Archives for category: Art

AMOEN Verhoeven


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A Moment of Eternal Noise stitches together samples, field recordings, interviews and tracks taken from recent cultural events, new music releases and audio archives.

This (death of) Summer mix jumps from Block Universe Performing Arts Festival with sound artist Hanne Lippard to field recordings at the Baptistery in Pisa via Tom Cruise and finishes with an interview with Julie Verhoeven.

The image is taken from Julie Verhoeven’s collection of vintage ephemeral which can be seen at http://julieverhoeven.tumblr.com/

Tracks excerpts and samples include…

Stein Um Stein, Vierzehn
Dab, John Oswald
Analogue Mountains, Lucrecia Dalt
The Girl I Haven’t Met, Kudasai
Gothic Submarine, Delia Derbyshire
Move Brilliancy, Bobby Fisher’s 21 moves
Reflection, Hanne Lippard
Dark/Light 1, Meredith Monk
These Boots Are Made for Walking, Crispin Glover
Smooth Operator, Sade
Winer Morning II (with Robert De Niro), Woodkid & Nils Frahm

 

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Chris Dorland interviewed in his New Jersey studio in May 2018. The interview covers his art practice, influences, struggles, materials, his role as director and founder of Magenta Plains gallery, NYC and his recent show at Aetopoulos Gallery, Athens..Christ Dorland http://chris-dorland.com/Aetopoulos Gallery http://www.aetopoulos.info/Magenta Plains http://magentaplains.com/

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A Moment of Eternal Noise weaves together samples, field recordings, interviews and tracks taken from recent cultural events, new music releases and audio archives.

This months highlights include Ligeti’s Metronome performance at the British library, Brian Eno on why not too get a job, Sigur Ros’s new project Route One, Ruben Östlund’s film The Square, Bill Murray, Jonathan Wilson and classic Nino Rota. Photo features Bill Murray and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

This months mix also includes a new feature The Random Track of Kindness. Here we play a random(ish) track dedicated to a person who performed a random altruistic act – such as buying a random stranger coffee. Did you witness such an act today? If so please email the radio station so I can feature it on future shows.

Tracks, excerpts and samples include…

Stockhausen on human evolution
Struktur II, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Tired of Getting Pushed around, 2 Men and A Drum
The Square, Film Trailer
How to act like an ape, Terry Notary
The Radom Track of Kindness – I think were alone now, The Rubinoos
Piano Solo from the movie Plein Soleil (Purple Noon), Nino Rota
Poème symphonique, György Ligeti
Genetically (Central Processing Unit), Nadia Struiwigh
Mod 9EX, Andreas Gursky and Ritchie Hawtin
Don’t get a job, Brian Eno
Sigur Rós – Route One
Talk excerpt, Richard Evans and Brian Dawn Chalkey
Memories of You, Benny Goodman
Over the Midnight, Jonathan Wilson

 

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After talking to Brian Dawn Chalkley about contributing to a show for our project space FLAT:TWO he invited himself around my studio and bought the entire Chelsea M.A. with him. We recorded the interview and here it is in it’s entirety discussing the struggles and successes of making work. Covering all the important chapters of my career from studying at Chelsea to showing in commercial galleries, moving to New York and running project spaces. Image is The Ship project space on Cable street in 2002.

concorde in the rain AMOEN March 2018
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A Moment of Eternal Noise is a show on London Fields Radio that weaves together recent cultural discoveries by Richard Evans in a seamless aural collage.

On this show which is pre-recorded in the gallery FLAT:TWO we take a look at Concorde, suffragettes, lighthouses and a shipping forecast that involves Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Tracks, excerpts and samples include…

Concorde takes off
The Combine, John Maus
New York to London, inflight recording
Spitfire, Public Service Broadcasting
From the Air, Laurie Anderson
More Women, Saada Boonaire
Tokka, Agnes Obel
The Suffragettes, Pathe News
Memorial, Michael Nyman
Freedom or Death, Emmeline Pankhurst read by Emily Blunt
Get Thy Bearings, Bonobo
Swallowtail lighthouse bell
Rethikhly, Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer
Rain, Poppy Ackroyd
The life of a lighthouse keeper
Balladyna, Tomasz Stanko
Camera Obscura (1976 revision), François Bayle
The Shipping Forecast, Les Barker, read by Brian Perkins
Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills), Brian Eno

If you are reading this as an email subscriber you can listen to the show either on the official London Fields Radio website….
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http://www.londonfieldsradio.org/mix/a-moment-of-eternal-noise-march-2018/
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Or on the A Moment of Eternal Noise Website…
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https://amomentofeternalnoise.com/

 

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Richard Evans presents the first A Moment of Eternal Noise Radio show on London Fields Radio live from Wilton Way Cafe with special guest Rut Blees Luxemburg who discusses her recent show at Dominique Fiat Gallery in Paris. The show continues the website’s interest in connections between place, sound, music, film, art and narrative with interviews, spoken word, field recordings, sound and music. This months show takes a look at Alfred Hitchcock, early synthesizer the Trautonium, ornithology, author Amy Liptrot, T.S. Elliot, Nils Frahm and fan made Bladerunner soundtracks.

Tracks and excerpts include,

Le pas du Chat Noir, Anouar Brahem
When, Vincent Gallo
Diane, The Bachelors
The Days of Pearly Spencer, David McWilliams
Paper Trails, Darkside
Bird of Space, Bonnie Dobson
High Flying Bird, Judy Henske
The More I See You, Chris Montez
JF Sebastian, Vangelis (Bladerunner, Esper Version)
The Prodigal Son Brings Death, Vangelis (Bladerunner, Esper Version)
The Duke Arrives, John Carpenter
Have a Cigar, Gabriel Yared
Familiar, Nils Frahm
T.S.Eliot, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock
Poor Lazrus, Dave Van Ronk


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This sound work is a first person narrative about a supernatural figure that appears on a ferry in the Greek islands and inhabits the bodies of sleeping tourists. By dissolving into a cloud of fog which envelopes the boat the protagonist possesses their bodies and travels back in time. The work combines traditional horror tropes and art historical references with a satirical tale of hyper-consumerism.

