WELCOME TO the V. VALE RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #93, MAY 2010
RE/SEARCH | 20 Romolo #B | San Francisco CA 94133 | 415.362.1465
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE – I’m twittering!
2. JG BALLARD NEWS / Grateful for Glasgow
3. Counter Culture Hour with JOHN SHIRLEY: 6 PM Pacific Time, Saturday May 8 – also simulcast on-line
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS: RE/SEARCH @ Pagan Fair Berkeley SAT MAY 9, 10-5:30pm
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing
6. Remembering Joe Sarno (1921-2010) by Ana Barrado, and a film link of Joe sent by Michael Bowen
7. Recommended Links – send some!
9. Letters from Readers
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[COMMERCIAL:] As everything becomes more niche and more personal, why not visit our office and buy RE/SEARCH books DIRECT from us! You can also telephone & order direct (415-362-1465), along with any question you might want to have personally answered. And visit our website at http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com – you can pay by visa/mc, PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a check …
() We encourage our readers to buy our Limited Edition Deluxe Art Paper HARDBACKS, not found in stores
** Coming Soon: MODERN PRIMITIVES in Deluxe Hardback! Please email us to preorder for a special price!
** INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK
** WSBurroughs/Brion Gysin/Throbbing Gristle
** THE TORTURE GARDEN
** FREAKS Autographed by Daniel P Mannix
() Would YOU like to go down in history as a Publisher? Could you use a tax deduction AND be a crucial part of a “good cause”? RE/SEARCH is looking for co-publisher(s) to bring back into life our INCREDIBLY STRANGE FILMS and SEARCH&DESTROY Vol. 1 (#1-6) BOOKS in deluxe, for-the-ages hardbacks on archival art paper. Hardbacks will outlive everyone currently alive on the planet! Contact us if you wish to be a prestigious co-publisher, at email@example.com or 415-362-1465. You will be listed as co-publisher and be granted other rare benefits and blessings, plus tax deductions and quantities of YOUR books to give away or sell.
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE, RE/SEARCH FOUNDER (and also the founder of SEARCH & DESTROY magazine before that):
I’ve started a twitter account just to record aphorisms that I encounter or that occur to me. Account name is: valeREsearch . In lieu of a message this month, below are some of the “twits”:
() We need new language to carve out new freedoms for ourselves…
() Truth is never a noun…
() “belief” is the enemy of knowledge, and contains the word “lie”
() In filmmaking (and in many other creative disciplines) there’s a triangle: cheap, fast, good — pick any two…
() You ARE what you think, read, experience, research, and create… And your only free will is your power to say NO…
() Don’t give orders to a cat; don’t expect a dog to catch mice, and don’t expect idiots to be geniuses…
() The “Law of Three” underlies Haagen-Daz’s White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Ice Cream…
() What matters is what you leave behind that can inspire people 30 years after you vanish…
() Expect the unexpected: everything takes longer and costs more..
() Chance and dreams are the messengers of inspiration sent by the Fates…
() Paranoia is the springboard for many a speculative fiction novel… or at least a short story…
() It only takes a moment to die, but a lifetime to learn how to live…
() Is Nassim Taleb the Socrates of today? Let the fates return his notebook of aphorisms!
() The goal of society is “perfect” justice for all life on earth
() Every day, money costs more, buys less, and is harder to get!
() Hidden harmonies are the most beautiful… Why? Because beauty loves to hide…
() A life goal: to understand the things that are, AS they are-without emotional color, prejudice, agenda (often, these are invisible & unknown).
