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2006, Mar 04; 12:05 ::: Essex House, 1001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

In search of portholes in unlikely places

Essex House, 1001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, note the portholes at the top of the building, another nautical element is the mast.
Image sourced here.

See also: building - Art Deco - ship

2006, Mar 04; 12:05 ::: Buick 1949

In search of portholes in unlikely places

Photograph of a porthole, seen from the inside of a ship
Image sourced here.

1949 Buick by Hergé, note the "portholes" at the side of the car

1949 Buick, note the "portholes" at the side of the car
Images sourced here.

Buick roadmaster
The Roadmaster was an automobile built by the Buick Motor Division of General Motors. Buick first used the Roadmaster name between 1936 and 1958. In 1991 Buick again applied the Roadmaster name to its full-size rear wheel drive sedan and station wagon models. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick Roadmaster [Mar 2006]

A porthole is a small, generally circular, window used on the hull of ships to admit light and air. Porthole is actually an abbreviated term for "porthole window". Though the term is of obvious maritime origin, it is also used to describe round windows on armored vehicles, aircraft, automobiles (the Ford Thunderbird a notable example), and even spacecraft.

The porthole has become inextricably linked to the romance and danger of the sea. One can imagine many a dramatic scenario whereby parting lovers or homesick seafarers have gazed longingly through the ship's porthole window toward crowded wharfs or distant horizons. To the sailor or passenger of a doomed vessel the porthole may have provided a last chance for escape. Or, it may have granted only a final glimpse of shimmering waters or starlit skies while foretelling the cruel embrace of a rising sea. It is not surprising that portholes, particularly those of known origin, are becoming highly prized maritime artifacts. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porthole [Mar 2006]

See also: car - 1949 - design - Hergé - comics

2006, Mar 04; 09:05 ::: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) - Mary Wollstonecraft

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) - Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft. Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects. Boston: Peter Edes for Thomas and Andrews, 1792, frontispiece.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vindication of the Rights of Women [Mar 2006]

See also: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) - Mary Wollstonecraft - 1790s - non-fiction - feminism

2006, Mar 04; 09:05 ::: The Hot Zone (1995) - Richard Preston

The Hot Zone (1995) - Richard Preston [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Hot Zone is a 1995 non-fiction bio-thriller by Richard Preston describing the origins of and incidents involving hemorrhagic fevers Ebola and Marburg. Both diseases are lethal, highly contagious viruses that are often found in central Africa. Along with describing the history of these two illnesses, Preston describes an incident in which Ebola was found in a Reston, Viginia, monkey storage warehouse.

Due to the detailed and graphic descriptions of the effects of exotic tropical diseases, as well as the revelation that Ebola was found a few miles away from Washington DC, The Hot Zone was hailed by many as a chilling and accurate story of lethal viruses and their encounters with humans.

There has been controversy involving this book, with critics accusing Preston of dramatizing and exaggerating the effects of an Ebola infection, as well as embellishing facts with his own imagination. There are those who say that Preston's book is meant to be a pseudo documentary, much like Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain, but was added to the "nonfiction" section in bookstores and libraries by accident. Defenders of the book assert that Preston, as a journalist, is not likely to have attempted to pass fiction off as nonfiction. Additionally, news agencies such as CNN have endorsed this work as nonfiction, albeit with dramatizations added.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Hot Zone [Mar 2006]

See also: bio horror - virus - non-fiction - documentary

2006, Mar 03; 22:05 ::: The Corporation (2003) - Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott

The Corporation (2003) - Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film critical of the modern-day corporation, considering it as a class of person (as in US law it is understood to be) and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as a psychologist might evaluate an ordinary person. This is explored through specific examples.

The film was written by Joel Bakan, and co-written and co-directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary has been displayed worldwide, on TV (sometimes in 3 parts) and is also available in DVD. The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power is also the title of a book (ISBN 0-74324-744-2) written by Bakan during the filming of the documentary.

