Sunday, 31 October 2010

Halloween horror trailers

In the spirit of Halloween I bring you a list of my top ten favourite horror films, at least for the next few minutes:

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Dada Poem (with gracious thanks to Louise Robinson)

My friend Stuart Fallon emailed me a list of 44 words to include in a piece of writing. I made a poem using all the words in order, inspired by my mum who had done a similar "Da Da Dream" poem using a list of crossword solutions. Anyway, this is my effort:

A pathos stalks my Dada dream
Its legacy a sorry scream
Chance as praxis, random routine
An interstice with stories to glean
Revenant cadaver, a hollow toy
A plaintive song for a long-dead boy
Whose delicate wraith haunts his room
Gossamer flowers in dismal bloom
Signifier of loss, fragile tears
Interpellate my thoughts and fears
My speech a semiotic mess
A simulacra, paper dress
Miscegenation of my thought
To fetishize what seemed so fraught
No treatments chemical or holistic
Could ravel twine for our dear mystic
Our foundling prophet, our lost savant
Paradigm of hope, desire détente
The autonomous king of funereal song
His morbid words strike deep and long
With arbitrary meter and clumsy rhyme
His quixotic journey in romantic time
Mutable meanings, all liquid senses
Appellative chaos, pure pretences
A nexus of low and hateful screech
Sanctimonious with hypocrite’s speech
A feral child to loftily preach
His maxim he’ll obdurately teach
Affinity to purity he feels
With pithy phrasing and splendid ideals
Utopia of abject shrines thus built
Transcendental filth in guilt
Dystopia mirroring his awkward phrasing
Stasis in his subject’s praising
Juxtapose a picture of our boy king
Phantasmagoria of shiny things
Dense child here pauses, so thick and obtuse
Pedagogy now sadly no use
His manners just gauche and ever so crude
Modus Operandi of coarsening mood
Coalesce our tale and lighten our tone
With a well chosen aphorism carved into stone
And end on a note of bathos
Or if not that, then back to pathos.

Magick photo 12.10.10

You may remember a week or so back I attended a shoot by the master photographer Ross Fraser Maclean, spuriously enough in my capacity as resident "occult expert". Still I'm unsure as to what my input actually was, but here's a glimpse of what Ross was up to that night:

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Nine Trades haircut 27.10.10

To the art school yesterday after work, where the Nine Trades project's Alan Grieve was styling me a new 'do in the Lower Foyer Gallery:

Sunday, 24 October 2010


Payday on Friday so I bought a few items:

Charlemagne Palestine - Strumming Music For Piano, Harpsichord & Strings Ensemble 3CD £12.05

Zeitkratzer - Whitehouse £12.43

Peter Sotos - Comfort and Critique $12.00

Rising Damp - The Complete TV Series + The Movie, 5DVD £6.97

Saturday, 23 October 2010

DC's: Self-Portrait Day: My Halloween Costume, Day 2 (of 2)

Michael Karo

Today is the second day of Dennis Cooper's blog's annual Halloween fancy dress party. If you scroll through you'll eventually find my costume, but be sure to take a gander round the parade of freaks and ghouls along the way: LINK

Nick's Marathon Diary: The Road to Dublin

On Monday my brother Nick will be running the Dublin Marathon. He hopes to raise £1000 for the MS Society and I urge you to chip in: LINK

Friday, 22 October 2010


Robin Thomson - By the Light of the Moon
Generator Projects, Dundee

Duncan of Jordanstone graduate Robin Thomson recently returned to Dundee for a two-week gallery residency at Generator Projects, putting together an epic and immersive video and sculptural installation. This multi-screen project contemplates the very beginnings of recorded sound and is based on an 1860 ‘phonautograph’ recording to conjure up a few of the ghosts lurking hidden within this particular machine. In the first gallery we see slides of desolate urban landscapes and expanses of parkland, a disconcerting backdrop for a loudspeaker suspended from the centre of the ceiling. Suitably primed, we step into the principle display for what the artist describes as “a kind of spontaneous wiretap or short-circuiting of sequential talk”. Invoking the spirits of scientific
luminaries Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, these dusty precursors are channelled into a vivid phantasmagoria. On a big screen in the main room, Thomson’s 25-minute film By the Light of the Moon is playing. Against a backdrop of retina-scorching computer graphics and backed by a soundtrack of cut-up and reconfigured voices, an eclectic cast of characters acts out a multi-sensory carnival. A scientist wearing a rubber monster mask, American Indians, ghosts and monsters all parade through a lysergic landscape that reimagines the source’s crackly recording as a shamanistic tech-fair. Given that his present job is acting as social media maestro for the electroclash act Peaches, it comes as little shock to see that Thomson is adept at producing savvy imagery. Of interest to us is that he’s created an environment that fizzes with energy, a ghost story for our web-2.0 fireside.