You can probably deduce that one of my favorite philosophical works is the PHILOSOPHICAL FRAGMENTS of HERACLITUS (6th Century B.C.). Others include the aphorisms of Oscar Wilde, Porchia, Lichtenberg, Lautreamont, and Gracian… – best, V. Vale
2. We are grateful this happened: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND: AAH Annual Conference 2010 (Association of Art Historians)15 – 17 April, University of Glasgow. – Atrocity Exhibitions: **Re/Reading RE/Search**. Session Convenors were Patricia Allmer, MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan, University. P.Allmer@mmu.ac.uk and John Sears, MMU Cheshire. J.Sears@mmu.ac.uk
“The avant-garde journal RE/Search, edited by V. Vale and published in San Francisco since 1980, has consistently explored the limits of cultural practices in relation to theories and traditions of artistic expression. Developing out of dada and surrealism and based on the surrealist call to explore the ‘irrational shadow of official culture’, RE/Search addresses contested and subversive aesthetic practices and cultural interventions. Its range of thematic and theoretical concerns (from Angry Women to Industrial Culture) defines the parameters of contemporary conceptions of the acceptable, the permissible and the desirable; its constant willingness to challenge conventions has made it a major feature of the theoretical landscape of contemporary art practice. RE/Search has furthermore been instrumental in promoting and analyzing work by major contemporary artists and writers, including William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Genesis P- Orridge, Gee Vaucher, Annie Sprinkle, Russ Meyer, Valie Export, John Waters, and J.G. Ballard. This session marked the 30th anniversary of RE/Search and invited papers addressed and re-read pertinent concerns and aspects of / related to the journal.” Speakers included: Professor Allen Fisher, Joanne Murray (Birkbeck College, University of London) RE/Search and JG Ballard, and Lauren Wetmore (Ontario College of Art & Design) Mimetized Disasters: Exhibiting The Atrocity Exhibition.
3. Counter Culture Hour – Sat May 8, 6 PM PACIFIC TIME. JOHN SHIRLEY is a Bay Area Speculative Fiction writer and ex-Punk Rock Singer.
The Counter Culture Hour is edited/produced by Marian Wallace; interview by V. Vale.
The Counter Culture Hour (aka RE/SEARCH TV) is also ON-LINE as well as on cable access San Francisco Channel 29 — 6:00 pm Pacific Time, Sat April 10, 2010 ALSO on-line (simulcast) – at this link:
USA west coast: 6:00 PM Saturday, May 8
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Saturday, May 8
London: 2:00 AM Sunday, May 9
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, May 9
If you cannot get this on-line (we have heard some complaints about this), please write us to get a DVD copy.
Would you like to have a Counter Culture Hour showing in your town? Please write firstname.lastname@example.org
The new management of the Public Access Station is working towards having all shows available all the time in an archive, but this is mostly likely a ways off, so your best bet to see the shows is when they air: 2nd Saturday of the month at 6:00 PM PST. Or, contact us for a DVD (it would definitely play better). We are working on details for a subscriptions for the shows. Contact us if you’re interested!
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
() FREE SAT MAY 8, 10-5:30pm, Berkeley. RE/SEARCH will be there! 9th Annual Pagan Festival & Parade. Civic Center Park, 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (between Center and Allston), downtown Berkeley — Next to Farmers Market, Downtown Berkeley BART, 1 block west to Civic Center Park, Public Garage Parking Available. PROGRAM AND RESOURCE GUIDE AT http://thepaganalliance.org/pdfs/program-2010_web.pdf
Keeper of the Light: Keeper of the Light – joi wolfwomyn. Speakers include: T. Thorn Coyle, Sam Webster, Oberon and Morning Glory Ravenheart (all in our MODERN PAGANS book). Authors Circle include V. Vale & John Sulak (MODERN PAGANS). Best Costume prizes for Youth and Adults! Best Float prize! Visit the Pagan Market Place with over 40 vendors and numerous non-profits and organizations. Beloved Dead Altar- Please bring copies of photos that will honor our loved ones that have crossed over.
To volunteer please contact Arlynne at email@example.com. If you should have any questions, you can also call her at (510) 872-1188. Please let us know your name, tee-shirt size, and what shift you would like to work.
() ? Fri May 21, 6-9pm. Exploratorium, S.F.: Members Appreciation Night: Time Machine – Everything old is new again at our fantastical, historical, incredible Members Appreciation Party. Let the Strobe-a-scope capture your image as you travel through space and time, and enjoy complimentary food and drink—including fresh-spun cotton candy! Come in your best Victorian, Edwardian, or steampunk attire and get ready to rewrite history with live entertainment, complimentary food and drink, hands-on activities. RSVP by Friday, May 14, either online or by calling (415) 561-0322.
