- TextBen Perdue
As part of the Earth document featured in the S/S19 issue of Another Man, Ben Perdue presents a cosmic and practical field guide for positive living
“When I’m dead and gone / My vibrations will live on / In vibes on vinyl through the years / People will dance to my waves” – Mark E Smith, Psykick Dance Hall, 1979
Steve Terry, founder of the Wild Life Archive of dance music ephemera, books and magazines, shares an edit of flyers from British rave culture’s Second Summer of Love that illustrates the upbeat grassroots power of late 80s acid house.
“Positivity was the antidote for what a lot of young people were experiencing in Thatcher’s Britain at the time. It was the foundation the scene was initially built on, creating a sense of something new and exciting. Music, and the knowledge that these parties were anti-establishment and underground, brought people together. And this artwork played a crucial role, as flyers were the primary source of communication alongside word of mouth and pirate radio. Art was key to creating a party’s identity.”
Prophetic poet and driving force of multi-dimensional apocalyptic folk outfit Current 93, David Tibet, reveals the cryptic, hyper-visual importance of the smiley face.
“I first encountered SMILEY as a young boy, in street markets in Malaysia where I grew up. SMILEY struck me even then as being a portrait of GNOSTIC ALEPH. Years later, I saw a cartoon in MAD magazine which parodied a fundamentalist Christian analysis of SMILEY. I recall it saying that the two eyes mocked The Trinity as there were two eyes, not three. And that the Smile was a Moon, which was advocating the worship of the Babylonian Moon Goddess Ištar. MAD was wrong about the Moon Deity, who was in fact called Su’en, or Sîn, and was male. But Assyriology was never MAD’s strong point.
I am sure either the bassist or the guitarist of The Sweet, my heroes, had an instrument, or T-shirt, with SHIT SMILEY – SHITLEY! – on it. I have made many versions of SMILEY, and used them in C93’s artwork, sometimes superimposing my eyes and smile on SMILEY. The scars on the yellow version you see here are those on one of the icons of The Virgin Mary, that of Częstochowa. I always wear a medal of Her at Częstochowa and we have that same Image of Her in our bedroom and studio. Those who wish to know more of the DARKNESS of SMILEY are referred to the chapter titled ‘Zio’s Friend and the Smiler’ in Malachi Martin’s Hostage to the Devil.”
Reinforcing Buckminster Fuller’s enduring relevance, the visionary inventor was name-dropped by Jeff Bridges in his 2019 Golden Globes acceptance speech. “Bucky, he’s most famous for the geodesic dome, but he made a great observation about these oceangoing tankers,” he said, before explaining Fuller’s metaphor for the trim tab, a small rudder on a big rudder that helps to stabilise a ship or aircraft, exactly like “how the individual is connected to society and how we affect society. I like to think of myself as a trim tab. All of us are trim tabs.”
Taken from a 1972 Playboy interview, Fuller’s thoughts reflect his diverse work as a self-styled comprehensive anticipatory design scientist, tasked with solving global problems. From architecture to education, his thinking promotes the idea that our world – this spaceship earth – should be seen as one living system, comprehensive and without borders.
“As a consequence of the slavish ‘categoryitis’, the scientifically illogical, and as we shall see, often meaningless questions, ‘Where do you live?’ ‘What are you?’ ‘What religion?’ ‘What race?’ ‘What nationality?’ are all thought of today as logical questions. By the 21st century it either will have become evident to humanity that these questions are absurd and antievolutionary or men will no longer be living on Earth.” Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by Buckminster Fuller, 1963
So much more than just a collection of recipes, Honey from a Weed by the late thinker-cook Patience Gray is shot through with memories of living hand-to-mouth in remote corners of the Mediterranean with her lover, sculptor Norman Mommens. It’s a book about self-sufficiency, loyalty to the seasons, observing traditions and rustic cooking that is elevated by the wider cultural significance and sensory power Gray folds into her writing. “Pounding fragrant things – particularly garlic, basil, parsley – is a tremendous antidote to depression. But it applies also to juniper berries, coriander seeds and the grilled fruits of the chilli pepper. Pounding these things produces an alteration in one’s being – from sighing with fatigue to inhaling with pleasure. The cheering effects of herbs and alliums cannot be too often reiterated. Virgil’s appetite was probably improved equally by pounding garlic as by eating it.” Honey from a Weed, Patience Gray, 1986
These mind-expanding titles explore scientific illuminism, social interaction and distant territories. Suggested by Tenderbooks, a space for independent art publishing inspired by personal libraries and rare printed material.
‘EX LIBRIS’ BOOKPLATE by AA Bronson
Artist, healer and publisher AA Bronson’s seven-pointed star design borrows the insignia of A.·.A.·., a secret spiritual group founded by Aleister Crowley dedicated to a deeper understanding of the self and of one’s true will.
