Monday, December 9, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Doris Chase

A sculptor who revolutionized avant-garde dance with kinetic fiberglass playforms for dancing tots? A painter and video artist who used computers borrowed from the Boeing Company to layer visual effects on multimedia happenings scored by Morton Subotnick? A Seattle housewife who ended up in the notorious Chelsea Hotel wearing a welder's mask working out of her studio kitchen? How had I not heard of Doris Chase before?
Some of Chase's early video art is now up on youtube courtesy of her gallerist (see below). Absolutely mindbending stuff in the vein of Nam Jun Paik with an enduring fascination with circles and spheres of all colors. Total rainbow pixel heaven. In the late sixties she built large kinetic structures for a light-show-enhanced kid's performance at the Seattle Opera! And I believe I have actually seen her public sculpture in Kerry Park in Seattle. What an amazing person and artist!
(images via Patricia Failing's fantastic book, Doris Chase: Artist in Motion.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tragic Ceremony

I've been watching this in bits and pieces over the last few nights while trying to get my son to fall asleep. It's a slightly silly movie about a cursed pearl necklace and a bunch of hippies and a black mass gone wrong -- very much a cash-in on the Sharon Tate media frenzy. The candle budget was very high for this movie! I seem to have only done screen grabs of Camille Keaton (Buster Keaton's granddaughter) if that tells you anything about the film. Great theme song that sounds (as my wife noticed -- bless her) like an Italian Scott Walker.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Vita e lavoro nell'acqua

Been listening to this gorgeous gold-framed Italian record of underwater film music. This is from 1969 or so. The title translates as "Life and Work in the Water." Don't know much about Franco Potenza, but I love records like this and how they conjure up a whole imaginary world just with simple instruments and ancient electronic effects. This one is eerie and strangely therapuetic, sort of in the vein of Eric Towren's Zenith, which is another great subaquatic record. And I was just looking at this great Pinterest page (Jonny Trunk's?) of rare underwater library records. Check out the soundclip or dive in here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tsutomu Hiroi

Tsutomu Hiroi, Kites: Sculpting the Sky (Pantheon, 1978). Amazing how-to book by the Japanese master kitemaker.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Early Musical Instruments

Here are a few more clips from the David Munrow TV special posted earlier. The show was called Early Musical Instruments and aired in 1976. There were 6 episodes, each involving Munrow and a group of wan Englishmen making a racket with a certain family of instruments - reed instruments, strummed ones, percussion, etc. Some of them are positively evil looking, such as the gemshorn, a recorder made seemingly out of satan's antlers, or various guitar-like monsters with about twenty strings and nightmarish dragon-like tuning heads. The series was filmed at the beautiful and eerie Ordsall Hall in Salford, known for the ghosts of a White Lady and young girl that have been seen in its staircases.

Munrow tragically took his own life at 33, but his legacy carries onwards and upwards -- one of his recordings was on the golden disc accompanying the Voyager spacecraft into the heavens in 1977.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jeremy Moon

via here and here

also, check out andrew demetrius' awesome talk with ron geesin (!) here. geesin's improvised banjo piece "for sam" is just breathtaking. happy weekend all!