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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

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Witches

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Angela Marzullo Makita Witch, 2008
‘In the video we see Makita as a witch, flying around on her broom. Through a game of mirrors, the Witch is reflected on the walls and ground. This multiplication of reflections is increased in the installation which recaptures the structure of the decor. The purpose being that the projection surface then dissolve into the installation, and that everything becomes reflection. Even the spectator looses his glance in this animated labyrinth.’

 

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Raphaela Vogel Witch Sequenz, 2018
‘Many different witch scenes, witches, doing spells, and flying around on a broom.’

 

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Trulee Hall Witch House, 2020
‘Wood, paper mache, resin, fabric, stuffing, fake fur, synthetic hair, altered sex dolls, acrylic paint, spray paint, found cornucopia baskets, found ceramic cornucopia, found crystal balls, convex mirror, polymer clay, hardware, LED candles, found candle holders, logs, sticks, volcanic rocks, projector screen, video. 13 feet x 14.5 feet x 17.5 feet.’

 

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Linda Stupart A Spell to Bind Straight Cis White Artists from Profiting off of Appropriating Queer Aesthetics and Feminine Abjection, 2016
‘IS: To bind someone is to hold them back, to restrain them from entering your zone. Is magic, then, a means of creating safe space? LS: Before I started working with magic and spells, I was thinking a lot about safe spaces. I began to cast salt circles before I had done much research into magic and witchcraft. I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed on TV and saw the film The Craft, and all my knowledge initially came from them. I cast a salt circle as a way to create my own space. I get anxious when people get too close to me, and the salt circle was in a sense pragmatic. I simply wanted the space for myself. And when I cast a circle, nobody walked into it. It’s just salt on the ground, but people stay out. In other words, the magic works. I began to think about how I might develop it. Refusal is an important part of magic. The American writer and film-maker Chris Kraus talks about refusal as an “active stance” in her book Aliens and Anorexia. I also love something that sociologist Sarah Franklin refers to, “the wench in the works”, which is a sex-worker or a difficult female body who stops the cogs, who gets in the way of capitalism. It’s something that’s really carried with me: this idea of stopping the flow, breaking the chain. It’s the opposite of accelerationist theory: rather than go faster, it says slow it down to break it.’

 

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Candice Lin Recipe for Spontaneous Generation: Baby Mice, 2015
‘Fabric, dried wheat, baby mice, alcohol, glass jar, airlock, copper pipe. 26 x 4 x 4 inches.’

 

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W.I.T.C.H Various, 1968 – 1970
‘Unlike radical feminists groups that fought to overturn the patriarchy alone, W.I.T.C.H (Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell) claimed they sought a wider social change. They attributed the oppression of women to capitalism, seeking to ally with other leftist causes such as the New Left, the black liberation movement, the student movement, and the anti-war movement to bring about socio-political and revolutionary change. The group declared the witch as their symbol and used the dramatic tactics of guerrilla performance and costume in their protests. Notably, on their inaugural action, members dressed up as witches and marched down Wall Street putting a hex on New York’s patriarchal and capitalist financial district. They would distribute garlic cloves and cards with the motto, “We Are Witch We Are Women We Are Liberation We Are We.” They would storm restaurants with brooms and black hats to chant, “Nine Million Women, Burned as Witches.” The chant a nod to the European witchcraft trails but an erroneous and inaccurate number claimed by many. Clearly a figure meant to shock if anything.

 

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Unknown A witch trapped in a bottle, c. 1850
‘glass, silver, cork and wax, 110 cm’

 

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FASTWÜÜRMS DONKY@NINJA@WITCH, 2007
‘Witch vs. Ninja features exciting visual/non-martial arts non-matrixed action and the sexy collision of “Beshiki-me” radical ninja feminism, “take back the night,” with the occult relational aesthetics and black collar labour negotiations of the Witch Nation, “workers of the night, unite!”.’

