Smallritual

Blog archive November 2009

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18.11.09 | 01 | the return of old influences

have just rediscovered on the web a couple of magazines that have had a lasting influence on me, both now in purely digital form.

first, level - i have all 11 issues from the print run of 99-00 and loved it to bits, but it folded just as it was getting going. the originators chris and mark noble restarted it in june as a purely online affair, but with more or less the same cast of contributors and the same design that so affected me then. look at these pages from the original print mag:

Levelmag contributors page
Levelmag contents page

now go look at alternativeworship.org!

the other influence/inspiration of the same period was knowledge magazine, until they changed the design from issue 44 on. i kept a few copies for years but must've thrown them out in the last move - i regret it now! but fortunately the new kmag site has online back issues, including some of my favourites - see here for a good example. the clean design, the coloured rectangles - still looks good to me. and of course i've returned to the music...


08.11.09 | 01 | militant modernism and the brutalist continuum

my tube book recently has been militant modernism by owen hatherley, which explores how left-wing modernism attempted to disrupt and reformat everyday life for a future that was never quite achieved. four essays look at british brutalist housing, soviet constructivism, socialist film and brecht's experiments in theatre.

curiously these essays link my two recent cultural excursions:

'mother courage' at the national theatre was indeed perfectly brechtian as discussed by hatherley, and as he predicted was controversial for those who prefer naturalism. me, i loved it. i wish i could have photographed it for you. it was strange [and good] to see duke special on the olivier stage - i had last seen him on the greenbelt mainstage, in august! what an unexpected gig - his music has divided reviewers, but i like his stuff so it was another good thing about the production for me. i'm tempted to see it again.

and friday night was hospitality night again at matter. hatherley writes of the 'brutalist continuum', ie the cultural production of those who grew up in brutalist architecture, and drum'n'bass certainly exemplifies that, especially when experienced in a raw concrete club with images of brutalist buildings projected on the walls [have they read hatherley?]. matt wanted me to take a couple of photos of him for future promotional purposes. stills camera couldn't cope with the dancefloor movement, so i was forced back to movies again! [there is more ambient light to the human eye than to my camera in movie mode - it won't pick up the galleries and overhead walkway full of people]

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