Thursday, 31 October 2013

Yoko Ono - Grapefruit

Yoko Ono (オノ・ヨーコ, also 小野 洋子 Ono Yōko, born February 18, 1933 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese artist and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking and for her 1969–1980 marriage to John Lennon. Her experimental art was not popularly understood, and both the press and the public were for many years critical of Ono, blaming her for the breakup of the Beatles and repeatedly criticizing for her influence over Lennon.

An example of her conceptual art includes her book of instructions called Grapefruit. First published in 1964, the book includes surreal, Zen-like instructions that are to be completed in the mind of the reader, for example: "Hide and seek Piece: Hide until everybody goes home. Hide until everybody forgets about you. Hide until everybody dies." An example of heuristic art, Grapefruit was published several times, most widely distributed by Simon and Schuster in 1971, and reprinted by them again in 2000. Many of the scenarios in the book would be enacted as performance pieces throughout Ono's career and have formed the basis for her art exhibitions, including one highly publicized show at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, that was nearly closed when besieged by excited Beatles fans who broke several of the art pieces and flooded the toilets. 

The most famous publication by Yoko Ono: it's a book of her instruction pieces. Originally published in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan as a very limited edition of 500 copies. From 1970 onwards it has been published in several countries and languages. For instance in 1970 it was published in Britain by Peter Owen (hardback) and also in USA by Simon & Schuster (hardback): these books contain approximately 10 new pieces plus letters she'd written to gallery owners and a text of a lecture. In 1971 Grapefruit was published in Britain by Sphere (paperback) and in USA by TouchStone Book (paperback). These later editions contain an introduction by John Lennon and material from the original Japanese 1964 printing as well as later works of art.

One of the recent interesting international editions of Grapefruit is the bilingual edition of it by the Swedish publisher and record company Bakhåll. This edition includes a bonus CD with an exclusive interview given by Yoko Ono on December 15th 2000. The Swedish Grapefruit is basically the same Grapefruit that was published by Simon & Schuster in 2000 with Yoko Ono's playful intro "Once upon a thyme, Kind told Keen that she must tell a gory, every naught, to ease his heavy blind...", but with a different cover. The 11 minute exclusive interview CD which comes with the book: Yoko Ono explains what conceptual art is, and why skies are important to her as an artist, etc. All in all, this Swedish publication is a must for all serious YO collectors, just like the other editions of Grapefruit.

Yoko Ono: "Burn this book after you have read it." John Lennon: "This is the greatest book I have ever burned." Review from Q, (August 1996): "Early performance pieces collected into book form. Violent and whimsical, pandemonium of imaginative brilliance to shame all performance artists." Have some grapefruit! 

Somewhere between Zen poetry and a series of instructions for living, “Grapefruit” is literature as conceptual art, a sheaf of “event scores” that suggest how to turn daily life into something more engaged.

Perhaps the best-known effort in the collection is “Cloud Piece,” originally composed in 1963, which reads, in its entirety:

Imagine the clouds dripping.
Dig a hole in your garden to
put them in.

It appeared on the back cover of Lennon’s 1971 album “Imagine,” and is said to have inspired the title track.

I’ve loved “Grapefruit” from the moment I laid eyes on it, loved its sense of whimsy, its sense of play. The instructions range from the inspirational (“A dream you dream alone may be a dream, but a dream two people dream together is a reality”) to the prosaic (“Step in all the puddles in the city”) to the surreal.

In “Mirror Piece,” written in the spring of 1964, Ono urges:

Instead of obtaining a mirror,
obtain a person.
Look into him.
Use different people.
Old, young, fat, small, etc.

The work here reads like haiku, or even tweets. (There’s a reason Ono is currently a Twitter star.)
What all this has to offer is a way of thinking, of being conscious in the world. The universe is a place of wonder, Ono means to tell us, but we must remind ourselves to look. This is the key to creativity, to being present, which “Grapefruit” insists, begins with every one of us.

Or, as she writes in “Painting for the Wind”:

Cut a hole in a bag filled with seeds
of any kind and place the bag where
there is wind.

David L. Ulin

Grapefruit is a delightful book of poems and art by Yoko Ono. If you missed this collection when it was published in 1964, now is a good a time as any to take a look. I wasn't even born when this collection first became available, but Ono's book is a classic that ought to be admired and studied by my generation of poets.

Yoko Ono's poetry in Grapefruit is primarily characterized by instructions to the reader. These instructions cannot be taken literally, but instead require the reader to use his/her imagination to perform the commands given. Her technique creates a unique kind of imagery that activates the mind in new way. Ono's commands are more complex than telling the reader to, for example, jump up and down. She uses active verbs to get the reader think about something unexpected. These unexpected images are not characterized by fancy or lyrical language; they are strong, direct and simple.

Some of my favorite poems are the ones in which music is the primary subject, like "Tape Piece I" through "Tape Piece IV." Ono says, in one of the best images from Grapefruit, "Take the sound of stone aging." No one could possibly know exactly what "stone aging" sounds like, but that particular image portrays eternal history. I imagine everything that stone has experienced: all of the sunrises, sunsets, good and bad weather, human life, growth, death, and wisdom developing over time. Ono forces the reader to try to hear something that is traditionally seen. In other words, she gives the reader enough structure to guide his/her thinking while also allowing her words to be highly open to interpretation. Readers can easily impose their understanding of what something sounds like, or what a particular action feels like.

