Adieu, Comrades (A Farewell from Zoetica)

It’s been a fun-filled, illuminating, topsy-turvy rocket ride, but over four incredible years since we launched Coilhouse, the time has come for me to move on. The need to focus on creating versus curating has been nagging at me for the duration of this endeavor, first softly and then louder, until it grew into a din which could no longer be ignored. And why should it? It’s been an amazing four years and six issues – years and issues I’ll always be proud of, especially now that our fated Constructivist installment is out in the world. Listing all my fond Coil-memories would take ages, but here are a few that immediately stand out:

  • The fateful meeting of The Three at SDCC 2007, while I was posing for Dr. Sketchy’s
  • Brainstorming nights at Nova Express [RIP] and celebrating at The Edison
  • Me wheat-pasting Coilposters all over LA under the cover of night
  • Cracking open the first box of fresh Issue 01s
  • Sticking home-made Coilhouse labels to bottles of two-buck-chuck at our launch party after taking a dive from my roof onto my balcony to make it there in time
  • Climbing over the velvet rope at The Edison with Nadya to assail Ron Moore for an interview
  • Wandering through Clive Barker’s home studio with my husband and Coilhouse contributor, Ales Kot, and plopping into his canopy bed overlooking a blooming hillside
  • Over-caffeinated red-penning of massive Kinko’s printouts before going to print
  • Merch design marathons
  • Three-hour conference calls devolving into fits of cackling and fart jokes
  • Receiving LA’s Best Design Aesthetic award with Courtney Riot
  • Grant and Kristan Morrison’s photo shoot with Allan Amato for Issue 04, which resulted in a beautiful friendship
  • Tea and Cookies with Coilhouse over at Whitechapel
  • At the risk of death by pigeon poop, exploring a beautiful crumbling Downtown building with Andrew Yoon for our Issue 05 Shoes shoot
  • Carpal tunnel-y signing of I-don’t-know-how-many issues of #05 on our Circulation Director’s floor
  • Hours upon hours of fevered Googlemancery, always

In addition to being an immensely emotionally rewarding experience, the Coilventure was an invaluable learning experience of everything from the thorny path of publishing to the intricacies of collaboration. I’m leaving a different person than when we began, with vastly expanded horizons, vocabulary and skill-set, for which I’m grateful. And while we’re on the topic of appreciation, I want to extend a heartfelt Thank You to the entire Coilhouse family – my co-editors, our brilliant design team, our steadfast interns, our dedicated ad manager, our circulation director, our numerous, generous friends and the entire Coilhouse readership for their encouragement, insight, contributions and when need be, honest critique. Your support through this experience means more than I can express.

As for The Future, it’s open wide. I recently returned from the Amazon jungle, where I taught an art workshop and created a mural at a school. Now I’m weighing options, regrouping, and, much to my heart’s relief and gratitude, finally working on a new series of paintings dedicated to beastly flora.

So that, as they say, is that. I wish Mer and Nadya the best of luck in keeping the Coilship a-chuggin’ while I board a rocket of my own and zoom into uncharted worlds. See you all in space and/or the future!

All my love,


Mother and Muse – Margo and Theo Selski

Washington-based Margo Selski paints surreal scenes of a neo-Renaissance. Filled with mysterious be-ruffed princesses, white rabbits, royal regalia and strange technology, her style evokes Flemish painting’s glory days. Much of Margo’s current work features this young model:

This is Theo, the artist’s twelve-year-old son, who has been cross-dressing since the age of seven. Margo comments:

Theo is starting to receive a lot of hostility from his peers in our little town in rural Washington about his cross-dressing. He has little control in his world. These paintings are a reminder to him that, although the world around you tells you that you don’t belong, the world around you can change. These paintings give him control.

She has created an entire series, dedicated to Theo, that places him in gorgeous fantasy settings and roles, crowned, holding scepters, often wearing beautiful gowns – all in an effort to empower him during this difficult, disorienting time.

Margo’s artistic celebration of her son reminds me, just a little, of Irina Ionesco’s photos of her daughter, Eva. Though Theo isn’t ever pictured nude, I wonder if Margo might one day see similar criticism: “Are these paintings empowering? Exploitative? Both?” Personally, I think they’re stunning and look forward to meeting both the artist and the muse this weekend.

