WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #67, December 2007.
1. For your Xmas Gift-giving: *New “Rare” Artifacts: Mr Death “Catch You Later” yellow/black T-shirt (edition of 50)
() RS/#4/5 Burroughs-Gysin-TG hardback! (only 500 made)
() W.S. Burroughs T-shirt in S,M,L,XL (only 100 made);
() Louder Faster Shorter DVD!
() Support RE/Search: Visit Our Office! New WEBSITE – send feedback to improve it!
2. COMING EVENTS which RE/Search will be present at:
() Sat Dec 1, 8pm: SRL Benefit for Todd Blair at SOMARTS, 734 Brannan St/8th St.
() Fri Nov 30, 8 & 11pm: CHRIS WATSON from Cabaret Voltaire, with Florian Hecker at RML (event may be sold out).
3. Sat Dec 8, 6:30pm: RE/Search Counter Culture Hour (with host V. Vale) featuring monochrom’s RoboExotica, last Dec 2006. Cable Channel 29
4. Stephane von Stephane on Joy Division / “Control” film.
5. What We Want (and Wanted to, and Did) Attend: Closing night of Shocktoberfest at Hypnodrome Nov 17, 2007, with Jill Tracy and her “Diabolical Streak” considered.
6. What We’ve Been Reading/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent:
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, James McN-, & Others who sent us the below
8. Sinan Revell’s Art Show reviewed by Richard Modiano
9. QUOTES, including Business Quotes sent by “anonymous”
10. Feedback from Readers. Great Review of PRANKS 2 by John Mitchell. Jack Rabid on Search & Destroy.
1. For your Xmas Gift-giving: *New “Rare” Stuff not in any store:
() Mr Death “Catch You Later” yellow/black T-shirt (edition of 50, just in time for Xmas)
() RS 4/5 Burroughs-Gysin-Throb.Gristle **hardback** w/new interview (lim. ed. of 500; $60 Amazon list – preorder for $35! Delivery expected just the week before Xmas! We will mail pre-orders the day we receive! http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/Blog/?page_id=13&category=9
() W.S. Burroughs T-shirt in S,M,L,XL (only 100 printed; $25) http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/Blog/?page_id=13&category=9
() Louder Faster Shorter Punk 1978 DVD (ed. of 500; $20) – http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/Blog/?page_id=13&category=10!
() In general, To order: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 415-362-1465, or order on-line from http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com . Or visit our office.
Support RE/Search: Visit Our Office, and buy direct (please avoid amazon) !… Your books can be autographed / personalized by V. Vale; you can experience the “legendary” office which only “foreigners” visit.
() You can “score” our (4) rare, hard-to-find, J.G. Ballard books – note that Ian Curtis was a huge J.G. Ballard fan!
() Or the dazzling PRANKS 2 – a follow-up to our first PRANKS book – which isn’t in many stores. http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/Blog/?page_id=13&category=11
() Or other rare out-of-print books, only at our office! http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/Blog/?page_id=13&category=9;
() Plus, INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK limited edition hardback (RE/Search’s edition 1000 copies on gorgeous, glossy paper; Amazon list price $60. Order direct for Special price $35 (plus $6 shipping U.S.; $15 Air Overseas). http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/Blog/?page_id=13&category=10
() In general, To order: email@example.com, call 415-362-1465, or order on-line from http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com.
() RE/Search is on MySpace: If you would like to be “our friend” – receive bulletins, subscribe to V. Vale’s blog, etc, please Join Us! http://www.myspace.com/108198017
() NEW WEBSITE (still being augmented) thanks to Elie, our wonderful and creative intern from France. Check it out: www.http://www.researchpubs.com – it has a blog by V. Vale now (please subscribe to it), videos, and more… Suggestions for improvement? Please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. COMING EVENTS which RE/Search will be present at:
() THIS SATURDAY!! Dec 1, 8-11pm: Big SRL (Survival Research Laboratories) Benefit/Bash/Party/BLUE & GREEN BALL for Todd Blair at SOMARTS, 734 Brannan/8th St. All manner of cool christmas presents and artistic / technical /computer services, will be auctioned off to benefit one of the best humans on the planet, currently hospitalized. Join us and the whole Survival Research Labs crew and families – a better assemblage of creative people under one roof is not possible! Abundant food, drink, and transcendent merriment, all toward a good cause. Select RE/Search books will be for sale to benefit Todd – buy ’em as gifts!
**Also, those wanting to donate art for the Dec 1 benefit auction for Todd Blair, contact Susan Joyce (email@example.com). If you want to donate/sell crafts contact Judy (firstname.lastname@example.org) and if you want to auction off your skills/services/collectibles contact email@example.com – Karen Marcelo.
V. Vale and Marian Wallace will be wandering about videotaping mini-interviews for a DVD to be sent to Todd and Alex. Folks who knew Todd – please find us and tell us a story, and thus send Todd/Alex a video message!
