WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #91, MARCH 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE
2. Watch our Counter Culture Hour NEW TIME 6 PM Pacific Time, Saturday March 13, 2010 – also simulcast ON-LINE EVERYWHERE
3. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
4. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing
5. Stephane von Stephane column: interview with filmmaker Paul Clipson, Part 2
6. Recommended Links – send some!
8. Letters from Readers
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE, RE/SEARCH FOUNDER (and also the founder of SEARCH & DESTROY magazine before that): “It is necessary to travel. It is not necessary to live.” (William S. Burroughs)
In the spirit of the above aphorism, I went to New York City last weekend (my biological father died). Three weeks earlier (Feb 9-14) I made a very last-minute trip to London to see The CRASH Opening at Gagosian Gallery. Curator Kay Pallister saw me give a 5-minute presentation at the J.G. Ballard Memorial at the top of the Tate Modern Nov 15 and subsequently made it possible for me to attend the Feb 11 Opening/Dinner. Who would have thought that J.G. Ballard would have a major gallery show in his honor less than a year after his death? Now, at this moment there is also a group exhibition in Berlin honoring JGB’s Atrocity Exhibition. The Atrocity Exhibition and RE/Search will also be honored at an Association of Art Historians Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, April 15-17.
There is no time to give a day-by-day diary account of my brief London excursion, so I will give thanks to:
() Mike Holliday, fellow Ballardian, for welcoming me to London, letting me use his cellphone (found out through experience that a cellphone is ESSENTIAL in London), giving me DVD gifts of Ballardian films, and in general granting genuine bonhomie and friendship.
() David Pringle, for his friendship, subtle sense of humor, and encyclopedic knowledge of Ballardiana.
() VyVy, for being an utterly amazing London host and tour guide. Taking me to the Wellcome Museum was an especially rewarding experience, as was the Alternative Book Fair. The Thai restaurant Busaba at 106 Wardour Street is delectable, and that vegetarian one, too. Also, VyVy loaned me a cellphone, and passed on to me a number of books I had wanted to read, such as Ian Sinclair’s “London Orbital” and Richard Kadrey’s “SANDMAN SLIM.” Thanks for everything, VyVy!
() Ellen Percival (friend of Chris Cobb) for her tour-guiding, vintage bicycle, and desire to promote RE/Search to London stores, and for making a little video of V. Vale talking, along with her friend __.
() Conor Donlon, and his partner Eleanor, for buying RE/Search books for his Donlon Books, 210 Cambridge Heath Road Unit 3, and for hosting a RE/Search video/talk event on Friday Feb 12 — standing room only…Conor has also had John Waters at his bookstore…Eleanor bought me vegetarian Chinese take-out which physically made the evening possible.
() Lynne Fox (and husband Mick) who hosted me without complaint, even though I showed up at 2:30 in the morning on Saturday night…
() Curator Kay Pallister and her kind and witty husband, Simon Bolton. Kay gave me a personal guided tour of the entire exhibition!
() Curator Mark Francis gave me an introduction to the exhibition as well. He revealed his deep background — his first words to me were to the effect that Survival Research Laboratories should have been there! He knew what I was thinking, already…
() Stevphen Shukaitis, who publicized the RE/Search Donlon Books event, and gifted me a copy of his new book, IMAGINAL MACHINES…
() GAGOSIAN GALLERY — just google “Gagosian Crash” and you will find photos, reviews, et al… A deluxe catalog ($100) is available, plus a limited-edition poster production. The show continues through April 1 at Gagosian Gallery, 6-24 Britannia St, London WC1X 9JD. Tel 44.207.841.9960 email@example.com Tue-Sat 10-6pm. For CRASH poster: http://www.gagosian.com/posters/2010_crash-poster_photographs-taken-by-jg-ballard-of-his-ford-zephyr-after-hi/
() the Ballard family, including Claire Walsh and her new friend Gee Vaucher of CRASS
() Martin Bax and wife Judy. Haven’t seen Martin since I interviewed him in 1982 (San Francisco) for the RE/Search #8/9: JG Ballard issue. Thanks, Judy, for making me lunch! And thanks, Martin, for the back issues of AMBIT!
