been broken
But there is a storm blowing from Paradise
And the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future
And this storm, this storm is called Progress.

Inspired by Walter Benjamin
Lyrics by Laurie Anderson
Performed by Christine Johnson

Monday, November 20, 2017

Making Sense of the Sixties - Breaking Boundaries, Testing Limits (PBS 1991)

This PBS series on the 1960s was broadcast in 1991 and provides a thorough overview of the decade on six one-hour episodes. The use of over a hundred interviews with a wide range of people is an especially effective device in bringing this decade to life for younger viewers. Among those interviewed are former hippies, social activists, musicians, students, commune members, authors, and parents. Through their reminiscences these now middle-aged men and women reveal a great deal of uniformity - not in politics or philosophy, but in their deeply felt emotions about the period.

Breaking Boundaries, Testing Limits looks at the immense changes in America's youth culture between 1964 and 1968. The Beatles; happiness as a goal in itself, the counterculture of Haight-Ashbury, communes, the alternative press, Eastern religions, and mind-altering drugs are all discussed. Freedom without responsibility, however, could not be sustained - and Woodstock marked the death of the counterculture.

The societal changes begun in the 1960s persist: divorce is more common, couples living together before marriage is a widely accepted phenomenon, curricular reforms continue on college campuses, and earning a lot of money is still seen as the only important career goal.

A large portion of the series can be seen here.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Yidaki: The Sound of the Didgeridoo (2007)


Yidaki' or didgeridoo is one of the oldest wind instruments in the world. Djalu Gurruwiwi is an Aboriginal Elder from Gove in the North East Arnhem Land and is the spiritual guardian of this ancient musical instrument. The yidaki is used for sacred Aboriginal Corroboree's and is only played by men. Djalu passes his knowledge down to his son and grandsons, explaining the fundamentals of the required techniques used in finding, making and playing the yidaki. Over half a million yidakis or didgeridoos are sold each year with no information of their historical importance. It is Djalu's responsibility as the custodian of the yidaki that he ensures that the education is passed onto the wider community and is maintained for the next generations. Jack Thompson eloquently narrates this engaging and beautifully filmed documentary.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Music For Misfits - The Story Of Indie, The DIY movement

A look at the development of British indie music, born in the 1970s when the music industry was controlled by the major record labels and releasing a record independently seemed an impossible dream.

BBC Imagine David Bowie Cracked Actor [ 2013]

To mark David Bowie's comeback album and a new exhibition, Alan Yentob looks back at his legendary 1975 documentary, Cracked Actor. The film follows Bowie during the Diamond Dogs tour of 1974. The film has become one of the classic rock documentaries of all time, remaining an enduring influence on generations of Bowie fans.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hail the New Puritan (1985-6)

Exhuberant and witty, Hail the New Puritan is a simulated day-in-the-life "docufantasy" starring the British dance celebrity Michael Clark. Atlas' fictive portrait of the charismatic choreographer serves as a vivid invocation of the studied decadence of the 1980s post-punk London subculture. Contriving a faux cinema-verite format in which to stage his stylized fiction, Atlas seamlessly integrates Clark's extraordinary dance performances into the docu-narrative flow. Focusing on Clark's flamboyantly postured eroticism and the artifice of his provocative balletic performances, Atlas posits the dance as a physical manifestation of Clark's psychology. From the surreal opening dream sequence to the final solo dance, Clark's milieu of fashion, clubs and music signifies for Atlas "a time capsule of a certain period and context in London that's now gone.

Director/Editor: Charles Atlas. Choreography: Michael Clark. Dancers: Gaby Agis, Leslie Bryant, Michael Clark, Matthew Hawkins, Julie Hood, Ellen van Schuylenburch. Music: Glenn Branca, The Fall, Bruce Gilbert, Jeffrey Hinton. Camera: John Simmons. Producer: Jolyon Wimhurst.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Get Rid of Yourself

Get Rid of Yourself is a video-film-tract addressed to those who anonymously embody the return of political activism within Empire. While its initial sounds and images were filmed during the riots in Genoa, 2001, these materials are pulled apart and recomposed in order to locate the intensity of a shared experience, rather than producing one more documentary version of the programmed and hyper-mediatized confrontation of the G8 counter-summit. Elaborating a complex and rhythmic form of address via sound/image disjunctions, cheap video effects and performance, the film declares its own exile from a biopolitical space-time where nothing ever happens. The crisis it announces is the sudden return of history, but this time without characters or a story, and of a politics without subjects.

Provisionally aligning itself with the so-called Black Bloc' movement with the arrogance of its discourse as well as the force and style of their resistance Get Rid of Yourself is an encounter with emerging, non-instituted or identity-less forms of protest that refuse the representational politics of the official Left. Edited in the aftermath of 9/11 - a period of doubt, reflection and heightened security measures worldwide the film also attempts to measure the strange distance these events have crossed, and the increasing repression under which the feeling of civil war' has been buried in the meantime. A filmed essay that works by betraying its own form, Get Rid of Yourself tries to approach what is most open in an event, rather than capturing and completing it as something recognizable.

Bernadette Corporation (2003, DV, 61 min, featuring Chloe Sevigny and Werner von Delmont)

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Vipers (1955)

Director: Shinkichi Tajiri |
Production Country: The Netherlands |
Year: 1955 |
Production Company: Unknown |
Film from the collection of EYE (Amsterdam) -

"The ritual of people who come together, make a joint, smoke it, become high and have fantasies. Tajiri and his wife Ferdi figure in the film together with Hy Hirsch (an American abstract artist) and his wife. The film also contains "found footage" from movie journals. The film got a lot of attention at the time."

"I wanted to make a short documentary-style film about marijuana and hashish, psychoactive drugs that in 1955 were still relatively unknown to the general public. They were mainly used by a small group of artists, jazz musicians, intellectuals, and North Africans."

"I wanted to visualize the ritual of rolling and lighting up a joint, and then put a series of seemingly unrelated images next to each other to represent the feeling of being high. When the movie was finished, we took it to the festival for 16mm films at Cannes, and won the Golden Lion for ‘Best Use of Film Language." (Shinkichi Tajiri, Tajiri, 1993)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Austerity is a Scam

A searing documentary looking at the pragmatics of what is called Austerity -  "difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure" - in the UK today.

