FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
The Spectrum: Trippy 60s psychedelic fun house designed by Damon Albarn’s father
04.28.2014
06:05 pm
Topics:
Tags:

 

Witness “The Spectrum” a fantastically psychedelic carnival fun house designed by Keith Albarn (father of Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz). Sadly this British Pathé film short is probably the only thing that remains of it and there is little to no information about it anywhere on the Internet. I’d have loved a chance to see this in person. As it was meant to be seen. On acid.

“Simple gadgetry activates light and sound in these way-out labyrinths. Albarn hopes that the people who wander through his Palace will be encouraged to master their environment, instead of being mastered by it.”

image

Watching this I got to thinking about a different druggy funhouse on this side of the pond—also no longer standing—the infamous Palladium night club of New York City. Once the fabled Palladium Ballroom, where Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Patti Smith, The Clash and Lou Reed all played, the Palladium reopened in 1985 owned by former jailbirds Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, who had previously run Studio 54. Artists like Francesco Clemente, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Laurie Anderson and Arata Isozaki were all commissioned to build installations.

The lighted staircase (see above) was amazing—especially if you were on Ecstasy—and the Basquiat mural behind the upstairs bar was nothing short of astonishing (and really, really huge, about the size of billboard). A house would crash from the ceiling onto the dance floor like the one that killed the Wicked Witch of the West and spinning walls of video monitors hovered overhead. (If you are thinking this sounds like the set of Club MTV, you would be correct.). It was a fantastically decadent place to spend one’s youth. Now it’s an NYU dorm with a Trader Joe’s grocery store downstairs!

(I wonder if they were able to preserve the Basquiat? It was painted directly on the wall and probably as valuable as the real estate itself).

image

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
04.28.2014
06:05 pm
|
The surreal and just *downright freaky* covers of 60s magazine Midi-Minuit Fantastique (NSFW)
04.25.2014
01:33 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
Midi-Minuit Fantastique was a French cineaste magazine dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction films of the 1960s to early 70s. It was one of the first “serious” publications to explore genre films. Later on, Midi-Minuit Fantastique dealt with more mainstream culture and subject matters with profiles on directors like Samuel Fuller, Otto Preminger or Federico Fellini.

But honestly, who cares what Midi-Minuit Fantastique wrote about. Just look at these incredible covers! They’re up there with Girls & Corpses (NSFW) magazine!
 

 

 

 

 

 
More covers after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Tara McGinley
|
04.25.2014
01:33 pm
|
Now you can buy swag adorned with the art of George W. Bush!
04.25.2014
11:19 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Do you like terrible art? Terrible art made by war criminals? And paraphernalia thereof?!?

Well, you’re in luck! An anonymous prankster at Society6 has been hawking prints, canvases, tote bags, throw pillows and wall clocks featuring the creepily naïve paintings of George W. Bush! You have your choice of Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, Hamid Karzai, or if you’re feeling Freudian, daddy George Bush! All proceeds after production go to War Child International, a nonprofit describing itself as a family of independent humanitarian “organisations which work together to help children and young people affected by armed conflict.” How apropos!

The folks over at Animal NYC checked on the ethics/legal end of the copyright issues with their expert, Greg Allen, who described the stunt as, “kind of a dick move, supposedly by someone without the guts to come forward and claim their bad boy gesture.” He’s of the opinion that the merch is “purely a slow-off-the-line publicity stunt by Society6, which is the merchandising subsidiary of online content mill Demand Media. And it’s a dick move whenever a corporation rips off the creative output of an artist, especially an emerging artist. Even if he happens to be a war criminal.”

I have no such qualms with this kind of “theft”! For all I care, you can go steal the garden gnomes off of George W. Bush’s lawn—assuming, of course, you could manage to not get shot in the process. You can say that you’re “liberating” them!  At the same time, I’m sure Allen is right, and this is just a gesture from Society6—unless you really like owning ugly conversation pieces, you’re better off just donating your cash or time to antiwar groups or foreign aid. Remember folks, having ugly throw pillows doesn’t fight the power!
 

