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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Aug 29; 23:21 ::: Wisconsin Death Trip (1973) - Michael Lesy

Wisconsin Death Trip (1973) - Michael Lesy [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Library Journal
As the title suggests, this is a truly strange book. Published in 1973, it is essentially a collection of photos taken in Black River Falls, WI, by Charles Van Schaik between 1890 and 1910. The subject matter ranges from children in coffins, to farm animals, to family portraits of some of the grimmest-looking people imaginable; the photos are accompanied by snippets from newspapers. The whole package seems to confirm that the good old days were actually awful. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --via Amazon.com

Wisconsin Death Trip is a non-fiction book by Michael Lesy, first published in 1973. It has been adapted into a film.

The book is based on a collection of late 19th century photographs from Jackson County, Wisconsin, mostly in the town of Black River Falls, and local news reports from the same period. It emphasizes the harsh aspects of Midwestern rural life under the pressures of crime, disease, mental illness, and urbanization.

The film was directed by James Marsh and released in 2000. In a docudrama style, it combined reenactments of some of the events described in the book with a voiceover narration by Ian Holm. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_Death_Trip [Aug 2005]

see also: photography - USA - 1973

2005, Aug 29; 18:48 ::: The Armory Show

Modern art was introduced to the United States with the Armory Show in 1913, and through European artists who moved to the U.S. during World War I. It was only after World War II, though, that the U.S. became the focal point of new artistic movements. The 1950s and 1960s saw the emergence of Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Op art and Minimal art; in the late 1960s and the 1970s, Land art, Performance art, Conceptual art and Photorealism emerged. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_art#Early_20th_Century [Aug 2005]

Many exhibitions have been held in the vast spaces of U.S. National Guard armories, but the Armory Show refers to the "International Exhibition of Modern Art" that opened in New York City's 69th Regiment Armory, on February 17, 1913, ran to March 15, and became a legendary watershed date in the history of American art, introducing astonished New Yorkers, accustomed to realistic art, to Modern art. The show served as a catalyst for American artists, who became more independent and created their own artistic language.

About the show, President Theodore Roosevelt said,

"That's not art!"

The Armory Show displayed some 1,250 paintings, sculptures, and decorative works by over 300 avant-garde European and American artists. Impressionist, Fauvist, and Cubist works were represented.

The purchase of Paul Cézanne's Hill of the Poor by the Metropolitan Museum of Art signaled an integration of modernism into the established New York museum, but among the younger artists represented, Cézanne was already an established master.

Among the scandalously radical works of art, pride of place goes to Marcel Duchamp's Cubist/Futurist style Nude Descending a Staircase, painted the year before, in which he expressed motion with successive superimposed images, as in motion pictures. An art critic for the New York Times wrote that the work resembled "an explosion in a shingle factory," and cartoonists satirized the piece.

Duchamp first submitted the work to appear in a Cubist show at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, but the Puteaux cubists, including his two brothers, asked that he withdraw the painting, or paint over the title that he had painted on the work and rename it something else. Instead, Duchamp removed the work from the Salon exhibition, and it went on to create a scandal at the Armory Show.

Duchamp's brother, who went by the nom de guerre Jacques Villon, also exhibited, sold all his Cubist paintings and struck a sympathetic chord with New York collectors, who supported him in the following decades. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armory_Show [Aug 2005]

see also: modern art - USA - 1913 - art

2005, Aug 29; 09:07 ::: Hermeneutics vs eroticism

In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art. (Susan Sontag, 1964)

see also: Susan Sontag - hermeneutics - eroticism - art

2005, Aug 29; 09:07 ::: Academy Zappa (2005) - Ben Watson, Esther Leslie

Academy Zappa : Proceedings of the First International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology (2005) - Ben Watson, Esther Leslie [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Frank Zappa always did it differently, and here his fans do too. With delegates from Paris, Rome, Leipzig and Vauxhall, this parodic conference included papers called 'Arf': Canine Continuity in the Output Macrostructure" and "The Mental Hygiene Dilemma." Zen Buddhism, Frankfurt school Marxism, Philip K. Dick and the Zappologically Deranged are used to denounce Madonna, postmodernism, hippies and everything you hold dear. Priceless.

