Vi Subversa — Poison Girls — She’s a Punk Rocker U.K.

Vi Sub­versa real name Frances Sokolov San­som (born 20 June 1935, Lon­don) was the singer and gui­tarist of UK anarcho-punk band Poi­son Girls. She was born of East-European Jew­ish par­ents. She spent two years in Israel in the late 1950s, before return­ing to the UK. She had two chil­dren, Pete Fender (born Daniel San­som, 1964) and Gem Stone (born Gemma San­som, 1967) who were both mem­bers of the punk bands Fatal Microbes and Rubella Bal­let.
Poi­son Girls

Vi’s first pub­lic singing was not with Poi­son Girls; it was as part of The Body Show at Sus­sex Uni­ver­sity in 1975.

In 1979, at 44 years old and a mother of two, Vi Sub­versa released the first sin­gle with the Poi­son Girls. Her lyrics were writ­ten from a rad­i­cal fem­i­nist punk perspective.

She is fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tary film She’s a Punk Rocker.

She’s a Punk Rocker U.K.”: A doc­u­men­tary by and about punk rock women.

Punk women changed the pub­lic face of females. It was very uni­ver­sally empow­er­ing for women. The story of punk could almost be a women’s lib­er­a­tion story.

Doc­u­men­tary direc­tor and punk rocker Zil­lah Minx reveals the true punk rock his­tory from the women who were there. This doc­u­men­tary tells the story directly from the punk women who cre­ated the punk scene in UK. These are the punk women on the streets of the UK. Before the Sex Pis­tols appeared on TV and revealed an under­ground punk world, to the pub­lic. These are the women punks who shocked the world. This is their story of being punk told in an oral his­tory format.

Fea­tur­ing: Poly Styrene (X-ray Spex), Gee Vaucher (Crass), Eve Lib­er­tine (Crass), Gaye Advert (The Adverts), Helen Of Troy (FU-2), Julie Burchill (jour­nal­ist), Vi Sub­versa (Poi­son Girls), Honey Bane (Fatal Microbes), Lulu Moon (Evil I), Car­o­line Coon (jour­nal­ist), Zil­lah Minx (Rubella Bal­let), Michelle (Brig­andage), Olga Orbit (Youth in Asia), Net­tie Baker (jour­nal­ist, poet), Ruth & Janet (Hagar The Womb), Rachel Minx (Rubella Ballet)


William S. Burroughs Reading Junky

Above is an illus­tra­tion by artist ~cal­tron (Isam S. Prado) of William Bur­roughs’ novel Junky.

“The ques­tion is fre­quently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict?
The answer is that he usu­ally does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morn­ing and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shoot­ing twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sick­ness is until you have had sev­eral habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the with­drawal symp­toms were mild. I think it no exag­ger­a­tion to say it takes about a year and sev­eral hun­dred injec­tions to make an addict.”

Six years before he pub­lished his break­through novel, Naked Lunch (1959), William S. Bur­roughs broke into the lit­er­ary scene with Junky (some­times also called Junkie), a can­did, semi-autobiographical account of an “unre­deemed drug addict.” It’s safe to say that the book wouldn’t have seen the light of day if Allen Gins­berg hadn’t taken Bur­roughs under his wing and edited the man­u­script. The book, orig­i­nally pub­lished under the pseu­do­nym “William Lee,” was dis­trib­uted by Ace Books, a pub­lish­ing house that tar­geted New York City sub­way rid­ers. Below, you can lis­ten to Bur­roughs read­ing a three-hour abridged ver­sion of the text.

The ques­tions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try nar­cotics? Why did you con­tinue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a nar­cotics addict because you do not have strong moti­va­tions in the other direc­tion. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a mat­ter of curios­ity. I drifted along tak­ing shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence. They did not start using drugs for any rea­son they can remem­ber. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s spe­cial need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morn­ing you wake up sick and you’re an addict.”

If like me, you can not get enough of William Bur­roughs, I invite you to stay with us a lit­tle longer and watch the fol­low­ing 1983 doc­u­men­tary by Howard Brookner. At the begin­ning of it, you will be able to see William S. Bur­roughs’ first appear­ance on Amer­i­can national tele­vi­sion. Appro­pri­ately, it was on the irrev­er­ent, late-night com­edy show, Sat­ur­day Night Live. I hope you enjoy it.


Shit Gets Weird: Eraserhead Soundtrack

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Henry Spencer tries to sur­vive his indus­trial envi­ron­ment, his angry girl­friend, and the unbear­able screams of his newly born mutant child.”

This isn’t only for fans of Eraser­head, but fans of film. Alan Splet’s sound work on Eraser­head has been incred­i­bly influ­en­tial, mak­ing this a sem­i­nal work. It was not only influ­en­tial on film but on a whole gen­er­a­tion of “indus­trial” musi­cians, par­tic­u­larly the early British ones.

Lis­ten to the tracks and you’ll know what i mean.

Erase all hope of remain­ing sane.

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SWEATSHOPPE: Painting Videos Onto Walls

The mov­ing image plays tricks on the mind. It is noth­ing more then man-machine made mirage. The way in which we expe­ri­ence video in our daily lives is inher­ently sub­ver­sive, it works towards reas­sur­ing us that objec­tiv­ity is rel­e­vant and that real­ity is imme­di­ate. It tells us that time is real, that we live in a con­crete world, that I am me and you are you and that this is where we are. We want to let you know that this is not true. We want you to know that I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

The extract above is from new media artists Blake Shaw and Bruno Levy (aka SWEATSHOPPE) which make street art with­out any paint. So, where is the fun? Bear with me.

