Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon (Nigel Finch, 1991)

Nigel Finch’s 1991 doc­u­men­tary cov­er­ing many of the sto­ries from Ken­neth Anger’s sor­did Hol­ly­wood gos­sip book of the same name.

An inter­est­ing arti­fact on early Los Ange­les myth, glam­our, and tragedy — regard­less of rel­a­tive verac­ity of the stories.


Trapers — traped .giffiti

 

You have to check out this Tum­blr: http://trapers.net/ I absolutely love it.


Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” The Whole Earth Catalog Now Online

Between 1968 and 1972, Stew­art Brand pub­lished The Whole Earth Cat­a­log an Amer­i­can coun­ter­cul­ture cat­a­log. It was essen­tially “a paper-based data­base offer­ing thou­sands of hacks, tips, tools, sug­ges­tions, and pos­si­bil­i­ties for opti­miz­ing your life.” For Steve Jobs, it was a “Bible” of his gen­er­a­tion, a life –trans­form­ing publication.

Click on the image above to go to the online ver­sion of the The Whole Earth Cat­a­log that is now avail­able online. The col­lec­tion of that work pro­vided on this site is not com­plete — and prob­a­bly never will be — but it is a gift to read­ers who loved the CATALOG and those who are dis­cov­er­ing it for the first time.

The title Whole Earth Cat­a­log came from a pre­vi­ous project of Stew­art Brand. In 1966, he ini­ti­ated a pub­lic cam­paign to have NASA release the then-rumored satel­lite photo of the sphere of Earth as seen from space, the first image of the “Whole Earth.” He thought the image might be a pow­er­ful sym­bol, evok­ing a sense of shared des­tiny and adap­tive strate­gies from peo­ple. The Stanford-educated Brand, a biol­o­gist with strong artis­tic and social inter­ests, believed that there was a groundswell of com­mit­ment to thor­oughly ren­o­vat­ing Amer­i­can indus­trial soci­ety along eco­log­i­cally and socially just lines, what­ever they might prove to be.

Steve Jobs, chief exec­u­tive offi­cer and co-founder of Apple Com­puter and of Pixar Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios, urged grad­u­ates at Stan­ford to pur­sue their dreams and see the oppor­tu­ni­ties in life’s set­backs — includ­ing death itself — at the university’s 114th Com­mence­ment on June 12, 2005.

Jobs explained why he drew inspi­ra­tion from this intel­lec­tual cre­ation of the 60s counterculture:

When I was young, there was an amaz­ing pub­li­ca­tion called The Whole Earth Cat­a­log, which was one of the bibles of my gen­er­a­tion. It was cre­ated by a fel­low named Stew­art Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before per­sonal com­put­ers and desk­top pub­lish­ing, so it was all made with type­writ­ers, scis­sors, and polaroid cam­eras. It was sort of like Google in paper­back form, 35 years before Google came along: it was ide­al­is­tic, and over­flow­ing with neat tools and great notions.

Stew­art and his team put out sev­eral issues of The Whole Earth Cat­a­log, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a pho­to­graph of an early morn­ing coun­try road, the kind you might find your­self hitch­hik­ing on if you were so adven­tur­ous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hun­gry. Stay Fool­ish.” It was their farewell mes­sage as they signed off. Stay Hun­gry. Stay Fool­ish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you grad­u­ate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

You can watch the video below


Chad Sell’s Drag Race Illustrated

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What bet­ter inspi­ra­tion could an artist ask for than a bunch of amaz­ing drag queens? They’re styl­ish, sexy, and sick­en­ing! My work cap­tures the fierce per­son­al­i­ties and per­for­mances of those fab­u­lous fake ladies in a clean, clas­sic style.’

With their larger-than-life pres­ences and glit­tery cos­tumes, the gender-bending stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race are the per­fect sub­jects for por­trai­ture. Illus­tra­tor and comics artist Chad Sell, best known for his his col­lab­o­ra­tion with Logo on RPDR web­comics, and his work on the upcom­ing iOS game Dragopo­lis,  pays awe­some, witty trib­ute to the ladies in an exten­sive series that cap­tures his favorite con­tes­tants’ finest moments.

Check out Chad’s work at www.chadsellcomics.com.

