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T.V. O.D. {Other side of the lens ...}

OK so these two guys from a Canadian Arts Slot are in London doing a doc/profile re IAIN SINCLAIR. And they're coming to interview me for my 20 mins worth - partly becoz I'm a peripheral member/observer of that Invisible College communitas and know and am friendly with some {more than other} of its members; but mainly, I think, becoz in their researches my review of Landor's Tower was the nearest thing they could find to a recent near-critique {for which I.S., incidentally, hasn't quite forgiven me, I don't think, not pleased, no as per free copy of London Orbital for me this time round, which i think is bonkers personally but that's just me, my logic was, who else but a true friend yadda yadda last thing we need is to turn into some MICRO version of smug London publishing circles yadda yadda ...}.

So does anyone in this loop have any I.S. lamentations or speculations, pro or not "anti" necessarily, but FRESH, especially on the LONDON angle, I know it's been mentioned by one or two people recently, and I'm sure ONE of us in this little Village Blog Deconstruction Society had something along the line of "this ain't quite on the money" to say about it ...

I am NOT interested in sticking a figurative knife in, that's not what I'm at with this, partly becoz I.S. was a massively important figure for me in mid/late 80s {which I DID also say in the LT piece b/t/w} - in the same way all the French Stuff was a decade earlier - it opened a [k-] hole and all this Other stuff came tumbling in, for one thing, and like the French stuff it came along at just the right time when you were tearing your despairing hair out at all these cheesey Amis types who were getting all the hype but who, when you tried to read 'em, were just, like ______________ zilch, zero, don't get it, sorry.

But round about Landor's and to an extent Orbital I was getting a bit fed up reading all these Observer type lead review five stars which all semed to go: 'i don't know what the HELL he's on about and it's DENSE to the point of unreadable in places but I SAY it's darned tootin' radical ...'
Which, this is partly on my part that {unfair} reaction of the long-time fan to johnny come latelys, but also, but also as I saw it a failure to actually ENGAGE with either what I.S. might be trying to do, whether he succeeds, and/or whether he's done it better before and has now {good luck to him 'n all BUT} just turned it into something of a cottage industry.

The most interesting thing in re Sinclair to have slipped out of late for my money is this little slip of a book on a micro local label, no big London publishing hype or parties, etc,:

Kevin Jackson in conversation with IAIN SINCLAIR
[Warpole Press £12]

- which is a series of interviews covering ALL Sinclair's life and career, and is especially good/interesting on the pre-White Chappell days, portrait of I.S. as a young multi media artist on the make in 60s Dublin and London; and Kevin actually has the nous/balls to front Iain with the one question most of the too-pally by half interviewers don't, which is: all this magick stuff you half-invoke half-rip the piss out of, do you actually believe in it, or, if you do, in what way ... and even if Iain's "answer" isn't 100% persausive, well, in matters like that fair do's it is maybe better if you keep your more amorphous "beliefs" or personal [tarot] cards close to your chest, but at least the Q/ is raised ...

I should declare a semi-'interest' here in that I know Kevin, just as I am good pals with e.g. the director of the C4 Orbital film ... which I found hypnotic, and I loved nearly ALL of it, including Iain's early 60s home movies spliced in, loved nearly all of it except I thought Iain's voiceover jarred, seemed to be from a different Arts prog, and, fair dos, I've had to deal with BBC2/C4 arts people myself, and I know that even the friendliest/artiest of 'em, even the ones who at the outset promise you the RADICAL earth, 'yes of COURSE you can freeform mix it like a Mille Plateaux comp, yeah SURE it can be nearer Brakhage than Yentob ...' comes editing suite time you're out on your arse and it's suddenly '- well, there's been mutterings from the boardroom about the rough cut I'm afraid, er, too abstract, and we think you need to go in a more Arena circa 82 direction ...'

But the Orbital film allows for great remix-it-yourself ops, turn the VOLUME down and stick on yr own soundtrack, Stars of the Lid or Neu! or whoever ... talking of which ...

Was out on the Orbital last night, late at night, pedal to the floor, "KITTENS" by Underworld on LOUD so that you felt like you were in one of those videos/films where 300 miles of road are revvvvvd down into 30 seconds of film ... heart race flows of death-drive fluX ... cool.

Speaking of Underworld tho' but ...

posted by Ian 8/09/2003 12:42:00 PM

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