One central theme of the documentary is an attempt to assess the "personality" of the corporate "person" by using diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV; Robert Hare, a University of British Columbia Psychology Professor and FBI consultant, compares the modern, profit-driven corporation to that of a clinically diagnosed psychopath.

The film also features interviews with prominent corporate critics such as Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore and Howard Zinn as well as opinions from company CEOs such as Ray Anderson (from the Interface carpet company), the conservative viewpoints of Peter Drucker and Milton Friedman, and think tanks advocating "free markets" such as the Fraser Institute. Interviews also feature Dr. Samuel Epstein with his involvement in the case against Monsanto using a harmful chemical called Posilac to induce more milk production in dairy cattle.

The Economist says: "Unlike much of the soggy thinking peddled by too many anti-globalisers, “The Corporation” is a surprisingly rational and coherent attack on capitalism's most important institution."

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Corporation [Mar 2006]

See also: economy - capitalism - industrial revolution - documentary film - 2003

2006, Mar 03; 22:05 ::: State of Mind (2005) - Raul Midón

State of Mind (2005) - Raul Midón [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Raul Midón is a blind guitarist from New Mexico currently living and performing in New York City. He combines his distinct voice, strumming, beats, and acapella instruments to create a one-man performance. His unique style shows influence of virtually every musical genre which came before him, including jazz, blues, R&B, and folk. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raul_Midon [Mar 2006]

See also: blind - guitar - blues - jazz - folk music - R&B

2006, Mar 03; 22:05 ::: Rineke Dijkstra: Beach Portraits (2003) - Rineke Dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra: Beach Portraits (2003) - Rineke Dijkstra [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Tall, skinny, short, round, squat, awkward, slouched, tanned, bashful, and sometimes unknowingly beautiful, the adolescents in Rineke Dijkstra's Beach Portraits stand alone, the ocean rolling behind them. Clad in little more than bathing suits, these young people are striking to behold. Remarkably clear and formally classical, each subject is frontally posed and shot straight on; the resulting photographs participate in a cold, quasi-scientific categorization reminiscent of the work of August Sander and Thomas Ruff. Yet Dijkstra's pictures are not just that--there is also something of the eccentric in them, something that comes closer to Diane Arbus's images. Seen together, the complete series of 20 Beach Portraits creates a kind of collective portrait of the existential insecurity and awkward beauty of youth.

About the Author
Rineke Dijkstra was born in 1959 in Sittard, the Netherlands, and lives and works in Amsterdam. She has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Venice Biennial; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Photographers Gallery, London.

See also: art photography - Dutch art - contemporary art

2006, Mar 03; 21:05 ::: Loretta Lux (2005) - Loretta Lux

Loretta Lux (2005) - Loretta Lux [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Loretta Lux (b. Dresden, East Germany, 1969) is a German fine art photographer who creates surreal portraits of young children. She currently lives in Monaco.

She graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts in Munich in the 1990s, and debuted at the Yossi Milo gallery, New York in 2004. Her computer-manipulated work has been immediately highly successful, and her prints are in the permanent collection of 20 museums and institutions. Her work featured on the cover, and as an extensive album, in the Winter 2005 edition of the prestigious Portfolio magazine. In 2005 she won an Infinity Award in Art from the International Center of Photography in New York.

Her work - at once alluring and disturbing - is influenced by a variety of sources. Lux originally trained as a painter, and is influenced by painters such as Diego Velázquez, Agnolo di Cosimo and Phillip Otto Runge. She also owes a debt to the famous Victorian photographic portraitists of childhood such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Lewis Carroll.

