Falling Self-Portraits by Kerry Skarbakka

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Pho­tog­ra­pher Kerry Skar­bakka cre­ates fright­en­ing self-portraits in which he appears to be falling. The pho­tos are cre­ated with the use of safety rig­ging, how­ever the process is clearly not for the faint of heart. For more pho­tos see his series “The Strug­gle to Right One­self” and “Life Goes On.”

The images stand as omi­nous mes­sages and reminders that we are all vul­ner­a­ble to los­ing our foot­ing and grasp. More­over, they con­vey the pri­mal qual­i­ties of the human con­di­tion as a pre­car­i­ous bal­anc­ing act between the strug­gle against our desire to sur­vive and our fan­tasy to tran­scend our humanness.

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The Tenant, Polanki’s Trip Into Madness

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These days, rela­tion­ships with neigh­bors can be… quite com­pli­cated. You know, lit­tle things that get blown up out of all pro­por­tion? You know what I mean.

Sui­cide, baby slap­ping, nuscience neigh­bors, teeth hid­den in walls,  ghosts that hang around toi­let,  and a trip into mad­ness. The Ten­ant is one of Polanski’s best films to date. A tale of urban para­noia inspired by the novel writ­ten by the great Roland Topor. With an all­star cast with the likes of Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Dou­glas, Claude Dauphin, Shel­ley Win­ters and Polan­ski him­self and the Cin­e­matog­ra­phy work by Bergman’s Sven Nykvist.

The sound of the The Ten­ant is simul­ta­ne­osly hyp­notic and tragic. The haunt­ing score by Philippe Sarde from The Ten­ant is vex­ing with mys­tery and sub­tle hor­ror. The use of Ben Franklin’s “glass organ” (or is it “har­mon­ica”?) will send shiv­ers up your spine! This sound­track is a must for Polan­ski and Sarde fans.

At what pre­cise moment does an indi­vid­ual stop being who he thinks he is? You cut off my arm, right? I say ‘me and my arm.’ You cut of my other arm. I say ‘me and my two arms.’ Take out my stom­ach, my kid­neys — assum­ing that were pos­si­ble – and I say ‘me and my intestines.’ And now, if you cut off my head; would I say, ‘me and my head,’ or ‘me and my body’? What right has my head to call itself ‘me?’”

Trelkosvky, The Tenant

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Happy Birthday to Jack the Dripper

On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the paint­ing, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and lit­er­ally be in the painting.”

”..peo­ple have always fright­ened and bored me, con­se­quently I have been within my own shell.. “
Jack­son Pollock.

When you’re paint­ing out of your uncon­scious, fig­ures are bound to emerge.”

Paint­ing is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.”

”..peo­ple have always fright­ened and bored me, con­se­quently I have been within my own shell.. “
Jack­son Pollock.


Watch the Trailer for Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo

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Judg­ing by the lat­est trailer from Michel Gondry for ‘Mood Indigo’ star­ring Romain Duris (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) and Audrey Tautou (Amelie, Price­less), he’s once again back to his stun­ningly sur­real The Sci­ence of Sleep best for another French lan­guage cin­e­matic beauty.

Based on a 1947 novel by Boris Vian called Froth on a Day­dream, the movie sees Colin (Duris), a wealthy and suc­cess­ful inven­tor of a smell-based musi­cal instru­ment named a Pianock­tail. Through his friend, Chick, he meets Chloe (Tautou) and falls head over heels in love. They get mar­ried in a whirl­wind romance, but while on their hon­ey­moon, Chloe falls ill and in the ensu­ing weeks and months her health dete­ri­o­rates. As she gets worse, so the film devolves into an increas­ingly dark world.

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Michel Gondry made his name direct­ing Bjork’s music videos, notably for Human Behav­iour and Joga in which he honed the sur­re­al­ist style he has become so well known and loved for. Other great films to his name include a vari­ety of  Eng­lish, French and Span­ish lan­guage films such as The Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind, The Sci­ence of Sleep and The Green Hornet.

Mood Indigo is set for release on April 10th 2013.

