Saturday, 31 August 2013

Ben 'Jack Your Body' Robinson @ PROOF 30.08.13 playlist

To Dundee's Hannah Maclure Centre last night for PROOF, an exhibition of forensics-inspired work by the artist Beatrice Haines that evolved into a stop on the Crawl Inclusive tour. I played a mammoth 4 hours' worth of records, and here they all are. Clicking on the links will take you to the associated Discogs page for each release:

M.B. ‎– Neuro Habitat (Urashima) 
Anthony Child ‎– The Space Between People And Things (Part 1) (NNA Tapes)
Carter Tutti Void - V 1 (Mute)
Silent Signals – Waiting For Reaction (Das Drehmoment) ‎
Hieroglyphic Being - Rhythmes Circadiens (audioMER.)
Baris K – 200 (Nation)
Neon - Voices (Strut)
Cut Hands - Eat Them Like Bread (Downwards)
Chris & Cosey -  Fantastique (Carl Craig Mix) (T&B Vinyl) 
D'Marc Cantu ‎– Black Tears (Crème Organization)
Parris Mitchell - Follow Me Ghetto (Acid) (Dance Mania)
G Strings ‎– The Land Of Dreams (Seventh Sign Recordings)
M+M ‎– M+M Theme (Let's Pet Puppies) 
Les Aeroplanes -  Ils Disent Que L' Orient Est Rouge (Mathematics Recordings) 
Chip E. - Time To Jack (House Mix) (House Records) 
Sleezy D - Trust (Rush Hour Recordings)
Mutant Beat Dance ‎– New News Is Old News (Rong Music)
Marcus Mixx -  Without Makeup (Ron Hardy Mix) (Let's Pet Puppies) 
Helena Hauff ‎– Actio Reactio (Werk Discs) 
Hardheads - Only The Strong Survive (FFRR)
Farley Keith Williams – J.M.F. Groove (Rush Hour Recordings)
AFX -  PWSteal.Ldpinch.D (Rephlex)
Phuture – Rise From Your Grave (Music Man Records) 
Neville Watson – One Four Green (World Unknown)
Riz Ortolani Il Corpo Di Linda (Disco Promozionale)
Gladio - Fighting In The North (Mighty Robot Recordings)
Legowelt - A Cold Winters Day (Clone Jack For Daze Series)
101 - Rock To The Beat (Speed) 
Marina Rosenfeld - Hard Love (Room40)
The Parking Attendant - I've Heard It All Before (JTC Remix) (Crème Organization)
Mark Imperial & Co. - She Ain't Nuthin' But A Hoe (Dissin' All Hoes 46th Street Dub) (House Nation Records)
Stefan Blomeier - Dashing Through Tunnels (Lux Rec)

Friday, 30 August 2013

PROOF @ Hannah Maclure Centre, Dundee

The blood is on the wall at the Hannah Maclure Centre. There’s also finger print powder, animated objects, and an installation that must be seen (truly on another wavelength), along with films and an invisible drawing. This residency has has been quite an inspiration for all involved, and if you want to see ‘Proof’ catch the exhibition while it is on as part of Print Festival Scotland. There is a reception Friday August 30 from 7-10:30 and Crawl Inclusive will be wending its way there as well. The opening hours continue Saturday and Sunday 10-5.

The residency was conceived by HMC and Yuck ‘n Yum and was supported by the School of Science, Engineering and Technology. Beatrice Haines worked alongside Dr. Kevin Farrugia  exploring his groundbreaking forensic research. Haines was able to use these visualisation techniques in Abertay’s forensic lab and in the DCA Print Studio to make her new work.

The exploration of traces left behind are a large part of Haines’ process. The catalyst for this was the death of her grandmother, the memory of whom she tried to hold on to by recording objects and traces; scuffs on the carpet, tea stains, strands of hair left in her comb. In most cases these once-cherished possessions are discarded, their history we can only guess at or imagine. Like the ex-possessions found in charity shops, objects left behind at crime scenes have been forgotten and rejected. In forensics, these possessions are treated with care and a sterile objectivity, while being poked, prodded, gassed, swabbed, and sprayed. The emotional weight of the object fades as the necessary scientific processes prevail. ‘Proof’ explores the loss of an object’s emotional value as it undergoes scientific treatment, extinction or demotion from home to scrap yard.