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Sam Buttery Plays Leigh Bowery In Taboo

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In Jan­u­ary 1985 Leigh Bow­ery started the now infa­mous poly-sexual Thurs­day disco club night “Taboo”. Orig­i­nally an under­ground ven­ture, it quickly became London’s Stu­dio 54, only much wilder, extremely more fash­ion­able, and with­out the masses of celebri­ties – although these came flock­ing in later. For every­one step­ping through the doors it was a truly unfor­get­table experience.

Mark Davies wrote a book which later became a stage musi­cal with lyrics by Boy George, and music by George and Kevan Frost.

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Set in an aban­doned Lon­don ware­house, the partly imag­ined story takes place in the loca­tion of what was the city’s most fash­ion­able night­club, the now-legendary Taboo (1985–87) of the title. Boy George is fea­tured as one of the club’s reg­u­lars. The show also focuses on George’s life prior to and after achiev­ing fame.

The show pre­miered in London’s West End at the Venue The­atre on Jan­u­ary 29, 2002. Now in Sep­tem­ber 2012, Direc­tor Christo­pher Ren­shaw revived the show in a “site spe­cific” form in Brix­ton Club­house in South Lon­don. The pro­duc­tion was based on the orig­i­nal show with book by Mark Davies, but included sev­eral changes to the orig­i­nal soryline.

In this revival, Sam But­tery plays iconic 80s per­for­mance artist Leigh Bow­ery in Taboo, the story of bill-topping per­form­ers who defined a gen­er­a­tion, includ­ing Steve Strange from Vis­age, the inde­fin­able phe­nom­e­non that was Leigh Bow­ery, the one-man entre­pre­neur extra­or­di­naire Philip Sal­lon. And then of course, there’s Boy George, trav­el­ling from squat to super-stardom  from rock to rock bot­tom. The show inter­weaves some fan­tas­ti­cal facts of the 80s with a clas­sic love story of ambi­tion, pas­sion and betrayal.

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Watch below a doc­u­men­tary about the FABULOUS Leigh Bow­ery and the orig­i­nal Taboo for your enjoy­ment. Shown dur­ing the spring of 1986 while Leigh Bow­ery was run­ning his infa­mous night­club Taboo, this doc­u­men­tary put Leigh on the map. A witty, provoca­tive and inspir­ing film that includes a Bodymap fash­ion show, rare footage of Taboo, and inter­views with Michael Clark and Lana Pil­lay, this doc­u­men­tary also reminds us what Leigh was like before he met Lucian Freud.


Everything is a Remix

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Every­thing is a Remix is a video series pro­duced by Kirby Fer­gu­son, a New York-based filmmaker.

It helps rein­force ideas about mash-ups, cut-ups, copy­right and con­tent cre­ation as exposed on pre­vi­ous posts; more specif­i­cally RiP: A remix man­i­festo and The Cut-Ups.

Fol­low this link to Kirby’s Vimeo page to watch the rest of the series.

I also rec­om­mend that you visit his web­site to see some inter­est­ing infor­ma­tion and check out his ref­er­ences.

Every­thing comes round again, so noth­ing is com­pletely new”. Pythagoras.

My Sto­ries are attempts at recep­tion, at lis­ten­ing to voices from another place far away. They only come late at night, when the back­ground din and gab­ble of our world have faded out. Then, faintly, I heard voices from another star.”

Philip K. Dick


Taking Off

Famous first Amer­i­can film of Czech direc­tor Milos For­man. It tells the story of a group of par­ents whose chil­dren have run away from home. The par­ents take the oppor­tu­nity to redis­cover their youth.

It fea­tures a num­ber of mem­o­rable set pieces, includ­ing an open-mic record label audi­tion which is weaved through­out the film, fea­tur­ing a num­ber of female singers (includ­ing a young Carly Simon and a haunt­ing acoustic bal­lad by a then-unknown Kathy Bates) per­form­ing old stan­dards, folk bal­lads, and rock songs; a meet­ing in which a group of gen­er­ally middle-class con­ser­v­a­tive par­ents are taught how to smoke mar­i­juana; and a rau­cu­ous but sweet game of strip poker played by the adults.

Whether Tak­ing Off is car­i­ca­ture or dead-on is, pre­sum­ably, all a mat­ter of per­spec­tive and dis­tance. But it’s def­i­nitely hilar­i­ous: A dead­pan Buck Henry effort­lessly dom­i­nates as a mil­que­toast, and the sup­port­ing weirdos are all aces. (In his first on-screen appear­ance, Vin­cent Schi­avelli leads a pot-smoking tuto­r­ial for con­cerned par­ents want­ing to under­stand their run­aways bet­ter: “That’s called ‘bog­a­rt­ing’ the joint, and it’s very rude.”) It’s also a true New York movie.


