Really creative stuff here. UK designer and video artist Chris Lince has put together a fantastic video for his fellow Brits in the group Pig With the Face of a Boy, which describes itself as “the world’s best neo-post-post music hall anti-folk band.”
The song, “A Complete History Of The Soviet Union Through The Eyes Of A Humble Worker, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris” (that melody is actually the 19th-century Russian folk song “Korbeiniki”) is clever enough, packing a 70-year history into seven minutes. But the metaphor of the famously addictive video game truly comes alive in Lince’s atmospheric vid. He captures the grime, the grit, and the blocks beautifully. I’m not a gigantic fan of satirical musical comedy, but I think this is executed really well.
Using printed cardboard, two turntables, a projector and screen, Austrian student Clemens Kogler created this very groovy concept employing a modern take on the phenakistoscope technique which he calls phonovideo. With one exception, all of the animated paintings are based on album covers. The music for “Stuck in a Groove” was created by Richard Eigner.
The graphic illustrates how the process works. For a more detailed description check out the interview with Kogler at motiongrapher.
Kogler imagines deejays using phonovideo in performance.
Phonovideo is a VJ tool or visual instrument used to display animations in an analog way without the help of a computer. “Stuck in a Groove” is the first film made with this technique, it serves also as a demo for the technique .
In the future phonovideo could be used for live performances in cooperation with musicians, performers and other artists.
In 2001, Channel 4 television, in the UK, broadcast a 20-part sci-fi short animation series called Workgroup Alpha. It starred Ed Bishop and dealt with a team of inter-dimensional consultants, lost on an intergalactic space mission. Bishop, with his association as Commander Straker from Gerry Anderson’s cult TV hit UFO, was ideally cast as Aquarius, the Enterprise Class Visionary, who with his fellow travellers explored “a whole new dimension in universal solutions.”
Though there is the passing hint of Frederick Pohl’s satirical sci-fi classic The Space Merchants, which imagined a world run by ad agencies, Workgroup Alpha offered an intelligent and witty critique of the growing cultural obsession with corporate speak, focus groups, PR consultants, and all those other anemic constructs that have depersonalized our world.
The end credit to the series was attributed to the Butler Brothers, the name by which John and Paul Butler operate. Paul is the co-producer, writer and conceptual consultant. John is writer, designer, animator, composer, co-producer, and director.
I first heard about the Butler Brothers through friends, though it was always John Butler who attracted the most attention. His name was mentioned with that hushed reverential tone and nodding head of respect that said we had touched on some sacred matter. It made Butler seem almost mythical – a great creative artist who lived somewhere (no one seemed quite sure where, or if they did, didn’t say), a garret most likely, where he created, with help from his brother, these incredible digital animations, of such intelligence and imagination.
I sent Paul a quick note last week that I had enjoyed his interview and he replied:
“Butler’s latest animation, Children of the Null, was inspired by Dennis Wheatley and to an extent, more Stephen King. When I asked him about it, he said the Children of the Null was about the occult practice of finance.
“I tend to think of Finance as an occult concern, hence the masks of the Transactors. The fact that during the collapse, derivatives were described as being too complex to understand confirms this suspicion.”
Though John is an atheist - he sees capitalism as an evil.
I think he just might have something there.”
Do androids dream of eclectic sheep? – an interview with John Butler (Planet Paul)
In keeping with the LSD theme here at Dangerous Minds, I present a lysergic episode from The Twisted Tales Of Felix The Cat. The series aired on CBS from 1995 to 1997.
In this episode, Felix gets psychedelized in Pittsburg! There’s a shitload of rock references in this trippy little mindbender, from Chuck Berry and Elvis to Dylan, grunge and Led Zeppelin. Dig the Rick Griffin eyeballs, the reference to cheeba and the scene where Felix lands in a melting landscape and says “well, hello Dali.” This is out there stuff for network TV.
One of the true tests of innovative sequential/evolving visual art is whether it hits you as a fantastic story that a little kid could describe…”Then the van had eyes and then it ate the worm…” This thing does it.
Although the anonymous, hyper-proficient Bologna-based artist Blu has nothing near the global profile of Banksy, s/he’s shown and worked in as many regions, including the wall at the West Bank. S/he’s also been able to work stop-motion animation into his/her ouvre, and the ten-minute video below is the latest fruit.
It seems absolutely relentless and almost epic in its scope. Enjoy.
As the sky lights up over Hometown U.S.A. tonight, let’s remember that today’s also the anniversary of two literary masterpieces of proto-freak culture. In 1855, Walt Whitman had 800 copies of his Leaves of Grass pressed by the Scottish-born Rome brothers at their Fulton St. shop in Brooklyn.
The Wikipedia oracle notes that Walt was definitely considered an original dangerous mind:
When the book was first published, Whitman was fired from his job at the Department of the Interior after Secretary of the Interior James Harlan read it and said he found it very offensive. Poet John Greenleaf Whittier was said to have thrown his 1855 edition into the fire. Thomas Wentworth Higginson wrote, “It is no discredit to Walt Whitman that he wrote ‘Leaves of Grass,’ only that he did not burn it afterwards.” Critic Rufus Wilmot Griswold reviewed Leaves of Grass in the November 10, 1855, issue of The Criterion, calling it “a mass of stupid filth” and categorized its author as a filthy free lover. Griswold also suggested, in Latin, that Whitman was guilty of “that horrible sin not to be mentioned among Christians”, one of the earliest public accusations of Whitman’s homosexuality. Griswold’s intensely negative review almost caused the publication of the second edition to be suspended. Whitman included the full review, including the innuendo, in a later edition of Leaves of Grass.
Seven years later to the day, math teacher Charles Dodgson and a friend took the three young daughters of Henry Liddell (the Dean of the Christ Church College where Dodgson taught math) on a short rowboat trip. Dodgson published the surrealist story he aimed at Liddell’s middle daughter Alice as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland under the name Lewis Carroll on July 4 1865.