Tags: articles

maze, baphomet, technomancy

N64 Total Environments

N64 Total Environments
Jan Welke

Although current consoles have perfected animations, graphics and sound, Nintendo's N64 still remains my favourite of all. The 3D animation made it outstanding at that time and can still provide for a splendid playing experience nowadays, especially for a brief session every now and then. Moreover, its slight outdatedness compared to today's standards and imperfection in regard to graphics and animation lend it a unique character that occasionally reminds of arcade video-games 10 or 15 years ago. Very much like its precedent the SNES, many of the games combine a good storyline with a thrilling atmosphere, flair, lots of special features, charismatic characters plus most games offered on this system are not too complicated in terms of controls.

Unlike most video game systems, this one corresponds in a magnificent way with my aesthetic preferences. Among others, I still prefer playing the following N64 game classics:

Castlevania which is a mixture of adventure, jump'n run and action game certainly still has its place among my favourites. The plot being Transylvania in the 19th century, the environment consists of haunted castles, gloomy deserted landscapes and forests and the likes. This results in a dark and bewitched atmosphere to immediately consume those who appreciate this type of aesthetics. Within these surroundings, the player has to fight against monsters, vampires, ghosts and other creature emerging from the dark side in order to find hidden items and secret doorways and battle his way towards Count Dracula's castle to finally confront him. The player will face a series of shocking surprise attacks, thrilling battles and demanding tasks to fulfill.

Belonging to the later generation of games at that time, 007 - The World Is Not Enough is one of the outstanding games available on that system and still my favourite ego-shooter. It is in fact closely related to the game Golden Eye which unfortunately had been banned in a few countries of Europe due to violent contents. The little rumble pack adds the splendid sensation of being a real part of the virtual reality explored. The numerous weapons that are waiting to be acquired turn the game into a true delight for everyone into firearms. One of the superb traits consists in the variety of multiplayer modes and options which the game offers. Of course, everyone who enjoys the technical gadgets and devices that make the James Bond movies so unique will be delighted concerning the equipment that awaits the player.

A similarly entertaining ego-shooter to be explored is certainly Perfect Dark. In regard to the variety of weapons, gadgets and special equipment to be collected and applied it is similar to 007, however here it is more of a Science Fiction storyline and plot, being that the protagonist, the stunning Joanne Dark, attempts to stop a conspiracy carried out by extraterrestrial opponents. She fights her way through the many levels that provide perfect environments to explore. Among other exciting tasks, freeing hostages, precise assassinations and deactivating explosives are part of the mission. Furthermore, the combat simulator is available which in fact is a game in itself, offering a wide range of options for single- and multiplayer modes. Many more demanding missions are to be carried out here.

All in all, the mentioned video-games make for ideal total environments, conveying a dense and thrilling atmosphere which the player is drawn into step by step. Due to the technical possibilities of that time, the animations have mainly been reduced to the basics and yet still realistic enough for the player to identify with the character. Besides, in my personal opinion, a video game does not have to be completely robbed of the characteristics of artificiality to make for exciting entertainment.

- Selection from The Devil's Diaries Codex Daemonum.


Day of Observation: High Unholyday High Priestess Nadramia!

To Me, September 1st brings forth the onset of the Falloween season, as a gateway into Halloween. And a time to honor Maga Nadramia's Nativity Anniversary!

September 1st through November...

The bloody reds and earthen browns, the harvest oranges & ghoulish greens, even the deep silvers, all engulfed in the shadows of the black. The scents & sounds of Devil's fane entrance the senses, swirl in the brain...

Samhain emerges from nightmarish dimensions...

phantasmagorical psychodramas, glimpses of the sweetest Hell, forthcoming tricks and treats to tantalize and tease, amuse and entertain!

The faces of Satan...

Emerge displayed in diabolical masks, visions of the deep Abyss of The Mind...
whereupon jack o' lantern's hellfire, demonic faces leer, twisted souls seen, flickering sigils on forestrees...
pointing the way to The Pit.

So we take this opportunity to honor The High Priestess of The Infernal Empire! Undefiled wisdom prevails! And as Baphomet enthroned, reflections cast in the gloom, trident aloft, by pentacular bolt struck in stone, sparking Lucifer's torch, The All-One incarnate in worldly devils dancing the dance of life, who by this dual paragon evolves in nefarious delight!

In Nomine Satanas!
~ Warlock Draconis Blackthorne

* Theory / Practice: Peggy Nadramia Familiarized from essays in The Cloven Hoof & The Black Flame magazines, an appearance on The Joan Rivers show, and meeting at 6/6/6.

Devil, incubus, gentleman, martini, scoundrel

Joe Coleman Gets a Retrospective at the Tilton Gallery in Manhattan

Joe Coleman's Website

Joe Coleman Gets a Retrospective at the Tilton Gallery in Manhattan

IF P. T. Barnum had hired Breughel or Bosch to paint sideshow banners, they might have resembled the art of Joe Coleman. Obsessively depicting a grim moral universe of transgression and retribution, Mr. Coleman paints grotesque images of murderers and victims, freaks and monsters, disease, depravity and perversities of every kind.

