Der Kultur Club
What to say in front of a Warhol, how to tell the difference between early video art and The Muppet Show, a short history of very long notes, and how to tell if your piano has had enough to drink. Twelve modernist manifestos, ten reasons to love Yoko Ono, five poems in favour of total war, four kinds of irony, three ducks, two sheds, and one radical Grandpa. Fluxus and the Flaming Lips, Duchamp and Dizzee Rascal, Bauhaus and Acid House, Dada and Nirvana. See, hear and learn about all this and more at my monthly Berlin evening, Der Kultur Club: An inspiring, entertaining and 100% jargon-free introduction to modern art and ideas in a cosy cafe. If I called it a 'literary salon', that would make it sound more serious than it actually is. More like the kind of night where you get pleasantly drunk but wake up the next morning feeling smarter.
Unreadable Books and Unspeakable Crimes
Meet Marshall McLuhan - media theorist, troublemaker, and inventor of the phrase, 'the Global Village'. Find out why, over three decades after his death, people are still calling him a prophet, despite the fact that he was wrong about almost everything.
While You Were Sleeping
Nobody cares about what you dreamt about. Everybody knows this is true, except modern artists and rock singers, who have spent the last hundred years or more trying to get us interested in that dream they had last night about that burning giraffe alien metropolis invisible businessman holding a bunch of grapes which later turns out to be a galaxy or something. Amazingly, sometimes it works.
Mind The Gap
On the widening gulf between art and life, and what Yoko Ono, Ben Vautier, the B-52s and Beat Happening did there.
A Very Brief History of Very Boring Music
In 1920, Erik Satie composed a piece of music you could play in the background while people talked and ate dinner. Annoyingly, the first time he performed it, everybody stopped what they were doing and paid attention to the band. The Kultur Club is pleased to report that this problem no longer exists in the world today.
Hannah Hoch, Linder Sterling, the secret life of magazines and the cut and paste revolution.
A pornographer and a purveyor of filth, or a champion of free speech and sexual liberation? While you were pondering that question, Maurice Girodias made a small fortune selling dirty books to lonely sailors. By the time you came up with the answer, he'd spent it all on cars and cognac. That's just the kind of guy he was.
The Actual Ping Pong of the Abyss
Meet Antonin Artaud, poet, playwright, amateur percussionist, Balinese gamelan enthusiast, and author of a 1947 radio play that was so damn weird it was pulled off the air and locked in a cupboard for almost fifteen years after it was recorded.