The present UK Conservative Party government came to power in 2010 but even before that national financial policy favoured the rich over the poor for decades. In 2008 the Labor Government of Gordon Brown responded to the global credit crisis by giving billions of Pounds to the banks. Neoliberalism has been an entrenched defining element in government social, educational and cultural policies in the West since the 1980s. We are now just seeing the endgame of it play out amid economies that have little room to maneuver outside the neoliberal model. When wealth is so concentrated in the hands of those that control the majority of assets, then the majority of the population will be brought to a point of suffering that will only be comparable to feudal societies.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Silk Road: Drugs, Death and the Dark Web (2017)

Documentary looking at the black market website known as the Silk Road, which emerged on the darknet in 2011. This 'Amazon of illegal drugs' was the brainchild of a mysterious, libertarian intellectual operating under the avatar The Dread Pirate Roberts. Promising its users complete anonymity and total freedom from government regulation or scrutiny, Silk Road became a million-dollar digital drugs cartel. Homeland Security, the DEA, the FBI and even the Secret Service mounted multiple investigations in the largest online manhunt the world had ever seen. But it would be a young tax inspector from the IRS, who had grown up in the projects of Brooklyn, who would finally crack the case and unmask 'DPR'. With unparalleled access, Silk Road is a thrilling cat-and-mouse crime story for the digital age, bristling with intrigue, mayhem... and murder.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Blockchain and Us (2017)

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto invented bitcoin and the blockchain. For the first time in history, his invention made it possible to send money around the globe without banks, governments or any other intermediaries. The concept of the blockchain isn’t very intuitive. But still, many people believe it is a game changer.

Economist and filmmaker Manuel Stagars portrays this exciting technology in interviews with software developers, cryptologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, consultants, VCs, authors, politicians, and futurists from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the UK, and Australia.

The Blockchain and Us is no explainer video of the technology. It gives a view on the topic, makes it accessible and starts a conversation about its potential wider implications in a non-technical way. The film deliberately poses more questions than it answers.

For a deep dive, see all full-length interviews from the film here:

To support this film and my other films, please go to


Conversations with (in alphabetical order)

David Birch
Director of Innovation, Consult Hyperion
Guildford, UK

Perianne Boring
Founder & President, Chamber of Digital Commerce
Washington, USA

Christian Decker
Core Tech Engineer, Blockstream
Zurich, Switzerland

Taylor Gerring
Co-Founder, Ethereum
Zug, Switzerland

Marco Carlo Grossi
Director Audit & Risk Advisory, Deloitte Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

Caitlin Long
Chairman of the Board & President at
New York, USA

R. Jesse McWaters
Financial Innovation Lead, World Economic Forum
New York, USA

Paul Meeusen
Head Finance and Treasury Services, Swiss Re
Zurich, Switzerland

Dolfi Müller
Mayor of the City of Zug
Zug, Switzerland

Matthew Roszak
Co-Founder & Chairman, Bloq
Chicago, USA

Guido Rudolphi
Founder, Cryptocash
Uster, Switzerland

Jan Seffinga
Partner, Deloitte Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

Elizabeth Stark
Co-Founder & CEO, Lightning
San Francisco, USA

Alex Tapscott
Founder & CEO, Northwest Passage Ventures
Co-Author "Blockchain Revolution"
Toronto, Canada

Lars Thomsen
Chief Futurist & Founder, Future Matters
Zurich, Switzerland

Eric Van der Kleij
Founder Adeptra, London Tech City, Level39. Adviser UK Govt, Kickstart Accelerator
London, UK

Roger Wattenhofer
Professor, Distributed Computing Group, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)
Zurich, Switzerland

Rik Willard
Founder & Managing Director, Agentic Group
New York, USA

Steve Wilson
Digital Identity Innovator & Analyst
Sydney, Australia

Additional conversations and special thanks (in alphabetical order): Iris Belle, Ben Bledsoe, Thomas Bromehead, Richard Cheng, Dario Duran, Marie Farrar Knowles, Olga Feldmeier, Sony Fricker, Daniel Gasteiger, Daniel Grassinger, Johs. Hoehener, Richard Kastelein, Leanne Kemp, Thomas Kern, Francine Klopfenstein, Veronica Lange, Claire LaRocca, Adriano B. Lucatelli, Christian Mäder, Ruedi Maeder, Luzius Meisser, Michael Monceaux, Martin Müller, Mia Mutic, Ian Petchenik, Nathaniel Popper, Ramon Quesada, Kamesh Raghavendra, Brian Rogers, Jouko Salonen, Vadim Shamigulov, Raffaela Stelzer, Don Tapscott, Elizabeth Wesson

Many thanks to all conversation partners and all others who made this film possible

Additional thanks (in alphabetical order): Agentic Group, Blockchain News, Blockstream, Bloq, Chamber of Digital Commerce, Constellation Research, Consult Hyperion, Cryptocash, Deloitte Switzerland, Ethereum Foundation, Everledger, Flightradar24, Future Matters,, Lightning, Lockstep Consulting, Municipality of Zug, nexussquared, Northwest Passage Ventures, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Swiss Re, Symbiont, World Economic Forum (WEF), Zurich Airport

Recording of live air traffic courtesy of Flightradar24

Chinese subtitles: Richard Cheng
Dutch subtitles: Rein Jonkman
French translation: Thomas Bromehead
Portuguese subtitles: Caio Rearte
Russian subtitles: Vadim Shamigulov, Sergey Sevantsyan
Spanish subtitles: Jose Felip Daras and team

Many thanks to all individuals and teams who contributed additional subtitles and translations.

Cinematography, Editing, Music, Narration & Sound Design by Manuel Stagars

© 2017 Manuel Stagars

The goal of this film is to encourage the conversation about the economic and social impacts of blockchain technology. Participate in the comments and subscribe to the channel to stay in the loop.

Listen to the song in the end credits
Caption author (Italian)- Mauro Baeli
Caption author (Czech) - Michal Herout
Caption author (Dutch) - Rein J

Friday, September 08, 2017

No More to Say & Nothing to Weep For: An Elegy for Allen Ginsberg (FULL MOVIE)

Witness the last days of the Beat poet whose works would capture the very essence of the 1960 counter-cultural movement in an informative documentary featuring Allen Ginsberg's final television interview as well as remarkable deathbed footage shot by underground cinema icon Jonas Mekas. In addition to candid discussions about everything from Ginsberg's personal life to his literary career, home movie footage of the Howl author as a child and archive footage allow contemporary fans to witness such landmark moments as his 1965 reading at Royal Albert Hall and chanting at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Previously unreleased footage of Ginsberg performing with Paul McCartney is also included, as are interviews with Dick Cavett and William Buckley, and the heartfelt memorial service in which Patti Smith bid her old friend a particularly poignant farewell. In the final sequence, Ginsberg invites filmmaker Mekas to his New York loft as he lies on his deathbed and prepares to embark on the ultimate adventure.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

STALKER | The Dull Flame of Desire

Further readings:

ZONA: A book about a film about a journey to a room►
The letters of Gustave Flaubert►

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Growing Up In America

Documentary on 1960s radicals in the U.S.A.

