Fine dining for every age: United Airlines in-flight meal; 1896 dinner; Captain Nemo’s Table; Joliet ice cream store; Cape Kennedy Cafe kids’ menu; Japantown’s Takara; Oroville’s Tong Fong Low; Myra Breckenridge’s 1970 weekend party.
| BACK |
-| January 2023 |-
“As revealed in the song
Ziggy Stardust, Ziggy was not
a spider - he was the fly.”
Outside the musical world he inhabits, David Bowie can usually be found in the company of artists. These adventures in the art world found expression in the 1990s when, fooling around on his computer, Bowie ended up w/ a short piece concerning blood and art. This, havg recently chatted w/ Brian Eno on fin-de-siècle malaise and what that might involve. They went on to produce a concept album concerning “this rather dark, satirical idea of where art could go”. Musicians take cues from Eno into which meadow the sound ought to roam in, while Bowie stitches words into the result, seeking fits or juxtaposition until a concept coheres. Eno fiddles w/ the elusives and imbues proceedings w/ more propositions. Lyrics then separate to become distinct voices, then characters. A murder victim has been turned into art. An assortment of suspects. A detective following a lead. A minotaur.
What emerges from the labyrinth is the album 1.Outside, a disjointed and dispirited dystopia featuring violence and death, sex and rock ’n roll.
★ David Robert Jones died from liver two days after his 69th birthday, on January 9 2016. His ashes were scattered on the island of Bali, in a buddhist ceremony. He left behind wife Iman Muhammid Abdulmadjid, daughter Alexandria, son Duncan Jones, Duncan’s ex-nanny Marion Skene, and long-time personal assistant, Corinne Coco Schwab.
-|- FIVE YEARS
The cosmic Chameleon and the chance Corinthian lash themselves together, in the lab – on the slab – and bring forth “… a gothic drama hyper-cycle”.
❝ [Brian and I] had already started a whole set of improvisations in the studio around March, 1994. Out of that came dialogue and landscape that was tied together, not even tenuously. All the elements were fairly disparate. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, by a narrative device, to chronicle the final five years of the millennium. The over-ambitious intention is to carry this through to the year 2000.
❝ What Brian and I are trying to do is develop a series of albums. [Outside] is the first in this cycle of albums. [The diary is] only the subject matter, it’s not the content of the album. The content is very much the atmosphere and texture of the music, that strange place that music indeed puts you which cannot be articulated. The story itself is semi-linear, so if you want to, follow it in a linear fashion, but it”s not absolutely necessary. The pieces themselves can be autonomous, they are pieces of music on their own.
❝ Well, Brian, very cleverly, because of being what he is, which is basically a conceptualist, turned everything into a series of games once we got into the studio: To allow the musicians to not be who they are for short periods of time.
❝ As for musicians, it was important to choose those who were not weighed down with musical cliché, who had terrific control over their abilities. Yet were a bit loony.
❝ A piece that shows the extreme it could get to is “A Small Plot of Land”. That piece in particular was a first class indication of what happens when you put people in a strange place like that.
❝ Eno would create little flash cards for them in the mornings. He would create situations they would have to put themselves in mentally, intellectually, and then start playing from that point of view. On each one, a character was written, like (You are the disgruntled member of a South African rock band. Play the notes that were suppressed). ... Because that set the tone for the day, the music would take on all those obscure areas. And it would very rarely lapse into the cliché. So we changed the status of the beginning of these pieces and they came into them like aliens from another place. It opened up a whole area of improvisation. ... It’s very hard to explain [laughs], you should have been there.
❝ The lyric writing itself was fairly hazardous. What I did, I took a lot of areas of subject matter I’m interested in and wrote short paragraphs or pieces of poetry around those subjects and fed them into this Macintosh computer I have. I have a random key on it and it will randomize what I have written. So it was basically the Macintosh’s choice that it was New Jersey. But it was also a bit of England, too, with New Oxford Town. [Then decide] whether I was going to sing, do a dialogue, or become a character. I would improvise with the band, really fast on my feet, getting from one line to another and seeing what worked.
❝ There’s no intent in it, there’s no meaning. I’m not a meaner. I don’t have this great thing that I have to say. It’s a collection of fragments of information, of ideas, that are assembled and produce a certain atmosphere.
❝ Next year, we’ll develop a whole new slew of other characters or maybe re-introduce some of these or even negate some of them. Maybe we’ll never find Baby Grace. Maybe [Detective Nathan] Adler will become the next victim. I don’t know. And that’s what’s kind of interesting. Maybe we’ll just get bored with murder as art and move into another area of our society. It’s all up for grabs. So I‘m quite interested in the future of this thing.
❝ I think [the album is] a confluence of events. First, we definitely perceive murder now as entertainment. It’s used to a massive extent in cinema. And pretty much it’s a space filler in TV. There’s the whole gladiatorial arena spectacle of somehow appeasing gods or looking at the fears and anxieties of the public.
