|RE/SEARCH Newsletter #28, January 2004|
|HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO….
**Dear Friends: Please note that our email address has changed to:
1. 25th Anniversary SURVIVAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES Uber-Show & Historical Retrospective, Las Vegas, Sat. Feb 7, 2004, 8pm, Sam Boyd Stadium (See www.srl.org for details) Recommended to purchase tickets in advance.
It is somewhat appropriate that the show biz capital of the world, Las Vegas, serve as backdrop for the 25th Anniversary Survival Research Laboratories Show…arguably, the Loudest (& Most Incendiary) Show on Earth…or, Louder than God, to paraphrase a Blue Cheer braggadocio. There’s a reason free earplugs are available at the door!
Of course, the cheapest way to get to Vegas is driving: Budget Rent-a-Car w/unlimited miles (with AAA, Costco, etc discounts)–make sure it’s okay to cross state lines! Vegas is full of smaller cheap motels–$30/night. With 3-4 sharing expenses and rooms, the entire trip could cost less than $100. We recommend driving Friday day, then enjoying the Machine Performance Saturday night, and driving back home Sunday. The 2003 AAA Guide to Southern California/Las Vegas (free to AAA members) is recommended. You will need access to a car in Vegas; the show itself is about 8 miles from The Strip downtown.
Aloha Airlines has a promotional round trip flight 11:50 PM (FL 474) returning 5:47 AM (FL 473) at the time of this writing for $116.70 – “all sold out” on the internet, but we just booked it by phone 800-367-5250. Grueling hours to travel, but all non-stop and cheapest we found from Bay Area. These flights are available daily; we chose to leave Oakland Feb 6 & return Feb 8.
In our opinion the SRL VEGAS SHOW promises to be at least as much fun as a Burning Man event, and a lot less arduous.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of SURVIVAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES IN VEGAS is the gallery show which runs from Jan. 12 ending with a closing party on January 30. This is the first comprehensive Survival Research Laboratories historical retrospective. That’s right–art on the walls. 2500 linear feet (with 12-foot ceilings) of wallspace at the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery at UNLV will showcase the “best” photographic documentation of every SRL performance to date, all over the world. This in itself promises to be an amazing sight; the gallery is huge, as befits the enormous visual legacy. Videos will play, and a few select machines–grizzled war veterans–will stand as an installation, in mute testimony to the havoc wreaked upon “officialdom consciousness” in America, Europe and Japan over the past two and a half decades. (The Donna Beam gallery address is 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas 89154.)
Nevada has a lot of desert land; consequently the VEGAS SRL SHOW will be large and full sized, without the constraints dictated by more densely populated urban locales. The machine-performance show itself promises the full-frontal, surround-sound assault on the senses which veterans of past SRL experiences know can never be duplicated by a video viewing. An SRL show taxes the limits of the human senses (including that underrated human sense: smell–gasoline, oil, metal particles, et al–in a way as yet unduplicated by any other sound/visual reproduction technology. The largest human organ: the skin, may be subjected to baptism by random liquids or mists. Explosions may challenge the ability of human eyes to handle sudden extremes of light and darkness.
Then there is arguably the most important human organ: the brain. At their best, SRL shows display a war of ideas involving the challenging of cliches, outmoded perceptions and beliefs. Sometimes the pre-show music is “challenging” to the so-called hipster sensibility.
Lastly, that (possibly) most important sense of all: the sense of humor, may definitely be broadened, expanded, and reinvigorated. One often leaves an SRL show in a state of laughter, euphoria, mild shock…and with one’s head spinning…
One of our favorite aspects of SRL shows involve the thematic imagery and provocative phrases which are often on the large-size posters advertising/documenting the events. Other iconography (often site-specific) in the form of large-scale dazzling graphic images, hand-crafted sculptures and other “props,” may be burned to death, shot, ripped apart by claws, or otherwise “critiqued.” Incidentally SRL has a call out for PROPS (remember, sometimes props don’t “look” like props) but anyone in Las Vegas who can direct SRL to props which can be used in the show, please contact us right away!
