When Pink Floyd took the stage on their mid-1970s "Dark Side of the Moon" tour, they performed in front of a stunning video cut-up created by British animator Ian Emes. Above are screen projections from the 1974 French tour. Below, a reel from the 1975 North American tour. (The album audio was added by someone else later.) From Wikipedia:
Emes' first major work, 'French Windows', was started while he was subsequently a student at Birmingham College of Art and finished while he was unemployed. It was set to the Pink Floyd recording "One of These Days". After it was shown at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery, it was screened on the television programme The Old Grey Whistle Test, and thereby came to the attention of Pink Floyd. The band invited Emes to give them a private screening, and afterwards to make films to be projected during performances of The Dark Side of the Moon. His animation for their song "Time" is on Pink Floyd's Pulse DVD. He subsequently worked with Roger Waters, making live action film for his performance of The Wall – Live in Berlin.
As a result of his work for Pink Floyd, Linda McCartney asked Emes to animate Wings' "Oriental Nightfish". He has also made animations for concerts by Mike Oldfield, and directed The Chauffeur for Duran Duran.
Freak out to this insanely weird "Punching A Nazi" song and video by cyberdelic pioneer RU Sirius's Trippin' Coyotes/Creosote Cowboy! Performed by R.U. Sirius, Charlie Verrette, and Acatelysteleven. Musical Production: Daddy Phriday & Creosote Cowboy; Video by Daddy Phriday; with vocals from Cate Meiers Leggett; lyrics by R.U. Sirius (w. help from Acatelysteleven)
More insanity at the band's Bandcamp page.
Hi, my name is hexeosis. For a little over three years now, I’ve been creating and posting animated GIFs on the internet. I’ve been unreasonably lucky to have connected with thousands and thousands of fans from all over the world. Crazy, but awesome!
I’m launching this Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of a full length, full color, full HD sized animated short film.
Swim Through the Darkness: My Search for Craig Smith and the Mystery of Maitreya Kali is the much-anticipated story of one of the more esoteric, fascinating casualties of the flower power generation. As told by Ugly Things magazine creator Mike Stax, the book tracks the odyssey of Craig Smith, a musician who evolved from clean-cut singer songwriter, landing gigs on the Andy Williams show and a Monkees-esque television pilot, to a post-institutionalized street messiah, Maitreya Kali. Smith wrote songs for The Monkees (and was nearly cast in the band) and Glen Campbell, headed the much fabled psych pop band The Penny Arkade, and released two of the most acid-drenched folk records of the early 70s before fading into obscurity. After his initial songwriting success, he used the money he earned to travel the world, only to return as a permanently damaged shell of his former self, complete with a spider tattoo on his forehead.
Until now, Smith’s life has mostly been told by the music he left behind. And even so, his Penny Arkade recordings were only made readily available within the last twenty years, while his psych folk records, self-released under the moniker Maitreya Kali, have only been experienced by extremely lucky record collectors or in varying quality online. Apache and Inca, those latter releases, include an early demo of the Monkees' "Salesman" (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd.) as well as alternative versions of songs recorded by The Penny Arkade. But what the records are really known for is their otherworldly vibe that could only be made by someone whose mind was no longer on Earth. Read the rest
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O'Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, Innovation, and American Counterculture is a new book of essays about this heady time! The book was co-edited by MIT's David Kaiser, who wrote the fantastic 2011 book How the Hippies Saved Physics, and UC Santa Barbara historian W. Patrick McCray. I can't wait to read it!
From an MIT News interview with Kaiser:
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We want to address a common stereotype that dates from the time period itself, which is that the American youth movement, the hippies or counterculture, was reacting strongly against science and technology, or even the entire Western intellectual tradition of reason, as a symbol of all that should be overturned. In fact, many of them were enamored of science and technology, some of them were working scientists, and some were patrons of science. This picture of fear and revulsion is wrong.
We also see things that have a surprisingly psychedelic past. This includes certain strains of sustainability, design, and manufacture, notions of socially responsible engineering, and artisanal food. This stuff didn’t start from scratch in 1968 and didn’t end on a dime in 1982...
These folks were rejecting not science itself but what many had come to consider a depersonalized, militarized approach to the control of nature.
Thea video feedback emulator offers a vague memory of fooling with video cameras and a strong flavor of crisp and fractal generative art, The results lurk somewhere between the decades. Click and drag your results for wild (and often brightly-flickering) variations. The creator explains how it works. [via Github]
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What we’ve found most interesting about video feedback is: the sheer complexity of the images it produces through such simply-defined and implemented spacemaps that really only have to do with the relative positioning of two rectangles. It’s somewhat intuitive, but always surprising.
This is all just scratching the surface of the mathematics behind the patterns that video feedback is capable of, but hopefully it’s good enough for a start!
P.S. You’ll notice that many of the “interesting” patterns contain regions of diverse sizes. That is, they appear to have a broad range of spatial frequencies. What’s up with that?