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Camover: Anti-Surveillance Real Life Gaming

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Ger­man dis­si­dents are tak­ing gam­i­fi­ca­tion and apply­ing it to activism in order to protest the rise of sur­veil­lance tech­nol­ogy in the coun­try. Camover 2013 is a com­pe­ti­tion unfold­ing across the coun­try, in which teams attempt to destroy as many CCTV cam­eras as pos­si­ble. Bonus scores are given to the teams that dis­play the most cre­ativ­ity in destruc­tion. In the video invi­ta­tion below you can see ski-masked “play­ers”  tear­ing the cam­eras down with ropes, smash­ing them out with ham­mers, and black­ing them out with bil­low­ing clouds of spray paint. Teams are encour­aged to upload their con­quests to the Camover web­site.

Tthe Ger­man debate about the use of sur­veil­lance in pub­lic spaces has come to the fore in recent years. While CCTV cam­eras have been in use in the coun­try since the mid–1960s, last year’s Bonn bomb scare and a pub­lic mid­day mur­der in bustling Alexan­der­platz lead the country’s Inte­rior Min­is­ter to call for bring­ing the cam­eras out of the train sta­tions and onto the street. The Min­istry claims they have been shown to reduce crime by as much as 20 per­cent, although not all reports on the cam­eras’ effec­tive­ness as a deter­rent have been favorable.

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The moral and legal con­cerns asso­ci­ated with the will­ful destruc­tion of prop­erty in the real-world make this much more than a “game,” and the cre­ators admit that it’s a seri­ous mat­ter. Camover’s anony­mous founder: “although we call it a game, we are quite seri­ous about it: our aim is to destroy as many cam­eras as pos­si­ble and to have an influ­ence on video sur­veil­lance in our cities.”

Camover ends on Feb­ru­ary 16th, three days before the start of the Euro­pean Police Con­gress.


Pagan Orgies & Human Sacrifice: The Sounds of The Wicker Man

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Against all odds, one of the most talked about sound­tracks in movie his­tory rose to the sur­face in 2002. Believed for years to be lost, destroyed or even buried deep beneath a motor­way, this disc con­tains Paul Gio­vanni’s orig­i­nal music to The Wicker Man. These his­toric record­ings had, up until then, only been heard by a select few.

Based on the themes of fer­tile pre-Christian prac­tices of pagan Britain, The Wicker Man did not fol­low the pre­dictable for­mula of 1960’s British hor­ror movies. The equally non-formulaic music score was pro­vided by tal­ented song­writer Paul Gio­vanni, and his assis­tant Gary Carpenter.

With only six weeks allot­ted to write, research and record the sound­track, Paul draws on the rich tra­di­tions of Celtic music to present a bril­liant col­lec­tion of eclec­tic folk songs under­pinned with aeons-old verse.

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The album itself is a highlight…each track paints a pic­ture of psy­cho­log­i­cal intrigue as clues are absorbed within each spilling over with music. A must have for all “film-score-buffs”, even if you’ve never seen the film.

This CD stands on it’s own two “wicker-feet”…collection of music for miss­ing per­sons is brought on by the com­posers unusual and unset­tling themes “Fire Leap” and “Wil­low”, as an island pop­u­lated by miss­ing girl’s is sur­rounded by pagan rit­u­als. One can only hope this will open the doors of more to come within the vaults of Silva Screen Records.

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Carl Jung – Matter of Heart

The psy­che is the great­est of all cos­mic won­ders and the sine qua non of the world as an object. It is in the high­est degree odd that West­ern man, with but very few – and ever fewer – excep­tions, appar­ently pays so lit­tle regard to this fact. Swamped by the knowl­edge of exter­nal objects, the sub­ject of all knowl­edge has been tem­porar­ily eclipsed to the point of seem­ing nonexistence.

Mat­ter of Heart is a com­pelling por­trait of Carl Gus­tav Jung, whose extra­or­di­nary genius and human­ity reached far beyond the some­times exclu­sive realm of psy­chi­a­try into redefin­ing the essen­tial nature of who we are and what we hope to become.

More than a lin­ear biog­ra­phy, the film presents a fuller per­spec­tive on this human­ist, healer, friend, and men­tor, through the skill­ful inter­weav­ing of rare home movies, valu­able archival footage, and a wealth of inter­views with such nota­bles as Sir Lau­rens van der Post, Marie-Louise von Franz, and Joseph Hen­der­son, M.D.