Directed by
Morley Markson

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Don Cox ... Himself
Allen Ginsberg ... Himself
Fred Hampton Jr. ... Himself
Fred Hampton ... Himself (archive footage)
Abbie Hoffman ... Himself
Deborah Johnston ... Herself
William Kunstler ... Himself
Timothy Leary ... Himself
Jerry Rubin ... Himself
Deborah Russell ... Herself
John Sinclair ... Himself

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World

Episode 1: The Shock of the Other.
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World is a series of video programs by Harvard anthropologist David Maybury-Lewis. The 1992 documentary series was presented as 10 video programs, each 60 minutes long, and was released on VHS after being aired on public television. The series was designed to stimulate reflection and inspire a new look at what the modern world can learn from tribal societies as the millennium approached.

I watched Millennium when it was first shown on Australian television in 1992. It changed my life. I was 23.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair from Nomad Cinema (Charles B Shaw) on Vimeo.

"I'm here to tell you that apathy isn't it. And we can all do something if we try." ~ John Lennon

"I just considered it part of my job. If you were gonna be a revolutionary, you were gonna have to go to prison." ~ John Sinclair

John Sinclair is best known as the Sixties marijuana activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for giving two joints to an undercover policewoman. He was eventually freed when John Lennon and Yoko Ono spoke out on his behalf

Less understood is his role as the founder and chairman of the radical anti-war group, The White Panther Party, an offshoot of the Black Panthers. The Black Panther Party was a militant political organization formed after the brutal murders of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Robert Kennedy.

During the Cold War the US Government launched a secret program called COINTELPRO to disrupt and ultimately destroy the Black Panthers and the Anti-War movement. As part of this program, John Sinclair was set up and imprisoned on marijuana charges. When the government could no longer justify denying him a bond over two joints, they falsely charged him with a Federal conspiracy to blow up a CIA station, in order to make him disappear.

In this case we find the secret origins of so much that troubles us today, like: classifying dissidents as terrorists, or the use of warrantless wiretaps and indefinite detention. The things that were revealed during his case are what the US government would prefer history forget.

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair
a short film by CHARLES SHAW
music by Thelonius Monk, Roy Harper & Jimmy Page, Jello Biafra & Mojo Nixon, Phil Ochs, Frijid Pink, Commander Cody, The Up

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Harun Farocki - The Parallel Series I-IV

The four‐part cycle Parallel deals with the image genre of computer animation. The series focuses on the construction, visual landscape and inherent rules of computer-animated worlds.

"Computer animations are currently becoming a general model, surpassing film. In films, there is the wind that blows and the wind that is produced by a wind machine. Computer images do not have two kinds of wind."—Harun Farocki

A history of graphical representation in computer games. It starts with the 30 year history of the tree in computer games, how it changed and what it means to recognise a tree in a game around 2010. It then goes on to explain how images are adapted and transferred across media. It ends with the claim that the creators of computer images want to surpass film images.

This is the first in a series of four films about the visuality, ontology and philosophy of digital imaging in computer games, along with its intersections with other visual art forms and cognitive philosophy.

Parallel I opens up a history of styles in computer graphics. The first games of the 1980s consisted of only horizontal and vertical lines. This abstraction was seen as a failing, and today representations are oriented towards photo‐realism.

"For over one hundred years photography and film were the leading media. From the start, they served not only to inform and entertain, but were also media of scientific research and documentation. That’s also why these reproduction techniques were associated with notions of objectivity and contemporaneity -- whereas images created by drawing and painting indicated subjectivity and the transrational.

Apparently today computer animation is taking the lead. Our subject is the development and creation of digital animation. If, for example, a forest has to be covered in foliage, the basic genetic growth program will be applied, so that “trees with fresh foliage”, “a forest in which some trees bear four-week-old foliage, others six-week-old foliage” can be created. The more generative algorithms are used, the more the image detaches itself from the appearance as found and becomes an ideal-typical.

"Using the example of trees and bushes, water, fire and clouds we compare the development of surfaces and colourings over the past thirty years in computer animation images. We want to document reality-effects such as reflections, clouds, and smoke in their evolutionary history."  -- Harun Farocki

This second film deals with the spatial dimensions of computer game imagery. Permitted and forbidden space. How boarders are established in computer games spaces. A beautiful thing that encages the player.

Parallel II explores the borders and boundaries of the game worlds. The work follows characters attempts to escape the edges of their animated world by any means, and seeks to reveal what lies outside of the defined spaces and digital borders.

We as player are placed within the space of the game. Before long the limit of the game is reached. The limit of the game is a backdrop as in a theatre. The world ends like a board game.

Parallel III seeks out the backdrops of the game worlds and the nature of their digital objects. It reveals digital worlds which take the form of discs floating in the universe—reminiscent of pre-Hellenistic conceptions of the universe. The animated worlds appear as one-sided theatre stages, flat backdrops revealed only by the movements of an omniscient camera. The objects in the worlds often do not react to "natural forces." Each of their properties must be separately constructed and assigned to them.

Parallel IV explores the actions of the heroes and protagonists of the video game world. These heroes have no parents or teachers; they must test their relationships with others and determine of their, own accord, the rules to follow. Farocki notes these characters are "homunculi, anthropomorphist beings, created by humans. Whoever plays with them has a share in the creator's pride."

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ten for Two: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally (1971)

The John Sinclair Freedom Rally was a protest and concert in response to the imprisonment of John Sinclair for possession of marijuana held on December 10, 1971, in the Crisler Arena at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The event was filmed and released as Ten For Two.

The reason behind the concert was the arrest of Sinclair, who was given ten years in prison for the possession of two marijuana cigarettes. Shortly after the event, Sinclair was released.

John Sinclair will be making two appearances in Stockholm later this month. At Rönnell's Books and Larry's Corner

Friday, August 11, 2017

Goolengook 1997-2004

Mass arrests among the old-growth forest of Goolengook, the site of Australia's longest-running forest blockade.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I'm Now - The Story Of Mudhoney

Few bands have changed my life. Mudhoney is one. This documentary tells the story of Mudhoney from their very beginnings, to following them on their recent world tour and everything in between. Complete with testimonials from friends, music industry veterans and musicians such as Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil and Mudhoney themselves. This is the true story of the founding fathers of Grunge.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Colin Wilson: The High and the Low

In this moving and profound program, Colin Wilson shares his personal struggle in dealing with states of panic and depression. His attempt to cope with these difficult experiences has led him to explore states of extreme lucidity and self-control.