 

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Naomi Blacklock Padma, 2018
‘The apparatus/stage, again, featured the motif of the circle and the mirror. In a ring on top of a single circle of mulch around four metres in diameter, six mehrab-shaped, inward-facing mirrors are tilted backward on a deep lean. The two psychedelic-red stage lights beam sharp reflections onto the gallery walls and the audience. Sitting cross-legged in front of more audio equipment and two arms of brass bells, Blacklock again began an amplified cycle of breathing. The outline of her seated figure and the arms of bells were clearly silhouetted within the red reflections on the walls. It recalled the horror trope of the ghostly figure in the window or the spectre glimpsed behind the protagonist in a reflection. At first sporadically and then with a continuous and restrained clapping motion wherein her hands eerily never touched, Blacklock began ringing both sets of bells. They chimed through the speakers, layering on top of the polyphonic score of looped breathing. In the strongest of the six reflections, the space between the hands became a locus of unbearable tension and control, as the sound swallowed the room. This motion completed a linguistic-performative cycle started with the title Padma, a Sanskrit word for the sacred lotus central to Hinduism and Buddhism and a guiding body-metaphor in yogic practice as a posture for meditation. The pure lotus grows from and is sustained by muddy waters. The arrangement of the mirrors, and even their mehrab-shaped heads, recall the blossomed petals of the lotus. Blacklock then occupies this site of cultural meaning and pairs it with the representations of witches. With eyes closed and bells ringing, Blacklock’s performance literally meditates on these themes.’

 

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Katharina Fritsch WITCH HOUSE AND MUSHROOM, 1999
‘wood, polyester and acrylic’

 

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Rosaleen Norton Various, 1954 – 1965
‘Rosaleen Miriam Norton (1917-1979), painter and self-styled witch, was born on 2 October 1917 at Dunedin, New Zealand, third daughter of Albert Thomas Norton, a master mariner from London, and his New Zealand-born wife Beena Salek, née Aschman. Albert was a cousin of the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. The family arrived in Sydney in June 1925. Rosaleen was expelled from the Church of England Girls’ School, Chatswood, at the age of 14 for producing ‘depraved’ drawings of vampires, ghouls and werewolves thought likely to corrupt the other girls. She later studied for two years at East Sydney Technical College under Rayner Hoff who encouraged her ‘pagan’ creativity.

‘Her work was influenced by British vorticism and has been linked stylistically to that of Norman Lindsay, for whom she occasionally modelled. Norton derived much of her imagery from a type of psychic exploration based on self-hypnosis and from what in occult circles has been described as ‘wanderings on the astral planes’. Many of her paintings were based on trance-encounters with archetypal beings whom Norton believed had their own independent existence. She began to compile a series of these mystical drawings which, with poems by Greenlees, appeared in The Art of Rosaleen Norton (1952), under the sponsorship of the publisher Walter Glover. This book was even more controversial than her Melbourne exhibition. Glover was charged with producing an obscene publication. The book could only be distributed in Australia with some of the more sexually explicit images blacked out. In the United States of America copies were burned by customs officials. Greenlees and Norton, who had been financially assisted by Glover, were forced to scrounge a living by other means when he was declared bankrupt.

‘Norton continued to produce macabre paintings of the supernatural, though they were increasingly lurid and repetitive. She died of cancer on 5 December 1979 in the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst.’

 

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Jala Wahid Final Blade, 2018
‘This piece protrudes from the wall up on high, appearing like a giant claw or sliver of human bone. In this way, the artist encapsulates both the awe and terror that is traditionally associated with witchcraft without envoking stereotypical imagery. It feels inherently violent in a way that sets it apart from other works that are predominantly associated with themes of preservation and protection. In this way, it serves as an important reminder of the marginialization and persecution so many people have faced at the hands of the term “witch”, and the reclamation that so many now seek.’

 

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Jesse Jones Tremble Tremble, 2017
‘The powerful witch in Tremble Tremble may in fact be perceived as an incarnation of magical thinking, a figure of radical transformation of the real and a trigger of cosmic chaos. This incredibly charismatic personage is interpreted by the acclaimed Irish actress Olwen Fouéré, who delivers a haunting performance while, beyond the screen, the exhibition space undergoes simultaneous ritual activity. Every few minutes a circle is loudly inscribed by an invigilator on a black wall, and a moving curtain slides to split up the space with the transparency of a gigantic, ghostly hand. The verticality of self-standing, landscape-shaped video screens opposed to one another, could also be another sign of the transformation of values operated by the witch.’

 

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Annie Cattrell Veracity 1 & 2, 2018
‘Catrell’s work consists of a series of marks or drawings burned into found wooden objects attached to the wall. These are shown alongside the filmed projection of a flame contained within a glass recepticle, recalling the purifying power of fire as well as fires linked to the rituals and fantasy of witches. The installation refers to aspects of Malcolm Gaskill’s research concerning the demonisation and branding of women as witches. The swaying of the flames echoes the rhythm and pattern of witchcraft accusations as they rippled and swirled, not just within individual psyches but also throughout early and modern communities. Fringe murmurings and isolated suspicions could suddenly flare up (reflected literally in Catrell’s installation) into full scale panics before calming down again. The marks burned into wood show the long lasting branding of the term witch on the women that were accused.’