Some websites (etc) of people I met:
() www.susanamedina.net (Susana Medina, Spanish artist-filmmaker-Ballardian-Bunuelian)
() www.imagemusictext.com (Mark Jackson, curating a WSBurroughs sound exhibition)
() google the artist DAN MITCHELL (a favorite person I met; he had a “beautiful” collage in the CRASH Show. He publishes HARD Magazine: www.destroyhardmag.com)
() google the sister-filmmakers Jane and Louise Wilson, whose Ballardian film footage played at the Gagosian CRASH Show…
() google the artist Merlin Carpenter
() google the writer/activist Stevphen Shukaitis associated with Autonomedia
() google TACITA DEAN
Patricia Allmer websites:
() Rene Magritte: Beyond Painting http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/catalogue/book.asp?id=1204471
() ‘Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism’ http://www.angelsofanarchy.org
() Atrocity Exhibition Group Show: FEINKOST, Bernauer strasse 71-72 Berlin 13355 Wednesday to Saturday from 11-19, Sunday 14-18 M +49 (0) 172 184 9732 T/F +49 (0) 3027015720 www.galeriefeinkost.com
() “AAH Annual Conference 2010 (Association of Art Historians)15 – 17 April, University of Glasgow.
Atrocity Exhibitions: **Re/Reading RE/Search**
() Patricia Allmer, MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan, University. P.Allmer@mmu.ac.uk
() 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, Genesis P- Orridge, Gee Vaucher, Annie Sprinkle, Russ Meyer, Valie Export, and J. G. Ballard.
“This session will mark the 30th anniversary of RE/Search and invited papers will address and re-read pertinent concerns and aspects of / related to the journal.
() Professor Allen Fisher (Manchester Metropolitan University)
William S. Burroughs and Engaged Damage
() Joanne Murray (Birkbeck College, University of London)
RE/Search and JG Ballard
() Lauren Wetmore (Ontario College of Art & Design)
Mimetized Disasters: Exhibiting The Atrocity Exhibition
() Matt Lodder (University of Reading)
The Myth of the Modern Primitive”
2. Counter Culture Hour – NEW TIME – NOW ON AT 6:00 PM PACIFIC TIME.
Jim Thirlwell (FOETUS) talks at the RE/Search office, with clips from performances. He talks all about his career (since 1978), including his recent collaboration with the local Kronos Quartet. 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 — 6:00pm Pacific Time, Sat March 13, 2010 ALSO on-line (simulcast) – at this link:
USA west coast: 6:00 PM Saturday, March 13
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Saturday, March 13
London: 2:00 AM Sunday, March 14
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, March 14
You get the picture! Would you like to have a Counter Culture Hour showing in your town? Please write and ask us how you can do this. (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).
3. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
() FREE. Sat-Sun March 13-14, 11-5pm: Meet RE/SEARCH (and legendary photographer CHARLES GATEWOOD) at the ANARCHIST BOOK FAIR! SF County Fair Bldg, 9th Ave & Lincoln Way (Golden Gate Park), S.F. 415.431-8355. The schedule for speakers and panels is at http://sfbookfair.wordpress.com/schedule/ Penelope Rosemont from the Chicago Surrealist Group will be there — we hope to see her! ARSENAL magazine was a significant influence on RE/Search & Search & Destroy. Also, John Law said, “I heard a rumor that the BLF is hanging some “art” at this Anarchist Convention…”
() $$ Fri-Sat-Sun MARCH 12,13,14, The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition, Hilton Garden Inn, Emervyille, CA. Featuring one of our favorite machine/maker artists, JON SARRIUGARTE (www.formandreform.com/wordpress/ ). Jon writes: “I am the maker Guest of Honor at this weekends event. Come by and enjoy the company of the Giant Iron Snail Art Car the Golden Mean. I will have maker demo’s, a vending table of hand-crafted stuff by both myself and crew, the Electrobite is ride-able again, snail fun. Plus the Neverwas Haul crew, Payphone Johnny’s bikes, and Tom Speppes steam bike. 10am to 6pm Sat, and 10-5pm Sunday in the parking lot of the Hilton in Emeryville. Also Join us for Friday night’s Ball, and Sat.night’s Dance party. Also author James Blaylock, et al. www.steampunkexhibition.com
() FREE. Now through April 10. Sat March 27, 3pm: Artist Walkthrough. Photographer MARION GRAY (whom we met back in the ’70s Punk Days) has an exhibit at Togonon Gallery, 77 Geary St, 2nd floor, S.F. Tu-Sat.
