Mark Leckey, Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore


Mark Leckey Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore 1999

Fullscreen version here.

Continuing on a bit of a rave theme, here's another gem from the UbuWeb film archive.

Elio Fiorucci's iconic Italian fashion label as a point of reference, Leckey's Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore is a video exploring myriad forms of youth culture and fashion emerging and evolving in Britain in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Created through a process of appropriating, manipulating and editing home-video footage, we are treated to a reveler's-eye-view of a progressing procession of discos, dances, raves and their attendees.

Jeremy Deller, Acid Brass


Jeremy Deller Bless This Acid House

Jeremy Deller's Acid Brass is a project in which the artist initiated the composition, recording and performance of a host of early rave anthems. Arranged by Rodney Newton and performed by The William Fairey Brass Band, the resulting pieces are uncanny, entertaining and undeniably phat.

Posted here are the band's version of The KLF's What Time Is Love? and a diagrammatic illustration detailing the social, historical and cultural links between the 2 seemingly disparate forms of music; tying together elements such as 'Melancholy,' 'The North,' 'Ibiza,' 'Advanced Capitalism' and 'Civil Unrest,' he shows that they are not quite so different as you might at first assume.

Jeremy Deller A History Of The World 1997

Want to know and hear more? Click here.

The Wire Salon Series at Cafe Oto, Dalston, London

First Thursday of each month 8pm, starting 1st April 2010
Tickets £4 on the door only

Next month sees Cafe Oto begin a series of salon-style events revolving around thinking and talking about music, presented by experimental music magazine The Wire. The series promises readings, discussions, panel debates, film screenings, DJ sets and the occasional live performance.

April 1st : Revenant Forms: The Meaning Of Hauntology

The first event in the series, Mark Fisher (K-punk), Adam Harper (Rouge's Foam) and Joseph Stannard (The Outer Church) will discuss the essence of the spectral, uncanny qualities of much contemporary audio, from dubstep to hypnagogic pop and beyond.

The night will also include screenings of a number of short films by Julian House (Ghost Box, The Focus Group), which feature soundtracks by Broadcast, Belbury Poly and others; a live set by Moon Wiring Club; and eldritch vinyl interludes courtesy of Mordant Music.

May 6th : Sonic warfare: The Politics Of Frequency

For the second event in the series, author Ken Hollings (Welcome To Mars, Destroy All Monsters) and Steve Goodman (Kode9, Hyperdub), author of Sonic Warfare (sample chapters here), discuss the uses and abuses of sound and noise in policing the urban environment, by the military-industrial complex, in the era of the soundclash, and beyond. Plus related films, DJs and other participants TBA.

John Cage, Water Walk


John Cage
Water Walk

John Cage performs Water Walk on popular American TV Show I've Got A Secret. Exhibiting an unusually light-hearted approach, Cage introduces and plays a composition on a water pitcher, an iron pipe, a goose call, a bottle of wine, an electric mixer, a whistle, a sprinkling can, ice cubes, 2 cymbals, a mechanical fish, a quall call, a rubber duck, a tape recorder, a vase of roses, a seltzer siphon, 5 radios, a bath tube and a grand piano.

Slavoj Žižek on Children Of Men


Slavoj Žižek gives an enthusiastic review and reading of Alfonso Cuarón's 2006 film Children Of Men.

Crash, Gagosian Gallery, London

Rachel Whiteread Demolished 1996

Gagosian Gallery
Februaury 11th - April 1st 2010
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 6 pm

Gagosian Gallery presents an exhibition of a mixture of relics, influences and works inspired by the dystopian ficiton of J G Ballard, in particular his most famous novel Crash. The novel - made into a film in 1996 by David Cronenberg - is a psycho-sexual tale of car-crash fetishism (Symphorophilia). We are treated here to an all-star line up of artists in an expertly curated exhibition that moves between pieces that by turn inspired Ballard (Dali, early British Pop Art), or reflect his concerns and fascinations - autophilia, crashes, accidents and disasters, high rises and suburban wastelands, destruction, and an often sexually charged mixture of the organic and the mechanical.

Installation view Crash, Gagosian Gallery, foreground: Adam McEwan Honda Teen Facial 2010

Upon entering the gallery we encounter the disembodied undercarriage of a Boeing 747 - Adam McEwan's Honda Teen Facial (2010 above). The piece resonates with a sense of disaster and sets the tone for the exhibition. The rooms are arranged thematically, begining with a selection of surrealist works that inspired Ballard to find a "fiction for the present day"1, works that traverse similar territory to his writing in the main galleries and a 3rd gallery of works inspired by or made in honour of the writer. Against the somber grey walls of the 3rd gallery, Rachel Whitereed's Demolished (1996 above) stands out, activated and invigorated by the context.

Jane and Louise Wilson's Proton, Unity, Energy, Blizzard (2000), a 4 screen video projection, depicts shots of the abandoned sites of the former USSR's space program - a depopulated mixture of desolate wilderness and awesome technological construction. The bassy rumble of the soundtrack permeates the entire exhibition intermittently.

