Build a dreamachine.

Want a relaxing state of mind, alpha-style? I do. To achieve this, I try and sleep sometimes. My friend Martin has gone many steps further (better person) and has built a dreamachine, in the model of painter Brion Gysin and mathematician Ian Sommerville. Burroughs, a close friend of fellow cut-up pioneer Gysin, experimented with this construction extensively, and made films about it with Anthony Balch; "Towers Open Fire" and "The cut-ups". They even tried to market it (the early 60s lacked the guiding forces of Caroline Flint).

I say: build your own! Use your record player for a greater good (that would be a stats-proven higher IQ and mild hallucinations). Alternatively, Martin is friendly and can be found toying with said invention in a place overrun with badgers and a well-designed library to it's name; SSA-mythologised Croydon.

SE Chip shop.

Fellow screen-printing and concrete enthusiast Bola Owolabi is Creative Match: Flair's current photographer of the month. An inspiration to all those who think they "do" more than they talk, this lady helps me wake up in the morning and makes me feel better about my ephemera-hoarding tendencies. She's also the best tactile illustrator I know.


Child-built citiscapes.

"Underneath the Moonlight II" is an imaginary city, and the Pompidou Centre's current travelling exhibition. Spanish sculptor Miquel Navarro has created a "vocabulary for a city", building block components that can be reconfigured, with a myriad of possible landscapes formable in a 50 m2 space. Children across Europe (currently those residing in Stockholm) are invited to communally invent and develop aerial cities, and discuss the elements of urban spaces through workshops. Only 7050 euros for 6 weeks aswell!


Good war time posters.

These all come from the Imperial War Museum's "Children at War" exhibition. The cabinets upon cabinets of evacuated childrens' letters and drawings are worth the trip.


Staring at screens.

There have been a few traditional summer evenings this week. I wouldn't know, I have been swimming in nitrocellulose. It's been fun though. Some highlights:

Joost Rekveld's #11 (marey <-> moiré)

These superimposed layers of stroboscopic light were made using the machine below, inspired by the French scientist and chronophotographer Etienne-Jules Marey.

The machine controls the movement of the film in the camera, the rotation of a shutter in front of the lightsource and the movement of a line in front of the camera. Rekveld then recorded the interferences between these three motions, and passed the b+w footage through an optical printer.

Stan Brakhage's The God of Day Had Gone Down Upon Him

This is the third film of the Vancouver Island film quartet, Brakhage's mythical biography of his second wife, Marilyn. They met after he'd spent 29 years rigorously documenting every aspect of his familial life, including lovemaking and childbirth x5. Marilyn didn't like having her photograph taken. This relief was soon usurped by a desire to recreate their unshared histories, this film being Brakhage's interpretation of her imagined 'mid age crisis', an ode to the sea that encroaches upon her home town Victoria, British Columbia.

Like words almost spoken, the undulating waves hold a multitude of narratives that are hard to unravel according to any logic. Unordered fragments of memory spill forth, hollow projections onto the water; a process repeated regularly in itself. I spent most of my childhood summers with my yaya, in a quiet part of the Ionian sea, swimming as far out and under the endless waters as I could (bad ears and dark seaweed = foe). There were more jellyfish than people on the beach (my brother and I, now reformed vegetarians, were brutal to such polyps). We retreated home across the street only to eat, and feign sleep. Whole passages of my life merge together and are represented by a single image; the sea remains the only constant in Melissi.

Karl Bartos: "This next track is about computers, and love."

I folded. After 6 years of passing its hideous exterior on a weekly basis, I finally upgraded and experienced the wonder that is a 26 metre screen. Shame that Karsten Binar wasn't more imaginative with it. An historically fine, yet completely outdated visual language, there were but brief forays out of 1980s pictography. Tour De France was accompanied by a rotating shot of French cartography. On a loop. Sometimes, the screen was split into thirds, each showing the same images. On a loop. I longed to see something that wasn't already the base foundation of my inner eye's expected response. I watched Bartos strut instead.

An aside: A man sitting directly behind me tried to whistle after every song. Each futile attempt reminded me of my own wisdom (more accurately described as resignation. If my 5 year old brother can't teach me, no one can.) But moreover it served as a low-tech analogy, recalling John Lennon asking a 1963 National Variety Show crowd to "rattle their jewelry."


"If you got no cash, get a loan and scream"

A line from the Cesky Sen Hypermarket jingle. Composer: "I can make people cry." Families: like to sing it impromptu.

A government-funded documentary / advertising campaign (400 billboards, 200 000 flyers, tv and radio spots) centred around a 10 x 100 m facade in a meadow. People ran towards it.

The tv asked: what would your Dream hypermarket be? The hunk (post gym workout) said "The assistants should be good looking." The free-and-easy boy in the park (tossing his dreadlocks aside) said: "It shouldn't be boring."

The posters said "Don't Go" "Don't Rush" "Don't Spend".

One advertising exec: "We don't lie." The other: "I am telling people what to do, controlling where they are on May 31st." (they had different looks in their eyes.)

To decipher the design-efficiency of their brochures, the eye movements of their target demographic were documented. A contraption was placed on their head whilst scanning the pages. The volunteers got chocolate, the film makers pie-charts and a deadly, full-colour glossy. I want this machine. I want it in my crits. I want it at home. What is it called?


Good Toy Instruments.