() FREE. Fri March 12, 8pm: Johnny Strike (CRIME founder) reads at Dog Eared Books, 900 Valencia St, S.F.
() FREE all day. Wed March 17: the “new” California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park.
() FREE. Wed March 24, 7:30pm. CounterPulse, 1310 Mission St, SF. John Shirley, Richard Kadrey etc talk! Panel.
() $ APRIL 16-23 Roxie Theater, 16th/Valencia, S.F. “It Came From Kuchar” (RE/Search appears in this documentary of The Kuchar Brothers directed by Jennifer Kroot). http://www.roxie.com/ www.kucharfilm.com
() $ April 2, 6pm, HONG KONG! Monochrom’s Johannes Grenzfurthner! Arse Elektronika X Videotage/Exhibit. Ends Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:00pm – Unit 13, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=352326713232 We hope Andrew Ness will attend!
4. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent
() Sun March 7, 2010 – Hypnodrome: “V. Vale, Jello Biafra, his girlfriend Anne-Marie and our friend Chris Farris attended A Musical Seance featuring “San Francisco chanteuse-fatale Jill Tracy and Atlanta composer Paul Mercer who are becoming widely known for their astonishing duets on piano and violin, mostly improvised or “channeled.” The pair affectionately refer to their duets as “spontaneous musical combustion.” Sure enough, we were all swept away on their Magic Carpet Ride to otherworldly extra-visionary sonic realms. The small size of the beautifully redecorated Hypnodrome (they survived a disastrous flood recently) offers one of the highest quality experiences possible in a theatrical venue — every seat in the house is front row, and the sound is first-rate. The duo were also accompanied by uber-percussionist Randy Odell.
Our friend Chris summarized the evening: “Hey Vale – Here are a few photos from the other night. Thanks again, it was an amazing memorable show. Beautiful haunting songs. Horror-show violin auditory etchings. Spooky skeleton dancer, and glow in the blacklight seductive gyrating girl, and all. Super cool to meet Russell and the other folks there. Really warm people. Convenient no-waiting parking lot men’s room. Oh – and remember that huge instrument (viola d’amore) that Paul Mercer was describing? Built to lock a singing child into? That image alone makes for a rich and full evening.
“And Biafra getting excited about Magma – the most insane evil prog rock band of the ’70s, and the Barracuda. All in all, a decent night on the planet. See you later. – Chris”
The Hypnodrome, 575 10th Street (between Bryant and Division), San Francisco www.thrillpeddlers.com 415-377-4202 – PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI – the Cockettes musical, extended by popular demand through July!
() Sat March 6, Montreal’s Cinema Abbatoir-mover-and-shaker Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt gave his his two underground film DVD compilations and treated us to a night of his curated film showings at ATA /OTHER CINEMA, Valencia/21st St. His goal is to “push the envelope” of what is acceptable and what is considered extreme, and we think he succeeded! An intense evening, as well as a very fun conversation earlier in the day…
() Wed March 3, Marian Wallace and friends from S.F. Cinematheque and New Nothing Cinema put on a free DEAN SNIDER BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION. (Dean Snider was an independent filmmaker and part of the ’70s S.F. Art Institute filmmaking revolution.) Films were shown at the Dolby Screening Room on Potrero Ave, with more films shown afterward at the New Nothing Cinema — another standing-room only event. V. Vale played piano from 9:30-12:30pm.