 

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Darja Popolitova How to Get Rid of Sexism and Discrimination of LGBTQ+ People in Your Country, 2020
‘In the video the ‘witch’ Seraphita tries on the drag face filters (augmented reality effects that apply a drag make-up to a face) onto the portraits of Estonian right-wing politicians (Mart Helme, Jürgen Ligi, Riina Solman) and thus metaphorically stops sexism and homophobia among a society. She also tries this face-filter on herself and says that the world seems so much brighter after conducting the ritual. The video-tutorial is accompanied with instructions for conducting the ritual. For example, a person needs to become clean from all digital rubbish seen during the day before starting the magic. And for that, the necklace with a ‘special’ brush that leans against the skin is applied with slow movements to the face.’

 

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Elisabeth Krohn Sabat Magazine, 2016 ->
‘I made this zine (called Sabat) about “pop vs. real” teen witches when I was doing my first project for my MA back in 2015. Through my nostalgic eyes, the 1990s maiden witch was very alluring, both as an aesthetic but also as an analogy for coming into power as a young woman and the struggle of figuring out what to do with your powers. It was hard to find people who would talk to me about witchcraft and to find this young witch I was sure could not just be a product of my imagination. I approached witchcraft shops, online forums, and finally through social media discovered the world of the #witchesofinstagram where this amazing network of young witches was growing before my eyes. For the first issue, finding contributors and convincing them I knew what I was doing was a challenge. Sabat’s designer Cleber de Campos and I were making a magazine for the first time, it was not an obvious lifestyle magazine concept to say the least, and in so many ways we were making it up as we went along. Witchcraft has a rich visual history. Right now, a new generation of photographers, artists and writers are exploring this heritage in a fresh and contemporary way and communicating their work online. Working with a concept of the ancient and the instant, we tried to create a kind of micro-cosmos around this collaborative community, but also a publication that is a strong haptic experience. It’s been amazing to scroll down our Instagram feed and see how Sabat has become this object that sits comfortably on a reader’s altar with tactile tools and tarot decks.’

 

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Johanna Hedva Various, 2016 – 2019
‘I’m a goth, so I’m partial to the ones who speak of death as the totalising divine. Georges Bataille, for whom God was death, comes to mind. I like [Eugene] Thacker’s book Cosmic Pessimism, it’s so emo. I spend probably an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the void. I’m pretty obsessed with black holes: black holes as a metaphor for death, and also as an un-metaphor, something so beyond language that it can’t be leveraged as a metaphor, feels very close. When I learned that black holes make noise, that when they collide it causes spacetime to ring, and that this is how we’ve been able to detect and articulate them – that nothingness sings – it made sense to me as a way to speak about death. I was raised by witches, which means that the dead were very much alive in our house. They spoke constantly, and their language was tricky and multilingual, but they rarely spoke directly to you in a language you could understand. Sometimes they spoke in dreams, sometimes they turned the living room lamp on and off. I think any philosophy of death has to account for this, how the dead speak.’


Mary (Excerpt, 2019)


Sick Witch (2016)

 

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Clara Ursitti Birch Bitch, 2010
‘A witches hat moves around the room as if it has a life of its own. At times it is absolutely still, and uncannily starts to move, bumping into other artworks, furniture and walls in the gallery/domestic space, moving from room to room. It smells like it is burning. (Scent, robotic vacuum cleaner, old leather jackets.)’

 

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Katharine Dowson Concealed Shield, 2018
‘The installation takes place inside a symbolic chimney, and possibly also inside the heads of viewers wanting to protect their homes. The sounds in the dark room suggest the presence of unseen creatures, imagined to be concealed in the fabric of the walls. On entering the dark space, the viewer may experience the feeling of being surrounded by mysterious forces and by scurrying beast-like demons. The red shadows on the wall point to the piercing of the witch’s heart.’