Creative Dundee feature

Print Festival Scotland on BBC Radio Scotland

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Analogue Bubblebath

In association with GENERATORprinthouse:

Analogue Bubblebath

With a focus on the visual arts, what is the current and potential role of contemporary analogue and digital media?

With regard to the visual arts, I can only respond by referring to my own individual taste. This response is therefore 100% subjective, and a mere stab at an answer proper. I’m always loathe to place too much emphasis on media. In my elevated highbrow ivory tower, I’d like to think that the idea is paramount and any materials are mere byproduct. That said, the sheer visceral impact of any artwork has always mattered to me, so maybe that’s as good a place as any to start... yeah?  

The response to new media that I’ve found the most compelling in recent years has been the work of Ryan Trecartin, the young American artist whose work is performance based, heavily scripted and was initially screened on his YouTube channel. He’s an interesting example of what happens to artists in the contemporary art market. When Trecartin first emerged, all his material was broadcast on YouTube, its aesthetic completely anarchic and its audience was the untold number of outsiders sat there rapt, all glued to their laptops. I exaggerate, but yeah. As he’s swept up by collectors, more ‘analogue’ artworks such as sculptures are sold. As his genius becomes evident to the artworld, so renowned institutions start to put on big thematic shows, with installation playing an increased role.

So now? I suppose he’s an example of someone whose work has had to adapt to its audience. He’s a genius who, like all of us, has to pay the rent. As a standard stereotype hipster, I must say I prefer the early stuff.

Someone  else working in digital media whose work I’m a fan of, someone much closer to home, is the young Scottish artist Rachel Maclean. She makes for an interesting point of comparison with Trecartin as both have very hyper dayglo aesthetics, both have a strong emphasis on performance, and to me they both respond to contemporary culture by chewing it up and spitting it back out. She’s another genius with a YouTube channel whose work has developed into immersive installations. What I find compelling is exactly that idea of immersion. 

As a teenage art student I had a fondness for Abstract Expressionism, and my fantasy was always to step into those enormous paintings and actually be inside the artwork. Artists now have the tools at their disposal to make our total immersion possible. Maybe with the transition from analogue to digital, that fantasy could become a reality?

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Vitalic - Poney Part 1

Your correspondent and friends dancing to Poney Part 1 as played by renowned Dutch DJ I-f at Robot Disco Terror, Glasgow Brunswick Cellars, 2006

Pascal Arbez better known by his stage name Vitalic (born in 1976) is an electronic music artist. He was born in France.

His first singles were released in 1996 and 1997, but were confined to the underground electronic music scene. However, he became good friends with Michel Amato, also known as The Hacker, whom he met in the Rex, the "techno temple" of Laurent Garnier. The Hacker suggested he should send his new tracks to DJ Hell, head of Gigolo records in Munich. Pascal did so, and International DeeJay Gigolo Records released the well known Poney EP in 2001, which was a huge success shortly after its release.

This EP oozes sheer quality, one of the best Electro EP's I have ever heard. You all know La Rock the electro/techno fused monster, almost every DJ is playing it even some trance DJ's have been known to play it.

You prefer cocaine is on the more relaxed atmosphereic sounding electro tip, sounds alot like The Hacker - Fadin' Away (Dima Remix)

Will never part with this record till I die.  

If you only buy one dance record this year, buy this – twice – because you’ll wear out the first copy within days from playing it so much. It’s that good. Vitalic is unassuming Dijon producer and Citizen Records chief Pascal Arbez and the ‘Poney EP’, his worldwide club-conquering debut for DJ Hell’s Gigolo label, boasts four hugely differing tracks of ecstatic champagne techno, at least two of which, ‘Poney 1’ and ‘Poney 2’, are inspired by those miserable ponies you see giving beaming children rides at funfairs.

Add ‘You Prefer Cocaine’’s disco Bon Jovi hedonism and the scuzzy euphoria of ‘La Rock O1’ and you have, hands down, one of the most striking – and whistlable – singles in years.
Piers Martin

whenever i listen to sylvester’s “(you make me feel) mighty real,” i think, “this is music to snort coke to.” or, more craftfully, “mighty real” played as bianca j. got off one white horse and onto another in studio 54. the production is oleaginous and there’s an amphetamine-kick in its acceleration, but the intensity of sylvester’s vocal, an almost gospel-like fervor, suggests bright lights and packed dancefloors.