The Feb. 7 SRL violent-machine performance has the added benefit of being sponsored by UNLV (University of Nevada at Las Vegas). There is something perversely enjoyable about knowing that the Mafia is possibly underwriting this SRL show–the gambling economy, the lifeblood of Nevada, has provided untold tax contributions making possible the world-class university facilities which UNLV and its sister college, UNR (University of Nevada at Reno), boast…including state-of-the-art radio and TV studios, plus the Sam Boyd Stadium at which SRL will perform (in the parking lot). Healthy income, great facilities and big budgets make this show possible, even though SRL themselves are bearing the cost of renting bleacher seating for the event to the tune of $15K paid upfront. The $30 ticket price includes the actual cost of $15/seat rental! As usual, SRL will not be getting rich from this performance.
We can’t imagine a better weekend Feb.7 than attending the Survival Research Laboratories Show. If you’re interested in attending (and you’d have to be dead not to be), email us for information about carpooling, cheapest airline tickets and hotels, etc — we’ll be glad to share what we know. Look at it as a compressed experience of what Burning Man could have been!
A shared rent-a-car will be necessary, as the Sam Boyd Stadium is out in the middle of the desert, 5 miles from UNLV and 8 miles from The Strip, in a location where an SRL Show ought to be allowed to play itself out undisturbed. It might be wise to make your car (and plane) reservations soon…
So go to www.srl.org for more info. on the Feb 7 Las Vegas Show, and to buy your tickets online… Remember, SRL SHOWS are very rareindeed, extremely special, and … you never regret what you actually do, you only regret what you didn’t do. And, one of our only regrets is missing the SRL Show at Kezar in S.F. back in 1980 or 1981. We thought we had a pressing deadline to make, but… One thing for sure, SRL Shows have a way of burning themselves into your memory banks for the rest of your life! Whereas so much of what passes for life these days is eminently forgettable, for good reason. So live a little and go to Vegas on Feb. 7!
2. THE RE/SEARCH PRANKS FESTIVAL!–You Shoulda Been There…
The RE/Search PRANKS Festival (Dec 5-6, The Lab, S.F.) functioned as a “temporary autonomous zone” (TAZ) for hundreds of people to meet and facilitate the creative black-humor critique of our social landscape. On the panel were two members of Billboard Liberation Front, Ed Holmes (St. Stupid’s Day Parade), Mark Pauline (Survival Research Laboratories), Monte Cazazza (legendary “industrial” pioneer), Paul Mavrides (Church of Sub-Genius), and Bruce Conner.
The PRANKS PANEL started early. MAL SHARPE almost outdid himself as the moderator, keeping the panelists moving along. Some extremely funny stories were told (we hope to have video footage available in the future). Mal and his wife Sandra stayed until midnight, meeting and greeting fans of Coyle & Sharpe, his man-on-the-street prank recordings done in the early ’60s with partner Jim Coyle. Mal plays trombone in his Big Money in Jazz Band, which plays Enrico’s, Broadway/Kearny, in San Francisco Friday nights. See www.coyleandsharpe.com.
The PRANKS FESTIVAL wall displays included huge blow-ups (thanks, SRL) from the RE/Search PRANKS! book, LSD artwork furnished by Mark McCloud, a very out-there video played by John Trubee and friend, and seditious/humorous examples of billboard modifications perpetrated by the Billboard Liberation Front. Rare SRL videos and T-shirts were for sale…
A D-I-Y PRANKSTER GODDESS Throne was constructed to preside over and ostensibly protect the event from harm–and indeed, nobody was arrested that night. People were invited to collaborate in decorating the throne (as well as pose for photos sitting in it)…some of these photos are posted on the www.srl.org website–thanks to Karen Marcelo for posting a photo portfolio of the PRANKS FESTIVAL there! The Throne and its art materials were provided as a gift from Luna Discussion, former companion of the notorious Frank Discussion, who was featured in the RE/Search PRANKS! book).
A number of people commented favorably on Mark Pauline’s panel statements– especially prankster John Trubee, who although not on the panel (we ran out of microphones) nevertheless observed that “hearing Mark talk was the highlight of the evening” for him. That, and the amazingSurvival Research Laboratories V-1 “performance,” which set car and burglar alarms ringing all along 16th St between Mission and South Van Ness. Mark Pauline’s spontaneous ignition of the new, improved V-1 (a re-creation of the original WWI German Army design) attracted a huge crowd of spectators, who erupted into cheers upon the V-1’s demonstration of its intrinsic might. Mark not only got away with it once, but twice–near midnight, the V-1 demonstrated its awesome power a second time before disappearing into the night on its flatbed truck.