Colin Wilson (1931-2013) was one of the most prolific writers in the English language. His novels include The Mind Parasites, The Philosopher's Stone and Sex Diary of a Metaphysician. Other major works include A Criminal History of Mankind, The Occult, Mysteries, Religion and the Rebel, The New Existentialism, New Pathways in Psychology and The Outsider--his first and most famous book.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Great War (BBC 1964) - Surely We Have Perished: The Battle of Passchendaele

On this day one hundred years ago the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, began. It would rage until 10th November 1917. A total of 800,000 soldiers on both sides of the war died in the blood and mud of the Ypres salient between 1914 and 1918. This is the story of their suffering, sacrifice and slaughter.

First Broadcast: Sept 20, 1964

British and Dominion offensives in Flanders in 1917, originating from the Ypres Salient. The successful capture of Messines Ridge is followed by a partial breach of German defences at Passchendaele, with immense loss of life at both sides. Rainy weather sets in early and armies bog down in mud.

Alfred James Bromfield - British soldier 3:28
Gordon Carey - British Officer 3:57
Bryan Frayling - British Officer 7:33
Cecil Arthur Lewis - British Pilot 9:05
John Roll - Australian Sapper 9:50
Richard Talbot Kelly - British Soldier 21:25
Richard Henry Tobin - Royal Naval Division 21:33, 29:03
Sydney White - British Soldier 22:01
William Bunning - Australian soldier 25:42
Cyril A. Lee - British Soldier 36:24

Heratik: We Had a Dream (in French)

This is an intriguing, intimate account of one of the most celebrated Sound Systems in Europe, offering in-depth interviews with Heretik members as well as their arch-nemesis, officer Jaques Prigent.

Heretik is more than just a Sound System—it’s a political statement. They became a symbol of the free party movement and they were clear in their Heretik ways: We do not conform to the established standards of conduct. They were the “newbies” at the ’95 Teknival in Tamos, amongst established systems like Spiral Tribe. This was a lifestyle that certainly resonated with them and by ’96 they set up their own first party.

“It’s a different life, living in a truck, living outside of society, living far from capitalism. {…} I want to follow people that are open minded, that have an impact, that know things.”

The police were always right behind them; when the system was busted for their respective drug stashes, a five-month stint in jail resulted in the prohibition of attending any of these magical, illegal parties. Suffice to say, that didn’t keep them away, on the contrary—they now saw themselves as “musical terror activists,” spreading messages like: Free parties should be recognized as a public utility. The cat-and-mouse game continued all over France and ex-officer of the French Police Intelligence Unit, Jaques Prigent, is the first to admit that Heretik had magnificent organizational skills—they weren’t always easy to track down.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tantra: Indian Rites of Ecstasy (1969)

This early western film documentary (filmed 1967-68) features Hindu Tantric rituals and visualisation as images and sounds from Northern India and Nepal.

Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र) literally means "loom, warp, weave".

The connotation of the word tantra to mean an esoteric practice or religious ritualism is a colonial era European invention. The term is based on the metaphor of weaving, states Ron Barrett, where the Sanskrit root tan means the warping of threads on a loom. It implies "interweaving of traditions and teachings as threads" into a text, technique or practice. The aim is to experience immediate revelatory or conscious shifts in awareness through disciplinary practice; both physical and mental.

The word appears in the hymns of the Rigveda such as in 10.71, with the meaning of "warp (weaving)". It is found in many other Vedic era texts, such as in section 10.7.42 of the Atharvaveda and many Brahmanas. In these and post-Vedic texts, the contextual meaning of Tantra is that which is "principal or essential part, main point, model, framework, feature”. In the Smritis and epics of Hinduism (and Jainism), the term means "doctrine, rule, theory, method, technique or chapter" and the word appears both as a separate word and as a common suffix, such as atma-tantra meaning "doctrine or theory of Atman (soul, self)".

The term “Tantra” after about 500 BCE, in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism is a bibliographic category, just like the word Sutra (which means "sewing together", mirroring the metaphor of "weaving together" implied by Tantra). The same Buddhist texts are sometimes referred to as tantra or sutra; for example, Vairocabhisambodhi-tantra is also referred to as Vairocabhisambodhi-sutra. The various contextual meaning of the word Tantra varies with the Indian text.

Directed by Nik Douglas, Produced by Mick Jagger and Robert Fraser. Limited initial release in 1969 on college cinemas and galleries in the USA and England. Re-released in 1994 as a VHS cassette. 

Tantra of Gyuto Sacred Rituals of Tibet (1968)

Monks of the Gyuto Tantric College perform sacred Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies in a style of chanting that expresses the ecstasy of true meditation. Tantra Of Gyuto - Sacred Rituals Of Tibet is a 1968 British documentary film made by Francis Huxley vesves Mark Elliott. It focuses on the monks of Gyoto Tantric

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Going Tribal (1995)

Made in 1995, Going Tribal is a documentary about the so-called 'Feral' subculture in Australia. Part punk, part hippy, part Indigenous inspired, part anarchist back-to-nature Romantics, the Ferals represented the coming of age of the first generation of Australians that had Aboriginal peoples as equals according to the law. The land is the centre and the ground and the canopy of the movement.

The feral subculture is/was a counter-cultural social movement originating in the latter part of the twentieth century, mainly centered in Australia. The movement reached its heyday in the mid 1990s, in parallel with other similar movements in Europe and elsewhere. In common with those movements, the feral phenomenon can be seen as part of the wider counterculture. In Australia, the ferals are often seen as an amalgam of the punk and hippie subcultures, with a radical environmental philosophy.

The movement, during the 1990s, was the subject of national attention, and as a phenomenon has been the subject of anthropological attention as a characteristically Australian "alternative lifestyle". "Going Tribal," a documentary by Light Source Films, examined the subculture in 1995.

 The feral movement is strongly associated with radical environmentalism and a communal lifestyle, with many members residing on multiple occupancy properties. In common with the hippies before them, many members of the feral movement rely on a system of crash pads, squats, and extended networks of "friends of friends" throughout Australia to travel with a minimum of financial outlay. Although the itinerant lifestyle and environmental beliefs most associated with the feral movement are akin to those of the earlier hippie movement, the ferals adopted a confrontational, politically charged style of dress, music, and philosophy more often associated with the punk movement.

Me in the 1990s:

I lived here off an on, Coledale NSW, and in Redfern and in East Gippsland and in Tasmania and in Northern NSW and in various places around Queensland during this time. Traveling and learning the whole time. I left for India in mid-1996.