() Fri Nov 30, 8 and 11PM: CHRIS WATSON (Cabaret Voltaire founder) and FLORIAN HECKER at RML, 763 Brannan/7th St. (This event may be sold out.) RE/Search will have a table; books will be discounted, and V. Vale may participate in a small panel with Chris Watson along with Naut Humon, RML Curator – time permitting. http://recombinantmedia.net/calendar/watson_hecker
“Working with sound since 1972, Chris Watson currently specializes in location and field recordings, mostly for natural history documentaries… In the late 1970s and early 1980s he was a member of the early English industrial music group Cabaret Voltare. After C.V. he co-founded The Hafler Trio, an experimental music project. In 1987 he formally began his present work as a sound recordist. Watson’s “particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world” has won him numerous accolades… “For his appearance at RML, Watson will present three pieces: “Storm” (Watson/Nielsen), “TORTUGA BAY” and “MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS.” Detailed descriptions of his work at www.chriswatson.net
“FLORIAN HECKER’s works emphasize the connection of most recent as well as historic developments in computer music. Often working closely together with software engineers and scientists, his recent productions incorporate psycho-acoustic effects” to challenge the audience’s spatial perceptions. World-renowned, he has implemented numerous performances, installations, collaborations and recordings. See http://florianhecker.blogspot.com
OTHER EVENTS (no RE/Search presence, however):
() Note that Kal Spelletich has an opening at the Exploratorium – also Fri Nov 30, 6-9pm (I know; a conflict with the RML event). You are invited to an opening of Kal’s new work, “Master Mind Machine” – it has an EEG that literally reads your mind. Once it interprets what state you are in, the robot responds! This work is the outcome of Kal’s residency. Thanks to Ulrika Andersson, www.weststarland.com
() Nov 29, Ron English opening at the Opera Gallery, 115 Spring St, NYC. www.operagallery.com
() Nov 17-Jan 6, 2008. Jill Miller’s show, “COLLECTORS” (based on Bay Area art collectors) is available for viewing Sunday 12-5pm and by appointment, at 2nd floor projects, 3740 25th Street #205, San Francisco CA 94110 415-824-2644
() Dec 6,7,8; 7:30pm. Yerba Buena. REICH ‘N’ ROLL REVISITED: A RESIDENTS (films) RETROSPECTIVE
<http://www.ybca.org/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=4542>http://www.ybca.org/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=4542 – sent by Michelle King
3. Sat Dec 8, 6:30pm: RE/Search Counter Culture Hour (with host V. Vale) featuring monochrom’s RoboExotica, Dec 2006. S.F. Cable Channel 29, 2nd Sat of month. Various members of monochrom and other international robot-makers demonstrate their cocktail robotic-oriented theme installations, machines, and philosophies behind their creativity. Please write us if you’re interested in collecting CCH episodes on DVD – $15 per episode or subscribe and get 6 for $75. (Note: very small production run, just for you)
4. Stephane von Stephane on Joy Division / “Control” film, and Red Beat CD.
Film: “Control” (about Ian Curtis of Joy Division). CD: “The Missing Album” by Red Beat.
The other day I was brooding about the the endless war mentality the U.S. has gotten into and for some reason it made me want to hear a song that I knew I had on some tape somewhere. I seemed to remember the lyrics being anti-war and wanted to make this song ‘Machines In Motion’ my own new personal anti-war anthem. I dug around for hours and finally found the tape, albeit without song title information on the cover, only band names. Because I could not decipher the lyrics, I e-mailed the band’s website and ultimately received a copy of the excellent CD ‘The Missing Album’ by Red Beat, from the drummer Paul. Here are the lyrics (from 1979):
“Darkness, turning my head around
And rhythm, pounding somewhere behind my ears
No place for people in my dreams
No place for people in my dreams
The wheel goes round…I’m telling you now, I’m telling you now…
We’re Dancing to Machines In Motion
Dancing to Machines In Motion…
Moving to Machines In Motion…
On our own….Go!
I’ve got it all on tape, and in my head
The clash of metal pistons
No place for people in this darkness
Pounding, turning my head around, behind my ears
The Wheel Goes Round, I’m telling you now
the wheel goes round, I’m telling you now
Music set machines in motion, We’re dancing to machines in motion
Moving to machines in motion, On our own”
Then there’s more lyrical moving and dancing to machines in motion…this is not what I thought the lyrics were, but never mind what I thought. It is still close enough for it to be an anti-war anthem. As I see it, no matter who is in office, or what congress does or doesn’t do, it doesn’t matter because the Machines are already in Motion. There will be endless war now, forever after, amen. That’s it, people. The Wheel Goes Round.
At the same time I was e-mailing Paul about lyrics, the film “Control” was set to open in the U.K. Red Beat and Joy Division were around at the same time, and it turns out they played a show together!
Paul writes: “That gig was a memorable one. I can’t recall if we were called “Red Beat” or “The Jones Boys” at that time. My brother Roy and Paul Ferguson were good mates from school (the Royal grammar School) in High Wycombe. Paul Ferguson was the drummer for Killing Joke. The bill was Joy Division, Killing Joke, A Certain Ratio, Sector 25, The Jones Boys (Red Beat). We sound-checked. We were then told that there wasn’t enough time for all 5 bands to play. We were determined to play our set because our manager had promoted the gig and our fans had made the effort to come to see us. The curtain opened and we launched into “Machines in Motion.” A fight then ensued with our bass player Majid’s bass amp crashing to the floor, and various band members from A Certain Ratio, Sector 25 attempting physically to prevent us from playing the gig. This was in full view of the audience at High Wycombe Town Hall. Nobody was seriously hurt. Those were the days……. Roy and I moved to London shortly after that concert, playing our first London gig at the Capital Radio Rock Week, The I.C.A., The Mall. It’s all Rock n Roll…”
I remember visiting 20 Romolo B one day years ago, when Vale got off the phone and said that Ian Curtis (at age 23) had committed suicide. Shortly after, the re-christened ‘New Order’ played a show at an old cinema on Market St. It was a brilliant show and I only wished I could have seen Joy Division with Ian. The film “Control” does a great job of creating the feeling of the northern English factory town in the Manchester region where the whole ‘Factory Records’ scene started. Through the lens of Anton Corbijn (famous for his haunting B&W images) the gray bleakness that surrounded Ian Curtis is perfectly captured. Color would have spoilt the mood.