“Hitherto and Henceforth”, a solo show dedicated to Margo’s recent work, opens this Saturday March 12 at Glass Garage gallery in West Hollywood, with Margo and Theo in attendance. Hope to see you there!

Hit the jump for more images.

In the Trees of Twin Peaks

On Saturday, LA townsfolk will be able to feed their Twin Peaks obsession at Clifton’s Brookdale, a cafeteria extraordinaire brought to you by Andrew Meieran – the very man who birthed our beloved Edison. Curated by Good Apple in celebration of Twin Peaks’ 20th anniversary, In the Trees will feature art by Coilhouse friend and contributor, Jessica Joslin, who created a a beautiful owl of brass and bone named “Cooper” for the occasion.

Cooper by Jessica Joslin

Cooper will be shown alongside the work of Glenn Barr, Tim Biskup, Scott Campbell, Amy Casey, Paul Chatem, Ryan Heshka, Stella Im Hultberg, Alice Lodge, Chris Mars, Elizabeth McGrath, Margaret Meyer, Brooke Weston, Eric White, and Ashley Wood. Get all that? Good. Additionally, the show will include art by Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer) and Richard Beymer (Benjamin Horne), as well as a map of Twin Peaks, created by David Lynch himself.

A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee byPaul Chatem

The recently-reopened Clifton’s, known for its comfort food and strange, woodsy interior, is the absolutely ideal location for this event. “It’s reminiscent of the show’s creative universe and captures the spirit of the show perfectly”, says developer Meieran of his new baby, which makes this recently-initiated Twin Peaks fiend anticipate In the Trees with even more vigor. I bet there will be coffee and pie!

FYI: this exhibition only runs from Saturday, February 12 to Sunday, February 13 – don’t miss it!

Related posts:

The Irrepressibles’ Mirror Mirror Spectacle

When I experience genuine reverence for a band, it is my solemn duty to immediately share with the people of Coilhouse. Enter The Irrepressibles: a UK 10-piece that has combined all that is grand about glam, baroque, and pop, wrapped it into a beautiful, melodramatic performance package and released it into the world in early 2010 with an album titled Mirror Mirror.

Lead singer and chief saboteur Jaimie McDermott’s countertenor wails and whispers  amidst the accompanying orchestral rush in the video below. Recorded at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the “Mirror Mirror Spectacle” presents the group as enchanted music-box ballerinas in origami ruffs, playing in mirrors and flickering lights.

Yes, he is singing his own name in the chorus, what of it?

Mc Dermott’s passion for the theatrical translates into performances so daring, in 2005 they cost him the entire first incarnation of the band. Fortunately, these days he seems to be managing his imagination [and his ego] more successfully. From a report in The Guardian UK:

Recently, they presented an “air spectacle” in Italy, which involved “1,000 balloons, LED lights, 21 fans and costumes made from plastic bags from Leylands”. They have performed in the middle of a lake at the Latitude festival in Southwold, and floated 10 metres off the ground at the Roundhouse in London. It’s reached a point, says McDermott, where “my band have written in their contract that they can say no to me. They’re scared about what I’m going to do to them next.”

Here’s hoping The Irrepressibles tour the world and record at least a few more albums before their leading man accidentally shoots the lot of them into space.  Meanwhile, we can buy Mirror Mirror, and keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Gaspar Noé Wants You To Enter the Void

Enter the Void is Gaspar Noé ‘s third feature film.
Enter the Void is Tokyo on LSD, DMT and MDMA.
Enter the Void will get you high.

It’s also your mom.

All of these things are true. It’s fairly taxing to neatly wrap up and present a film as ambitious, sprawling and simultaneously simple as Enter the Void. At its most basic, the film has us following the adventures and revelations of a freshly-disembodied soul in Shinjuku via a jaw-dropping array of techniques and effects, including first-person POV, woosh-through-walls-and-above-Tokyo overhead shots, 3D imaging and massive amounts of other enhancements. At its most potent, Enter the Void‘s combination of a simple plot & predominantly amateur actors with flawless use of exceptionally difficult techniques creates a viewer experience so unique and powerful, it’s bound to spawn a cinematic movement. It better. Because this bombastic, gorgeous spectacle is also a vehicle that plugs you in and allows you to [almost subconsciously] impart your own meaning over a minimal framework of ideas through the use of repetition and lulls in the narrative.

