I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by David Selden
April 26, 2015

The German artist Paul Klee famously described the act of drawing as “taking a line for a walk.” For Peter Foldes, who had studied painting at the Slade School Of Art and the Courtald Institute, this definition seems particularly apt. In his wordless 11-minute animation Hunger, the line vibrates and wiggles, looping back on itself in a constant state of mutation. It transforms itself from person to object and back again as it describes the process by which its protagonist ultimately becomes the victim of his own gluttony.

Peter Foldes was born in 1924 and was one of a number of Hungarian émigrés drawn to animation. Following his relocation to Britain in 1946, Foldes became closely associated with the Halas and Batchelor Animation Studios. Founded in 1940, the studio was known as the British Disney, producing hundreds of animations ranging from commercials and public information films to full-length animated features, notably Animal Farm (1954), and later pop promos (including the animated film for Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, as previously featured here on Network Awesome).

Peter Foldes earlier works, including Animated Genesis (1952), On Closer Inspection (1953) and A Short Vision (1956) were produced with the encouragement of John Halas and in collaboration with Foldes’ wife, Joan. His work achieved considerably notoriety after A Short Vision was screened on the Ed Sullivan Show. The film, which had been assembled in the Foldes’ kitchen, graphically depicts the annihilation of the world. A blunt Cold War allegory, the experience of watching it apparently left much of Sullivan’s audience...

After a long international career exhibiting video installation and photography, David Selden renounced the art world in favor of the far less superficial drag scene and became intimately involved with a number of notorious London fetish clubs. ‘Retiring’ to Berlin in 2007 having run out of pseudonyms, he has written about music for Dorfdisco and about art for Whitehot Magazine as well as contributing numerous catalogue essays and translations for a variety of publications and websites. His misadventures in the world of anti-music can be endured at affeprotokoll.tumblr.com

by Anthony Galli
April 21, 2015

The finest works of science fiction or horror are always nothing more than a reflection of the society from which they spring. They do not rely on imaginary monsters to produce fear in their viewers, but instead are resonant and prescient in their ability to subscribe to the inner tensions percolating just below the surface. Rod Serling knew this, which is probably why The Twilight Zone still finds a captive audience generation after generation. Serling would take an ordinary situation with ordinary people and expose the undercurrents of anxiety that motivate individuals to perform irrationally. As more fear and panic infect individuals like a virus, seismic societal shifts result, breeding widespread movements enacted to protect the status quo against unforeseen danger. George A. Romero knew this when he created Night of the Living Dead in 1968.

Author JG Ballard has traversed the intersection of science fiction and psychology since the 1950’s, and with Crash!, in 1969, he created a multimedia work that would eventually combine the aesthetics of advertisement, performance art, and literature. Crash! was initially conceived in 1968, as Crash, a play that would feature a crashed car on stage with actors portraying blood-soaked crash victims, and filmed footage of actual car crashes projected behind the stage. This didn’t happen; Ballard found no backers for his controversial proposal. A year later, the gallery installation “Jim Ballard: Crashed Cars,” which incorporated not one but three salvaged foreign and domestic wrecked autos, premiered at the New Arts Lab in London. “Each of these sculptures is a memorial to a unique collision between man and his technology,” Ballard wrote in the program for the installation, concluding, “The car crash is the most dramatic event we are likely to experience in our entire lives apart from our own deaths.” At the exhibition’s opening, the drunken gallery patrons were subjected to a topless woman who interviewed them for a live closed-circuit television broadcast that further confused and angered them, provoking violent acts upon the crashed cars at the center of the performance. Obviously, Ballard was operating outside of the constraints of traditional “literature,” edging into the realm of perceptible human behavior, with all of its attendant motivations and manifestiations...