The film is based on Ian’s wife Debbie’s book, so it is from her point of view. Still, it seems to be a fair description of the highs and lows of the relationship. There are many scenes of comings and goings at the corner flat on the hill they shared, the brick walls, the cobblestone streets, the trenchcoat and skinny trousers, the pointy shoes, the guitar slung cross the shoulder, wheeling the baby stroller. Juggling the ordinary life of a young dad working at the unemployment office and the extraordinary life of a sensitive poet/budding rock star proved to be too much for Ian. His epilepsy medicines combined with alcohol seemed to be what made him depressed – not necessarily his situation. (He tells the woman he is having an affair with that he has always wanted out of their small town, while his wife loves it there.) The film is chock full of Joy Division music and that is a treat. But my favorite part is in the beginning when the teenage Ian is dancing shirtless in the bedroom mirror singing along to David Bowie records. Bowie was the saviour of all us ‘misfits,’ I guess. Praise be to David! It’s all rock n roll! – Stephane von Stephane
Our friend Joe Donohoe (“Specious Species” publisher) pointed out that Ian Curtis seemed to be a J.G. Ballard fan – he wrote a song titled “Atrocity Exhibition” (a RE/Search book, still available) and the new film “CONTROL” shows a copy of Ballard’s “CRASH” in Ian Curtis’s bookshelf. Joy Division is having a mini-revival now, what with the Killers’ recording of a Joy Division song “Shadowplay,” the new Mancunian band the Wombats’ “Let’s Dance to Joy Division”… Oh, and a documentary “Joy Division” written by Jon Savage… Check YouTube for more Joy Division documentation…
5. What We Attended: Closing night of Shocktoberfest Grand Guignol variety revue at the Thrillpeddlers’ Hypnodrome Nov 17, 2007. http://www.thrillpeddlers.com – support live theatrical art at the edge of ecstasy! Hypnodrome, 575 10th St/Bryant. Featured guest vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter Jill Tracy as the Warden, reprising the role played by Jello Biafra a month earlier.
Another fantastic feast for the mind, imagination, libido and beyond. The after-party reminded us of the classic film “Children of Paradise” – filmed during the WWII years, when starving extras stole food off tables during the filming of the banquet scene. Jill Tracy sang her “Torture” song and the singalong “Doomsday Serenade,” playing the resident player piano (adroitly avoiding a certain high note which was out of tune, thus proving she is a total, “stone” pro). Playing a piano one is not necessarily “used to” is a kind of acid test, and I personally had tested the same piano earlier and wished that the right “sustain” pedal had more ommph… because the sound of the instrument definitely affects its “inspiration” potential. Still, the piano was a certified historical artifact, apparently having been inherited from Russell Blackwood’s parents, and — how many people have actually heard a player piano? It is infinitely preferable to a dj who is always, always, much too loud.
Jill Tracy gifted us with one of her CDs, “Diabolical Streak” – a title J.G. Ballard would have approved. All of us contain a latent psychopathological potential, which of course (in most of our readers) gets sublimated (ideally) into creative activity. Or at least into cleaning the house… When I got home I immediately decided to search the Internet for Jill Tracy lyrics and discovered that you could download Jill Tracy ring-tones to your cell phone! Three of her song lyrics, “The Fine Art of Poisoning,” “Evil Night Together, ” and “Pulling Your Insides Out” were at http://www.lyricsandsongs.com/song/691613.html Personally, I hate not being able to understand lyrics, and the “free” lyrics available on the Internet cannot be underrated, as they greatly expedite the voyeuristic (or is it sadistic) pleasure of being able to sing along to a song, or even sing it sans accompaniment, no matter how “bad” your voice is (it helps to be alone, or be in the shower). Imagine if everyone sang lyrics like “Let’s Spend an Evil Night Together… We’ll drink a toast in the torture chamber / and you’ll go down on a bed of nails / we’ll rendezvous in cold blood / I’ll tie you up to the third rail.”
Finally I opened up the foldout “booklet” to “Diabolical Streak” and happily discovered more lyrics, plus some beautiful, disturbing photographs – opium poppies (?), old patent medicines, a stuffed fish, and some vintage, strangely garbed girls balancing apples (?) on their heads. I was glad that not EVERYTHING is on the Internet, although there are a lot of Jill Tracy songs available at http://www.rhapsody.com/jilltracy Then I googled “Jill Tracy interview” and found a review describing her as “equal parts performance artist, evil MC, filmmaker, musician, and bad-a-s icon…” With her “Malcontent Orchestra” of cello, violin, marimba and percussion she also recorded a score to Nosferatu, the classic silent vampire film, and about that she said, “I strive to honor the integrity of the film. I don’t see Nosferatu as inciting horror or trepidation, as much as an unsettling allure. It’s a beautiful, sensual work; the listener should surrender to the spell of the music as intensely as to the spell of the vampire.”