listening to vitalic’s poney ep, and “poney part 1″ in particular, makes for a similar yet obverse experience. gone are the strobes and dancing girls, replaced instead by dark alleys and desperate men (and women). the production is not so far removed from sylvester: there’s a similar thickness, but the darker elements of the former are amplified and the kick drum seems uncannily persistent. synthesizers scream and vocals processed from a bad dream call out to the listener — if one chooses to accept it at face value, it’s music to mainline heroin to.

or maybe it’s the music that plays when miss kittin and her famous friends have sex every night in the back of her limousine, which is to say that, beneath the surface, it might just mean nothing at all. i can make one link between “mighty real” and “poney” with no vacillation whatsoever: no matter one’s drug of choice, and i’ve tried this at home, both still sound fantastic. and you can dance to them too.

With the possible exception of a certain French house duo whose name we won't bring up quite just yet, it's difficult to think of another dance act whose career ascent has been as storybook as Pascal Arbez's. After toiling for years in relative obscurity under the aliases Dima (as good as the name suggests) and Hustler Pornstar (uh, ditto), the Frenchman didn't just draw blood with Vitalic's 2001 Poney EP, he lopped a few arteries. Seriously, it's hard to overstate the response to Poney; of its four tracks, three became high-tide dancefloor staples. Along with the dark, yawning electro of "Poney Part 1" and "Poney Part 2", there was the centerpiece "La Rock 01", still the reigning champion of songs that sound like paper shredders orgying in a wind tunnel.

While everyone from 2 Many DJs to Aphex Twin to Sven Väth was busy corking their sets with one (or two, or three...) tracks from Poney, Arbez was studiously lifting a few PR moves from his contemporaries, first by playing up his anonymity and later by concocting an elaborate backstory that involved a Ukrainian upbringing, animal fur trading, male prostitution, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Despite being offered enough shows to keep him busy until the fall of the Wailing Wall, Arbez chose his live engagements carefully. He applied a similar selectivity to his output, issuing only a few 12"'s and a handful of choice remixes over the next few years.
Mark Pytlik

Friday, 23 August 2013


Ulrich Seidl (born 24 November 1952 in Vienna) is an Austrian film director, writer and producer.

Models (1997) examines the hopes, fantasies, and finally the realities of young models. Although supermodels often figure as the heroines or at least vaunted objects of desire in our society, Seidl fixes on the rather banal everyday tics and predicaments from which the women suffer: cellulite, breast problems, the inability to be alone and the catty competition among them. With his unique blend of documentation and stylisation, Models portrays the models’ daily life and the monotonous application of make-up and hair gel that commodifies the body. It is a world of glamour whose shine and lustre Seidl rubs away.
Mattias Frey 

I saw this film at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival. Models is a thoroughly unpleasant tale, shot in a documentary style, about coked-up and unhappy models in Vienna. The excruciatingly long scenes alternated between existential longings for love and meaning, whining about physical imperfections, real or imagined, and hedonistic pursuits. It made its points in the first ten minutes, then kept making them over and over and over for the next hundred and ten. Maybe that was the point.
James McNally

The statuesque women of Models (1999) only exacerbate the gap between pretty façade and rotten interior, but what distinguishes it from every other romp through the image industry (drugs, eating disorders, pathological emptiness) is the director's eye for perfect visual evocations of his subjects' feelings. Captured in the most intimate situations, Models' models don't mind the ubiquitous camera; thus rendered invisible, Seidl indulges in stylized compositions that isolate physical and gestural oddities, including a startling opening shot of a girl desperately repeating "I love you" to a mirror that blocks out and replaces her face — an appropriate metaphor, since throughout the rest of the film the camera voyeuristically hides behind mirrors or else acts as one. If any véritist deserves credit for having "written" his work, it's Seidl.  
Michael Joshua Rowin

The inertia of the characters’ actions cannot be activated by fictional devices that could give thematic richness to their behaviour. Seidl arrives at cliché by filming cliché; it is as though the subject of modelling fascinates him, but the subjects themselves are without much interest, and the passive gaze that Seidl adopts in all his work is too readily matched by the passive inexpressivity of his subjects. Another filmmaker might have abandoned this project of bored, struggling models and found others more narratively interesting: perhaps models going in for a beauty contest, models that have recently been offered contracts to do photo-shoots around the world. But such an approach would somehow have violated Seidl’s claustrophobic aesthetic. How to hold to one’s aesthetic of inertia – which runs through the director’s work – without arriving at a certain inertness of thematic inquiry?
Tony McKibbin

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Yuck 'n Yum AGK TEASER 4

Here is what our 2011 winners, Lachlann Rattray and Joe Howe had to say about the AGK :

Lachlann: We had a lot of fun making our submission for the AGK, and the fun was doubled when we won! It brought us closer together during the production however our friendship soon fell apart when we had to make a decision about the winnings - I wanted to go to Alton towers but Joe wanted to invest the money back into our AGK business and improve our chances of producing future winning videos. I have no idea what he actually spent it on.

