Wednesday, 28 November 2007

digital sources for mashed sauces

Online library gives readers access to 1.5 million books from

The Million Book Project, an international venture led by Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, Zhejiang University in China, the Indian Institute of Science in India and the Library at Alexandria in Egypt, has completed the digitization of more than 1.5 million books, which are now available online.


mashed sauces

What's this got to do with mashed lit? Just thought it was interesting. In the same way a dj remixes from digital sources, so the textual dj remixes from digital sources. will no doubt provide an amazing resource for the textual dj.

Monday, 26 November 2007

kathy in the sky with diamonds

Picture yourself in a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Michigan seems like a dream on a river:
A boat and a girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
She calls you, and you answer quite slowly,
“The man in the gabardine suit is a spy.”
She says, "Be careful, his bow tie is really a camera."
There are cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
But when you look for the girl with the sun in her eyes, she's gone.
So you buy a pack of cigarettes,
And one of Mrs. Wagner's pies,
Then walk off to look for America.

You follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
where the moon rises over an open field
In which rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.
So you look at the scenery, as she reads her magazine;
Everyone smiles as they drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.
"Kathy, I'm lost", you say, though you know she is sleeping.
"I'm empty and aching and I don't know why."
Then a Newspaper taxi appears on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
You climb in the back with your head in the clouds, and you're gone.
On the New Jersey Turnpike, you count all the cars
Thinking they've all come to look for America.

You find yourself on a train in a station,
Playing games with the faces of plasticine porters,
Laughing at their looking glass ties.
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile,
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
"Toss me a cigarette," she say as boards the train.
"I think there's one in my raincoat."
"No, you smoked smoked the last one an hour ago."
"Kathy," I say, "It took me four days
To hitch-hike from Saginaw.
I've come to look for America."
"We've all come to look for America," she says, before she's gone,
"With Lucy in the sky with diamonds."

Kathy in the sky with diamonds.
Let us be lovers,
We'll marry our fortunes together.
Kathy in the sky with diamonds.
I've got some real estate
Here in my bag.
Kathy in the sky with diamonds.

mashed sauces

As I sat listening to Lucy on the Beatles mashed Love album, a line out of Simon and Garfunkel's America hit me. This is the story of the sixties mashed: wandering pilgrimages across geographical and psychedelic landscapes.

Monday, 19 November 2007

scrip_pop #2: we didn't start the tongue's fire

The tongue is a fire that we didn't start:
A world of evil among the body's parts;
A world of fire always burning
Ever since the world's been turning.

The tongue corrupts the whole of a person
Sets the whole course of life on fire.
E'en though the fire's one we didn't light,
Yet it's a fire we're trying to fight.
But in vain, for it was set by hell
The tongues of which no man can quell.

mashed sauces

Is this mash a bit cheesy? Well, if you're going to mash-up Billy Joel, then you're asking for it. Recognise the We didn't start the fire chorus from the Stormfront album?

Continuing with me mash-ups from the New Testament epistle of James, this come from 3:6, with a very interesting linkup of the tongue with hell.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

call me insatiate

Call me Ishmael, wild donkey of a man. In a selfish maelstrom was I flung headlong across the aethereal sky; from hyperion to satyr insatiate I fell.

mashed sauces

The first sentence mashes Melville's wonderful opening line to Moby Dick, with the Angel's prophecy to Hagar, Abraham's slave about her son, Ishmael.

The second sentence follows as a non sequitur: a mash of the famous line from Milton's Paradise Lost where God throws Satan out of heaven, with an equally famous line from Hamlet's "How stale the world is" soliloquy, in which he describes his disgust with uncle's political machinations.

Friday, 9 November 2007

scrip_pop #1: Sit Down, James

To those who find themselves religious
who seek the religion that is pure and faultless
Sit down next to me, and listen:

Those who feel the breath of sadness
to look on orphans and widows in their distress,
Sit down next to me, for I am them.

Those who find they're touched by madness
in trying to keep from being polluted by this world,
Sit down next to me, for I am clean.

