Vernacular Aesthetics

“To look through a Becher book is to take a lesson in vernacular aesthetics ; it is to learn to read differences in composition, rhythm and formal solutions where an ordinarily eye would see only indifference and standardisation; it is to derive intense pleasure from your own capacity of discrimination; it is to suffer from your inability to back it up by a technical vocabulary that would make it possible for you to detail a gasometer’s architecture as if it were a cathedral.”

Thierry de Duve, ‘Bernd et Hilla Becher ou la photographie monumentaire’ in Les Cahiers du Musée national d’art moderne, no. 39, pp. 118-29.

gasometer

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A “dead” audience

“I never fully understood the need for a “live” audience. My music, because of its extreme quietude, would be happiest with a dead one.”

Morton Feldman, Conversations without Stravinsky (London Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 12, March 1967)

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Alternative TV – Life

Lyrics

Life’s about as wonderful as a record mart
I don’t like selling albums
But I don’t wanna go to work.
Life’s about as wonderful as a record mart
I haven’t got any money
that’s why I’m selling albums!

Life’s about as wonderful as a cold
Life’s about as wonderful as growing old
Life’s about as wonderful as a tramp lying dead in the road
Life’s about as wonderful…

Life’s about as wonderful as a dole que
I don’t like standing still
With the tramps and layabouts.
Life’s about as wonderful as a dole que
Bit I’ve got no choice
That’s why I’m standing in a que.

Life’s about as wonderful as a cold
Life’s about as wonderful as growing old
Life’s about as wonderful as a tramp lying dead in the road
Life’s about as wonderful…

Life’s about as wonderful as no electricity
I don’t like acoustics
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Life’s about as wonderful as no electricity
I make out it’s poetry
That’s why I’m screamin’ at ya.

Life’s about as wonderful as a cold
Life’s about as wonderful as growing old
Life’s about as wonderful as a tramp lying dead in the road
Life’s about as wonderful…

Life’s about as wonderful

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Our lady of darkness

Cover of the first British edition of Fritz Leiber's Our Lady of Darkness (1978)

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Abandoned stations in Antarctica

Abandoned sites are found in (former) industrial areas, as highlighted in the post on the Monteponi mine in Sardinia and as photographed by Bernd and Hilla Becher, who are famous for their photographs of industrial buildings, or in cities, as highlighted in a previous post about Abandoned London Underground Stations.

And even Antarctica, although sparsely populated, turns out to have its own abandoned stations, including the camp built by Robert Scott and his party on Ross Island in 1911, an actual ghost town at Whaler’s Bay on Deception Island , and abandoned whaling outposts on South Georgia, another Antarctic Island. These abandoned South Pole sites, the  lonely landscapes, the grim sub-zero temperatures, and its Mountains of Madness, can evoke truly fascinating and haunting experiences.

HT Grim Reviews

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