Alex Burns, who was editor of Disinformation from 1998 to 2008, has made his work The Book of Oblique Strategies available online as a free PDF. It’s not so much a work on Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s famous deck. Alex describes it as a channeled work in the vein of Aleister Crowley’s Book of Lies.
In addition to the work, Alex has explained how he came to write it and its significance to him. I don’t really understand the work itself and haven’t read the list of prerequisites that Alex suggested. But I appreciate the insight into Alex’s life and work and think anyone else who was shaped by Disinfo during his tenure as editor will appreciate it as well. Characteristic of Alex’s work at Disinfo, the write-up is more link dense Memepool and contains a huge number of references connecting seemingly disparate people and ideas.
My life changed dramatically in the next month. I hit a series of simultaneous inflection points or a Black Swan event cascade that overshadowed the document. REVelation Magazine folded and could not publish my interview with the late ethno-botanist Terence McKenna. 21C Magazine folded and could not publish my interview with space migration advocate Marshall Savage. The real estate sold out the rental house from beneath us. The relationship broke up. The 20th anniversary loomed of my mother’s death in a car accident on 28th March 1978. I experienced a period of referential ideation and had a nervous breakdown that my family helped me to recover from. I then struggled to pull together freelance magazine articles. When reconciliation was impossible with my former girlfriend, I attempted suicide (which influenced a later article on the Nine Inch Nails album The Fragile). A few months later I started to correspond with Richard Metzger and to write for the Disinformation alternative news site. I attended an academic seminar on process philosophy. Sean Healy invited me to This Is Not Art. I negotiated re-enrolling in my undergraduate degree on film and politics. Hence, the ‘Ordeals of Transmutation Fire.’
Electronic musician DJ Spooky’s been talking about relaunching the (formerly?) Australian magazine 21C for a while now, but now they’ve got a web site up with new content. It sounds exciting.
21C is that magazine: A stunningly designed showcase for idea-driven writing about visionary thinkers, trendsetters and new, new things - the people, trends and ideas at the cultural cutting edge. 21C will be inspiring and innovative as early Wired; stylish and smart as the new New Yorker; edgy as Disinformation or Juxtapoz; ferociously funny as The Onion or Suck; and arresting as the original 21C or World Art, seducing the eye with bold visuals and design that is at once radical and readable. Overall, 21C will be attractive but tough, commercial but questioning, readable but intelligent, smart yet accessible.
Update: Here’s an Archive.org capture of the DJ Spooky era 21C. The site has been relaunched again, this time by Ashley Crawford, the editor of the original magazine. You can see it here.
See also: My interview with Crawford.
(via Schism Matrix)