German writer Jürgen Ploog (München, 1935) used to work as an airline pilot for 33 years. Transience and the crossing of borders have since been integral to his existence and writings. Ploog’s early literary output gravitated naturally to the cut-up method that William Burroughs and Brion Gysin popularised in the 1960s. His early experiments at cut-ups were published in the satirical magazine ‘Der Metzger’ and in the German Beat magazine ‘Gasolin 23’, which Ploog founded with Carl Weissner and Jörg Fauser in 1971. Since then the cut-up technique has remained an essential component of Ploog’s prose, at first prominently present – like in his hardcore cut-up novels ‘Cola-Hinterland’ (1969) and ‘Die Fickmaschine’ (1970) – and later subdued and overlain by loose episodical structures. ‘Pacific Boulevard’ (1977) and ‘Nächte in Amnesien’ (1980) are examples of those later logbook-like works.
‘Ferne Routen’, published from Schönebeck by Moloko Print, is a compilation of fragments written over the years with Ploog’s alter ego Eddie Grips as a main character. Grips is an anti-hero, a lonely drifter in a cut-up landscape where space and time have defected to non-linear troops. The sands are constantly shifting. The command structures have broken down. Grips is our agent in this unhinged universe. His detached observations from Entropolis trickle in like marrow from the broken ribs of language.
Ploog’s ‘Grips Fragments’ collected in ‘Ferne Routen’ are combined with equally alienating collages by Walter Hartmann, who used to edit ‘Gasolin 23’ with Ploog in the 1970s and 1980s. The book is a new and strong collaboration of two seasoned and expert cut-up artists, beautifully packaged by Robert Schalinski. Order now.
Slowscan #37 now available:
JGJGJGJG – A Farewell Performance
Slowscan #37 is a re-issue on vinyl of a cassette originally released on Balsam Flex, a London-based label run by artist Erik Vonna-Michell in the late 1970s-early 1980s. In those days a number of British poets were producing works influenced by radical international currents in sound art, conceptual art, visual poetry and performance art. Bob Cobbing (1920-2002) was a central figure in this continuation of the ‘British Poetry Revival’, a rather loose poetry movement of the 1960s and 1970s which can be seen as an internationally oriented modernist reaction to the English traditionalist and nationalist approach of poetry of ’The Movement’ (Kingsley Amis, Philip Larkin et al.)
Many of the Balsam Flex cassettes brought poets connected with ‘Writers Forum’, a small publisher, workshop and writers’ network founded in 1963 by Bob Cobbing, Jeff Nuttall and John Rowan. After Cobbing’s death in 2002 ‘Writers Forum’ has been directed by poet and artist Lawrence Upton (1949), who is one of the poets of the improvisational group JGJJGJG (‘as long as you can say it that’s the name of the band’). The other two members are Cris Cheek – originally from London but currently on the staff of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio – and Clive Fencott, who lectures at Teesside University. Slowscan #37 contains extracts from the Farewell performance of the group at King’s College, London 1978.
New from Moloko Print and Sea Urchin:
Yannis Livadas interviewed by Ben Schot (and five poems)
In this slim edition, beautifully designed by Anneke Auer, publisher Ben Schot interviews poet Yannis Livadas about the position of poetry in general. Starting from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s violent notion of poetry, the discussion follows a precarious path of its own. Schot’s train of thought clashes with Livadas’s poetic language, but instead of heading for derailment the discussion opens new perspectives amid desolate piles of ashes and brightly burning flames of creation. To this interview five English poems by Livadas and artwork by Schot have been added. The book was jointly published by Moloko Print from Schönebeck and Sea Urchin from Rotterdam in 2017.
Alfred 23 Harth (1949) is a relentlessly transgressive musician, composer, writer and artist who has been hammering away at the walls that separate jazz, classical music, punk, literature and art since the late 1960s. Guided by free improvisation and shying away from conventions, polystylist Harth has joined forces with a fine pick of like-minded musicians such as Peter Brötzmann, Sonny Sharrock, Otomo Yoshihide, Paul Bley, Heiner Goebbels and has worked with cut-up master Jürgen Ploog and artist Wolf Pehlke and many other internationally operating writers, musicians and artists. Originally from Kronberg, Germany, Harth used to live in Franfurt/Main and Paris before settling in South Korea in 2000.
MOONDADA is a loose compilation of poems, pieces of prose and drawings which spans half a century of frantic and open-minded experimentation. Most of polyglot Harth’s writings and observations are in German, some in English and a couple in Korean. The drawings in the book were done in various corners of the world in the 1970s, 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century. MOONDADA is a comprehensive yet intimate journal by multi-talented Alfred 23 Harth, a revealing look inside his boiling brain and restless existence. The design – as always elegant and strong – was taken care of by Robert Schalinski. Get your copy now.
Bob Cobbing/Peter Finch/François Dufrêne/Helmer Bodil/Lawrence Upton – Untitled
Slowscan #36 is a re-release on vinyl of three separate cassettes originally released on Balsam Flex, a London-based label run by artist Erik Vonna-Michell in the late 1970s-early 1980s. In those days a number of British poets were producing works influenced by radical international currents in sound art, conceptual art, visual poetry and performance art. Bob Cobbing (1920-2002) was the central figure in this continuation of the ‘British Poetry Revival’, a rather loose poetry movement of the 1960s and 1970s which can be seen as an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented modernist reaction to the English traditionalist and nationalist approach of poetry of ’The Movement’ (Kingsley Amis, Philip Larkin et al.) Many of the Balsam Flex cassettes brought poets connected with ‘Writers Forum’, a small press, workshop and writers’ network founded in 1963 by Bob Cobbing, Jeff Nuttall and John Rowan. Read more and order now!