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July 2000

video track of the week 2000-07-28 / Track-of-the-Week. The follow-up to last week’s follow-up from the video Matter by Public Works is a gut-wrenching little number called Vesicle. In a reel rescued from the back lot dumpster, we are prodded to ask: What happens in the intimate relations of a boy’s club proctor and his charges, when the social milieux around them are altered for the sake of a laboratory study? Anarchy? Harmony? Some combination of the two? And who’s to say which is the more desirable, anyway? You decide.

Although News is Sparse, it is not a sign …

Ianos Schmidt and John Heck at the Thaw film festival in Iowa City, April 2000 … that we have laid down to take a rest on our bay leaves. The sargasso sea doldrum or dearth of activity that is summer in North America hasn’t really kept the skeleton crew of PWP (Public Works Productions) down in the dumps (or at bay). Although dispersed as we are over two continents, John, Lloyd and Ralph™ continue to make Great Art® their lord and master. I’m certain you’ve heard it all before: the folks at PWP are Great Artists® and, if they once in a while peevishly refuse an interview, it is only because they are principled, or lazy. The same cannot be said of …

John Heck, who recently returned from the annual international film festival in Karlovy Vary CZR. The memorable screening for him was Lech Majewski’s Wojaczek, which he loved for its ‘fearless, existential’ black-and-white-ness. John spent at least part of the festival pressing Tape-beatle ‘business’ cards into the palms of perfect strangers.

Lloyd Dunn has just completed a typesetting and layout job for Zanzibar USA to accompany a series of little-known films that were made around the tumultuous May 1968 period in France. ‘The Zanzibar Films and the Dandies of May 1968’, by Sally Shafto, is a monograph that uncovers these films and their makers. Screenings of some of the films will take place at Anthology Film Archives in New York.

Ralph Johnson takes care, with the help of his wife Karen, of two cats. But in addition to that, he busies himself working on a new web project that will detail in full the ideas and activities encompassed by The Glassed-in Laboratories. Watch for this project to be unveiled as part of this web site at some point in the very near future.

We’re sorry there’s not more, but we’re only human, we insist.

video track of the week 2000-07-21 / Track(s)-of-the-Week. Here’s the third section of the video Matter to slake your track-of-the-week thirst. It bears the title Mortal mind. Where the earlier tracks set a somber tone, in this one we turn up the heat until it rollicks and boils. We explore the inner lives and outer countenances of the products and materiel we use everyday.

2000-07-14 / Part 2 of the video Matter continues the current series of movies with the title Substance. Who’s to say a great power does not lie dormant in an innocent-looking glass of water? All life in the universe ultimately evolves from rocks, and before that, the stars.

Track-of-the-Week is a Movie!

2000-07-08 / This week, we begin serializing our recently released video adaptation of Matter for your downloading pleasure, or simply for viewing in your browser window. Granted, you won’t get the full experience of the performance or, for that matter, of watching the video tape. But if you have the bandwidth, you can at least get a good idea of what we did to visually accompany the musical work.

Consider buying a copy of the tape to support our future efforts.

The Plagiarist’s Ideas are on Everyone’s Lips

2000-07-04 / A longtime correspondent and friend keeps us posted as to what’s going on in Germany:

Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000 15:30:53 +0200
From: Florian Cramer
Subject: Chrysler Retrofuturism

Dear Lloyd,

In a newspaper ad, Chrysler is dubbing its ‘PT Cruiser’ car as follows: ‘The automobile combining retrofuturist design with the power of the 21st century’ (‘Das Automobil, das retrofuturistisches Design mit der Power des 21. Jahrhunderts verbindet’). I can send you a scan of the ad if you like.

I hope you will sue them and make big bucks. Perhaps you should join forces with Le Groupe Absence and their chairpeople John Berndt and JJR Dubé. They invented ‘Chrysler-Benz’ — complete with a company logo — in the very early 1990s and were plagiarized by the companies’ management.

Florian Cramer

Reminds us of the time Wired described the then-new PowerBook 540 as ‘retrofuturistic’; which I only mention since at the time I was editing one of the final issues of Retrofuturism on that very model!

Moving Day: New URL for This Web Site

site note 2000-07-03 / Site Note. Web hitters will want to take note of this site note. With a single fell swoop we have obsolesced each and every bookmark out in the whole wide world (i.e., w.w.w.) that links to this site. The power we feel in so doing is indeed sobering. It is not, however, idle amusement that motivates this action, but rather the claustrophobic allotment of space afforded by ‘El-Cheapo’ accounts offered by Internet Navigator, Inc. We have not entirely abandoned the service, however, having left behind a notice of our departure, telling visitors where they can now find us. (It is likely you have already seen it.)

Perhaps just as important is the new and more esthetically appealing URL now associated with this content. Steev Hise has created for us a subdomain on his server that looks like this:

Now that we have room to stretch, we’ll have more and merrier coming your way in the very near future.

If this move has inadvertently caused you any technical problems — broken links and the like — it would be helpful if you’d let us know so that we can fix them.

Mp3s by Public Works 2000-07-02 / Track of the Week. Our final installment from the re-issue of The Grand Delusion, the aptly-named (help) now appears on our servers. We like this track a lot, and it seems to our ears one of the freshest of the discoveries we made in going through old tapes from the ‘delusion’ studio sessions.

site note 2000-07-01 / Site Note. We are switching to ISO standard date formats as of the first of the month. Dates that used to look like 1.07.2000 will now look like 2000-07-01. The main reason, being purely technical and not of concern to most of you, is that files with dates in the name will now sort correctly in our directories. Dull, isn’t it?

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