❝ [Brian and I] were both interested in nibbling at the periphery of the mainstream rather than jumping in. We sent each other long manifestoes about what was missing in music and what we should be doing. We decided to really experiment and go into the studio with not even a gnat of an idea.
❝ The momentum gathers as we approach the end of this cycle of 100 years, a huge anguish that everything will change. I wanted to make a record that reflected those anxieties, a state of moral, spiritual and emotional panic. With people breaking off into small groups to feel some sense of community.
❝ Plus this growing momentum in body art, which has been precipitated over the last 15 years or so with people like Kiki Smith and Damian Hirst and Ron Athey and Chris Burden. The idea of using the body as yet another medium, like wood or metal or glass or stone – almost the politicizing of the body itself. Almost extrapolating on that in an allegorical fashion to have this rather dark, satirical idea of where art could go.
❝ Dalí ... knew exactly what he was doing. He knew what all the objects meant ... The attitude that says the artist should paint only things the proletarian can understand, I think, is the most destructive thing possible.
❝ About 20 percent of what I put in [the album] are fictional and the rest are real, but it’s very hard to tell the difference. But the most surprising one, like the Korean cutting off pieces of himself in the late ’70s in New York, was not apocryphal. I checked back with Art Forum.
❝ I’m sure you know a writer, Thomas de Quincy. For those of us who grew up in the ’60s, his Confessions of an Opium Eater was a kind of bible. At that time, in 1820, he wrote a small piece for Blackwoods, a London magazine, called Murder Considered as a Fine Art which laid down exactly that theory.
❝ Sort of that classic idea of taking a life as something sort of ritualized. Lots of things came into it. It wasn’t a simple, direct journey. Even the surrealists, like André Breton, who said in the ’20s, probably one of the greatest acts of art would be to go out into a crowd and shoot a revolver into it.
❝ ... the other things that went into [Outside], Brian and I are both fans of a form of art known as Outsider Art. I, for the last 15 years, have lived next to the holy shrine of outsider art, an art museum in Switzerland called Le Brut, set up by Dubuffet. He set it up because he felt he was terribly influenced by the kinds of art that were made by people who lived an unstructured life – in institutions, or hermits, or were ostracized by society for one reason or another. He collected the art that they made and toward the late years of his life opened this museum and put their work in it. That actually was a source of inspiration when we went in for our last three albums in the late 70s. ... The lesson to learn from outsider art was that the artist should be primal. Technique or virtuosity didn’t matter; that which was unformed and screaming inside of you, waiting to be released, was the real essence of the creativity. ... The idea of working without knowledge or judgement, either self-judgement or of how the outside world perceives what you’re doing.
❝ I’ll tell you something which happened subsequently to recording the album which was disturbing in itself. There’s a Dutch artist, Rob Scholte, who’s pretty well-known in Europe. One day, in December 1994, he came down from his apartment and got in his car w/ his wife and he heard a ticking sound. Needless to say, his car seat blew up and he was left without legs. Within a week following that, one of his contemporaries had been down to the attempted assassination spot and filmed the wreckage, the crash area, and was using it as a performance piece in a gallery in Amsterdam. That’s not a hair’s breadth away from what was satirical. And of course now Rob Scholte is doing performance shows where he makes great play over the fact that he no longer has a pair of legs. They still haven’t found out who blew him up, but there are all kind of theories ranging from a drug connection to a jealous artist.
❝ The morality of any society is quite strange. In the finality, it’s decided by law what happens. People change their network of comfort by changing laws to make things acceptable or unacceptable.
❝ I think that our religious philosophies trail so far behind the way that we actually live today that we find ourselves in a spiritual void, and I think it affects the young very much indeed. ... We continually try and find ritual, but we have no religious order to connect that ritual to. ... So we have to reinvent God, I think, in our own new way of life to give ourselves another form of spiritual sustenance.
❝ Oh, I’ve got the fondest hopes for the fin de siècle. I see it as a symbolic sacrificial rite. I see it as a deviance, a pagan wish to appease gods, so we can move on. There’s a real spiritual starvation out there being filled by these mutations of what are barely remembered rites and rituals. To take the place of the void left by a non-authoritative church. We have this panic button telling us it’s gonna be a colossal madness at the end of this century.