Robin Thomson @ _Black_Acrylic

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Nine Trades publication launch 20.10.10

To the DCA after work for the launch of the Nine Trades publication, in which my own unwholesome visage is splashed all over the whole of one page. The book was unveiled in the Visual Research Centre with the walls filled by the cocktail waiter David Yu's video titled A Man Walks Into A Bar.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Yuck 'n Yum - The Deliberate Crumbs live 15.10.10

Dundee's most wanted The Deliberate Crumbs performed live at the launch of the Yuck 'n Yum autumn issue on Friday. Embedded is their anthemic Taxi Tae the Chipper:

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Yuck 'n Yum autumn 2010 launch 15.10.10

To the Hannah Maclure Centre on Friday night at Dundee's Abertay University. The autumn issue of Yuck 'n Yum was unveiled, and live act The Deliberate Crumbs played a blinding show:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Ben 'Jack Your Body' Robinson playlist 15.10.10

Juanita Rodgers- Teenager's Letter of Promises

Riz Ortolani - Adulteress' Punishment

Yellow Magic Orchestra - Wild Ambitions

Ennio Morricone - Come Un Madrigale

Linear Movement - Way out of Living

Led Er Est - Port Isabel

Eurythmics - Sing Sing

Adolf Stern - More... I Like It

Circuit 7 - The Force

Plaza - Dancing Shoes

Change - The End

Alan Vega - Wipeout Beat

James T. Cotton feat Ellis Monk - The Second Night Cycle

SPK - Metal Dance

Linear Movement - The Game

Yuck 'n Yum autumn 2010

Stop press: the new issue of Yuck 'n Yum is now online and available for your delectation: LINK

Friday, 15 October 2010

Eden in Progress: The Art of Sophie Lisa Beresford

Sophie Lisa Beresford, Makina-Goddess, 2008. Courtesy the artist and Workplace Gallery.

“The Sioux wore shirts decorated with symbols that they believed would defeat the whites’ bullets. To prepare for victory and to receive in a trance more messages from the Great Spirit, men and women danced in circles… [Patti Smith] associated rock music with the ecstatic religious Circle Dance of the Shakers, the Whirling Dervishes of Morocco, and the Ghost Dance of the Native Americans.”
Dan Graham, Rock My Religion 1984

A few years after Graham wrote these words about the religious impulses working within rock performance, rave culture saw a tearing up of the contract between musician and audience. No longer a passive spectator, the dancer duly broke free and became the star. Originally shown as part of her 2008 Sunderland University degree show, the video Pizza Shop Dance shows Sophie Lisa Beresford raving up a frenzy before the fast food counter, her body dancing manically to the lurid soundtrack of Spanish Makina techno music. It’s an utterly unselfconscious, defiantly joyous act made all the more affecting by its humble setting. According to her Gateshead-based Workplace Gallery, this dance became a regular occurrence and I think it points to an approach consistent throughout her practice. Rather than making discreet objects for the delectation of a rarefied few, Beresford is instead truly living her art. Her work could best be described as a heady concoction of north-eastern English ‘Charva’ culture, new-age religion and DIY self-help. In a series of intimate video self-portraits musing on her artistic identity, we’re faced with a conflation of church confessional and Big Brother diary room entry as she frets over the direction her life is taking. Frank and disarming, these clips are shown on her YouTube channel or are circulated to individuals, acting as markers for her ongoing progress. Then once a project is settled upon, Beresford often seems to display an unabashedly utopian impulse. During her recent residency in the Cooper Gallery at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, a set of coloured blankets was placed on the floor where visitors could sit and make arrangements of coloured beads while helping themselves to milk and cookies. Later the artist handed out Kinder Surprise eggs to the public who were invited to eat the chocolate shells and play with the toys contained inside. Throughout this time Beresford itemised the many and varied elements of her practice in a quixotic list that included the Hindu deity Ganesha and geometric cushion covers, Sonic the Hedgehog and Swarovski crystals. Along with her citing such influences as Kandinsky abstractions and Kahlo self-portraits, the whole jumble begins to make a frazzled sort of sense, serving to form a compelling and coherent map of her universe. The artist compares the process to navigating a castle in the Super Mario Brothers computer game: “Sincerity, in the case of my playing with it, is to experience myself, if I want to… the more sincere I become, the more I become like I was when I was a child.” As she says in the poetic, emoticon-peppered notes of her studio residency: “‘Playing Blocks’ reality is a toy :) anything you want it to be.”