Grapefruit is perfect for people who enjoy collections that are highly stimulating to the senses but can't stand traditional flowery poetry. Ono's metaphors create the same types of imagery without delicate language. Still, her poetry sounds lyrical because of the way in which readers can interpret it. Much can be learned from Yoko Ono's approach to imagery. As a young writer, I admire her distinctive style and will look back to Grapefruit whenever I am sick of fluttering butterflies.
Talia Clay

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Since 2010 the AGK has attracted the brightest and best artists from across Scotland and beyond,  all devising, directing and editing their own karaoke videos which are then performed on the night for an array of glittering prizes. It’s the Annual General Karaoke, a night where the videos are made especially for the event.

It’s a karaoke video competition!

Past AGKs have included dancing milk cartons, fake blood, stripping, screaming , floor rolling, drinking, smashed keyboards, women with moustaches, skeletons, and of course some lovely singing too!

For more information see here

Followed by NEoN's resident DJ RHL playing tech house and breaks.

Event information

Title: Yuck ‘n Yum’s AGK
 Vision Building
Where: Greenmarket
When: Saturday 9th November
Time: 8.30pm till late

Over 18s only. No booking required. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Zeitkratzer - Metal Machine Music

Zeitkratzer is an ensemble of improvisation - and new music , which in Berlin is located. The composite formation of international soloists playing together since 1997. She has performed at numerous European festivals and has partially presented by the criticism highly regarded albums.

The ensemble whose musicians are trained not only in the new and improvised music, but also expertise in the areas of noise , pop and folk possess is noticed with unorthodox projects since its inception. This includes his adaptation of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire and Lou Reed's guitar feedback -piece Metal Machine Music. via Google Translate

zeitkratzer is sound made visible, tangible, bodily – a truly unforgettable corporal experience of live music. The physicality of sound is celebrated through extended instrumental techniques, mutual understanding and amplification of traditional instruments. A midpoint between instrumental and electronic music turns out to be more bizarre and surprising than either of these. It will make you expect more from music than you did before!

zeitkratzer is a perverse subversion of musical genres. Keiji Haino meets Karlheinz Stockhausen meets Whitehouse meets Terre Thaemlitz meets Iannis Xenakis meets Lou Reed. The joy of the intensity of sound crosses all borders and brings these musics together into zeitkratzer's plain of complex textures. A challenge to both composers and non-academic noise-makers thrown by the most talented performers, improvisers, sound artists and composers around.

Metal Machine Music? Actually, it's more "European Son" or "I Heard Her Call My Name," a frozen moment from either (or some other) plucked off the stereo and dangled in perpetuity for as long as anyone will listen. But, if you think the Metal Machine double album was unlistenable, the sound of one man and his electronic noise box, then the live performance will drive you to distraction, because there are 13 of them up there making the noise, and though Lou Reed and Mike Rathke are certainly among them -- well, like the original album, you'd scarcely know it from listening, although the accompanying DVD, raw footage and deafening sound, shows you how broadly Lou is smiling. If you love the machine, this is incredible. Violin is the dominant instrument, but every different frequency, every pulse and squeak and barely audible burble is recaptured by a different hand. German avant-gardists Zeitkratzer are the brains behind the rebuilding, and they know their metal music well enough to recast it as a primarily acoustic performance, re-creating the peaks and troughs of the original soundscape and even drawing in those fabulous sequences where you're'd almost swear...that there are actual snatches of music dancing in the distance, backwards classics and the ghosts of riffs. In fact, the only failing that immediately comes to mind is that the live performance is about 15 minutes shorter than the original album. But there are some folk who might call that a blessing.
Dave Thompson

John Doran: Where you aware of Zeitkratzer before they started work on a classical version of MMM?

Lou Reed: I'd heard of them but I wasn't deep into them but the saxophonist and gentleman who was going to transcribe it, Ulrich Kreiger, got in touch with me and asked if they could perform it and whether he could transcribe it and I said that I didn't think it could actually be done. And he said: 'Sure it can. And I'm the guy to do that'. So he said let me do five or ten minutes and let me see what you think and they did and I was... amazed by what he could do and what they could do.

Did you recognise it as being identical to the noises that you heard when you last heard the album?

LR: Oh yeah, they nailed the opening it was pretty amazing how they could do that. I had been listening to it a little bit because I had done a remastering job because it was being reissued somewhere and Bob Ludwig who had done the original record did the remastering so I was familiar with the little details.

I take it you've actually seen the physical score?

LR: His transcription I think is a work of art and should be released as such. I wanted to have it printed. It's just too good. These days there are some insanely talented young guys out there. They're... wow! Their writing chops and computers, it's amazing what these guys can do. Ulrich's a sax player!

I presume it must be quite strange looking at something that was obviously quite free when it was recorded in the form of strict musical notation?

LR: However he did it, it's amazing. They're using all analogue instruments. Pretty startling, making notations of harmonics, that's pretty amazing.

When Zeitkratzer told Reed they could play MMM live, Reed said it couldn't be done. But when he heard a few minutes of the resulting music, he not only believed it, he agreed to play with the group live at the Berlin Opera House. The resulting 2002 concert is captured here on CD, and also on DVD, along with an onstage interview with Reed.