When I was a young TOTP enthusiast (we're talking the golden embryonic-90s era) my mother impressed me with an anecdote involving my uncle, a toy saxophone and the french equivalent to Thursday's 19:00 spectacle. Years later, I found out that he was briefly a part of Catalonian composer Pascal Comelade's Bel Canto Orchestra, in the 1980s. His collection of toy instruments (made + found) and essays are detailed in a book published last year, "Pascal Comelade and His Play Toy Orchestra" (page detail above). Although his online presence is severely limited due to techno-phobia (apparently he couldn't even purchase an early limited-edition vinyl release of his on eBay, that he didn't own) the Wire has a good article on fellow meccano enthusiast Pierre Bastien.

My own collection comprises of birthday presents and pound shop finds. If it isn't made in China, I am not interested.






Les Batteurs.

Leopard Leg played their first show last night at Bardens Boudoir. I was properly initiated into the all-girl troupe at 1:30 am the previous morning. Seven pairs of sticks + improvisation + hairspray + cymbal duals + war paint = fun. It felt like this:

4 year old

Needless to say, the Duracell experience was, as ever, awe-inspiring and sweat-soaked (where each pore sacrifices itself in the name of midi triggers). And Wolf Eyes are rock stars, complete with non-projectile garment thrust-in-the-air swirling. What a revelation.



Paper sculptures.

It was 'the Nation's Biggest Thank You' day yesterday, commemorating the end of WWII. I usually find such enforced public mass-displays of sentimental remembrance repellent, merely for their execution. The bunting in Trafalgar Square was an exception, though. Hand-written notes from across the country filled each flag. It was beautiful, the epitomy of all that is good in public art. More functional, communal, thought-provoking and paper-related sculptures should litter our landscape.


bunting shadows

Thinking of paper sculptures, there's a quasi-decent Phaidon book on the subject that I like to refer to post-working day, in Magma. Too coffee table to purchase, it is worth it's weight for one thing alone, a page properly sullied by my fingerprints: Johnson Banks' fund-raising brochure for Liebskind's V+A extension proposal is beyond great. It also folds into a cube, too pixellated to feature here.

libe open


Summer School.

Learn in earnest:
Michael McDonough's Top Ten Things They Never Taught Me in Design School

Let the children learn:
Klingemann's Rainbow Nanny

multi cultural crayola

Four year old New Yorker Amanda can only take her red, white and blue crayons to nursery nowadays. Her father: "If she has to give up a few colors to fight the homosexual agenda, it's worth it."

The future, encoded (Thermochromic ink is where it's at):
Hidden Horoscopes

hidden horoscope

Soothing permutations (pi's also good.):
the Sound of Mathematics

And an online resource of:
Crates and Barrels in Videogames


Empty spaces.

We took a while leaving the Barbican last night after the experimental film showing; Chloe had made great chocolate chip cakes, and we somehow found ourselves in the backstage area. It's easy to get lost in there.

I was enthralled by the emptiness and calm that enveloped the building and its surroundings. Walking back to Moorgate station at midnight we passed under the airport-like tunnel, and crossed paths only once, with a lone businessman who had a white cowboy hat strung round his neck. It was a beautiful, tranquil night, the tall illuminated structures felt serene, and it haunted me this morning.

empty barbican

near silk street


Good Lorries.

Last summer, whilst driving from London to Avignon with la famille, I developed a new hobby. (It takes 16 hours including pit stops and my map reading abilities aren't trusted, a pastime is necessary). It's quite a skill capturing lorry signage as it passes, one I didn't quite master. But I think the typography speaks for itself.

Ps. The last image isn't scenic Aix-en-Provence, but Liverpool St. Station.

a lorry

a lorry

a lorry

a lorry

a lorry

a lorry


Garden and Park make over week.

It's a busy week in South Kensington.

The new Kim Wilkie Victoria and Albert Museum garden, complete with Liquidambar styraciflua, red sandstone and flood-able ellipse, opens on Wednesday night.

Apparently it will look like this:


I wonder how the great, annual Village Fete (29th + 30th July) will fare in this new setting. Hyperkit and Peepshow better be there. Go to the Projects > Village Fete slide show on the new Peepshow site to see their Memory Game, (and Hannah playing it on slide 9). We got stickers corresponding to our success. I was Stephen Hawking, ha.

Incidentally, they have a show, celebrating the site's reincarnation: 930 Sq ft of Peepshow opening at the Jaguar Shoes Gallery on July 8th. I have thus far managed to escape the namesake's bar, and for this I am proud.

But back to the theme of this post. The Serpentine's annual Pavilion opened yesterday. Designed by Álvaro Siza, apparently it will look like this:


I have to stop using adverbal probabilities, and get out of the house.

The press release says it "hovers above the lawn, poised like an animal with an arched back and taut skin, ready to pounce." Any which way, a translucent polycarbonate covering allowing penetrative light by day, and 250 solar powered lamps to illuminate the structure by night, doesn't sound bad to me.


Nike "mess" with Ian Mackaye.

Nike pulled this ad four days ago. And issued an apology.

major threat



Saturday 16th July 6.30pm to start at 7pm
Bullion Theatre, Hackney Empire, London E8

LUX and Small But Perfectly Formed present a night of film and sound performances.
14 artists, musicians and filmmakers will perform live collaborative works which explore the boundaries between each media.

Samantha Rebello (multi-layered 16 mm film)
Angharad Davies (violin)

Karen Mirza & Brad Butler (16 mm film)
David Cunningham (electric guitar, electronics)
The Space Between

Emma Hart (video)
Benedict Drew (computer)

Lynn Loo & Guy Sherwin (film multi-projection)
Sarah Washington (field recordings, electronics)
Knut Aufermann (radios, mixing desk, circuits)
Vowels And Consonants

David Leister (film multi-projection)
Billy Jenkins (guitar)
Dylan Bates (violin)
Kino Club Originalé

supported by The London Musicians Collective