 

 

 
Via Animal

Posted by Amber Frost
|
04.25.2014
11:19 am
|
Clackity clack: Typewriter art throughout the 20th century
04.24.2014
04:33 pm
Topics:
Tags:

Typewriter art
Italic Ode, Dom Sylvester Houédard (U.K., 1971)
 
In 2014, ASCII art has been a familiar form of pictorial art for at least two decades, whereas typewriters are hardly ever used un-ironically, they have become the vintage terrrain of hipster collectors. But it was not always so. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, at least to judge from Alan Riddell’s fascinating 1975 collection Typewriter Art (available for free download at monoskop.org). In this well-organized and respectful volume, you find out that artists have been tinkering with typewriters in a serious way at least as far back as the 1920s (at least that’s where Riddell starts his narrative). We’ve all seen dada experiments with typography; it was a Bauhaus domain of playful experimentation as well.

Riddell includes a terrific 1878 quotation from Mark Twain, describing his recent acquisition of a “new-fangled writing machine” that had been perfected by Christopher Latham Sholes and put on the market in 1874: “It will print faster than I can write. One may lean back in his chair and work it. It piles an awful stack of words on one page. It don’t muss things or scatter ink blots around. Of course it saves paper.” How many of you out there are “leaning back” while piling “awful stacks” of pixelated words on your screen? Actually, I am doing that right now (leaning back, I mean).

Riddell’s book includes selections from the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Japan, India, Turkey, and many others. The artworks span the 1920s to the 1970s, but in truth an awful lot of them are concentrated in the 1968-1972 period—it appears to have been something of a vogue, sharing at least a little DNA with, say, the Fluxus movement.

I’ll say this: ASCII art this ain’t. (The book does include some portraits of Churchill and Gandhi and a few other personages that are quite similar to ASCII art.) I prefer this stuff, the fact of it having been created by an inky mechanical contraption gives it more charm.

 
Typewriter art
Typestract, Dom Sylvester Houédard (U.K., 1972)
 
Typewriter art
Homage to John Cage, Bengt Emil Johnson (Sweden, 1962)
 
More after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
04.24.2014
04:33 pm
|
‘New’ Warhol works discovered on old Amiga floppy disks
04.24.2014
10:00 am
Topics:
Tags:

Andy2
 
Last year we posted about Andy Warhol’s interest in the Amiga computing platform, including his participation in an Amiga product launch event in 1985, at which a pixelated image ostensibly created by Warhol of Debbie Harry was shown. At the event Warhol, in a desultory manner, executed the fill function a few times; it’s unclear to what extent that work qualifies as a Warhol original—and yet, lots of Warhol artworks were executed by underlings, so really what’s the diff? In that post we also presented a remarkable cover story/interview on Warhol that appeared in Amiga World magazine early the next year.

Yesterday the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University issued a press release with the title “Previously Unknown Warhol Works Discovered on Floppy Disks from 1985” and the subtitle “Collaborative Team Rescues Early Digital Art through ‘Forensic Retrocomputing.’” The substance of the press release is that “a multi-institutional team of new-media artists, computer experts, and museum professionals have discovered a dozen previously unknown experiments by Andy Warhol ... on aging floppy disks from 1985.” The discovery was in part a result of efforts by “post-conceptual” artist Cory Arcangel:
 

The impetus for the investigation came when Arcangel, a self-described “Warhol fanatic and lifelong computer nerd,” learned about Warhol’s Amiga experiments from the YouTube video of the 1985 Commodore Amiga product launch [the product launch referenced above]. Acting on a hunch, and with the support of CMOA curator Tina Kukielski, Arcangel approached the AWM in December 2011 regarding the possibility of restoring the Amiga hardware in the museum’s possession, and cataloging any files on its associated diskettes.

-snip-

It was not known in advance whether any of Warhol’s imagery existed on the floppy disks—nearly all of which were system and application diskettes onto which, the team later discovered, Warhol had saved his own data. Reviewing the disks’ directory listings, the team’s initial excitement on seeing promising filenames like “campbells.pic” and “marilyn1.pic” quickly turned to dismay, when it emerged that the files were stored in a completely unknown file format, unrecognized by any utility. Soon afterwards, however, the Club’s forensics experts had reverse-engineered the unfamiliar format, unveiling 28 never-before-seen digital images that were judged to be in Warhol’s style by the AWM’s experts. At least eleven of these images featured Warhol’s signature.