() David Levi Strauss’s new book: “From Head to Hand: Art and the Manual.” David was featured in our PRANKS book, recently reprinted (also in Deluxe Limited Edition HARDBACK – only 500 copies) from us at www.http://www.researchpubs.com
() A “slew” of “gifts” (CDs, DVDs, books) have arrived – THANK YOU VERY MUCH, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE — and next newsletter we will attempt to list them all.
5. Stephane von Stephane Interview with Filmmaker Paul Clipson, Part 2
Excerpts of a Conversation with Experimental Film-maker Paul Clipson Dec. 20, 2009.
“Watching a Paul Clipson film is like watching ‘2001, A Space Odyssey’; Kubrick’s film starts out trippy enough but once you enter the Monolith it gets even trippier. With Clipson’s films you BEGIN by entering the Monolith and go from there.” – Stephane von Stephane Born in Ohio, raised in Michigan, Paul attended the University of Michigan, and has been in S.F. since 1992. Since 2003, he’s made over 20 experimental shorts and a dozen 30-45 minute films. His work has screened in the past year at the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Cinémathèque Française in Paris and in the New York Film Festival Views From The Avant Garde program. He has two upcoming live shows: one for the the San Francisco Cinematheque’s Apparent Motion Festival with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma on February 20th, and another on February 26th at the Berkeley Art Museum in collaboration with electronic musician Gregg Kowalsky.
S.v.S.: Do you do any editing NOT in camera?
Paul: Yes, I do. One kind of film I’m doing now is for performance with live music; with a musician or sound artist. It’s a kind of “live” film that’s more in-camera edited like a diary, or a recording of a trip (to go back to your drug analogy) and it coheres with the performed music which is creating another sense of time and memories and associations. I also make films that are condensed versions of these “live” films which are denser and shorter and with more editing involved. But I definitely prefer editing in camera as much as possible,to see what accidents happen, what meanings come out of that. Images layered on top of each other and textured with overlapping movements, creating a sense of confusion, almost a vertigo, but also a real sense of gravity, an experience of space. Because we’re always moving through space. Our mind is telling us; “you’re here now, and you’re here now” and so everything appears normal, but I think things are more filtered and fragmented at times, how we perceive space, and the films are just accentuating those experiences.
S.v.S.: Some of my favorite images are the cobblestone streets, and those massively tall mirrored-window buildings that make those great geometric patterns.
Paul: When I see sky-scrapers, they’re so vast that they look like canyons of steel (like the Billie Holiday song). I don’t see people in these spaces. When I shot the skyscrapers in Manhattan (for CORRIDORS, 2007) I felt as if they were uninhabited, as if there weren’t people in them. I began to wonder, what were these structures? Without the presence of people, these buildings became leftovers of conscious impulses. Empty. It makes me think of Kafka, because one of his favorite things to do is to describe something without really telling you what it is. He often seems to be suggesting something that’s probably a dream but he doesn’t tell you outright, so you take it at face value. In the same way, I like the literal quality of film and images because you can do the same thing: you can distance yourself from it and see it differently. Similar to when you’re tripping or having a separation from your normal reality and you start to look at things in a different way. Not sure if that answers the question…
S.v.S.: I think it does.
Paul: I think people by nature catalog things in their lives, trying to hold on to each of their memories. They put a little marker for each moment and make a kind of mental book out of it and try to think of one memory after another as a life. Hitchcock described films as sequences of images, where people didn’t notice the shots going by, but their THOUGHTS were moved by these shots. Music is like that too, a flowing of thoughts or emotions that carry you somewhere. But in film, sometimes by accentuating layers of images in a certain way, you begin to wonder, “What the hell is this? Where am I?”
S.v.S. You use the image of a chain-link fence a lot. Is that symbolic or do you just like the look?
Paul: I’d like to think it’s both, but I think I just like the look of moving through space. I like that you can see through a fence. There’s an effect with the camera where you can look at something from the surface of the lens, less than an inch away and you can change the focus until the camera gradually focuses to an infinite distance. It’s called rack focus. You’re moving through the entire space of the composition, like a thought moving through the space.