Joe: The clincher in the process was getting to dress up like Paul Simon. I'd been waiting some years to have a decent excuse to do this and I'm very happy that Yuck N Yum provided me with an opportunity. It really made all the intensive MIDI wrangling involved in making the music for this worthwhile! I practiced my bass, conga and saxophone solos for a long time before the final shoot and I think this is what gave us the winning edge on the night.

JOE'S TOP TIP: Encourage rolling about on the floor to your karaoke video. This will increase enjoyment and add an extra frisson of excitement to the proceedings.

LACHLANN'S TOP TIP : When adding in the lyrics be sure to show them on screen with enough time for the singer to read them and sing them. However having the lyrics perfectly match the song did improve my enjoyment of watching people struggle to sing along.

Lachlann is currently working on a collection of works entitled "Future living rooms of my future". All of Lachlann's drawings can be found here: Lachlann was also the lead developer on "The Gallery of Lost Art" and interactive exhibition commissioned by the Tate which won multiple awards, including an Interactive Art Award and last year's SXSW.

Joe is just about to hand in his thesis project for his Masters in Sound for the Moving Image, at Glasgow School of Art. As Ben Butler & Mousepad, he's due to release a new record on Paris's Sound Pellegrino label later this year. Joe's next projects include working on music and sound design for an second Opera, alongside director Santiago Blaum, in Berlin and a live performance with artists Annabel Frearson and Julia Scott at this year's Art Licks Festival in London. More at: 

AGK 2013 TEASER 4 from yucknyum on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Profondo Rosso

Your correspondent outside Profondo Rosso, 2008

Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) is the store owned by the father of Italian Horror Cinema, Dario Argento.

In this little store located in the Prati neighborhood you will find a large collection of any horror and scary items from limited DVD editions, action figures, Halloween and carnival costumes and tools, many objects, cards and books…all of them with a common theme. You will definitely breathe in a dark and scary atmosphere.

Sometimes special events are held such as the “Halloween night” where you have the opportunity to personally meet the famous director.

In the basement level there is also a museum dedicated to director most famous movies, but I did not enter so I really don’t have any idea of how the museum is (€ 3 ticket).
Ivan Marra 

Dario Argento might be famed for his atmospheric, blood-ridden horrors flicks, yet not many realise that he’s also the owner of Profondo Rosso – a small specialist store located in Prati, Rome.

The shop takes its name from Argento’s 1975 film (English translation 'Deep Red') and is packed full of grisly memorabilia: rubber masks, VHS tapes, movie posters, contorted living dolls. Its real treasure, however, lies in the basement, which recreates some of the most memorable scenes from Argento’s classics, including Phenomena, Opera and Deep Red.

There are crushed skulls, children’s toys and a woman tied to a stone awaiting a sacrifice. Exposed under red light and hidden under a thick layer of dust is the horrific child from Phenomena, a disheveled female corpse from Demons, and even the copy of Peter Breugel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, which once haunted Asia Argento in The Stendhal Syndrome.

A cross between a museum and ghoulish amusement park, it’s a must-see for any Argento fan – even if the dust and soundtrack of growling demons in the background are sometimes more questionable than they are scary.
Kasia Bobula

The store itself is nothing really special. There are lots of DVDs of Argento's films as well as many cool (and pricey) movie geek books on Italian horror films (with a small shelf of books in English). There are a handful of Argento movie posters and some badly screenprinted t-shirts (priced at 30 Euros each, yikes)! Most of the store is a disappointment -- lots of U.S. imported pre-packaged Walmart style Halloween costumes (so bizarre and super expensive). As movie geeks, the shop was the low point.