 

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Valve Corporation Left 4 Dead: Witch Cry, 2000
‘Imagine being caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and as you’re treading through the dark hallways of an abandoned shopping mall, you overhear the sound of a woman crying. You might be compelled to help her and if you decide to, prepare for the most frightening experience of your life. The Witch from Left 4 Dead is a special boss infected who fits in with the likes of the Tank but the difference is she won’t charge after you without provocation. You can typically ignore her cries and proceed through the map unpenalized but the moment you shine a flashlight or shoot a gun in her direction, she’ll rise to her feet and dish out one of the most unforgiving whoopings you’ll ever receive in the game. From the moment you hear her music and sobs of grief in the distance, to the second you see her eyes glistening as she rocks back and forth in the shadows, the sheer terror the Witch sends coursing through you is one of the most memorable moments in survival horror game history.’

 

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Roxanne Jackson Lesser Evil, 2018
‘The idea of a feminine monster is a terrifying thing. This is because we associate the female as being the birther, the mother and the nurturer — when we think of her as being monstrous or beastly, we become truly horrified. Jung alludes to this with the archetype of the Devouring Mother, one who psychologically and/or emotionally consumes her children. This infiltrates our collective idea of the feminine — and we can see this expressed in pop culture films and entertainment. For instance, Disney shows us many great examples of the negative feminine — such as the antagonist and sea witch Ursula, in Disney’s The Little Mermaid animation. What’s more, the Mermaid Ariel, can only find her freedom, to be with a (human) man, after she denies her true beast-like nature; then she transforms to become (tame and) human. [And, the human male Prince (what’s his name) never considers how to change into a mer-man to be with Ariel…..]. I much prefer the storyline from the 1986 film, Splash, starring Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks. In this romantic fantasy the mermaid, Madison, exposes her beast-like nature by aggressively devouring a lobster in a feeding-like-frenzy, while on a date with her boyfriend (Allen) in a white tablecloth restaurant. And (like a true hero), he gives up his humanness to be with her and to live in her world.’

 

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Francisco Goya Witches’ Sabbath, 1798
Witches’ Sabbath shows the Devil in the form of a garlanded goat, surrounded by a coven of disfigured, young and aging, witches in a moonlit barren landscape. The goat possesses large horns and is crowned by a wreath of oak leaves. On the right, an old crone can be seen holding an extremely starved looking, but apparently still living, infant in her hands, while a younger witch to her right does the same with a healthier looking child, implying he/she will follow the same fate. The Devil seems to be acting as a sort of priest at an initiation ceremony for the children, although popular superstition at the time believed the Devil often fed on children and human fetuses. The dead body of an infant can be seen discarded to the left, whereas the legs of another can be seen held down with force to the ground by a presumably younger witch in the center foreground. More witches, young and old, can be seen in the background, as well as three dead infants, apparently manacled, hanging from the neck on a stake to the left in the distance.’

 

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William Mortensen Various, 1923 – 1948
‘In a roll call of the pioneers of modern photography, one name is never invoked. From the late 1920s to the 1950s, William Mortensen was one of the most famous and celebrated photographers in America. However, his subject matter – which veered towards the savage, indecorous, gothic and grotesque – as well as his use of montage and illustration, made him a pariah among the puritanical new guard in photography, led by Ansel Adams, who tried to write him out of history.’

 

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John Maus Teenage Witch, 2017
‘He sings into curtains of reverb about, presumably, his past: “Teenage witch/Want to start a fire witch,” he intones, hinting at the rage of stifling high school years. He’s accompanied by a rickety synth bassline so artificially cheery it might have been borrowed from his past collaborator Ariel Pink. This contrast between the song’s light, retro instrumentation and its sinister lyrics makes for a sharp portrait of the teen psyche.’

 

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Robert Therrien No titled (witch hat), 2011
‘Plastic (acetal) 12 1/4 × 8 × 8 in’

 

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John William Gay Witches, 2014
‘John Lawrence Sullivan shorts, vintage jewelry; AllSaints shorts, Calvin Klein t-shirt, vintage jewelry. John Lawrence Sullivan jacket, AllSaints shirt, John Lawrence Sullivan tie, vintage earring. Jeremy Scott for adidas ObyO trousers, vintage jewelry. AllSaints sweater, Rose Dent shorts, vintage Buffalo shoes, UNIQLO socks; AllSaints tracksuit, adidas shoes, Stone Island hat. Vintage Nike sweater, Lacoste t-shirt, AllSaints shorts, vintage jewelry.’