Initially, this release reminded me of that highly entertaining Honda Power Of Dreams advert (you can see it on You Tube) in which a large choir faithfully reproduces the sounds of a car being started, driving over gravel, accelerating, cruising, and so on. Close your eyes and you wouldn't know it was a choir rather than a car. Clever, but also a bit pointless—like a dog walking in its hind legs. Why use a choir to copy the sounds of a car? Why use ten musicians to faithfully reproduce the sound of two guitars feeding back?

But gradually, the new album has grown on me. As good a copy as it is, Zeitkratzer's version sounds less metallic than Reed's original, not surprising given the very different instrumentation. The way in which Krieger's own saxophones, overblown using circular breathing techniques, reproduce the scream of feedback is mightily impressive and could have been the impetus for him to start the transcription. The high pitched whines from the strings are equally effective in evoking feedback. Each of the players contributes to filling in the all-important details; the totality effectively reproduces MMM's tension between an unchanging overall sound texture and a constantly shifting sound field.

For once, the DVD is not an irrelevant extra included to bulk out the package and hike the price, but a vital part of the experience. To see the musicians all feverishly playing at full tilt in order to produce the music of MMM is a fascinating sight. The interview with Reed (despite a rather stilted interviewer) is no filler either. It throws light on Reed's current view of MMM and its history (which may or may not be historically accurate, but is certainly entertaining to hear).

My guess is that MMM will be remembered far longer than Reed's "Perfect Day or "Walk On The Wild Side . This latest release continues the rehabilitation process.
John Eyles

Friday, 25 October 2013

Yuck 'n Yum @ Dundee Literary Festival 25.10.13 - pictures

To the University of Dundee's amusingly named Bonar Hall today to man Yuck 'n Yum's stall at the Dundee Literary Festival. Myself and Becca Clark took a few photos, and here they are:

The name of the event is the Dundee Literary Festival

Red hot YNY selfie action (L-R: your correspondent, Becca, Andrew)

Valerie Norris and Steven Myles' song-poem zine I Like Yellow Things

Assorted punters

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A quick AGK update from Yuck 'n Yum‏

Dear Yuck 'n Yummers,

We are busy making the final arrangements for the AGK which is in less than two weeks, however we need your help.

We have set up an Indiegogo campaign and we would like to ask you to support us and spread the word. If you enjoy or have enjoyed any of our free events, including the last three AGKs or our free zines we urge you to donate, anything you can afford would be brilliant - However we do have some awesome perks up for grabs, including your own mini AGK brought straight to your door.  If you can’t afford anything, don't worry, we would like to kindly ask if you would spread the link amongst your friends.

AGK fundraiser from yucknyum on Vimeo.

The money raised from the Indiegogo campaign will help cover the cost of the building and installation of a screen, PA and technical equipment hire, documentation of the event and printing of the karaoke catalogue. Plus, not to mention, the cash prize of £300 and many more prizes announced on the night.  Yuck 'n Yum operates on a shoestring budget to deliver a year long programme of events alongside distribution of our zine and would be eternally grateful for any help.

Please visit our Indiegogo campaign here

Don't forget the AGK will be held as part of NEoN Digital art festival on the 9th of November.

Venue: Vision Building
Where: Greenmarket (just off the Perth road, beside Braes Bar)
Doors open 8:30 pm

We hope to see you there!!

Love from the Yuck 'n Yum team

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Maquette for a Memorial, 2011, silk forget-me-nots with Comme des Garçons 2 Man eau de toilette

Extract from Thomas Moore - A Certain Kind of Light:

To set up a new profile I have to set up a new email address. I’m registered with the same site that Craig uses but I haven’t used it for a year, which is about as long ago as the site was originally in vogue. My interest peaked after a couple of months and I forgot my password. I’m floating anonymously somewhere now, I guess forever. If the site goes bankrupt then my page will disappear. I chose a stupid name anyway – and I used a weird picture instead of a photograph of myself. But if I did the same again, then I’d be able to talk to Craig without worrying what would happen if I passed him in the street. That feels like too much to think about at the moment.

For the first two hours of the day I fight the urge to call Luke. I want to talk to him and tell him that everything is going to be ok, even though I don’t think it is, but use that to make it convincing, because at the moment it feels like he’s thinking a lot about his dad which makes our friendship feel almost non-existent and I want to remind him that I can help him out with things like this, I mean, life.

I get the feeling that Emma isn’t helping him much either maybe because he won’t let her and I sense this is my chance to feel close to them both again.
The only way I can imagine Luke’s dad being cremated is if I make it look like something from television. The camera would be at the bottom of the coffin, so that the shot is from his feet looking up at the rest of his body. The camera would have to be slightly raised. I don’t know much about dead bodies; less than I do about living ones, at any rate, which are things that I think about a lot more. I’m sure that when someone dies their body relaxes and everything drops. They shit everywhere. I guess piss would come out too. And all the other ... stuff. Whatever else comes out, I mean. I’m sure there’s more. The body would be cleaned up before it’s put in the coffin. It would be dressed. What do they do with the face? Put make up on, I guess – subtle stuff. I think about Luke’s dad’s corpse wearing lipstick and eyeliner and stop because it looks horrible and part of me wants to laugh at just how horrible it is which makes me feel guilty.

