Thursday 23 September 2010

‘How Not to Cook Book’ New Edition

A new mainstream edition of my friend Aleksandra Mir’s art project The How Not to Cookbook, to which I am contributor (along with about 999 others, but that’s not important right now), has just come out. The contents are the same but the format is a little smaller than the previous editions; the cover is new and the price more affordable if you happen to order from the US - $16 at Amazon.
For more information please visit the How Not To... website, where you can read reviews, download samples with illustrations and follow the development of the project. ‘We are working hard on future titles,’ the How Not To... team report, ‘and would like to invite everyone, anywhere, all around the world to contribute advice on such various subjects as How Not To Romance; Parent, Sport, Nature, Art, Pet, Work, Travel, Live and Die. We like people from every walk of life to tell their story and give us advice of what NOT to do!’ This is public service for the public. Pass it on.

Publication details on the new edition:

The How Not to Cookbook
Second Edition, 2010
320 pages; 7.875 x 9.25".
Hardcover, approx $25
ISBN-13: 978-0-8478-3499-0
Published by:
Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
300 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010

See also:
The How Not to Cook Book

Saturday 18 September 2010

Two Talks at the Anti-Design Festival

I have been asked to deliver lectures on two separate evenings as part of the programme of events taking place during the Anti-Design Festival  next week. On Monday September 20 ‘Towards a Sexual History of Machines’ reveals how Thomas Edison and Richard Wagner, Arthur Rimbaud and Franz Reuleaux, the Lumiere Brothers and Loie Fuller made us take leave of our senses: a lesson in how to listen to your own voice without losing your mind. Then on Tuesday September 21, ‘The Psychoanalysis of Trash’ argues that the madness of Ludwig II of Bavaria and Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Morris Lapidus can never be recycled. The first evening has been curated by Cecilia Wee and the second by Richard Thomas of Resonance FM; both will take place between 7.00 pm and 10 pm at the same venue: Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP. Admission is free. A PDF of the Anti-Design Festival guide can be downloaded by clicking here.

‘Timed to coincide and in partnership with the London Design Festival, the Anti-Design Festival is an initiative of Neville Brody, designer, Director of Research Studios and incoming Head of Communication Art & Design at the Royal College of Art, London. The Anti-Design Festival’s Performance Programme presents a panoply of experimental music, sound, moving image, spoken word, performance and digital practice by some of the most exciting artists working in the UK.’

Pictured above: the ADF performance area in its early stages of construction, photographs courtesy of Dani Admiss

Thursday 16 September 2010

‘Atomanotes’ Launch - With Lilian Lijn and Richard Strange

Piece of Paper Press recently celebrated the launch of Lilian Lijn’s ‘Atomanotes’, the 25th publication in its series of limited-edition books made from a single A4 sheet, folded and collated into a personal billet doux sent free of charge by post. There are usually 150 copies of each title issued, and director of publications, Tony White made sure that everyone went home with one. In talking about her book to the assembled guests Liliane Lijn traced the origins of ‘Atomanotes’ back some 42 years to 1968, when she had been unable to find any scientists willing to answer the questions she was formulating about human and atomic behaviour – her ‘Atom Man Notes’ remained an incomplete project until now. Tony White’s recent post on the Piece of Paper Press site picks up the story:
The questions (prefaced with the note, ‘See human beings as atomic stuctures obeying the same laws as atoms’) include the following:
If each atom has a certain field of radiation then what kind of field does each structure called a human being have?
Imagine human beings travelling at the speed of light. Would we then have a stronger gravitational field? What if the mind could function, thoughts travel at that speed, would it exert a gravitational pull?
Now, finally, the questions have been answered by a number of scientists including John Vallerga, Laura Peticolas, John Bonnell and Ilan Roth. Their answers form the bulk of the text in Liliane’s new book. However, the small, roughly A7 format of Piece of Paper Press editions has forced a compression of that original working title to the single neologism ATOMANOTES.
The party itself took place at the Maggs Gallery, a former stable round the back of Berkley Square, its white walls hung with classic black-and-white portraits of William Burroughs from his glory days in Paris, plus some elegantly psychedelic poster art for the 1967 Equinox of the Gods and for the Castalia Foundation. Carl Williams, one of the chief crypt keepers at Maggs Rare Books, told me that seven boxes or so of Alexander Trocchi’s papers had been in the backroom just last week. Also present were a couple of ‘Hollingsville’ contributors, Steve Beard and Richard Strange, both of whom left before rainwater from the downpour outside started cascading in through the gallery ceiling, transforming the whole event into a small 1960s happening. Here’s to the next 25 sets of folded and collated A4 sheets.

