An Evening with Gef the Talking Mongoose
Weds 19th March, 7:30pm
£5 advance/£6.50 on the door [tix]
The Horse Hospital
Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1 1JD
Featuring Brian Catling, Tony Grisoni and Christopher Josiffe.
What haunted a remote Isle of Man farmhouse in the early 1930s? Was it a spirit? A miniature man-weasel, or a projection from a disturbed family’s collective psyche?
The tale of Gef the talking mongoose is one of the strangest in all the annals of paranormal research, and remains unsolved to this day.
Tonight, we feature a presentation by Christopher Josiffe, the world’s foremost authority on the story, alongside a screening of Vanished! A Video Seance (1999), a unsettling impressionistic account of the events. The film will be followed by a Q&A with writer-directors Brian Catling and Toni Grisioni.
Book tickets here
Several Strange Attractor Press titles can be found amongst the psychedelic delights at the brilliant Luminous Books temporary shop, installed at:
The Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design, 1 Granary Square
Luminous Books are installed at the gallery for Afterall’s exhibition of Rodney Graham’s LSD-inspired film and music piece Phonokinetoscope (2001).
More info, including news of talks and events, can be found at Afterall.
18 SEPT 2013 at The Horse Hospital, London
Electric Sheep and Strange Attractor present:
Phase IV (Dir. Saul Bass, USA 1974, 84 mins)
with special guests Louis Savy (SciFi London)
and Petra Lange-Berndt (author of Animal Art)
Famed as a graphic designer of posters and title sequences, Saul Bass only got one shot at directing a feature, and the resulting film is a period masterpiece that is both a microcosm of contemporary progressive issues and a beautiful, intelligent science fiction film.
After an unusual planetary alignment in our solar system exposes planet Earth to anomalous electromagnetic fields, ants start preying on larger animals, including humans, marching across America and destroying whole towns. In an attempt to try to stop them, English entomologist Dr Ernest Hubbs (a frothingly good Nigel Davenport) and American mathematician James Lesko (Michael Murphy) set out to observe a colony of the super-intelligent ants from the apparent safety of a geodesic biosphere in the Arizona desert. What follows is a long, tense stand-off between ants and humans.
Although its interiors were shot at Pinewood, Phase IV‘s arid, ant-ravaged locations convey a convincing sense of a dying America and, as you’d expect from a first-class designer, the film looks exquisite. A brooding score, featuring eerie synthesiser sounds from White Noise’s David Vorhaus, further accentuates the mood of alienation and impending ant-nihilation.
Nobody can have expected this enigmatic, philosophical and ultimately rather downbeat film to be a commercial success, but Paramount still tried to exert control over the final cut, leading to a quarrel over its ending.
We are very excited to present Bass’s intended ending after the film. We’re also thrilled to have art historian Petra Lange-Berndt, author of Animal Art, and Louis Savy, director of SCI-FI-LONDON, in attendance, who will be talking to Mark Pilkington and Virginie Sélavy after the screening.
TICKETS £7 ON THE DOOR / £5 ADVANCE
Book now from The Horse Hospital
First, join Art Macabre for a drawing workshop in which you will have the opportunity to draw a real life Anatomical Venus. Drawing materials provided thanks to Cass Art (pencils, charcoal and drawing boards). Bring along a sketchbook/paper.
Following, enjoy two illustrated talks on the human body as spectacular object with;
Anna Maerker, Senior Lecturer, History of Medicine, King’s College London
John Troyer, Deputy Director, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, who will give a talk entitled ’Spectacular Human Corpses: Looking at Death, Seeing Dead Bodies’.
Nineteenth century preservation technologies radically changed and mechanically altered the human corpse, producing new kinds of postmortem conditions for all dead bodies. These technologies of preservation effectively invented the modern corpse; transforming the dead body into something new: a photographic image, a train passenger, a dead body that looked alive. These technological innovations were also used by early twentieth century postmortem technologists to turn the preserved human corpse into a dead body that was atemporal. Once the human corpse could exist outside the normal biological time that controlled the body’s decomposition, it became a well-suited subject for unfettered public display. These technologies augmented how an individual could see the dead body and in ways that we living humans still use today (albeit without noticing) when looking at death.