Dead bodies are all over the internet. Someone says they’ve got a picture of the dead actor, dead, so I look but it’s nothing really; another joke – just an old photo of him with fake stitches and crosses drawn over the eyes. There are some dead actors on there, actually as corpses: one that I thought I was in love with when I was eight years old because he was in a film playing the sort of character that I thought I would like to be friends with at the time. I tried to shape all the other boys my age into someone like him at that point, with the way that I thought about them. He was probably about fifteen then. He had a certain expression on his face – like he was mad, only he wasn’t good at being angry, so he looked more crestfallen than anything else; a mixture, I guess. Craig has the same kind of look about him. Maybe that’s why he’s sorry.


It’s crazy how you can make people seem like exactly the person that you want them to be if you think about it enough. Sometimes I don’t think I think about anything else.


Someone told me that ashes are a lie. Apparently when a family gets given the urn at the end of the funeral, it’s only a little bit of the person that they think it is. I was told that they burn all the dead people together, and the ash all just gets split up, so you don’t know who you’re keeping the pieces of. If you’re lucky then I guess you might end up with a couple of handfuls of what’s left of the person you loved.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Bruce Nauman - corridors

Green Light Corridor, 1971

Bruce Nauman (born December 6, 1941) is a contemporary American artist. His practice spans a broad range of media including sculpture, photography, neon, video, drawing, printmaking, and performance. Nauman lives near Galisteo, New Mexico.

Walk with Contrapposto, 1968

Quite possibly the most mind altering piece of installation art work ever?

You walk down a set of corridors, at the end of each of these are monitors, some of which you see yourself in from different angles.

It is extremely confusing to see the back of yourself walking in front of you and something you are unlikely to have experienced before.

My first experience of these in Liverpool, England, some years ago was quite unexpected and for a few moments my brain couldn’t cope with the fact that I was seeing myself, so I was delighted to take my friend to see them whilst in Berlin, 2010.

Live Taped Video Corridor, 1970

One of his very early works is "Live taped Video corridor". This particular installation consists of a narrow corridor. There are two monitors stationed at the end of this corridor, one on top of another. There is a camera fixed at the entrance of this corridor which is connected to one of the monitors, whereas the other monitor shows a pre-recorded image of the corridor. Thus, when a person moves along the corridor towards the monitors, he gets further away from the camera. Its almost like he's walking away from himself. The narrow corridor creates a confined environment enhancing the focus on the monitors.
Ruchika Rajani

Live-Taped Video Corridor, 1970.

Performance Corridor imposed certain physical limits on its audience, but Nauman nevertheless recalled feeling some frustration at not being able to more fully "control the situation." In subsequent corridors, he developed a number of devices to accomplish just this, from mirrors and intense, colored fluorescent light (see, for example, Green Light Corridor, made in 1970) to the closed-circuit video technology of contemporary surveillance systems. Related to part of a multi-corridor installation that Nauman constructed earlier in 1970 at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles, Live-Taped Video Corridor features two stacked television monitors at its far end, both linked to a camera mounted at the corridor's entrance: the top monitor plays live feed from the camera, while the bottom monitor plays pretaped footage of the empty passageway from the identical angle. Walking down the corridor, one views oneself from behind in the top monitor, diminishing in size as one gets closer to it. The camera's wide-angle lens heightens one's disorientation by making the rate of one's movement appear somewhat sped up. Meanwhile, the participant is entirely, and uncannily, absent from the lower monitor. The overall result is an unsettling self-conscious experience of doubling and displacement.
Ted Mann 

 Corridor with Mirror and White Lights, 1971

By setting up an uncomfortable situation, a piece like Performance Corridor works to debase the equating of the idealized “good”, “beautiful”, and “true”, a notion on which western philosophy and consequently aesthetics is based. In discussing the inspiration for Performance Corridor, Nauman mentions the peculiar reaction common to people in tight spaces: an uncomfortable sensation produced by a heightened awareness of the body. The reduced ability to evade others when restrained by such a space leads to further discomfort. Both effects reveal a basic human desire to remain self-contained, unaware of our being subjected to outside forces, as well as our freedom to move and act despite this being subjected. As a result, Nauman’s strategy can be described as ethical, and the ethics it promotes is one of use. The meaning, and therefore use of the piece, is an experience that calls the viewer to question not only aesthetic values, but the epistemological assumptions and tendencies of life in general. The tendency to judge an art work by pleasure-based criteria is exposed and consequently debased, and the viewer is left to judge the piece having gained this awareness in addition to a more generalized awareness of subjectivity and agency.
Jessica Hullman

 Corridor Installation (Nick Wilder Installation), 1970

I sidle down an ever-narrowing corridor towards an open doorway and slip into an empty white room. Except it is not quite white, but lit by harsh, pale green striplights. The light fills the empty parallelogram of the room with an unpleasant sickly pallor. I stare at my hands and they look suddenly horrible, mottled and half-dead. Goodness knows what it does to my face. It feels like an antechamber to a morgue in here, which I guess is the point. I feel exposed. Nakedness in here would not be appealing. All that effort to get there, and now all that's left is to leave, edging out as quick as I can through another narrow exit.

What draws me to Nauman? Something more than masochism, an attraction to discomfiture: there's nothing like a feeling of futility to get the juices going. His art can be brutal, beautiful, aggressive and arresting, and it is always surprising and rich.
Adrian Searle 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Orbit

Morley is a market town and civil parish within the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, in West Yorkshire, England.

