Saturday, 29 December 2007


My friend Alasdair sent me this clip, saying it's genius. Not sure I'd go quite that far, but it is funny.

I hate TV.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

evidence 2

Looks as though that's Christmas done for another year, but here are a few photos taken along the way.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007


Bit groggy today, just following the football results and enjoying this year's CBS top 100. Bound for Dundee tomorrow, where I'll be quite flush after work has sorted my pay out. Looks as though I'll be getting my hair re-done in time for NYE party season, anyway.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007


A good haul of presents from Santa, including the Roxy Music DVD that I requested, and from my brother and his girlfriend, an iPod shuffle. It's a tiny little thing that can fit a ridiculous amount of music inside, and I dare say it's all set to convert me into a paid-up member of the portable digital music cult.

Later I'll be heading to a friend's place to revisit the traditional "Christmas Mash-up", which is simply just a few of us gathering together on Christmas day and getting royally mashed-up while listening to techno. I'll be taking it fairly easy this year though, I promise.

Sunday, 23 December 2007


At home in Leeds, having just been indulging (again) in another wonderful meal, this time lamb roasted with garlic and rosemary, served with roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. The train journey down was much quieter than I expected, allowing for a push forwards with Wuthering Heights (previously left to one side owing to work pressures and the inevitable shortening of my attention span). Now I look forward to a few days of old-school family Christmas contentment, eating and drinking too much and falling asleep on the sofa.

Saturday, 22 December 2007


Last night's NEON event was a bit underwhelming, as the expected throng of people never showed up. Everything was rather low-key and quiet. The PA was good though, and the laser display was truly spectacular. It's just a shame that the lightshow couldn't be enjoyed by a busier dancefloor.

Woke up today feeling truly horrendous, but I'm coming round. Dinner's being prepared in the kitchen as a newly arrived diskette caresses the senses.

Friday, 21 December 2007


So that's it now, no more work for the best part of a week. Tonight's the big NEON extravaganza, and I'm sat rifling through my records working out what's most likely to rock the discotheque. We've been promised lasers, so that's a good start.

In hospitality circles this date is known as Black Friday because, being the last Friday before Christmas, all the bars are so heavily oversubscribed. Just so long as we're able to skim some of those punters away to our night then we ought to be laughing.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007


Payday today, and I calculated earlier in the week that work still owes me a substantial wedge (at least a couple of grand, by my reckoning) in unclaimed overtime payments. Still, at least for now I'm able to satisfy my endless desire for consumer objects such as this and this and this. Oh yes, and this too. Oh joy...

Went shopping today for Saturday's bumper Christmas dinner (six of us in all), gammon with all the trimmings, and lots of booze to go around too. Friday there's still NEON to come, and Sunday I'll be heading down to Leeds for a few days. Looks like being an enjoyable weekend on the cards...

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Listing for Thursday's Cine Salon:

A weekly display of hidden or neglected facets of the magic lantern. The finest wines and cheeses shall be served.
Don't miss!

3 Springfield, Dundee.
Thursday 20th December, 9pm

COMING SOON! Guest curator Andrew Maclean presents:
The Cine Salon Christmas Special!
CHRISTMAS EVIL (1980, dir. Lewis Jackson)
With John Waters commentary
Christmas Evil (also known as You Better Watch Out and Terror in Toyland) is a 1980 slasher film directed by Lewis Jackson. It is considered an obscure film but has gained a cult following which includes legendary film director John Waters.

IMDB comments:
Widely recognized as the best of the Christmas horror efforts, Christmas Evil is the story of a boy who loves Christmas. He is scarred as a boy when he learns that Santa is not real. Throughout the rest of his life, the toy-maker tries to make the Christmas spirit a reality. He becomes obsessed with the behavior of children and the quality of the toys he makes. When he is met with hypocrisy and cynicism, the resulting snap causes him to go on a yuletide killing spree to complete this dark comedic horror. This is the film Maniac (1980) should have been! Pretty compelling stuff with convincing performances and a beautifully weird ending.

Saturday, 15 December 2007


Feeling rubbish today, which I don't understand as I only had a couple of beers last night. Been sat around reading various year-end round-ups, and much as I hate to post links to lots of Guardian articles (it's hardly the most esoteric) the Guide's summary of Control is pretty telling:

Most Predictable Ending: Control Anton Corbijn's coffee-table tragedy was apparently the best film of the year, but you could hardly call it a suspense thriller - except in the most literal sense. The world and its mother knew that Ian Curtis was going to hang himself at the end, didn't they? And given Control's dead-straight A-Z structure, by halfway through you were just waiting for Sam Riley to get the rope out. By a process of elimination, it was equally inevitable that Atmosphere would swell up over the end credits. Where's David Lynch when you need him?