The V-1 spurts out a huge blast of flame accompanied by massive waves of low-frequency infrasound, which has the function of causing exhilaration and cathartic joy–almost possession–in the bodies of human onlookers. The secret lies in the particular frequencies emitted, which bypass brain-centered human inhibitions to trigger and liberate the nerve synapses associated with euphoria and orgasm. Thus the V-1 accomplishes a great deal in a very short amount of time! Who said that machines and humans can’t work together?
3. LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI: “We Need a New Movement!”
“Matt Gonzalez is the only one who actually speaks the truth,” Lawrence said. “Everyone else is just lying…There’s a lot of words we have to get rid of; that we can’t use anymore–they’re too outdated now: communism, anarchism, Trotskyism…We need a New Movement!” I suggested it be a verb, not a noun or an “ism”… “We need to capitalize on all the energy that was raised by Gonzalez running for mayor. A lot of young people campaigned for him because he was the first politician who ever interested them–well, he wasn’t a politician; he was telling the way things really were, and are.”
Lawrence was happy that the advance copies of his new color 9×12″ book of paintings (see citylights.com for exact title), had just come in from China’s Spectrum Press: “They got the colors right. They did a great job. And, they have a local representative.” Elaine Katzenberg noted that she had to work with the representative to get the paper right; finally, they nailed it. Lawrence’s gallery, the George Krevsky Gallery, helped co-publish the book; at the end of January 2004 they will host an exhibition of all the color paintings in the book. “Our first printer, Colorcraft, refused to print it because there’s nudity in it. Apparently their major client is a Christian rightwing publisher, and Colorcraft was afraid they would lose him, so after seeing the layout, they declined the job.” There are definitely some “erotic” paintings in the new book.
There was a basket with pieces of paper bearing the employees’ names, and everyone had to pull out a piece of paper and exchange gifts. Lawrence drew the name of artist/City Lights employee Scott Davis, and gave him a blue dashiki-cap (?) that Allen Ginsberg had given him back in 1972 (?) after a trip to India, and Scott gave Lawrence a January 2004 50th Anniversary issue of Playboy magazine, which came in a bag with five condoms. “For some time now all my girlfriends have been too old to get pregnant,” Lawrence observed (he’s now 84).
At the party, Brandon, organizer of the S.F. Punk Rock Bicycle Tour and a member of the S.F. Bicycle Coalition, came up and invited me to go on the Heaven and Hell Bicycle Tour, which will hit architectural landmarks like the Church of Satan‘s California Street headquarters (now defunct), People’s Temple, the Church of the Process headquarters, and other noir/kitsch once-holy power spots. Brandon said he would provide a special rickshaw for me to ride in, and Lawrence said, “No, you should ride a bicycle! I do; I ride from my house on Francisco Street around the Embarcadero to the Java House; it takes about an hour to make the round trip. There aren’t many hills on that route. You can get a good bike for about $200; I got a good bike, a Trek, for $225.” Lawrence said he still goes to the Embarcadero YMCA and works on the exercise machines, but mainly swims: “They have a great pool on the second floor.” I vowed to get a bike, but this time I intended to get a folding bicicyle that will fit in a car. Lawrence said, “That’s why I got a truck. Also, I need a truck to hold my big paintings.” I recalled that Lawrence had an older truck which had been stolen; fortunately it had been covered by theft insurance which effectively paid for a nearly brand-new truck. Well, if you park a truck in Hunters’ Point regularly (near Lawrence’s art studio), you’d better expect it to be stolen…the moral of the story being: always get theft coverage (which is cheap) on an old vehicle…
I asked Lawrence how he felt about giving readings and he agreed that it’s necessary to develop a professional microphone technique: “With the new advanced microphones they have nowadays, it’s really easy to sound good.” He added, “Did you see the movie The Last Waltz? Toward the end I read a poem. Actually, there were a bunch of poets who read poems there, but most of them had such poor microphone technique that the sound dropped in and out, and they couldn’t use any of their footage in the film. I think Michael McClure was the only one who also knew how to use a microphone…A lot of people don’t know how they sound when they speak in public. I listen to interviews on NPR and–just the other day I heard this man being interviewed on KPFA and I counted the number of times he said “Y’know…” and it was at least fifty times! Or, they say a lot of “Like…” or “Man…”
Lawrence was leafing through a couple guidebooks to Mexico: “Last time this year, before Christmas, I was in Oaxaca. I’m going to go to Oaxaca again this year in February (2004). That’s one of the only places in Mexico that’s not spoiled by tourism; there aren’t any high-rise hotels.” Lawrence said that over the years he had been all over Mexico, and Oaxaca is his favorite place now, although he seemed interested when I told him I had visited a small seacoast town named San Pancho three times, where on Saturday nights the entire community (seemingly) gathered for a showing of B movies projected from the back of a flatbed truck onto a whitewashed wall. He said, “That’s what the movie Cinema Paradiso is about–you should see it!”