Orbit nightclub hosted the world's biggest techno, trance and hard house DJs. During the late nineties, the club became a mecca of Northern rave culture until its sudden closure in 2003.,_West_Yorkshire

Went there once but it had a lasting effect November 1998 I saw Westbam do a 4 hour set there and to this day it's still one of the best sets I've ever witnessed :)

Only 400 capacity if I recall, the layout was a bit like Utopia in Leeds where they used to have Sundissential, big circle with balcony all the way round. Mad-for-it crowd all up for a good time, no trouble, pleasant bouncers....loved it!

For all the clubbing i've done in my time - england, ibiza, continent, america / shed load of clubs... nothing nothing comes close to this place. i last went in about 2002. i'd be going since 1991. nothing comes close to this place (did i just say that). it was by far the best club i've ever been to. music, people, sound system. we used to make a night of it driving through from brid hell it was something special. i have searched for other great clubs i've been to on the web and guess what.... only orbit is big on comments like the love that is shown on here. come on morley.....tell you what my throat hurt after shouting that all night. brilliant.

Used to love this place. As did all whoever went, (asides from the few mates I dragged along now and again who were more into Basics at the time (!)

My earliest memories are of seeing Dream Frequency live with these mad ghosts dancing on stage at the front.

Hardest night - Tanith

Messiest night - many, but one of Joey Beltrams earliest nights has to go down in personal history. The bass was so heavy on "9 millimeter" that immediate sledging occured and time was spent in the arms of a lovely girl (stranger) on one of the many flights of stairs up to the original chill-out room in the sky.

Best entertainer - Sven Vath (by a mile) numerous cans of Stella, bottles of Vodka and whatever wasn't visible to the naked eye used to go hand in hand with his set.......(then he stopped all that during '94.)

Favorite track and moment of sheer Euphoria - when the bass drops back in halfway through

Hardfloors 'Acperience'

Strangest experience - Seeing the long massage trains of the early nineties for the first time. And also many peoples faces.

Other good things - The Car Park, The Queue, Lasers, and pre-charlie amazingly friendly crowds of the early early nineties.

Oh to do it all again!
Adam Beer (barrington)

I like to think I've kept my ear to the ground when it comes to techno. I've got Suburban Knights "The Art of Stalking" and Dave Clarke "Red 1" and "Red 2" on vinyl. I managed to eventually visit the current mecca of techno, Berghain in Berlin and saw a storming Dave Clarke set in March this year. So imagine my surprise to have stumbled across The Orbit - a night that ran from 1991 to 2003 - at Afterdark club in Morley, Leeds. I have to admit, when I'd been flicking through the pages of Mixmag back in 1999 i'd be looking out more for the likes of Paul Van Dyk and Mauro Picotto than Jeff Mills and Marco Zaffarano but how could I have missed it! I used to read that mag cover to cover.

Anyway sure enough a quick look at Mixmag November 1999 reveals that Thomas Heckmann, Justin Robertson, Ben Sims, CJ Bolland and Billy Nasty all turned up to spin some no doubt heavy shit.
A night that had Robert Hood, Jeff Mills, Derrick May, DJ Hell, Christian Vogel, Joey Beltram, CJ Bolland, Dave Angel, LFO, Marco Zaffarano and David Holmes all playing in the space of a month (December '95 - January '96) gives you some idea of it's pedigree. What really strikes me though, having had an extended cruise through Youtube is the degree to which the crowd "had it".

Friday, 18 October 2013

Sturtevant - Warhol Flowers

Warhol Flowers, 1990

Elaine Sturtevant, an American artist born 1930 in Lakewood, Ohio, has achieved recognition for her works that consist entirely of copies of other artists' works. She lives and works in Paris.

Warhol Flowers, 1965

In 1991, Sturtevant presented an entire show consisting of her repetition of Warhol’s ‘Flowers’ series. It was not the first time (although what ‘first time’ means in terms of seeing and re-seeing art is important to consider) she had investigated the flash and physics of encountering this work. In the mid-60s, she asked Warhol for the original silkscreen with which he had made his ‘Flowers’ - an image he appropriated, not uninterestingly, from a Kodak ad - to make hers. Warhol gave her the screen. At a later date, after being bombarded with questions about his process and technique, Warhol responded: ‘I don’t know. Ask Elaine.’ As Sturtevant puts it: ‘Warhol was very Warhol’.

This is a complicated statement. How did Warhol get to be ‘very Warhol’? How does one come to recognise - see, consider - a painting, film , or anything by Warhol once he and everything he’s done are slated only to be ‘a Warhol’? It is Sturtevant who knows how to make a Warhol, not Warhol. It is Sturtevant who allows a Warhol to be a Warhol, by repeating him. Copy, replica, mimesis, simulacra, fake, digital virtuality, clone - Sturtevant’s work has been for more than 40 years a meditation on these concepts by decidedly not being any of them.
Bruce Hainley

Warhol Flowers, 1990

A 40-year span has occurred between Sturtevant’s first remake, Warhol Flowers in 1964 and its exhibition in a major museum survey of her work in 2004 (although one must pause to reconsider how to describe what Sturtevant does, for to call it a remake, remix, or a replay would more than likely irk her). Sturtevant makes copies of art works, but she is no copyist. She appropriates, but is not an Appropriationist. She was a renegade female artist, but not a feminist. So what is this artist sine qua non all about?