❝ I think the idea of becoming comfortable with the idea of chaos is how we are progressing – that life and the universe are extremely untidy. Anything that pulls back the veil on that chaos is a step nearer a more realistic understanding of what our state is – so I embrace chaos. I’m a child of the ’70s, remember. I’m pluralistic by nature. I always had the unfortunate facility of being able to see both sides of every picture. It wasn’t a question of not being able to determine which side I was on, but seeing that things didn’t have sides. It wasn’t as simple as that. ❞
▶  William BurroughsThe concept album Outside is based, in part, on Bowie learning on his new computer. Coming across an app à la The Cut-up Method, the cosmic chameleon stitched together digital words, becoming “virtually the entire genesis” of his nineteenth album and fourth collaboration w/ Brian Eno. Bowie had just stepped away from finishing the soundtrack to 1993’s Buddha of Suburbia mini-series for BBC Televsion. -|-
▶  ContaminationOutside was just one of several albums, a set, that Bowie started to work on w/ Brian Eno. The next one was to be Contamination, peopled w/ “17th century characters”. The day after Bowie’s death, Eno recalled: “About a year ago [David and I] started talking about Outside – the last album we worked on together. We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that.” -|-
▶  Album-|- Producers: David Bowie, Brian Eno -|- David Richards (co-producer) -|- Mixing and additional treatments: David Richards, David Bowie -|- Mastering: David Richards, Kevin Metcalfe -|- Assistant Engineers: Ben Fenner, Andy Grassi, Jon Goldberger, Domonik Tarqua -|- Album Design & Image Manipulation: Denovo -|- Photography: John Scarisbrick -|- Stylist: Jennifer Elster -|- Recorded at Mountain Studios, Switzerland. -|- Mixed and additional treatments by David Ricahrds, assisted by David Bowie. -|- Mastered by David Ricahrds and Kevin Metcalfe at The TownHouse Digital Mastering Studios, London. -|-
▶  Musicians-|- David Bowie: vocals, saxophone, guitar, keyboards -|- Brian Eno: synthesizers, treatments, oblique strategies -|- Reeves Gabrels: guitar -|- Erdal Kızılçay: bass, keyboards -|- Mike Garson: grand piano -|- Sterling Campbell: drums -|- Carlos Alomar: rhythm guitar -|- Joey Baron: drums -|- Yossi Fine: bass -|- Tom Frish: additional guitar on “Strangers When We Meet” -|- Kevin Armstrong: additional guitar on “Thru’ These Architects Eyes” -|- Bryony, Lola, Josey and Ruby Edwards: background vocals on “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson” and “I Am With Name” -|-
▶  OuttakesIncludes, among others: “Enemy is Fragile” – “I’d Rather Be Chrome” – “Dead Men Don’t Talk” – “Inside the Motel” – “Baby Fingers” – – “Hide Me We Creep Together Part 1” – “Hide Me We Creep Together Part 2 – “The First Time” – “Hello Leon” – “OK Riot”. -|-
▶  TourOn the Outside tour, Bowie and his band would come onstage while opening act Nine Inch Nails was finishing, and both bands performed “Subterraneans”, “Hallo Spaceboy” and “Scary Monsters”, followed by 2 NIN songs (“Reptile” and “Hurt”), after which NIN decamped and Bowie’s set played on. -|-
▶ [7 Lyrics] Leon Takes Us Outside: Leon BlankValentines Day - 25 - June - 16th - Wednesday - July 6th - 20 - 0 - 20 - 15 - Martin Luther King Day - June 18th - June 6th - Wednesday - August 18th - 9th - 1999 - 12 - Nicholas - August - Wednesday - 13th - Sunday - 5th - March - October - January - October 13th - Wednesday - Martin Luther King Day - Afternoon - In view of nothing - 20 - 0 - 1 - Late winter - Martin Luther King Day - 12 - 16 - August - Wednesday - 13th - Friday - 7 - June. -|-
▶ [8 Lyrics] Outside: PrologueNow. Not tomorrow. Yesterday, not tomorrow. It happens today, the damage today. They fall on today - they beat on the outside, and I'll stand by you. - Now. Not tomorrow. It's happening now, not tomorrow. It’s happening now. The crazed in the hot-zone. The mental and diva’s hands. The fisting of life to the music outside, to the music outside. It happens outside, the music is outside. It’s happening outside, the music is outside. It’s happening now, not tomorrow. Yesterday. Not tomorrow. The music is outside. It’s happening outside. The music is outside. Outside. -|-
▶ [9 Lyrics] The Heart’s Filthy Lesson: Detective Nathan Adler(Heart’s filthy lesson) There’s always the Diamond friendly, sitting in the Laugh Motel. The Heart’s filthy lesson, with her hundred miles to hell. Oh, Ramona, if there was only something between us, other than our clothes. Something in our skies. Something in our blood. Paddy, Paddy, who’s been wearing Miranda’s clothes? It's the Heart’s filthy lesson - falls upon deaf ears. (Heart’s filthy lesson) Falls upon deaf ears. (Heart’s filthy lesson) Oh Ramona, if there was only some kind of future. And these cerulean skies: Something in our skies - something in our blood. Paddy, Paddy? Paddy, oh Paddy, I think I’ve lost my way. (Heart’s filthy lesson) I’m already five years older I’m already in my grave. (Heart’s filthy lesson) Will you carry me? Oh Paddy, I think I’ve lost my way. Paddy, what a fantastic death abyss. (Heart’s filthy lesson) It’s the Heart’s filthy lesson. Tell the others. -|-
▶ [10 Lyrics] A Small Plot of Land: Citizens of Oxford TownPoor soul. Spit upon that. Poor soul, he never knew what hit him - and it hit him so. Poor dunce. He pushed back the pigmen. The Barbs laughed - the fool is dead. Poor dunce. He’s less than within us. The brains talk but the will to live is dead. And prayer can’t travel so far these days. The talk of your life, standing so near - to innocent eyes. Poor dunce. Swings thru the tunnels and claws his way. Is small life so manic? Are these really the days. Poor dunce, poor soul. -|-