Ben Watson, music journalist and longstanding contributor to The Wire, Hi-Fi News and Signal To Noise, is well-known for his deviant and polemical music criticism and is an acknowledged expert on Frank Zappa.

Esther Leslie is a reader in humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London.

About the Author
Ben Watson, music journalist and longstanding contributor to The Wire, Hi-Fi News and Signal To Noise, is well known for his deviant and polemical music criticism. His books include Frank Zappa: the Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play; Art, Class & Cleavage; The Complete Guide To The Music of Frank Zappa; Shitkicks & Doughballs; and Derek Bailey & the Story of Free Improvisation.

see also: Ben Watson - Frank Zappa

2005, Aug 29; 09:01 ::: Ben Watson on Theodor Adorno

Postmodernism is a highly elastic term, rapidly becoming useless as a means of defining where people stand. For example, there is currently an essay available on the internet, Kevin McNeilly's 'Ugly Beauty: John Zorn & the Politics of Postmodern Music', which argues a case for John Zorn as a 'postmodernist composer'. The writer backs up his case by quoting Adorno on Mahler. Yet Adorno is usually quoted as the theorist of 'high modernism', the postmodernist's enemy numero uno. However, as a term for an intellectual fashion sweeping British academia, a post-1989 turn from illusions in Stalinist politics to enthusiasm for the market, 'postmodernism' has its uses.

Adorno has been characterised in postmodernist cultural studies as modernist, elitist and grumpy, a party-pooper who won't join in the new pluralist funfair presented to us by the market. As usual, the popularity of this idea has roots in economic realities: intellectuals who have lost faith in Marxism, but think that listening to the Beatles instead of Beethoven constitutes some kind of rebellion, do not like to be reminded of the limits of their playpen. If Adorno is read closely, though, it becomes obvious that he is not a conservative at all. Many of his ideas anticipate those of radical movements like the Situationist International and Punk. I spend my time writing about jazz and new music for The Wire magazine, yet I find what Adorno has to say about music incredibly useful - despite his much quoted attacks on jazz. --(Ben Watson, 1995) via http://www.militantesthetix.co.uk/adorno/twaprimer.htm [Aug 2005]

see also: Ben Watson - Theodor Adorno - Modernism - postmodernism

2005, Aug 29; 08:51 ::: T.A.Z. the Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (1991) - Peter Lamborn Wilson

T.A.Z. the Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (1991) - Peter Lamborn Wilson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

see also: Hakim Bey - 1991 - anarchism - ontology - poetics

2005, Aug 28; 23:40 ::: Schools of literary theory

Listed below are some of the most commonly identified schools of literary theory, along with their major authors. (In many of these cases, such as those of the historian and philosopher Michel Foucault and the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, these authors were not literary critics and did not primarily write about literature; but, since their work has been broadly influential in literary theory, they are nonetheless listed here.)

  • American pragmatism and other American approaches
  • Cultural studies - emphasized the role of literature in everyday life
  • Deconstruction - which sought to emphasize the ambiguities in a text
  • Feminism (see feminist literary criticism) - which emphasizes themes of gender relations
  • Formalism
  • German hermeneutics and philology
      Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Erich Auerbach
  • Marxism (see Marxist literary criticism) - which emphasized themes of class conflict
  • New Criticism - which looked at literary works on the basis of what is written, and not at the goals of the author or biographical issues
      W.K. Wimsatt, F.R. Leavis, John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren
  • New historicism - which examines a text by also examining other texts of the time period
      Stephen Greenblatt, Louis Montrose, Jonathan Goldberg, H. Aram Vesser
  • New Weird
      China Mieville
  • Postcolonialism - examines literature produced by countries that were once occupied by a governing force
  • Post-structuralism - criticism of structuralism
  • Psychoanalysis (see psychoanalytic literary criticism) - looks at works with close attention paid to the unconscious mind of the author
  • Queer theory - examines, questions, and criticizes the role of gender in literature
  • Reader Response - focusses upon the active response of the reader to a text
  • Russian Formalism
      Victor Shklovsky, Vladimir Propp
  • Structuralism and semiotics (see semiotic literary criticism) -- examined the underlying structures in the content of a text (plot, for example)
  • Other theorists: Robert Graves, Alamgir Hashmi, John Sutherland, Leslie Fiedler and Norhtrop Frye --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_theory#Schools_of_literary_theory [Aug 2005]