() $5 Tue May 25, 7pm. Makeout Room, SF. PENELOPE HOUSTON (AVENGERS) will do a poetry reading with JOHNNY GENOCIDE (No Alternative), plus Stephen Elliott, Paul Clayton, Thomas Wood, and Lauren Becker. Hosted by Tony DuShane.
() $ Wed May 26, 7:15pm, “Olivier Bonin’s “DUST AND ILLUSIONS: A History of BURNING MAN” – a beautiful, euphoric, visionary, uber-documentary. Experience the T.A.Z. virtually! Delancey Street Foundation Theater, 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 – Get Tickets Now. (Only 140 seats available) This is the 4th of a series of screenings in San Francisco. DIRECTOR will be in attendance for Q&A. Order tickets etc at http://dustandillusions.com RE/SEARCH will be here selling the **BURNING MAN LIVE** book – visit us!
() $10 Fri May 28, 10pm, The Dark Room, 2263 Mission St, SF. DAN CARBONE performs “New Tales of Mystery & Imagination.” Recommended by the Kuchar Brothers!
() $ NOW. The Hypnodrome, 575 10th Street (Bryant/ Division) St, SF. www.thrillpeddlers.com 415-377-4202 – PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI – the Cockettes musical, extended by popular demand through July! A classic experience in the best small theatre in San Francisco, where every seat is front-row, along with special booths F.L.O. **PARENTS TAKE NOTE: Hypnodrome is NOW taking reservations for their fabulous “Creepshow Camp” (4 Summer Sessions) for 8-15-year-olds (where they learn to apply gore and wound make-up and be actors in “edgy” but super-fun plays). Highly recommended! Find complete info at www.thrillpeddlers.com – note: “Hot Greeks” is a new play being primed…
() FREE. Fri June 4, 6-8pm. Electric Works, 130 8th St, SF. 415-626-5496. DAN NICOLETTA PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW OPENING.
EVENTS in NEW YORK & LONDON:
() $ Coming in July 2010: NEW MUSEUM: Brion Gysin Art Exhibition! New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002 212-219-1222. http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/422/brion_gysin_dream_machine
(NOTE: Brion Gysin is featured in the new Hardback of RE/Search #4/5: Burroughs/Gysin/Throbbing Gristle )
() FREE. NOW thru May 29. ” “Greetings from Daddaland: Fluxus, Mail Art and Rubber Stamps,” at the Stendhal Gallery, curated by John Held, Jr. http://stendhalgallery.com/?p=3395
() $ LONDON. TATE MODERN. May 14-16. “No Soul For Sale” includes group show featuring Cosey Fanni Tutti (TG) & more!
() $ LONDON. NOW through May 30, Wed-Sun 12pm, 245pm. Film screenings: “I Want to See.” Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall St, London SE11 5RH firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.gasworks.org.uk “I Want to See (2008) by Lebanese artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: Catherine Deneuve, playing herself, asks actor Rabih Mroué, also playing himself, to show her the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon war. As they drive towards the border and share the anxiety of the surrounding danger, a half-spoken complicity develops between them. Deneuve both denies and takes advantage of her status as a cinema icon to lend a fresh glance as well as to gain physical access to a landscape exploited and saturated by the media.”
() FREE LONDON. May 28 – July 18, 2010. Coming to LONDON. W. S. Burroughs SOUND INSTALLATION titled DEAD FINGERS TALK. IMT Gallery, Unit2/210, Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9NQ UK +44 (0) 20 8980 5475 – During exhibitions IMT is open Thursday to Sunday, 12:00 – 6:00pm or by appointment.
Tube: Bethnal Green (Central Line), close to DONLON BOOKS. Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs
http://www.imagemusictext.com/project-listing/deadfingerstalk “Dead Fingers Talk is an ambitious forthcoming exhibition presenting two unreleased tape experiments by William Burroughs from the mid 1960s alongside responses by 23 artists, musicians, writers, composers and curators.