The work which was written and read by Richard Evans was made by recording cellist David Barbenel improvising to the story being played through headphones. The improvisations were cut into parts, looped and set against a soundscape of samples and field recordings.

This is the full transcript of a talk I did on Tuesday 21st June 2016 at ODD curated by Rachael Lawe. The talk is an extended narrative from a page in my diary where I relate several encounters with art, film and music to ideas about surface, horror and New York.

“This talk is a talk about a day. A day when I thought a lot about surface.

The 14th June 2016.

The idea came from meeting Catherine, who did the jeans talk last month in The Strand book store, in the fashion section where I had got stuck browsing one of the Satorialist fashion photography books.

‘Street style’ is of course the public face of New York, the make up on the culture here. Its pretty skin hides the dirt and mess that is the bones and sinew of New York’s infrastructure and social welfare problems.

If it can, contemporary fashion photographs use the dirt and trash as backdrops, throwing the well-dressed model into stark relief.

The subway station looking as though it hasn’t been cleaned since it featured in the movie The Warriors (Nostrand Avenue), the now demolished White Castle on Metropolitan Avenue or the dive bar that draws no patrons but is endless used as a film and fashion location (Vazac’s Horeshoe Bar on Tompkins Square park; The Godfather, Crocodille Dundee, Law and Order, Jessica Jones, Chanel, Vogue, Prada).

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And finally of course The Strand bookstore, here’s Christie Turlington browsing the very shelf where I talked to Catherine and suggested to that I’d do a talk about 14th June. Starting as I have with New York’s favorite surface. The thin layer of textile and fiber that we feebly hope will identify us as worthy, and the rest of the world as lacking.

I got up at 8 and got dressed. Sluggish on this gray New York morning I made my way to work. That day it happened to be at a design gallery in Chelsea.

Getting off at 23rd Street station with every other art worker I followed the crowd to Joe’s coffee and eventually the gallery.

While walking I thought about the history of Chelsea, the warehouses, the decaying wooden posts once supporting a dock or jetty, the lost dance clubs of the 80s and the endless restaurants opening and closing, themselves resembling vehicles coming and going. Like fashionable Red Cross vans, arriving, opening their doors, distributing food, and leaving the conflict as it was when they arrived.

Chelsea like the whole of New York is just a string of facades, here today and gone tomorrow, constantly renovated and rented; their histories remade/remodelled.

There is always some entertainment in walking past businesses that are fakes, imitating other histories.

A fake library, a fake French bakery, a fake English tea room. New York is its own special theme park. Once a real cosmopolitan melting pot it’s now a huge stage set with the squeaking boards replaced every week.

Another business pushed through the unforgiving revolving door.

Then work starts and I spend the day filling holes, white washing walls and generally making the space look as if nothing had ever been there. Art handlers are a bit like Harvey Keitel’s The Wolf in Pulp Fiction. Professional erasers, but less formally dressed and hopefully with cleaner consciences.

New York is the epitome of denial through surface. Even though we know there is always something monstrous lurking behind the glamour, we enjoy the glamour. One of New York’s best assets is to show a constantly brave face through adversity, even if it creates that adversity itself.

After a morning going slowly snowblind from staring at the expanses of white emulation I was asked to hang this painting.

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It’s by Robert Grant Smith McDonnell and is of a Douglas Passanger Aircraft painted in 1954.

I have always liked these 1950s advertising paintings, a natural precursor to photorealism and I have always especially enjoyed their uncanny failure.

Their failure to really capture the glamour and excitement of air travel.

Paint will always look like paint and this surface instead of transporting you into a luxurious fantasy is just a badge of corporate identity trying to hide one of the worlds most environmentally damaging industries.

The plane looks distant, hovering, not inviting. The clouds in the painting roll around the edge of the stretcher as if trying to hide the fact it’s a painting but the perfect brush strokes are never perfect enough. The plane sits here, frozen forever. Loosely constructed from pigment suspended in dried oils.

The point of view of the viewer and painter is suspended in space. An impossible corporate fantasy created with a bizarrely thin surface. Both the corporation and the art lack depth.

After the day finished I went to the Strand where I met Catherine and had the brief conversation.

Leaving the fashion section I retired into the photography ‘nook.’

No celebrity models were to be found.

I was avoiding going home and hoping for some inspiration. I have always preferred libraries and markets to Google.

Serendipity never feels random on the internet.

After a few minutes I came across a book of Hans Namuth’s photographs of artists form the 60s, most of which were very familiar but this one stood out.

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A photograph I hadn’t seen of Rothko. Here he was looking as melancholic as you’d expect in 1965. 5 years before he committed suicide in 1970.

Looking at the picture I wondered what he was thinking about, what was happening in his life.

What was going on under the surface.

After looking at the frozen moment I realized I was looking at the master of hidden anxieties and monochromatic masks. The man who actually said he wanted people to cry in front of his work reduced his work to a surface and here I was staring at him reduced to another surface in a building full of thousands of paper surfaces.

He removed everything in the world except what was for him a signifier of emotion. Made the world as simple as possible.

Why I started to think is ‘nothing’ so upsetting, why is surface so associated with pain; nihilism, emptyness, space. Rothko was surely trying to counteract this idea, not add to it.

Why if we know or always suspect that fake surfaces must cover up something that can harm us do we continue to worship them?

I hurried home to avoid this thought, any other ideas lost in the hum and flow of a busy L train subway car at 7pm on a Tuesday evening.

Back at home over my Graham Ave Hi-Noodle tofu take out I settled in front of Hulu.

I have a short cut on my browser to the Criterion collection but sometimes it’s just too much effort. Today a documentary would suffice. The first thing to pop up was The Falling Man.

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A documentary dedicated to finding out the identity of the falling man in Richard Drews’ iconic photograph, and not really worrying about who it offends along the way.

This is one of those internet moments when you know you just shouldn’t click on it, that the next hour will be swallowed and the experience gained will leave you feeling somehow worse than when you started.