    see also: literary theory - literary criticism - theory - literature

    2005, Aug 28; 12:06 ::: The roots of culture theory

    Cultural Studies, also known as the Birmingham School, was conceived in a Britain emerging from the industrial revolution. The School drew on a combination of anthropology, history, literary criticism and theory, Marxism, media studies, semiotics, structuralism, as well as sociology, especially the Chicago and Frankfurt Schools (Mattelart & Neveu, 9). The Chicago School had its beginnings in the creation of the first department of sociology in the U.S. at the University of Chicago in 1892. The scholars associated with the department were primarily interested in urban social behavior, deviance, and subcultures.

    Using the city of Chicago as their laboratory, they developed theories that drew upon participant-observation and took both individuals and social groups to be products of both their natural and social environments. The school came to dominate U.S. sociological thought until WWII. The Frankfurt School "offered a refuge for the leftist intellectuals during the years prior to Hitler’s takeover of Germany. It was the home of critical theory, a complex blend of sophisticated Marxist thought, philosophy, psychoanalysis, literary speculation, and social research" (Barfield, 206). Scholars associated with the school included Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse. The Frankfurt School reacted against positivistic scientific approaches by drawing upon Marx’s views of materialism and upon the critical philosophy of Kant.

    The work of several scholars with common interests drawing from the particular combination of disciplines mentioned above soon crystalized into what would become Cultural Studies. The New Left Review, begun in 1960, became the forum in which their ideas were most often articulated. Then, in 1964, the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) was founded at the University of Birmingham. The Centre’s areas of research included popular cultures, media studies, urban subcultures, and ethnic and sexual identity. The main goal of the Centre was to study cultural institutions and their interaction with and interrelation to society and social change (Mattelart & Neveu, 5). Thus the study of subcultures, ethnic groups and the question of race was intrinsic to Cultural Studies, especially in the 1970s (i.e. Stuart Hall’s 1976 Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Postwar Britain, to which Hebdige’s often refers in Subculture). Their research was done mostly on western capitalist industrial societies in Western Europe and North America, especially the U.S. --(Shawn Pitre, 2003)http://www.mediamusicstudies.net/tagg/students/Montreal/Tendances/PitreHebdige.html [Aug 2005]

    see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_school_%28sociology%29

    see also: Cultural Studies - CCCS - Birmingham - sociology

    2005, Aug 28; 12:06 ::: The Uses of Literacy (1957) - Richard Hoggart

    The Uses of Literacy (1957) - Richard Hoggart [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    He was founder of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham in 1964.

    Richard Hoggart (born September 24, 1918) is a British sociologist, widely known for his 1957 book The Uses of Literacy.

    During his Professorship at Birmingham University, he was also Director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 1964-1973.

    He was an expert witness at the 1960 Lady Chatterley trial.

    see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Hoggart [Aug 2005]

    see also: literacy - Richard Hoggart - literature - cultural studies

    2005, Aug 28; 10:01 ::: Cultural studies: approaches (USA and UK)

    Scholars in the United Kingdom and the United States developed somewhat different versions of cultural studies after the field's inception in the late 1970s. The British version of cultural studies was developed in the 1960s mainly under the influence of Richard Hoggart and Stuart Hall at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham. This included overtly political, leftist views, and criticisms of popular culture as 'capitalist' mass culture; it absorbed some of the ideas of the Frankfurt School critique of the "culture industry" (i.e. mass culture). This emerges in the writings of early British cultural-studies scholars and their influences: see the work of (for example) Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy.

    In contrast, the American version of cultural studies initially concerned itself more with understanding the subjective and appropriative side of audience reactions to, and uses of, mass culture; American cultural-studies advocates wrote about the liberatory aspects of fandom. See the writings of critics such as John Guillory. The distinction between American and British strands, however, has faded. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_studies#Approaches [Aug 2005]

    Note: the work of Roland Barthes, Marshall McLuhan, Pierre Bourdieu; Umberto Eco and Camille Paglia

    see also: cultural studies - culture theory - media theory

    2005, Aug 28; 10:01 ::: Audience theory

    Audience theory is an element of thinking that developed within academic Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.