“Few writers have exerted as great an influence over such a diverse range of art forms as William Burroughs. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and Junky, continues to be regularly referenced in music, visual art, sound art, film, web-based practice and literature. One typically overlooked, yet critically important, manifestation of his radical ideas about manipulation, technology and society is found in his extensive experiments with tape recorders in the 1960s and ’70s. Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs is the first exhibition to truly demonstrate the diversity of resonance in the arts of Burroughs’ theories of sound.
“The exhibition includes work by Alma/Joe Ambrose, Steve Aylett, Alex Baker & Kit Poulson, Lawrence English, The Human Separation, Riccardo Iacono, Anthony Joseph, Cathy Lane, Eduardo Navas, Negativland, o.blaat, Aki Onda, Jörg Piringer, Plastique Fantastique, Simon Reuben White, Giorgio Sadotti, Scanner, Terre Thaemlitz, Thomson & Craighead, Laureana Toledo and Ultra-red, with performances by Ascsoms and Solina Hi-Fi.
“Inspired by the expelled Surrealist painter Brion Gysin, and yet never meant as art but as a pseudo-scientific investigation of sounds and our relationship to technology and material, the experiments provide early examples of interactions which are essential listening for artists working in the digital age.
“In the case of the work in the exhibition the contributors were asked to provide a “recording” in response to Burroughs’ tape experiments. The works, which vary significantly in media and focus, demonstrate the diversity of attitudes to such a groundbreaking period of investigation.
“Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs is curated by Mark Jackson. The project is supported by the London College of Communication, CRiSAP and ADi Audiovisual and has been made possible by the kind assistance of the William Burroughs Trust, Riflemaker, the British Library and Donlon Books.” Talk/Private view Thur May 27, 2010.
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent
() To All who Sent us Books / CDs / DVDs / Magazines, we will try very hard to list what you sent in our NEXT NEWSLETTER.
() We saw and enjoyed BANKSY’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop” — go see it while it’s still at the theater! There are several BANKSY-credited graffiti’s around San Francisco now — one nearby in Chinatown on Commercial Alley near Grant. We met a couple on a bike-tour to see all of them around town one evening. Street art — a 24 hour gallery.
() Michael Shepard, who produced the Los Angeles and San Francisco THROBBING GRISTLE “final” concerts in 1981, visited us yesterday and gave us his new DVD release of Klaus Maeck’s film DECODER featuring William S. Burroughs, Christiane F, F.M. Einheit (Einstruzende Neubauten) and actor Bill Rice. There are “extras” such as a long interview with Klaus Maeck. The new color transfer looks great, too. He also gave us a book and CDs featuring Italian pianist ALESSANDRA CELLETTI (one CD features a collaboration with Hans-Joachim Roedelius). Alessandra Celletti played San Francisco two nights ago… Write RE/Search for ordering details!
() $ MAY 3 THE YES MEN gave a presentation at The Commonwealth Club, S.F. Did anybody see it? If so, please write us a description of what happened!
() FREE. Fri May 7, 6-8:45pm. DeYoung Museum. Jack Napier and Milton Rand Kalman of the Billboard Liberation Front [featured in our PRANKS 2 book] spoke at the DeYoung Museum. Mission Muralismo series presented “Directional Signals: Pranksters and Preachers, Paste and Stencil” featuring talks by Rigo, and John Jota Leaños. Also, Jack Napier, BLF co-founder, and Milton Rand, Kalman BLF chief scientist, gave a presentation titled “The Art and Science of Billboard Improvement,” plus stencil cutting demonstration by Russell Howze author of Stencil Nation: Graffiti, Community and Art.
() NOW through June 27, Ludwig Museum, BUDAPEST http://www.ludwigmuseum.hu – In London we had a fun chat with Louise Wilson and note that her film is playing now: ” Dream Time (2001) by British artists Jane and Louise Wilson (b. 1967) documents the launch of the 2001 International Space Rocket at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan. The Cosmodrome is the focal point of the Russian space program: it was from here that in 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man to be launched into space. Like many other works by Jane and Louise Wilson, including Stasi City (1997), Gamma (1999) and Parliament (1999), Dream Time examines the way in which political and technological power behind the international space program is manifested through architecture and captured through the medium of moving images.”