But as a movie fan, the horror museum in the basement is a must-do for 3 Euros. It's not a great museum by any means but if you are a fan of Argento's films, you have to go, if only for the museum's unintentionally hilarious narration tape (make sure you ask them to play it in English). "Please, do not to be scared of those things that make the noise in dark." HA HA, it is the best. We walked through the museum twice just so we could hear it again. The small museum has several rooms set up with original props from some of Argento's most popular movies ('Dracula,' 'Opera,' 'Deep Red' and more). The props are pretty freaking cool even if you have never seen any of the movies.
Louisa M.

The fun of visiting Profondo Rosso starts with the cordial and friendly attitude of Cozzi. Horror connoisseurs may recall that Cozzi was the director behind a few memorable Italian fantasy flicks such as Starcrash and Contamination. I enjoyed talking to Cozzi on a variety of topics regarding Italian horror cinema, from the upcoming remakes of Argento’s Suspiria and Deep Red, to the work of legendary Italian editor Franco Fraticelli. As well, I found very enlightening his explanation of the problems that surround the modern Italian cinema industry.

The main attraction of Profondo Rosso is the collection of props used on some of the movies directed or produced by Argento. Located in the basement of Profondo Rosso, the museum truly feels like an old dungeon. I have to confess that I was a bit apprehensive of going down the steps into that dark and sinister space. However, the creepy feelings invoked by this gloomy space are a consequence of the brilliant design of the museum. Indeed, it is only natural to expect that a horror museum should summon such gloomy feelings on those brave enough to enter.

The museum itself is designed as a long corridor with jail cells on both walls. Each of these cells contains a frightful sight from an Argento movie. Among these we find creatures from Demons and Demons 2, the little evil monster from Phenomena, the hanged woman from Suspiria, the killer from Opera, a decomposed corpse from Two Evil Eyes, a victim from The Church, and a reproduction of the bizarre painting from Deep Red. A recorded voice (in English) leads the visitor through the museum.

On the ground level, the Profondo Rosso store offers a variety of masks, shirts, costumes, DVDs, CDs, toys, and books. Most probably, the selection of toys and masks will not surprise the US fans that have had the opportunity to attend horror shows such as Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors or the Chiller Theatre Expo.
Marco Lanzagorta

Monday, 19 August 2013


Bought a few items:

Alex de Jonge - Nightmare Culture: Lautreamont and "Les Chants de Maldoror" (Martin Secker & Warburg), £18.00

Cut Hands - Madwoman 12" (Downwards), £8.00 

Helena Hauff ‎– Actio Reactio 12" (Werk Discs), £5.99

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Pink Elephants on Parade

Pink Elephants on Parade is the name of a segment, and the song played therein, from the Disney animated feature film Dumbo in which Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse, after accidentally becoming intoxicated (after drinking water spiked with Champagne), see pink elephants sing, dance, and play marching band instruments during a hallucination sequence.

The song was written by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington and sung by The Sportsmen. The segment was directed by Norman Ferguson, laid out by Ken O'Connor and animated by Hicks Lokey, Frank Thomas and Howard Swift. 

Disney has always been controversial. First of all, parents drop like flies and ‘good’ characters are sent to their graves. Then there’s a whole issue of allegations of creepy hidden meanings, racist content and scenes that are deemed too disturbing for kiddies. Disney has always had a dark side. 

Dumbo (1941) is a pretty scary movie straight from the start, channelling the whole ‘creepy carnival’ vibe. But the freakiest moment comes when Dumbo and his mouse pal Timothy drink too much booze unknowingly (who would have thought it, drink spiking in Disney), and end up hallucinating about petrifying pink elephants. 

So lately I've been skimming thru all my old VHS tapes and found dumbo... so some scenes were pretty wierd...

this one has an alcohol reference: it was sort of like how it would be like to be drunk...

there was another but I couldn't find the link... it was the beginning where black workers were insulting themselves saying stuff like they cant read, so all they do is work. Maybe that was encouraging kids to study hard but wasn't that a bit too racist? anyway the whole movie was filled with stereotypes like the crows who acted like blacks... well the point of this tread is "was the pink elephants on parade scary?" maybe you can ask you're kids or younger siblings to watch this and to see their reaction. My bro said it was disturbing...

P.S. tell me if this post was bad... I can edit it to suit the topic better...

Pink Elephants arrives as Dumbo's at his lowest ebb. He's useless as a circus performer. His mum's been labelled insane and locked up. His only friend in the world is the elephant's worst nightmare: a mouse called Timothy, who prescribes a drink of water, without realising it's been spiked with champagne.

