Carolee Schneemann, pioneering performance artist, RIP


Carolee Schneemann — a performance art pioneer whose deeply provocative and thoughtful work focused on gender, sex, the body, and power — died yesterday at age 79. My first exposure to Schneemann's work was in the mid-1980s on a grainy VHS dub of avant-garde art films that also included pieces by Karen Finley and Annie Sprinkle. — Read the rest

Charles Gatewood, photographer of fringe culture, RIP

Charles Gatewood, a pioneering photographer of the underground for nearly 50 years, died today from injuries sustained in a fall from his third-floor balcony. He was 74.


From documenting the Beats and the dark alleys of 1970s Mardi Gras to extreme body modification practitioners and sexual fetishists, Charles lived his life as a curious, open-minded photographic anthropologist at the fringes of culture. — Read the rest

Documentary about the rise and fall of Tower records

I loved Tower Records. Not for the records (though I bought a lot of them there), but for the tremendous book and zine section. That's where I discovered Re/Search books and a ton of great obscure periodicals. It pains me whenever I see the crappy boring businesses that now occupy the former Tower Records store locations in Los Angeles. — Read the rest

Blogging History: Lavabit founder stops using email; Neal Stephenson's Orth Hugo speech; NY-NJ ferry cop harasses man for reading D&D book

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Lavabit founder has stopped using email: "If you knew what I know, you might not use it either": Levison's lawyer, Jesse Binnall, who is based in Northern Virginia — the court district where Levison needed representation — added that it's "ridiculous" that Levison has to so carefully parse what he says about the government inquiry. — Read the rest

S.F. tomorrow (8/8): Boing Boing, the Beats, and Underground Publishing

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If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, I hope you'll join me tomorrow evening, August 8, for "Boing Boing Presents: The Beats' Influence on Underground Publishing," a panel discussion at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The program is part of "Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg," an intimate portrait of the Beat generation in the form of Ginsberg's snapshots. — Read the rest

New collection of interviews with JG Ballard

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Extreme Metaphors is a brand new anthology of interviews with one of my all-time favorite writers, JG Ballard, master of surrealist science fiction, dystopian visionary, and brilliant cultural critic. Co-edited by Simon Sellars of the Ballardian blog and Dan O'Hara, the book collects 44 interviews with Ballard by a fantastic array of contributors including BB pals Mark Dery, V. — Read the rest

San Francisco art show: Winston Smith, Penelope Rosemont, Dennis Cunningham

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Pioneering punk collage artist Winston Smith is hosting a new art show opening next Friday, July 27, at his Grant's Tomb studio in San Francisco. Along with Smith (art left), who I consider to be the world's greatest contemporary collagist, the show features Penelope Rosemont (art above) who in 1965 founded the Chicago Surrealist Group, and sculptor Dennis Cunnigham who is perhaps better known as an attorney who defended the Black Panthers and the Weathermen. — Read the rest