Great! I just wished I’d discovered her years ago. In a better world we’d be able to journey backwards in time, and experience, say, the building of the Chartres cathedral or the Great Pyramid or Nicolas Flamel’s house in Paris, or the very beginnings of Punk Rock, or the earliest concerts of an artist’s career, tracing the odyssey through various partnerships, bands, and orchestras. Maybe now is the “power trio” phase of the Jill Tracy evolution, completed with uber-violinist Paul Mercer (google him) and uber-percussionist Randy Odell. Rumor has it there may be another Bay Area performance in the next few months … all I can say is – Don’t miss it! And prepare to be deliriously transported, as Baudelaire put it, “anywhere … out of this world …”
() Henry Rollins and Lydia Lunch were recently in town, and we interviewed Lydia for an upcoming Counter Culture Hour.
6. What We’ve Been Reading/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent:
() “Hi Vale, on the 26th October I sent you a parcel with new Autopsia 7” vinyl: “Silently the Wolves are Watching” + CD “The Berlin Requiem,” – new Autopsia projects after 10 years of silence. I hope you will like it. All the best from Prague – R. Milinkovic.” http://www.autopsia.net Well, on a number of levels we like virtually ALL the projects done by the mysterious R. Milinkovic, who began corresponding with RE/Search in the early 80s. We found Autopsia’s creative output (especially the graphics and texts) to be deeply meaningful, deeply beautiful, and deeply provocative. Beauty will outlast philosophy.
“Consider the following text from his gorgeous web-site: “Mirrors of Destruction. All Western thought is based on the idea of a center – an Origin, a Truth, an Ideal Form, an Essence, a God, a Presence that guarantees meaning. The problem with centers is that they attempt to exclude, ignore, repress, marginalize ‘the other’. There is no original text, no center. A text is made from other texts. Any element-sign or sub-text, by being placed into a ‘new’ text, adopts meanings that are different from its primary meanings or meanings in other texts. A text is not a line of words releasing a single’theological’ meaning (the message of the Author-God), but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centers of culture. A musical text is not an autonomous object. Explicitly more than in written texts, it is grounded in musical practice that a score only receives meaning through an active reading (which can be both kept in silence or realized in sound) and that a definitive version is an illusion.
“Our practice is: Making music on one’s own without having a preconceived goal, without holding on to already existing codes and rules.”
“Having exposed yourself to this, the product of a world-class, first-rate creative mind, how you can resist studying autopsia’s website and availing yourself of one of the limited, deluxe, beautiful productions??” – V. Vale
() Mr. Lucky’s art booklet, www.pierremerkl.com, obtained at the fun Laughing Squid “geek celebration” at Varnish Gallery
() Two novels by Andrea Camilleri: Rounding the Mark (great; horrifying) and The Patience of the Spider (a bit scary; kidnapping for the most vengeful of motives).
() Eugene Robinson / Oxbow CD, “The Narcotic Story” – a “complex” experience! Thanks to Susan and Scott Bryan…
() Calvin Tomkins’ “The Scene” – especially the essay on E.A.T.
() John Gray: Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. Very thought-provoking; even more illusions are exposed as the very foundations of much contemporary futurological theory. Essential reading for any “catastrophist.”
() David Amsden’s “The Grand Tour” charting the world’s Art Fairs (NYT Travel magazine, 11-18-07)
() Gary Chong and Steve Avery researching YouTube for blues-influenced Mods / Rockers / Small Faces / Nuggets-type music video
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, James McN-, & Others who sent us the below:
() Thanksgiving prayer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7_MYrVzU-Y
() Interview with Chris Watson (http://www.chriswatson.net/) discussing his adventures recording natural phenomena.
() From Adrian Pocobelli, who helped put up our ebay store: “The Population is a countercultural tabloid [website] focused on celebrating great achivements that are often ignored by the mainstream (drive-by) media. To paraphrase J.G. Ballard, the only revolution that can take place now is an aesthetic one, and as W.S. Burroughs said when discussing the death of his friend Brion Gysin, “Art creates new values.” So herein lies the goal: to identify a canon of culture that transcends time, to do battle on the most influential stage of all — the arena of ideas [hey, those are also among RE/Search’s goals!]. If you have an idea for a review or an opinion you’d like to write for the site, feel free to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Web-site: http://www.thepopulation.ca – Also, I’ve posted my review of RE/Search’s J.G. Ballard Quotes and J.G. Ballard Conversations at
() From Derek B: “I just love these old “educational” films. This one cracks me up. I’d seen pieces of it in other films. But seeing the whole thing cracks me up. It’s the classic equating homosexuality with pedophilia. And listen up for the “definition” of being gay.