Friday, June 23, 2017

'Blacks, Blues, Black! Episode 1: Positive Africanisms | KQED Arts

Episode 1 of a 10-part TV series made by Dr. Maya Angelou for KQED in 1968 called Blacks, Blues, Black!, which examines the influence of African American culture on modern American society. As Dr. Angelou puts it: "What is Africa to me?" Includes scenes of Dr. Angelou in the studio discussing "positive Africanisms": children's games, dance, poetry, religion and the blues. She states: "The preachers and the blues singers are the poets of the black American world." Also features views on location of children playing street games, of Rev. WR Drummer and Rev. JL Strawther preaching at the Little Zion Baptist Church in San Francisco and of B.B. King performing on-stage and being interviewed by Dr. Angelou. This episode was written by Dr. Angelou and produced by Tony Batten.

The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks

The making of the album.

Friday, June 16, 2017


The Karthikai Deepam Festival in Thiruvannamalai, India

Jump to chapters:
1. The town of Thiruvannamalai 2:02
2. Preparing for the Festival 5:59
3. Inside the temple 10:46
4. Offerings 14:57
5. Morning 18:25
6. Rain 21:37
7. Pulling the chariots 25:51
8. A moment of rest 29:08
9. If I can help I will help 32:28
10. The last day 36:26
11. Arunachala 39:58
12. Shiva's Fire 44:14

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Varanasi, India: "Beyond"

"BEYOND" is an exclusive documentary featuring photographer Joey L. Set in Varanasi, India. The documentary by director Cale Glendening follows Joey and his assistant Ryan as they complete their latest photo series- "Holy Men."

Almost every major religion breeds ascetics; wandering monks who have renounced all earthly possessions, dedicating their lives to the pursuit of spiritual liberation.Their reality is dictated only by the mind, not material objects. Even death is not a fearsome concept, but a passing from the world of illusion.

Created by: Cale Glendening, Joey L., Ryan McCarney
Directed by: Cale Glendening
Edit/Color: Chris Dowsett, Cale Glendening, Joey L., Megan Miller, John Carrington
Graphic/Titles: James Zanoni
Original Score: Stephen Keech,Tony Anderson
All Photographs: Joey L.
Guiding/Translation: Raju Verma, Tejinder Singh

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Rape - Yoko Ono/John Lennon (1969)

John Lennon was a better songwriter than he was visual artist or filmmaker. But here is his film Rape, made with Yoko as The Beatles project was in its final year. This film is from the point of view of a cameraman following a young woman through the streets of a city. He chases her down an alley and knocks her over, in a symbolic form of video assault. No dialogue.

Friday, June 02, 2017

The Subterraneans (1960)

Jack Kerouac's novella The Subterraneans came out in 1958. It tells the story of a short love affair Kerouac had with Alene Lee (1931–1991) in New York in the mid-1950s. Kerouac is portrayed as Leo Percepied while Lee is Mardou Fox. This story becomes the frame for an exposé of the so-called Beatnik culture of the time, with the bars, cafes, pads and characters of the time moving through the lens of Percepied (Latin for "Pierced Foot", a reference to the piteous suffering and Christ obsession Kerouac followed throughout his life) and Fox's love. As a studying in emotional self-absorbed passion it is exemplary.

This 1960 film adaptation changed the African American character Mardou Fox, Kerouac's love interest, to a young French girl (played by Leslie Caron) to better fit both contemporary social and Hollywood palates. While it was derided and vehemently criticized by Allen Ginsberg among others, for its two-dimensional characters, it illustrates the way the film industry attempted to exploit the emerging popularity of this culture as it grew in San Francisco and Greenwich Village, New York.

A Greenwich Village beatnik bar setting had been used in Richard Quine's film Bell, Book and Candle (1958), but Ranald MacDougall's adaptation of Kerouac's novel, scripted by Robert Thom, was less successful.

The Subterraneans was one of the final MGM films produced by Arthur Freed, and features a score by André Previn and brief appearances by jazz singer Carmen McRae singing "Coffee Time," and saxophonists Gerry Mulligan, as a street priest, and Art Pepper. Comedian Arte Johnson plays the Gore Vidal character, here named Arial Lavalerra.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Raised by Krump

Raised By Krump from Maceo Frost on Vimeo.

“I think Krump symbolizes every piece of what we went through growing up in our neighborhoods,” says Miss Prissy, “from being chased by gangbangers to being harassed by the police for just being who we are and what we are. It was about us going through the shit that we just couldn’t control anymore, and I feel that’s what birthed Krump.”

Creative inspiration, or that light-bulb moment when an idea transforms into passion, is often found in the most unexpected places. For filmmaker Maceo Frost, that spark came at a street dance camp in the Czech Republic: during a chance encounter with krumping, a form of dance characterized by rapid, expressive movements, he witnessed the crowd go “from wild to completely speechless.” Capturing this feeling, which he describes as “spiritual goosebumps,” led him across the world to a parking lot in South Central Los Angeles. There he met Marquisa “Miss Prissy” Gardner, one of the founders of the movement, and began the journey of making this week’s Staff Pick Premiere, “Raised By Krump.”

Maceo combines personal interviews and dance with breathtaking style and intimacy for a rare view into the soul that drives the movement. In krump, each gesture is drawn from reaching deep within the dancer’s personal experiences to give physical form to the disappointments and heartbreak of daily life. As Maceo puts it, “the more you feel and release, the more the crowd pushes you. It doesn’t matter at what level you dance. It’s all about pushing each other until you reach that zone where you’re connected to your feelings.” A poignant look at self-expression, the film focuses on the art of dance as a means to express real-life struggles and offer a positive alternative to street violence.

Known for his strong visual flair, Maceo worked with cinematographer and childhood friend Robin Asselmeyer to develop a “spiritual, divine kind of look” and the undeniable glow that seeps into each frame. As a handheld camera floats between intimate interviews and raw slow-motion performances, Almkvist’s original score of piano melodies and harmonies remixed with synth beats (see some behind the scenes magic here) provides the backbone that ties it all together. Culminating into a perfect symbiosis of storytelling and performance, “Raised By Krump” is an emotionally-charged ode to krump and the performers that give it life.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The New Alchemists

The New Alchemists, Dorothy Todd Hénaut, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

This short documentary profiles a community engaged in developing sustainable living methods, including food production and small-scale solar and wind technology, on a farm in Massachusetts in the 1970s. Well before sustainability was a mainstream concern, these prescient innovators attempted to create a vision of a greener, kinder world. "Think small," say the New Alchemists. "Look what thinking big has done."

Monday, May 15, 2017

Oliver Cromwell (A Historical Model for Understanding Donald Trump?)

