Zoetica Ebb’s BIOREQUIEM 5.0

We’re SO stoked for Zo today! After a year in aesthetic stasis, her personal website, Biorequiem, has finally relaunched with a gorgeous new look. Our favorite cosmonomad is a busy bee; she barely has time to initiate her patented Zobogrammatronic ambient energy battery recharge system, let alone find a spare moment to whip up sexy new design and code, so she enlisted Nubby Twiglet (our awesome Coilhouse Indie Ad Grid designer) and Star St. Germain to help her. And now the proud mama crows  “here it is – hussied up, blushing and ready to be sent out center stage with a brisk slap on the ass.” Huzzah.

You’ll find all sorts of goodies at Biorequiem 5.0. Art! Photography! Illustration! Memoirs! Bewbz! Chihuahuas!  Anthropomorphic cybercows! Go get some.

Ara Güler’s Istanbul

On display at the Maison Européene de la Photographie in Paris, Ara Güler’s photos of Istanbul during the 1950s and 60s are extraordinarily beautiful and surreal, almost otherworldly. They detail a city long shrouded in mystery and myth, celebrated in literature and song; a gateway between between Europe and the Far East. Here,  inside a city forever associated with images of domes and minarets, Güler gives us a glimpse of the once everyday and brings it to life, leaving it no less fantastic or ethereal having done so.

Via lens culture.

Jessica Joslin’s Love Letter to Wisconsin

Please welcome guest-blogger and wunderkammer artist Jessica Joslin’s formal addition to our Staff Page! – Ed.

One of the things that I love about living in Chicago is that it’s merely a hop, skip and a jump away from Wisconsin. For those of you on the coasts, that statement may make little sense. Still, I am wholeheartedly convinced that there’s magic there. Wisconsin’s had far more than its share of brilliant eccentrics, outsider artists and charming crackpots. From Alex Gordon’s jaw-droppingly magnificent House on The Rock –a place whose wide-ranging wonders utterly defy description— to the architectural gems of Gordon’s sworn enemy, Frank Lloyd Wright, to the strange and beautiful man-made grottos that dot the countryside, Wisconsin is a treasure trove of wonderful weirdness.

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910-1983) was a true Wisconsinite, in the very best (and most eccentric) sense of the word. He lived in a world of his own making, hidden away in a modest house in Milwaukee with his beloved wife and muse Marie. During the days, he worked as a baker, but in his own words, he was a “Freelance Artist, Poet and Sculptor, Inovator [sic], Arrow maker and Plant man, Bone artifacts constructor, Photographer and Architect, Philosopher.” In each of his chosen disciplines, Von Bruenchenhein was incredibly prolific. When his work was discovered shortly after his death, his home was literally stuffed to the gills with his creations. His paintings are vivid, apocalyptic explosions of color, swirling with mysterious monsters and elusive, organic forms. The distinctive surfaces are partly a result of his process. Since brushes were often an unattainable luxury, he used his fingers, twigs or bushes made of  his wife Marie’s hair. Marie herself is a lovely enigma. Eugene clearly adored her. She was his one and only model in a series of photographs influenced by the pin-up imagery of the time. In his images, he turned her into a queen, a goddess, a siren… constructing crowns out of tin Christmas ornaments and adorning her with wreaths of pearls.

Left: one of Von Breunchenheim’s bone chairs. Right: A photographic portrait by Von Breunchenheim of his beloved Marie.

It was Von Bruenchenhein’s bone chairs that first caught my eye. They are tiny and intricate, constructed from the detritus of many a chicken dinner. Apparently, he ate a lot of chicken, because he also constructed wonderful little bone towers. They look almost like architectural models of the Watts towers.

I am also fascinated by a snapshot of a wall in his home, probably in the basement, scrawled with his philosophical musings. “Death haunts men forever and finally wins” is written directly underneath “Electric meter” and “Water and Gas.” It’s as if he felt that his revelations needed to be put somewhere permanent, somewhere that could not be misplaced like a sheet of paper. It’s like having the rare chance to peer into his head. Next to a pin-up in a bikini, ever the romantic, he writes: “All go down the drain. Collect yourself. Tomorrow it is too late. Make love worth ALL” – and above a dark water stain, there is “Love is a fire ever bright.”