From top to bottom: Picture 1: Ken Hollings and Richard Strange, Picture 2: L-R: Rosemary Bailey, Andrew Wilson, Liliane Lijn, Ken Hollings, copyright credit: Piece of Paper Press.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

In Memoriam: Kevin McCarthy, 1914-2010

Believe in miracles

Pictured above: Kevin McCarthy and Edie Sedgwick, courtesy of PCL LinkDump

Sunday 12 September 2010

‘Alien Transmissions’ Update

I have just been informed that the whole of yesterday’s Radio Show, programmed by Inheritance Projects, is being run as a continuous loop until Tuesday when Charlie Woolley   begins live broadcasting from the stage at SPACE Studios again. Anyone who missed the proceedings, including my ‘Alien Transmissions’ lecture, or simply wants to hear it all again, should click here. The recording will eventually be edited and posted on the Inheritance Projects website as a set of individual files – more on this in due course.

Image: Soviet space suit, Russian Space Museum

Thursday 9 September 2010

‘Alien Transmissions’ at SPACE

On the afternoon of Saturday September 11, I am giving a talk at SPACE Studios  in Hackney as part of Charlie Woolley’s ‘Mysterious Cults’ exhibition. The following details are taken from the advance flyer for the event. The talk is called ‘Alien Transmissions: Sputnik, McLuhan and the Voices of Space’ and will be broadcast live from the gallery as part of the closing selection of activities for that day. Those unable to attend will therefore be able to follow the proceedings by clicking here. The following details are taken from the Inheritance Projects press release:

Inheritance Projects  takes over the Radio Show on September 11. Throughout his exhibition at SPACE Mysterious Cults, Charlie Woolley will be broadcasting his Radio Show on stage. He has invited Inheritance to programme a day of live performances, talks and music

‘Heritage Radio’
Radiophonic transmission of legal space, analog radio hardware, Sputnik interference and a radio play
Lawrence Abu Hamdan - talk
Tom Richards - performance
Ken Hollings - talk
Tai Shani - ‘Milky White Light,
Inky Black Hole’ a radio play/performance

129—131 Mare Street
London E8 3Rh
020 8525 4330


Pictured above: display case, Russian Space Museum

Sunday 5 September 2010

From Gameboy to Armageddon

For those of you who missed it first time around or who haven’t downloaded it from speechification, BBC Radio 3 is repeating ‘From Gameboy to Armageddon’, my recent feature on the military-entertainment complex.

Looking back on the making of this programme a number of moments present themselves once again: the long and detailed conversations with Tim Lenoir about his amazing ‘Theaters of War’ paper, written with Henry Lowood, talking with the legendary Jack Thorpe on the benefits of introducing West Point cadets to the delights of science fiction  and – perhaps the most vivid of all – my girlish screams when about to be squashed by a runaway US Army Humvee in the ‘Virtual Iraq’ CAVE at Reading University. Clausewitz, I am sure, would have had something to say about that – Mark Burman, my producer certainly did.

The show goes out between 9.30 and 10.15 pm on September 7. 2010 – find out more by clicking here .