▶ [11 Lyrics] (Segue) Baby Grace (a Horrid Cassette): Baby Grace BlueTest, testing, testing - This, hmmm, Grace is my name - And and I was...um... - It was that photo... a fading photograph of a patch..., a patchwork quilt. - And they’ve put me on these ... - Ramona put me on these interest drugs - So I’m thinking very too bit too fast like a brain hatch - And ah they won’t let me see anybody - If I want to sometimes ... and I ask - I can still hear some pop...popular musics and aftershocks. (Ahhh-choo) See I’ve been watching a television of um... in the homelands - That’s the new homelands and um that’s all I can remember - And now they just want me to be quiet - And I think something is going to be horrid. -|-
▶ [12 Lyrics] Hallo Spceboy: Paddy(Hallo) Spaceboy - you’re sleepy now - Your silhouette is so stationary - You’re released but your custody calls - And I want to be free - Don’t you want to be free - Do you like girls or boys - It’s confusing these days - But Moondust will cover you - Cover you - This chaos is killing me - So bye bye love - Yeah bye bye love - Bye bye love - Yeah bye bye love - This chaos is killing me - And the chaos is calling me - Yeah bye bye love - Yeah bye bye love - Bye bye love - Good time love - Be sweet sweet dove - Bye bye spaceboy - Bye bye love. -|-
▶ [13 Lyrics] The Motel: Leon BlankFor we’re living in a safety zone don’t be holding back from me. We’re living from hour to hour down here and we’ll take it when we can. It’s a kind of living which recognises the death of the odourless man. When nothing is vanity nothing’s too slow. It’s not Eden but it’s no sham. There is no hell there is no shame. There is no hell like an old hell. There is no hell and it’s lights up, boys. Lights up boys. Explosion falls upon deaf ears while we’re swimming in a sea of sham. Living in the shadow of vanity - a complex fashion for a simple man. And there is no hell and there is no shame and there is no hell like an old hell. There is no hell and the silence flies on its brief flight. A razor sharp crap shoot affair and we light up our lives. And there’s no more of me exploding you. Re-exposing you. Like everybody do. Re-exploding you. I don’t know what to use. Make somebody move. Me exploding. Me exploding you. -|-
▶ [14 Lyrics] I Have Not Been to Oxford Town: Leon BlankBaby Grace is the victim, she was 14 years of age. And the wheels are turning, turning, for the finger points at me. All's well but I have not been to Oxford Town - all’s well no I have not been to Oxford Town. Toll the bell pay the private eye. All’s well - 20th century dies. And the prison priests are decent, my attorney seems sincere. I fear my days are numbered - Lord get me out of here. All’s well but I have not been to Oxford Town - all’s well but I have not been to Oxford Town. This is your shadow on my wall. This is my flesh and blood. This is what I could’ve been. And the wheels are turning and turning, as the 20th century dies. If I had not ripped the fabric, if time had not stood still, if I had not met Ramona, if I’d only paid my bill. All’s well but I have not been to Oxford Town - all’s well but I have not been to Oxford Town. This is my bunk with two sheets, this is my food though foul, this is what I could have been. -|-
▶ [15 Lyrics] No Control: Detective Nathan AdlerStay away from the future, back away from the light, it’s all deranged - no control. Sit tight in your corner, don’t tell God your plans, it’s all deranged - no control. If I could control tomorrow’s haze, the darkened shore wouldn’t bother me. If I can’t control the web we weave, my life will be lost in the fallen leaves. Every single move’s uncertain, don’t tell God your plans, it’s all deranged - no control. I should live my life on bended knee if I can’t control my destiny. You’ve gotta have a scheme, you’ve gotta have a plan, in the world of today, for tomorrow’s man. No control. Stay away from the future, don’t tell God your plans, it’s all deranged - no control. Forbidden words, deafen me in memory - no control. See how far a sinful man burns his tracks, his bloody robes. -|-
▶ [16 Lyrics] (Segue) Algeria Touchshriek: Algeria TouchshriekMy name is Mr. Touchshriek, of Touchshriek, with mail over and fantasy. My shop sells egg shells off the shesores and empty females. I’m thinking of leasing the room above my shop to a Mr. Walloff Domburg - a reject from the world wide Internet. He’s a broken man; I’m also a broken man. It would be nice to have company. We could have great conversations. Looking through windows for demons, and watching the young advance in - all electric. Some of the houses around here still have inhabitants in them. I’m not sure if they’re from this country or not. I don’t get to speak much to anyone or that sort of thing. If I had another broken name - oh, I dream of something like that. -|-
▶ [17 Lyrics] The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (as Beauty): Artist / MinotaurI shake - at the mother’s brutal vermin. I shake - and stare at the watery moon. With the same desire, as the sober Philistine. And I shake (turn and turn again) worm, the pain and blade - turn and turn again. The screw is a tightening atrocity - I shake. For the reeking flesh is as romantic as hell. The need to have seen it all: the voyeur of utter destruction - as beauty. I shake - turn and turn again - I shake - turn and turn again - I shake. Research has pierced all extremes of my sex. Call it a day - call it a day. Needle point life blinds the will to be next - call it a day. Today. -|-