To see more, visit his extended biography at Kinz + Tillou and view a great collection of photos at the Hammer Gallery site. More images after the jump!

The Germans Weren’t Very Afraid of Mechanical Bears

Caption: “The Germans weren’t very afraid of the mechanical bears.”

There’s a great column at Russia! magazine titled Live From LJ. Every week, intrepid blogger Marina Galperina wades through the radioactive cesspool of the Russian blogosphere (which “conveniently, if bafflingly, revolves around LJ.”) This week, Marina discovers this incredible gem:

Ru-Lj community fail_art apologizes for their legacy of humorous-to-obscene scribbles left in textbooks by former students (or possibly, modern day forgeries), adding some “context” to the dull old pastorial and wartime pictures with ridiculous nudity, blood, peasants with nun-chucks and various insults to the Russian army. Response: “My eyes and stomach hurt.” Ditto. [Link, NSWF]

A selection of hand-picked personal favorites, after the jump!

BTC: WUH oh oh, oh oh OH oh oh oh, oh oh oh

No idea why, but I woke up craving some Beyonce this morning…

Via Adam Koford, who says “Is this the Beyonce video Kanye loves so much? I guess it’s okay, but you can’t really sing along…”

Also see:

Jim Carroll, We Salute You, Brother


My voice has a quiver.
A quiver is where you keep arrows until you shoot them.
–Jim Carroll, “The Child Within”

Punk rock poet and memoirist Jim Carroll, best know for The Basketball Diaries and his band’s morbid 1982 hit single “People Who Died” just died of a heart attack in his Manhattan home on September 11th.

He was a prolific talent who led a fascinating life, and a true NYC iconoclast. The body of work he leaves behind is a bristling brew of  passion and nihilism, low-balling humor and highbrow intelligence.

You gotta admit, sixty full years of life yielding an illustrious career in writing and music ain’t a bad inning for a scrappy juvenile delinquent who got hooked on heroin at 13. I’m glad he made it. Rest in peace, Catholic Boy.

Vote for Coilhouse! Only 2 Hours Left!

UPDATE: We did it! Together! We made it into the Top 10. Now, we wait ’til the 24th to find out if we’re selected as one of the finalists. Thank you to everyone who stepped up at the last minute to make a difference.

First off, thank you, all, for your incredible support. We’re currently at 355 votes, placing us only 100 or so votes shy of breaking into the Top 10 (out of 3,994 nominees!). Not bad for being in the competition for less than 12 hours, eh? Most of the businesses in the Top 10 registered on the site back in August, whereas we only found out about this contest yesterday. All we can say is: wow. Thank you.

There are 2 hours left to vote. In those 2 hours, we want to make it to the Top 10. We’re almost there! After midnight ET, it’s in the hands of the judges, who will choose 3 finalists. They’re not necessarily going to be looking at this as a popularity contest; it’s more about the story that each business has to tell. Even though it’s not a numbers game at that point, being at the top will certainly help us catch the judges’ eye. That’s why we’re asking any stragglers who haven’t yet voted for Coilhouse to help us win.

Again, the steps take less than 60 seconds (Tequila timed it, says it took him only 41 seconds)

  • STEP ONE: click here to register as a voter on the site. We know, registration is super-annoying. This one’s petty painless, actually. Just a few fields. Don’t worry about spam – they explicitly say “we will not solicit your email for special offers, product news or other communications.”
  • STEP TWO: click here to view our entry on the site. On this site, click on the blue button on the left sidebar with the words “Support This Story, ENDORSE NOW.” And that’s it. You’re done!

Thank you again, guys, for all your support. It’s been wonderful watching this story spread on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve almost there – let’s close the gap!

We will return to your regularly scheduled Coilhouse programming on Monday.

But even if it gets cut off at midnight, judges aren’t going to go for the most popular contestants, necessarily. There are tons of businesses that have more votes than us that just aren’t interesting or classy enough to get chosen as a finalist. Like that laser tag place that just got knocked out of the top 10.

