gistofthegrist

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Archive for the category “&onthe7thday”

silence

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if only

on a roll

There is probably a neologism in the English dictionary to describe the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ random search method? And the happy coincidence results that often pop up. I call it ‘chance accumulation by way of greedy eye’. In some ways a relation to the Kevin Bacon six degrees of separation game? Or the Douglas Adams’ detective Dirk Gently’s ‘fundamental interconnectedness of everything’ notion.

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I am now acquainted with the music of Dimbodius after entering the search term ‘Sisyphus running’ [don’t ask] and being presented with, amongst many other things, some interesting illustrations from his album covers. Whoever said Sisyphus’ bolder had to be rounded? To make it a real punishment it almost certainly would not have been; boulders other than round can roll down hill after all.

12th night

Xmas ends tonight – back to normality. The old Shoreditch tube station just off of Brick Lane has become a home for stylish graffiti. I can’t believe it has been closed for 7 and a half years already!? It was a tiny and not much used station but I made a point of using it the last day of service in June 2006.

season to be jolly

I missed doing the same for the now closed East Ham Library just before Xmas – doh! Newham is getting rid of all of its Passmore Edwards libraries it seems in exchange for characterless modern buildings. Shame!

Manor Park Library CLOSED

Manor Park Library CLOSED

Happy New Year

risoner

May ye be more than a number in 2014

Zombie dance

I have seen Butoh classes offered for a while now but I hadn’t quite realised what it was. I knew it was dance based but not that it was so performance art related. Perhaps one might think that only the Japanese with their nuclear holocaust WWII experiences [and being steeped in Kabuki theatre] could come up with such a particular/peculiar form.

This dance of darkness though, seems related to the biblical notion of wearing sackcloth and having ashes sprinkled on the head as a sign of penitence or mourning (Matt 11:21)? Itself perhaps related to ancient Egyptian funeral dances with expressions of grief demonstrated by the performers placing their hands on their heads and making the ka gesture, both arms upraised.

Certainly Butoh seems to have influenced modern Japanese Horror; one need only look at the movements of characters in The Grudge or The Ring, say.

High and Dry

DSCF2148The rate of Public House closures in the UK is at an all time high. Having always been interested in industrial archaeology [playing detective with the quirks of architecture that get left behind] I wonder whether a new  category of Breweriana interest might be not collecting old pub signage but trying to spot them still in the wild as it were; being that many now simply [and I think both fittingly and importantly] get left behind high and dry on the buildings that used to be bars but have subsequently become re-purposed [usually now in London into residential properties].

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Delicate Sound of Thunder

__delicate_sound_of_thunderStorm Elvin Thorgerson founder of influential graphic art group Hipgnosis made some of the most visually arresting images outside of the Surrealists. This album [apparently the first to be played in space] cover art seems to channel Salvador Dalì’s 1936 Aphrodisiac Dinner Jacket, but exchanging light bulbs for shot glasses [the old light bulb Eureka! inspiration symbol just isn’t the same with the new green bulb design].

I wonder if anyone has thoughts to perform Wish you were here from the album live at Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field installation in New Mexico [which recently reopened after conservation work] on a thundery evening?

primal scream

psycho_scream

There is more to the scream than at first meets the ear. More than a mere high pitched vocalization. Shrieks of pleasure / ecstasy. Howls of grief. Exhalations of stress or anguish or fear. Or even the confused fandom mixture of excitement, adulation and lust.

Everyone knows the facial features of Munch’s famous Scream and Francis Bacon’s Popes, the filmic wide mouthed cries of Psycho‘s Marion and the Battleship Potemkin‘s Odessa Steps nurse. But is the face without the high octave phonation still technically a scream? For instance the wake from a nightmare ‘silent scream’ of terror.

Most cinematic screams leave much to be desired in terms of being convincing, which is presumably why much of Hollywood has used but a single example since the 1950s? Indeed this search for the perfect scream forms a crucial part of Brian De Palma’s 1981 thriller Blow Out [one of Travolta’s best films IMHO]. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a ‘scientific’ formula for such a scream based on duration, pitch, loudness etc but the thing that gives away most screams as being ‘put on’, is the eyes. At least in terms of the terror scream it is very hard to fake genuine fear.

Apparently there is a custom at many U.S. universities just before the beginning of final exams [at the start of ‘dead week’ – a week of silent study] whence students fling open their windows at midnight and en masse holler into the night in a kind of primal therapy workout.

But remember “In space no one can hear you scream”.

Gas Gas Gas Dr Zoidberg

Gas-Mask-Girl-Pink-by-Banksy-

This graffiti work by Banksy, Gas Mask Girl Pink, originally appeared near where I used to work on Brick Lane, London. The work shows a girl in pigtails wearing a gas mask. She is holding a flower with the petals blowing away in the wind.

Technology has necessarily meant that gas masks and respirators have always been rather ‘creepy’ looking? Not just due to very poor visibility of the encased occupant but the odd ‘elephant man’ protuberances added to the shape of the human head by the functional parts of the headgear.

I have always thought that a PhD might be possible in this topic; after all anthropologists study tribal masks. Certainly whilst most of this category of facial furniture has a more utilitarian raison d’être [at least by original design], having been taken up by fashionistas, fetishists and role players arguably many of the same functions are being served as with the more ‘traditional’ masks.

Indeed in and of themselves the whole social context / history of gas masks is fascinating. WWII Mickey Mouse gas masks; protection as play. Soldier’s mantras “save time. mask in 9” [the 9 seconds maximum proscribed time to safely don a mask after receiving a gas attack warning].

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