See also:
‘From Gameboy to Armageddon’ Online
‘From Gameboy to Armageddon’ Programme Details
Full Spectrum Dominator  

Pictured above: ‘Army Col. Michael J. Roy, left, who oversees the “Virtual Iraq” exposure therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, conducts a demonstration of a life-like simulator that represents a new form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment with Army Sgt. Lenearo Ashford, Technical Services Branch, Uniformed Services University, on Sept. 16, 2008, in Washington, D.C.’ - from Out on the Porch: American Press Services News

Friday 3 September 2010

Welcome to Mars in the US

Followers of the ‘Welcome to Mars’ podcast in the US will be pleased to note that a limited number of copies of my book of the same name published by Strange Attractor Press and derived from the radio series – repeated in its six-hour entirety on Resonance FM over the recent bank holiday weekend – are now available through Their page for the book also contains a very handsome five-star review from Found Highways, a reviewer based in Las Vegas, which I am not at all embarrassed to quote in its entirety:

‘Imagine the following cultural artifacts: the John Birch Society, "brainwashing," Elvis Presley, the Roswell flying saucer, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Soviet space program. In Welcome to Mars, Ken Hollings connects all these things not in the same book or even the same chapter, but in the same paragraph.

As the late-night TV commercials used to say, "There's more!" Suburbia, UFOs, Klaatu, LSD, the CIA, the Long John Nebel radio show, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, UNIVAC, Dianeticist L. Ron Hubbard, behaviorist B. F. Skinner, rocket designer Wernher von Braun ("the only man in history to have the undivided attention of Adolf Hitler, Walt Disney and John F. Kennedy"), Mad magazine, the RAND corporation, "the Beast" Aleister Crowley, mass-murderer Charlie Starkweather, film director Nicholas Ray, and that's not all.

This book is about connections. I'll bet you don't know what connects William Castle's horror film The Tingler (starring Vincent Price), Audrey Hepburn in The Nun's Story, and global thermonuclear war.

To slightly correct the subtitle, this is the story of fantasies of science and pseudoscience in the immediate postwar period, with an aim to show what might have influenced what. The pseudoscientific beliefs are ludicrous in most cases, yet necessary to explain people's subsequent behavior. For instance, is it a coincidence that a UFO flap immediately followed the launching of Sputnik by the Soviets in 1957? (A "flap" is between a single UFO sighting and what the Air Force called a mass delusion.)

Hollings' favorite philosopher seems to be The Amazing Criswell, a 1950s TV psychic whom I know only from a cheap VHS copy of Plan 9 From Outer Space and the Tim Burton biopic of Ed Wood starring Johnny Depp.

This book is an answer to Criswell's question from Night of the Ghouls: "But what records are kept, what information is there, how many of you know the horror, the terror I will now reveal to you?"

These are the records, this is the horror.’

See also:
Welcome to Mars posts

Pictured above: one of Strange Attractor’s promotional postcards for Welcome to Mars: ‘a searingly accurate and deeply disturbing exposé of the fantasies of American modernism’ – Dr Jacques Vallée

Thursday 2 September 2010

Hollingsville: ‘Film - the Music of the Future’ – the Cinema of Hans-Jürgen Syberberg

A reminder that you can hear a new edition of Hollingsville at 7.00 pm tonight on Resonance FM. Featuring special guests Tai Shani and Chris Bohn of The Wire, it focuses on the extraordinary films of German director Hans-Jürgen Syberberg in advance of a special all-day screening of his masterwork ‘Hitler: A Film From Germany’ at the Horse Hospital on Saturday September 4, starting at 11.00 am. I will be giving a short introductory talk prior to this epic seven-hour presentation. Please note that this episode of Hollingsville will not be available as a podcast.

See also:
Hollingsville Update

Pictured above: light fitting, lower floor, at the Musikverein in Vienna

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Catching Up With Dounreay

‘Dounreay Experimental Reactor Establishment, on the northern shore of Scotland, embodies many of the contradictions and lost possibilities of the Atomic Age,’ Gair Dunlop reports on his fascinating new blog, Entropic Modernism. ‘Following initial introductions, and the award of a major grant from the now-departed Scottish Arts Council, I have been granted unprecedented access to the site, to former and current members of staff at all levels, and the nuclear visual archive at Harwell.’ Just starting up but dedicated to ‘joining a range of things together; explorations of semi-abandoned technology, contemporary art, film and visual thinking’, Gair’s explorations should prove essential reading over the coming weeks as the Dounreay core is slowly penetrated. When the music stops, run like blazes.

Pictured above: Dounreay in all its glory, courtesy of Utility Week, surmounted by two images taken with thanks to Gair Dunlop from Entropic Modernism.