The list of artists included (below) is an undeniably impressive one and the pieces selected are all fine examples of their work, arranged in a structure that creates a looming and prolonged discord. Locked within the visual language of a show loaded with associations, the works function to create a fractured, rhizomatic network of signs, informing one another in counterpoints and harmonies in order to extract the dark, foreboding, and perverse terrors of Ballard's vision of society. The powerful sense of narrative allows the work to operate in interesting new ways, generating new readings of familiar practices. Damien Hirst's arrangements of surgical implements, Jenny Saville's grand-scaled, expertly daubed images of mutilation (below), and Roger Hiorns' crystaline BMW engines are cases in point. Paul McCarthy's Mechanical Pig (2003 - 2005) was perhaps the most striking example of a piece to under go this transformation for me; it's combination of the mechanical and organic, the maternal and the monstrous, with it's working parts laid bare, is so perfectly situated within this context, it's almost as though it were created with this exhibition in mind. Jeremy Deller's Another Country (The Mall London 3/9/97) 1997 was one of the more surprising inclusions in the show. A collection of photographs of floral tributes and a poem to Diana, Princess of Wales, taken in the aftermath of her death in 1997, it was a somber and poetic record of a moment in the collective consciousness, that abounds with associations of an underlying widespread public fascination with death.

Jenny Saville Witness 2009

One of the best contemporary art shows I've seen in London this year, Crash is at Gagosian, Britannia Street, until April 1st. The full list of artists included is as follows:

Richard Artschwager, Francis Bacon, JG Ballard, Hans Bellmer, Glenn Brown, Chris Burden, Jake & Dinos Chapman, John Currin, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Paul Delvaux, Cyprien Gaillard, Douglas Gordon, Loris Gréaud, Richard Hamilton, John Hilliard and Jemima Stehli, Roger Hiorns, Damien Hirst, Dan Holdsworth, Carsten Höller, Edward Hopper, Allen Jones, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Vera Lutter, Florian Maier-Aichen, Paul McCarthy, Adam McEwen, Dan Mitchell, Malcolm Morley, Mike Nelson, Helmut Newton, Cady Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, George Shaw, Cindy Sherman, Piotr Uklański, Andy Warhol, Rachel Whiteread, Christopher Williams, Jane and Louise Wilson, Christopher Wool and Cerith Wyn Evans.

Images here.


Armando Iannucci Talk, Tate Modern, 17th October 2006


Sorry, your browser doesn't support the embedding of multimedia.Armando Iannucci at Tate Modern
17th October 2006
1 hr 23 mins

Comedian Armando Iannucci talks about the roles and positions that comedy plays in the media today. Insisting that it is not the job of comedians 'to talk about what you can and cannot say and do because, thankfully, by definition [they] are irresponsible', he discusses when it is deemed appropriate to make jokes about serious issues, and the relative failings of our broadcasters to adequately explore them through other means.

There's a few clips he refers to during the lecture - it was a little frustrating not being to see them, so I've done my best to find them for you:

Francis Alÿs


Railings Francis Alÿs
7 minutes

I'm already getting excited about the Francis Alÿs exhibition at Tate Modern this summer. Here are 3 video works by him.

Sitting somewhere being poetic, allegorical and occasionally absurd, Alÿs' ephemeral actions often have the feeling of an old tale recounted - 'The man who pushed an ice block through the streets of Mexico City', 'the man who moved a sand dune' (both below) - and often grow out of stories recalled by the artist or incidental happenings in his day-to-day life. With a strong participatory element, the works have a socially-engaged, politicised quality, while avoiding any explicit political message. Though largely comprising of actions and their documentation, his practice also includes drawing, animation and painting.

When Faith Moves Mountains Francis Alÿs
7 minutes
Fullscreen version from UbuWeb

Algunas Veces El Hacer Algo No Lleva A Nada
(Sometimes Making Something Leads To Nothing)

Francis Alÿs
5 minutes

Chritian Marclay & Others Live In London This Weekend

Saturday 6th March 8pm
Tickets £8 adv/£10 otd

Following last week's post, I have just read that Christian Marclay will be playing live as part of Steve Beresford's 60th birthday celebrations at Dalston's Cafe Oto this weekend.

The line up will feature the following:
Christian Marclay on turntables, Veryan Weston and Tania Chen on pianos, Lol Coxhill and John Butcher on saxophones, Satoko Fukuda on violin, Ute Kanngiesser on cello, Guillaume Viltard on contra bass and Steve Beresford on piano and electronics.

Expect an atonal celebration of all things free and improvisational.

Slavoj Žižek, Maybe We Just Need a Different Chicken


Slavoj Žižek Maybe We Just Need a Different Chicken


My second Žižek post is a talk that was meant to be about his book, Violence, delivered in Portland, Oregon in 2008. Instead Žižek talks, in his usual wandering style, about politeness and censorship and their function in ideology today. In his inimitable style, he extrapolates metaphors from a joke about a psychiatric patient who believes he is a piece of grain, terrified of being eaten by the chicken of the title. Žižek discusses how ideology manifests itself in the media and politics today, while covering cinematic references that span from Batman to Hitchcock's Vertigo to Kung Fu Panda.
Copyright 2010 ///////Postproduced