Her work follows in a recent tradition of art's interest in portraying the strangeness of children and adolescents via photography; from the work of Sally Mann through to the staged and retouched work of Bernard Faucon and Rineke Dijkstra, among others. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loretta_Lux [Mar 2006]

See also: art photography - German art - contemporary art

2006, Mar 03; 21:05 ::: Christopher Felver: The Importance of Being (2001) - Christopher Felver

Christopher Felver: The Importance of Being (2001) - Christopher Felver, Hunter Thompson, Andrei Codrescu, Luc Sante, Jack Hirschman, Isamu Noguchi (Editor) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: contemporary art

2006, Mar 03; 20:05 ::: Fantastic Reality : Louise Bourgeois and a Story of Modern Art (2005) - Mignon Nixon

Fantastic Reality : Louise Bourgeois and a Story of Modern Art (2005) - Mignon Nixon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Louise Bourgeois (born December 25, 1911, Paris) is an artist and sculptor, whose work has been strongly influenced by surrealism.

Her parents were involved in repairing tapestries, although at 15 she studied mathematics at the Sorbonne. Her studies of geometry contributed to her early work concerning cubism (in early paintings and drawings). Unable to find what she was looking for, she began with painting, at several schools including the École des Beaux-Arts, and worked as an assistant to Fernand Léger. In 1938 she moved with her American husband to New York City, where she still lives.

image sourced here.

Spiralwoman (2003) - Louise Bourgeois

Her works tend to be both abstract and highly symbolic, and the main focus is "relationships" - considering an entity in relation to its surroundings. Louise Bourgeois finds inspiration for her works from her traumatizing childhood: her strong mother, and her weaker, adulterous father. Louise Bourgeois is very effective in conveying feelings such as anger, betrayal and jealousy. Her earliest exhibitions, in the early 1950's, consisted of tunnel sculptures and wooden figures (such as winged figure 1948). In her sculpture, she has worked in many different mediums, including rubber, wood, stone, metal, and appropriately for someone who came from a family of tapestry makers, fabric. Her most famous pieces were created in the 1960's during the Women's Rights Movement. Her pieces consisted of erotic and sexual images, with a motif of "culums" (she named the round figures such because they reminded her of cumulus clouds).

In 1993 she represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. In 1999, Bourgeois was the first artist commissioned to fill the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Bourgeois [Mar 2006]

See also: Fernand Léger - art in Belgium - fantastic - reality - modern art

2006, Mar 03; 20:05 ::: The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1976) - Daniel Bell

The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting (1976) - Daniel Bell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Bell's prophetic 1976 forecast of the Information Age and how it would radically alter the social structure. With a new introduction by Bell.

In 1976, when Daniel Bell first published The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, he predicted a vastly different world-one that would rely upon an economics of information, as opposed to the economics of goods that had existed up to then. Bell argued that the new society would not displace the old one but rather overlay it in profound ways, much as industrialization continues to coexist with the agrarian sectors of our society.

In Bell's prescient vision, the post-industrial society would include the birth and growth of a knowledge class, a change from goods to services, and changes in the role of women. All of these would be based upon an increasing dependence on science as a means of innovation; as a means of technical and social change.

The Coming of Post-Industrial Society remains an important book for a whole new generation of politicians, economists, intellectuals, and students.

About the Author
Daniel Bell is the author of several books, including The End of Ideology and The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, which were listed among "The 100 Most Influential Books Since the War" by the Times Literary Supplement. He is a scholar-in-residence at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

See also: post-industrial - mass society - sociology - culture theory

2006, Mar 03; 20:05 ::: Visualizing Theory: Selected Essays from V.A.R., 1990-1994 (1994) - Lucien Taylor

Visualizing Theory: Selected Essays from V.A.R., 1990-1994 (1994) - Lucien Taylor [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description

Visualizing Theory is a lavishly illustrated collection of provocative essays, occasional pieces, and dialogues that first appeared in Visual Anthropology Review between 1990 and 1993. It contains contributions from anthropologists, from cultural, literary, and film critics, and from imagemakers themselves. Reclaiming visual anthropology as a space for the critical representation of visual culture from the naive realist and exoticist inclinations that have beleaguered practitioners' efforts to date, Visualizing Theory is a major intervention into this growing field. Attending to quick and dead imagery, to mobile and still art-ifacts, to the narrative and fetishistic alike, the contributions move variously between theorizing visuality and visualizing theory, eliciting reciprocities between these two modes of experience and cognition.