    With a specific focus on rhetoric, some, such as Walter Ong, have suggested that the audience is a construct made up by the rhetor and the rhetorical situation the text is addressing. Others, such as Ruth Mitchell and Mary Taylor have said writers and speakers actually can target their communication to address a real audience. Some others like Ede and Lunsford try to mingle these two approaches and create situations where audience is "fictionalized," as Ong would say, but in recognition of some real attributes of the actual audience.

    There is also a wide range of media theory and communication studies theories about the audience's role in any kind of mediated communication. A sub-culturally focussed and Marxism-inflected take on the subject arose as the 'New audience theory' or 'Active Audience Theory' from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies during the 1980s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audience_theory [Aug 2005]

    see also: audience - theory

    2005, Aug 28; 10:01 ::: Sleazoid Express

    Sleazoid Express: A Mind-Twisting Tour Through the Grindhouse Cinema of Times Square - Bill Landis, Michelle Clifford [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Sleazoid Express (1980-1983, and later editions) was the house journal of the grindhouse movie scene in New York circa 1964-1984. Edited by Bill Landis, a projectionist and devotee of the crime-ridden sleaze houses, the magazine not only captured the genre affections but the whole Times Square milieu of drugs, violence and prostitution. Typical films shown in the movie houses, which centred around the city's 42nd Street, included Bamboo House of Dolls, Blood Sucking Freaks, The Corpse Grinders, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, Miss Nymphet’s Zap-In and The Ultimate Degenerate.

    Far from representing a marginal off-shoot of the movie business, the grindhouse films would be later plundered for ideas and imagery by mainstream cinema, while the trash ethic and aesthetic of the magazine itself would be effortlessly copied by many others. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleazoid_Express [Aug 2005]

    see also: grindhouse - Sleazoid Express

    2005, Aug 27; 17:30 ::: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock) (1992) - Slavoj Zizek

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock) (1992) - Slavoj Zizek [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Synopsis Hitchcock is placed on the analyst's couch in this volume of case-studies, as its contributors sweep on the entire Hitchcock oeuvre, from "Rear Window" to "Psycho" as an exemplar of "postmortem" defamiliarization. Starting from the premise that "everything has meaning" the films' ostensible narrative content and formal procedures are analyzed to reveal a proliferation of ideological and psychical mechanisms at work. But Hitchcock, here, is also a bait to lure the reader into "serious" Marxist and Lacanian considerations on the construction of meaning. The contributors are: Fredric Jameson, Pascal bonitzer, Miran Bozovic, Michel Chion, Mladen Dolar, Stojan Pelko, Renata Salecl, Alenka Zupancic and Slavoj Zizek. --via Amazon.com

    see also: Slavoj Zizek - Alfred Hitchcock - Jacques Lacan - 1992

    2005, Aug 27; 17:15 ::: High art

    Popular Culture and High Culture: an Analysis and Evaluation of Taste (1974) - Herbert J. Gans [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    In Britain until recently the fine artspainting, sculpture, printmaking, et cetera—were seen as distinct from craft disciplines such as applied art, design, textiles, and the various metalworking disciplines such as blacksmithing and jewelery. This distinction arose from the work of a group of artists led by William Morris known as the Arts and Crafts Movement whose political aim was to value vernacular artforms as much as high forms. The movement was at odds with modernists who sought to withhold the high arts from the masses by keeping them esoteric.

    The result of the conflict between the two groups was to politicise the products of what we now know as visual artists. British art schools made a clear distinction between the fine arts (a term that hints at their supposed superiority) and the crafts in such a way that a craftsperson could not be considered a practitioner of high art. Although this is no longer the case, the residue of inequality between the crafts or applied arts and the so-called fine arts still exists in some quarters. In Britain the term "visual arts" is suitably independent of these older, loaded concepts and as such is the preferred term for work across all the disciplines in question.