Is she illustrating Baudrillard’s sense of the simulacrum, or denuding Deleuze’s thinking on difference and repetition? Is she challenging or upholding the aura of the artwork in an age of reproduction? Perhaps a Proustian sense of memory, of ‘seeing again’, lies behind it all. Or perhaps Sturtevant is working against the empiricists, eliminating the possibility of ‘seeing’ altogether. After all, it would seem that the crooked stick of humanity has never quite gone beyond the idea that ‘seeing is believing’.

Sturtevant makes her Sturtevantian memory (or memory in motion) the subject of her work and is antsy when anyone places her on the wrong shelf of the categorical imperative/interrogative. When someone called her an Appropriationist, she responded, “I am not an Appropriationist by token of intention and meaning. I do not make copies. I am talking about the power and the autonomy of the original and the force and pervasiveness of art. Perhaps the brawny brains of this ‘doctor of thinkology’ have scared off possible fans and supporters. And if Castelli could understand enough to wheel and deal in Pop, he knew that he could never convince his group of collectors that they should not only buy a Warhol, Johns, or Lichtenstein, but a Sturtevant/Warhol Marilyn, a Sturtevant/ Johns Flag, or a Sturtevant/Lichtenstein Hot Dog (though Castelli himself once acquired a Sturtevant from her Oldenburg store).

No one has admission to her sorcery excepting the few who are well-versed in the ideas of Deleuze and Foucault. This ‘black magic woman’ has worked the witchery of exclusivity into her production whether she wanted to or not. Like hearing heavy footsteps on the floor above, one can hear, but never really know what is going on upstairs; until, that is, one knocks on the door.
April Elizabeth Lamm 

Warhol Flowers, 1990

Hans Ulrich Obrist: Copy, copyright, and ready-made?

Sturtevant: Ready-mades are such a hot topic right now. For instance, I had one artist approach me and say she did ready-made art. I wondered how that was possible since her art was not readymade at all. Then she said, “No. I’m a ready-made artist.” I then wondered what that meant and how it worked. She said, “Oh, I don’t know, my dealer told me to say that” [laughs]. So I think we’re in a lot of trouble here. It’s a way to attach to things – you can do this, you can do that, you can do remake, re-copy, ready-made, or any other cliché word. In terms of copy and copyright, it‘s impossible to have a discourse about it. You absolutely cannot discuss copyright with lawyers because it’s a complete impasse, and won’t even come close to a discourse or dialogue. If you start talking to them about why copyright is no longer viable, they close the conversation. Copyright is not copyright anymore, but more about how this world is functioning. It’s not about the law, it’s about our way of being. And copy has very different dynamics than something that resembles something else. But it’s not an interesting topic anymore; it’s not viable. But I can also say that Duchamp is not viable.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Ed Ruscha - Twentysix Gasoline Stations

Edward Joseph Ruscha IV (roo-SHAY; born December 16, 1937) is an American artist associated with the Pop art movement. He has worked in the media of painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, and film. Ruscha lives and works in Culver City, California.

Twentysix Gasoline Stations is the first artist's book by the American pop artist Ed Ruscha. Published in April 1963 on his own imprint National Excelsior Press, it is often considered to be the first modern Artist's book, and has become famous as a precursor and a major influence on the emerging artist's book culture, especially in America. The book does exactly what its title suggests, reproducing 26 photographs of gasoline stations next to captions indicating their brand and location. From the first service station, 'Bob's Service' in Los Angeles where Ruscha lived, the book follows a journey back to Oklahoma City where the artist had grown up, and where his mother still resided. The last image is of a Fina Gasoline Station in Groom, Texas, which Ruscha has suggested should be seen as the beginning of the return journey, 'like a coda'.

A lot of critics have assigned a religious sub-text to the work, seeing a correlation between the gasoline stations and the 14 Stations of the Cross, traditionally the staging posts between Pilate's condemnation and the burial of Christ after His crucifixion on Calvary. Ruscha, a lapsed catholic, has gone some way to supporting this view in interviews:
There is a connection between my work and my experience with religious icons, and the stations of the cross and the Church generally, but it's in one of method, you know; I do have some flavors that come over, like the incense... we all go through stages... the attitude comes out of a whole style of living and then coming up with statements.
The book has also been cited as an artist's book equivalent of a road movie, and as a pop version of Walker Evans' photos of America, such as his deserted gasoline station in 'Highway Corner Reedsville West Virginia, 1935'. (Although Ruscha has admitted knowledge of Evans' work, he has dismissed it as an influence.) The last image, of a Fina station, has been interpreted as a Duchampian pun on Fin (end).

Twentysix Gasoline Stations, a modest publication consisting of black and white photographs with captions, is an iconic artist book. The photographs are of petrol stations, along the highway between Ruscha’s home in Los Angeles and his parent’s house in Oklahoma City. Clive Phillpot, writer, curator and former Director of the Library at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, observes that the photographs are not reproduced in a linear sequence, with five photographs out of order. Taken from the highway and often including large areas of forecourt or road, the shots appear to be simply factual records of the petrol stations. Each opening of the book reveals one or two photographs in varying but repeated layouts, with the photographs set in relatively large areas of white space. The captions consist of the name of the petrol station and its location (for example, ‘Texaco, Sunset Strip, Los Angeles’ and ‘Flying A, Kingman, Arizona’). The front cover has the title printed in red as three separate lines, the stark brightness of the design muted by the wrap around protective cover. The book is the first in a sequence of photographic artist books by Ruscha.