() From Ferrara Pan: “A thoughtful and provocative blog by Daniel Pinchbeck on late-stage capitalism and the failures and potentials of the American Left is linked below if it interests you… http://www.realitysandwich.com/node/756
() file under “hoaxes” – http://www.adipocere.com/
() More info about XL Terrestrials, tours, and the theory of Transmigration Of Cinema here: www.xlterrestrials.org – And an article on Otherzine re: the eastern europe and balkan tour – http://www.othercinema.com/otherzine/index.php?issueid=16&article_id=38
() NEW JEAN JACQUES PERREY free downloads: a web-based children’s story called “Troll’s Story.” Perrey and Dana Countryman wrote the text for the children’s book and scored all the original music: http://www.danacountryman.com/trollweb/trollweb.html
The narrator for the children’s story is Tricia Meier-Countryman. The project is a spin-off from Perrey and Countryman’s recent Oglio Records CD “The Happy Electropop Music Machine” – http://1800coolcds.stores.yahoo.net/891382.html
() Underground Swiss filmmaking by Michel in Lausanne, home of the Art Brut Museum: http://oblo.ch/
http://www.moju-video.com – http://www.youtube.com/mojuvideo
() Paul Krassner: http://www.counterpunch.org/krassner11032007.html
() from Ethan Port: interview with Penelope Houston on www.mobilization.com
() from Thomas Roche: Lydia Lunch interview
() from Phil G: “Watching a David Lynch film can give the viewer the impression that the director intuitively understands the underlying mechanisms of psychotic experience.” http://www.bps.org.uk/publications/thepsychologist/search-the-psychologist-online.cfm?fuseaction=inc_psychologistdet&ID=1194&Publication_ID=1&ShowHTML=true
() from Bruno R: Rory Hayes comics for download in cbr format http://www.freecomicbooks.org/2007/10/bogeyman-comics-1-3.html
() documentary on Hunters Point Shipyards artists’ studios: Available on DVD $15 at <http://www.icebase.com/go2.shtml?IXW5vbI0G28NK3oqemail@example.com>www.thepointart.com/film/film.html’
() Google “2012” and Terence McKenna’s The Archaic Revival, his “best” book – David L.
8. Sinan Revell’s Art Show, “DoppelgAngers,” reviewed by Richard Modiano. Nov 17-Dec 22, 2007. Thur-Sun 1-6pm or by appointment. L2K Gallery, 990 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles 90012. 323.255.1238
The Human Universe: �There are laws, that is to say, the human universe is discoverable as that Other. And as definable,� said Charles Olson. �I am an Other,� said Arthur Rimbaud. Sinan Leong Ravell’s show of photographs �DoppelgANGERS� at the L2K Gallery in Los Angeles Chinatown gives graphic proof of the propositions of the two poets just quoted.
In her artist’s statement, Revell says, �’DoppelgANGERS’ is a series of self-less portraits that reflect our social media landscape … We become anaesthetized to yet another ‘war-torn disaster, high-school shoot-out, teen drug overdose, racially profiled police brutality, suicide bomber attack.’ We are all connected. We are ‘doppelgANGERS.’ I put myself into these pictures to show how were all connected.�
The photos on exhibit range from re-creations of famous images such as the 1968 execution of a suspected Viet Cong to a US magazine-like portrait of the �good life� called �Bling Bling.� �LA Shooting� refers to the shooting of African-American teenager Latasha Harlins by a female Korean grocery store owner, a contributing factor to the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising (or riot, depending on one’s politics), and the beating of Rodney King is also re-created with Revell as Sgt. Stacey Koon and his cohorts as well as King. There are also generic scenes such as �Homeless & Hungry,� satirizing privilege. Most controversial of all is a photo of Saddam Hussein at the gallows: the �Beast of Baghdad� is shown going to his death with quiet dignity in an image recreated from the smuggled video of his execution.
Where does the ANGER in DoppelgANGERS come from? The corporate media-crafted version of “reality” that allows us to become passive spectators of our lives, the transformation of people into consumers of faux realities. Revell adds, �By putting myself into all the pictures and impersonating all the figures, I’m not indulging in narcissism, rather I’m trying to show that we’re all victims and victimizers. I want to question those easy judgments we make about people like Lynndie England and Saddam Hussein.� The social criticism is tempered with compassion.
Revell referred to her Buddhist background in conversation at the show’s opening. The Buddhist idea of interdependence underlies the work on exhibit. This is the understanding that any phenomenon exists only because of the existence of other phenomena, in an incredibly complex web of cause-and-effect covering time past, time present and time future, and the notion that we’ve all been here before, whether as a stoic coolie rickshaw runner or an elegantly attired passenger – as in the photo entitled �Rickshaw.� Phenomena arise together in a mutually interdependent web of cause-and-effect.
Finally, �DoppelgANGERS� is Revell’s repudiation of image-mediated reality that uses passive identification with �the spectacle� (as Guy Debord described it) to supplant genuine activity. – Richard Modiano (who recently organized a marathon reading of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” in L.A.)
() “Be careful who you hate – hate is a BOND as strong as love!” – V. Vale
() “The definition of luxury is ‘one of a kind’ – not a price tag.” – Tony Duquette
() We’re in the era Andy Warhol predicted, where “The Business of Art will supersede Art.” So, we may as well make the most of it, and survive as an “independent entrepreneur.” [bitter laugh]
Here are some “BUSINESS” QUOTES TO SURVIVE BY, sent by “anonymous”:
– Where other people see obstacles, be blind. Only see possibilities.
– Build a strong foundation, with the long term in mind.