Oliver Cromwell was a religious fanatic and manic depressive farmer who recovered from his crippling depression and developed a fundamental religious mania as a way of giving meaning to his life. He was a member of the minor gentry in his local area, but conflict followed him constantly, whereby he argued and fought with anyone who did not share his views. He eventually sought the support of God for his beliefs and actions through the Puritan Church. He rose through the ranks of the Parliamentary forces that were fighting the supporters of the King, Charles I. He eventually made himself Lord High Protector of England, Ireland and Wales and then instituted a theocratic system of governance where all festivals and holidays (even Christmas), music, theater, football, pubs and inns were banned. Instead 'Fast Days' each month were introduced where citizens were compelled to fast and pray.

Cromwell believed that women and girls should dress in a proper manner. Make-up was banned. Puritan leaders and soldiers would roam the streets of towns and scrub off any make-up found on unsuspecting women. Too colourful dresses were banned. A Puritan lady wore a long black dress that covered her almost from neck to toes. She wore a white apron and her hair was bunched up behind a white head-dress. Puritan men wore black clothes and short hair.
Cromwell banned Christmas as people would have known it then. By the C17th, Christmas had become a holiday of celebration and enjoyment – especially after the problems caused by the civil war. Cromwell wanted it returned to a religious celebration where people thought about the birth of Jesus rather than ate and drank too much. In London, soldiers were ordered to go round the streets and take, by force if necessary, food being cooked for a Christmas celebration. The smell of a goose being cooked could bring trouble. Traditional Christmas decorations like holly were banned.
Despite all these rules, Cromwell himself was not strict. He enjoyed music, hunting and playing bowls. He even allowed full-scale entertainment at his daughter’s wedding. Life Under Cromwell
Fast forward to 2017 and the resemblances to Donald J. Trump and the conduct of his administration, at least in the popular media from both sides, are startling. This BBC documentary from 2001 looks at the life of Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 – 3 September 1658) and in my opinion Old Ironsides would not feel out of place in the present White House, even with his fevered hatred of Catholics and teetotaler lifestyle. The creation of their own power base (Cromwell: New Model Army and the negotiations with its members following the second civil war and the uneasy peace, and the vast array of Right Wing organizations that pledged loyalty to Trump during the campaign of 2016) is another common feature, as well as elevating members of their own families to positions of power. Even the idea that theirs is a mission ordained my God is present in the political lives of both figures as well as an almost schoolboy behavior in times of pressure and stress (Cromwell started a giggling ink fight on the night he was writing the death warrant for Charles I's execution).

In fact it has even been asserted that Trump is a descendant of Cromwell on his mother's side, "Trump, a 12th great-grandchild of Cromwell’s, is connected to his line through his Scottish mother, Mary Anne MacLeod (Irish Central News).

Friday, May 12, 2017

Rumpole and the Confession of Guilt

If you want to learn to write dialogue in English, watch Rumpole. Writing great dialogue is very difficult. I am struggling with even coming close to decent character dialogue. But today I found a lesson in master craft. Sink into the dark recesses of human existence with the glorious writing and acting that is Rumpole of the Bailey (1978-1992). Written by John Mortimer (1923-2009) and delivered by Leo McKern (1920-2002). While many of the values it expresses may come from another social epoch (casual sexism and racism abound), the language and craft of story telling are timeless. The hour-long pilot episode that aired on BBC1 in 1975 introducing the irrepressible Old Bailey defence lawyer, Horace Rumpole. Features specially filmed interview with writer, John Mortimer. Just brilliant. Leon McKern plays Rumpole and he represents a form of acting that is becoming increasingly rare, if not totally endangered from extinction, today.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

"The Stack: Design and Geopolitics in the Age of Planetary-Scale Computing"

Drawing on his book, "The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty" (MIT Press), the theorist Benjamin H. Bratton critically discusses changes in the scale and operation of the global computation infrastructure, identifying the emergence of what he sees as a new kind of political geography. From smart grids, to cloud computing, to mobile software and smart cities, to universal addressing systems, to ubiquitous computing and robotics—these are not unrelated genres of computation but a larger and coherent whole: a planetary-scale megastructure called The Stack, through which we divide up the world into sovereign spaces.

What has planetary-scale computation done to our geopolitical realities? It takes different forms at different scales—from energy and mineral sourcing and subterranean cloud infrastructure to urban software and massive universal addressing systems; from interfaces drawn by the augmentation of the hand and eye to users identified by self—quantification and the arrival of legions of sensors, algorithms, and robots. Together, how do these distort and deform modern political geographies and produce new territories in their own image?

In The Stack, Benjamin Bratton proposes that these different genres of computation—smart grids, cloud platforms, mobile apps, smart cities, the Internet of Things, automation—can be seen not as so many species evolving on their own, but as forming a coherent whole: an accidental megastructure called The Stack that is both a computational apparatus and a new governing architecture. We are inside The Stack and it is inside of us.

In an account that is both theoretical and technical, drawing on political philosophy, architectural theory, and software studies, Bratton explores six layers of The Stack: Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, User. Each is mapped on its own terms and understood as a component within the larger whole built from hard and soft systems intermingling—not only computational forms but also social, human, and physical forces. This model, informed by the logic of the multilayered structure of protocol “stacks,” in which network technologies operate within a modular and vertical order, offers a comprehensive image of our emerging infrastructure and a platform for its ongoing reinvention.

The Stack is an interdisciplinary design brief for a new geopolitics that works with and for planetary-scale computation. Interweaving the continental, urban, and perceptual scales, it shows how we can better build, dwell within, communicate with, and govern our worlds.

Benjamin Bratton Public Lecture October 29, 2014

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Genesis P-Orridge about Control, Fear, Drugs, Unity, Love

Genesis P-Orridge speaking on our addiction to control and how to change it. Interview was recorded in Tbilisi, Georgia 26 October 2016. Stockholm Show of Psychic TV 26 May 2017.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

William S. Burroughs -THE FINAL ACADEMY DOCUMENTS 1962-63

These are a series of remixes of tape and film experiments made by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in Paris and London in 1962-63.

The Final Academy was a 1982 tour in Britain, organized by David Dawson, Roger Ely and Genesis P-Orridge. The project was based on, featuring works of and was inspired by William S Burroughs. The Final Academy Documents is a DVD of edited highlights from the tour, including Burroughs's public appearance in 1982 and reading from his work at Manchester's Haçienda club, a performance by John Giorno and includes the experimental film collaborations with Anthony Balch, Brion Gysin, and others - Towers Open Fire and Ghosts at No. 9.

Track 1 from 16mm film - a "cut up" by P.T.V. from their archives.
Tracks 3 to 7 video taped on October 4, 1982 in The Haçienda, Manchester. Shot, edited and produced by Ikon.