    A similar stigma exists in the US, where "arts and crafts" has a very particular meaning, denoting the sort of artwork first taught in elementary school and also (later in life) a variety of kitsch, household artwork. Most craftspeople are still not seen as practicing "fine art" among the traditional art school set, but certainly can produce "high art" if considered to be a "visual artist", nomatter the medium. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_art [Aug 2005]

    see also: Herbert Gans - art - high - high art - hierarchy

    2005, Aug 27; 14:33 ::: Jean-Marie Lo Duca (1911 - 2004)

    Various book covers from works of Jean-Marie Lo Duca, and a Sophia Loren photograph
    images sourced here. [Mar 2005]

    Jean-Marie Lo Duca (Milan, 1911 - 2004) was an Italian born writer and critic. He was based in Paris and was one of the founders of Cahiers du cinéma. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lo_Duca [Aug 2005]

    see also: J.M. Lo Duca - France - eroticism - erotic films

    2005, Aug 27; 11:17 ::: Midi Minuit Fantastique

    Midi Minuit Fantastique, cover of issue 1 (May 1962), this entire issue is dedicated to the work of Terrence Fisher.

    Midi Minuit Fantastique (1962-1971) was a French film magazine published by Eric Losfeld (publisher of Ado Kyrou and film magazine Positif).

    Michel Caen and Alain Le Bris started it, accompanied by Jean Boullet et Jean-Claude Romer.

    The magazine was dedicated to the fantastique, horror and science fiction films of the 1960s. It had a guide to the Parisian film theatres showing those cultish genres.

    Some of Midi Minuit Fantastique issues were dedicated to special themes (King Kong, Dracula, Les chasses du comte Zaroff).

    In later days, when acceptance of alternative canons of cinema had grown, Midi Minuit Fantastique sometimes dealt with more mainstream subject matter with profiles on Samuel Fuller, Otto Preminger or Federico Fellini.

    Literary fiction was also the subject of Midi Minuit, with a memorable essay Gaston Leroux by Jean Rollin.

    Bibliography: Etude analytique et sémiologique de Midi minuit fantastique, René Prédal, published by "Centre du vingtième siècle de Nice" --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midi_Minuit_Fantastique [Aug 2005]

    see also: Terence Fisher - France - Midi Minuit Fantastique - film

    2005, Aug 27; 11:17 ::: Notes on the auteur theory

    Cahiers du cinéma, cover of issue 130

    The writers of the Cahiers du cinéma were instrumental in the development of the auteur theory

    Auteur is French for author. Since the 1950s, when auteur theory was first brought forward by the critics of the influential French film magazine Cahiers du cinéma, the term auteur has acquired the meaning of directors whose personal vision on a movie is strongly felt.

    However, it would be valid to say that any writer director - as in one who both writes and directs a film - could be labeled an auteur, since both writing and directing a film, is likely produce a film with the personal imprint of the director.

    Auteur may or may not refer to control over the final version of the film. See the entry director's cut elsewhere.

    In recent years, the auteur theory has been contrasted with genre theory, arguing that the auteur theory is a manifestation of the cult of personality theory of the great man theory which tend to exclude the work of directors such as David Cronenberg, Radley Metzger or Roger Corman to name but a few, who produce highly personal movies but are mainly active in what has been labeled genre films, the cinematic equivalent of escapist fiction. This exclusion could hardly have been the original intention of the Cahiers writers, as they were the first to re-appraise - against established film critical currents - the works of "genre directors" such as John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock and Roger Corman.

    As quoted from Greencine.com:

    [the Cahiers writers] embraced directors - both French and American - whose personal signature could be read in their films. The French directors the Cahiers critics endorsed included Jean Vigo, Jean Renoir, Robert Bresson and Marcel Ophüls; while the Americans on their list of favorites included John Ford, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Nicholas Ray and Orson Welles, indisputed masters, all. There were also a few surprising, even head-scratching favorites, including Jerry Lewis (where the whole "France loves Jerry Lewis" stereotype began) and Roger Corman. (Greencine.com, early 2000s)
    [Aug 2005]

    Note: the search string "writer director" turns up 350 results in Wikipedia. [Aug 2005]

    See also: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auteur_theory

    See also: auteur - film - director - author

    2005, Aug 27; 11:17 ::: Naked Kiss (1964) - Samuel Fuller

    Constance Towers, head shaven

    Naked Kiss (1964) - Samuel Fuller [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Until Sam Fuller came along, movies in the 1960s were still bound by Hollywood's self-imposed and often hypocritical rules of discretion. The crimes and misdemeanors of lurid pulp fiction remained on drugstore spin-racks and newsstands, diluted on screen until Fuller, with his cigar-chomping audacity and confrontational style, liberated movies from artificial restraint and kicked them into the meaner, darker, but more honest maturity of the post-Kennedy era. Shock Corridor announced Fuller's brazen agenda a year earlier, but is even more astonishing because its trashy, provocative plot dares to find depth and humanity beneath the hardened shells of corrupted souls.