Brian Butler’s Magick Act

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For the Los Ange­les artist Brian But­ler, magic (or “mag­ick,” as the case may be) is as mod­ern as tech­nol­ogy. Cer­tain teach­ings may be ancient, he notes, but that doesn’t make them any less rel­e­vant. “In the mod­ern world of com­put­ers, the same ener­gies are still oper­at­ing,” he says.

But­ler was pre­mier­ing his film, “The Dove and the Ser­pent,” at the LAXART Annex in Hol­ly­wood last year, and a gritty, glam­orous crowd had gath­ered to watch a live musi­cal per­for­mance fea­tur­ing the leg­endary under­ground film­maker Ken­neth Anger.

Ini­tially drawn together by a shared inter­est in Aleis­ter Crow­ley and the occult, But­ler and Anger have worked together for more than a decade, But­ler pro­duc­ing Anger’s last few films and act­ing as cre­ative direc­tor of the trippy short he made for Missoni’s fall 2010 cam­paign. Anger appears with Vin­cent Gallo in Butler’s film “Night of Pan,” and the two also formed the band Tech­ni­color Skull.

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The Dove and the Ser­pent is a med­i­ta­tion on alchemy; the title ref­er­ences the Her­metic prin­ci­ple “as above, so below.” Filmed at a cas­tle in Nor­mandy, France, with some friends he rounded up dur­ing Paris fash­ion week last fall, includ­ing Dash Snow’s sis­ter Car­o­line and the cin­e­matog­ra­pher Edouard Plon­geon, whose fam­ily pro­vided the locale, the two-and-a-half minute piece is beau­ti­ful, hyp­notic and vaguely sinister.

Shad­owy fig­ures shape-shift and meld with the ele­ments, occult sym­bols flash and fade, and there is some cov­etable fash­ion on dis­play, includ­ing a Masonic robe and an ivory silk gown by the Lon­don designer Qasimi.

The Bartz­abel Work­ing is a per­for­mance based on a cer­e­mo­nial evo­ca­tion of the spirit of Mars, first writ­ten and per­formed in Lon­don in 1910 by Crow­ley, the rit­ual later became part of Los Ange­les his­tory in 1946 when Jack Par­sons con­ducted his own ver­sion of this rite with the inten­tion of plac­ing a Mar­tial curse on a pre-scientology L. Ron Hubbard.

For his rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of this his­tor­i­cal per­for­mance, But­ler con­jures Bartz­abel, the spirit of Mars, evok­ing on the site that was once home to late sci-fi author Ray Brad­bury and cur­rently com­prises L&M Gallery. And bel­low is also a lit­tle gem of a video by Mr. But­ler for The Black Lips



Breaking the 4th Wall Movie

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The fourth wall” is an expres­sion stem­ming from the world of the­ater. In most mod­ern the­ater design, a room will con­sist of three phys­i­cal walls, as well as a an imag­i­nary fourth that serves to sep­a­rate the world of the char­ac­ters from that of the audience.In fic­tion, “break­ing the fourth wall” often means hav­ing a char­ac­ter become aware of their fic­tional nature.

Here’s a  com­pi­la­tion of scenes and moments from films that all acknowl­edge that they’re part of a movie. The mon­tage includes 54 dif­fer­ent films (some used more than once) from per­haps the very first exam­ple of break­ing the fourth wall right up to today.


The Art of Creative Coding

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Pro­gram­ming plays a huge role in the world that sur­rounds us, and though its uses are often purely func­tional, there is a grow­ing com­mu­nity of artists who use the lan­guage of code as their medium. Their work includes every­thing from com­puter gen­er­ated art to elab­o­rate inter­ac­tive instal­la­tions, all with the goal of expand­ing our sense of what is pos­si­ble with dig­i­tal tools.

To sim­plify the cod­ing process, sev­eral plat­forms and libraries have been assem­bled to allow coders to cut through the nitty-gritty of pro­gram­ming and focus on the cre­ative aspects of the project. These plat­forms all share a strong open source phi­los­o­phy that encour­ages growth and exper­i­men­ta­tion, cre­at­ing a rich com­mu­nity of artists that share their strate­gies and work with unprece­dented openness.