Sunday, May 19, 2013
These two Eurorack modules should satisfy one's need for rhythmic noise, be it orderly or plainly chaotic. No-Drums is pretty much an oscillator that facilitates all manner of sounds that are similar to drums, but definitely not your average bass or snare. The cv starve and pitch pots take care of the wild modulation possible here. The Brain Seed module is a super dense monster of a device at a tiny 4hp. It's packed with functionality usually associated with much larger modules: step recorder, random voltage utility, S & H, etc. Two weird and wonderful additions to any Eurorack system. Test driven and purchased at CONTROL in Brooklyn.
Friday, May 17, 2013
This volume is certainly one of my favorite art books of the Seventies, as I fondly remember going through its pages with anticipation of connecting with other artists' ideas, forms, and processes. While some may be disappointed that the only color here is within its cover design, there is so much more beyond optical hedonism here. Achille Bonito Oliva (joined by a host of editors) offers a glimpse at the international avant-garde of the time in an abbreviated form in several languages, giving the reader a point of entry into artists' work and ideas. While movements like conceptual art, process art, body art, and performance dominate this book, Oliva makes room for sculptors (Donald Judd, Mario Merz), painters (Robert Ryman, Francesco Clemente), mail art (Ray Johnson) and even music (Laurie Anderson, La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela). It even features one of my wife's teachers, the feminist sculptor Mary Miss. Most of the reproductions in this book have the gritty, cheap feel of downtown NYC during the Seventies, when its vitality was only equaled by its troubled possibilities. I must say that I fully agree with the differences between the European and American avant-gardes as presented here (pre-internet). Europe is seen as "ideological" and America, "statistical". A nearly overwhelming historical grounding in the former, and consumption as cannibalism in the latter. Both ideas still push me beyond merely pretty pictures as much as they contaminate my comfort. Nice... maybe?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
While the religious right may shudder or applaud at such a title, the reality here is that this film by Lars Von Trier is nearly entirely secular in its intent. ANTICHRIST (2009) is a psychodrama dealing with guilt, our true natures, and one's general inability to fully grasp and codify emotion. While much of the imagery is textural, ambiguous, and highly provocative, the narrative still evolves slowly toward perilous epiphany. The film's prologue is an absolutely gorgeous crystalline b+w sequence that is nothing short of a slow motion ballet of sex and death, reminding me of the beginning of David Lynch's BLUE VELVET or Orson Welles' CITIZEN CANE. The seemingly detached presentation (belied by the use of Handel's lovely aria "Lascia ch'io Pianga" or "Let Me Weep" here) of lovemaking and a child'd death hardly prepares us for what is to come. While the film's sectional structure and Daniel Dafoe's psychologist attempt order and meaning, there is little of that here. Nature is random, amoral, and often viciously truthful like the fox that utters to Dafoe that "chaos reigns". Daniel Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play a nameless couple coming to grips with the death of their young son. Gainsbourg's deliriously pained existence and Dafoe's intellectual severity make for quite the battle of the sexes. This duality was interpreted as misogynistic by some critics, but given Dafoe's symbolic descent and rebirth (from the earth, no less) and his nature's wrath upon Gainsbourg, there is little doubt that his primal self had become one with his wife's. Beautiful and disturbing for sure.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This is certainly a worthy addition to the ModuleModule format produced by a few folks (Jason Butcher, Chris Muir/Eardrill, Intellijel) in order to add even more sound shaping functionality to the Buchla format without taking up too much valuable real estate. The VCRV or Voltage Controlled Reverb MM finally brings reverb to Buchla-land, and the addition of tweak-able voltage control makes it even better. Now, could a nice band pass filter be forthcoming?
Monday, May 13, 2013
Here we have the result of the hardening froth secreted by a female praying mantis as a kind of protective shelter to hundreds of minuscule eggs. This capsule and egg mass are collectively called an "ootheca" from Greek words meaning "egg" and "cover". Its texture, shape, color, and branch armature make for a sensually organic sculptural statement. Now I await the birthing.