TagIain Sinclair

An Interview With SPIRITS OF PLACE’s John Reppion

If you’ve been spending any time online in the past few weeks, then chances are good that you’ve heard about Spirits of Place,  the new book edited by John Reppion and put out into the world by Daily Grail Publishing.  It’s caught the attention of the likes of Guillermo del Toro, Boing Boing, and Blair MacKenzie Blake of ToolBand.net and we’ve even discussed it in the Technoccult Newsletter.

Here’s the synopsis:

Stories are embedded in the world around us; in metal, in brick, in concrete, and in wood. In the very earth beneath our feet. Our history surrounds us and the tales we tell, true or otherwise, are always rooted in what has gone before. The spirits of place are the echoes of people, of events, of ideas which have become imprinted upon a location, for better or for worse. They are the genii loci of classical Roman religion, the disquieting atmosphere of a former battlefield, the comfort and familiarity of a childhood home.

Twelve authors take us on a journey; a tour of places where they themselves have encountered, and consulted with, these Spirits of Place.

Contributing authors: Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir, Vajra Chandrasekera, Maria J. Pérez Cuervo, Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Kristine Ong Muslim, Dr. Joanne Parker, Mark Pesce, Iain Sinclair, Gazelle Amber Valentine, and Damien Williams. Edited by John Reppion.

And the cover by illustrator Pye Parr:

It is a truly beautiful book with an awe-inspiring writing lineup, and I am honoured to be a part of it.

I got the chance to do a tarot reading for John Reppion, the mind behind both the book and the event Spirits of Place. Beneath the cut, you’ll find his extremely detailed considerations on everything from magick, to art and creativity, to family, to work/life balance, and quite a lot of thoughts about how all of those things intersect.


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21C Magazine is back with Apocalypse Noir


21C is back with new material, plus archival material by or about Hakim Bey, William S. Burroughs, Erik Davis, Philip K. Dick, Ashley Crawford, Mark Dery, Verner Vinge, William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, Jack Parsons, Richard Metzger, Genesis P. Orridge, Kath Acker, JG Ballard, John Shirley, Robert Anton Wilson, Iain Sinclair, Terrence McKenna, Buckminster Fuller, R.U. Sirius, Timothy Leary, Bruce Sterling and more.

Sadly, in 1999, the company went bust, somewhat ironic given that 21•C in that form never made it into the Century after which it was named – the 21st. 21•C stalwart Mark Dery and I made some attempt to resuscitate the title early in the new millennium to no avail.

Yet many of the ideas and issues raised in the original magazine continued to arise, and with them perpetual queries as to how to get copies of the original articles, a nigh impossible task. With the prompting of two other 21•C stalwarts, Darren Tofts and Murray McKeich, it was decided to resurrect a core selection of articles in an archival on-line format. With Mick Stylianou’s wizard like help this was fairly painless. It didn’t take long to decide to add new material and it is hoped that new issues will be posted at semi-regular intervals.

This inaugural on-line issue takes as its theme Apocalypse Noir – the trend toward the apocalyptic, or at the least extremely dark – in contemporary writing. If earlier 21•C’s tended toward the darker aspects of cyberpunk, then the newer crop of writers have given up any pretense of a happy ending. Good luck!

21C Magazine

(via Alex Burns)

London: City of Disappearances

London: City of Disappearances is a 655 page anthology with over 50 contributors, including: Ann Baer; J.G Ballard; Paul Buck; Brian Catling; Driffield; Bill Drummond; Tibor Fischer; Allen Fisher; Bill Griffiths; Lee Harwood; Stewart Home; Tony Lambrianou; Rachel Lichenstein; Michael Moorcock; Alan Moore; Jeff Nuttall; James Sallis; Anna Sinclair; Stephen Smith; Marina Warner; Sarah Wise.