The images depict some of Warhol’s best-known subjects—Campbell’s® soup cans, Botticelli’s Venus, and self-portraiture, for example—articulated through uniquely digital processes such as pattern flood fills, palletized color, and copy-paste collage. “What’s amazing is that by looking at these images, we can see how quickly Warhol seemed to intuit the essence of what it meant to express oneself, in what then was a brand-new medium: the digital,” says Arcangel.

 
On Saturday, May 10, at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh, a short film called “Trapped: Andy Warhol’s Amiga Experiments” documenting the team’s efforts will be shown.

The press release did not divulge information as to when the other 9 or 25 (depending on what figure you go by) digital artworks will be made public. At the top of this page is one of the images released to the public, called Andy2; the other two, Campbell’s and Venus, are below, as well as a picture of Warhol’s Amiga setup.

I’m not an art historian or art critic, but I will say this. I like Campbell’s the best of the three. It engages the most signature work of Warhol’s career, and it’s nice to look at. To call Venus a fully fledged work of art may be a stretch….. it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that Venus was hardly much more than a trial effort to see if he could master the cut and paste function. I’m not saying it was that, I’m saying it could be that. Given the minimal manipulations involved and the cheeky (and let’s not forget, not terribly Warholian) subject matter, to argue for its status as a mature Warhol work might well be to indulge in some kind of aesthetic-categorization hair-splitting…. It’s not like art critics have ever, ever argued that a ridiculous or trifling work of art merited major world-historical status…... Maybe not, maybe I’m being narrow: I’ll leave it for others to decide.
 
Campbell's
 
Venus
 
Amiga equipment
 
Here’s a video of Warhol and Debbie Harry at that Amiga product launch in July 1985:
 

 
via Internet Magic

Posted by Martin Schneider
|
04.24.2014
10:00 am
|
Groovy time capsule of ‘Swinging Britain,’ 1967
04.22.2014
03:29 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
Another week brings further glories from the vaults of British Pathé. “Swinging Britain,” a finished eight-and-a-half-minute report on the goings-on down at Carnaby Street and elsewhere on the isle, presents the establishment’s benign take on fashion-obsessed youth of the day. The video shows us London (and Manchester and Newcastle, too), features several (apparently) noted figures from the worlds of fashion, art, and music, and generally presents a wow-gee-whiz attitude as to the fervent artistic activities of the Swinging Generation.

Mary Quant can be glimpsed briefly, and you’ll also see a “Happening” staged by one Keith Albarn (you guessed it, father of Damon), DJs Simon Dee and David Symonds, and a groovy young artist named Paul Whitehead who paints his compact automobile swirly colors (three years later, he’d be responsible for the cover art of the album Trespass by Genesis). Dee, of course, is practically synecdoche for Carnaby Street of the era, being the purported inspiration for the shagadelic Austin Powers.
 
Intro Magazine
 
The group serving as the emblem of the new generation are the folks behind the new psychedelia-tinged Intro Magazine, in which “youth talks to youth in its own lingo”; it boasted the talents of well-known fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. In a loose “narrative,” the news piece basically cuts back and forth between footage of young people at play (whether in a park in the daytime or a “speakeasy” at night) and the industrious young editors of Intro. One of the best things in the video is a brief discussion of “paper dresses.” We see a young woman in a park wearing one with a striking b/w photo of an eye over her midsection. She peels that off and begins to sunbathe in the bikini she had been wearing underneath. When a young fellow tosses her paper dress into the garbage, she shrugs and whips out a different paper dress, only this one has the youthful visage of Bob Dylan on it! Totally priceless.

Speaking of garbage, the voiceover explicitly praises the new generation for being so good about picking up litter, which may remind some viewers of “The Gold Violin,” from the 2nd season of Mad Men, which featured a pointed scene of the middle-class, suburban Drapers heedlessly leaving the remnants of their picnic all over the park in which they had been spending the previous afternoon. Maybe series creator Matt Weiner had a point, there. The whole tone of the documentary is one of indulgent compassion, as one might have for some harmless alien race from another planet.
 