Also included are previews of other DVD releases by Dead Kennedys, Divine, Johnny Cash, Johnny Thunders, Nico and the "Groupies" documentary.

From the end credits:

Ikon and P.T.V. wish to thank the following..
James Grauerholz
Rita Jarvis
Savoy Books
Howard and Mike (Hacienda)
Tony Martin (lights)
OZ P.A. (Sound)

All material on both sections used with kind permission of Brion Gysin, John Giorno and William S. Burroughs

© Ikon F.C.L./P.T.V. 1984

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Arctic Methane Emergency and Ecological Economics

"We are negotiating a deal between life on earth and the wellbeing of all and money"

Global warming is causing CO2 levels to hit 400 ppm, a level humans have never seen. Droughts are spreading and Miami is reporting that the ocean is backing.

Stuart Scott is the Founder and President of Transition University.  A dedicated, life-long lover of Nature, Stuart was the first environmentalist stockbroker on Wall Street in the late 1970s, representing the financial community at US Department of Energy hearings on the fledgling alternative energy industry, and matters of pollution control and corporate social responsibility.

Stuart is currently making presentations to audiences around the world on the impacts of climate change and counter measures to this most serious challenge that humanity has ever faced. He attempts to minimize his own ‘carbon footprint’ in any way possible, including the purchase of carbon offsets for his travel, a ‘second-tier’ but important piece of the de-carbonization puzzle.

The unwavering message Stuart presents is the critical need for immediate action at all levels. Globally we have strayed too far into a condition of ‘overshoot’ in stressing the ecological systems of our home planet. The solutions he offers to address our ecological problems range from personal through political to societal, both easy and difficult to implement, and often thought-provoking, innovative, and unusual. Our challenge is nothing short of rethinking and reorganizing the way we live on Earth.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sea levels could rise by more than three feet by the end of this century. The United States Army Corps of Engineers projects that they could rise by as much as five feet; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts up to six and a half feet. Many geologists are looking at the possibility of a ten-to-thirty-foot range by the end of the century,

Our inability to abandoned a culture in which happiness, status and a sense of achievement are based solely on consumption is going to destroy civilization. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Dongas Tribe in the Summer of 1996

The Dongas Movie was shot at Brian's Field & Sherborne in Dorset. This video was created by a German Television production company and expresses a desire for a sustainable life on Planet Earth. The people who participated are Collin & Jo & Tansy, Liz & Soren, Brian, Tegwyn & Elkana, Sam(antha) & Joya & Tom, Sarah, Vicky, Laugh, Gipsey John and the people of Sherborne.

The Dongas Tribe was a collection of road protesters and travellers in England, noted for their occupation of Twyford Down outside Winchester, Hampshire. The name Dongas comes from the Matabele word for "gully", given by Winchester locals to the deep drovers' tracks on Twyford Down.

John Vidal, writing in The Guardian in 2012, said of The Dongas that "the 15-20 urban youths who camped out to try to defend Twyford Down in 1992 are recognised to have fired up British environmental protest and kickstarted a major shift in green attitudes in both government and the public."

The Twyford Down protest was a protest against the M3 motorway extension which destroyed some rich ecological sites, one of the very few habitats of the Chalkhill Blue butterfly and six species of rare orchid, and ancient monuments there (SSSI and Scheduled Ancient Monument).

Following "Yellow Wednesday", when hordes of police and security guards invaded the camp to bulldoze the area, the Dongas Tribe left Twyford Down for Bramdean Common. Earth First!, who had been heavily involved in the setting up and support of the camp and actions, continued the protests and restarted a camp in Plague Pits Valley.

They constituted about twenty people. Some of the tribe maintained involvement in various subsequent road protests (Solsbury Hill, North Wales, Newbury bypass), but gradually morphed into a semi-nomadic "tribe", traveling the South West of England on foot, squatting various hill-forts and putting on seasonal gatherings in an attempt to reawaken a sense of connectedness with the land. The last of the nomadic Dongas were travelling in Cornwall until the end of 1999, after which some moved to France to continue their nomadic lifestyle.

The cutting at Twyford Down, during construction of the M3 motorway in 1994. Some of the 'original Dongas' (as they became called) of the mid 1990s were musicians who made a living by busking, sometimes using traditional music from Brittany.

The first child born in the Dongas tribe, to Rosie Lambert, was named May Brigit "Donga" Lambert and was born on 1 May 1994, Beltane and May Day.

An archive of recordings from The Dongas Tribe can be heard and downloaded from here.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Coleridge: One of the Greatest Biographies of the Century - Darker Reflections (1999)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (/ˈkoʊləˌrɪdʒ/; 21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. Coleridge coined many familiar words and phrases, including suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence on Emerson and American transcendentalism.

Throughout his adult life Coleridge had crippling bouts of anxiety and depression; it has been speculated that he had bipolar disorder, which had not been defined during his lifetime. He was physically unhealthy, which may have stemmed from a bout of rheumatic fever and other childhood illnesses. He was treated for these conditions with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction.

Between 1810 and 1820, Coleridge gave a series of lectures in London and Bristol – those on Shakespeare renewed interest in the playwright as a model for contemporary writers. Much of Coleridge's reputation as a literary critic is founded on the lectures that he undertook in the winter of 1810–11, which were sponsored by the Philosophical Institution and given at Scot's Corporation Hall off Fetter Lane, Fleet Street. These lectures were heralded in the prospectus as "A Course of Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, in Illustration of the Principles of Poetry." Coleridge's ill-health, opium-addiction problems, and somewhat unstable personality meant that all his lectures were plagued with problems of delays and a general irregularity of quality from one lecture to the next. As a result of these factors, Coleridge often failed to prepare anything but the loosest set of notes for his lectures and regularly entered into extremely long digressions which his audiences found difficult to follow. However, it was the lecture on Hamlet given on 2 January 1812 that was considered the best and has influenced Hamlet studies ever since. Before Coleridge, Hamlet was often denigrated and belittled by critics from Voltaire to Dr. Johnson. Coleridge rescued the play's reputation, and his thoughts on it are often still published as supplements to the text.

In August 1814, Coleridge was approached by Lord Byron's publisher, John Murray, about the possibility of translating Goethe's classic Faust (1808). Coleridge was regarded by many as the greatest living writer on the demonic and he accepted the commission, only to abandon work on it after six weeks. Until recently, scholars were in agreement that Coleridge never returned to the project, despite Goethe's own belief in the 1820s that he had in fact completed a long translation of the work. In September 2007, Oxford University Press sparked a heated scholarly controversy by publishing an English translation of Goethe's work that purported to be Coleridge's long-lost masterpiece (the text in question first appeared anonymously in 1821).