Covering a vast and heterogeneous field, Visualizing Theory contains essays on modernism and montage in a ethnography and film; on paranoiac space and exilic subjectivity; on films and memory; virtual reality and dis-appearing worlds; Indigenous Media and their lure of authenticity; ethnographic film and cine-ipsography; the disenchantment of the eye and the Surrealist crisis of ocularcentrism; on modernity and its resurgence of mimesis; on Dziga Vertov and the perceptual reconstruction of social identity; African tourist art and its simulations of postmodernity; and on the work of such imagemakers as Victor Burgin, David MacDougall, Jean Rouch, and Trinh T. Minh-ha.

Contributors: Homi Bhabha, Marc Blanchard, Victor Burgin, Jane Collins, Hal Foster, Martin Jay, Ludmilla Jordanova, Bennetta Jules-Rosette, Catherine Lutz, Dean MacCannell, David MacDougall, Alan Macfarlane, George Marcus, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Henrietta Moore, Rachel Moore, Bill Nichols, Christopher Pinney, Peter Redfield, C. Nadia Seremetakis, Paul Stoller, Marilyn Strathern, Susan Suleiman, Michael Taussig, David Tomas, Elizabeth Traube, Eliot Weinberger, Annette Weiner

About the Author
Editor of V.A.R., Lucien Taylor is a filmmaker and photographer living in Berkeley, California. His two most recent productions, co-directed with Ilisa Barbash, are Made in U.S.A., a film about sweatshops, child labor and homework in the Los Angeles garment industry, and In and Out of Africa, an ethnographic documentary about fakery, taste and racial politics in the African art market.

See also: Daniel Brown - visual culture - anthropology - Routledge - culture theory

2006, Mar 03; 16:05 ::: Punky Reggae Party

In search of the reggae-punk connection.

Unidentified photograph of Don Letts

Punky Reggae Party: New Wave Jamaica 1975-1980 (2002) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"Punky Reggae Party" is a song by Bob Marley, recorded in 1977.

The song was inspired by Don Letts' dub reggae DJ sets at the Roxy club in Covent Garden in the late 1970s in between sets by such bands as The Clash, Generation X and The Slits.

"While in exile in London, Bob was introduced to punk bands, such as the Clash. Inspired by their efforts to expose various oppressive tactics used against racial minority groups, the fusion between punk and reggae was imminent. The result was the recording of 'Punky Reggae Party' with producer Lee Perry at the helm. A live version was recorded and released on Babylon By Bus." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punky_Reggae_Party [Mar 2006]

See also: 1977 - punk - reggae - party - Don Letts - Lee Perry - Bob Marley

2006, Mar 02; 21:05 ::: The Visible Word : Experimental Typography and Modern Art, 1909-1923 (1994) - Johanna Drucker

The Visible Word : Experimental Typography and Modern Art, 1909-1923 (1994) - Johanna Drucker [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Early in this century, Futurist and Dada artists developed brilliantly innovative uses of typography that blurred the boundaries between visual art and literature. In The Visible Word, Johanna Drucker shows how later art criticism has distorted our understanding of such works. She argues that Futurist, Dadaist, and Cubist artists emphasized materiality as the heart of their experimental approach to both visual and poetic forms of representation; by mid-century, however, the tenets of New Criticism and High Modernism had polarized the visual and the literary.

Drucker suggests a methodology closer to the actual practices of the early avant-garde artists, based on a rereading of their critical and theoretical writings. After reviewing theories of signification, the production of meaning, and materiality, she analyzes the work of four poets active in the typographic experimentation of the 1910s and 1920s: Ilia Zdanevich, Filippo Marinetti, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Tristan Tzara.

Few studies of avant-garde art and literature in the early twentieth century have acknowledged the degree to which typographic activity furthered debates about the very nature and function of the avant-garde. The Visible Word enriches our understanding of the processes of change in artistic production and reception in the twentieth century.