The documentary isn’t particularly insightful but just repeating the image with different stories is so captivating it keeps you watching. It’s difficult not to get affected by the people so I won’t describe the stories but the one thing that struck me is how simple it is.

It eloquently describes hell on the inside of the building and heaven on the outside by contrasting a figure against a surface.

The corporate structure inside and nature and air on the outside. The smoke and fire on the inside and light breeze and sunshine on the outside. And it forces your imagination to do most of the work, not just about the man but about, yourself, politics, humanity and everything in-between.

And the thing that stood between this heaven and hell, the thing that gave birth to such ideas was this thin wall.

That wall is something to think about.

Being a selfish artist I immediately start thinking of Daniel Burren’s formal interventions. Here is his 1986 ‘controversial’ work Les Deux Plateaux installed in The Palais Royal.

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The formal similarities are obvious and the subject matter the opposite, one interventionalist formalism the other an image that seems to describe our deepest thoughts about the human condition. What, I think is behind Buren’s work, is it really as superficial as it seems?

I retired to bed. I like to search obscure radio stations on my tunin app, the further away the better. Some aural astral projection before sleep is always healthy.

Unfortunately there is only one station in Antactica (ANet radio, very calming).

I found one in the mid west playing MOR rock. Bruce Springsteen came on with I’m on Fire.

I’m fairly new to The Boss. In the UK most people generally think he’s some macho republican but of course he’s the opposite, a hero of the working man.

His songs can come across as total surface, rock and roll, booze, youth and love. But under that is a collage of narrative and metaphor about America, its people and places; Insights into the darker side of Vietnam and dance songs that appear to be about love but end up being about elections.

Lets ignore the obvious crass apocalyptic connections between the falling man, the plane, decaying New York, Rothko’s red surfaces and the title I’m on Fire and listen to the song.

The song is superficially about desire and loss, about a girl a boy so desperately wants to sleep with…. He lies in bed tormented by this desire… but after some research the song of course goes deeper.

In the 80s each time he would play the song he would add or take away parts. Often he would include a whole narrative. Instead of just being about lust he described the track in Rolling Stone magazine as being about the frustrating desire for objects, wealth and careers.

It’s a track about what’s under the surface of the American Dream and how the desire for these objects can ultimately lead to violence. Illustrated in the song as a 6 inch knife.

I think it’s interesting to think of the father in the story not just as a family figure but also as Springsteen suggests, as a symbol of America.

A character that can’t control it’s people, a character that can’t get what it really wants and ultimately encourages it’s children to turn to violence to make up for it’s own misfortunes.

This performance is from Paris in 1985.”

 

 

 

 


The video A World of Its Own was filmed in 2014 by Richard Evans and features artist Elif Boyner on a road trip from the Andrew Wyeth painting Christina’s World in the Museum of Modern Art New York to The Olsen House, the house the features in that painting in Cushing, Maine.

via-appia-1905

EXT. HOLLOWAY PRISON – DAY

Establishing shot.

INT. PSYCHIATRIST’S OFFICE

This is a utilitarian room, obviously part of an institution. Two small pictures are hung on a gray stone brick wall. A chesterfield sofa and chair sit in the middle of the room. Soft light illuminates the scene from one standing lamp. There is one window with diamond shaped bars visible. Both characters are familiar with each other but not friendly, Chris sits on the sofa slouching, Dr. Adams sits on the chair.

CHRIS

It was a long slow trip, the night before last.

DR.ADAMS

Studies have shown sleeping with recorded, organized sound can effect not just the quality of your sleep but also…

CHRIS

My dreams?

DR.ADAMS

Yes, but also your daily behavior.

CHRIS

“Ah, ha, but this is not a dream, as I explained before I transported myself into what appeared to be a Piranesi drawing using my fiction/reality machine.

DR.ADAMS

Ah ha, sooo. Sound can affect your dream life. A study by a large foreign language teaching company found that when their subjects fell asleep with their headphones on the next day they would start throwing foreign words into regular conversation. Haven’t you noticed how you no longer see these language courses being advertised?

CHRIS

I haven’t noticed because I’ve been locked in here for the last seven years but I hazard a guess that someone sued for dream damage?

DR.ADAMS

Yes. Well something like that.

CHRIS

I’ll remember that when I brush up on my Franglais before a tour of Burgundy and the great wine regions of Eastern France. But as I said this was not a dream, I went on a trip through a portal created by the fiction transducer machine into a Piranesi etching that I fed into it.

DR.ADAMS

Right, the 19th century engraver and fantasy architect of prisons?

Dr. Adams quietly releases a chuckle.

CHRIS

Yes but the world I entered expanded far beyond the confines of the etching which I think was of Via Appia in Rome. The road famous for many things including crucifying 6,000 slaves after Spartacus’s uprising. About the same amount of prisoners kept in British prisons with indeterminate sentences. Just incase you were wondering.

DR.ADAMS

That is fascinating, you’ve obviously been using the internet again….

CHRIS

No. The library. Anyway after the transportation I was dropped into the middle of this etching. All around me were huge empty plinths; family crypts bearing ornate texts in different languages, tombstones, and models of buildings. Under the buildings were catacombs. I don’t know how I knew this, but I did.

Chris pauses as if struggling to remember something important.

Of course Piranesi’s visions were classical fantasies based on real places in Rome but he wanted them to be built. They never were so I was also wondering if it could have been some kind of time travel. Maybe in the future the earth will be destroyed by an alien spaceship then rebuilt but the only book the construction company had was of Piranesi’s etchings. What do you think?”

DR.ADAMS

I think I get the jist.

Dr. Adams scribbles something in his Moleskine.

CHRIS

Then I looked down, the edge of my boot caressed a black puddle corralled in by a circle of broken cobble stones. I’m wearing brown high-healed boots and a tweed hunting dress. I don’t know how I know but its 1913 and I’m in a horrific E.M.Forster Novel. Where Angels Fear to Tread maybe.

DR.ADAMS

Dr. Adams is still playing with his notebook.

Is that something your read recently?