    The film begins like no other before it: Kelly (Constance Towers) beats her pimp with a handbag, grabs the cash he owes her, adjusts her telltale wig and makeup, and sets out to begin life anew, free from the shame of prostitution. Two years later she's in Grantville, a typically Rockwellian slice of Americana, working wonders with disabled kids and gaining distance from her miserable past. She's even engaged to the town's most respected citizen, but dark clouds are gathering: a corrupt cop knows Kelly's hidden secrets; a nearby brothel taints the community; and a pedophile is lurking in the shadows. Through it all, Fuller calibrates The Naked Kiss with such precision that sentiment and sordidness can run parallel without colliding, shifting from outrageous vice to shameless tear-jerking with equal facility. With twisted tricks up his sleeve, Fuller can be accused of tabloid tackiness, but that would be missing the point: In Fuller's cruel and ugly world, compassion still finds a way to survive. --Jeff Shannon for Amazon.com

    Filthy, dirty, squalid, morally degraded

    “The sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils” (James Joyce).


  • Beethoven's Moonlight sonata
  • Baudelaire quote
  • Goethe reference
  • Reference to male version of Brigitte Bardot

    Samuel Michael Fuller
    Samuel Michael Fuller (August 12, 1911 - October 30, 1997) was an American film director.

    Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he began, from a very young age, in the field of journalism, becoming a crime reporter at age 17. He wrote pulp novels and screenplays from the mid-30s onwards.

    Fuller's journalistic background and his early beginnings as a pulp-fiction writer have informed his film work, particularly Park Row (1952), Shock Corridor (1963) and The Naked Kiss (1965). Fuller's style has been described as "primitive". --excerpts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Fuller [Aug 2005]

    See also: 1964 - film - American cinema

    2005, Aug 27; 11:14 ::: Whaam! (1963) - Roy Lichtenstein

    Whaam! (1963) - Roy Lichtenstein

    See also: 1963 - USA - pop art

    2005, Aug 27; 10:45 ::: BLAST (1914 - 1915)

    BLAST (arts journal)
    The cover of the first edition of BLAST (1914)

    BLAST was the shortlived journal of the Vorticism movement. It had two editions, the first published on 2 July 1914, and the second a year later.

    BLAST was edited and largely written by Wyndham Lewis with contributions from other Vorticists. The first edition was printed in folio format, with the oblique title BLAST splashed across its bright pink soft cover. Inside, Lewis used a range of bold typographic tricks to engage the user. In many respects it bore a striking resemblance to the typographically naive newsletters produced by Apple Macintosh users in the late 1980s.

    The opening 20 pages of Blast One, contains the Vorticism manifesto written by Lewis, with assistance for Ezra Pound, and signed by Lewis, Edward Wadsworth, Ezra Pound, William Roberts, Helen Saunders, Lawrence Atkinson, Jessica Dismorr and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. David Bomberg and Jacob Epstein chose not to sign the manifesto, although their work was featured. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLAST_(journal) [Aug 2005]

    Literary magazine
    A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. Literary magazines usually publish short stories, poetry and essays along with literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews, and letters. Literary magazines are often called literary journals, or little magazines, which is not meant as a pejorative but instead as a contrast with larger commercially oriented magazines. In general, literary magazines function as a sort of literary nursery for writers by publishing new works by authors who are not yet established or well known. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_magazine [Aug 2005]

    See also: 1914 - literature - magazine

    2005, Aug 27; 10:45 ::: The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art (2004) Roger Kimball

    The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art (2004) Roger Kimball [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    First sentence:
    "YOU CAN PROBABLY recall several paintings by Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), the French artist who emerged as the leader of the Realist school of painting in..."

