Daily Archives: August 9, 2010

Jazz Is My Religion

First part of the short film  “Jazz & Poetry” by Louis van Gasteren.

Piet Kuiters Modern Jazzgroup featuring Piet Kuiters on piano, Herman Schoonderwalt – sax, Ruud Jacobs – bass, Cees See – drums.

Poetry by Ted Joans.

Amsterdam 1964.

via Piet Kuiters (YouTube)

tip of the hat to Joseph Allgren

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Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator in Italian

Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator in Italian!

(via songz)

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Linus Åkesson’s Chipophone

Linus Åkesson’s Chipophone is an organ in which he replaced the guts with microcontrollers that produce the typical chiptunes sounds. It’s a very fun-looking device for playing music that was designed to be played by a chip “live,” and Linus is clearly a skilled player of it.

What I find the most amazing, though, are the various ways he’s found to play with the fact that chiptunes is generally a music listened to as a recording. There are typical features like a step sequencer and arpeggiator that seem to take on new meaning in the context of live chiptunes playing, but the craziest thing for me is the “fadeout button” he demonstrates. After he presses it, he continues to play, while the volume automatically decays. It’s a fantastic incorporation of something very distinctly “record-like” into live performance.

(via everyone)


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Desert Visions: Paintings by Eric LoPresti




Artist Eric LoPresti was raised in the deserts of eastern Washington state, near a plutonium processing plant that made fuel for nuclear weapons during World War II and is now the site of a massive environmental remediation effort. His current work explores this physical and psychic terrain, focusing on what he calls “the aftermath of traumatic conflict and the terrifying beauty of the American sublime.”


Félicien Marboeuf: The greatest writer never to have written


By Andrew Gallix:

With his bovine-sounding surname, Félicien Marboeuf (1852-1924) seemed destined to cross paths with Flaubert. He was the inspiration for the character of Frédéric Moreau in L’Education sentimentale, which left him feeling like a figment of someone else’s imagination. In order to wrest control of his destiny, he resolved to become an author, but Marboeuf entertained such a lofty idea of literature that his works were to remain imaginary and thus a legend was born. Proust — who compared silent authors à la Marboeuf to dormant volcanoes — gushed that every single page he had chosen not to write was sheer perfection.

Or did he? One of the main reasons why Marboeuf never produced anything is that he never existed. Jean-Yves Jouannais planted this Borgesian prank at the heart of Artistes sans oeuvres when the book was first published in 1997. The character subsequently took on a life of his own, resurfacing as the subject of a recent group exhibition and, more famously, in Bartleby & Co., Enrique Vila-Matas’ exploration of the “literature of the No”. Here the Spanish author repays the debt he owes to Jouannais’s cult essay (which had been out of print until now) by prefacing this new edition.

Marboeuf has come to symbolize all the anonymous “Artists without works” past and present. Through him, Jouannais stigmatizes the careerists who churn out new material simply to reaffirm their status or iinflate their egos, as well as the publishers who flood the market with the “little narrative trinkets” they pass off as literature on the three-for-two tables of bookshops. In so doing, he delineates a rival tradition rooted in the opposition to the commodification of the arts that accompanied industrialization. A prime example is provided by the fin-de-siècle dandies who reacted to this phenomenon by producing nothing but gestures. More significantly, Walter Pater’s contention that experience — not “the fruit of experience” — was an end in itself, led to a redefinition of art as the very experience of life. A desire to turn one’s existence into poetry — as exemplified by Arthur Cravan, Jacques Vaché or Neal Cassady — would lie at the heart of all the major twentieth-century avant-gardes. “My art is that of living”, Marcel Duchamp famously declared, “Each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere, which is neither visual nor cerebral; it’s a sort of constant euphoria.”

Further: Can artists create art by doing nothing? / Artistes sans Oeuvres / « Félicien Marboeuf (1852 – 1924) »


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Letters of Note: Fraternally, Brother Vonnegut

Fraternally, Brother Vonnegut

In 1989, eager to seek feedback from an established, highly influential author, and in an effort to simply reach out to a long-time inspiration, first-time novelist Mark Lindquist wrote to his idol, Kurt Vonnegut. Some time later a reply materialised in the form of the admirably gracious typewritten letter seen below, in which Vonnegut spoke of his inspirations in the literary world and warmly welcomed Lindquist into the ‘family’; the missive illustrated by way of Vonnegut’s self-portrait, drawn in his trademark style.

Transcript follows.


228 E 48 10017 June 4 89

Dear Mark Evans Lindquist — I thank you for your very friendly and nourishing letter, undated and with the return address crossed out. Morgan Entrekin, when a mere teenager, not only read my books but was the editor of three of them, so he would be particularly adept at noticing kinship between your works and mine. The writer who most inspired me when I was a stripling is scarcely read at all any more. He was John Dos Passos. Writers of my generation used to say that the great American novel had in fact been written, which was U.S.A. Mailer’s The Naked and The Dead reads and even looks like additional chapters of U.S.A. The other book which wowed me when I was really young has held up better than U.S.A., probably because it is not so burdened with historical particulars, is a minimalist work. It is Voltaire’s Candide. I have not read your Sad Movies, and Dos Passos surely never read anything by me. About twenty new books a week arrive at this house, most of them no doubt marvelous. I simply can’t keep up. The fact that you have completed a work of fiction of which you are proud, which you made as good as you could, makes you as close a blood relative as my brother Bernard. The best thing about our family, our profession, is that its members are not envious or competitive. I was with the great Nadine Gordimer recently, and a reporter encouraged us to speak badly of a writer who made one hell of a lot more money than we did, Stephen King. Gordimer and I defended him. We thought he was awfully damn good at what he did. Long ago, I knocked the schlock novelist Jacqueline Suzanne off the top of the Best Seller List where she had been for a year or more. She was a sweet, tough, utterly sincere lady, and, as I say, a blood relative. She sent me a note saying, “As long as it had to be somebody, I’m glad it was you.” For what it is worth: It now seems morally important to me to do without minor characters in a story. Any character who appears, however briefly, deserves to have his or her life story fully respected and told.



Brother Vonnegut

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New Green Wall by Jose Maria Chofre

…beautiful six story tall green wall by architect Jose Maria Chofre that we spotted at Urbanarbolismo.  The articulated design, teamed with the variety of foliage, adds a great texture and personality to the building, a new children’s library in eastern Spain.

© Urbanarbolismo

…beautiful six story tall green wall by architect Jose Maria Chofre…The articulated design, teamed with the variety of foliage, adds a great texture and personality to the building, a new children’s library in eastern Spain.

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