CHRIS

No, I’ve only seen the film a long time ago, as a student I think.

DR.ADAMS

So then what happened? This is most interesting.

Dr. Adams keeps staring at his notebooks he is now drawing ever-decreasing circles.

CHRIS

Then a girl ran up who I immediately assumed was Lilia Herriton, a young English widow who had died in giving birth to a son. She seems to have mistaken me for her sister. The strangest thing happens instead of her speaking words there’s just a rustling. Her mouth is moving but the sound is not emanating from her body. It is a noise on the edge of noise, as if a human voice was played through a ‘wind synthesizer’ as if the sound of wind had been compressed, all the top and bottom frequencies removed. I paused and stared at her.

Her communication was reduced to a slow opening and closing of her mouth. Obviously what she was trying to articulate was of some importance. Then I noticed the noise was coming from the cracks, the spaces between the stones, between the buildings… The space in between things.

Whatever moral dilemma we were going through, whatever eccentric discussion this omni-present E.M.Forster was trying to convey it was being articulated as a hum. It was a sound that described all the space in between the gravestones, the gargoyles and the cracked slabs. A sound not from the heavens but of the empty space here on Earth or at least on Piranesi’s stroke E.M. Forster’s Earth. I thought that maybe this is punishment for either watching bad movies or for spending too much time looking at Piranesi etchings.

The picture had somehow risen up – in revolt.

DR.ADAMS

Ahha, so how long did this err, scene continue for?

CHRIS

It hasn’t finished, it got very noisy so I decided to take a break.

DR.ADAMS

Ok and you you’ll return to it when you reactivate the fiction/reality machine thing.

CHRIS

Yes, the fiction transposer, translating fiction or making fiction real, maybe it should be called a reality ficionator, well anyway I’m going to revisit tomorrow. Although I have a few other new slides I’d like to scan into it. Slides of a holiday in Estonia, photographed by some German tourists was sent to me by my brother. Maybe you should come along?

Dr. Adams continues drawing the circles in his notebook, somewhat oblivious to the question.

Text: Via Appia by Richard Evans.

Image : Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Via Appia and Via Ardeatina, from Le Antichita Romane, 1756

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Prelude – Ingram Marshall
Hand Vs Hand – sample from Night of the Hunter
Dripsody – Hugh Le Cain
Tea for two – Helen Clark and Lewis James
Shame On Me – Zu + Eugene S.Robinson
Intro & Burnt (Live in the Still of the Night) – Whitesnake
Moonchild – Vincent Gallo/King Crimson
Sweetness – Yes
Leftover Wine – Melanie
Œillet Parfait – Œillet Sauvage – Marsen Jules Trio
Inside – Ingram Marshall
Please Send Me Somone to Love – Fred Neil
Postlude (The Bay) – Ingram Marshall
If You Were My Man (Studio) – Linda Perhacs
Golden Girls – Devendra Banhart
Construction – Nicholas Jaar
End Credits – No Country for Old Men
Slingblad Monologue – Billy Bob Thornton
Born Under The Wrong Sign – Nazareth
Walking in The Air – Aled Jones
Folie A Deux – Nicholas Jaar
Buffalo 66 Photo Booth scene – Vincent Gallo
Daemon Lover – Shocking Blue
The End – Sibylle Baier
Rosemary’s Baby theme – Krzysztof Komeda

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We got married at the City Hall, and then we went to the beach. She looked so pretty I just wanted to play in the sand with her, but she had this little smile on her face, and after a while she got up and went down to the surf.

      “I’m going out.”

      She went ahead, and I swam after her. She kept on going, and went a lot further out than she had before. Then she stopped, and I caught up with her. She swung up beside me, and took hold of my hand, and we looked at each other. She knew, then, that the devil was gone, that I loved her.

      “Did I ever tell you why I like my feet to the swells?”

      “It’s so they’ll lift them.”

      A big one raised us up, and she put her hand to her breasts, to show how it lifted them. “I love it. Are they big, Frank?”

      “I’ll tell you tonight.”

      “They feel big. I didn’t tell you about that. It’s not only knowing you’re going to make another life. ”

“It’s what it does to you. My breasts feel so big, and I want you to kiss them. Pretty soon my belly is going to get big, and I’ll love that, and want everybody to see it. It’s life. I can feel it in me. It’s a new life for us both, Frank.”

      We started back, and on the way in I swam down. I went down nine feet. I could tell it was nine feet, by the pressure. Most of these pools are nine feet, and it was that deep. I whipped my legs together and shot down further. It drove in on my ears so I thought they would pop. But I didn’t have to come up. The pressure on your lungs drives the oxygen in your blood, so for a few seconds you don’t think about breath. I looked at the green water. And with my ears ringing and that weight on my back and chest, it seemed to me that all the devilment, and meanness, and shiftlessness, and no-account stuff in my life had been pressed out and washed off, and I was all ready to start out with her again clean, and do like she said, have a new life.”

When I came up she was coughing. “Just one of those sick spells, like you have.”

      “Are you all right?”

      “I think so. It comes over you, and then it goes.”

      “Did you swallow any water?”

      “No.”

      We went a little way, and then she stopped. “Frank, I feel funny inside.”

      “Here, hold on to me.”

      “Oh, Frank. Maybe I strained myself, just then. Trying to keep my head up. So I wouldn’t gulp down the salt water.”

      “Take it easy.”

      “Wouldn’t that be awful? I’ve heard of women that had a miscarriage. From straining theirself.”

      “Take it easy. Lie right out in the water. Don’t try to swim. I’ll tow you in.”

      “Hadn’t you better call a guard?”

      “Christ no. That egg will want to pump your legs up and down. Just lay there now. I’ll get you in quicker than he can.”

      She lay there, and I towed her by the shoulder strap of her bathing suit. I began to give out. I could have towed her a mile, but I kept thinking I had to get her to a hospital, and I hurried. When you hurry in the water you’re sunk. I got bottom, though, after a while, and then I took her in my arms and rushed her through the surf. “Don’t move. Let me do it.”

      “I won’t.”