See also: visual - modern art - Modernism - 1910s - experimental

2006, Mar 02; 21:05 ::: All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (1982) - Marshall Berman

All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (1982) - Marshall Berman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"FOR AS long as there has been a modern culture, the figure of Faust has been one of its culture heroes..."

This antipathy of postmodernists towards modernism, and their consequent tendency to define themselves against it, has also attracted criticism. It has been argued that modernity was not actually a lumbering, totalizing monolith at all, but in fact was itself dynamic and ever-changing; the evolution, therefore, between "modern" and "postmodern" should be seen as one of degree, rather than of kind - a continuation rather than a "break." One theorist who takes this view is Marshall Berman, whose book All That is Solid Melts into Air (1982) (a quote from Marx) reflects in its title the fluid nature of "the experience of modernity." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism#Criticism [Mar 2006]

See also: modernism - modernity - 1982

2006, Mar 02; 21:05 ::: Whiskey a Go-Go

In 1947 Paul Pacine opened the "Whiskey a Go-Go" in Paris. During the 1950s, Paris lived its own "dolce vita" and the "discotheques" were its headquarters. The idea moved to the USA in the 1960s: the first New York disco was the "Peppermint Lounge", opened in 1961, and the first California disco was the "Whiskey-A-Go-Go", which opened in 1965 on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Live music would remain the main business for all these discos, but the seeds of a record-oriented club scene had been planted. --http://www.scaruffi.com/history/cpt12.html [Mar 2006]

The Whisky A Go-Go is a nightclub in West Hollywood, California, at 8901 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. It has been called the first real American disco.

It was opened January 11, 1964 at the site of an old bank building that had been remodeled into a short-lived club called the Party, by a former Chicago policeman, Elmer Valentine. Valentine's partners were lawyer Theodore F. Flier, former press agent Shelly Davis, and Phil Tanzini.

Though the club was billed as a discothèque, meaning only recordings with no bands, the Whisky A Go-Go opened with a live band led by Johnny Rivers and a short skirted DJ spinning records between sets from a suspended cage at the right of the stage. When the girl DJ danced during Rivers' set, the audience thought it was part of the act and the concept of Go-Go dancers in cages was born. Rivers rode the Whisky-born "go-go" craze to national fame with records recorded partly "live at the Whisky." The Miracles recorded the song "Going to a Go-Go" in 1966, which was covered in 1982 by The Rolling Stones, and Whisky A Go-Go franchises sprang up all over the country. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky_A_Go-Go [Mar 2006]

See also: discotheque - 1947 - 1964 - Whisky A Go-Go

2006, Mar 02; 19:05 ::: Thai Beat A Go-Go, Vol. 1 (2004) - Various Artists

Thai Beat A Go-Go, Vol. 1 (2004) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Product Description
Groovy 60s sounds from the land of smile! Incredible and ultra rare recordings from Thailand in the 1960s. 2004.

See also: Asia - sixties - groovy

2006, Mar 02; 19:05 ::: Yé-yé

Ni les tam-
Du Yé-yé yé
Ni les gris
Que tu portais
Da doo ron
Que tu écoutais
Au bal doum
Où tu dansais

Non rien n'aura raison de moi
J'irai t'chercher ma Lolita

part of lyrics of "Chez Les Yé-yé (1963) - Serge Gainsbourg (released on a 45 EP single including "Chez les yé-yé", "Elaeudanla Téitéia", "Scenic Railway" and "Le temps des yoyos")

poster for Spanish film Megatón Ye-Ye (1965) - Jesús Yagüe

In the yé-yé period of the 1960s, the groups were satisified with simply singing, without any great imagination or adaption and without offending a very conservative public, the songs of sucessful American and British artists. At this time, when English speakers spoke of French rock, it was Johnny Hallyday they spoke of. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_rock [Mar 2006]