6. Joe Sarno (1921-2010)
JOE SARNO, cultural anthropologist/filmmaker featured in the RE/Search INCREDIBLY STRANGE FILMS book, has died (April 26, 2010). There is a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115173668515530&v=wall – feel free to leave comments. Did anyone see the RE/Search Film Night (1987) featuring Joe Sarno at the York Theater in S.F.? “Young Playthings” was screened… Condolences to wife Peggy, and his children…
Remembering Joe Sarno, by Ana Barrado
Joe Sarno was a real mensch: a savvy, self-made creative New Yorker, deeply cultured and cosmopolitan and well travelled. I totally identified with him when I met him with Vale in 1983, the year I moved to Manhattan. In 1985 I photographed Joe for the RE/Search Incredibly Strange Films book project. As a filmmaker, Joe had an anthropological/documentary approach to camerawork and he taught me how to shoot portraits, how to pose people to make them more attractive, about the basic portrait lighting set-up, etc. But the trick in shooting good portraits was in the eyes. He said that since the eyes are liquid they must reflect light in order to be seen by film at all, otherwise they come out looking hollow and dead. He suggested I wear a white shirt when photographing people, as a ready-made reflector/diffuser to add that sparkle of life’s spirit to my subjects’ eyes that are looking at me, the camera.
Joe worked in a production studio building on the west side of midtown Manhattan, and that’s where I took this wonderful picture of him. We went up the the fire escape to catch the afternoon’s direct sunlight and I posed him up on a higher floor where we found The Light, the last beam of sunlight coming through an exit door’s frosted window, perfectly direct and diffused light for a portrait! We were creating magic!! Peggy his wife subsequently asked me “When did you meet my husband?” because, she said, “he looks twenty years younger in your picture!”
He also taught me about using titles in photographs, to be descriptive, not poetic. He said,”Let the art be the ART, the imaginative” but people want to be “anchored in reality” in order to see and proper titles do that. So this photo is titled:
Joe Sarno in Manhattan, 1985.
©1985 Ana Barrado
Michael Bowen sent this message and link: “A little film of Joe as I will always remember him, shot on the day he was honored at the Cinémathèque Française. Thanks to Joe’s friend Jim Hollenbaugh for having transferred and cut this together from the original Super 8.”
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)
() V. Vale “interview” in Artillery art magazine by Skot Armst: http://www.freewebs.com/palimpsests/vale.htm
() from Dave Sturm: Raw Power: http://www.metrotimes.com/music/review.asp?rid=26188
() from Graham Rae: [On JGBallard] http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100315/mieville
() http://trauma.desensitised.net/torture-garden-birthday-ball-2010/ – Torture Garden Birthday Ball Sat May 1, 9pm6AM, 2010 – “…3 new performances that will take place in the ‘Crash play area’ at this year’s Torture Garden Birthday Ball… [I’m] collaborating with Suka Off on a new piece Car Crash Clan – for someone as Ballard/Cronenberg obsessed as I it’s a bit of a dream come true to be performing Crash-inspired work amongst ruined car parts.”TG revisits Ballard’s Crash. Exploring Auto-Eroticism. Sexuoerotism. The body & technology clash & merge in an open wound. The car as fetish icon of desire…Installation Performances by: Suka Off (Poland), Trauma Unit, Kumi. Car Crash Decor. Auto Erotic & Medical Visuals. Medical Beds & Play Equipment by Playpenz. DJs: Joel & Milo (Scrapclub). Ambient Auto-Erotic Soundscapes www.torturegarden.com
() from Paul A. Toth: http://weburbanist.com/2009/01/11/urban-street-art-graffiti-guide/
() from Chris T: JGBallard in Shanghai http://www.jgballard.ca/shanghai/shanghai.html
() from jpm (1999): http://vimeo.com/11192276
() “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
() “The younger poets and artists in many countries turn again to the enigmas originally signaled by the early Surrealists, continuing the mythic progress, although they may not call themselves ‘Surrealists.’ ‘The story of art has become almost a complete circle, or rather a higher circle in the inevitable spiral. We see Dada of the twenties now reappearing as ‘Pop’ of the sixties, really a sort of Neo-Dadaism and not at all averse to giving credit to that early Dada master, Marcel Duchamp. And just as SURREALISM emerged from Dada, so most logically might not a sort of Neo-Surrealism emerge from ‘Pop’?” — Julien Levy, introduction to Surrealism, Bridgewater, Connecticut,1968