In his painstakingly detailed paintings, Charles Manson leers, JonBenet Ramsey pouts, pinheads dance, drunkards lie with poxied whores, and corpses display their wounds like obscene stigmata. Drug addicts loll in ruined cityscapes under boiling H-bomb skies, 1930’s gangsters grin on their way to the gallows, and Mr. Coleman and his wife, Whitney Ward, reign over the apocalypse, enthroned on the head of a giant Satan. In a startlingly prophetic vision of his from 2000, the twin towers burn.

A retrospective of Mr. Coleman’s art over the last 16 years will open at the Tilton Gallery in Manhattan on Thursday. With 33 paintings and installations, it will be the largest exhibition of his work ever held in New York, the city where he has lived for 30 years, yet where he has always operated outside the fine-art mainstream.

Simultaneously a miniaturist and a maximalist, Mr. Coleman wears jeweler’s magnifying lenses and uses single-hair brushes to cover every micron of his surfaces, including the frames, with minute pictorial detail and tiny text. He paints “one square inch at a time,” he said, never sketching or plotting out the completed work in advance.

“The composition reveals itself to me,” he explained in an interview. A large work, roughly three by two feet, painted in acrylic on wood, can take up to a year to complete.

Mr. Coleman says his obsession with religion and death goes back to his childhood. Growing up in Norwalk, Conn., he recalled, he played in the cemetery across the street, lived in fear of his alcoholic father and went to church with his mother, an excommunicated Roman Catholic. Placed in a school for disturbed children, he doodled bloody martyrs and once “confessed” to a priest that he had committed several murders.

After moving to New York in the mid-1970’s, he studied briefly and unhappily at the School of Visual Arts, before being expelled, he said, for making art that his teachers called “fascist” and “schizophrenic.” Meanwhile he drew underground comics, began to exhibit in small East Village galleries and appeared in independent films like David Wojnarowicz’s “Where Evil Dwells,” in which he was typecast as Satan.

Through the 1980’s Mr. Coleman acted out his shocking and violent cosmology in infamous performances at performing arts spaces and galleries. He revived the sideshow geek act of biting the heads off live mice, outraging animal rights advocates. He set fires onstage, once threatened an arty crowd with a loaded shotgun, and often concluded his act by igniting a chest-pack of dynamite, an explosive stunt for which he was arrested in Boston in 1989 on charges of operating an “infernal machine.” He framed the arrest warrant.

Now 50, his Mephistophelean beard streaked with gray, Mr. Coleman mostly confines his provocations to his paintings and expresses his sideshow interests through the Odditorium, his name for the small Brooklyn Heights apartment he and Ms. Ward share with a dime museum’s worth of curiosities.

Wax effigies of O. J. Simpson, Lenin and the serial killer Richard Speck stand near photographs of Mr. Coleman and Ms. Ward’s 2000 wedding, a sideshow affair in itself, held at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. (Mr. Coleman, dressed like a carny pitchman, came to the altar in a coffin, while dwarfs carried Ms. Ward’s train.) A lock of Charles Manson’s hair lies near a reliquary that supposedly holds a bit of Jesus’ bone marrow. John Dillinger’s death mask, a bullet from Jack Ruby’s pistol and other outré bric-a-brac crowd the living room, leaving only enough space for an antique settee as furniture.

For most of Mr. Coleman’s career his macabre visions and unironically primitive style earned him a cult following even as they positioned him far outside the mainstream.

Though his work hasn’t changed much, curators and gallerists have expanded their purviews. After Damien Hirst’s dissections, Henry Darger’s drawings and shows of graffiti taggers, it’s not such a surprise that Mr. Coleman has become more of an insider recently. His paintings now sell for $100,000 and up. He has had solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and the Corcoran Gallery in Los Angeles, and has put on an extravagant multimedia presentation at the Barbican Theater in London. Even the School of Visual Arts invited him back as a student adviser.

Now he goes uptown for his first solo gallery exhibition in New York City since 1992. “I always knew,” he said. “I take the work very seriously. I knew where it belonged.”

The Tilton Gallery’s owner, Jack Tilton, said he was introduced to Mr. Coleman’s work “eight or nine years ago” by a collector, Mickey Cartin, who helped organize the exhibition.

“I’m into eclecticism and individuality,” Mr. Tilton said in an interview. “Most of what we show has an edge. It’s got to move my gut.” He argued that it was appropriate for an eccentric like Mr. Coleman to be showing on the Upper East Side, rather than in the Chelsea art zone, with what he called its “mall” atmosphere.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Cartin, a well-known collector of outsider and contemporary art, said: “I’ve been encouraging Joe to do this for some time. Joe’s the real thing, truly one of a kind. I just thought it was sad that nobody knows about him in the New York art world.”

The paintings in the show date from 1990 to a new portrait of Johnny Eck, the “half man” who appeared in Todd Browning’s film “Freaks.” Another recent portrait is of Mr. Coleman’s friend Larry Desmedt, a Coney Island legend known as Indian Larry who died in a motorcycle accident in 2004. Installations will include selections from the Odditorium and a large construction from 2003, “As You Look Into the Eye of the Cyclops, So the Eye of the Cyclops Looks Into You.” It represents a giant, old-fashioned television console, 66 inches high by 38 inches wide, a homage to the electronic monolith he says he worshiped from the floor as a child.

On Friday at 9 p.m. the Two Boots Pioneer Theater in the East Village will screen some of the films in which Mr. Coleman has appeared, and on Saturday he will give a talk at the Tilton Gallery at 3 p.m. Warning: He may explode for old time’s sake.