ON SOUND in his Films:
Paul: How the music and image meet each other and how they synchronize or don’t; I try to avoid forcing the issue and trying to create a particular result. I allow the result to happen. The music is an unbroken stream for the most part. In a sense there are two tracks, two consciousnesses that come together to create a new experience: the image and sound. The images that I show in the films and the sound are not planned for. It’s not important that you KNOW that, but it’s important that you EXPERIENCE that. By them NOT being synchronized then the images are coming and meeting sounds that are not planned for.
S.v.S.: This is a ‘live’ show where the musician is seeing your film for the first time…
Paul:…Yes, but to be even more clear, the musician is almost in all cases NOT seeing the film (and people may not think about that). For instance at the last show you saw at Artist’s Television Access, where Jefre Cantu-Ledesma was playing…
S.v.S.:…Yeah, he was looking the other direction, he wasn’t even watching…
Paul: Right, because the musicians I work with are playing multiple instruments, & using delay effects. They may be playing a guitar, or drum, but they’re also filtering this through a number of things that change the sound to create a whole new effect. They may be using a loop and layering that sound, and that’s kind of what I’m doing in film. But they’re doing it separately, not watching and reacting to the film. Then the audience is putting them together; the sound and image. The audience is kind of ‘making’ the film, and finding meaning from it I hope, having an experience that is completely their own. Nothing is planned. That’s exciting for me. This then gives me ideas for possible directions for future films.
S.v.S.: But, once you get the images & sounds together and it’s on a dvd and I’m watching it, it’s a finished piece. Do you let that happen almost as spontaneously as the ‘live’ shows?
Paul: Almost. Sometimes I’ve taken ‘live’ recordings and films and put ‘em on dvd and that’s it. Sometimes I make slight adjustments and if I feel something wasn’t successful, I take it out. The longer pieces tend to stay the same, whether on film or DVD. Then in time, particular sections become fascinating to me, of the film or the sound and I start to create a shorter piece that’s perhaps more a classically linked sound/image, but it’s created out of realizations from the longer piece. I want to stress that becoming friends with the musicians and sound artists I’ve worked with is what took me in the direction of the films I’m doing now. I’d previously been working in film with varying results for 20 years, but once I met Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and the group Tarentel and others, I was immediately struck by how free-flowing their way of working was. That’s why I do so much ‘live’ performance now. I saw how they’d work everyday and talk about their work, and hadn’t the constraints of having to spend a lot of money to realize their ideas. They could record music in their homes, and do a live show every week. I had always understood film to be: write a script, save money for 6 months and make a film in 2 months, be all stressed-out, etc. When I saw these people making music I thought it was so liberating! I started taking that approach to making film. I thought: “I want to film everyday, I to film like a writer puts pen to paper, like a painter paints on canvas.
I wanna film taking a walk. I want the experience to be as it is in your everyday, so that your film reflects your life!” Which goes back to Morton Feldman, connecting various forms of art; painting, music, film, sculpture, literature, dance, poetry. The more these forms are brought closer together, the more we learn about different ways to approach making work. That’s how to develop. That’s maybe the most radical thing I’ve learned in the last ten years. ~Stephane Von Stephane
A DVD of short films made in collaboration with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma is coming out in a month or two called WITHIN MIRRORS. Here’s the site: http://www.studentsofdecay.com/homepage.htm and Paul’s website: http://www.withinmirrors.org/
6. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)
() Proposals for a Socialist Colony: http://skydiveofficeofculturalaffairs.blogspot.com/ http://www.theskydive.org http://www.autonomousorganization.org/Home.html
() from Paul Toth:” I found this link to be entertaining in a black-humored way”: http://assholes-of-history.com
() from ManWoman: http://www.bizarremag.com/weird-news/tattoos-body-art/8146/swastika_tattoo_man.html
() from Graham Rae: “:) nice ice riposte to that Godbother rambling about Haiti making pacts wit Da Debil from some random net character: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/01/the_devil_writes_pat_robertson.html ”
– Weirdest Dead Kennedys reference ever: http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/entertainment/2009/10/05/plastic-surgery-disasters
() from Mako Sano: www.urbandictionary.com