    Book Description
    Colleges and universities used to teach art history to encourage connoisseurship and acquaint students with the riches of our artistic heritage. But now, as Roger Kimball reveals in this witty and provocative book, the student is less likely to learn about the aesthetics of masterworks than to be told, for instance, that Peter Paul Rubens' great painting Drunken Silenus is an allegory about anal rape. Or that Courbet's famous hunting pictures are psychodramas about "castration anxiety." Or that Gauguin's Manao tupapau is an example of the way repression is "written on the bodies of women." Or that Jan van Eyck's masterful Arnolfini Portrait is about "middle-class deceptions ... and the treatment of women." Or that Mark Rothko's abstract White Band (Number 27) "parallels the pictorial structure of a pieta." Or that Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream is "a visual encoding of racism." In "The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art," Kimball, a noted art critic himself, shows how academic art history is increasingly held hostage to radical cultural politics--feminism, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, the whole armory of academic antihumanism. To make his point, he describes how eight famous works of art (reprinted here as illustrations) have been made over to fit a radical ideological fantasy. Kimball then performs a series of intellectual rescue operations, explaining how these great works should be understood through a series of illuminating readings in which art, not politics, guides the discussion.

    "The Rape of the Masters" exposes the charlatanry that fuels much academic art history and leaks into the art world generally, affecting galleries, museums and catalogues. It also provides an engaging antidote to the tendentious, politically motivated assaults on our treasured sources of culture and civilization.

    See also: art - art theory - political correctness

    2005, Aug 27; 10:10 ::: Experimental music index

    Related: art music - avant-garde - classical music - contemporary music - electronic music - experimental - futurism - free jazz - Krautrock - minimal - modern music - music - noise - musique concrete - originality - tonality - The Wire (magazine)

    People: Masami Akita - George Antheil - Louis Barron and Bebe Barron - Glenn Branca - John Cage - Wendy Carlos - Rhys Chatham - Claude Debussy - Brian Eno - Kodwo Eshun - Pierre Henry - Kraftwerk - Moondog - Michael Nyman - Yoko Ono - Pierre Schaeffer - Arthur Russell - Luigi Russolo - Arnold Schoenberg - DJ Spooky - Karlheinz Stockhausen - Sun Ra - Sonic Youth - Velvet Underground - Edgard Varèse - Franka Zappa - Peter Zummo

    Contrast: popular music

    See also: experimental - music - experimental music

    2005, Aug 26; 14:10 ::: RIP Luc Ferrari (1929 - 2005)

    Interrupteur/Tautologos 3 (1970) - Luc Ferrari [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Luc Ferrari (born February 5, 1929, died August 22, 2005) was a French composer, particularly noted for his tape music.

    Ferrari was born in Paris and studied the piano under Alfred Cortot, musical analysis under Olivier Messiaen and composition under Arthur Honegger. His first works were freely atonal.

    In 1954, Ferrari went to the United States to meet Edgard Varese, whose Déserts he had heard on the radio, and had impressed him. This seems to have had a great effect on him, with the tape part in Déserts serving as inspiration for Ferrari to use magnetic tape in his own music.

    In 1958 he co-founded the Groupe des Recherche Musicales with Pierre Schaeffer and François-Bernard Mâche. He taught in institutions around the world, and worked for film, theatre and radio.

    By the early 1960, Ferrari had begun work on his Hétérozygote, a piece for magnetic tape which uses ambient environmental sounds in "an organized and poetic, though non-plot oriented manner." The use of ambient recordings was to become a distinctive part of Ferrari's musical language. (Tyranny)

    Ferrari's Presque rien No. 1 "Le Lever du jour au bord de la mer" (1970) is regarded as a classic of its kind. In it, Ferrari takes a day-long recording of environmental sounds at a Yugoslavian beach and, through editing, makes a piece that lasts just twenty-one minutes. It has been seen as an affirmation of John Cage's idea that music is always going on all around us, and if only we were to stop to listen to it, we would realise this.

    Ferrari continued to write purely instrumental music as well as his tape pieces. He also made a number of documentary films on contemporary composers in rehearsal, including Messiaen and Karlheinz Stockhausen. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luc_Ferrari [Aug 2005]

    Tip of the hat to Phinn

    See also: 1970 - France - experimental music - tape

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