– Choose a great brand name that’s easy to remember.
– There are many sources of money – find them.
– Set yourself apart. Be excellent. Be diligent. Be consistent(ly excellent).
– Tell the truth.
– Describe yourself in one paragraph – brevity/clarity win people to you.
– Describe yourself in three words.
– Pick partners who can grow with you. In selecting a partner, Heed your first intuition/first intuitive flash.
– Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcome.
– Be good at something – it makes you valuable.
– As soon as you meet someone, start a file on them.
– Employees come first; customers second.
– Create systems to manage growth – in advance.
– Always study: how to run a group / how to care about people.
– When people give you feedback, value it & use it.
– Survival over the long haul is the bottom line.
– Diversify your distribution as much as possible, so if one distributor doesn’t pay you, you still survive.
– People will pay extra to go green (or for a good cause).
– Your blog explains who you are and shows off your work [cleverly].
– RE the U.S. Economy: Batten down the hatches; the storm is coming. (Invest in euros, not dollars!)
– Car crashes are the number one cause of death and disability in this country. [The car is the 2nd most expensive purchase you will make.]
– I’m lazy, therefore I’m very efficient
– Make other people get excited and happy – always try to involve the audience
– Teach your students to become self-reflective
– Curiosity drives us
– Help others
– Keep what is valuable / what you love. Let the rest go…
– Loyalty is a two-way street.
– [Advice to a girl being courted by boys:] Ignore everything they say and pay attention only to what they DO (aka “Actions speak louder than words”
– You get people to help you by telling the truth and being earnest.
– Apologize when you make mistakes.
– Focus on others, not yourself.
– Show gratitude.
– Don’t complain. Just work harder.
– Find the best in everybody, and try to bring it out of them.
– Be prepared. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. So be alert for opportunity – it often appears unexpectedly and out of context
– Strive to have Grace Under Pressure…
– When making a film, avoid the cliches of gun usage and por-nography.
– Make (3) films at a time, not just one
– Experience is what you GET, when you didn’t get what you wanted
– Every good show needs a closing act…
10. Feedback from Readers. Great Review of PRANKS 2 by John Mitchell.
() MARK PAULINE’s HOUSE FOR SALE: Beautiful little Two-storey House (on corner lot) personally hand-crafted (in part) by SRL founder Mark Pauline (is this an “artist’s installation”?) – available for sale, and ready for immediate occupancy, in Brisbane, California, a quiet old-fashioned town just south of San Francisco, close to the S.F. Airport. Write firstname.lastname@example.org if interested!
() Review of PRANKS 2 book by John Mitchell (thanks, John!). http://www.thetranscript.com/entertainment/ci_7540667
“There are few things more American than a good prank � after all, the Boston Tea Party stands out as one of the great ones in the realm of history and it had a political point as well. The idea that the pranks is an important form of political speech is central to the RE/Search book “Pranks 2” and its participants.
“Many in the mainstream might be unfamiliar with RE/Search Books, but they are probably very clued into the ripple effects of that line whether they know it or not. Publisher and interviewer V. Vale may be one of the most influential underground icons of the past 25 years � it would be fair to say that he is the Dick Cavett of the modern counter culture in America.
“The RE/Search format has become renowned in certain circles � pick a counter culture topic, gather luminaries among that set, have a conversation about the topic with them and put the result in a book.
“Oh, and set the topic loose in order to creep its way into � an often subvert � the mainstream.
“RE/Search has done that in the area of film and music and lifestyle � it practically single-handedly introduced the idea of ritual tattooing and body piercing to the mainstream by creating the ultimate reference book to it and seeing it distributed in some major record stores around the country.
“Perhaps its most important contribution is to the area of culture jamming and political tricksterism, presented as so fascinating and fringe in the 1987 tour de force “Pranks,” noted by many as an inspiration for their own political pranksterism.
“Vale has returned to the subject with “Pranks 2.” It’s a curious venture � in some ways it exists to acknowledge what was an influential book to a whole new generation of culture jammers and activists � in others, it’s a measure of what we have lost. The book is crammed with older people who have been mining the territory for years. On the pages of this book, many lament the lack of young involvement in such art and activism or scowl at the populist face the practice has taken in the form of vehicles like Ashton Kutcher’s “Punk’d” and others which, as the book points out, is a genre built on preying on the already beaten.
“It becomes clear pranks are a high ground taken to prove a political or social point � and, of course, be funny to those who “get it.” A few of the pranksters took part in Mass MoCA’s show “The Interventionists” � most notably the Yes Men � and it is in this spirit that many speak about their work. The Yes Men are renowned for their impersonation of World Trade Organization representatives who give absurd motivational lectures to unsuspecting international banking organizations. Another of their best pranks involved the impersonation of Dow Chemical with a media announcement that they would be cleaning up the ecological disaster in Bhopal � and the BBC believed it. Separate interviews with both Yes Men provide a fascinating insight to not only the mechanics of their work, but the thinking that fuels it.
“Other pranking groups on hand to talk about their exploits are the Suicide Club and Cacophony Society, both of which engineer all kinds of infiltrations and strange impromptu events in odd places like abandoned mortuaries, and the Billboard Liberation Front which does exactly what you think it does � takes billboards and reconfigures them to exhibit political messages, often amusing or absurd, like the McDonald’s billboard they altered to echo the old Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man.”