CONTINENTAL DRIFT by Nico Krebs and Taiyo Onorato
This travel log of Eurasia straddles the fine line between documentation and fiction about unknown lands, their past and conjectured future. Searching for identity, the regions traversed are caught between thousand-year-old traditions and post-communist history and geopolitics, religious, territorial and ethnic turmoil, and a desire to jump on the bandwagon of global turbocapitalism.
RANDOM ENCOUNTER: THE GUIDE BOOK by Stephen Willats
A book documenting a groundbreaking participatory artwork at Southampton City Art Gallery in 1997 used to study the basis of society between people; what they can agree upon, what perceptions and beliefs they share.
Judith Bernstein’s phallic screws turn DIY diagrams into potent political symbols. Her charcoals represent an amalgamation of anti-war, feminism and sexuality. “I confront war with very graphic, in-your-face words and images,” she says. “It’s funny – but it’s dead serious!”
Iconic and offbeat pieces with the power to connect reviewed by furniture dealer and interior designer Jermaine Gallacher.
THE GREAT BED OF WARE
“The bed of all beds, built by carpenter Jonas Fosbrooke in 1590, can accommodate at least four couples, bringing quite lot of people together I’d say – maybe a few too many for my tastes. I appreciate this bed not because I have a particular liking for Elizabethan furniture, but because when I look at it with all the names carved on the bedposts of those who used it, it’s easy to imagine who they were and the lives they lived and shared within it.”
“What doesn’t happen around or on a table? I love all kinds – round ones, square ones, low ones, high ones. I’ve spent some of my funniest times and met some of my closest friends sat at, on, or underneath tables. Burgundy by Michele De Lucchi is a table I would love to own someday. Its materials are humble – enamelled tubular frame, laminated top – but its design is anything but. Like all Memphis, it is fun, inclusive and without pretence. A table to get trashed at, dance on and slip under.”
“Rugs are really just an excuse to sit on the floor, not that I need one. There is nothing quite like spreading out on a rug, preferably in front of a roaring fire or under a shady tree on a summer’s day. Last year I was asked to design two rugs by my friend Sabrina Kraus López, a thrilling prospect thanks to the talented Cooperative Tiglmamin in Morocco who weave our rugs so beautifully. The Wavy rug has become a favourite. The ultimate place to sit and gas, like being on your own handwoven soft wavy island, but everyone’s invited to come stay.”
Antoine Lie, creator of fragrances for COMME DES GARÇONS and CIRE TRUDON, is the perfumer responsible for Sécretions Magnifiques, infamously inspired by sex and body fluids. Here he outlines the power of scent as a communication tool and the olfactory ingredients of attraction.
“People are animals, and animals communicate through secretions and distinctive smells, especially for reproduction. Humans are more civilised of course, but I am convinced that attraction between people can be triggered by a personal or selective smell. If I could explain exactly how it works I would be a very powerful man, but I think it’s a combination of chemistry and magic.
You can communicate personality, the mood you are in and initiate contact through scent. Or you can blur and mask your identity. To get the most effective reaction in terms of instant attraction you should play with vanilla, synthetic musk and cinnamon oil. They are linked to edible, and soft clean smell memories that will immediately reassure you. Of course it depends on the origin and the culture of the people involved, but I think these three would get the most attention.”
“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere” – Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed, 1974
“In its simplest terms a garden is a collection of plants, but for many the garden is a gateway to another world,” says John Tebbs, founder of Pleasure Garden magazine. “It was this power, the fantasy, that I wanted to capture and explore. An idea that moved away from focusing on the practicalities of the garden and placed it within a wider cultural context. Throughout history the garden has always been a part of this conversation – it has acted as a theatre, providing a stage for us to entertain ourselves. It has been a vehicle for displays of power, love, knowledge and a constant outlet and muse for our creativity.” He recommends three cultivated highlights designed to connect on a deeper level.
DEREK JARMAN’S PROSPECT COTTAGE
“Just along the coast from where I live, this place is a great metaphor for the garden as a canvas for our personal journeys. An escape, a battle, a source of delight and continual change and growth. In the shingle and plants a powerful story is told.”
WILLIAM KENT’S ROUSHAM GARDENS
“These gardens represent the first phase of the English landscape movement, a style that would give us Capability Brown and a type of garden that would become synonymous with a more natural, Arcadian fantasy – a very different type of landscape manipulation from the preceding à la Française.”
GREAT DIXTER GARDENS
“Another garden just a short distance from home, this place is such a joy and inspiration. Full of fun and experimentation, colour and contrast. If ever there was a place that exuded a bright personality this is it. I have visited here in every season and it has never failed to lift my spirits.”