() RE James Hamilton-Paterson’s “Cooking with Fernet Branca”: “I love his elegant and intensely evocative style: strangeness lifts off his pages like a rare perfume.” — J.G. Ballard
() “Pisorno was an earlier, Tuscan version of Rome’s Cinecitta where in the days of Mussolini a good many films were shot. Most of these fell into the category known as ‘white telephone’ films, so called because they inhabited a fascist fantasy world of good living peopled by haut-bourgeois layabouts. After the war Cinecitta pretty much took over the Italian film industry and since the sixties no one has been able to agree what to do with Pisorno’s remains. The hundreds of acres of abandoned real estate by the sea are periodically earmarked for a projected cultural centre, a commercial centre, a theme park, even a nature reserve, but the plans have always fallen through. Maybe only fascism ever had the power to make Pisans and Livornese agree to anything and in its absence there is only indecision, stalemate and a golf course. Now where the white telephones once stood on gold-trimmed tables beside canopied double beds are the discarded c-ndoms, cracked syringes, cigarette butts and other leavings of intruders.” – James Hamilton-Paterson, “Cooking with Fernet Branca”
() “Memory is the most precious possession we have — that, and our body.” – V. Vale
() “Everyone comes up with genius ideas in the shower.” – ibid
() “The ultimate extension of capitalism is murder.” – ibid
() “If you can’t BE a genius, be NEAR a genius.” – ibid
() “Life is like a cart horse / its head is stuffed with hay / its heart is frozen solid / And its brain has gone astray.” – Jar City, p.222
() “…car crash tests (France) used real human bodies in tests.” – ibid, p.225
() “Collectors make a world for themselves. They make a little world all around them, select certain icons from ‘reality’ and turn them into the chief characters in that artificial world.” – ibid.
9. Letters from Our Readers:
() from Steven Flusty: Ballard’s “JG Ballard’s COMPLETE SHORT STORIES (with two more stories than in the U.K. edition, and a new intro from Martin Amis) is out in America now — this book is a MUST (in our opinion) – … guess we’re agreed on the all-capitalized musts.”
() from Tristan P: “Dear Vale … I’ve been enjoying tucking into both Pranks books – many thanks. In some ways I’d taken quite a round-about route to those books – via some dabbling in clown activism in the streets (the now abandoned child of John Jordan and others in London), the fact that Yes Man Mike and colleagues (esp. ‘The Vacuum Cleaner’) have spent quite a bit of time in Glasgow over recent years, and through reading some of what has been orchestrated/articulated around the whole idea of ‘liberation in the imaginary’ and the role of creativity in inverting the pattern that folds mind, language, visions, ideas into the capitalist production of value: Stephen Duncombe, Hakim Bey, Bifo, and Rabelais/Bakhtin/Bataille on excess and carnival in its more traditional (production of subversion) rather than contemporary (commercial entertainment) form… perhaps as is evident, some pages chocked with dirty-hands ideas and guts-and-blood stories is just what I’m in need of! looking forward to the next newsletter… best, Tristan”
() from Graham Rae: “Thank you Vale. You know it’s funny, but the Sex Pistols, and McLaren, have been a part of my consciousness for pretty much 30 years. Growing up in Scotland punk was a musical legend and, of course, the Sex Pistols were the jewel in the anarchic crown. I remember getting (the uncens-red) The Great Rock And Roll Swindle out of the video shop when I was 12 or 13 and hiding it under the chair when my dad came into the room when me and my pal were watching it. I substituted the film The Deadly Spawn for it, which was an interesting cultural-cum-personal comment: visceral alien splatter was fine, but punk and Sex Pistols (who were by then a cultural landmark-cum-benchmark) was not. I remember for a wee while I even walked a wee bit like the way the Johnny Rotten cartoon in TGRARS walked cos I thought its humfy-backit (ie Scottish term for hunchbacked) gait was cool as f-ck. “God save the Queen, eh John?” The usual chaos. – G.”