() from jpm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cp3f51wlWM
() from v.s.: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/show/ http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/query/constellations/
() from mark bode: http://www.acdowd-designs.com/happy47.html
() from phil g: “the author is beyond psychiatric help” – sex x technology = the future (JGB) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/18135e3e-1ce5-11df-aef7-00144feab49a.html
– color study: http://www.clubdevo.com/colorstudy/
– I finally got around to posting a tribute to the best/worst band of all time (there is no middle ground with great art) http://www.glatz.com/blog/philosophy-weird
() from Ben A: a pretty impressive view – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253068/Massive-22billion-air-force-scrap-yard-revealed-high-resolution-Google-Earth.html
() from Ken Knabb: SAN FRANCISCO FIFTY YEARS AGO – Kenneth Rexroth’s columns for the San Francisco Examiner) http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth/sfe/
() () Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington: http://www.carnegiehall.org/article/box_office/events/evt_13019.html?selecteddate=03122010
() from Karen B: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds8ryWd5aFw
– new CPR method (no mouth-to-mouth): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5huVSebZpM
() from Ferrara Pan: WITHNAIL AND I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zjhlZhAov0
DEADWOOD #1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeYJYUM1H4g
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS #1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?
() http://theartofdismantling.blogspot.com/2010/03/march-2010-interview-with-filastine.html – “above is a link to an interview of a musician/multi-media sound/video artist who I like. He used to live in Seattle and now he lives in Barcelona. Below is a link to an author (david madsen) you may like. http://www.david-madsen.com/ Have you read any of his books before? — VyVy”
() sent by Chris T (& Graham Rae): “Amis vs. Ballard” http://www.brooklynrail.org/2010/03/books/llard-aesthetics-anddefusing-the-threat-amis-and-ba-biography
() “Google translate can definitely be entertaining!” http://www.popmech.ru/article/6549-boevyie-robotyi-marka-polayna/ or see: http://www.srl.org/forsale/russiapopsci.pdf
() from our pal Jack Rabid: ”Listen as the internationally acclaimed, Ukranian-American musician and author Alina Simone joins me for an exclusive performance and interview.”
7. QUOTES –
() “Without poetry, prose cannot endure.” — V. Vale
() “Flames rose from the seventh-floor galleries around the atrium, lazy blades of light that seemed to wake together and race around the high keep of the retail citadel. Soon the top three decks were burning briskly, every balcony and doorway bursting into blooms of fire. The petrol-soaked settees and carpets, the demonstration dining rooms and ideal kitchens were giving themselves to their own fiery ends.” JG Ballard, Kingdom Come (hardback), 2006, p.274
() “We’re totally degenerate. We lack spine, and any faith in ourselves. We have a tabloid world-view, but no dreams or ideals. We have to be teased with the promise of deviant sex… We’re worth nothing, but we worship our bar-codes. We’re the most advanced society our planet has ever seen, but real decadence is far out of our reach.”– ibid, p.263
() “Psychopathology was a handy marketing tool.” — ibid, p.263
() “Victims had to pay twice for the crimes committed against them.” — ibid, p.277
() “A high level of cortisol indicates a rise in blood pressure due to excitement or stress.” — Arnaldur Indridason, Voices, p. 177
() “She was a child star…She told me it was the worst thing that ever happened to her… It ruined her. She never escaped from it. Was never allowed to be herself… And then she got teased about it, and couldn’t understand why until she got older and realized that she’d never be anything but a pretty little dolly singing in her frock. That she’d never be a world-famous pop star like her mum always told her.” — ibid, p 145
() “Children who find themselves in certain religions are made to adopt their parents’ faith and in effect live their parents’ lives much more than their own.They never have the opportunity to be free, to step outside the world they’re born into, to make independent decisions about their lives… But… conflicts can arise. Suddenly the child doesn’t want to live its parents’ life, and that can lead to great tragedy. You see it everywhere: the doctor who wants his child to be a doctor. The lawyer. The company director. The pilot. There are people all over the place who make impossible demands of their children.” — ibid, p. 119
() “I’m bored… You can’t imagine how bored I am. I retired almost ten years ago and I can tell you, every day in this hell is like an eternity. Like a thousand years, every single day.” — ibid, p. 49
() “The walls stand speechless and cold, the weathervanes rattle in the wind.” — Holderlin, quoted in ibid, p. 33.
