An Array of Utopian Flowers
- China’s Latest Earth Assault: Trans-Amazonian Railway
Posted on May 23, 2015 | No Comments
- Trace Amounts: Vaccines, Mercury-Toxicity, and Autism
Posted on May 17, 2015 | No Comments
- The CIA and Psychedelics: From Timothy Leary to the Unabomber
Posted on May 11, 2015 | No Comments
- German Prefab House Generates Twice its Own Energy
Posted on May 9, 2015 | No Comments
- Spirit Talk: Stories of Traditional Healers of Central Australia
Posted on May 3, 2015 | No Comments
- China’s Latest Earth Assault: Trans-Amazonian Railway
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Daily Dose of the Wild
Twittering From the Trees
June 4 to 7
- Posted on April 25, 2015 | No CommentsIn the sobering aftermath of World War I in Zurich, Dada preached a radical-yet-whimsical philosophy of creativity, a self-styled anti-art. Random and meaningless by definition, calculatedly irrational by design, for a short time the movement spread like revolt to the US and across Europe, voicing the bizarre protest of a brave new community of artists and writers.
- Posted on March 18, 2015 | No CommentsOne of the 20th Century's most influential composers, Paul Hindemith created the neo-classical-folk-inspired symphony Mathis der Maler, based on the life of the mysterious 16th Century painter Matthias Grunewald, whose masterpiece associated Saint Anthony and the Virgin Mary with the miraculous cure of the epidemic skin disease called St. Anthony's Fire.
- Posted on March 7, 2015 | No CommentsThe first band ever to be called "industrial," Throbbing Gristle's confrontational live performances and use of disturbing imagery, mixed with pre-recorded tape samples and special effects, created a distorted sound performance, quite ground-breaking in its time. Spinoff bands Psychic TV and Chris and Cosey continued to shock and beautify into the 1980s.
- Posted on February 25, 2015 | 1 Comment"Art is never chaste," said Pablo Picasso. "Art is dangerous." One of the 20th century’s greatest painters was born in Málaga, Spain, but Jonathan Jones argues he came into his own amid the sleaze and bohemianism of Paris – the only city that could have matched his peerless imagination.
- Posted on November 28, 2014 | 1 CommentOn the inimitable and controversial Karlheinz Stockhausen, German composer who fused science fiction with classical music, whose 20th Century groundbreaking creations expanded the bounds of electronic music and serial compositions from the brightest star Sirius.
- Posted on November 8, 2014 | No CommentsWatch "The Delian Mode" a documentary on the innovative electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, who worked from 1960 to 1973 at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She utilized both real-life and ‘artificial’ electronic sounds in her compositions using a musical style known as Musique Concrète.
- Posted on October 22, 2014 | No CommentsAs bassist for Joy Division – one of the most important bands of the post-punk movement in England – Peter Hook kept the rhythm together, a kind-of-distorted lamentation, after Ian Curtis' suicide and for better or worse into mega-stardom of the New Wave synth phenomena New Order.
- Posted on October 11, 2014 | 2 CommentsIannis Xenakis, the Greek composer trained as an architect, created expressive works of mind-bending mathematical complexity that according to one critic, have "all the teeming unpredictable power of a glacier, the thrilling complexity of shape and movement of a mass animal migration."
- Posted on October 2, 2014 | No Comments"Janis Ivanovs is like thunder and lightning, cleansing the air with his Lucifer sounds. His symphonies are like ancient Greek tragedies, filled with ecstasy and purification." So wrote another Latvian composer and music critic, Margers Zarins.
- Posted on September 30, 2014 | No CommentsThis awful cult of talentless hipsters has its Mecca in Los Angeles, according to Will Self. He asserts his generation took the avant-garde and turned it into a successful rearguard action by the flying columns of capitalism’s blitzkrieg. What to make of the commodification and democratization of culture, and where to go from here?
- Posted on September 25, 2014 | No Comments"In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of "sadism" it is because it exists, I didn't invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds." -- Charles Bukowski
- Posted on August 30, 2014 | No CommentsChampion of the disinherited of postwar Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini's masterworks prefigured his country's fall to a consumerist Heart of Darkness, an uncompromising vision that may have led to his own wretched death. A biopic by Abel Ferrara at the Venice biennale will reconstruct the last hours of the Italian film director, who was murdered in 1975.
- Posted on July 3, 2014 | 1 CommentOrson Welles, the cinematic genius who ended his days selling cheap wine, was both noble and feeble, titanic and pathetic, sacred monster and profane clown, says Peter Conrad. We take samples from his oeuvre, his noir thriller The Stranger and his stylistic fragmentation, Othello.
- Posted on May 4, 2014 | 1 CommentAustrian media artist Bartholomäus Traubeck has custom-built a record player that is able to "play" cross-sectional slices of tree trunks. The result is his art piece "Years," an audio recording of tree rings being read by a computer and turned into music, much like a record player's needle reads the grooves on an LP.
- Posted on May 2, 2014 | No CommentsWalkabout, vision quest, walking in Dreamtime, all of it refers to a particular rite of passage from the indigenous Australians, but also in evidence in animist cultures throughout the world. The 1971 film of the same name narrates a young woman and her brother's journey beyond their Western frame, but never quite able to follow the ancestor paths, or songlines, of the land.
- Posted on April 14, 2014 | 2 CommentsPaul Gauguin, the bourgeois-turned-bohemian artist who left France for Tahiti, reveals a darker, almost menacing mythological vision, in contrast to his exploitative picture-postcard fantasy-native Polynesian paintings for which he is known. The exhibition continues at MoMA in New York until June.
- Posted on January 29, 2014 | 3 CommentsJorge Luis Borges forged into the realm of literary magic, he led his readers down through the Garden of Forking Paths, wandering the red and tranquil labyrinths in Elegy, growing old in so many mirrors, seeking in vain the marble gaze of statues, compiling regrets of a fantastic nature. Watch the BBC profile on him as an elder of strange destiny who had seen nothing, or almost nothing, but the face of a girl from Buenos Aires, a face that does not want you to remember it.
- Posted on December 27, 2013 | 1 Comment"The Atrocity Exhibition" is J.G. Ballard’s instruction manual in how to disrupt mass media and recontextualize technology in a dystopian landscape overrun with industrial waste and technological white noise. Watch the piece on Ballard and the Motorcar, that careens across the landscape of his controversial novel, "Crash."
- Posted on September 7, 2013 | 1 CommentThe Mexican film Macario (1960) weaves a tale of magical realism - with special appearances by God, the Devil and Death. It all begins on the Day of the Dead, when a campesino named Macario goes on a hunger strike. B. Traven, the mysterious German writer exiled in Mexico, wrote the story, inspired from indigenous folk tales.
- Posted on August 17, 2013 | No CommentsFilm and music of shimmering yet jarring beauty play together on a South Seas beach in "Legong: Dance of the Virgins." It's a rarely screened 1935 silent movie, shot entirely in Bali with a Balinese cast, mixed with a new score by Club Foot Orchestra and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. Presented in a crude but rich two-strip early Technicolor process, one of the last silent films made by Hollywood, it depicts Bali as Westerners idealized it at the time.