Dumbo watches all this in a boozy stupor, but it makes me twitchy. I feel sick, even before the bossanova stomp of the final section rattles into a cacophony and the whole dream tumbles in on itself.

This isn't a modern, right-on Disney movie. Dumbo wakes up in a tree with a hangover. Timothy wonders how they got up there and then realises – it was the ears! Dumbo can fly! But it's not Dumbo's self-belief that leads him to salvation. It's not pluck, nor guts, nor persistence. It's booze that unlocks his gift.

That's a terrible, adult message. As good an example of Disney's darkness as any. We talk now about mainstream animations pleasing parents and kids. About the ability of the best cartoons to speak in two languages simultaneously. That's presumed to mean that an adult joke can be slipped into a children's movie. But Pink Elephants does the same thing with fear. It's a hostile and alienating piece of film-making. Fascinating and terrifying to kids and grown-ups alike. I can't believe it exists. But I'm so glad it does.
Henry Barnes

From Hal Wilner’s 1988 tribute Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films comes this incredible version of “Baby Elephants on Parade” from Dumbo performed by none other than the amazing Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Some enterprising person decided to sync the Sun Ra version up to the scene in the film. It’s highly enjoyable.
Richard Metzger 

Friday, 16 August 2013

DJCAD MFA profiles

A user's guide to the 2013 crop of MFA students, each with a text commissioned from your correspondent:

Samantha Jack

Samantha Jack conducts a chorus of diverse voices, assembling together the disenfranchised and allowing each of them the chance to speak. Her blankets and umbrellas connote the ideal of shelter, while pamphlets and zines all articulate a struggle against the socioeconomic storm. Incorporating participatory residencies and sculptural interventions, Jack’s project is a tapestry of activism where meanings reside in the artist’s actions and in the changes these acts work to achieve. 

David Fyans

Inside Stone is an installation whose transfigured components become much more than the sum of their individual parts. The quadrophonic audio allows for the contemplation of time stretched out over the course of aeons, and as the sound makes its way around the central pillar with the light illuminating some 400 sheets of laser cut acrylic, the resultant experience will communicate knowledge received from another place.

Yumi Choi

Wasted Beauty (001), 2013

Lookism is an actual thing, a standard for physical attractiveness that’s an inescapable fact of cultural discourse. Yumi Choi investigates this prejudice by representing various objects, forms and rituals in ways that confound our expectations of the beautiful. Women pile on the make up only to appear ridiculous, as objects salvaged from the rubbish bin take on the essence of the sublime.  Surfaces deceive and looks are revealed to be only that, just looks.

Krissana Hatta-Atcharakun

Local rites and rituals are seen from an outsider’s perspective in the artwork of Krissana Hatta-Atcharakun. The Gothic and Victorian motifs of Dundee’s church windows are recreated in card, paper and printed patterns. Through the intricate placement of colour, light and shade, the cathedrals’ evocation of the sacred is simulated and maybe called into question.

Kathryn Briggs

A self portrait painted in watercolours and a story told through a multitude of writers, the work of Kathryn Briggs is a monumental journey of self-examination. Thoughts and feelings are juxtaposed  with extracts from classic authors and female friends’ correspondence, creating a sequential artwork that merges fiction and everyday life.
Wasted Beauty (001), 2013
Wasted Beauty (001), 2013

Nicole Bennett

The residue of forgotten memories clings to the objects in Nicole Bennett’s installation. Ethereal and delicate, the trappings of domestic interiors are reimagined as the source of dream material. Through this ontological approach to belongings, our home environments are transformed into playgrounds for our collective imagination.

Susanne Lund Pangrazio

The perception of reality, the intimate examination of family memories and an interest in parallel universes are all source material for Pangrazio’s large scale figurative paintings and artist’s books. With careful attention to formal concerns and to time-consuming craft, her work seeks to understand and process the world around us.

Anna Orton

Ortonandon is a three-way sisterly tag-team toppling any art-world phallocracy that dares to stand in its way. Anna Orton uses her MFA show to document Ortonandon’s triumph, using painting and sculpture as elements in an immersive installation. Her bulbous golden pawn shop symbols and elaborate floor-bound board games mark out a map of dizzying abandon as the Ortons look over a singular universe of their own imagining.

