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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

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Exposures exposed

This colossal collection turned up yesterday. I’m still working my way through its contents: 25 CDs, 3 DVDs and 4 blu-rays; the CDs all run for at least 70 minutes each so these alone provide about 30 hours of music. The box covers three phases of Robert Fripp’s “Drive to 1981”: his debut solo album, Exposure; his Frippertronics guitar recordings, both...

Victor Valla book covers

Lancer Books, 1971. Victor Valla’s cover for The Dunwich Horror has appeared here before, and his cover for The Colour Out of Space is very familiar, but I hadn’t gone looking for anything else of his until this week. There isn’t much to be found on genre titles, just the rest of these covers plus a handful of undistinguished paintings for Gothic dramas...

Drone Mass

Design by Florian Karg. You’d think someone would have used the title Drone Mass prior to this new release but it seems not. The album is the premiere recording of a late composition by Jóhann Jóhannsson, performed by the composer’s regular collaborators in the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, together with Theatre of Voices and their conductor...

Weekend links 622

Testa Anatomica (1854) by Filippo Balbi. • The New School of the Anthropocene is “…an experiment. But it is also an act of repair. In partnership with October Gallery in London, we seek to reinstate the intellectual adventure and creative risk that formerly characterised arts education before the university system capitulated to market principles and...

Vangelis, 1943–2022

NME ad for the China album, April 1979. Via. Farewell, Captain Nemo. In the past I’ve been known to describe Blade Runner as a very large and very expensive music video for a Vangelis album. (I mention this because so many of the headlines about the late musician are referring to Ridley Scott’s masterpiece and that boring film about athletes in big...

Scena Illustrata covers

Art by Ezio Anichini, one of the magazine’s regular illustrators. Scena Illustrata, an Italian culture magazine launched in 1884, was a prime exponent of the variant of Art Nouveau that Italians call stile Liberty. Or it was on its covers… To date there isn’t a substantial archive of back issues so I can’t say how much of the cover style was carried...

Art on film: The Beast

The Beast: Lisbeth Hummel, Elisabeth Kaza and Marcel Dalio. In which Polish director Walerian Borowczyk places a little-known Symbolist painting in the background of The Beast, his strange sex film (or should that be strange-sex film?) from 1975. I’ve spent the past week or so working my way through Arrow’s box of Borowczyk films, of which The Beast...

Weekend links 621

Holmes’s fog-horn apparatus, 1875. • “Have scientists designed the perfect chocolate?” According to Betteridge, the answer would have to be “no”, even more so when the scientists only seem to have reinvented the Flake which Cadbury have been making since 1920. But the story does tell you something about “edible metamaterials” and even “edible holograms”....

Ghost Power

This week I’ve been enjoying the Ghost Power album, a collection of groovy instrumentals from Tim Gane and Jeremy Novak. A heavier use of synthesizers and samples than you usually hear from Gane, together with trace elements of his previous project, Cavern Of Anti-Matter. The highlight is the final track, Astral Melancholy Suite, a 15-minute synth odyssey...

Moderne Malereien, 1903

A few months ago I turned up a collection of decorative animal designs by Anton Seder, a German artist, designer and art teacher. Moderne Malereien is a sequel to this in which Seder applies his somewhat overwrought Art Nouveau style to the world of interior design, with suggestions for a variety of elaborate murals. Animals are also present in some...

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