Twentysix Gasoline Stations was first published in 1963 (although the title page states 1962) in an edition of 400 numbered copies. It was subsequently republished in two unnumbered editions. Ruscha’s books, and this one in particular, are considered seminal in the history of artist books.
Maria White 

The book was arranged, then, so that our progress through its pages, left to right, was roughly analogous to our progress across a map from west to east, while the narrative obviously recounted a journey from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City and back. Thirteen tanks of gas one way and thirteen the other! How cool! I thought, How Pop-Joycean! And then, for reasons I can only attribute to Ruscha’s subtle genius, I counted the unnumbered pages. There were fifty-two of them, front and back, including the covers – twenty-six individual pages! Somehow, I had known there would be, and, clearly, if we moved through this book as we move across a map, as we move across America, and the number of physical pages corresponded to the number of objects depicted… well, hell, it all might mean something! The complete object might be speaking to us in some odd language of analogue and incarnation.

In that moment, I became an art critic – or, more precisely, an art dealer, since I bought all five books. Because it wasn’t just personal. Ruscha’s book nailed something that, for my generation, needed to be nailed: the Pop-Minimalist vision of the Road. Jack Kerouac had nailed the ecstatic, beatnik Road. Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady were, at that moment, nailing the acid-hippie Road, and now Ruscha had nailed the road through realms of absence – that exquisite, iterative progress through the domain of names and places, through vacant landscapes of windblown, ephemeral language.
Dave Hickey

Ruscha originally conceived of the book as a way to report back the "news" by way of his numerous road trips across the U.S. on Route 66 between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles where he was located at the time. Inspiration for the title originally arose from a play of words, which the artist's graphic paintings are distinctly known for; he simply dug the word 'gasoline' and 'twentysix' seemed like the perfect written number to accompany it.

"Twentysix Gasoline Stations" was dry, deadpan and pretty much boring. As Ruscha commented above there is no aesthetic glorification in the depiction of the imagery, just a poker-faced collection of unremarkable snapshots of roadside gas stations arranged in a visual photo-conceptual typology of sorts. The photographs therein were unprofessionally photographed and deliberately anti-aestheticized. Accordingly the book's cover title was typeset as three centered lines of capitalized type whose only extravagance was its bright red color appearing on a white ground. The presentation of this puzzling little book with its interior series of black and white photographs has certainly created a fuss over the years since it was first published in 1962 from both art critics and the art community.

Indeed, critical response to Ruscha's series of mass-produced, ubiquitous artist photobooks has been at times downright hostile, for instance consider conceptual photographer, Jeff Wall's commentary describing Ruscha's books; "Only an idiot would take pictures of nothing but the filling stations, and the existence of a book of just those pictures is a kind of proof of the existence of such a person."
Kim Stringfellow

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Yuck 'n Yum AGK 2013 - Indiegogo

Since 2010 the Annual General Karaoke has attracted the brightest and best artists from across Scotland and beyond, all devising, directing and editing their own karaoke videos, which are then performed on the night for an array of glittering prizes. It’s a karaoke night where the videos are made especially for the event. It’s a karaoke video competition! We’re delighted to announce that this year the AGK will be part of the 2013 NEoN festival. Past AGKs have included dancing milk cartons, fake blood, stripping, screaming, floor rolling, drinking, smashed keyboards, women with moustaches, skeletons and of course some lovely singing too!

Who are Yuck ’n Yum? We are a not for profit constituted group with a history in art zines and hosting events. We promote and distribute art outside the gallery setting.

For the last few months tremendously talented videomakers from all over Scotland and further afield have been sweating over their AGK videos. The deadline is fast approaching, and on November 9th we hope to deliver the best AGK yet… but we need your help.

Despite tremendous support from our volunteers NEoN and the HMC, pulling off our amazing AGK nights is always an expensive enterprise. PA hire, documentation, screen building, prizes, printing and technical equipment all adds up.

If you enjoy or have enjoyed any of our free events, including the last three AGKs or free zines over the last few years, and think “I can spare £5 to help these guys improve upon the already amazing AGK” then please do. Anything you can afford would be brilliant. Don’t underestimate that help, it would be tremendous! If we can find two hundred people who are willing to give us £5 then we are well on our way.

If you can’t give us anything then please just share this page with your friends and family and please please spread the word. And don't forget to 'like' our Yuck ‘n Yum Facebook page.

This year’s AGK promises more karaoke videos made especially for the event, and more moving, unique and downright strange performances! For those who have not made a karaoke video and are too shy to sing, this is your chance to be part of one of the most talked about events in Dundee’s creative calendar.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Yuck 'n Yum AGK free deadline today!

The free deadline for submitting AGK videos is today!

Links and further info:

The AGK Archive has all the incredible videos from the last three years! Have all your queries answered at our AGK Helpdesk on Facebook! Check for regular updates on Twitter!

From tomorrow until the 21st, submissions will be £10.

Sunday, 13 October 2013


Bought a few items:

Chris Kraus - Hatred of Capitalism: A Semiotext(e) Reader (Semiotext(e)), £5.10

Thomas Moore - A Certain Kind of Light (Queer Mojo), £6.51

Michael Salerno and Peter Sotos - HOME (Kiddiepunk), €18.00

Patrick Cowley ‎– School Daze 2LP (Dark Entries), £19.99

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Gordon Burn - Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son

Gordon Burn (16 January 1948 - 17 July 2009) was an English writer born in Newcastle upon Tyne and the author of four novels and several works of non-fiction.