Those who find themselves ridiculous
Who hope that God exists,
Who hope, who pray,
Sit down next to me
Whether in love, in fear, in hate, in tears
Or in sympathy for who I am.

mashed sauces

I've discovered that mashups can act as a form on meditating on the Word; a form of looking intently into the perfect law. The opening phrase of these couple of verses from James 1:26-27 triggered the memory of the song Sit Down by UK band James. The name irony is of course purely coincidental, but also somewhat, if I may say, sublime.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

The pirates of Turner Prize gold

A painter has won the Turner Prize for the gradual process of layering one colour over another. She says, “The forms don't stand for anything else, they don't symbolise anything or describe anything outside the painting. They represent themselves.” Now they represent £25,000.

She's living in London painting abstracts always the same size. No source material. Just from scratch she says. I work from scratch too. I once spent four straight months underground, living in the bowels of abandoned mines, scratching out nuggets of gold. That was worth R80 000.

They say her work marks a departure from the more outlandish works to have scooped the prize in recent years. The last painter to win filled his canvas with elephant dung. And for the two years before this, a man dismantling a shed, building a boat from it, and turning it back into a shed, and the creed of a lightbulb going on, then off, then on, then off, then on, then off. Installation art they call it.

How's this for outlandish installation: You have to sleep on rocks, it's really hot and the humidity is very high. The air we work with is full of dangerous gases and the places we work in are very dangerous for rockfalls. Always. It's like being in jail, with no natural light.

I work with no water, little food, braving searing heat and poisonous fumes to get our gold. She creates with oils and acrylics. She begins with no pre-conceived notion of the end result. We call ourselves "Zama Zama" and we try our luck. She pitches the rational against the intuitive. We set booby traps and homemade bombs to keep the police away.

If I took a gas can and put a homemade bomb into it, and then took the homemade bomb out again leaving just the gas can, would they give me an art prize? Yoko Ono came to present her with the prize.

Her studio is in London. Her paintings are at the Tate. My studio is the G-Hostel. The police raided it recently to take my work away—over five tonnes of gold dust in the last two raids.

She uses 48 x 38cm canvasses to create a form that plays on the painting’s physical surface and yet remains embedded within the structure of the painting itself, just like the gold we spy in the rocks. We use pestles to crush these rocks, then use a "penduka" to spin the remains with iron balls and mercury. This grinds it down into gold dust.

When she's done, she names each picture from a dictionary of first names and then hangs them in gallery. They say you can see the relationships between that have been migrating while she has been working simultaneously on them. The paintings, she says, become congruent with themselves.

Once we have our dust, we wash it with water and mercury to form a silver amalgam. Then we burn it with a cutting torch to form the gold nuggets. The mercury poisons us. It seeps through our skin to attack our brains and kidneys. But who cares. The buyers give us about R100 a gram.

She gets nominated for solo exhibitions at all over Europe, her paintings intimate and compelling notes to enrich the language of abstract painting. We are likely to die down in the mine. And if we do, we leave the corpse in a shaft lift with a note containing his family's contacts.

mashed sauces

A Guardian news story on the announcement of the winner of the Turner Prize, which seems to have disappeared from the Guardian website. It was dated 5th December 2006.

Tate Britain intro to Tomma Abts.

"SA gold pirates risk all in pillaging mines"
in South Africa's Mail and Guardian weekly on 10 December 2006.

As a mashup, this piece has its own narrative voice. There was something so passé about the artist's quote in the opening paragraph, it irked me. The gold pirates article seemed to put it into perspective. So I decided to mash them.

Friday, 9 February 2007

the coming dunciad

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
Lo! thy dread Empire, CHAOS! Is restor'd;
Thy hand, great Anarch! Lets the curtain fall
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
Light dies before thy uncreating word.
The ceremony of innocence is drowned
And Universal Darkness buries All.

mashed sauces

W.B. Yeats, "The Second Coming".

Alexander Pope, "The Dunciad, Book IV".

This mash-up was born in the writing of a paper on Pope and Yeats. If things indeed are falling apart, the first two lines strangely fell together like peas in a pod in my head. There is a certain amount of irony that I enjoy in this mash-up, particularly as it is the first for this blog; and that is that both Pope and Yeats were striving in their poetry against the very loss of "original" form and "crass" hacking that remix and mash-up culture finds such depth, fun and profundity in.