() From Tristan P in Glasgow, Scotland: “Dear V, Thanks for that. I had thought you might be in town for the conference anyway after seeing it in the RE/Search newsletter – anyhow, my apologies for not raising the invite of a place to stay sooner. Any plans to take your talk/slideshow/performance that was done in Donlon Books on the (British) road again?
I had a look at the AAH schedule (and entrance fees – £150/US$230 for a 1-day ticket – ouch!) and decided to try and sneak in unnoticed to the session after the morning tea break – it worked too (I’m sure there are plenty of ways to circle that square ethical hole – it’s not theft, it’s ingenuity! etc), so this morning I caught “Lauren Wetmore – ‘Mimetized Disasters: Exhibiting The Atrocity Exhibition’” and “Joanne Murray – ‘RE/Search and JG Ballard’”… I took a lot away from both of them… I really should buy me a copy of the RE/SEARCH1990 re-issue of The Atrocity Exhibition!”
[*] some brief notes I took below – as much for my own reference as anything – but here you go in case you were wondering about (some of) what was said, though I imagine it’s probably familiar terrain. It’s a bit of a dry account, but then the form of these conferences almost dictates that y/our responses are orderly – I guess instead it’s about the subsequent process (still in session) of following up references, taking odd snippets and quotations, re-visiting texts afresh…)
Lauren Wetmore – ‘Mimetized Disasters: Exhibiting The Atrocity Exhibition’: (she interned at RE/SEARCH headquarters in San Francisco for 3 months)
– re-thinking what TAE is (focus on the 1990 Re-Issue): not just a novel about an exhibition but a conceptual exhibition in the form of a novel
– re-thinking what RE/Search is: considering it to be an “anamorphoscope” [an invitation to see/re-see/explore/reveal] because “this mirror is seriously bent” (!)
– source materials for ‘Crash’ incl. “Unsafe At Any Speed” and “Tolerances of the Human Face To Crash Impact” research paper – not about safety/prevention but about new relationships between humans [and mechanical non-humans]
– x-section of the spine and x-section of the urethra: look very similar.
– Duchamp’s notes on “The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even” cast it is a “delay in glass”: what is it to take TAE as “a display in novel”?
– TAE 1990 Re-Issue: JGB as author, RE/Search as ‘curator’ / “did not ‘kill the author’, but allowed the text to live” / treating the novel as a ‘living text’, allowing other voices to speak, with the annotations as “time-travelling artist’s statement”.
– Impact / influence egs. : ‘The Crash Show’ 1984 – ‘Ralph Nader and Ronald Reagan’s combined [actualised] worst nightmare”!
– Questions/comments/led by Claire Walsh: “TAE is not a novel” (!) / practical considerations for some of the annotations to be included / Weiss 2008 film of TAE “good, but very literal… and about an hour too long!”
Joanne Murray – ‘RE/Search and JG Ballard’:
– historical account / situating JGB within the perspective of ‘aftermath art’ and links between JGB and the New Brutalists
– another ref to TAE (1990) – selective non/labelling of images: leads us into the conversation between author/publisher/audience – the game
of associations, out of which you “glean your own personal resonances”
– links/similarities/exchanges with: ICA Independent Group (1956, This Is Tomorrow [esp. cf. ‘the terminal hut’ from TAE]) / Eduardo Paolozzi (eg. 1958, ‘Large Frog’) /
– JGB/CW: “the only alien planet is Earth… is [the terrain] of your own psyche”
MAY 2010 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & other contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com.
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