Deirdre Robertson

Dundee’s Law Tunnel is the focus of both Deirdre Robertson’s MFA installation and her associated programme of events. This exploration of Scottish subterranea touches on local history, town planning and the legacy of “one of Dundee's greatest sons” Sir Patrick Geddes. It tells the story of a local landmark and its resonance in diverse fields, with the eventual aim of getting the tunnel reopened and rediscovered.
Wasted Beauty (001), 2013

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Jeffrey Vallance - Blinky the Friendly Hen

Blinky's Coffin (detail), 1989, coffin with plastic chicken replica and paper towel

Jeffrey Karl Reese Vallance (born 25 January 1955 in Redondo Beach, California) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Best known for projects that blur the lines between object-making, installation, performance, curation and anthropological study, Vallance’s work has long challenged critics to define the artist’s unique multidisciplinary cross-pollination.

in 1983, Vallance appeared on NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman to discuss what was then his best-known project, Blinky the Friendly Hen, in which he purchased a frozen chicken from a grocery store and buried it at a Los Angeles pet cemetery.

You can describe the prank in one sentence. On 27 April 1978, Jeffrey Vallance persuaded a Los Angeles pet cemetery to bury a supermarket frozen chicken in a satin-lined coffin, claiming it was his pet, Blinky. Not a bad joke after all, but for Jeffrey Vallance that became a cornerstone for its carrier and general popularity. Yes, indeed, Vallance is probably still most famous for “Blinky the Friendly Hen,” a 1978 conceptual art-school prank in which the artist purchased a Foster Farms fryer from Ralphs and gave it a proper funeral and burial at the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery in Calabasas. This elegant recontextualization spawned a torrent of work - a highly sought-after artists’ book, innumerable drawings, appearances on David Letterman, further performances (the exhumation and autopsy of Blinky’s remains), a video collaboration with the Yonemoto brothers, etc. - that remains unabated to this day. Several of the reliquaries house bone fragments and other artifacts from the Blinky saga, and one of the seminal precursors of this work was the “Shroud of Blinky” - the bloodstained absorbent paper toweling from the original supermarket packaging that sold to a collector for $1,000.
Michael Pekker

Jeffrey Vallance on Blinky, The Friendly Hen from MOCA on Vimeo.


Several people have told me that they stopped eating chicken. Which makes sense because I was a vegetarian when I performed the piece 30 years ago. I didn't eat meat for health reasons and because I was against the inhumane treatment of animals. Similar to the Unknown Soldier, Blinky represents all chickens that have been slaughtered for the dinner table.


 There was a prankishness about it, but I never called it a prank. It was a conceptual art piece. But its meaning has changed over the years, at least for me. After the exhumation I began to see parallels in martyr stories in terms of the stages of torture, death, burial, exhumation, becoming a relic and finally a myth. And since then I've come to understand how such stories exist in our subconscious, and how every culture finds its own images to tell what is essentially the same story. Like the scriptures say, "The word of God is written on our hearts."


They were mad at me for a long time because people would show up and do all these bizarre things, like rituals, noisy spontaneous performances or eating KFC and leaving the leftovers behind. People also leave strange offerings on the grave, like votive items or fetish objects. And for some reason they thought I was behind all of it, which I wasn't. But then my mother found an article about the cemetery and the interviewer asked about Blinky, and the owner basically told the story but then added their own embellishments. . . . So they've added their own spin to it, which I like. I include all these embellishments in the Blinky lore.


For the 40th anniversary celebration, I'm thinking of constructing a colossal marble mausoleum for Blinky in Athens or possibly an underground sepulcher in Paris -- that is, if I don't get the bird flu.

Jeffrey Vallance is many things. He is a prankster. He is someone examining cultural anthropology in relation what lies deep within the kitsch and symbolism of everything from ties and gum to cultural icons and mythologies. He is a writer looking seriously into collisions and resonances between the high and low. He is also an artist. His wide range of artistic work has been guided simply by deep intellectual curiosity and a playful sense of aesthetics and semiotics.

Blinky has become an icon. The friendly hen began as a mere video of a prank that played with the notion of pet cemeteries, but it also touched on our sense of death and mortality... as well as processed foods and commerce. It has inspired many artists and has had quite a life of its own. This is the world and work of Jeffrey Vallance. He can see a piece of gum that looks a bit like Richard Nixon and spin a deep semiotic examination of archetype, form and the cult of personality. He can take his experiences as a teen in the sometimes maligned San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles and develop an in depth understanding of mythology. He sent neckties, as a prank, to the leaders of many nations, asking for an exchange, and we laughed - but he had also, again, created a serious exploration of mythology, symbolism and cultural exchange. He works in many mediums, but always with a blend of play and serious examination. As well as showing in many museums, he has been conferred with the royal title of Honorary Noble by the Tongan National Center and has curated a show at the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas.
Jeremy Hight

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Fat Girl

À ma sœur ! is a 2001 French film directed by Catherine Breillat and starring Roxane Mesquida. It was released in some English speaking countries under the alternative titles For My Sister or Fat Girl.