I asked Lawrence what he had been reading lately and he sighed, “I’ve got about ten books going. I’m trying to get through them… I asked him about the Jacques Barzun book, From Dawn to Decadence: “That must be 800 pages long; did you actually read it straight through from cover to cover?” and he said, “I dipped through that one–I was using it to look for quotations I could use in a poem I was writing. He was teaching at Columbia University and I attended classes he taught back in the Thirties; I didn’t pay to attend them; I audited them, which was free. That book came out about three years ago; I think he’s still alive.”
I asked Lawrence what he drank and he responded in the negative when I asked, “Any hard stuff–Whiskey, Scotch, Vodka?” “No, I drink mostly a little red wine–look, the Coppola Family just gave me two bottles of wine in a box for Christmas; a special vintage from their winery in Napa. Oh, and I drink Zambucca (sp?) after a meal; it’s an aperitif. I don’t drink champagne; after two glasses I always get a headache.” (By now it was near midnight, and champagne was being offered all around.)
I asked Lawrence how old his grandchildren were and he said, “Leonardo is six and Millie (dtr; sp?) is three and a half. Lorenzo” [Lawrence’s son] “won’t live in the city; he feels he belongs in the country. Whereas I like being in the city. Although, when I get too decrepit, I might move to the country…but not now. Not for many years…”
4. HOW TO SUCCEED AS AN ARTIST! LYDIA LUNCH shows us one way; Mark Mothersbaugh shows us another…
LYDIA LUNCH did a reading Sunday night, Dec 14, at the Cafe du Nord and also visited our office where she taped an interview with NYC Fluxus Anti-Artist ROBERT DELFORD BROWN, for our forthcoming color monograph on RDB. It’s been a few decades since Lydia has had to work a “day job,” and she has figured out many ways to survive–foremost among them maintaining an international network of friends who help her be creative and financially solvent. Using all her talents in music-making, spoken word gad-flying, teaching, writing, editing, amazingly beautiful photography, design (what else is there?), Lydia manages to travel often (Europe, not America, provides the most $$ for panels, conferences, and workshops), put out CDs & books, give workshops and readings, and in general inspire people to become more outrageous. What a track record…Kuntzilla! Lydia has a new CD out with Terry Edwards titled MEMORY AND MADNESS–support the artist by ordering direct from www.lydialunch.com.
NYC Fluxus Anti-Artist ROBERT DELFORD BROWN monograph to appear later this year, published by RE/Search. MARK MOTHERSBAUGH: A founding member of DEVO, a member of the Mail Art movement in the ’70s, a collage artist, book author, Church of Sub-genius contributor, comedian, and all-around prankster, Mark was in town recently for a show titled “Beautiful Mutants,” of his newest work: genetically-modified vintage photographs. We describe them as “Wisconsin Death Trip sepia portraits set about 300 years in the future, when everybody has mutated–thanks to prolonged environmental poisoning.” The portraits include Cyclops Kitty Kats, lots of babies, a boy with no legs, baby girls with pear-shaped heads, and other classic archetypes of the future. The original staining and deterioration has been preserved. They are all beautifully framed and some are even classically beautiful…with a twist.
The gallery’s presentation falls into the “beyond the call of duty” category, with vintage books (much like Mark Mothersbaugh may have used in his original collages), picture stands and other period-piece appointments and furnishings to set off the nouveau-classic photographs. In the back of the gallery are Jenny Lens‘s photographs of Devo in 1977 at the Starwood. We especially liked the strobe-lit bathroom; if you’re a male and have never urinated in the presence of a strobe light, you have a startlingly Paul Outerbridge-ish experience ahead of you.
The Capobianco Gallery is an avant-garde enterprise by Laurie Capobianco, at 1841 Powell St (bet. Filbert/Greenwich) in San Francisco, just off Washington Square Park in North Beach (296-9110; www.capogallerysf.com). Mark was present for the jam-packed opening January 10, 7-9pm, with his wife Anita; the whole time he was either signing autographs or posing for snapshots. It seemed impossible to talk to him for more than two consecutive sentences.