      I ran with her up to the place where our sweaters were, and set her down. I got the car key out of mine, then wrapped both of them around her and carried her up to the car. It was up beside the road, and I had to climb the high bank the road was on, above the beach. My legs were so tired I could hardly lift one after the other, but I didn’t drop her. I put her in the car, started up, and began burning the road.”

      We had gone in swimming a couple of miles above Santa Monica, and there was a hospital down there. I overtook a big truck. It had a sign on the back, Sound Your Horn, the Road Is Yours. I banged on the horn, and it kept right down the middle. I couldn’t pass on the left, because a whole line of cars was coming toward me. I pulled out to the right and stepped on it. She screamed. I never saw the culvert wall. There was a crash, and everything went black.

      When I came out of it I was wedged down beside the wheel, with my back to the front of the car, but I began to moan from the awfulness of what I heard. It was like rain on a tin roof, but that wasn’t it. It was her blood, pouring down on the hood, where she went through the windshield. Horns were blowing, and people were jumping out of cars and running to her. I got her up, and tried to stop the blood and in between I was talking to her, and crying, and kissing her. Those kisses never reached her. She was dead.

Text: Excerpt from The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M.Cain

Image : Found photographs with the poster ‘Climax’ from Wespak Visual Communications, San Francisco, 1968. 

Sound: Starless and Bible Black – The Stan Tracey Quartet : Under Milk Wood – Dylan Thomas read by Richard Burton : Jesus’ Blood Never Failed me Yet – Gavin Bryas : Watch Chimes – Ennio Morricone : Requiem For the Russian Tea Room – Primal Scream : Violence – Andy Scott : Clear – Pam Aronoff : Double Connection – Plaster : Diamorphoses – Iannis Xenakis : Michael Jackson – Negavitland : Children of the Night sample – Bela Lugosi : Heavy Lead – Dave Richmond : Dr.No The Lair sample : 6 O’Clock – Zu + Eugene S.Robinson : Burning – Glaxo Babies : Mauvais Sang the Radio sample – Denis Levant : Modern Love – David Bowie : Oriundi – Frida Boccara : Clock – Elements of Noise : Kiss Me Deadly sample : A Warm Place – Trent Reznor

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Among the most resonant of these hallucinated recollections was Tim Lucas’s account of a dream in which he was “in a foreign land visiting a dusty but exotic bazaar. There were all sorts of fabrics, trinkets and baubles, none of which interested me very much, but then my eye was caught by a stack of old scrapbooks under one of the tables.

“I sat down on the dusty ground and opened one. It was full of colour stills of stars and scenes from Hollywood’s black-and-white era. The other volumes seemed to contain more of the same, but different. As I picked up one of the scrapbooks, I happened to glimpse just enough of the interior to realise that it was the volume documenting classic horror in colour. I had an almost subliminal glimpse of Lon Chaney in London after Midnight (1927) in full colour.

“None of the images had ever appeared anywhere before, and they promised to be of full-page portrait quality. I hugged the book to me because I knew it was a rarity I could not afford to buy and take with me and would never find again. So I resolved to sit there and drink in each image as an indelible, precious memory.

“I opened the book and there was the image I wanted to see most: Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein Monster… But, before I could give it the good look I intended, my eye was drawn to the caption at the bottom of the page. It said “Boris Karloff in Frankenstein (1933).” I knew, even in my dream, that Frankenstein was a 1931 picture, and the wrong note woke me up. I didn’t get to see anything.”

Text : An excerpt from the article Cinephile dreams by Brad Stevens published in Sight and Sound, February 2015.

Image : Pablo Picasso and Endless Caverns, a vintage photo collage featuring the photo used for Picasso’s obituary on May 6th 1983.

Sound : TV sample – Piorot : Sighs – Goblin : Film sample – The Passionate Friends : Light – Scott Walker : Paper trails – Darkside : Falling – Delia Derbyshire : Espaces Inhabitables I. – Francois Bayle : orban eq trx4 – Aphex Twin : TV sample – Dr.Gayle Delaney on Richard Simmons : Film sample – Tetro : Parce mini domine – Jan Garberek & The Hilliard Ensemble : Where the Rock Fish Feed – Roger Eno : Film sample – Mortal Transfer : Film sample – Croupier : Oh Fat White Woman – Delia Derbyshire : Rhizomes – Michael Jarrell : Film sample – The Conversation : The Last Dream of the Beast – Morton Subotnick : La Partition du Ciel et de l’Enfer – Philippe Manoury : Final Movement (feat. “Not at Home”) – Clint Mansell : Clouded – Recondite : Fix It Girl – Chris Morris

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I am so fucking distracted not only accidentally distracted by an event that happened on this morning’s trip from the village to the house but by trying to be intentionally distracted. However, inside these diversions I’m searching for a driving force that will direct my performance.

He has shouted again in his insidious, attractive Bavarian accent. He is a child and I literally can’t stand his voice any longer. But what can I do? More plays in dreary Darmstadt?

Oh, this is good. I’ve already wasted 15 seconds. It’s really not easy putting on this state of mind, this necessary exercise; a constant internal monologue. Distraction, concentration, and distortion.

Slowly I lift my head and I can feel the second camera taking over, Andrea looks knowingly pensive.

The wind in the trees has a perfect momentum echoing the delicate sound of nothing being played on the turntable. Last night at the bar Raben was trying out records, matching composers to pills. He ended with what he will dub the scene with; an all too obvious choice of Mahler’s eighth symphony, he is such a sentimental phony, why is he still around? Did R.W. not stop fucking him last year?

It’s easy to smile and I can tell R.W. is enjoying this. I drink in his eternal character and externalize it through the tight corners of my lips, hoping and knowing that the lip-gloss has a perfect, tight uncrackable surface. Why can I never believe a reality that someone else creates, even when it is on my own body?

I just don’t have faith, spiritually or practically.

The truth evades me in every splintered second. Anxiety crawls into every part of my body and always has control…

Good, this is working I can turn my head, keep the smile, keep the negative thoughts yet remember as R.W. said ‘like a machine, a romantic anarchy in movement.’ I therefore turn my head as if it were a perfect sphere locked onto a pole, joined by a greased socket. Then I let my lungs take over. The inward and outward movement of air brings the entire gesture to a perfectly choreographed conclusion.