She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah (1963) - Beatles

Yé-yé is a style of pop music, popular in France in the 1960s. It generally consisted of young women singing pop songs influenced by The Beatles (She loves you Yeah Yeah Yeah) and American girl groups. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C3%A9-y%C3%A9 [Mar 2006]

Ye-Yé was a French term which the Spanish appropriated to refer to uptempo pop music that was a fusion of American rock from the early 60s (such as the twist) and British beat music. Concha Velasco, a singer and movie star, launched the scene with her 1965 hit "La Chica Ye-Yé", though there had been hits earlier by female singers like Karina (1963). The earliest stars were in imitation of French pop, at the time itself an imitation of American and British pop and rock. Dark passion and Gitano rhythms, however, made the sound distinctively Spanish. Of the first generation of Spanish pop singers, Rosalia's 1965 hit "Flamenco" sounded most distinctively Spanish. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Spain#Ye-Y.C3.A9 [Mar 2006]

See also: British music - European music - French music - pop music - 1963 - 1965 - Beatles

2006, Mar 02; 11:05 ::: The Gothic Tales of the Marquis De Sade (2005) - Marquise de Sade

The Gothic Tales of the Marquis De Sade (2005) - Marquise de Sade [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Gothic Tales will provide an excellent introduction to Sade's fiction; these accessible stories range from the dramatic novella Eugenie de Franval, in which a father's criminal passion for his daughter leads to intrigue, abduction and murder, to comic tales such as The Husband Who Plays Priest, concerning a lecherous monk who finds an ingenious way to combine clerical duties with secular pleasures.

Sade's gift as a humorist are much in evidence, as is his particular delight in unusual marital situations - which invariably lead to the most diverting conclusions ...

See also: Sade - gothic fiction - tale

2006, Mar 02; 11:05 ::: Electronique Guerilla/It's Always Rock and Roll (1974/1975) - Heldon

Electronique Guerilla/It's Always Rock and Roll (1974/1975) - Heldon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Like a lot of music that has been made in France over the last forty years, Heldon have either been dismissed out-of-hand or cautiously acknowledged. I suppose Tangerine Dream are their closest counterparts, and yet Froese and the Tangs are heaped with accolades.

Richard Pinhas is an incredibly interesting character. At the barricades in 1968 as a fervent Trotskyite, possessing a PhD in philosophy from the Sorbonne, a close friend of Gilles Deleuze (who appears on the Electronic Guerilla LP), Pinhas (a white man..) used to sport an amazing gravity defying Afro, one wonders why his back catalogue doesn't inspire more interest. I mean, he even ropes Phillip K. Dick in to contribute to his 1977 Tranzition LP! --http://www.woebot.com/2006/02/heldon.html [Mar 2006]

Le groupe de rock électronique Heldon a été créé en 1974. Son nom est emprunté à un personnage d'un roman de Norman Spinrad.

Comme son prédecesseur Schizo, c'est avant tout la formation du guitariste Richard Pinhas qui a aussi produit de nombreux enregistrements sous son propre nom. Il a fait appel à de nombreux collaborateurs dont quelques musiciens issus du groupe Magma ainsi qu'à des philosophes comme Gilles Deleuze (dont il a été l'élève) ou des écrivains tels Norman Spinrad et Maurice Dantec (le projet Schizotrope).

Marquée par les travaux de Robert Fripp et de Brian Eno, la musique de Richard Pinhas et d'Heldon n'en reste pas moins profondément originale et novatrice et a, à son tour, exercé une grande influence dans le domaine du rock électronique.

Les premiers disques sortis sous le nom de Schizo puis de Heldon ont été les premiers exemples d'autoproduction et d'auto-distribution en France. --http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heldon [Mar 2006]

The Iron Dream (1972) - Norman Spinrad [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Iron Dream is an alternate history/science fiction novel written in 1972 by Norman Spinrad. In it, Spinrad tells a fairly standard sf action story as a way of showing just how close Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces" - and much science fiction and fantasy literature - can be to the racist fantasies of Nazi Germany. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Iron_Dream [Mar 2006]

Norman Richard Spinrad (born September 15, 1940) is an American science fiction author.