Swinging Britain
 
There is a band identified as the Intro Group (somehow affiliated with the magazine) as well as one called the “117 Group,” and we hear a bit of their music, I think. Those names mean anything to anyone?
 

 
via { feuilleton }

Posted by Martin Schneider
|
04.22.2014
03:29 pm
|
LA Confidential: Vintage crime photographs from the LAPD archives
04.22.2014
02:56 pm
Topics:
Tags:


Morgue, man with floral tattoo, 1945
 
Back in 2001, photographer Merrick Morton—who also happens to be a reserve LAPD officer—came upon a massive archive of Los Angeles Police Department crime scene and evidence photos which had been hidden for decades in a huge storage facility in downtown LA. The photos were buried among 150 years of police records in cardboard boxes.

When it was discovered that some of the boxes contained decomposing cellulose nitrate negatives, a serious fire hazard, the Fire Department recommended that all the negatives be destroyed. The team lobbied for the archive to be only selectively destroyed and their efforts paid off; some boxes of images were determined to be unsalvageable and destroyed, while the remaining images were sent to a cold storage facility where they reside today.

Around one million photos have been unearthed so far and choice selections, presented by Fototeka, will be exhibited at Paramount Pictures Studios from April 25-27 in Los Angeles.


Detail of two bullet holes in car window, 1942
 

Shoes, arm, and knife, 1950
 

Victim’s feet hanging off bed, 1934
 

Detail of bullet holes in screen, 1930
 

Onion field reenactment, 1963
 

Bank robbery note, 1965
 
Via Feature Shoot

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
04.22.2014
02:56 pm
|
The seldom-seen squiggles of Kurt Vonnegut
04.22.2014
10:22 am
Topics:
Tags:

Kurt Vonnegut
“Untitled,” 1985
 
Anyone with any familiarity with Kurt Vonnegut’s literary output probably knows that the man liked to doodle. His whimsical self-portrait, the one that emphasized his mustache, is very familiar, making an appearance in his 1973 masterpiece Breakfast of Champions and many other places. Breakfast of Champions, of course, featured all manner of little drawings as a non-textual means of furthering the story.

Next month a handsome coffee table book, Kurt Vonnegut Drawings, from the Monacelli Press, featuring hitherto unavailable artworks, will go on sale (the list price is $40, but you can pre-order it for $25.40). The book will feature 145 selections of his work.
 
Kurt Vonnegut
 
Vonnegut was a fervent believer in the importance of art as a means of enhancing everyday life, and these interesting drawings are the proof. He used pen and (quite clearly) magic marker for these artworks. They remind me most of all of Joan Miró (esp. the Janus-like piece from 1987) and Saul Steinberg (esp. the one with the wavy hair from the same year).
 
Kurt Vonnegut
“Untitled,” no date
 
Kurt Vonnegut
“Untitled,” no date
 
Kurt Vonnegut
“Untitled,” 1980
 
Kurt Vonnegut
“Self-Portrait,” 1985
 
More of Vonnegut’s amusing art after the jump…..

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
04.22.2014
10:22 am
|
These images of meat stuffed into plastic bottles are kinda gross
04.21.2014
02:21 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
This isn’t going to be one of those preachy posts where I tell you meat is gross and this is why you should become vegetarian—I do a enjoy a nicely grilled steak from time to time m’self—but you have to admit that these images by photographer Per Johansen are more than a tad unsettling.

Johansen’s new series titled Mæt (Danish for “full”) is a take on human consumption, gluttony and ethics in the meat industry. The plastic recycled bottles represent the human stomach gorging itself with raw, bloody meat.

Are you full yet?


 

 

 
More meat-stuffed bottles after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Tara McGinley
|
04.21.2014
02:21 pm
|
Amazing album cover face paint
04.21.2014
11:47 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Somehow I missed these amazingly detailed face paint album covers—done as an appreciation for Record Store Day—by professional face painter Natalie Sharp AKA Lone Taxidermist. As sick and tired as I am of seeing Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album cover art—I mean, it’s been done every which way by now, except maybe for this way. Yup, Sharp did a terrific job with it.

Her face paint for Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest is mighty impressive, too.

You can see more at The Quietus.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
04.21.2014
11:47 am
|
Page 146 of 340 ‹ First  < 144 145 146 147 148 >  Last ›