Video paint­ing is a tech­nol­ogy the new media art duo SWEATSHOPPE devel­oped, allow­ing them to cre­ate the illu­sion that they’re paint­ing videos onto walls with elec­tronic paint rollers they built. It works through cus­tom soft­ware they wrote that tracks the posi­tion of the paint rollers and projects video wher­ever they choose to paint — allow­ing them to explore the rela­tion­ship between video, mark mak­ing and archi­tec­ture and cre­ate live video col­lages in real time.

SWEATSHOPPE also recently par­tic­i­pated in the exhi­bi­tion “Ouroboros: The His­tory of the Uni­verse,” together with Ali Hos­saini. Here are some inter­est­ing com­ments from The New York Times arti­cle about the exhibition:

Ouroboros: The His­tory of the Uni­verse,” a 3-D visual col­lage of vibrat­ing man­dalas, explod­ing galax­ies, astro­nauts and cor­po­rate logos, among much more, on six screens, all in the ser­vice of recon­nect­ing con­scious­ness and cosmos.”

That would be us, col­lec­tions of space junk, some­how per­ceiv­ing and pon­der­ing the grandios­ity that gave us birth in a sort of intel­lec­tual and emo­tional equiv­a­lent of the snake eat­ing its tail.”

Ouroboros, as the Greeks called the snake that eats its tail, has from ancient times been a sym­bol of cos­mic unity and self-sufficiency. ”

Take some time to watch one extra video cre­ated by Bruno for Modeselektor’s Debou­ton­ner. Very cool.


Argento, Bava, Fulci: BBC’s Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss

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Fol­low­ing his acclaimed 2010 BBC Four series A His­tory Of Hor­ror, Mark turns to explore the story of Euro­pean hor­ror, look­ing at how the genre came to reflect the continent’s tur­bu­lent 20th century.

Mark Gatiss said: “What fas­ci­nates me about the story of Euro­pean Hor­ror is its sheer diver­sity, the sense that there’s a par­al­lel, but entirely sep­a­rate story to the Eng­lish lan­guage one.”

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The Anatomical Collages of Juan Gatti

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Argen­tin­ian artist Juan Gatti began col­lab­o­rat­ing with film direc­tor Pedro Almod­ovar in 1988. They  have devel­oped  an intense artis­tic com­plic­ity between art direc­tor and film direc­tor, to the extent that Juan Gatti’s art­works directly influ­ence the out­come and aes­thet­ics of Almodovar’s films.

He’s an exam­ple of thir work together for the film The Skin I live In (La Piel Que Habito)

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The Bible Sticker

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Based on stick­ers that were offi­cially placed inside high school biol­ogy text­books in the U.S.A which warned read­ers: “Evo­lu­tion is a the­ory, not a fact, regard­ing the ori­gin of liv­ing things. It should be read with an open mind and crit­i­cally con­sid­ered.” The Bible Sticker, cre­ated by Packard Jen­nings, is given away for free with the instruc­tions: “Keep this sticker in your wal­let. When you stay in a motel, adhere your sticker to the inside jacket of the Bible.

Down­load a sheet of Bible Stick­ers to print at home by click­ing in the image below! 

Give them to peo­ple with instruc­tions. Keep them in your wal­let and stick them to the inside jacket of a Bible when you stay in a motel.


Father Philanthropy, Master Art Forger

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Mark Lan­dis is a 58-year-old Amer­i­can painter who is esti­mated to have suc­cess­fully donated more than a hun­dred forged art pieces to muse­ums as gifts. For nearly three decades, Lan­dis has been donat­ing his own copied works of obscure 19th-century Amer­i­can impres­sion­ists to small regional muse­ums under the guise of an eccen­tric Jesuit priest who had inher­ited these paintings.

Since he only approaches the small muse­ums and has no appar­ent motive for forgery, they usu­ally accept his offer­ings at face value. As such, the man is now respon­si­ble for the longest and most pecu­liar forgery spree the Amer­i­can art world has ever known–and it isn’t ille­gal because he’s not doing it for money.

The life and jour­ney of Mark Lan­dis is one of the weirder tales that The Avant/Garde Diaries has pro­filed, and yet it is also one of the most intrigu­ing. A Rain Man-esque char­ac­ter, Lan­dis might not have the most cal­i­brated moral barom­e­ter, but through a sin­gu­larly bizarre cre­ative will and a notable pen­chant for the­atrics, he will likely be remem­bered more than the iconic painters he made a career of forg­ing.
Directed by Terri Timely


Dead Pop Stars, The Best Of Altered Images

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Formed in 1979, Claire Gro­gan brought her little-girl voice to the pop scene with this Glasgow-based band. Altered Images is best known for their hit sin­gle Happy Birth­day that reach #3 in the UK, but don’t let this bub­blegum pop song fool you. Their stuff has a far more mood­ier edge, heav­ily influ­enced by pro­ducer Steve Sev­erin from Siouxsie and The Ban­shees. Gems on this col­lec­tion are: “Day’s Wait”, “See Those Eyes”, “Don’t Talk To Me About Love”, and the con­tro­ver­sial “Dead Pop Stars”. The rest of the album deserve a closer lis­ten includ­ing the haunt­ing, clas­sic “Bring Me Closer”.

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