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Gorgeous photographs of Cuba
02.24.2011
01:29 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Cuba
Jeffrey Milstein

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Wow! Colorful and brilliant images of Cuban life and architecture by photographer Jeffrey Milstein. I just can’t get over how amazing these are. Truly top-notch work in my opinion. 

Check out Jeffrey Milstein’s website to view Cuba 1 and Cuba 2—it’s worth it.
 
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More photos after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Just released interview with Lydia Lunch and Richard Kern from 1995

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DM pal David Flint has just uploaded a rare video interview with Lydia Lunch and Richard Kern from 1995, over on his always interesting site, Strange Things are Happening. As David explains: 

In 1995, your Strange Things editor began work on a project for the freshly-launched Television X, which was aspiring to be more than simply a soft porn channel. I convinced them that a documentary about ‘transgressive culture’ would be a good thing, especially as many of the leading lights in the field were going to be in London over the next few months. In the end, the higher-ups decided that such noble aspirations were foolish and returned to the T&A, but not before we shot this interview with Richard Kern and Lydia Lunch.

The pair were in London for NFT screenings of Kern’s films and the launch of his book New York Girls. This interview took place the day after the launch party, which is one reason why everyone is so tired! Also in attendance was photographer Doralba Picerno.

It was filmed by a TVX staffer on Hi-8, without any lighting - so was never going to be broadcast standard. It was several years before I was given the tape, and a few more after that before I could actually play it. But while the quality might be a bit murky, the content is, hopefully, worthwhile.I believe this was the first - and possibly only - time the pair were interviewed together.

 

 
Part two of the Lydia Lunch and Richard Kern interview, after the jump…
 
Via Strange Things
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Zimoun redux: Cardboard and swarf symphonies
02.23.2011
01:52 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:
Zimoun

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Zimoun is a simply wonderful Swiss installation artist that I’ve blogged about previously. Here is some of his quite recent work from shows in San Francisco and Quebec. Somehow the combination of the soft, yet industrial materials amassed in large numbers coupled with the live acoustics leads one to think of any combination of rain, the purring of cats or distant, menacing drummers.
 

 


 
More Zimoun installation clips after the jump…

Posted by Brad Laner | Discussion
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John Boehner wah-wah pedal: A face you wanna stomp on

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“Crybaby” oil on steel wah-wah pedal, 4"x10"x3”

Amusing John Boehner wah-wah pedal entitled “Crybaby” by San Francisco-based artist Jesse Wiedel.

Thanks, Kenneth Thomas!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Control: Spoek Mathambo & Pieter Hugo team up for wild Joy Division cover/video
02.22.2011
10:49 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
Joy Division
Pieter Hugo
Spoek Mathambo
Control

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We’ve posted before about both South African artist Spoek Mathambo and amazing photographer Pieter Hugo (his book Nollywood is sitting on a coffeetable 10 feet away from me as I type this) and wow, their new collobaoration on this video for Spoek’s fucking brilliant cover of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control” is nothing short of simply astonishing.

You think there’s nothing new under the sun, jaded reader? That every good idea has already been used up by music video directors? Guess again because this will knock your socks off!

Via Dazed Digital:

‘Control’, the fourth single from Spoek Mathambo‘s debut album Mshini Wam, is a ‘darkwave township house’ cover of the Joy Division classic ‘She’s Lost Control’. In collaboration with one of South Africa’s most influential photographers Pieter Hugo, and cinematographer Michael Cleary, the new video explores township cults and teen gangs. Shot on location in a squatted train boarding house in Langa, Cape Town, the video features a cast mostly made up of local neighborhood kids who run their own dance troop, Happy Feet. Spoek Mathambo has been pioneering a progressive take on African music for the last few years via his DJing (as HIVIP), solo and live band projects, having featured on Boysnoize Records and Top Billin.

Directed and shot by Pieter Hugo & Michael Cleary. Edited by Richard Starkey

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Voodoo Dubstep: Cape Town, South Africa’s rising star, Spoek Mathambo

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The electronic sound baths of Eliane Radigue
02.21.2011
08:26 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Thinkers

Tags:
Eliane Radigue

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The wonderful Eliane Radigue now composes exclusively for acoustic instruments but here are a couple of her slowly unfolding and deceptively complex electronic works for your listening pleasure along with an utterly charming video portrait. These works, composed entirely on the ARP 2500, the same model that was used in Close Encounters to communicate with the E.T.s, and recorded to a consumer grade reel-to-reel are a mind-clearing delight and will reward the patient listener with layers of subliminal tones and rhythms. Listen carefully.
 
An excerpt from Adnos 1 (1975)

 
An excerpt from Σ = a = b = a + b (1969)

 
A brief visit to the home studio of Eliane Radigue and her beautiful (and keyboard-less!) ARP 2500:

 
With thanks to Justin Meldal-Johnsen !

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Discussion
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One of theater’s greatest performances: Jack MacGowran in Samuel Beckett’s ‘Beginning to End’

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Jack MacGowran was a frail-looking, bird-like man, whose frame belied his power and talent as an actor. You’ll recognize him from The Excorcist, where he played alcoholic director Burke Dennings, or perhaps from Polanski’s Cul-de-Sac, or as Professor Abronsius, in The Fearless Vampire Killers.

