interfacing the anti-culture

he must dree his weird;
Renounce all blessings for that imprecation,
Steal forth and haunt that builded desolation,

James Thomson – City Of The Dreadful Night


I have recently been working my way through a lot of book illustration, particularly children’s literature. There’s something transitional about the imagery in a book of words, whether related to the text or not. It alters the experience.

I am not a figurative artist. I never learned to acquire the skills for drawing or painting and find representation for a large part of my life was in words/ Now I find that in my Practice and Work, I use photography to penetrate imagery subjectively , interfacing with elements, learning new tools, acquiring methodologies.

Photography always had me emulating or responding to textures and flavours I had seen in my favourite artists. Klee, Schiele, Hundertwasser, Varo, Carrington, Picasso etc. The merging and interfacing is derived from early experiences of Jimi Hendrix’ use of audio feedback in the rock music culture.

Jimi-Hendrix-1967  Recently I picked up a book on Symbolism and encountered the work of Leon Spilliaert. His depictions of high intensity water ripples and colours meshed with themes and combinations I had been drawn to in my photographic sequences of water studies. He was an insomniac melancholic, haunting the Belgian streets through the night. A walker.

The colours I used were black, white, blue and silver-grey. Naturally occurring under set circumstances with water shadows and sky reflections. I looked up their symbolism in colour psychology and other places. Peace, death, intelligence, truce, respect…


Then I realised they were the colours of the magpie. The magpie’s name come from Margaret Pica. The female name used for a talker and pica being the root word for the bird perhaps mottled white. The chattering Pecker. Clever things magpies and colourful.


I picked up an old Chambers Dictionary from the 1930s. It opened on the word Dree. To “Dree One’s Weird” is to accept one’s fate. The phrase is used in a poem by James Thomson (B.V.) called City of Dreadful Night. Thomson was an alcoholic melancholic insomniac. He too was at times a homeless walker who wandered the streets of London at night:

“The striking contrast in ‘B. V.’s’ character—a courageous genial spirit, coupled with an intolerable melancholia; spiritual aspiration with realistic grasp of fact; ardent zeal for democracy and freethought with stubborn disbelief in human progress—is clearly marked in his writings, which are lit up here and there with flashes of brilliant joyousness, but blackly pessimistic in the main.”


All through this I am reading Phil Baker’s book on Austin Osman Spare, inspired by its references to forms of merging, of approaching darkness, of opening gates to other worlds within this one. As I read the biography I would fall into hypnagogic dozings and filter the text and its attendant imaginings into processual journeys and venturings, slipping in an out of thoughts and dreamings….. It seemed to mark me more this way.

and in my dreams?

…the anticulture is interfacing and merging with the multiverse…the multiverse is the current paradigm resource from tech-gnosis…like A O Spare’s accessing the fruitful compendium of Blavatsky and Theosophy. The love of evil and corruption is natural…the dark forces are our food a la Dree One’s Weird. The melancholis and insomnia of living in the Inbred where culture and belief are renowned…the anticulture defies belief, we see what is and what Is is not. ISIS are not nihilists, they believe in something. We, heretical, anticulture infidels mate and procreate with the unravelling fabric of reality. We Touch The Hem of his garment. We are APT. Effective human animals….beyond this effective consciousness.. Evil and corruption are mere signposts for the wrong turns and diversions humanity takes in its writhing, roiling existence…like an insect brood laid under the skin hatching out in their thousands, consuming the host in their sentient passage….
all the influences that arrived today are relevant as orbiting flows of energy drawn to the heated core…I, as a self am a collection of appended and amalgamated resins and resonances, dead echoes, trying to hold an orbit and host a lifeform….but I have many circuits and transitions I serve….a speck of dust on a convoluting millipede, retracting and elongating meaning….

later still:


as I pass through the haunted flows carved by our psychic geology i feel love. Doors are opened…boltholes are found in the autumnal warmth… I am over run by someone with my face…someone else lifts a hand to his face and reveals a tattooed star on the back…this could be an adventure…


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