They’re also looking at how long each contestant has been in the competion. Almost ALL of the contestants in the top 10 were the very, very first to register. You can tell by their ID number in the URL compared to ours. The judges are going to know that they got that many votes over the course of 3 week, and we got 1/3rd of that in a DAY, that we have potential.

Help Coilhouse Win a Small-Business Grant!

Esteemed Coilhaüsers, we need your help. Each and every one of you. It’s important. We’ve entered Coilhouse into a competition for small businesses. The winning prize is a $100,000 grant, and we need your vote. We’re pretty pragmatic when it comes to any sort of contests or sweepstakes, but in the off chance that we win this thing, it would enable us to do things with this magazine that we’ve only dreamed about. We’re already imagining some responsible ways we could spend that money… such as making every subsequent issue of Coilhouse scratch-and-sniff.

The competition is called Shine a Light, and it’s sponsored by American Express and NBC. The goal of the competition is to “recognize an inspiring small business.” We feel that Coilhouse deserves to win, and in order to make that happen, we need your vote. Your support matters!

In order to help us, you need to take two short steps.  Both steps can be completed in under 60 seconds (promise – we timed it). Register (they won’t spam you) and vote (it takes 1 click).

  • STEP ONE: click here to register as a voter on the site. We know, registration is super-annoying. This one’s petty painless, actually. Just a few fields.  Don’t worry about spam – they explicitly say “we will not solicit your email for special offers, product news or other communications.”
  • STEP TWO: click here to view our entry on the site. On this site, click on the blue button on the left sidebar with the words “Support This Story, ENDORSE NOW.” And that’s it. You’re done!

NOTE: We just discovered that there’s no way that people from another country can enter. So for you guys, we introduce the bonus step (can be followed by Americans as well).

  • BONUS ROUND: If you really, REALLY want to support us and take one extra step, get the word out! Let people know we need support. Post this link on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or whatever: http://coilhouse.net/2009/09/help-coilhouse-win-a-small-business-grant/

The 60 seconds you take to support Coilhouse will make a world of difference to us. Suggestions for our first scratch-and-sniff issue flavor are welcome in the comments.

Thank you, guys. For this and everything else.

SwanHalsinnen by Tina Cassati

Model: Melina

We first mentioned photographer Tina Cassati in our homage to ruffs, and since that time she’s created tons of incredible work, which can be seen on her MySpace page if you add her. Cassati continues to use Photoshop more and more to create strange and exaggerated shapes for her models, and the results are sensuously surreal; take, for example, this recent set, titled SwanHälsinnen.  In addition to taking the photos, Cassati also fashions the headpieces – sometimes in the form of a post-production collage, other times in real life, recycling old clothing or crafting paper and flowers into sculptural adornments.

More images from this series, after the jump!

Model: Nina de Lianin. Hair, hat, etc: Tina Cassati.

Friday Afternoon Movie: Videodrome

Goddamn, your manager is a douche. I mean, it’s not just me, right? Like, he’s a total douche with his douchey paisley tie and his douchey, meticulously pressed pants, and his douchey attitude all sauntering over to your desk to “see how that proposal is going” and then launch into another retelling of his Labor Day weekend away from the “bitch and the brats” to go golfing with his buddies who are also, no doubt, just as douchey or perhaps more douchey than he is. Nah, that can’t be possible. This guy is too much of a douche; there can’t possibly be another person who could eclipse the blinding glare of his douchiness. This man is like the Platonic Ideal of a douche. Just…argh, such a douche.

Well, at least he’s reminded you that, at least in America, it was only a four day work week. This is good. Your boss, standing by your desk, reeking as though he bathes in Drakkar Noir, is not. Time to drive him away. Tell him you need to get back to work; have to finish that proposal. Is he gone? Yes he is. Don’t worry the Drakkar will dissipate soon enough, just power through it for now; for now is the time for the FAM.

This afternoon: David Cronenberg’s Videodrome. Many of you may have seen it. If not, I’m only going to drop a few, key phrases on you. They are, as follows: whipping, televisions, pulsating, hand gun, stomach vagina, Debbie Harry. That is all. Press play and enjoy.