A Festival of Spectacular Cultures
29 August – 8 September 2013
Curated by Morbid Anatomy, Preserved! and Strange Attractor
From fun fairs to freak shows… magic lantern lectures to flea circuses… cyclopian artists and mediumistic Drawings to severed heads and anthropomorphic taxidermy… riotous fireworks and the bright lights of an otherworldly Blackpool to the dark recesses of old operating theatres and clandestine archives.
The Congress for Curious People is a week long festival of spectacular cultures, followed by a two-day symposium, co-curated by Morbid Anatomy, Preserved!, and Strange Attractor.Founded in 2010 as a scholarly sideshow to the Congress of Curious People – a theatrical celebration of the carnivalesque at the Coney Island Museum in New York – the Congress for Curious People finds itself this year in a series of hidden locales and out-of-the-way venues across the U.K.Presenting talks, screenings, performances and walking tours, the festival will bring together over 40 international contributors specialising in eccentric customs, alternate histories and medical anomalies to explore ideas of spectacle and curiosity in some truly fascinating locales.See a full schedule of events here
A two-day symposium on ‘Reclaiming Spectacle’ will include panels of academics, rogue scholars and artists discussing the intricacies of collecting, the politics of bodily display, non-human oddities, religion and the occult. The Congress will create a forum not only for discussing, but also for experiencing spectacle, combining the niche and the popular, the scholarly and the entertaining.
See a full schedule of events here
Strange Attractor are thrilled to be publishing a book of ground-breaking psychedelic research and thought for the second Breaking Convention:
Breaking Convention is a biennial conference on psychedelic consciousness, the only one of its kind operating in Britain, convened by a non-profit organization of the same name. Breaking Convention 2013 will be held at the University of Greenwich on July 12-14 and will feature ten symposia of invited speakers and a track dedicated to talks from submitted abstracts, as well as galleries, exhibitions, films and evening entertainments.
Participants include Erik Davis, Nik Turner, Twink, Amanda Feilding, Andy Roberts, David Nutt, David Luke, Jeremy Narby, Steve Hillage, Daevid Allen, Rick Doblin and many more.
Tickets are selling fast but are available here – your ticket price includes a free copy of the book, more details of which are to follow.
Arts Catalyst and Strange Attractor present:
The Living World: Animism in the 21st Century
9 July 2013, 7pm onwards
The Arts Catalyst
50-54 Clerkenwell Road
London EC1M 5PS
£4 plus booking fee [book tickets here]
How does our relationship to the world change if everything is alive?
Author Erik Davis and historian of shamanism Robert Wallis discuss traditional and contemporary approaches to animism and consider what it means to be an animist in an age when our technologies increasingly take on the semblance of life.
In the second part of the evening, Erik Davis will read with a live modular synthesiser accompaniment from The Asterism and MISTY. With live and found sounds sculpted by the application of multiple random voltages, MISTY will be free to express its soul.
Erik Davis is an American cultural critic, scholar and journalist, in his recent catalogue essay Mark Leckey’s exhibition The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things he describes a world exploding with technologies, products, and material processes that challenge our conceptual categories with their apparent intelligence and animation. Also author of Nomad Codes, Techgnosis, The Visionary State and Led Zeppelin, Erik Davis’ work has appeared in numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
Robert Wallis is an author, art historian and academic specialising in contemporary and historical shamanic practices. He is the author of Shamans / neo-Shamans:Ecstasy, Alternative Archaeologies and Contemporary Pagans and has contributed to and edited numerous books and journals on the subject.
The Asterism is the solo musical project of author and Strange Attractor Press founder Mark Pilkington.
Strange Attractor have been invited to take part in the Hendricks Carnival of Knowledge at the Brighton Fringe Festival this year.
All events take place at the beautiful Angel House, 1 Brunswick Terrace.
We’re proud to present:
– The Mad, Bad World of Jeff Keen, presented by William Fowler from the BFI, complete with a rare 16mm screening of some of Keen’s films (4pm-5pm, book here)
– A theremin workshop, with Sarah Angliss and Leila Dear (free, from 3 – 5pm)
– Circuit Blasting, with Strange Attractor and Disinformation (free from 12.30 – 1.30pm)
Plus more TBC.