The opening was a veritable madhouse, although it started off quietly with Mr. Lucky and companion Syd who brought in Eddie Fisher (and companion Janet Planet) to meet the artist. Yes, that’s Eddie Fisher, who had something like 10-20 #1 hits in the Fifties, and was married to Elizabeth Taylor. Fifteen years ago he moved to San Francisco! NYC Fluxus Anti-Artist ROBERT DELFORD BROWN was introduced to Eddie Fisher and told him that in 1958 he had seen Eddie, in company with Liz, in the elevator of a hospital in Los Angeles–“Elizabeth Taylor had a terrible case of hives.” Eddie didn’t remember Elizabeth Taylor ever having hives…quo vadis?
Subsequently the room was filled with various local “creatives” including Paul Mavrides, Doug Sutton (SRL), Scott Beale (Squidlist), Mark Ryden’s older, painter brother (sorry, the name escapes…), counterculture librarian Steven Black–the room was jammed. Outside, illuminated by photographic lighting, a laptop was showing a DVD of DEVO playing live at the S.F. Civic Center last year, with an audience of thousands enjoying the free concert…
Mark Mothersbaugh doesn’t make a living off his visual art; he sets prices as low as possible — he joked that the price covers the cost of the framing plus the gallery’s commission; “I am my own patron!” Doing soundtracks for movies and TV programs such as Rugrats under the rubric of his own company, Mutato, which includes DEVO associates Bob Casale and Bob Mothersbaugh, has enabled Mark to be an artist on his own terms–i.e., do exactly what he wants to do, and change his “style” on a moment’s notice. Mark is a keen collector of “emotive” vintage photographs, old lockets and tiny portable folding picture gutta percha or daguerreotype frames; if you have any for sale contact us and we’ll pass the message along…
5. The World is [Still] Controlled by Corporate Marketing Campaigns…
We still are thinking about 9.99, the book skewering the advertising industry (and its cynical manipulation of most of the humans on the planet) by French author Frederic Beigbeder–the author was fired from his job at Young & Rubicam after the book was published. It’s no coincidence that this book is almost never reviewed or mentioned, and is hard to find–try www.abebooks.com and search by the author’s name. If you like being controlled by other people, then don’t track down this book!
On the subject of “cool hunting,” the most despicable subset of the entire advertising industry, if you know of any good articles or books dealing with this, please send them our way and we will mention them and credit you. You can only fight that which you know.
6. Patrick Miller Obituary: Patrick Miller, a member of the original ’70s punk uprising in San Francisco, died in Los Angeles last month on Dec. 11 at age 51. We last saw Patrick three years ago in L.A.–he looked great and still had his big, winning smile. He said he was off drugs. Because he befriended a young man, Neil Strauss, who would later become a writer for the New York Times, Patrick received a feature-length article with a color photograph on the front page of the Arts section in the New York Times last week, plus a separate obituary. As Monte Cazazza observed, “Too bad he didn’t get this publicity before he died–he might still be alive!” Monte especially liked the Times’s description of Patrick as the leader of a minimalist, industrial “anti-music band.” Back in the day, Patrick covered the streets of San Francisco with a graffiti of his signature Minimal Man headshot. He reportedly put out or played on six albums, played with Tuxedo Moon in Belgium, lived in New York (drugs) and moved to L.A. to work as a set designer in the industry. Now he’s gone…
7. What We’re Reading, Seeing, Listening To…
We’ve been trying to finish our next book, which consists of interviews and quotations from J.G. BALLARD, titled PROVOCATIONS. It is brilliant–enough said. A few limited signed hardbacks may be available; contact us to reserve one. Did anyone notice that J.G.B. refused the C.B.E. (Commander of the British Empire) award, refusing to be addressed as Sir James Ballard, and calling the whole award hoopla “preposterous”! Is that integrity, or what? We note that Mick Jagger insouciantly accepted this badge of puffery, and was roundly critized by bandmate Keith Richards for doing so.
One of the most important books to come along recently is Slavoj Zizek’s The Puppet and the Dwarf. There seems to be an incendiary idea on every page–too much to begin quoting now…just take our word for it that this book is worth owning, and that it will take days to read. A few pages a day will suffice for us. Quite recently City Lights Books still had autographed copies for sale–Zizek was in town a couple of months ago and did a reading at City Lights.
