Catch-up links

22nd October 2021

John Wyver writes: along with everything else, including a nasty cough with a slew of negative tests and a fall that left me with a wounded knee, I had been struggling for weeks, indeed months, to finish the draft of a long-overdue journal article. For some reason, I simply couldn’t finish it, and I would stare at my screen unable to tackle that but also unable to work towards anything else.

Which is at least part of the reason for Sunday links being on hiatus over the past months – for which I apologise. I have finally submitted a decent draft of the article, and so here we are, with a first autumnal selection of things that have interested me over the past weeks.

Of course there are a thousand things I could list, and this selection is fairly random – I’ll try to be a bit more structured in the coming weeks – and I’ll probably add to this list, as well as trying to do another this coming Sunday. But this might just get me back into the habit of posting here again. Thanks as always to those who I follow on Twitter for recommendations.

Interview – You’ll be my mirror: Todd Haynes talks interestingly with Amy Taubin for Artforum about his new documentary The Velvet Underground, about which I have lots of thoughts, and which also might get me posting more extended reflections in the next few days.

Where does James Bond go from here? [£ but limited free access]: this is among the best pieces I’ve read about No Time to Die (which I enjoyed enormously) – by Bilge Ebiri for Vulture.

Britain’s temporary post-war studios: a fascinating piece by Richard Farmer at the Studiotec blog.

The horror gem that kicks off Three Cases of Murder: Laura Kern for Criterion’s The Current on Wendy Toye’s contribution to the 1955 British anthology film.

Neil Brand on Oscar Micheaux – an audience for Body and Soul: the estimable silent movie accompanist, broadcaster, film historian and more contributes a guest post to Silent London about the 1925 film that he is presenting at BFI Southbank on 31 October; Micheaux was the first Black American film director and the film features Paul Robeson.

Learned behaviour [£ but limited free access]: a deeply concerning article for London Review of Books by Luke Jennings on the late Liam Scarlett and abuse at the Royal Ballet.

Crime in the streets and on the page: David Bordwell on Richard Wright’s The Man who Lived Underground and, mostly, Colson Whitehead’s terrific new novel Harlem Shuffle.

Helen Levitt the most celebrated, least-known photographer of her time: ahead of the much-anticipated (by me at least) retrospective now at The Photographers’ Gallery, Sean O’Hagan hymns the wondrous work of the New York artist, including the header image: New York, 1980 by Helen Levitt. Photograph: © Film Documents LLC Courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne.

Stumbling upon greatness – discovering Serge Larrain: Arthur Lubow enthuses for The New York Times about the great Chilean photographer who is not nearly as well known as he should be; the image above is a shot of Oxford Street from a double-decker bus, 1958-59 (Serge Larrain/Magnum).

Living colour – how Mark Rothko found light in his dark final years: Skye Sherwin for the Guardian on the current PACE Gallery show (until 13 November) of small-scale works by the painter from the late 1960s; the exhibition is richly interesting and well worth a visit.

Free newspapers: Luke McKernan on the importance of The British Library working in partnership with British Newspaper Archive.

Spin machines – the curious history of video games on vinyl: a lovely slice of media archaeology from Will Freeman for the Guardian on the ‘coming together [in 1984] of a British game developer, a magazine and a pop act that marked the beginning of the intersection between the music and games industries.’

You and AI at the Maker Art Faire in Rome: an interesting review for Arshake by Domiziana Febbi of the exhibition ‘You and I: Through the Algorithmic Lens‘ curated by Irini Mirena Papadimitriou and Valentino Catricalà [the second link is to a description in Italian, but Google Translate does a decent job with it].

Who holds the welding rod? [£ but limited free access]: this is from a mid-July edition of London Review of Books, and it’s one of the most brilliant pieces I read across the summer – James Meek on wind turbines and global capitalism.

• Bruce Springsteen performs at the 9/11 memorial in New York City

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