Of course, this also explains the split reaction of the critics: with a running time of 161 minutes, Enter the Void was often too long for seekers of pure entertainment, and too obnoxious for lovers of traditionally-cerebral cinema. But this was the film Noé set out to create when he first started making movies, and after years of waiting for the freedom and money to do so, he left no stop unpulled:

I tried to get very close to an altered state of consciousness. Or, I tried to, in a cinematic way, reproduce the perception of someone who is on drugs. And there are moments in the movie closer to a dream state, and through that, many people have told that they felt stoned during the movie, and felt they had gone on an acid trip. And there are people who are comfortable with that. But maybe for the people who don’t enjoy losing control of their perceptions, maybe that is where they get annoyed with me. For example, people who have done acid in their youth or whenever, they say they feel like doing acid again after the movie. But people who have never done drugs, or only smoked marijuana, they say to me, “After watching your movie, I know what drugs feel like… but now I will never never never do them.” [laughs]

Through the movie, I wanted to wash myself free of expectations, I was not trying to upset people, but I don’t care if they are. I did the movie for myself and my friends. You work in cinema, you might consider what a director you respect thinks of your film.

80-percent of Enter the Void is a traditional narrative movie. I suppose it’s more similar to Jacob’s Ladder or Videodrome than it is to Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome by Kenneth Anger, which is very experimental. It’s the other 10% of 20% that reminds you of the language and glamour of dreams.

Instead of reading a laundry list of potentially offensive concepts and imagery in Enter the Void, consider this: 1. If you remember that Noé’s previous film featured a 10-minute rape scene, this one is kind of a cakewalk. 2. The only way to Enter the Void is with a mind wide-open and all aversions on Pause. After you’ve watched the film [ideally the original, un-cut version], take a look at this discussion over at Factual Opinion, and these two interviews with Noe. The trailer and the much-talked-about opening title sequence, below.

Travis Louie Collaborative Show Opens This Thursday

This Thursday, decease Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles will host the reception for The Ghost of Delilah and Other Stories. Conceived by the mystical brain[s] of Travis Louie, illness the unique show will feature paintings and drawings by Travis with Craola, Chet Zar, Lola, Fred Harper, Molly Crabapple, Dave Chung, Ewelina Ferruso, John Park, Lisa Gloria and yours truly.

Kim Boekbinder as The Impossible Girl by Travis Louie

Travis Louie collaborated with each artist to create drawings that merge different styles and concepts in a sort of exquisite corpse format. The result: playful, distinct graphite amalgams unlike anything any of these folks have done before.

Travis working on his section of the collaboration with Ewelina Ferruso, Phelps Dreams of Being a Rabbit

The Ghost of Delilah and Other Stories opens at 7pm this Thursday, December 2. See you there!

Twin Slimy, Sexy Flames

The Klaxons and director Saam Farahmand would like you to reconsider the benefits and implications of polyamory, and they’re using the music video format to do so. Or maybe they’re just trying to make you squirm. Whatever the case, peep this video for “Twin Flames” – it’s like soft-core porn for the Cronenberg generation. The only thing missing? Tentacles.

Klaxons – Twin Flames from Modular People on Vimeo.

So Long, Sleazy

Yesterday, Peter Martin Christopherson, a.k.a. Sleazy, died suddenly in his sleep. He was 55. A founding member of Throbbing Gristle and Coil, as well a solo artist in his own right, Sleazy leaves behind an incredibly rich musical legacy and a great deal of gutted friends and fans. This shocking news comes just a month after the remaining members of Throbbing Gristle announced their regrouping under the name, X-TG, following Genesis P-Orridge’s departure.