Citizens disappear constantly, along with their homes, artifacts, buildings and spaces. As your time-flow accelerates, old friends email the latest obituaries and the function of the writer becomes increasingly clear. You’re there to count the dead; and re-count the missing landmarks. Scribe of mutability and mutation, you’re only a memory-shaman, chronicler of the crumbling scrolls – destined yourself to become a mere neural trace in the world-brain, as the towers tumble around you.

Full Story: Culture Court.

Buy London: City of Disappearances.

Also, if you’re in London: Alan Moore, Michael Moorcock, and Iain Sinclair will be reading from the book on October 26th. Details here.

Two Reads on Psychogeography

This essay, Senses of Place and Urban Studies (via Abe), is dense and covers a lot of ground regarding theories of the cities and place. Very interesting.

Ultimately Sinclair distinguishes himself and his perambulations from those of the flaneur. While the latter strolls aimlessly about the city, idle and undecided, he claims to walk with obsessive, mad purpose. He fashions himself as a ‘stalker’, as someone who walks with a thesis, however crazed, and not the dawdling, browsing manner of the strolling fl?neur (1997: 75). In this he once more references the example of Debord, whose Situationist platform includes the concept of ‘drift’: a calculated movement across the city determined by an absence of proper criteria (Sadler 1998: 81). Hence his exercise with the inscribed letter V or his insistence that the annotations of a map belonging to a vanished man might somehow reveal an occult pattern. The point is to locate fictional alignments: between City churches, telephone boxes, war memorials etc., to find energy lines or paths to be walked, and thus open what he calls ‘a secret history of London’ (1997). By these stalking manoeuvres, Sinclair believes himself capable of taking possession of the city. His walks are intended to unravel a one-dimensional plan.


So, Basso states that among the Apache wisdom is seen as the outcome of deep reflection upon landscape (76). By observing different places, listening to stories about them and thinking of the ancestors who gave those stories voice, they gain knowledge about how to behave in the world (80). Indeed, the Apache landscape is viewed as a resource through which subjects can modify themselves or alter their thinking (85). In this way, Basso and other anthropologists (cf. Feld 1996, Munn 1973) look to provide ‘ethnography of lived topographies’ (58).

Here’s an Alan Moore interview about Voices of Fire (via Jason):

And it was also born of the conviction that, yes, Northampton is the center of the cosmos. I truly believe that. I also believe that Northampton is nowhere special. I believe that anybody living anywhere upon the face of the globe, if they were to simply take the time and do the research, would find an incredible nest of wonders buried right where they were standing, right in their own backyard. I think that all too often, in the 21st Century, and throughout the 20th Century, we tend to spend our everyday existence walking along streets or driving along streets that we have no real understanding of, even if we see them everyday, and they just become fairly meaningless and bleak blocks of concrete, whereas, if you happen to know that such-and-such a poet was incarcerated inside an asylum upon this street or that such-and-such a murder happened here or that such-and-such a fabulous, legendary queen is buried in this vicinity: all of these little stories, it makes the places that we live much richer if we have a knowledge of these things. All of a sudden, you’re not walking down mundane, dull, everyday streets anymore, you’re walking down fabulous avenues full of wonderful ideas and incredible stories. It just makes living a much richer experience if we can fully appreciate the part of the world that we are living in, and I suppose that is a very long winded answer to why I wrote Voice Of The Fire.

This is what interests me about psychogeography: connecting historic dots. Creating new meaning (or discovering old meaning).

I’m reminded of a story about Kurt Cobain. At Burning Man last year I camped with an Olympia-based musician who knew Cobain before Nirvana. He said he and Cobain used to lie on their stomachs on skateboards and roll down State Ave. starting at Ralph’s Thriftway and going down to around where the AM-PM used to be. You probably won’t find that story in an Olympia tour-guide.

Geo-tagging could be a great aid to this, especially if there are a variety of ways to filter and search the information left in places. First kisses. First cigarettes. Sites of police brutality.

Introduction to Psychogeography

The Headmap Manifesto

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