SLB @ YouTube: LINK

SLB @ Workplace Gallery: LINK

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Magick photoshoot, Roseangle 12.10.10

To the house of Ross Fraser McLean this evening for a magick photoshoot. See Ross is a photographer and he was taking some shots of one of the many beautiful model-type girls he knows, only this time with an occult theme. I was there in the role of 'occult expert', although I'm hardly that. I brought a few books along to provide a suitable ambiance. Lots of people were invited and they all sat in the kitchen chatting and having a smoke as Ross did his thing. Anyway I took a few photos and here they are:

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Roseangle Café Arts at The Bridge

To Roseangle Café Arts yesterday for a spot of lunch in the heart of Dundee's West End. It's situated inside Dundee West Church opposite the art college, and was launched last June with the aim of providing a focal point for the area's church goers, artists and office workers alike. There's a snug ambience in there with an assortment of artworks and crafty articles for the eye to linger over awhile. They run a rotating exhibitions programme and right now a display of Barbara Robertson lino cuts decorates the corridor, while inside there's a selection of whimsical Ai Kato etchings evoking an aura of magic realism and fantasy. Future shows are apparently set to include a children’s exhibition at Christmas.

The space is managed by Emma Kelly, a fine art graduate, and all the food is offered up with laudable provisos, being homemade, locally sourced and organic where possible. The eggs are free range, the coffee Fairtrade and all the material is recycled etcetera. Even the furniture is from the local recycling centre. I had a coffee and an Arbroath smokie (see photo) which I enjoyed with a happy temperament and a clear conscience.

Roseangle Café Arts @ like boys

Roseangle Café Arts @ Blogger

Friday, 8 October 2010

Yuck 'n Yum autumn issue launch

The latest issue of Yuck 'n Yum will launch on Friday October 15th at Dundee's Hannah Maclure Centre way up on the top floor of Abertay University. Come along and not only do you get FREE instant access to cultural capital. You can also pick up a copy of the zine and maybe get some badges too. There'll be an exclusive live performance from Scotland's most garlanded band of geriatric allotment fanciers the Deliberate Crumbs, plus international superstar DJ Ben 'Jack Your Body' Robinson will be worrying everyone's ears. Be there!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

AGK: Deliberate Crumbs - Allotments

From the AGK: The Deliberate Crumbs enchanted the audience with their heartfelt ode to the tribulations of allotment management for elderly characters. The Crumbs (as they're known to their fans) were awarded advertising space in a future issue of The Skinny to use as they see fit. This 126mm x 76mm blank canvas will be seen by an audience of 160,000 readers and is worth £325.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

AGK @ Flickr

A fantastic photoset of the recent Yuck 'n Yum AGK event has just been uploaded by Robert Bichan to Flickr: LINK

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Cullinan Richards @ Cooper Gallery 01.10.10

To the Cooper Gallery at the art school earlier this evening. I copied the press release and took a few photos, and here they all are:

The London artist duo Charlotte Cullinan and Jeanine Richards have been working together since 1998. First known as Artlab, then as Cullinan Richards they have produced and exhibited numerous works which utilise and reinvent conventional art forms including painting, performance, and sculpture. These works create an in-between-state that deals with support structures both real and conceptual, questioning the position of the art work and the formality of an exhibition.

Cullinan Richards' first Scottish solo exhibition at the Cooper Gallery: First Unaffected Unaffected Formal Effects Last will consist of paintings, sculptures and exhibition previews. The artists will employ a number of techniques to call attention to the finality of an exhibition and undermine the apparent contract of an opening.