Weekend Other World 3 – Summer Is Over
English Heretic returns with the third installment of its occasional series of cultural re-programming. Weekend Other World aims to realise a new form of broadcast. It imagines a parallel channel where the documentary intensity of 1970s television, evidenced in World In Action and Weekend World still exists but at a subversive-aesthetic angle.
Screening: The Punishment Park (1971) by Peter Watkins
Pioneering film maker Peter Watkins is best known for his highly influential pseudo-documentary The War Game, an imagined report on a nuclear attack in the UK. However in 1971, Watkins produced another fake documentary The Punishment Park, set against the milieu of America on the brink of a totalitarian future. The Punishment Park follows the reports of British and German film crews to a desert game where conscientious objectors, civil rights campaigners and folk singers are offered the choice between permanent incarceration or running the gauntlet of National Guardsmen for 3 days. If they avoid capture they are set free.
The Punishment Park courted high controversy and polarised responses on its initial release, many considered it an hysterical projection of Nixon’s America. It is now viewed as a prescient understatement of today’s cruel arenas such as those witnessed at Abu Graib.
James Riley: The Bad Trip
50 years on the from the bloody denouement of the 60s, bogeyman Manson returns to the red carpets of LA with Tarantino’s new film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. In his new book The Bad Trip, James Riley descends into the underworld of the Sixties to reveal the dark side of the counterculture. He explores the seam of apocalyptic thinking that had lain hidden beneath the decade’s psychedelic utopianism all along. Moving between Britain and America, this is a magical mystery tour that shows just how different our concept of ‘the Sixties’ is from the reality of the period.
James will present an aurally annotated performance talk from his book.
Agnes Villette : Blurring the zone, Chernobyl’s fictional contamination.
Fresh from her recent research field work in the Ukraine, journalist Agnes Villette explores Chernobyl’s fictional contamination.
In the Ukraine, since the release of HBO’s mini-series Chernobyl, the disaster’s national legacy has gained a new momentum. Brought to attention after decades of media silence and avoidance, “HBO”’s topics are used to discuss the Chernobyl issue in the light of the recent American series. “HBO-ing” Chernobyl is the most recent layer of fiction superimposed on a geographical territory which had, before its actualisation in 1986, - as one of the most important nuclear accident of history -, been a fictional literary and filmic speculative projection by the Strugatsky Brothers and Tarkovsky. Nowadays, as the revival of dark tourism and ruin porn are invading the zone, the talk will explore the fictional connections Chernobyl has engaged with in the past decades.
English Heretic: Nightmare Laboratory
Tracing a route from neuroscience to Babylonian magic, English Heretic’s latest research subverts Max Richter’s Sleep to explore music, aural techniques and rituals to induce and protect against nightmares. Aiming to rehabilitate the fearsome antique demoness Lamastu, English Heretic will be discussing the project and performing a set of off-kilter lullabies and tense incantations against a dark analogue of Brion Gysin’s dream machine.
Whereas Richter used Sleep as a curative agent against his own insomnia, Nightmare aims to redress an ontological imbalance, the demonising of our innate ability to conjure cosmic horror.
We explore the neurobiology of sleep and the theory of costly signalling to explain the role of the nightmare within shamanic cultures. Following a century of the self, the bloated ego doesn’t need any more help, its needs a few nocturnal shocks.
Kim Coleman: presentation TBC
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