Salvador Dali Arena Documentary

This doc­u­men­tary chron­i­cles the life of Sal­vador Dali, and is prob­a­bly the most infor­ma­tive and com­pre­hen­sive film on the sub­ject.  It con­tains rare footage of Dali, as well as inter­views with him, which cre­ates an in-depth jour­ney through the var­i­ous episodes of his career.  All in all, a very per­sonal por­trait of the artist is ren­dered in this film. After open­ing with a ter­rific inter­view por­tion where Dali speaks of the mas­ters, the film uncov­ers Dali’s early years, fam­ily life, art edu­ca­tion, his inclu­sion in the French Sur­re­al­ist scene, his expul­sion from said scene, and his nearly life-long muse, Gala. For any­one inter­ested in sur­re­al­ism gen­er­ally, or Dali specif­i­cally, you will really enjoy this flick.


Goverment Control & Gay Sex Witch-Hunt: Tearoom

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Sex para­noia, gov­er­ment con­trol and witch-hunt at its finest. Tea­room con­sists of footage shot by the police in the course of a crack­down on pub­lic sex in the Amer­i­can Mid­west. In the sum­mer of 1962, the Mans­field, Ohio Police Depart­ment pho­tographed men in a restroom under the main square of the city. The cam­era­men hid in a closet and watched the clan­des­tine activ­i­ties through a two-way mirror.

The film they shot was used in court as evi­dence against the defen­dants, all of whom were found guilty of sodomy, which at that time car­ried a manda­tory min­i­mum sen­tence of one year in the state pen­i­ten­tiary. The orig­i­nal sur­veil­lance footage shot by the police came into the pos­ses­sion of direc­tor William E. Jones while he was research­ing this case for a doc­u­men­tary project.

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The unedited scenes of ordi­nary men of var­i­ous races and classes meet­ing to have sex were so pow­er­ful that the direc­tor decided to present the footage with a min­i­mum of inter­ven­tion. Tea­room is a rad­i­cal exam­ple of film pre­sented “as found” for the pur­pose of cir­cu­lat­ing his­tor­i­cal images that have oth­er­wise been suppressed.

This is an excerpt  from the orig­i­nal film (16mm film trans­ferred to video, color, silent, 56 min­utes, 1962/2007).


Molecule Synth

I love DIY projects, though I hardly ever fin­ish any one I start; but cir­cuit bend­ing and out of the ordi­nary elec­tronic instru­ments fas­ci­nate me. We have posted in the past arti­cles about Leo ThereminClara Rock­more8 bit music and glitch, also a hack­ing man­ual with links to work­shops to cre­ate elec­tronic musi­cal devices.

This time a want to intro­duce you to a project by Travis Feld­man, an edu­ca­tor, inven­tor, and musi­cian. He cre­ates art­ful hand­made elec­tronic devices, and has been mak­ing elec­tronic musi­cal instru­ments and mod­i­fy­ing his own home stu­dio record­ing gear since 1999. He has taught courses on games, ani­ma­tion art, and lit­er­a­ture at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton, Lewis & Clark Col­lege, and the Pem­broke Hill School.

Now he has decided to leave his lit­er­a­ture teach­ing life for some­thing much closer to his per­sonal pas­sion: cre­ate elec­tronic musi­cal instru­ments. He is the cre­ator of Mol­e­cule Synth.

The Mol­e­cule Synth is a unique, utterly new kind of musi­cal instru­ment. It offers the ele­men­tal com­po­nents of a tra­di­tional key­board syn­the­sizer — a speaker & amp, a sound gen­er­a­tor, and a pitch con­troller — but presents those ele­ments as pieces that you arrange (and rearrange!) in var­i­ous com­bi­na­tions to cre­ate your own musi­cal device. The Mol­e­cule Synth is designed to be intu­itive to use: each of its hexag­o­nal pieces is color-coded to indi­cate what that piece is and does, and each piece is marked to show how it con­nects to other pieces. With these build­ing blocks, you choose how to con­fig­ure your instru­ment, and, later, you can move the pieces and con­fig­ure an entirely new instrument!

Mol­e­cule Synth should become what he describes as the addi­tion of Lego + Synths and Phys­i­cal Elec­tronic… a “wild” synth expe­ri­ence that should enrich if not over­pass whichever sounds that come out of tra­di­tional keyboards.