Burn's novels deal with issues of modern fame and faded celebrity as lived through the media spotlight. His first book Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son was a study of Peter Sutcliffe, 'the Yorkshire Ripper' and his 1998 book Happy Like Murderers: The Story of Fred and Rosemary West, dealt in similar detail with one of Britain's most notorious serial killers.

Many people over the years have published books about the 'Yorkshire Ripper' but this must have been the first, and maybe the last, to be written about Peter Sutcliffe. The distinction? the 'Yorkshire Ripper' is largely a media phenomenon, a tabloid bogeyman, an inhuman monster, but in this book Burn shows us that Peter Sutcliffe, despite his crimes, was very much in many ways your average Joe. He was and is: somebody's husband and somebody's son.

One might imagine that such a portrayal would therefore tend towards a liberal 'bleeding heart' style representation of someone who is still, to this day, an extremely controversial and newsworthy figure. That is where you would be wrong. The opposite in fact is true. Like Hannah Arendt's famous depiction of Adolf Eichman, what Burn's discovers is that it is the banality of Sutcliffe's evil that lends it it's most sinister aspect.

We do not read the words 'Yorkshire Ripper' untill 150 pages into the book and up till that point the significant figure in the book is not Peter Sutcliffe but John Sutcliffe, Peter's dad. Burn takes us deep into the heart of the world in which Peter Sutcliffe grew up, replete with the poverty, working class chauvinistic culture and the individual family members with their respective idiosyncracies.

Burn spent 3yrs living in Bingley and speaking with the people who knew Sutcliffe, not least his immediate family, and it shows. What emerges is a Sutcliffe who is human, all too human. His shyness, social awkwardness, devotion to his mother and love of motors are all here alongside the murder and gore.

Peter Hurst  

Influenced by the sophisticated simplicity of Norman Mailer’s ‘true crime’ epic The Executioner’s Song, Burn spent three years living in Sutcliffe’s hometown of Bingley, researching the story of a man who murdered thirteen women and haunted the North of England throughout the 70s like some (all too real) fairytale giant.

Published in 1984 - the year of Live Aid, heavy recession in America and the insidious rise of Apple Mac (a year not too dissimilar to the one we’re failing to define now) - you can only imagine its power upon first reading. We’re talking a good few years before ‘true crime’ had successfully entered the lexicon of British literature; back then it was seen as a cheap, sensationalist sub-genre read exclusively by bizarre housewives or male loners with suspect odours (some may say it still is).

In Burn’s dependably insightful hands, the form was elevated. Throughout, he never flinches; neither does he wallow. His sentences are neat and informative. He understands the weight of keeping it simple, of racking up the facts. But then there’s another voice that infects the page. Norman Mailer described it as follows: ‘It’s as if Thomas Hardy were also present at the writing of this account of the Yorkshire Ripper.’ By that he means the rot had already set in. As with Hardy’s Victorian novels of inherent doom and stagnation, it’s as if it was meant to happen: Sutcliffe as some kind of (un)natural result of a multitude of menacing factors: the end product. Geared up on animal indifference, he owned the night. The seeds had been sown a long time ago: It was Yorkshire that made me do it.
Austin Collings

George Shaw - Landscape with stick that looks like a snake, 2008

Gordon Burn gives us no comment of his own on the story he has to tell – just the facts: no speculation as to why Peter Sutcliffe behaved as he did, just the events, the family life, anecdotes that may or may not be pertinent, the pubs and their atmosphere. And we go back, or rather from the beginning of the book we go forward – from Sutcliffe’s grandparents on both sides. How else is he to explain, or attempt to explain, this odd man who spread 13 murders over six years, and fooled even those closest to him until almost the last moment? That Sutcliffe was insane in some way is an inevitable conclusion after reading all the facts about him. All the facts? At once one has to start hedging: we know nothing of Sutcliffe’s relations with his wife Sonia, to whom he was devoted: to know something about these might have clarified a little the puzzling defence he put up in saying that God had spoken to him, and told him to kill prostitutes. If God spoke to him as far back as when he was 20, and employed as a gravedigger in a church cemetery (where he claims to have first heard the voice), then Sutcliffe never mentioned it to his brothers Mick and Carl, nor to pub pals like Trevor Birdsall, which leads one to suspect that Sutcliffe might have thought there was something rather wrong or unpopular about such a message, assuming he ever received it. He was not known for faithful church attendance.

His murders were sexually-based and motivated, so it is important to know the attitude toward women of Peter and his family and of the society in which he grew up. ‘Women are for fryin’ bacon and for screwin’ ’ was a comment sometimes heard and always hanging in the atmosphere like the smell of bacon grease itself. One’s mother was of course different, almost holy, one simply didn’t think about one’s mother ever having had sexual relations with one’s father, or at worst she’d had them only with one’s father; she was somehow virginal, just as Mary the mother of Jesus has to be a virgin, because it makes her so much cleaner. A lack of realism in regard to women is at the core of Peter Sutcliffe’s strange deeds. It is significant that Peter, the firstborn of six children (the second, a boy, died in infancy), clung literally to his mother’s skirts until he was eight or nine or so, was easily bullied at school, and as a child was a disappointment to his extrovert and sports-loving father, John. Yet his father was to say later that if the family had ever got into straits, it would have been Peter who’d have helped them out, not Mick or Carl, because Peter really cared.
Patricia Highsmith