8. Letters from Our Readers:
() “Vale, This is a radio interview from the time of Miracles of Life. JG Ballard starts at 21:35 or so. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/nightwaves/pip/la0fu/
“It’s funny. Towards the end Ballard is talking about his wife Mary asking him where all the unhappy marriages came from in his early work, and harridan women, when their own marriage was happy. And he says he doesn’t know. Then later on he’s talking about how he didn’t really like his own parents, more specifically his mother, though they didn’t really have an effect on him and you think um-hummm… A man who will be missed forever. Hope yer well, catcha later, Graham Rae”
() NOTE: THIS LETTER WILL “BOTHER” SOME READERS] “Hi Vale,
” I’m invited to Ireland in July to be in a documentary called My Swastika. My wife and I will be flown over and toured round the ancient Druid sites marked with swastikas, I will be interviewed for the film and it will wrap up with a Traditional Tattoo and Culture festival in Cobh on July 10/11 where I will be guest speaker. They are calling me ‘Father of the Reclaim the Swastika Movement.’ The whole movement is growing legs and getting a lot more exposure these days.
“Coldwar, one of Ireland’s most well-known and prolific punk/heavy metal bands, have been taking the swastika on the road around Ireland with the band Yurt. They have actively promoted the swastika through public information videos, leaflets, music and live gigs. All this to fund raise for the film and the event. Contact person is phil cummins
“Too exciting, love…ManWoman” (NOTE: ManWoman is featured in our Modern Primitives book, still available from us at www.http://www.researchpubs.com – he is trying to “reclaim the swastika”; i.e., take it back from the Nazis. The swastika has been around thousands of years, all over the planet.)
() DAN CARBONE writes: “Thanks for the mention, Vale. Appreciate it! The SF Guardian Critic Robert Alvia is coming to all 3 of my shows so I figure I must be doing something right… Also, see this review of my show by Nicole Gluckstern: http://www.sfbg.com/2010/02/23/underground-and-proud” “He’s kind of the Daniel Johnston of performance art: Dan Carbone possesses an epic dedication to his art, which could be defined as “being super-weird.” George Kuchar says, among other things, that “his mind is a bridge where wisdom and infantilization cross deep waters.”
() “Vale, I remember (maybe 1970s?) reading about the discovery of Chinese anchors off the San Francisco coast … and again, Ming pottery found along the Pacific coast in another article. Someone proposed that Chinese visited the California coast …I just read “1421″ — it’s amazing how much work he put into this book … I recommend this book as a pleasure to read, besides the information it gives. I remember as a child (age 6 to 11?) finding gold mines and old campsites with blown blue-glass bottles. One place had maybe 30. I took one beautiful one and showed it to my mom and she said, “What do I want with that dirty thing?!” — Billy H.
() “Hi V: It was nice seeing you at the S.F. Antiquarian Book Fair. I edited the following collections of short stories from the pulps of the 1930s and 1940s: Footprints on a Brain by D.L. Champion (co-edited with Bill Blackbeard), The Surgeon of Souls by Robert Leslie Bellem (the only series character from Spicy Mystery), and Killing Time by Joel Townsley Rogers, (best known for The Red Right Hand, a best selling mystery from the mid 1940s, expanded from a pulp short story included in this collection.) You can google the titles and authors for more information or to order them i if you want.” — Alfred Jan
() “Hey, dear V.Vale,
“Chasing you up on the offer / invitation… in RE/Search newsletter FEBRUARY2010:
” …we can NEVER have enough Ballardiana in our lives, and if more writings and interviews and critical commentary and photos and letters and videos ET AL start surfacing, so much the better! Ballard-influenced art — yes!”