▶ [18 Lyrics] (Segue) Ramona A. Stone / I Am With Name: Ramona A. Stone + her AcolytesI was Ramona A. Stone. I started with no enemies of my own. I was an artiste in a tunnel. But I’ve been having a mid-life crisis, and I’ve been dreaming in a sleep. And ape men with metal parts, I’ve spat upon deeply felt age. I’ve hid my hearts in, and I hate the funny colored english. We’ll creep together you and I, for I know who the small friends are. I am with name, I am with name, I am Ramona A Stone. A night fear female. Good timing drone. I am with name, I am with name, I am Ramona A Stone. (She should say: twitch & stream - it’ll end in chrome - night of the female - good time drone.) A person who loses a name, feels anxiety descending. Left at the crossroads, between the centuries - a millenium fetish. (Give it to me one more time!) Anxiety descending. -|-
▶ [19 Lyrics] Wishful Beginnings: Artist / MinotaurCruising around me - the flames burn my body. Wishful beginnings - does this remind them again and again? You’re a sorry little girl. You’re a sorry little girl. Please hide - for the pain must feel like snow. You’re a sorry little girl. Sorry, little girl. Please hide from the kiss and the bite - shame burns. Breathing in, breathing out. Breathing in only doubt - the pain must feel like snow. I’m no longer your golden boy. Sorry little girl, I’m sorry little girl. The pain must feel like snow, there you go. Cover me, cover me. We flew on the wings. We were deep in the dead air, and this one will never go down. We had such wishful beginnings, but we lived unbearable lives. I’m sorry little girl. Sorry, little girl. So so sorry little girl. The pain must feel like snow. There you go, there you go. -|-
▶ [20 Lyrics] We Prick You: Members of the Court of JusticeWhite boys falling on the fires of night (I wish you’d tell). Flesh punks burning in their glue. Revolution comes in the strangest way (I wish you’d tell). I’d rather be inside you. Tell the truth - we prick you. (You show respect even if you disagree - you show respect.) Mama can I kiss you daddy can I ***you (We wish you well). Innocence passed me by. Wanna be screwing when the nightmare comes (I wish you well). Wanna come quick and die. All the little rose-kissed foxy girls - shoes, shoes, little white shoes; where have all the flowers gone? All the little fragile champion boys - toys, toys, little black toys; dripping on the end of a gun (Even if you disagree). -|-
▶ [21 Lyrics] (Segue) Nathan Adler: Detective Nathan AdlerOld Touchschriek was the main nameserver. Suspected of being a shoulder surfer, but he didn’t know from shit about challenge response systems. Now Ramona A Stone we know was selling interest drugs. She got males all hung up on her mind filters. She was if you don't mind me saying so an update demon. Now Leon, he couldn’t wait for 12 o’clock midnight. He jumps up on the stage with a criss criss machete and slashes around cutting a zero on everything. I mean a zero - in the fabric of time itself. Was this a suspect? I says to myself - Woa! “Quelle courage!” - Oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back to when it all began– -|-
▶ [22 Lyrics] I’m Deranged: Artist / MinotaurFunny how secrets travel, I’d start to believe - if I were to bleed. Thin skies, the man chains his hands held high. Cruise me blond cruise me babe. A blond belief beyond beyond beyond. No return no return. I’m deranged. Deranged, my love. I’m deranged down down down. So cruise me babe cruise me baby. And the rain sets in, it’s the angel-man - I’m deranged. Cruise me cruise me cruise me babe. The clutch of life and the fist of love - over your head - big deal Salaam. Be real deranged Salaam, before we reel. I’m deranged. -|-
▶ [23 Lyrics] Thru These Architect’s Eyes: Leon BlankStomping along on this big Phillip Johnson, is delay just wasting my time? Looking across at Richard Rogers, scheming dreams to blow both their minds. It’s difficult you see, to give up baby, to leave a job, when you know you know the money’s from day to day. All the majesty of a city landscape. All the soaring days in our lives. All the concrete dreams in my mind’s eye. All the joy I see thru these architect’s eyes. Cold winter bleeds on the girders of Babel. This stone boy watching the crawling land. Rings of flesh and the towers of iron. The steaming caves and the rocks and the sand. Stomping along on this big Phillip Johnson, is delay just wasting my time? It’s difficult you see to give up baby, these summer scumholes, this goddamned starving life. -|-
▶ [24 Lyrics] (Segue) Nathan Adler: Detective Nathan Adler
▶ [25 Lyrics] Strangers When We Meet: Leon Blank
▶ [26 Credits]
Based on reports from, among others, Nick DeRiso, David Fricke, Kev Geoghegan, Paul Gorman, Edna Gundersen, Larry Katz, Peter–R. Koenig, George A. Paul, Chris Roberts, Emma Saunders, Steele Savage,. And Internet searches, thank yous to: bowiesongs; The National; Jason Lundberg; One Half of the Bowlettes; lo-fi noise makers; wn; john b; Mauro B. C.; sonyakossta; Timetakesafag; SenseOfDoubt1; bowiechick; Beco2103; theMusicofmyLife1; BOWIElover; Jorge Gago Lopez; Matt Chamberlain; joymarr; KyOdar; BlueM2012; Halloweenjack84; Anna Dennis; david bowie tin machine.