The rolodex in my mind flutters like a cloud of bees escaping small puffs of smoke. I’m searching for yet another character. I feel the camera over my left shoulder. I put my left hand in a clutched position (I imagine the bee keepers smoke gun in my grip) and I move my hand towards the open packed of unmarked cigarettes.

For an instant I see my nail under a microscope. Tessellating plates of hard matter, interlocking lines, jagged like the peaks in a dried up muddy puddle. I slowly pull my hand back. I have managed to use only my middle finger and thumb to remove the cigarette. I have completely avoided using my index finger lending an air of exact complicity to the act. I want the lens to see the full cigarette, both colors, dirty speckled orange and off white. I drag it through the frame and over the mirror; its reflection is tantalizingly blurry. The bees have been chased away by the time I pick up the lighter.

It is all I can do to muster the energy that is needed to keep my concentration on the formless dimension I have created with the resulting smoke.

I let my mind become opaque with the imagined noxious world of gray fumes.

I haven’t blinked throughout this thought.

Again I mentally prepare another fictitious mood. I know the camera has pulled back. R.W. can only think in specific compositions and he is looking for another one.

I quickly raise the cigarette to my mouth. I want the trees ruffled by the wind to frame this action. The trees will decorate the edges of my form and imply a stark contrast between the suicidal tendencies of a human being and the unrestrained shape of nature.

I raise the lighter bringing it to the cigarette. For a very short moment I reach back 6 seconds and grab the mechanized articulation I used on my neck pointing my attention to my hand. The lighter’s hinge makes a sharp noise, the cigarette ignites and I inhale. It’s disgusting and has a peculiar armor of wet logs sprinkled with cinnamon. The feeling of the smoke in my lungs completely envelop my body. I let a small cloud of smoke linger on my lips and I inhale.

My dead brother, my poor dead brother is alone.

This is not working so I concentrate on a workman I saw 13 years ago at 5.31am on a Tuesday morning when because of by ex-husbands bizarre habits I couldn’t sleep.

I focus on the memory of the stranger’s hands; wrinkles, dark yellow skin, veins, cracked fingernails. His fingertips are worn smooth by handling hundreds of cold glass objects.

I tap the ash. I pick up a small blush brush in the same mechanical gesture. Before I bring it to my face, I imagine the instant the man’s little finger glanced the cold white object. The object splinters. I feel the glass separating the flesh from the food, magnifying the milk. I gently stroke my face drawing the brush slowly across my cheek.

My distraction is intentional. I hope the image of the man will complicate my action to create an atmosphere of childhood innocence, the child that Andrea is playing across the room.

The glass bottle in my daydream looses its comfortable form and becomes a single hook tearing at the man’s hand, drawing a line from his thumb to his wrist. Blood slowly, neatly, cleanly flows.

I channel this image to refresh my body language.

I spin my head (again mechanically) to look at Andrea. I have not forgotten my eyes, heavily made up they flick into action highlighting my characters vanity. This introduces Andrea’s character and the inhuman distance between my thought and actions and the very human love of a mother for a child. I know the shot has changed but I keep firm and Andrea raises her head, her blue eyes like the workman’s meet my own.

Immediately yet slowly I swing my right leg onto the floor. The vibration of the impact echoes through my leg and I use it to shake off my melancholic persona of the last 76 seconds. This is a disciplined and well-practiced move, one I have been using in films with R.W. since The Bitter Tears.

I move casually across the carpet letting my whole body subtly curve and glide. I hold my cigarette up to echo the previous movement’s frozen anxiety. Then I calmly raise it to my lips, my eyes at the same time focus on the orange dot placed by R.W. to create an exact diagonal between the, the center of my pupil and the frame of the camera. I imagine all the other orange dots strewn across the room designed to create an image the audience’s eyes will follow and subconsciously interpret.

I raise my head slowly and while looking past the new Aalon 35mm gingerly clutched by Michael I utter the first work of the film,

‘Schon.’

In this final collaborative A Moment of Eternal Noise Exquisite Corpse the project started with an image created by Alex Eagleton this was given to Ebe Oke who donated the song, this was sent to Richard Evans who wrote the text.

The text is a fictional internal monologue imagining what the actor Margit Carstensen could have been thinking before the first word uttered at 92 seconds into Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1976 movie Chinese Roulette.

The title Coolsville was picked at random from all of Laurie Anderson‘s commercial recordings that use a place name as the title. The date is a randomly generated number from 0 to 2014.

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It was a temptation for me to get off the plane at Tangiers and join Robert Fraser who was to spend a weekend with a group that would include Mick Jagger. I thought at last an opportunity to photograph one of the most elusive people, whom I admire and am fascinated by, not determined whether he is beautiful or hideous.

But my exodus from the photographic excitements at home was dictated by my run-down state of health, so on I went to Marrakesh, where I knew nobody (except Ira Belline) and for four days was quite by myself. I overslept and became introspective, extremely displeased with myself and hating all that I saw of myself in the nude. On the Tuesday evening I came down to dinner very late, and to my surprise, sitting in the hall, discovered Mick Jagger and a sleepy-looking band of gypsies. “Where is my friend the art dealer?” I asked. Robert F., wearing a huge black felt hat and a bright emerald brocade coat, was coughing by the swimming pool. He had swallowed something the wrong way. He recovered and invited me to join the others for a drink and then, by degrees, for an evening out.