Dreaming guide and death doula Tree Carr, discovered in Hate Zine, explains how to explore and connect with your own consciousness with a step-by-step guide to going lucid.
Understand your sleep cycle. Most lucid dreamers naturally wake up for about 5-10 mins just before their final REM cycle and when they go back to sleep, they usually go lucid. Experiment by setting your alarm to wake yourself up earlier than normal, then go back to sleep again.
Improve your sleep hygiene. Make sure you get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If the objects in your bedroom have nothing to do with sleep, dreaming or sex, then put them in another room. Let your bedroom be your dreaming sanctuary.
Embrace self-awareness by observing and analysing your day-to-day environments. More awareness in daily life carries through to your dreams making lucidity more likely to happen. Set goals, intents, mantras before sleep. Perhaps, “I will go lucid in my dreams.”
Start a dream journal and record your dreams daily. This is the most important foundation of conscious dreaming. It helps you see clearly the different genres of dreams you experience and creates a record and proof if you are experiencing precognitive dreams.
Work with some oneirogens, or dreaming plants. Making these herbs into tea and consuming them in a bedtime ritual not only prepares your mind for dreamtime, the herbs themselves help activate more vivid dreaming and increase the potential of lucid dreaming.
This postage stamp-sized iridium-plated ceramic chip, etched with art by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Novros, Claes Oldenburg, John Chamberlain and Forrest Myers is the Moon Museum, an interstellar group show attached to the leg of the lunar lander Intrepid, left on the moon after 1969’s Apollo 12 mission. It was Myers who came up with the idea and, after an initially keen NASA backtracked, convinced an engineer to stash it on the spacecraft instead. Its existence has never been officially verified, but editions do exist on Earth, including one at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
“The stars are matter. We’re matter. But it doesn’t matter” – Captain Beefheart
Antonia Marsh, curator and founder of unconventional art space Soft Opening, presents three LA-based artists whose work is a window on the transitory space between presence and absence. “It’s really important and exciting to show LA-based artists in the UK,” she says. “Because while our hyper-connected, image-based world allows us to see what kind of work everyone is making without the need to travel far from our own phones, I firmly believe that nothing beats experiencing an artwork in the flesh, so to speak.”
“Ariana Papademetropoulos’ paintings present portals into warped perfection. Luring the viewer into interiors stained with watery spills, the artist presents seductive, domestic fantasies that selfreflexively reveal their own illusory pageantry.”
“Arielle Chiara’s work magnifies the softness, intimacy and tenderness implied by the absent body in antique textiles. Found Victorian fabrics and ribbons interact with geological specimens. Abstracted from their growth source, these pink halite forms behave similarly to her silks, acting as disembodied physical ruins.”
“Engraved onto Jonathan Small’s reimagined version of the folding fan, referencing his Japanese heritage, the artist depicts fantasy scenarios of desire, love and violence that he otherwise finds it difficult to express. Used to convey hidden messages within their designs, ancient Japanese fans represent devices of communication used to hide one’s true emotion from society.”
The Enneagram symbol can be traced back to Pythagoras, but what it represents today is a complex system for defining personality types distilled from ancient teachings on psychology, cosmology and metaphysics by Bolivian mystic Óscar Ichazo. Its nine connected points each denote a basic personality type: The Reformer, The Helper, The Achiever, The Individualist, The Investigator, The Loyalist, The Enthusiast, The Challenger and The Peacemaker. Everyone has one type that dominates their personality, developed during childhood, but it’s common to find part of yourself in all of them. Using an accompanying questionnaire, the Enneagram becomes a key revealing the layers of your personality, and explores how they relate, connect and influence each other.
An Atlas of Rare & Familiar Colour: The Harvard Art Museum’s Forbes Pigment Collection published by Atelier Éditions visually excavates the museum’s collection of 2,500 rare pigments, exploring providence, composition and application. More importantly, it delves into the symbolism of colours to better explain humanity’s aesthetic and expressive compulsions. The following excerpts give colour meaning.
Intoxicating ardour and carnal lust, wanton sensuality and rapacious power, gloried martyrdom, and celebrated valour, the colour red, the oldest known within our species’ palette, has entranced humanity for millennia.
Heaven’s tranquility and ocean’s infinitude, erudition, Homeric masculinity, quietude and richest imagination, unwavering authority and universal harmony, the colour blue is that of nature’s leviathans; becalming and subsuming with equal measure.
Verdant vegetation and healthful vitality, contrary illness and consuming envy, environmentalism, Quranic exaltation and wholesale liberty, the colour green intoxicates with yellow’s incandescence, then allays with blue’s equilibrium.