▶  The Diary of Nathan Adler
|- ¶ -| It was at precisely 5:47am on the morning of Friday 31 of December 1999 that a dark spirited pluralist began the dissection of 14-year-old “Baby Grace.” The arms of the victim were pin-cushioned w/ 16 hypodermic needles, pumping in four major preservatives, colouring agents, memory information transport fluids and some kind of green stuff. From the last and 17th, all blood and liquid was extracted. The stomach area was carefully flapped open and the intestines removed, disentangled and re-knitted as it were, into a small net or web and hung btw. the pillars of the murder-location, the grand damp doorway of Oxford Town Museum of Modern Parts, New Jersey. |- ¶ -| The limbs of Baby were then severed from the torso. Each limb was implanted w/ a small, highly sophisticated, binary-code translator which in turn was connected to small speakers attached to far ends of each limb. The self-contained mini amplifiers were then activated, amplifying the decoded memory info-transport substances, revealing themselves as little clue haikus, small verses detailing memories of other brutal acts, well documented by the ROMbloids. |- ¶ -| The limbs and their components were then hung upon the splayed web, slug-like prey of some unimaginable creature. The torso, by means of its bottom-most orifice, had been placed on a small support fastened to a marble base. It was shown to varying degrees of success depending upon where one stood from behind the web but in front of the museum door itself, acting as both signifier and guardian to the act. It was definitely murder – but was it art? |- ¶ -| All this was to be the lead-up to the most provocative event in the whole sequence of serial-events that had started around November of tha same year, plunging me into the most portentous chaos-abyss that a quiet lone-hacker like myself could comprehend.
|- ¶ -| My name is NATHAN ADLER, or Detective Professor Adler in my circuit. I’m attached to the division of Art-Crime Inc., the recently instigated corporation funded by an endowment from the Arts Protectorate of London, it being felt that the investigation of art-crimes was in itself inseparable from other forms of expression and therefore worthy of support from this significant body. |- ¶ -| Nicolas Serota himself had deemed us, the small-fry of the division, worthy of an exhibit at last year’s Biennale in Venice, three rooms of evidence and comparative study work which conclusively proved that the cow in Mark Tansey’s “The Innocent Eye Test” could not differentiate btw. Paulus Potter’s “The Young Bull” of 1647 (exactly 300 years before I was born, incidentally) and one of Monet’s grain stack paintings of the 1890s. The traditional art press deemed this extrapolation “bullshit” and removed itself to study the more formal ideas contained in Damien Hirst’s “Sheep In a Box.” Art’s a farmyard. It’s my job to pick thru the manure heap looking for peppercorns.
Friday - 12-31-99 – 10:15a |- ¶ -| As in any crime, my first position is to peruse the motive-gag. The recent spate, thru ’98-’99, of concept-muggings pretty much had me pulling breath for an art-murder. It was a crime whose time was now. The precedents were all there. It had probably its beginnings in the ’70s w/ the Viennese castrationists and the blood-rituals of Nitsch. Public revultion put the lid on that episode, but you can’t keep a good ghoul down. |- ¶ -| Spurred on by Chris Burden’s having himself shot by his collaborator in a gallery, tied up in a bag, thrown on a highway and then crucified upon the top of a Volkswage, stories circulated thru the nasty-neon of NY night that a young Korean artist was the self-declared patient of wee-hours surgery in cut and run operations at not-so-secret locations in the city. If you found out about it, you could go and watch this guy having bits and pieces removed under anaesthetic. |- ¶ -| A finger-joint one night, a limb another. By the dawning of the ’80s, rumour had it that he was down to a torso and one arm. He’d asked to be left in a cave in the Catskills, fed every so often by his acolytes. He didn’t do much after that, I guess he read a lot. Maybe wrote a whole bunch. I suppose you can never tell what an artist will do once he’s peaked. |- ¶ -| Round this same time, Bowie the singer remarked on a coupla goons who frequented the Berlin bars wearing full surgery regalia: caps, aprons, rubber gloves and masks. The cutting edge. |- ¶ -| Then came Damien Hirst w/ the Shark-Cow-Sheep thing. No humans, palatable ritual for the worldwide public. The acceptable face of gore. Meanwhile in the US, 1994, I was in town on the night of the Athey scarifications.
