Radical Art for a Radical Politics: A Live Discussion with Laura Mulvey (Online Group Video Discussion – 28th July 2020)
July 8, 2020
The Upcoming Exploding Appendix Dance Film Project (Brighton, UK)
July 13, 2020
On August 9th 1969, Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian broke into the gated home of the actress Sharon Tate, which she shared with film director husband, Roman Polanski. Sharon Tate was eight and a half months pregnant and spending the evening having a small party with friends. The group broke into the house, murdering them and using Tate’s blood to smear ‘PIG’ on the wall. The next day the group broke into the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, brutally murdering them and scrawling  ‘DEATH TO PIGS’, ‘RISE’ and ‘HELTER SKELTER’ around the living room and kitchen. Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel and Kasabian were members of commune-cum-cult, ‘The Family’, led by criminal, con-man and musician Charles Manson. Drawing upon Robert Heinlein’s science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), the Scientology of L. Ron Hubbard and the Beatles’ White Album, Manson had set out to incite an apocalyptical race war. Set against the context of a thriving counter-culture committed to love and peace, these murders seemed to jar. The humanitarian spirit of the sixties counter-culture had been upset by a dark and haunting intruder. Yet this ‘intruder’ seemed somehow to have emerged from the counter-culture itself. Manson had been living in the Haight-Ashbury area, home to many radical communes and counter-cultural dropouts, and his influences seemed to emerge from similar origins. Charles Manson and the Tate/LaBianca killings seemed like mythic renditions of the darker side of the Sixties dreams of Love and Peace. Fifty one years after these murders we will be joined by James Riley to discuss the darker side of sixties counter-culture.
James Riley is the author of The Bad Trip: Dark Omens, New Worlds and the End of the Sixties, which tells the story of the 60s through a plethora of references covering Charles Manson, the British Beat scene, Timothy Leary, LSD, Kenneth Anger, Jeff Nuttall, Peter Whitehead, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Roman Polanski, the Beatles and many more. Riley is Fellow of English Literature at Girton College, University of Cambridge, working on contemporary literature, popular film and 1960s culture. He has lectured internationally, makes film and performs spoken word shows. His blog can be found here.
This session will be run as part of the Exploding Appendix Avant-garde Art Practice and Research Group’s fortnightly meetup, which, in the event of the current lockdown, will be taking place online via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83298458124). The meeting ID is 832 9845 8124. This session will be run by Bradley Tuck and take place on the 11th August 2020 from 19:30 – 22:30 (British Summer Time). If you would like to join us for the session, or have any questions please message me at explodingappendix@gmail.com
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