Sleazy’s contributions to music and culture are immeasurable. From naked stage antics with Throbbing Gristle as one of the founding fathers of the industrial genre back in the mid-70s, to starting Psychic TV with Genesis P-Orridge and forming the intense, dark, trailblazing Coil with his partner, Johnn Balance, in the 80s, Sleazy has always been a fervent innovator. He designed iconic album covers, built his own instruments, created countless radical videos, spoke out against homophobia, and when Balance passed away after they spent over twenty years together, Sleazy held it together and started The Threshold HouseBoys Choir – a music project featuring computer-generated vocals and video. He continued creating until the very end.

In one of his most recent interviews, Sleazy said:

If I can die knowing I’ve helped put a few of us outsiders in touch, helping one another, particularly helping pass on what we know to other new people, and encouraging each other to be more proud of who they are, I will be a happy man.

Rest easy.

A Wistful Video-salute to the Dark Side

From 1995 to 1997, Sleep Chamber was my lullaby. Perhaps due to my taking the band’s name a little too literally, Sirkle Zero was on repeat every night. Soon after, Psychic TV entered orbit and the floodgates ov darkness were officially open.

Psychic TV testcard, used at beginnings of videos, performances, etc. Also my desktop. Also, I’m putting this on a T-shirt.

Yep, nostalgia abounds with the resurgence of darque music [and imagery, and the accompanying, deliberately lo-fi videos], that’s been steadily creeping forth over the past couple of years.

The video-playlist ahead began to take shape because all this new gloomstuff is blowin’ up and the pioneers of dark/experimental/noise/etc. deserve re-visiting and acknowledgment more than ever. And because the music below has managed to remain visceral and electrifying and relevant as ever. Also, having all these videos in one place? AWESOME. A shamefully incomplete tribute, the playlist features Sleep Chamber, Coil, Swans, Psychic TV, Nurse With Wound, and MOAR. Add your favorites in the comments section to flesh this baby out!

Grant Morisson: Talking With Gods

A few weeks ago, Meltdown Comics held a screening for Grant Morisson: Talking With Gods – a new documentary revolving around the life and work of iconic comics trailblazer, Grant Morrison. In this first ever feature-length film about him, Grant talks at length about the extraordinary circumstances spanning his life and career thus far. Intimate, endearing conversations with a horde of esteemed collaborators and friends are interspersed with Grant’s own stories, and feature Warren Ellis, Douglas Rushkoff, Geoff Johns and many, many more. Also spotted in the doc: Allan Amato’s Issue 04 photos of Grant and his wife, Kristan. SCORE.

At Meltdown, the end credits rolled to a standing ovation. During the subsequent Q&A, guest speaker Taliesin Jaffe generously shared a tale which some of us will be able to identify with all too well. He spoke of a young, goth Taliesin, deeply involved in ritual magic and in the process of finalizing his sacred toolkit. The remaining, pivotal piece was a wand, and for this purpose has had acquired a human femur. No ritual tool is complete without a proper charge, and for this purpose young Taliesin brought his human femur to a convention, laid it in front of Grant Morrison, and asked him to sign it. Which Grant did, after some deliberation.

I caught up with director Patrick Meaney to ask if he could share his most memorable experience from the making  of Talking With Gods.

Patrick Meaney: One of the most bizarre moments was watching the film with Grant himself, and participating in creating the next public incarnation of Morrison through his feedback on the film. It was totally surreal to go to someone and present them with ‘the story of their life,’ and then ask them to tell you what they think. We had discussed the idea that this film would, in a way, be his legacy, and would determine how people perceive him from here on out, so it was a big responsibility. Luckily he seemed happy with the final result.

In terms of bizarre magical correspondences, I wasn’t there for this one, but my DP, Jordan, was in New Mexico for a couple of days and wanted to get footage of a scorpion to illustrate one of Grant’s stories. On his last day there, he told the universe, “I want to see a scorpion today”. That afternoon, he was driving down the road and spotted something, stopped the car and there, waiting, was a scorpion. So, we got exactly the shot we needed.

Reviews of the film are popping up all across the ‘Wub – a bunch are collected here. More screenings are being listed here, you can watch one of the official trailers for Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods below, and the DVD is now available through the Halo8 store, and on Amazon.