In 1975, Suriname's Dutch Rhythm Steel & Show Band released "Soul, Steel & Show," a killer funk-psych-soul LP that included scorching covers of Neil Young's "Down by the River," Isaac Hayes's "Theme from Shaft," Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe," Kool & The Gang's "Funky Stuff," and other great jams. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.
In 1979, Roger Mainwood, just out of the Royal College of Art, created this wonderfully trippy animation for Kraftwerk's "Autobahn." It was a commission from the band's record company but Kraftwerk had no input on the film, and Mainwood says he's unsure if they even saw it. The fan site KraftwerkOnline tracked down Mainwood and interviewed him about the film:
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I've never actually had to explain in words exactly what it was all about. There was a lot of what you might call "psychedelic pop" imagery around at the time that to be honest never had a great deal of actual "meaning" to it at all, and I guess I was tapping into that. Thinking back to my thought processes at that time, I remember wanting to specifically not have conventional cars in the film. I wanted a sense of a repetitive journey, and alienation, which I took to be what the music was about,............hence the solitary futuristic figure, protected by large goggles, moving through and trying to connect with the journey he is taking. The automobile "monsters" are deliberately threatening ( I have never been a big fan of cars or motorways ! ) and when our "hero" tries to make human contact (with different coloured clones of himself) he can never do it. In the end he realises he is making the repetitive and circular journey alone but strides forward purposefully at the end as he did in the beginning . All of which sounds rather pretentious..........but I was a young thing in those days !
What a long, strange trip it's been, and continues to be. Just say know. (Retro Report)
Our favorite PhD of high weirdness, Dr. Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis, recently gave a compelling cosmic rap at the Morbid Anatomy Museum about Timothy Leary and his appropriation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead! Listen to it here.
"While even most psychedelicists now discount the brazen and now rather dated work he created with Richard Alpert and Ralph Mezner, 1964’s The Psychedelic Experience," Erik writes, "I argue that there was also something deeply canny and even visionary about this mapping, which in some sense just extends possibilities already inherent in the ancient Tibetan concept (which is itself probably as indigenous-shamanic as it is Indian)." Read the rest
The Family Acid is my favorite Instagram feed. It's a stream of photographer/author/explorer Roger Steffens's vintage snapshots of his dynamic, inspiring, and psychedelic life in the counterculture since the early 1960s. Roger's children Kate and Devon are the editors and curators of their dad's hundreds of thousands of slides and negatives.
Kate has just issued these fantastic enamel pins for just $10/each. The "LSD did this to me" design is based on her dad's original pin from 1960s. As Boing Boing patron saint Timothy Leary once said, "You have to go out of your mind to use your head!"
Träd, Gräs och Stenar were a groundbreaking, raw psych jam band from Sweden known for their wild concert/improv happenings where they served organic food they had grown, augmented their droning guitar/bass/drum core with home-brewed instruments, effects, and amps, and encouraged audiences to join their musical fray. Formed in 1968 from the ashes of pioneering groups Persson Sound and International Harvester, Träd, Gräs och Stenar released four proper LPs before disbanding in 1973.
“One of the best heavy-psych-improv-folk-blues-rock bands EVER," says Pavement's Stephen Malkmus about Träd, Gräs och Stenar. "Toss the tired Krautrock and supposed buried treasures of ‘acid folk’ and catch the True Communal Wave!”
Today, the good people at Anthology Recordings are releasing reissues of Träd, Gräs och Stenar's mind-melting recordings, including a limited-edition six LP silkscreened box set of live material, never-before-seen images, reproductions of original flyers, and a digital download with even more tracks. One entire LP in the set comes from unheard tapes that the Anthology folks dug out of founding member Jakob Sjöhol's attic!
To celebrate, we are delighted to premiere Anthology Recordings' short documentary about Träd, Gräs och Stenar, directed by Isak Sjöholm and Jesper Eklöw.
Far fucking out.
Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Anthology Recordings)
Träd, Gräs Och Stenar's cover of "All Along the Watchtower":
In the early 1990s, BB pal Joi Ito (now director of the MIT Media Lab) hosted bOING bOING patron saint Timothy Leary on a trip to Japan. At the time, Tim was energized by the intersection of youth culture and digital technology to empower the individual. Above, video that Joi and friends shot of Tim in fine form. Man, I miss him, and those cyberdelic days. Bonus shout-out at 8:25 to Anarchic Adjustment, Nick Philip's surreal and inspiring clothing line that evolved into today's Imaginary Foundation!
"If your thoughts were in the future, you loved electronics and music, and you had a vivid visual imagination, what profession would you choose?"
A laserist for a psychedelic light show at a planetarium, 'natch!
In this fantastic 1977 video, meet Glenn Thomas, the laserist behind the Laserium "Cosmic Concert" at L.A.'s Griffith Observatory, who performed 12,500 shows over 25 years.
Far fucking out.