In April 1816, Coleridge, with his addiction worsening, his spirits depressed, and his family alienated, took residence in the Highgate homes, then just north of London, of the physician James Gillman, first at South Grove and later at the nearby The Grove. It is unclear whether his growing use of opium (and the brandy in which it was dissolved) was a symptom or a cause of his growing depression. Gillman was partially successful in controlling the poet's addiction. Coleridge remained in Highgate for the rest of his life, and the house became a place of literary pilgrimage for writers including Carlyle and Emerson.

In Gillman's home, Coleridge finished his major prose work, the Biographia Literaria (mostly drafted in 1815, and finished in 1817), a volume composed of 23 chapters of autobiographical notes and dissertations on various subjects, including some incisive literary theory and criticism. He composed a considerable amount of poetry, of variable quality. He published other writings while he was living at the Gillman homes, notably the Lay Sermons of 1816 and 1817, Sibylline Leaves (1817), Hush (1820), Aids to Reflection (1825), and On the Constitution of the Church and State (1830). He also produced essays published shortly after his death, such as Essay on Faith (1838) and Confessions Of An Inquiring Spirit (1840). A number of his followers were central to the Oxford Movement, and his religious writings profoundly shaped Anglicanism in the mid nineteenth century.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Benjamin Smoke (2000)

"I have this bad habit of punishing myself when things are going bad cause I don't think they are going bad enough" - Benjamin Smoke

Benjamin Smoke (born Robert Dickerson) was an American singer-songwriter who fronted the Atlanta, Georgia bands Smoke and the Opal Foxx Quartet. He was noted for being a radical, gay rock 'n' roll performer. He died on January 29, 1999 due to liver failure caused by Hepatitis C at age 39. He performed his final concert in Atlanta, Georgia on New Year's Eve, 1998.

Benjamin was a known character in the underground scene in 1980s Atlanta and participated in a number of Atlanta music experiments such as Easturn Stars, Monroe is Naked Again, Freedom Puff, Blade Emotion, and the Opal Foxx Quartet (which often had up to 12 members). His bands played in such venues as 688, Celebrity Club, Pillowtex, Destroy All Music Festival, among others. For the band, Smoke donned the stage name "Miss Opal Foxx".

During this time his vocals received media attention and Tom Waits comparisons arose. His voice has since been described as "resembling the roar of a wounded lion". After some of the musicians of the group died, the band Smoke was conceived in 1992 with members Bill Taft, Brian Halloran, and Todd Butler. Coleman Lewis and Tim Campion later joined the band, followed by Will Fratesi.

Smoke was renowned for his on-stage banter, never shying away from provoking his viewers, "for a faggot, do I have a rockin' band or what?" Benjamin was an amphetamine addict and he also had AIDS, though he claimed "HIV is not a death sentence". AIDS brought him closer to his mother, though he eventually lost his life due to Hepatitis C.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

We Have Signal: Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2016 Tour)

I am quivering like a delirious child. Godspeed at the height of their powers. Cascading walls of sound of infinite depth. Nothing can stop them and nothing should. Just magnificent. Happy Equinox!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tangerine Dream at Coventry Cathedral 1975

In December 1974 Tangerine Dream were invited to play in the grand setting of Rheims Cathedral, a move certainly seen at the time as groundbreaking. Following the concert the Vatican issued an order banning them from playing in any Catholic church anywhere in the world. Because of this, they were then invited to perform in the Church of England cathedrals of York, Liverpool and Coventry. The tour attracted unprecedented coverage in the media, especially at Coventry Cathedral, an iconic building rising like a Phoenix on the ruins of the old cathedral bombed to bits by the Germans in 1940 (Tangerine Dream is, after all, a German band) as a celebration of peace and reconciliation, as well as a lasting showcase for great contemporary art. The nave is dominated by a gigantic tapestry by Graham Sutherland, the main door dwarfed by a sculpture of St Michael and The Devil by Jacob Epstein, and the consecration in 1962 heard the first performance of Britten's incomparable 'War Requiem. To their lasting credit, Tangerine Dream contributed to this celebration.

Friday, March 31, 2017

War of the Worlds musical by Jeff Wayne

Stage production of the classic War of the Worlds musical, retelling the story of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, released September 6, 1978. A concept album, its main format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story via rhyming melodic lyrics that express the feelings of the various characters. The two-disc album remains a bestseller, having sold millions of records around the world, and by 2009 it was the 40th best selling album of all time in the UK with sales of 2,561,286.


·       Richard Burton – narration (The Journalist) (via a "virtual" Richard Burton: a large bust of the Journalist plus a projected image)
·       Liam Neeson – narration (The Journalist) (The New Generation 2012, 2014 and the Dominion Theatre stage production 2016)
·       Justin Hayward – vocals (The Sung Thoughts of the Journalist) (all tours: 2006, 2007 Australian, 2007 UK, 2009 30th Anniversary, and 2010 tour)
·       Alexis James – dialogue and vocals (The Artilleryman) (2006, 2007 UK, and 2009 30th Anniversary tour)
·       Michael Falzon – spoken words and vocals (The Artilleryman) (2007 Australian tour)
·       Jason Donovan – dialogue and vocals (The Artilleryman) (2010 tour)
·       Chris Thompson – vocals (The Voice of Humanity) (all tours: 2006, 2007 Australian, 2007 UK, 2009 30th Anniversary, and 2010 tour)
·       Russell Watson – dialogue and vocals (Parson Nathaniel) (2006 tour)
·       Shannon Noll – dialogue and vocals (Parson Nathaniel) (2007 Australian and first half of 2009 30th Anniversary tour)
·       John Payne – dialogue and vocals (Parson Nathaniel) (2007 UK tour)
·       Damien Edwards – dialogue and vocals (Parson Nathaniel) (second half of 2009 30th Anniversary tour)
·       Rhydian Roberts – dialogue and vocals (Parson Nathaniel) (2010 tour)
·       Tara Blaise – dialogue and vocals (Beth) (2006 tour)
·       Rachael Beck – dialogue and vocals (Beth) (2007 Australian tour)
·       Sinéad Quinn – dialogue and vocals (Beth) (2007 UK tour)
·       Jennifer Ellison – dialogue and vocals (Beth) (2009 30th Anniversary tour)
·       Liz McClarnon – dialogue and vocals (Beth) (2010 tour)
·       Carrie Hope Fletcher – dialogue and vocals (Beth) (2014 tour)
·       Daniel Boys – dialogue and vocals (Male Understudy) (all tours: 2006, 2007 Australian, 2007 UK, 2009 30th Anniversary, and 2010 tour)