If Billie Whitelaw was Samuel Beckett’s favorite actress, then MacGowran was his favored actor. The pair met in the bar of a shabby London hotel, an unlikely start to an “intimate alliance” that saw MacGowran collaborate with Beckett on the definitive versions of Waiting for Godot and Endgame. From this, their partnership led to a further legendary collaboration Beginning to End. As Jordan R. Young noted in his book, The Beckett Actor:

...Jack MacGowran in the Works of Samuel Beckett (aka Beginning to End) [is] one of the most highly-acclaimed one-man shows in the history of theatre, [which] changed forever the public perception of Beckett from a purveyor of gloom and despair, to a writer of wit, humanity and courage. It also brought the actor widespread recognition as Beckett’s foremost interpreter. “The first time I saw Jack, in Endgame… I came away haunted by the impression he made on me,” said Paul Scofield. “I have remained so ever since.”

The production was filmed to celebrate Beckett’s sixtieth birthday:

Beginning to End [which] features the peerless Jack MacGowran in his one-man show, devised with Beckett and recorded for RTÉ Television in 1966. “Jack’s stage presence stays with me more than anything,” said Peter O’Toole. “This frail thing with this enormous power. He walked a tightrope as if it were a three-lane highway.” Martin Esslin, in The Theatre of the Absurd, commented on Beckett’s deep affection for MacGowran: “If ever there was a perfect congruence between a great poet’s imagination and an actor, this was it ... Jack MacGowran’s individual quality and life story are an essential ingredient in our understanding of the life and work of one of the outstanding creative minds of our time.”

Rarely seen, and long thought lost, this is a must-see, for it is one of the greatest stage performances ever committed to film.
 

 
Previously on DM

Billie Whitelaw’s stunning performance in Samuel Beckett’s ‘Not I’, 1973


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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The visions of Henri Michaux

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In 1963, Belgian writer, painter and mystic Henri Michaux collaborated with film maker Eric Duvivier on Images Du Monde Visionnaire. It was produced by Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz as an educational tool to demonstrate the visual effects of mescaline and hashish. The film was based on Michaux’s experiences with psychedelics which he documented in his books Miserable Miracle, L’Infini Turbulent and Paix Dans Les Brisements.

Michaux denounced the film as not being truly representative of the psychedelic experience. He felt that Duvivier, who had never taken mescaline, had no grasp of the drug experience and that film itself was incapable of replicating the visionary aspect of tripping.

When it was proposed to make a film about mescaline hallucinations, I have declared, I have repeated and I repeat it again, that that is to attempt the impossible. Even in a superior film, made with substantial means, with all one needs for an exceptional production, I must state beforehand the images will be insufficient. The images would have to be more dazzling, more instable, more subtle, more changeable, more ungraspable, more trembling, more tormenting, more writhing, infinitely more charged, more intensely beautiful, more frighteningly colored, more aggressive, more idiotic, more strange.

With regard to the film’s speed, it should be so high that all scenes would have to fit in fifty seconds.

While I am sympathetic to Michaux’s frustrations on a spiritual level, I disagree with him about film not being up to the task of duplicating the psychedelic experience on a visual level. Of all the art forms, cinema can come closest to bending the mind in ways that approximate the psychedelic experience. The best examples of which are the films of Stan Brakhage and fragments of James Cameron’s Avatar.

More of an avant-garde tone poem than educational film, here is Images Du Monde Visionnaire in its entirety:
 

Thanks Rob.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Billie Whitelaw’s stunning performance in Samuel Beckett’s ‘Not I’, 1973

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The actress Billie Whitelaw couldn’t imagine what it was like. The theater darkened, apart from a spotlight on Whitelaw’s mouth, as she delivered Samuel Beckett’s babbling stream of consciousness Not I.

It’s one of the most disturbing images in theater: a disembodied mouth, telling its tale “at the speed of thought.” It takes incredible discipline and strength for the actor to perform: the text isn’t easy to learn, its full of difficult instructions, pauses, repetitions and disjointed phrases; add to this the speed of delivery, which means the actor has to learn circular breathing in order to deliver the lines. Jessica Tandy once gave a performance that lasted twenty-four minutes, only to be told by Beckett that she had “ruined” his play. And let’s not forget the rigidity of the piece: the actor’s lack of mobility, the mouth tethered to a spotlight, all of which says everything for Whitelaw’s brilliance as an actor.

Here, Whitelaw introduces Not I in the short documentary, A Wake for Sam, and explains the effect it had on her:

Plenty of writers can write a play about a state of mind, but [Beckett] actually put that state of mind on the stage, in front of your eyes. And I think a lot of people recognized it. I recognized it. When I first read it at home, I just burst in to tears, because I recognized the inner scream. Perhaps that’s not what it is, I don’t know, but for me, that’s what I recognized, an inner scream, in there, and no escaping it.

 

 
Previously on DM

Samuel Beckett speaks


 
With thanks to Tim Lucas
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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The Shining: Overlook Hotel Children’s Placemat
02.20.2011
11:09 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Movies

Tags:
The Shining
Shane Parker

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Ha! Clever Overlook Hotel children’s placemat by artist Shane Parker. This is way cooler than a Denny’s “Moons Over My Hammy Omelette” placemat.

Click here to see a larger image.

(via Neatorama)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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