Thursday - 10.27.94 – 122 E. Village, Manhattan |- ¶ -| Ron Athey, performance artist not for the squeamish - former heroin addict-HIV positive, pushes what looks like a knitting needle repeatedly into his forehead, a crown of blood, must hurt like hell. Stream red dribble-dribble. No screams. Face moves in pain. Carried upstage and scrubbed down in his own blood. Then water. Now dresses in nice suit and tie. Now in the black T-shirt and jeans, carving, w/ a disposable salpel, patterns, into the back of Daryl Carlton, a black man. Bloody blotted paper towels then hung on a washing line suspended over the heads of the audience. Blood-prints from life. An extremely limited edition. When it was first performed back in March, “Four Scenes in a Harsh Life” exploded controversy shrapnel through-out the National Endowment for the Arts. “We have taken every precaution w/ our disposal systems,” An Athey spokes-person said. “The towels containing the blood are immediately deposited in hazardous-waste bags. Each evening, the material will be driven to a hospital for final disposal.” Athey says he is dealing w/ issues of self-loathing, suffering, healing and redemption.
Friday – 12-31-99 – 10:30a – Museum of Modern Parts |- ¶ -| I’m drinking up the Oxford Town. New Jersey fume. Salty and acid. Maybe I can get a handle on this thing back in Soho at the bureau. It used to be Rothko’s studio, now the playground for all us Art-Crime folk, AC’s or “the daubers” as we’re dubbed. Rothko himself, in a deep-dark-drunk one night, carefully removed his clothes, folded them up neatly, placing them upon a chair, lay upon the floor in a crucified position and after several attempts, found the soft blue pump of his wrists and checked out He’d held the razor blades btw. wads of tissue paper so that he wouldn’t cut his fingers. Deep thinker. Always was.
11:00am - “Dauber” HQ, Soho |- ¶ -| The only names the Data bank can associate w/ Baby Grace are Leon Blank, Ramona A. Stone and Algeria Touchshriek. The rundowns are brief but not to the point:
|- ¶ -| RAMONA A. STONE: Female. Caucasian. Mid-40s. Assertive maintenance interest-drug dealer and Tyrannical Futurist. No convictions. Contacts: Leon Blank, Baby Grace Blue, Algeria Touchshriek.
|- ¶ -| LEON BLANK: Male. Mixed race. 22 years. Outsider. Three convictions for petty theft, appropriation w/ plagiarism w/out license. Contacts: Baby Grace Blue, Algeria Touchshriek.
|- ¶ -| ALGERIA TOUCHSHRIEK : Male. Caucasian. 78 years. Owner of small establishment on Rail Yard. Oxford Town, NJ. Deals in art-drugs and DNA prints. Fence for all apparitions of any medium. Harmless, lonely.
|- ¶ -| Small cog, no wheels. Not much to go on but R.A. Stone weighs heavy on my memory. No problem, it’ll come back. Best thing to do now is feed all relevant pieces into the Mack-Verbasiser, the Metarandom programme that re-strings real life facts as im-probable virtual-fact. I may get a lead or two from that. ... 11:15a |- ¶ -| Jesus Who. I hate typing. Anyhow, we’ve got some real interesting solvents from Mack-random. How about this! Verbasiser down-load, first block: No convictions of assertive saints believed Caucasian way-out tyrannical evoked no images described – Christian saints questions no female cristian machine believed no work is caucasian assertive saints believed female described christian tyrannical questions – R. A. Stone convictions martyrs and tyrannicals are evoked Female described sado-masochist questions – I am suicide described the fabric machine – Slashing way out saints and martyrs and thrown downstairs.
