Czech photog Tereza Zelenkova glimpses fantastical archaeology merging science, religion and history

by David Solomonoff

The metaphorical hollows and crevices in the landscape form a support structure for the sacral, a sort of centres, which become places where the sacred infiltrates the everyday being, i.e. locations functioning as backdrops for the myth. Despite its independence from the linear notion of time, the myth is always set in a certain place, landscape and nature.

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Unknown records from late 70s and 80s Yugoslavia find new audience via Luka Novaković and Vanja Todorović, the brains behind indie label Discom

by David Solomonoff

Belgrade in the 1980s was a hotbed for new wave, electronic and synth pop sounds. It wasn’t so unusual to know a rock musician or someone who played in a new wave band. With so much music being produced, not just in Belgrade but across all major cities of former Yugoslavia, it was inevitable that after the political breakup of the 90s, some of this rich musical legacy was either overlooked or lost. It’s thanks to the dedication of Luka Novaković and Vanja Todorović, the brains behind indie label Discom, that unknown records from late 70s and 80s Yugoslavia are finding a new audience.

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Free software #Mellotron for download

by David Solomonoff

Plogue Sforzatron Is A Free Mellotron Library In SFZ Format

via Bedroom Producers Blog:

The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard – basically an analog precursor of modern software music samplers.

Plogue Sforzatron is a software implementation of the Mellotron for the free sample player Plogue Sforzando. It’s based on the same set of samples released by Taijiguy used in several other free Mellotrons, but it adds a little flexibility not present in the originals.

In addition to allowing the blending of any three sounds from the Mellotron samples, Sforzatron also adds ADSR envelope, tone, detune and pan controls for each sound slot, plus global overdrive, detune and reverb effects. The presets fall into three general categories: authentic Mellotron sounds, thicker and swirlier detuned variations, and sounds which use the envelopes to simulate percussive sounds or reverse tape effects.

Creating a digital recreation of a comparatively primitive analog audio sampler would seem counterintuitive – but recreating the warm distortion and character that defined classic art rock of the late sixties and early seventies as a starting point for new music is the goal here.


  • Blog post by Michael Thomas “Mike” Pinder, English rock musician, founding member and original keyboard player of the The Moody Blues whose haunting riffs were played on the Mellotron
  • Mellotrons still being manufactured today


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Morbid Anatomy Creator Joanna Ebenstein on Curious Intersections of Death And Beauty

by David Solomonoff

When you think of death, what comes to mind? Fear? Anxiety? Loss? Have you ever thought of death as something…beautiful? In this photography-filled talk, artist and museum curator Joanna Ebenstein explores the ways death is celebrated around the world—from a cause for festivities and wonder, to a mysterious, marvelous moment that should be honored and preserved.


Morbid Anatomy: Surveying the Interstices of Art and Medicine, Death and Culture

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The Guardian: Why painting is the comeback art of the 21st century

by David Solomonoff

In the 1990s, conceptual and new media art looked like the future, but such art has one huge drawback. It is inherently elitist. It depends on the framing device of the white cube gallery or museum.

Source: A second coat: why painting is the comeback art of the 21st century | Art and design | The Guardian

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The Mirror Effect: How mirrors transformed the sense of self

by David Solomonoff

The very act of a person seeing himself in a mirror or being represented in a portrait as the center of attention encouraged him to think of himself in a different way. He began to see himself as unique. Previously the parameters of individual identity had been limited to an individual’s interaction with the people around him and the religious insights he had over the course of his life. Thus individuality as we understand it today did not exist: people only understood their identity in relation to groups—their household, their manor, their town or parish—and in relation to God.

Source: The Mirror Effect

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Fascinating Photos of Europe’s Perishing Palaces: “Ghosts of former landlords silently echoing riches-to-rags tales we’ll never know”

by David Solomonoff

Remarkable images of decaying European villas by Mirna Pavlovic go on display at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, Zagreb.

The combination of luxury and decay is equally appealing and off-putting. Whether it’s shabby-chic, faded Hollywood glamor, or the staunch-yet-penniless vibe of the heroines in Grey Gardens, it seems society has always had a complex, car-crash attitude towards people and places that have gone downhill. Mirna Pavlovic‘s photo series Dulcis Domus documents our uneasy relationship with the recent past through images of abandoned mansions, decaying villas, and disintegrating palaces of Europe, with the ghosts of former landlords silently echoing riches-to-rags tales we’ll never know.

Source: Fascinating Photographs of Europe’s Perishing Palaces | The Creators Project

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The beloved #typewriter – its utilitarian beauty, the pleasing percussive action of striking its keys, the singularity of the impressed page – is enjoying a renaissance across the creative industries.

by David Solomonoff

‘I Am TOM. I Like to TYPE. Hear that?’ So wrote actor Tom Hanks recently, describing his love of the typewriter.

In this authoritative book, the authors apply their experience to mine the collection they have created over four decades to present over 550 examples produced by more than sixty of the world’s finest contributors to the genre.