For what it's worth, I declare 2007 to be a decidedly non-vintage y
ear. Owing to MDes course pressures my own artistic output totaled one sculpture, produced for the members' show. Still, I hereby pledge a much more prolific 2008, honest.

Tonight I'll be calling in at the noise event over the road for a swift half before Match of the Day starts.

Thursday, 13 December 2007


So the Collective gig tomorrow night is now off, the gallery having worked out that the turntables wouldn't be covered by their insurance. Which is doubly annoying given that we'd already cancelled our (paid) engagement with the Art Bar for the same night. All of which just goes to prove: you should never work with artists. Bah!

Still, there's always tonight's Salon, which ought to provide some welcome respite from disembodied voices on the end of a telephone line.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Brain's just a scramble.... working from 9:30am until 8:30pm, and now off to the Function Suite to drop a few posters off. I'll be up early tomorrow to flyer the college, then another 8-hour shift, then hosting the Salon, then Friday it's another early shift at work, then heading to Edinburgh for the Collective Christmas do....

Not able to gather my thoughts together to post anything meaningful, just need to get through it...

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


Listing for Thursday's Cine Salon:

A weekly display of hidden or neglected facets of the magic lantern. The finest wines and cheeses shall be served.
Don't miss!

3 Springfield, Dundee.
Thursday 13th December, 9pm

SUCCUBUS (1968, dir. Jess Franco) plot summary:
Janine Reynaud stars as a nightclub stripper who free-floats through a spectral 60's landscape littered with dream-figures, dancing midgets and bizarre S&M games. customer review:
Lorna (Janine Raynaud) puts on erotic S & M performances at nightclubs & then starts believing she is performing such acts in strange dreams - or is she acting them out in real life? Is she being manipulated by a mysterious conspiracy?
After the early Goth horror "Orloff" film, this is really where Jess Franco's career starts to get (briefly) interesting. "Succubus" begins like a rather tawdry old fashioned sexploitation movie, but quickly goes completely off the rails into 60s delirium. It has an intensity similar to "Eugenie: Journey Into Perversion". Lots of wild psychedelic fantasy scenes (lots of coloured filters!), freaky jazzy music, avant garde touches & funny sub-Godard "intellectual" dialogue. There's a great 60s party scene where the assorted eccentrics take their LSD sugar cubes and merrily regress into childhood abandon. The best scene is where Lorna makes love to & then murders another woman in a room full of mannequins - the bodies of the women & mannequins interchange in an extended sequence of frenzied editing. It's fairly obvious that Franco only made half a dozen or so movies worth watching - "Succubus" is certainly one of them.
(Johnny Guitar)

Monday, 10 December 2007


eBay's been no help, and Google's hardly been much of a friend either. In creating my planned artwork for the forthcoming members' show, it's imperative that I find a 10" by 8" black and white photograph of the supermodel Lily Cole. But where to find such an item?
Need to rack my brains, and tomorrow's another day.

Sunday, 9 December 2007


The poster's ready for the printers, and should be covering the west end later on in the week.

Saturday, 8 December 2007


By now it's become my custom each Saturday to post a link to something that's piqued my interest in the morning's newspaper supplement. This week there's an article about a fashion blog documenting "real people who look fabulous". Fabulous-looking people are evidently easier to come by on the streets of New York than in Dundee, where it's sadly all too rare to find anyone prepared to make an effort. Still, anyone who does is appreciated all the more. I remember the Edinburgh-based artist Katie Orton having an especially arresting 'look' whenever she appeared in town recently, wearing bright red lipstick with a beret and a leopard-skin vintage overcoat last time.

My own wardrobe would be made up of high-street, vintage, and eBay-designer, the elements combined fairly evenly. Jeans and trousers by Helmut Lang for the shape and the durability, and a couple of tops by Bernhard Willhelm and Raf Simons for when I want to cut a dash. Regrettably there's nothing by Hedi Slimane, the former Dior Homme designer, in there just yet. Give it time, though.

Belgian (Simons, Dries van Noten, Walter van Bierendonck) Scandinavian (Peter Jensen, Siv Stoldal) I keep an eye on eBay for, hoping for a bargain. Knitwear by John Smedley or Pringle, and patterned socks by Paul Smith from a discount clothes shop back home in Crossgates, Leeds. Nothing by way of jewelery other than a silver ring bought for me many years ago that carries a good deal of sentimental value.