Norman Spinrad was born in New York City, on September 15, 1940. In 1957, he entered City College of New York and graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree as a pre-law major. In 1966 he moved to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles, and now lives in Paris. He married fellow novelist N. Lee Wood in 1990, although they divorced in 2005. They had no children. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Spinrad [Mar 2006]

See also: experimental music - electronic art music - Richard Pinhas - French music - Gilles Deleuze

2006, Mar 02; 11:05 ::: Egyptian pyramids

In search of the influences on Art Deco.

The Great Pyramid of Giza in a 19th century photo

The pyramids of Egypt, some of which are among the largest man-made constructions ever conceived, constitute one of the most potent and enduring symbols of Ancient Egyptian civilization. It is generally accepted by most archaeologists that they were constructed as burial monuments associated with royal solar and stellar cults, and most were built during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian pyramids [Mar 2006]

See also: motif - Art Deco - influence

2006, Mar 02; 11:05 ::: Ziggurat

In search of the influences on Art Deco.

Dur-Untash, or Choqa zanbil, built in 13th century BC by Untash Napirisha, is one of the world's best preserved ziggurats. Located near Susa, Iran.

Other popular motifs included:

  • Animal motifs and forms; tropical foliage; ziggurats; crystals; "sunbursts"; stylized fountain motifs

A ziggurat (Babylonian ziqqurrat, D-Stem of zaq?ru "to build on a raised area") is a temple tower of the ancient Mesopotamian valley and Persia (Iran), having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziggurat [Mar 2006]

In art, a motif is a repeated idea, pattern, image, or theme. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motif_%28art%29 [Mar 2006]

See also: motif - Art Deco - influence

2006, Mar 02; 11:05 ::: Egypt

In search of the influences on Art Deco.

Engraving after John Martin's "Seventh Plague of Egypt" (1828), set the Biblical plague in the Hellenistic harbor of Alexandria.

The discovery of the unlooted tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 introduced a new Ancient Egyptian celebrity to join Nefertiti, as "King Tut". Aside from its spectacular treasures, which influenced the design vocabulary of Art Deco, for many years, popular rumors of a "curse", probably fueled by tabloid newspapers at the time of the discovery, have persisted, selecting the early death of some of those who had first entered the tomb. However, a recent study of journals and death records indicates no statistical difference between the age of death of those who entered the tomb and those on the expedition who did not. Indeed, most lived past 70.

Hollywood's Egypt is America's second contribution to the Egypt of the imagination (see the Book of Abraham); the spectacle of Egypt climaxed in sequences of Cecil B. deMille's The Ten Commandments (1956) and Jeanne Crain as Nefertiti in the Cinecittà 1961 Italian motion picture production of Queen of the Nile but collapsed with the failure of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963), the last serious cinematic Egyptian extravaganza. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt_in_the_European_imagination#20th_century [Mar 2006]

The discovery of the treasure of King Tut's tomb by archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922 led to a third revival [of Egyptian architecture]. Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, USA, now home to the American Cinematheque, is an Egyptian Revival theatre from the era. The Egyptian revival of the 1920s is sometimes considered to be part of the Art Deco decorative arts movement. It was present in furniture and other household objects, as well as in architecture. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Revival [Mar 2006]

See also: John Martin - Egypt - Art Deco - architecture

2006, Mar 01; 23:05 ::: Aztec

In search of the influences on Art Deco.

Image sourced here.

See also: South America - Art Deco - building

2006, Mar 01; 23:05 ::: The Hoover Building, UK

In search of the influences on Art Deco.

Image sourced here.

Ballet Russe, Aztec or Egyption?