From the early ornamental works produced by secretaries in the late nineteenth century to more recent works that consider the uniqueness of the typewritten document in the digital age, there is an astonishing – and delightful – range of creativity in every artwork.

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Pulling Music Out Of The Airwaves

by David Solomonoff

Pulling Music Out Of The Airwaves


RADIO WONDERLAND is a one-man band with many famous unintentional collaborators. [Joshua Fried]’s shows start off with him walking in carrying a boombox playing FM radio. He plugs it into his sound rig, tunes around a while, and collects some samples. Magic happens, he turns an ancient Buick steering wheel, and music emerges from the resampled radio cacophony.

It’s experimental music, which is secret art-scene-insider code for “you might not like it”

Source: Pulling Music Out Of The Airwaves

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Madame Mao, Hillary Clinton: Political Power Grows Out of a Horndog Hubby

by Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff

20111031-wikicommons JiangQingmovieshot 1934

“Every Communist must grasp the truth; Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

So said Mao Zedong, dictator extraordinaire. According to some historians of totalitarianism, Mao did democide (murder by government) even better than his mentor, Joseph Stalin. Whatever. Both were masters of mass starvation. Mao’s visionary Great Leap Forward, an accelerated modernization program, produced the Great Chinese Famine of 1958 to ’61. The dead numbered between 20 and 43 million. Thereby proving Mao’s maxim that “revolution isn’t a dinner party”.

As well as a go-go dictator, Mao was a celebrated author. His Little Red Book (aka Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung) a  compendium of revolutionary nuggets informed by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, was must reading for the masses. Though the Red Book’s reputation dwindled after Mao’s death in 1976, a revaluation is in the works. Literary critics laud Mao’s anticipation of the formal terseness of Twitter. Indeed, if Mao’s epigrams were accompanied by emoji they’d seem thoroughly modern.

Mao wasn’t all revolutionary work and no play. The Chairman was also a prodigious horndog. Plowing his way through four wives, myriad girlfriends, and countless quickies. Partners for the latter were delivered by minions upon demand. Those chosen were honored to Serve the Revolution.

Mao’s fourth and final wife was Jiang Qing, an actress (stage name Lan Ping) blessed with looks and the correct line. She and Mao met in the late 1930’s in Yan’an in Shannnxi Province, the center of the Chinese Communist revolution during the Japanese occupation. In order to marry the much younger Jiang Qing, Mao jettisoned his third wife, He Zizhen. Not a popular move…

He Zizhen, a skilled guerrilla fighter and crack shot, had been with Mao on the Long March to Yan’an during the Chinese Civil War and was highly respected. Plus, Mao’s Communist Party comrades at leadership level were suspicious of Jiang Qing’s ambitions. Perhaps Mao had a few suspicions of his own; the new Madame Mao was forced to sign an agreement banning her from positions of political power for several decades. However, Jiang Quing was allowed to serve as Mao’s personal secretary. And she kept her hand in showbiz by overseeing films for the Party’s Propaganda Department.

Meanwhile, Mao continued to nail as much tail as possible.

By the time Madame Mao’s time in power purgatory ended, she’d built up quite a head of steam. Mao owed her big time for  tolerating his infidelities– and he knew just what payoff would suit her.

In 1966, Mao made Madame Mao deputy director of the Cultural Revolution Group (CRG), the prime mover of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Before you could say “purge”, Madame Mao was unleashing mobs of roving teenage Red Guards (SJWs on bath salts), rooting out implicit thought crime via reeducation sessions featuring public humiliation, torture, and slaughter, and oh yeah– settling scores with Mao’s myriad perceived enemies (particularly those who blamed him for the Great Famine) and pumping his Cult of Personality to ever more bloated proportions.

Here and Now

Half a century later, a woman whose political power also grew out of tolerating the infidelities of a horndog hubby may become President of the United States. But we can rest assured that if elected, Hillary Clinton will not be aping Madame Mao. Times have changed for women; despite all the power she finally wielded Madame Mao was still very much her husband’s bitch. She said as much when on trial in 1980. To those who wished to shield Mao’s image by painting Madame Mao as acting independently, she retorted “I bit whomever he asked me to bite.”

Hillary however, is her very own tool.

Under President Hillary, we won’t be seeing any massive statues of Bill being dragged through the streets at week long rallies devoted to his veneration. Any statues dragged, or rallies held, will venerate Hillary thank you very much. Crowds will be chanting “I’m With Her” not “Him”. Yeah, some rooting out of implicit thought crime from the populace will be required– but as for settling scores, Bill’s old enemies will have to take a back seat to Hillary’s new ones. (Here’s looking at you, Bernie!)

Far-fetched to think Hill might cherish Chairman Mao dreams?

Uh..have you checked those suits she’s been wearing lately?

Hillary in Yellow

Hillary in Blue

Hillary in Orange





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