It was a strange group, three “Stones,” Brian Jones and his girlfriend, beatnik-dressed Anita Pallenberg,‘ dirty white face, dirty blackened eyes, dirty canary-yellow wisps of hair, barbaric jewellery. The drummer, Keith of the Stones, an eighteenth-century suit, black long velvet coat and the tightest pants, and a group of hangers-on. chauffeurs, an American man with Renaissance-type hair a “Moroccan” expert (also American) from Tangiers etc. l was intent not to give the impression that I was only interested in Mick. but it happened that we sat next to one another. as he drank a Vodka Collins, and smoked with pointed fingers held high. His skin is chicken breast white, and of a fine quality. He has enormous inborn elegance. He talked of the native music, how the American had played him records of a Turk from near here, which music included the use of pipes that were the same as those that were heard in Hungary and were also the same that were used in Scotland. He liked Indian music. He would like to go to Kashmir, Afghanistan, would like to get away. England had become a police state, with police and journalists prying into your lives. Recently so policemen had invaded the house of the drummer in the country to search it for dope (no charges have been made). The papers had written completely false accounts. He was going to sue the News of the World. He’d done nothing to deprave the youth of the country. He liked to get away from the autograph hunters. Here people weren’t curious or badly mannered. l noticed he used quite old words, he liked people who were permissive. By degrees the shy aloofness of the hopped-up gang broke down. We got into two cars (the Bentley I was in had driven from Brian Jones’s house in Swiss Cottage to here, and the driver was a bit tired and soon got very drunk. The car was filled with Pop Art cushions. scarlet fur rugs. sex magazines).

Immediately the most tremendous volume of pop music was relayed at the back of my neck. Mick and Brian responded rhythmically. and the girlfriend screamed in whispers that she had just played a murderess in a film that was to be shown at the Cannes Festival.

We went to a Moroccan restaurant, tiles, glasses, banquettes, women dancers. Mick preferred to be away from the other tourists. He is very gentle, with perfect manners. He commented the usual style of decoration give little opportunity for understanding to the artist. He indicated that I should follow his example and eat the chicken in my fingers. It was so tender and good. He has much appreciation and his small albino-fringed eyes notice everything. “How different and more real this place is to Tangiers, the women more rustic, heavy, lumpy, but their music very Spanish and their dancing too.“ He has an analytical slant and compares what he is now seeing with earlier impressions and with other countries.

We talked of mutual acquaintances. David Bailey had been too busy being married to take any good photographs during the past year. His film was not erotic. he wished it had been, it was merely black and while, and obviously avant-garde. He liked the new ballet, Paradise Lost. but [was] bored by Stravinsky’s Les Noces. (Tchaikovsky he called the composer. but he showed he hates US chorales as much as I do, and is limited in his field of music to that which he had studied since he was 11 years old, and which he is never tired of absorbing.)

“What marvellous authority she has,” listening to a coloured singer. “She follows through.” He sent his arms flying about him. I was fascinated with the thin concave lines of his body, legs, arms. Mouth almost too large, but he is beautiful and ugly, feminine and masculine, a “sport,” a rare phenomenon. I was not disappointed. and as the evening wore on, found him easier to talk with. He was sorry he’d not been able to converse when we met at that fancy dress party (Christie’s). How could he remember? He asked. ‘Have you ever taken LSD?” – “Oh, I should.” lt would mean so much to me. I’d never forget the colours. For a painter it was a great experience. Instead of one’s brain working on four cylinders. it would be 4,000. You saw everything glow. The colours of his red velvet trousers, the black shiny satin, the maroon scarf. You saw yourself beautiful and ugly, and saw other people as if for the first time. “Oh. you should take it in the country, surrounded by all the green, all those flowers. You’d have no bad effects. It’s only people who hate themselves who suffer.”

He had great assurance about himself, and I have too. ‘No, believe me if you enjoyed the bhang in India, this is a thousand times better, so much stronger.” He’d let me have a pill: ‘Oh, good stuff. Oh no, they can’t stamp it out. It’s like the atom bomb. Once it’s been discovered. it can never be forgotten, and it’s too easy to make LSD.‘

He didn’t take it often, but when he was in a congenial setting, and with people he liked. Otherwise it didn’t work so pleasantly. Maybe he took it about once a month. We walked through the decorated midnight souks. He admired the Giacometti-like drawings, loved the old town, was sad at the sleeping bundles of humanity. Brian Jones said he had not seen such poverty since Singapore. Mick was full of appreciation for the good things we saw, the archways. the mysterious alleyways.

THE SKY SPANGLED WITH STARS

Again we bundled in the cars. Again the gramophone records, turned on at volume. By now the Moroccan chauffeur in front was quite drunk and driving on the wrong side of the road. When we shouted in warning. Brian said, “There’s no traffic!” I was quite alarmed as to whether we would get home safely. We all trooped up to our bedrooms on this floor. Gramophone records turned on, but by now it was 3 o‘clock and my bedtime. They seem to have no magnetic call from their beds. They are happy to hang about. “Where do we go now? To a nightclub?”-“lt’s closed“-“Well, let’s go somewhere and have a drink.” Never a yawn and the group had been up since five o’clock this morning, for they motored throughout the day through the desert from Tangiers with the record players blaring, It is a very different way of living front mine. particularly from that of the last four days. It did me good to be jerked out of myself. Mick listened to pop records for a couple of hours and was then so tired that he went to sleep without taking off his clothes. Only at 8, when he woke, did he undress and get into bed and sleep for another couple of hours.

At 11 o’clock he appeared at the swimming pool, I could not believe this was the same person walking towards us, and yet I knew it was an aspect of him. The sun, very strong, was reflected from the white ground and made his face a white, podgy, shapeless mess, eyes very small, nose very pink and spreading, hair sandy dark. He wore Chanel Bois de Rose. His figure. his hands and arms were incredibly feminine. He looked like a self-conscious suburban young lady.

All morning he looked awful. The reflected light is very bad for him and he isn’t good at the beginning of a day. The others were willing only to talk in spasms. No one could make up their minds what to do or when.

A lot of good humour. I took Mick through the trees to an open space to photograph him in the midday sun, thus giving his face the shadows it needs. He was a Tarzan of Piero di Cosimo. Lips of a fantastic roundness. body white and almost hairless. He is sexy, yet completely sexless. He could nearly be a eunuch. As a model he is a natural.

