Wednesday 31 August 2011

Blow Up at the V2: ‘Every Artist, a Journalist’

Earlier this month the V2 Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam staged an event provocatively titled ‘Every Artist, a Journalist’ – a concept whose implications are not entirely alien to this blog, although journalism by its very nature is incapable of adopting the kind of longer perspectives required for an actual change of mind. Taking part alongside Lino Hellings and Alfredo Cramerotti was Gair Dunlop, whose film study of life around the Dounreay reactors Atom Town was recently screened at the Arts Catalyst Studio in London. Click here to watch a fascinating video of the Dunlop, Hellings and Cramerotti in conversation on the subject of aesthetics and reportage, secrets and reality in an exchange that was originally broadcast live via the V2 website.

To accompany the release of Atom Town, I wrote a short essay on the subject of nuclear architecture, both cinematic and institutional, that was subsequently published in a handsome foldout brochure available at screenings. This essay, ‘Temporary Storage: Notes on the Dounreay Fast Reactor, Citadel of the Future’ has now been included in a special V2 e-reader, alongside contributions from Alfredo Cramerotti, Michelle Kasprzak, Mark Nash and Alexei Shulgin, available for download for free in various formats (MOBI, Kindle etc), including PDF. Meanwhile a PDF of the original film brochure, featuring Gair Dunlop’s gorgeous post-atomic photographic studies of the Dounreay interior, can still be had simply by clicking here. This has been a public service announcement – now clear the halls and go about your business in a quiet and orderly manner.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Wire Spiral Arm features My Cat Is An Alien on its Cover

The September edition of The Wire is now on the newsstands with Roberto and Maurizio Opalio of My Cat Is An Alienon its cover. Inside you will find an extended account of my trip to their studio in Turin which took place earlier this summer. I am now back from my summer wanderings and hope to be posting some more images from this visit in the coming days, including some of Roberto’s own amazing photographs.

Related posts:
In the Studio with My Cat Is An Alien
Catching Up With Nietzsche in Turn
Catching Up With Dario Argento’s ‘Profondo Rosso’ in Turin

Thursday 4 August 2011

Mail-Order Trash

Trash has traditionally been seen as the unnecessary by-product of progress: the further we advance, the more trash we generate. But what about the discarded trash of our popular culture? All our bad ideas and mistakes that continue to fascinate us so – and fascination is always a sure sign you’re going to hate yourself in the morning…

In an attempt to placate our bad consciences we try to make an aesthetic out of ‘recycling’, which becomes the return to some undifferentiated material nirvana in which things are neither one thing nor another, distinct from each other, but the suspended – that is ‘sustainable’ – expression of a process. Suppose for one moment, however, that the hidden thinking behind this process has a psychology to it for which we are not yet prepared…

King Ludwig II of Bavaria had made plans for all his castles to be blown up after his death, so no one else could look at them – fortunately his palaces were spared and the masses are allowed to visit this extravagant Wagnerian Disneyland he created of swans and princes, grottoes, halls and artificial waterfalls – expressions of conspicuous waste…
I am pleased to announce that the catalogue accompanying April’s Pretty - Ugly event is now available by mail order from Hato Press on extremely reasonable terms. A twisted and debauched compilation that would still be ravishingly cheap at twice the price, it reproduces – in gold ink no less – an early draft of my ‘Rough Notes Towards The Psychoanalysis of Trash’: a preliminary study for a new work in progress. Make some poor kids happy this summer and order a copy today. Details as follows:

Pretty—Ugly was a series of events organised by the second year students of MA Communication design at Central Saint Martins. “Pretty ugly” is a casual phrase and a paradox imbued with a range of subtexts: aesthetics and anti-aesthetics, desire and repulsion, interest and disinterest, polish and sincerity… Through workshops, an exhibition, a series of talks and an auction, we sought to raise a critical discussion on the subject of contemporary “undesign.”

Author: Various
Editors: Angela Pescolderung, Hana Tanimura, Isabel Sierra y Gómez de Leon, Jens Dan Johansen, Shi Yuan
Publishers: (Same as above)
Designers: Hana Tanimura, Jens Dan Johansen, Shi Yuan
Pages: 100pp (50 sheets) plus a 20pp booklet-insert
Dimensions: A5 (148 x 210 mm)
Price: £8
P&P to UK: £3

Related posts:
‘How to Archive Yourself’on Radio 4
Rough Notes Towards The Psychoanalysis of Trash