“Vale also spends a good amount of time with painter Ron English, a lively talker whose apparently endless pool of energy has provided years of good billboard alterations that has won him plenty of renown in the underground � his most famous was adding the image of Charles Manson to an Apple “Think Different” ad billboard.
“Like the original, the book is at its best when it explores socially subterranean territory that normal people might never have the chance to inhabit. One of most fascinating is Marc Powell, a computer programmer who goes under the name “Hacker-Chef” and spins wild tales about his clandestine community, their secretive get-togethers and the wild cyber hi-jinks they get up to. Powell gives amazing insight to government and corporate policies towards catching hackers � including his peers who use their skills to catch other hackers and make money.
“Vale also give ink to showbiz upstarts like Jerry Casale of Devo, the world’s best music industry prank, and the always-delightful John Waters, whose very career is like a joke on society.
“Pranks 2” is well worth the time � it’s entirely energizing in its depiction of amusing dissent � but for the unfamiliar, I suggest picking up the original alongside it, to give it more context and a broader sweep of the history of pranks as activism.
“The one sad part of the book is that Vale could not get an interview with the person that almost every interviewee in book suggests might be the most successful prankster in American history � George W. Bush. The fake Indians in Boston more than 200 years ago don’t even hold a candle to him.
“Visit RE/Search Publications online at www.http://www.researchpubs.com.” [end]
() received 11-20-2007: “Hello V. Vale! For some reason I have been thinking about you lately, and the interview you held with me for your Zines! Vol One issue so many years ago. Maybe it is because I am older now, and so I am even more impressed with what you have done with your life thus far. Because I so much want to do something cool with my own!… best, Lucretia X aka Tye (from The Meat Hook zine, and Revolution Rising with Sisi and Dani). PS My art work can be seen by googling Your Gallery, clicking on the Saatchi Online link, and searching under Lucretia X. Also: myspace.com/lucretiatyejasmine ”
() Hi Vale, I was just reading “Up Is Up, But So Is Down,” a survey of the underground NYC literature scene in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, which came out in 2006. I thought you might be curious to know that RE/Search gets name-checked in one of the reprints from 1987, a satirical essay by Darius James titled: “On Bohomelessness: A Convoluted Guide to the Other Side.”
The intro asks “Who Are the Bohomeless?” — and one of the possible answers is “subway-dwelling frottage freaks who rasp, with fetid breath, disjointed passages from ‘High Performance’ and ‘RE/Search’ magazines on how the use of video monitors in open-air performance spaces has brought the homeless shambling, like blue-hued ghouls, into the mainstream of mall-mad consumer culture.” I dunno if you saw that way back in “the day” — it apparently was published in the Village Voice… I recommend the book as a whole. Nice to see the punk, feisty and lionhearted literati get their due…
In a similar vein, I also recommend a 2005 collection of essays about and interviews with NYC underground film-makers from roughly the same era: “Captured” and, like “Up Is Up, But So Is Down,” is a huge volume. It covers everything from 1960s freaks like Jack “Flam-ing Creatures” Smith to the Punk and No Wave music/film crossover scene, to the infamous 1980s Cinema of Transgression (Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, etc), to more famous artists like Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi and beyond.
Oh, and that reminds me of Lydia Lunch. She apparently left you a note about “Your Flesh” magazine being reborn on-line. I am also occasionally writing for the on-line version. Though it’s been a slow process to upload over 20 years of back content, eventually chief editor and longtime honcho Peter Davis wants to get every bit of text and art on-line — which would be a great resource for getting insights into the best of 1980s and 1990s punk, hard-core, noise, hard-boiled literature, and other underground culture. As you know, the 21st Century has made the job of punk/ independent publishers much tougher. So rather than simply scrap all those years of effort, “Your Flesh” went online… – John Graham, S.F.
() Dear Vale, RE: LOVE MACHINE (film; 2001, 110 min) � Peter Asaro is an old school buddy of mine. We went to college together in the early Nineties and he and Douglas Matejka worked on LOVE MACHINE while both were attending grad school at the University of Illinois. There�s a staged bit in the film where, I think, a father takes a kid or two to a park to play on the swings; that park is a block away from my place here in Champaign. Pete still co-owns a rental house across the street. He worked briefly helping set up the A/V elements of a brand-new hi-tech museum in (I think) Vienna, Austria, before his gigs in Sweden and (now) Rutgers U. in New Jersey.
I actually brought up Pete earlier this afternoon at a film preservation workshop held on campus in regards to Joseph Tykociner, a mid-twentieth century inventor and professor who, among many other things (primarily communications devices including the transistor) was one of the early developers (1922) of sound-on-film, although it was someone else�s process that became adopted as the standard. Tykociner also created Zetetics which, to paraphrase, was the �science of research.� Pete told me about Tykociner years ago when he was reading up on the subject. Currently, Doug is working for Sidetrack Films, one of the companies behind KURT COBAIN: ABOUT A SON. Thanks for giving LOVE MACHINE props. When did the DVD come out? Cheers, Jason P.