Ira Belline came to lunch. Mick left the others to join us. In a sweet, natural, subtle way, he showed we were friends. Ira was charmed. gave him compliments. said how imaginatively he and his friends were dressed. He reminded her of Nijinsky upon whose lap she sat as a child. Mick talked of the struggles to success. It had seemed slow, those four years, and now it had come, he didn’t want anything more than a good car. He didn’t want possessions. He would like a house somewhere with 30 acres. He wanted to work less. They’d worked so hard. He’d arranged for his money to be paid over the next 30 years. He didn’t want vast sums. but he had recently had fantastic offers to make films. One was intriguing. He’d be a Mexican with dark skin and curly hair, but he wouldn’t appear as a pop singer.

The group lying around the swimming pool, eating a lot. Then we went sightseeing in the town, to the market square, and the souks. and to see the new young Getty‘ house (very sensible beautiful 1830 Moroccan house with just the right garden). While watching the native dancers, Mick was convulsed by the rhythm. every fibre of his body responding to the intricacies. Likewise Brian who, with microphone, was recording the music. Then in a quiet moment he blared it forth. Each of these “Stones” is utterly dedicated to the music they love; they are never tired of learning, of listening. of enjoying (they are furious at the phrase “background music”).

Unfortunately they seemed to have got into bad hash habits. Brian, at one point. dozed off. “Are you asleep?”  -“l just tripped off.” Before dinner, a long spell in Robert Fraser’s room when cookies were eaten and pipes were smoked. This meant that they did not arrive in the restaurant by 10 o’clock. The chef had left. Awful row. Embarrassing scenes. Mick came down at 10:15 p.m., to be told there was nothing but cold food. (The sideboard looked very appetising to me.) Oh, he was furious. He couldn’t stomach that stuff. It turned him off. He told the maitre d’hotel he was “very silly”! He was quite angry, and chef d’hotel too. I must say a scruffier-looking gang could never be imagined. The photographer, Michael Cooper,’ Keith, with green velvet blouse open to his navel. in a red coat with tarnished silver fringes round the sleeve, absolutely gone. Robert, wild and unshaven. I tried to calm the scene. Mick told of an occasion when they had such a row that the food was thrown about, and of course it got into the papers.

I was determined, having waited so long, to eat my dinner. I chewed my way through rouget, and cold turkey. The others, meanwhile, having found a sort of restaurant that would be open until 2 o’clock, were content to sit without any idea of hunger or impatience. Brian went into a drugged sleep.

Mick intended to leave alone tomorrow (he finds travelling unpleasant, fills up on pills and becomes incredibly offhand). He said he’d like to see me in London and was pleased we’d been able to meet each other here.

There are moments when little is said but a few grunts. tough banalities, but much is sensed. I feel he is his real self. I watched him walk through the series of glass front doors of the hotel and look back for the driver, his hand on one side, the picture of grace, and something very touching, tender and appealing about him.

I wonder what the future can bring to someone so incredibly successful at such an early stage? Will the hash wreck his life, or will it go up in the smoke of the atom bomb with all the rest of us?

PS They never seem important, never in a hurry. Their beds can wait. their meals too. They do not mind if the drink ordered arrives or not. The hash settles everything. Their wardrobe is extensive. Mick showed me the rows of brightly shining brocade coats. Everything is shoddy, poorly made. The seams burst. Keith himself had sewn his trousers, lavender, dull rose with a band of badly stitched leather dividing the two colours. Brian at the pool appears in white pants with a huge black square applied on to the back. It is very smart in spite of the fact that the seams are giving way, but with such marvellously flat, tight. compact figures as they have, with no buttocks or stomach, almost everything looks well with them.

Not one book in their rooms. A lot of crumbs from the hash cookies or the kif pipes. The most obvious defect of drug taking is to make the addict oblivious to the diet and general slothfulness that he conveys. The photographer. Michael Cooper, is really dirty, with his shirt open and trousers to below the navel. Unshaven, he spends a lot of time scratching his long hair. No group make more of a mess at the table. The aftermath of their breakfast with eggs, jam, honey everywhere, is quite exceptional. They give a new meaning to the word untidiness.

We must reconsider our ideas on drugs. It seems these boys live off them, yet they seem extremely healthy and strong. We will see.

The party, minus Mick, loses all its glamour. Brian Jones seemed in a more communicative condition and smiled a lot. His voice is quite affected, unlike the rawness of the others, and he makes attempts at politeness. He even apologised for falling asleep at table last night, “It was very bad-mannered,” he drawled with a bit of a lisp. I asked him about their work. They’d started off playing blues, by degrees developed their present style. altering their instruments, and now they spend much more time than before experimenting, playing back tapes, and now, for example, the sitar holds a more prominent role. They continue the tapes, more alterations, play back another tape. Elvis Presley, now a back liner, was very important in the history of modern music, and Ray Charles. Ray, who still went on doing what he believed in and it was good, unlike the tuxedo Las Vegas gang, in their tweeds (Sinatra and Crosby). Keith and Mick generally write their own words and music. They thought the best of “pop” came from the US.

At about 3 o’clock they were joined by the others, who had been house hunting. “I’d like to buy a house” – “l’d like to have a good car” – “Put a call through to London, will you?” and again there was another row with the waiters. The chauffeur, Tom, returned from Casablanca and was furious to be told there was no more hot food. The kitchen empty. Likewise the photographer-where had he been to be so late? Just waiting. He of all people to complain. Little wonder that the elderly waiter became furious. “You’re a lot of pigs. You should go to the market square, the Medina, and eat your food there. That’s where you belong! I am not going to serve any of you again.”

Robert F. rushed out to complain to the manager. Gosh, they are a messy group. No good getting annoyed. One can only wonder as to their future. If their talent isn’t undermined by drugs etc. They are successful rebels, all power, but no sympathy and none asked.

The sound element uses the short story Allal by Paul Bowles, read by Paul Bowles. The image is from the image archive of Marco Grassi, painting restorer. All other parts were created from samples made for the post by the Frank Minoprio project Green Relm, edited and produced with field recordings by A Moment of Eternal Noise. The text is from Beaton In The Sixties, The Cecil Beaton Diaries as he wrote them, 1965-1969.