What was the inspiration for “Fat Girl”?

There were two first impressions. One was of a horrible murder that I read about in the paper 20 years ago. During the summer, there was a family that was killed and a little girl left in the woods. The paper said that this little girl had to have sex with the murderer in order to keep her life. It was a very hypocritical way for the paper to tell this story, I thought. Then, I saw a little girl in a swimming pool and she did the exact same thing that I shot. I could not invent something like that. She was a fat girl but very sensual and voluptuous. There was an innocence in her sexuality. She went back and forth in the pool between her two “lovers” and when she got out of the pool, then I realized that she was a child. She was 11-12 and she had such revolt and intelligence in her eyes. I thought that I would put this girl in a movie.

The story is like a sitcom, in fact. A sitcom is what we believe to be similar to real life, but we lie to ourselves to forget things. I wanted to make a sitcom, but a very particular kind of sitcom. It is very funny but it is also very sad when you remember how you were when you were in this situation. “Romance” had some funny moments, like the part when she is in the red dress. I always put very funny situations in my movies but at the end, the audience forgets that there were funny moments! I like that.

At the NY Film Festival's Q&A with Breillat, she expressly forbid seeing "Fat Girl" (as she prefers to call it) as a morality play. She eluded any attempts to draw her into conclusions about her film, insisting that she is not a moralist.

What is clear from the questions she asks, however, is that she views sex with a certain contempt, especially as regards the male role in the act. The men that are in the film are either insensitive, duplicitous or murderous. Breillat's intent is to show how adrift any adolescent girl is when it comes to sexuality and to somehow convey that to an adult audience. She counseled young Anais during filming by saying, "We are making a film that I don't even think you can see when it is done, but it is not for you. It is supposed to scare adults."

a true portrait of some incredibly immature people you can't possibly come to care one bit about, who flop from one impulse or random surface emotion to another, lie to and absent-mindedly manipulate each other, with loads of prurient underage sex that adds nothing to the story, and a supremely lazy ending that i wish like hell i could get out of my memory. if you want to believe the above reviewers who say it's all poignant and intimate and all that, well go right ahead and see it. but when you hate the vicious ending and can't get it out of your head ever and it gives you the creeps every time you think of it, well, i did try to warn you. i've seen a couple of her films (this will be the last ever), and she seems to take a very schizophrenic delight in openly wallowing in the permissive/sordid lives of her characters, only to kill them out of nowhere, ultimately an incredibly dull moralizing prudishness masked as curiosity. maybe this smelled like a big windup to some big revelation to her, but to me it just stunk.

Breillat succeeds in presenting a complex relationship between the two sisters, a love/hate relationship at an age when parents are naturally distanced.  While Elena's taunts are cutting, her character nonetheless remains sympathetic as she chooses to ignore Fernando's motives in light of her own insecurities.  Anais sullenly hides behind her bulk, but her observations, when voiced, are surprisingly mature.  In a well shot scene where the two sisters compare themselves gazing into a mirror, Elena's beautiful features become sharply angular, while a softness shows a hidden beauty in Anais.

As for the controversial ending, the filmmaker both tips off her audience that something dreadful is coming, building suspense with menacing trucks on a rain-slicked highway, and totally surprises when the moment arrives.  Poltergeists and other supernatural disturbances have often been linked to the turbulent emotions of an adolescent.  In "Fat Girl," Anais becomes the "Carrie" of a new generation.
Laura Clifford

Friday, 9 August 2013

Cut Hands & Stefan Blomeier @ Summerhall 08.08.13 - pictures

To Edinburgh's Summerhall last night for some of contemporary music's most essential trance-inducing fare: the mighty Cut Hands and the soi disant synth and rhythm wizard Stefan Blomeier. I took a few photos and here they are:

The audience expects

Claire and Blomeier get in the zone

The name of the dynamic audio visual performance is Cut Hands

William Bennett with a percussive and hypnotic combination of polyrhythms