() “How do you live on the cheap? Select your answer: Dumpster-dive. Shop at sidewalk sales. Furnish from the damaged goods pile at IKEA. Perpetually couch surf. Survive on a daily diet of bagels, B�nh m� and burritos. Call up a sugar daddy or sugar mama. Trust fund! What trust fund?! Have never moved out of parents’ place. Live somewhere other than San Francisco and NYC.” – sent by anonymous
() “Hey, Vale: I used to be in a punk band out of Fresno California called the Maniax. We actually played the last Punk night at the Mab back in 1981. (at least that was what was said back then) It was an all-Fresno night with Capitol Punish-ment, Toxic Shock and a few others. We were only 14 years old and we headlined the event. Tim Yohannan from Maximum Rock and Roll promoted us quite a bit on his show, which led to us playing that gig… – Eric Dansby”
() JACK RABID’S SPEECH TO THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS (ICA) “FIGURES OF SPEECH” DINNER, CLIFT HOTEL, SAN FRANCISCO, OCTOBER 25, 2007 SUBJECT: V. VALE. VISUAL on display: SEARCH & DESTROY #11 MAGAZINE, MUTANTS COVER
“Hello! For 27 years, I’ve edited and published a music magazine and played in bands in New York City. As a “music guy,” I’m expected to pick my favorite album. Instead, I choose this magazine [Search & Destroy #11], published here in San Francisco three decades ago.
I was in high school in 1977, in a staid, vanilla New Jersey suburb, mired in abject boredom. Punk Rock was exploding, but establishment media ignored or disparaged it � so I was intrigued! I bought copious records and saw bands like The Clash, Ramones, and Talking Heads play in New York. But since rock radio was stuck on Styx and Boston, I relied on underground magazines like Search and Destroy to open up this secret world. Forget Shakespeare, Darwin, Thucydides, and Geometry – I studied this brainchild of North Beach writer V. Vale instead.
His mag caught my eye because it was named after my favorite Iggy Pop song � a subversive riff on the Vietnam War. It was exciting to learn that San Francisco had a vibrant Do-It-Yourself punk scene, with bands including women, and minorities � which was rare, then. I read about shows at offbeat venues like Mabuhay Gardens on Broadway, a Club For the Deaf�yes!�on Valencia, 330 Grove, and the Geary Street Temple. Or The Sex Pistols’ last stand at the Winterland on Post and Steiner. I also read of and sought singles by new San Francisco bands The Avengers, Crime, Nuns, Negative Trend, Sleepers, Offs, U.X.A., Dead Kennedys, Flipper, and The Mutants � the group pictured here. None of these groups released an album then; no record company would touch them. So if you didn’t live here, the SF scene only came alive in Search and Destroy.
In general, this magazine furthered my ambition to investigate artists whose validity is measured not by commercial success, but by personal impact. In its pages, I first heard of William S. Burroughs and Beat Generation writers who seemed kindred spirits of punk. Within a year, I sublet a flat in New York’s East Village from Allen Ginsberg himself. Search and Destroy also lauded pop artists I knew little about, like Andy Warhol, who I would meet years later in downtown clubs. In short, the magazine inspired me to get out of New Jersey and find a world where diverse things were happening.
More importantly, Search and Destroy fixed the substance behind the original Punk ethos in my head forever, where it still sits like an ever-smoldering stick of dynamite. For instance, its interview with DEVO is seared in my memory. I had thought this new Ohio band were clowns in yellow jump-suits and flowerpot hats, but the article hipped me to their inspired concept of “De-evolution.” Search and Destroy was that kind of window. The bands were urban starving artists, living for mad experience while gleefully flouting social norms in thought and dress�with a prime streak of sardonic black humor. Like Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, who ran for mayor here in 1979. (Remember that?) Or the Avengers, with their sharp social critiques like “The American in Me.”
Thus did I learn more about the world through punk than I ever did in school. Ever since, I’ve been drawn to artists that’ve satirized or topically addressed the times, from Moliere to Monty Python; Zola to Steinbeck; Chaplin to Kubrick; Leadbelly to Bad Brains. Today I gaze at this cover and still sense that kick, right down to these mutant eyes worn by the Mutants. (Everybody see that?) And Search and Destroy taught readers how liberating and fun it is to take part in culture, rather than absorbing it passively through endless electronic devices.
These days, free Internet news and blog content has had a withering effect on print periodicals. Small, shoestring magazines covering left-field artists are disappearing in droves. And I think that’s a shame. This one is an example of how inspiring a small independent print mag can be when vivid culture wins over pure commerce.
Thankfully, V. Vale is still working that cutting edge, having published the RE/Search book series for several decades. Oddly, I’d never met him or had the chance to thank him personally all these years, but I tracked down his number this week and invited him here tonight. So let me do that now, at long last. Vale, if you’d stand up please. (pause, applause, bowing)
Thank you, V. Vale. And the ICA, too, for a chance to convey gratitude to a valiant magazine and to this city’s bands, who spoke to me 30 years ago, saying, “Get involved, be creative, share what excites you.” So I too make a magazine, and I only hope that somewhere a disaffected teenager reads mine, and it has something close to that seismic effect. Thank you. – Jack Rabid” (www.bigtakeover.com)
[please note that almost all the SEARCH & DESTROY tabloids from 1977-79 are STILL AVAILABLE (for now) from www.http://www.researchpubs.com and you can still get them, autographed (upon request) by editor/publisher V. Vale]
DECEMBER 2007 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com
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