“… I would like to update you on the publication of a project I had been harboring over way back, in Feb last year? I believe I had also been in touch with you, briefly, on this one. Basically, what it is: In order to commemorate a small Austrian Publisher re-releasing the German version of THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION, in the version that was translated by Carl Weissner (way before he translated and pushed Bukowski over here, got me & everyone into Burroughs etc), I put together a little tribute to that sort of exhibition. I picked a few samples from the text, and combined them with photos.
“Hence an exhibition of text and pictures, printed in the first issue of a magazine called GRIMM. Yes, Grimm: just like those brothers that went around and collected the stories and tales of others in order to share them with the world. All is credited in the good old-fashioned manner (how it used to be done before GoogleBooks etc), and when the last spread features some text by me (“the curator”) plus words by Ballard on himself, his art and that book, I have pointed out that all of those derive from either “Quotes” or “Conversations”.
” The rest of the magazine, or rather its spirit was heavily influenced by other publications of you. (See attachment, page 10 has a spread from the Ballard Exhibition) So … this is why I would be very happy to snailmail a copy to you…It is a fairly high value job, so I did truthfully only receive one copy myself, but … I would either wiggle another copy in whatever manner, or after seeing the attached teaser/Trailer for the magazine you could say, you may be interested in offering this in your online shop? Yes/No etc? That would save me some leg work…
“As J.G. Ballard died before the issue finally did get printed, there are a few extra pages with thoughts and afterword, also mentioning that short story by Supervert, again somebody I know through the friendship to Carl Weissner…
“Anyway, that’s it for now and from here … hoping to have raised your curiosity … all the best etc–Matthias P. myspace.com/penzel_traumhaft PS: More data on magazine, in ASCII: Retail price is €13.00, I think shops and retailers get it for €6.00 Publisher and deals are also given via www.averse-publishing.com and www.grimmoire.de ISBN: 978-3-941893-01-6
() “…was looking through a book I’d read completely a while back, the John Geiger biography of Brion Gysin. It mentions you and yours more than once, or quotes your books in footnotes. SEE YOU AT THAT ANARCHIST BOOK FAIR IN MARCH – ALWAYS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PICK UP FINE FREE THINGS LIKE BOOKMARKS AND WRITING SAMPLES, BUTTONS, AND WHAT ALL. – Mako Sano”
() “Hi Vale, Finished William Gibson’s “Pattern Recognition” — it made my brain do funny things — a good thing. What came out follows:
“People at one time who had a lot of contact pursuing a common cause/goal are able to again come in contact facilitated by Facebook/MySpace even though they are scattered around the globe Before the Internet we would, in most cases, have lost contact except for those residing in the intermediate area and maybe with a select few with letters. There were some, –Allen Ginsberg is an example — who were able to move around and keep the thread going, but most people don’t have the resources.
“Pattern Recognition” shows some of the early efforts, but is outdated now. Change is constant, the only thing never changes, and it scares the sh-t out of a lot of people. I think one of the main reasons we are in the middle of these religious wars is because of the fear of change. More people should read Tao Te Ching and go with the flow. – ciao, James Stark”
() “Hi Val! I ordered the books and CDs of Incredibly Strange Music, Volumes 1 & 2 from you back in 1996. I have listened to the CDs countless times. But only recently have I been reading the books from cover to cover. The books are so amazing! I am getting so much out of reading them again like this and I wanted to say thank you! I think that the Cramps, Ken Nordine and Eartha Kitt’s interviews are my favorites! The Biafra interview is amazing too — albeit long as hell. (I have seen Jello speak before.)
“Do you still keep in touch with any of the artists from those books? I especially wonder how Ivy is doing now that Lux has departed this mortal coil. I’ve been thinking about her and sending her Love. If you still keep in touch with her, please pass it along. But remember there is a nice dose in there for you, too! Thanks for all your work in this crazy, insane world of men!
“Big Love, Jahnavi Stenflo”
MARCH 2010 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & other contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com.
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