The second book we keep on our sofa and dip into every day is The Collected Interviews of William S. Burroughs (Semiotext(e). Sample quote: “The majority of the population is semi-literate, and that is worse than sheer ignorance.” Think about that…
We’ve read six of the eight Henning Mankell mysteries (there’s also a book of short stories, all featuring his “star” detective Kurt Wallander) and await the translation of the most recent two novels into English. As the New York Times put it, his novels are “gruesome enough to satisfy any gore-loving mystery reader.” Mankell says, “I write about some ver horrible things, but I have never written anything that couldn’t have happened in reality…Whatever I write, reality is always worse.” When asked how he began writing, he said, “I can still remember a little of the emotional sensation of putting two words together, making a sentence and making that sentence part of a story. The sensation was almost erotic–stronger than anything I have ever experienced later in life.”
We doubt that most writers would consider the act of writing to be “erotic”–it’s more just plain hard work; concentration. There are always a million potential distractions. Such as discovering yet another mystery writer. This time, it’s Janwillem van de Wetering, who by last accounts still lives on the seacoast of Maine in a tiny town. Set in Amsterdam, Wettering’s mystery series features a pair of good-humored detectives named __ and — whose police car is a Volkswagen bug. So far we’re read The Mind-Murders, The Blonde Baboon (unforgettable), and Tumbleweeds (good; particularly evil corporate CEO villain). We’ve just started Outsider in Amsterdam…
At the Dec 5 FACTRIX REUNION at The Lab (held under the rubric of our PRANKS FESTIVAL) all three original members of Factrix played onstage for the first time in twenty years, with WINSTON TONG providing the vocals…against a mesmerizing backdrop of background imagery from slides and video. This was an amazing event for Factrix fans, who were able to purchase the recently-released Factrix 2-CD set from Germany.
Also on the bill was Monique Magdalene (veteran of 70s S.F. performance art; who by all accounts provoked and prodded the audience), and theSIXTEENS–one of the best bands I’ve seen in the past decade. They combine provocative lyrics and industrial noise with some very compelling rhythms and contrapuntal arrangements–their display case for their CDS, LPs and book was a beautifully crafted coffin-shaped suitcase. The book, Jay Davis’s THE THOMSKY FLUKE & OTHER TALES (great cover), certainly represents some of the best speculative fiction being written today…my only complaint is that I wanted most of the short stories to be longer, and more developed. This book is fascinating; one can finish it in one night. Try ordering the book at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the event we were gifted with a CD by Kwisp (aka Walter Funk), Teriyaki Vest Odyssey, which we were assured was “incredibly strange.” It’s available from 530 Divisadero St #197, SF 94117. And in the gifts department we were sent a CD titled DULL NORMAL from Daniel Herston, 5112 Conroy Rd #326, Orlando FL 32811. Exercise your curiosity and send him only $2 for a CD! That must barely cover postage, container price, and the cost of the blank CD itself.
8. WRITING ABOUT US AND OUR BOOKS: This month we’re skipping the self-promotion…but warn you that if you want a copy of the Industrial Culture Handbook, order it soon! But, to support us, please go to our website (we hope you’ll find something you haven’t read yet, or a gift for someone else) at
9. The RE/Search Mission Statement In 1977 V. Vale was the sole founder of SEARCH & DESTROY (focus: the original punk rock cultural revolution). Then in 1980 Vale solely founded its reincarnation, RE/SEARCH (which had a wider, more far-ranging vision, yet magnetized around a core concern with investigating the meaning of “freedom” and “liberty”). All of his publications were inspired by Surrealism, Situationism, the entire history of radical cultural strivings in general, and Andy Warhol’s early Interview magazine in particular, which printed uncensored, illustrated interviews with cutting-edge creative individuals, regardless whether they were famous. Vale’s editorial policy was different in that his focus was on ideas and creativity rather than biography…always attempting to elicit radical thoughts and history out of interviewees.
The RE/SEARCH project encourages “D-I-Y” (Doing It Yourself), work against hierarchy and the status quo, and aims to demystify the “Control Process” that, more than ever, thwarts our creativity and exercise of freedom. RE/Search is engaged in a long-term cultural remapping toward the chimeric goal of “total liberation of the mind and body.” We also aim to bring you the “best” out of the information overload engulfing us. Our roots are Black Humor, Dada, Surrealism, Situationism, Outsider Art, and The Eternal Underground, including The Occult. Our direct mentors are William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, and Philip Lamantia, plus everybody we’ve interviewed! Please feel free to contribute to this project–and say how you wish to be credited.
January 2004 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale.
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