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First off. I know this particular blog post is late. This exhibit happened all the way back in Jan. 6 to February 10th, 2018. Why am I posting about this now? This year is halfway over. Fall is already around the corner. Guess I’m getting 2018 out of the way.

Industrialculturehandbook

Industrial Culture Handbook. Published by RE/Search Books.

As a huge fan of the RE/Search book series, I discovered bands, underground personalities, subcultures, tattooing, occultism, tribal culture, strange films, sado-masochism, subversive literature, etc. RE/Search had a huge influence on me during my late teens and early 20s. It was through one of the RE/Search titles, Industrial Culture Handbook‘. It was purchased at the zine shop See/Hear maybe sometime back in 1990 or 1992. That’s when I first read about Mark Pauline. (You can read about See/Hear in this post. Better yet, now you can download the PDF version from this site, although I strongly encourage you to purchase the book.)

Mark Pauline is the founder, director and member of Survival Research Laboratories. SRL for short. He specializes in creating confrontational  industrial mechanics. The robotic movements of these creations could be considered performance art, even if occasionally unpredictable.  In January 2018, the Marlborough Contemporary gallery located in Chelsea, NYC showcased his work. As stated in a press release: “…is pleased (and slightly nervous) to present Inconsiderate Fantasies of Negative Acceleration Characterized by Sacrifices of a Non-Consensual Nature by the legendary Survival Research Laboratories. The exhibition, the first solo presentation by SRL in a commercial gallery, comprises eight kinetic sculptures dating from 1986 to the present, along with video documentation of past performances in which these machines were engaged.”

I’ve always wanted to witness an SLR event. After all these years here was my chance.

 

 

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The opening event took place on a sub-zero freezing Saturday night. The exhibit was part retrospective, part demonstrative. There was a robot moving around directionless in one area. Another machine featuring decaying animal corpses spun the carcasses inside the transparent globes

 

Here’s a YouTube clip I complied from all the smartphone footage filmed from opening night. I was experimenting with some free video maker, so you’ll have to excuse the cheesy soundtrack.

Here’s a more professional video of SRL/Mark Pauline demostrating these machines:

Some more articles about Mark Pauline and SRL: 

New York Times

Hyperallegic

Vice Magazine 

Office Magazine

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All photos by Michele Witchipoo unless otherwise stated. 

 

 

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Here’s a rare video of Brion Gysin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brion_Gysin

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The first wave of the Batcave movement, later to be evolved to what is now known as Gothic began in the late 1970s/early 1980s. It’s (hair)roots can be traced to the United Kingdom. Submerging elements of Glam Rock, Psychedelic, Punk/Post-Punk, Alternative Rock, New Wave, and a bit of synthesizer created a genre still popular today. Unfortunately, although the term “Goth” has become overused and mainstreamed, this particular subculture broke off into a variety of other underground sub-genres. Some of the sub-genres listed include Darkwave, Industrial and some Electronica.

Some of the most known bands to emerge from the Goth movement range from Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. There was lesser known groups as well: Specimen, Christian Death, Xmal Deutschland, The Virgin Prunes, Skeletal Family…etc., etc. You could go in the direction of Alien Sex Fiend, or you entrance yourself in the ethereal/4AD sounds of such bands like Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil. Newer bands from the 1990s and 2000s include Bella Morte, and London After Midnight. Some of the older bands later shed the Goth label, finding commercial success. Others remained underground with small cult followings, most fading into obscurity.

The Danse Society was such a band with the misfortune of later obscurity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Danse_Society

I remember Danse Society fondly. Suppose it was due to the fact that it brings nice memories of being a teen. I was just starting to learn about Alternative music. Plus the lead vocalist (Steve Rawlings) was easy on the eyes. There was a single this band had released titled “Say It Again.” Despite a more peppier sound than their earlier tunes, it was still a good song.

Considering that iTunes has some early Deathrock ditties like “Sex Beat” available, you would think “Say It Again” would be as well. No such luck. In fact, iTunes has two albums for purchase: the 1986 album “Looking Through” and the 2001 compilation “Seduction.” However missing was the later single “Say It Again.” Sigh….somehow this is typical of iTunes.

So once again we turn to that modern phenomenon called YouTube. This was the best copy of the promotional video I could find:

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