Sluice Magazine, Autumn/Winter 19-20

Sluice Magazine, Autumn/Winter 19-20

The latest issue of Sluice magazine is out now. The theme this time is looking to the natural world and to deep time for survival strategies. As usual I wrote an article for the magazine, and there's the now traditional cheeky decontextualised quote from it on the back cover... Londonians may wish to join us … Continue reading Sluice Magazine, Autumn/Winter 19-20

Sluice magazine: Don’t Look Down

Sluice magazine: Don’t Look Down

My column from the previous issue of Sluice magazine is now online, on the pervasive metaphorical debt of the art world, the perpetual actual debt of artists, and lazy little millennial fucks. The new issue is out very shortly, with more of my columnage.

The Portland Office for Imaginary History

The Portland Office for Imaginary History

The Portland Office for Imaginary History re-opens for b-side Festival 2018, and I'm allowing myself an exclamation mark for it! Walking tours on the 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th September, bus tour 14th September, mobility scooter and wheelchair tour on the 16th. Top quality lies, direct to the public. Plan your festival visit here, there's … Continue reading The Portland Office for Imaginary History

Odeum at Milan Design Week

Odeum at Milan Design Week

As is now traditional (well, three years in a row), I collaborated with CTRLZAK Studio and JCP to provide names and narratives for a collection of hybrid but functional art-design objects for sale, with their premiere at the Salone del Mobile of Milan Design Week 2018. We got particularly kinky this year, with references to … Continue reading Odeum at Milan Design Week

All real artists get turned into a doll

All real artists get turned into a doll

    I was inspired– negatively, so... unspired?– by the fuss about a recent Frida Kahlo Barbie doll, of which the doll itself was probably the least offensive thing. Yes, it somewhat cleaned and prettied up a woman rightly famous for being a feminist and a communist who was ahead of her time in foregrounding … Continue reading All real artists get turned into a doll

Lives of the Necromancers: Orpheus

Lives of the Necromancers: Orpheus

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northcote20portrait20-20col1 William Godwin.

Some interesting stuff from Lives of the Necromancers (1834) by William Godwin, the proto-anarchist and father of Mary “Frankenstein” Shelley, nee Godwin. Well, interesting if you’re into necromancers anyway. And who isn’t interested in necromancers? Nobody I want to hang out with, is the answer.

William Godwin also wrote a novel called St. Leon (1799), about a man who artificially attains immortality. Without taking anything away from Mary– she was undoubtedly the most talented of the famous four who played at writing stories near Lake Geneva in 1816, not to mention being only eighteen years old at the time– it’s obvious that her super cool father with his love of fringe science and radical politics was a big influence on her. Godwin’s wife and Mary’s mother was the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, though Mary senior sadly died of septicaemia shortly after giving birth and so never knew her daughter…

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Some advice for writers, from Satan

Some advice for writers, from Satan

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Photographs ©2011 by Alistair Gentry Photograph by Alistair Gentry

From Marie Corelli’s The Sorrows of Satan (1895), about a failed writer who makes a deal with the devil in fin de siècle London. It’s actually a terrible, repetitive and badly structured book. Nor has Corelli’s prose style aged well. She was very popular at the time, but like many popular writers then and now she hardly bothered writing anything but complete shit once she’d found her audience, with more concern for quantity than quality. She also wrote a (likewise popular at the time) book inspired by Jack the Ripper but the only thing she succeeds at in The Lodger is making the Whitechapel murders seem like a total bore as well. Her not very fictionalised, undigested chunks of rant about the publishing industry are enjoyable, though, perhaps precisely because she was so looked down upon as a writer and took the opportunity to vent her…

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Lookbook for Autumn 2015 season

Lookbook for Autumn 2015 season

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Congo Ngbende initiates, North Congo, late 20th century. Photo by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher.

Samburu Young Samburu woman with nubility necklace stack, Kenya, late 20th century. Photo by Angela Fisher.

MaasaiWoman1960 Maasai woman with neck coils, 1960s, Kenya. Postcard by S. Skulina, Pegasus Studio, Nairobi.

Padaung1979 Padaung woman with brass neck coils, Burma, circa 1979. Photo by Jorgen Bisch.

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Good tight, sleep night

Good tight, sleep night

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zebra-zentai-suit

I’m sure there have been no end of articles and blog posts about ゼンタイ zentai: skin tight, faceless body suits. Originally they’re from Japan, of course, like many other cross-cultural mutations. The term is an abbreviation of 全身タイツ zenshin taitsu, “full body tights”. It’s also a safe bet that most of these articles fall into the categories of a) LOL weirdos b) LOL perverts or c) both of the aforementioned. Frankly, I would advise against uncontrolled internet searching on the subject unless you’re broad-minded because some of the people who are into it are absolute FREAKS and you might well see some obscure corners of the porn world that you’d really rather not. Also beware of YouTube’s “up next” autoplay…

Being an absolute freak is fine by me, actually (just wash your hands and probably have a shower too, before you do anything else) but perhaps especially for those who

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The Making II: Makerer

The Making II: Makerer

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Daruma_doll_sai2011

Even more from the series of Japanese short films about crafts and manufacturing, which was featured yesterday: this time the videos feature the making of clockwork and tin toys, daruma (達磨, the hollow good luck dolls supposedly modelled after Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism), oil pastel crayons, oil paint for artists, and mosquito coils.

The film about daruma shows equally fascinating traditional hand-made techniques, and slightly more industrial manufacturing of them. Even so, they’re all still finished individually just like the other items shown in these videos, the paint and the mosquito coils included. The pastel one is a bit tedious at the start, but if you’re an artist like me or otherwise just get excited about colours, stick with it and the one about paint for some huge, lush blobs of intense, glossy pigment erotica. The film about mosquito coils is initially rather alarming because…

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