|- ¶ -| Now the swirl begins. Now the image stack backs up and takes center stage. Ramona A. Stone, I remember this thickness, this treacly liquid thought. But wait, I’m ahead of myself. 6-15-77 – Kreutzburg, Berlin |- ¶ -| It’s two in the morning. I can’t sleep for the screaming of some poor ostracised Turkish immigrant screaming his guts out from over the street. His hawking shriek sounds semi-stifled like he’s got a pillow over his mouth. But the desperation comes through the spongy rubber like a knife. It cuts the breeze and bangs my eardrums. I take a walk past the fabric machine, turn left onto a street w/ no name. The caucasian suicide center, naked and grimy, silhouetted by fungus yellow street lamps female slashing way-out saints for a dollar a time thrown downstairs if you can’t take any more. Pure joy of retreat into death, led by the shepherdess. Anti mixed-race posters pasted upon their altar of pop-death icons party people. |- ¶ -| A zero w/ no name looks dull-eyed to Ms. Stone, the drone that says “in the future, everything was up to itself.” Yea. |- ¶ -| I remember Ramona. She set herself up as the no-future priestess of the Caucasian Suicide Temple, vomiting out her doctrine of death-as-eternal-party into the empty vessels of Berlin youth. The top floor rooms were the gateways to giving up to the holy ghost. She must have overseen more than 30 or 40 check-outs before the local squad twigged what was going down.
10-28-94 |- ¶ -| New Yorker magazine, advance copy celebrating fashion. It’s a first of its kind since Tina Brown took over as editor. One look is all it took. It took the look and wrote a new book on what sophi-staplites would take and bake. Guy Bourdin featured heavily in this new eDISHion. Since the advent of AIDS and the new morality, and, of course his death, his dark sexy fatal style had fallen out of Vogue. |- ¶ -| An uncompromising photographer, he had found a twisty avenue through desire and death. A white female leg sticking gloomily out of a bath of black liquid enamel. Two glued up babes covered in tiny pearls. The glue prevented their skins from breathing and they pass out. “Oh it would be beautiful,” he is to have said, “to photograph them dead in bed.” |- ¶ -| He was a French Guy. He had known Man Ray. Loved Lewis Carroll. His first gig was doing hats for Vogue. He’d place dead flies or bees on the faces of the models, or, female head wears hat crushed btw. three skinned calves heads, tongues lolling. What was this? Fine Arts? The surrealists might even think his work passé. Well, it was the ’50s, that's what it was. The tight-collar ’50s seen through unspeakable hostility. He wanted but he couldn’t paint. So he threw globs of revengeful hatred at his nubile subjects. He would systematically pull the phone cord out of the wall. He was never to be distrubed. Distrubed. Never. Everything and everyone died round him. |- ¶ -| One shoot focusing upon a woman lying in bed was said to be a reconstruction of his estranged wife’s death. Another picture has woman in a phone booth making some frantic call. Her hand is pressed whitely against the glass. Behind her and outside are two female bodies partially covered by the autumn leaves. His dream, so he told friends, was to do shoots in the morgue, w/ the stiffs as mannequins. I don’t know. I just read this stuff. Now his spirit was being resurrected. We’re mystified by blood. It’s our enemy now. We don’t understand it. Can’t live w/ it. Can’t, well ... y’know?
Friday - 12-31-99 - 11:30a |- ¶ -| After surgery and investment in a bullet-proof mask, Ramona turned up in London, Canada as owner of a string of body-parts jewellery stores. Lamb penis necklaces, goat-scrotum purses, nipple earrings, that sort of thing. The word on the street, however, suggested that it was not in the best of interests to become one of her clients as occassionally, a customer would step into her shop and not come out again. |- ¶ -| The whistle blew after a much-loved and highly respected celebrity, known for being known, failed to show for a gallery-hanging of her mirrors. Other celebrities, equally known for being known, some only to each other, thought it the most profound exhibit in years and couldn’t take their eyes off the works. All the pieces sold within an hour, many for record prices. |- ¶ -| When the critic for Tate magazine asked for an interview w/ the celebrity-artist, the gallery owner recalled that he hadn't seen her since earlier that day. She’d mentioned that she would be going shopping for a diamond-encrusted unbilical cord as a celebratory thing to announce her pregnancy. She would be back in an hour. Just a quick stop at the “Gallstone.” |- ¶ -| 1986. That pregnancy would have been produced a being that would be around 14 years of age. If it was still alive.
|- ¶ -|
To be continued...
The Annotated Diary of Nathan Adler
Fine dining for every age: United Airlines in-flight meal; 1896 dinner; Captain Nemo’s Table; Joliet ice cream store; Cape Kennedy Cafe kids’ menu; Japantown’s Takara; Oroville’s Tong Fong Low; Myra Breckenridge’s 1970 weekend party.
| TOP |
|The main shapes arise, shapes of democracy total, result of centuries, shapes ever projecting other shapes, shapes of turbulent manly cities, shapes of the friends and home-givers of the whole earth, shapes bracing the earth and braced with the whole earth.||
In some unused lagoon, some nameless bay, on sluggish, lonesome waters, anchor’d near the shore, an old, dismasted, gray and batter’d ship, disabled, done. After free voyages to all the seas of earth, haul’d up at last and hawser’d tight, lies rusting, mouldering.