Living next door to the art school, I can't help but notice the dominance of a specific silhouette (voluminous hair, skinny jeans or leggings) among this season's crop of students. Which is all very well, but in amongst the herd I find a glimpse of individuality is really the most precious and attractive sight of them all.

Friday, 7 December 2007


Only me there to see last night's Cine Salon, which hardly matters as the events will continue regardless through whatever fallow periods they may endure, until further notice. And Haxan was a very enjoyable watch indeed, full of striking images and its stories of witch-hunts and witch-trials will always be relevant.

A quiet weekend on the cards, just enjoying a quiet night in to crack on with Wuthering Heights and to plot the next move regarding various creative endeavours.

Thursday, 6 December 2007


Oh dear, I've woken up far too early, and I'm just two days away from my first day off in two weeks. Two solid weeks on the battery hen shift, pecking away at any dreams...

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Listing for Thursday's Cine Salon:

A weekly display of hidden or neglected facets of the magic lantern. The finest wines and cheeses shall be served.
Don't miss!

3 Springfield, Dundee.
Thursday 6th December, 9pm

HAXAN (or Witchcraft Through The Ages)
Häxan is a 1922 Swedish/Danish black-and-white silent film directed by Benjamin Christensen. It is a documentary about witchcraft, but contains numerous dramatized sequences that are reminiscent of horror films. This film has fallen into public domain as well as all other films released this year. The film is a documentary of witchcraft and a study of how human superstition, coupled with a lack of understanding of the causes of things such as mental illness and disease, may have led to the witchcraft hysteria of the early modern period. comments:
More commonly known as "Witchcraft Through the Ages", this is definitely one of the most bizarre, visually arresting movies of all time, even nearly 80 years later. It starts out as a rather dry documentary, detailing medieval superstitions and folklore while showing ancient woodcarvings of witches and demons in various forms. Then we move on into the dramatic portion of the film. In one scene we see witches concocting potions using the body parts of corpses from the gallows. One witch walks in carrying a bundle of sticks, and undoes the bundle revealing a decomposed human hand hidden inside. Fans of "The Blair Witch Project" should take notice, especially considering that the Danish title of this film is "Haxan", also the name of the movie company that created "Blair Witch".

Director Benjamin Christensen appears as a leering, tongue-wagging Satan, with very realistic makeup. The witches are shown with the Devil and his minions performing various acts of sacrilege and perversion that must have been extremely shocking at the time the movie originally appeared, and would be offensive to many people still. The film was banned for many years because of the depiction of these acts (not to mention the occasional nudity), as well as sacrileges performed by nuns and monks. There are some stop-motion animation sequences (pre-Harryhousen, no less) that are very good, especially for the time. This is a difficult movie to describe. It really is something that you'd have to see for yourself.

Monday, 3 December 2007

social drawing

To the City Function Suite last night for something called Scribble, organized by someone from the DCA and possibly to become a regular event. Poorly attended, with banal music, but a great idea: a Sunday night drawing club where you can sit down around a table with your friends and just get busy with a biro or marker pen. A few of us had an enjoyable game of Exquisite Corpse, and I'm grateful just for the chance to pick up some paper and create.

There may be a special festive NEON on the cards, more details to follow...

Sunday, 2 December 2007


To help console myself during yet another mind-numbing shift at work, I will try to think happy thoughts.

I've an idea for an artwork to exhibit in January's Generator Members' Show.

This video
is wonderful.

I would read through the Whitehouse lyrics on Dennis Cooper's blog:

You'll die, you shit
Blood pumping from your ass
You'll burn by my fuck
I ought to fucking kill you
You'll fall, you whore
As I eat from your guts
I'll fuck the wounds
Spill blood from your cunt
You filth
Young clitoris
Young cadaver

Saturday, 1 December 2007


Out last night, lots of people were asking, "so is your night on at the Reading Rooms tonight?", to which the answer would be an emphatic NO. Another club night, whose name is confusingly similar to NEON, started last year. Which is bad enough, but these young scenesters proudly bill themselves as belonging to that sorry fad 'nu-rave'. I had planned a blog post attacking that atrocity of a genre, but thought better of it.

Why engage with mediocrity at all? Why not instead read through some more compelling material...

This lovely article in today's paper for instance.

And on Dennis Cooper's blog, highly recommended reading at anytime anyway, this definitive essay by sypha_69 on the noise band Whitehouse.