The Hoover Building on Western Avenue in Perivale, West London is an example of Art Deco architecture, designed by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. It is celebrated in the song "Hoover Factory" by Elvis Costello. The building was originally used to make Hoover vacuum cleaners, but is now a Tesco supermarket. Tesco have not been able to make any physical changes to the outside appearance of the building as it is a listed building. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_Building [Mar 2006]

See also: influence - Art Deco - architecture - ornament

2006, Mar 01; 18:05 ::: Ballets Russes

The Art of Ballets Russes : The Serge Lifar Collection of Theater Designs, Costumes, and Paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum (1998) - Alexander Schouvaloff [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Ballets Russes inluences on Art Deco:

  • Léon Bakst's sets and costumes for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.
  • The exotic appeal of the Ballets Russes had an effect on Fauvist painters and the nascent Art Deco style.

The Ballets Russes was a ballet company established in 1909 by the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev and resident first in Paris and then in Monte Carlo. It created a sensation in Western Europe because of the great vitality of Russian ballet compared to what was current in France at the time. It became the most influential ballet company in 20th century, and that influence, in one form or another, has lasted to this day.

The dancers and choreographers associated with it included George Balanchine, Mathilde Kschessinska, Michel Fokine, Tamara Karsavina, Serge Lifar, Alicia Markova, Leonide Massine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova, Ida Rubinstein and Lydia Lopokova.

Designers included Bakst, Benois, Braque, Picasso, Bilibin, Tchelitchev, and Utrillo.

Composers included Debussy, Milhaud, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Ravel, Satie, Respighi, Richard Strauss, and, most notably, Igor Stravinsky, whom Diaghilev spotted when he was virtually unknown and whose career he launched.

After Diaghilev's death in 1929 the company's property was claimed by creditors, and the dancers were scattered. In the subsequent years, the company (in name only) was revived as the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (with which the names of George Balanchine and Tamara Toumanova are associated) and as the Original Ballet Russe. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballets_Russes [Mar 2006]

See also: Russia - Art Deco - fashion - ballet

2006, Mar 01; 08:05 ::: Screening the Sexes Homosexuality in the Movies (1972) - Parker Tyler

Screening the Sexes Homosexuality in the Movies (1972) - Parker Tyler [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

This item was first published in 1972 and reprinted by Da Capo in 1993. The Amazon links point to which ever version was available at the local Amazons.

PARKER TYLER's comprehensive title, SCREENING THE SEXES: HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE MOVIES, was published in 1972. It was a summary of his years of work in film criticism and may have been his first book since Stonewall. For nearly 30 years, Tyler had been publishing his quirky and independent insights on the silver screen.

SCREENING THE SEXES is the definitive book on hidden homosexual motifs as well as explicit male and female homosexuality in both commercial and avant-garde films. From Mae West to Greta Garbo, from Fellini to Warhol, from Bogart to Brando, from drag queens to stag stars, Tyler has a full inventory for his discourse.

Tyler has always been celebrated for his very personal writing style. Here's a random example: "All masquerades have this paradoxical quality of making dress-up look like a display of nudity. The hidden homosexualism of the standard cowboy film has long been mined to reach an audience that goes in for the moral metabeaver: the naked look for homos masquerading as heteros." It is likely that if Parker Tyler had never written his fabulous works about the movies Gore Vidal would never have come up with the equally fabulous Myra Breckinridge, nor would have Boyd McDonald written his movie lore in CRUISING THE MOVIES, which I feature below in the RE:PAST section. --http://www.calamusbooks.com/newsletters/3/7/ [Mar 2006]

See also: Parker Tyler - gay cinema - 1972

2006, Mar 01; 08:05 ::: Controversial Classics Collection (2005) - Various

Controversial Classics Collection (Advise and Consent / The Americanization of Emily / Bad Day at Black Rock / Blackboard Jungle / A Face in the Crowd / Fury / I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang) (2005) - Various [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Actors: Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford

Directors: Otto Preminger, Arthur Hiller, John Sturges

See also: controversial - classic film - Otto Preminger - American cinema

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