Anthony Galli currently lives in Athens, Georgia. He shares a birthday with his black cat, Magic, and they both claim Wings of Desire as their favorite film. Anthony has published two books of poetry, Amnesia for Insomniacs and Invisible Idiot.

by Chris Martin
April 19, 2015
In 1933, Kaneto Shindo found his calling in life and decided to pursue a career in the film industry. In less than two years, he was a scriptwriter in Tokyo, beginning to collaborate with some of the most influential filmmakers in pre-war Japan. As WWII consumed the nation, he was drafted into the navy with a group of 100 other men who were dolled out to different divisions based on a lottery. Kaneto was one of 6 men who were not assigned combat positions and spent the war cleaning out a theater being used by officers. He and the 5 other military custodians were also the only soldiers of the 100 to live to see Japan surrender to the Allied forces. With no possessions besides his military uniform, which he promptly traded for cigarettes, he returned to the film studio he once worked for, now abandoned, and read unfilmed movies scripts tucked away in the empty offices...
Christopher Martin recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in English and a specialization in Film Studies. Shockingly, he is currently underemployed. In his free time Chris likes to read old science fiction novels, enjoy what little nightlife Western Massachusetts has to offer, and watch as many films as possible. He also spends too much time on Tumblr.

by Kollin Holtz
April 19, 2015

One word you should know when watching “Onibaba” is “bukufu.” The word is Japanese, but I promise if you search it you won’t have to clear your history. I’ll save you the trouble though (in case you’re afraid to look it up), and tell you that “bukufu” originally referred to the tent or housing of a military General or Shogunate. Later, during the Kamakura, very brief Kenmu and longer Muromachi period (the film takes place at the beginning of this period) “…it came to mean the seat of the Shogunal Military Government; later, all forms of military government.”

Hachi, one of the three main characters, returns as a warrior deserter. He references the two warring sides in the battle for land and power. Kusunoki Masahige fought for Emperor Go-Daigo and his Court against Shogunate Ashikaga, who fought for the (as he felt, “marginalized”) warrior class. Both sides seemed to be hard up for fighters as Hachi says he was offered the opportunity to live after capture as long as he changed his allegiance. Hachi’s moral ambiguity comes through loud and clear in his re-telling of the events, beautifully illustrating his sense of self-preservation...

Kollin Holtz is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker living in a closet under the stairs in San Francisco, CA. Check out his website,www.kollinholtz.com for updates on his shows, and his podcast “Closet Talk With Kollin Holtz.” You may also follow him on twitter @KollinHoltz if ya fancy.

by Kathryn Fischer
April 18, 2015

Remember that outrageously large Buffalo Gal Hat Lady Gaga manages to squeeze into the pussy wagon in her "Telephone" video with Beyoncé? Or the enormous curlers made of coke cans? These indelible images are clear rumblings that the great artistry of the late Leigh Bowery (1961 – 1994) has pressed itself—through nineties New York Club Kids, to underground contemporary artists—right into popular culture and onto MTV today. 


Kathryn Fischer (aka Mad Kate) is a writer and performance artist living in Berlin, Germany with her partner and performance accomplice Juan Chamié. Combining elements of dance theatre, spoken word, vocals and fashion, she has performed her queer-alien-burlesque-theatre extensively around Europe since moving to Berlin seven years ago. As a contemporary improvisational dancer Mad Kate integrates techniques from Ballet to Afro-Cuban to Butoh, pioneering a style uniquely her own. She is front woman for the punk-rock-cabaret band Kamikaze Queens and a proud member of the Bonaparte circus. Mad Kate's performance work has been featured in several documentaries and films, including Emilie Jouvet's Too Much Pussy: Feminist Sluts in the Queer X Show, Cheryl Dunye's Mommy is Coming, Ivan Arrenega's Berlin Manners: Burlesque in Berlin, and Jess Feast's documentary Cowboys and Communists. She also plays the lead role in Julia Ostertag's film, Saila. Mad Kate can often be found inside the caverns of Carni Closet, located in the back of the Berlin boutique, EXIT.

Kathryn holds an MFA in Writing and Consciousness from the New College of California and a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies with an emphasis in Gender and Sustainable Development from the University of California, Berkeley. Her writing has appeared in Z Magazine, Bitch, Other , Off Our Backs, Art XX, ExBerliner, SexHerald, Exodus, Sojourn, Sexflies: R rated stories 4 the uncanny, Tea Party Magazine, Brew City Magazine and Controlled Burn, an anthology of short fiction by New College Press. Her work is currently being featured in the online exhibit, Imagining Ourselves: A Global Generation of Women, a project by the International Museum of Women. She self-publishes The Fabricated Love Affair Art Project, a feminist, mixed media 'zine.