Feb 23 2012: Thirteen Abstract and Illustrated Dustjackets from Scientific Book Club Editions (1958 – 1962)

A large collection of these Scientific Book Club editions, dating from the later 1950s and early 1960s, appeared one Sunday morning at the Colwick car boot sale in Nottingham, and covered many more subjects than are represented here. The truth is, while the books were plentiful, some selection was necessary in order to carry those chosen … Continue reading

Oct 30 2011: Reader’s Diary (Brittle Star Magazine, May 2010)

Of the three addictions that have shaped my life, I can only remember with certainty where the least desirable of them began: with an Embassy filter-tip, one summer afternoon outside a corrugated iron shed in New Quay, mid-Wales, at the antique restoration workshop where I spent my teenage Saturdays working. With music, I can clearly … Continue reading

Sep 2 2011: Abstractions From The Body: Monochrome Plates from The Pathology of Internal Diseases by William Boyd (Kimpton, London, 1941)

As a follow up to yesterday’s post, featuring a sequence of nine colour plates from The Pathology of Internal Diseases by William Boyd (1941), here’s a further sequence of monochrome plates from the same publication. As before, the potentially morbid subject matter is offset by the abstract beauty of the images themselves, as malfunctioning cells … Continue reading

Aug 19 2011: Silver Coin by The Spasms (from Preseli Folk LP, Preseli Records 1979)

There’s a lot of talk these days about the overwhelming range of music available online, as pretty much anyone – from the 80 year old former professional musician to the 12 year old bedroom chancer – takes advantage of their new ability to record a few songs on a computer, convert them to mp3 format and … Continue reading

Aug 18 2011: Mercury Rev on the Crooked Path: An Interview with Jonathan Donahue (Big Issue in the North, 2002)

This interview was done by phone while Mercury Rev were on their European tour in support of All Is Dream in early April 2002: Donahue called from the dressing room as the band were waiting to perform that evening, possibly in Germany, but as we overran the allotted time, our somewhat rambling discussion (Donahue in conversation followed … Continue reading

July 30 2011: An Interview With Tim Etchells about Endland Stories (Pulp Faction, 1999)

Following yesterday’s post of a 1997 interview with Forced Entertainment’s Tim Etchells about Pleasure, here’s a kind of ‘part two’, the transcript of an interview conducted on 9 January 1999 at the Sofra Cafe on Old Compton Street in Soho to talk about Etchells’ book of largely unclassifiable short fictions, Endland Stories (Pulp Faction). An … Continue reading

July 29 2011: Some Confusions… : An Interview With Tim Etchells about Forced Entertainment’s ‘Pleasure’ (Polar Magazine, Sheffield, 1997)

There were discarded photographs, there were incomprehensible shopping lists, there was a note I found near the hi-rise flats which said DAVE – I HAVE TO GET OUT – THE GAS IS CUT OFF AND THE TV HAS GONE BAD – BACK THURSDAY … (1) Forced Entertainment were formed in Sheffield in 1984 to co-operate … Continue reading

The Persistence of Coloured Mud, or the multiple and much exaggerated deaths of painting (NVA, 2012)

I: In debates about art, it often seems as though the only thing to be reported more regularly than the death of painting is its miraculous recovery and re-emergence from its latest grave. Despite the many technological, political and aesthetic challenges to its centrality and relevance, the expressive form once described by Robert Hughes as … Continue reading

Shana Moulton: Cynthia, Suspiria & Psychedelics (Primary, 2015)

Shana Moulton grew up in Oakhurst, California, in a mobile home on the edge of Yosemite National Park, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2002 she has been making hallucinatory films, performances, installations and sculpture, often centred on an alter-ego named Cynthia, an idiosyncratic everywoman on a quest for enlightenment through consumer products, … Continue reading

July 13 2011: LSD in Action by P.G.Stafford and B.H. Golightly (Scientific Book Club, 1970)

A recent session at Free Word Centre to launch the memoir of Leaf Fielding – one of the architects of the Mid-Wales based LSD manufacturing operation finally shut down by Operation Julie in the late 1970s – reminded me of the long aftermath of that event, at the time the biggest drug bust in British police history. … Continue reading