 

 

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p.s. Hey. ** Steve Finbow, Hi, Steve. Very nice to have you here, sir. Thanks! And for the links. I will pore over what’s at their destination. Everyone, the very fine writer Steve Finbow graced this place yesterday to share two links re: yesterday’s suicide forest post, specifically regarding the Finnish artist Jukka Siikala who’s done forest related work. Here’s an interview, and here’s a link to a book of Siikala’s put out by Infinity Land Press. Thank you again, take care. ** h (now j), Hey. Thank you for the fill-in about your Mekas related work. Very interesting of course. Oh, mm, I go to a lot of galleries. It depends on what shows they have up. I’d have to think of names because there are a lot. Since they’re open, i’m not sure that they have viewing rooms. Anyway, I’ll wrack my brain. We’re surely going to get Covid worse here too. Just hoping they speed up the vaccinating fast. ** David Ehrenstein, I think Roman in ‘PGL’ would think that forest was way too famous. I don’t know who Seth Rich is. I’ll find out. ** Dominik, Hi, D! I would suspect that escorts who write boring, straight forward profile texts get a lot more business than the fucked up ones I post here. And better reviews too. I know, I think we created a perpetual motion machine without even intending to. Cool, I’ll quit procrastinating and finally get ‘The Savage Detectives’. How’s stuff with you? Are you still enjoying your work/gig? Love quitting his job as love’s incarnation and becoming the most prolific escort eating cannibal in history, G. ** _Black_Acrylic, Thanks, Ben. He’s not entirely out of the woods, but he can see the sunlight through the trees. And  re: the latest PT, the thanks are all mine. ** Misanthrope, Well, unless you decide to off yourself I don’t think you’ll have a choice how populous your death spot is. I hope you don’t ever die, but, if you, that you get lucky. Yeah, opioids … I have a seriously great hatred of opioids, heroin, that whole genre of drugs, having had many people close to me die because of them, and I think what he’s doing is extremely dangerous, and I have no idea what you can do to stop him, probably nothing, but that’s very grim news to me, and I wish you and him all the luck. ** T, Hi,T. Happy … what is it, oh … Tuesday! Thanks a lot. And more and greater thanks for turning me/us on to Kyoufu Shimbun. I don’t know his stuff, and it sounds like a must. I’ll hit the link once I’m outta here. And you’ve made ne definitely want to dig deep into Wataru Tsurumi. You’ve basically tweaked what looked to be rather dull day for me. I guess that building The Vessel in NYC has become one of those alluring stepping off points. There must be at least one in Paris, but I don’t know what it is. Not any  place obvious like Eiffel Tower or anything. Hm, I’ll check. Anyway, amazing comment, man, thank you. Chewy and deep. Happy the post put some sparkle in your work day. Sparkle on, me too. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. No, I didn’t see ‘The Sea of Trees’. Gus lost me after ‘Paranoid Park’, and ‘TSoT’ did sound like the worst yet. I did watch ‘Suicide Forest Village’. It’s fun, not bad, charming. ** ae, Hey, good to see you! I think I may have to go hunt down that Logan Paul video. Just to see that beanie in that forest if nothing else. Thanks. No, I don’t know that chapbook. Huh. I’ll find it ASAP. Cheers for the tip. I’m buddying up to good health as best I can, and you too, I hope. And not too bored. What about you? ** Brian O’Connell, Happy day before the big turn over, Brian. The West seems to want to understand the high suicide rate in Japan as resulting from their supposed workaholism, but I wonder. Oh, Edith Wharton is kind of great. When I did Bret Easton Ellis’s podcast a while back, he was raving to me about her, and I dipped back in, and, yeah, good stuff, good prose. Our assignment for the next Zooming bookclub session is a story by William Vollman titled ‘Violet Hair: A Heideggerian Tragedy’. It’s from his book ‘The Rainbow Stories’, which is my favorite of his books. Any tidbits (or non-tid, larger than bit-like occurrences) of note from your Tuesday? Hugs. ** Right. Witches … what more can I say? Fall under their spells, I guess. See you tomorrow.

The perfect place to die is …

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… how Aokigahara was described in Wataru Tsurumui’s bestselling book The Complete Manual of Suicide. (1) A dense, dark forest bordering Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is infamous throughout Japan as a popular spot for those taking their final journey. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within it, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. By May of 2006, at least 16 new suicides had already been found. (2) More than a few of them were even carrying copies of Tsurumui’s book. No one knows how many bodies go undiscovered. Signs emblazoned with messages such as “Please reconsider” and “Please consult the police before you decide to die!” are nailed to trees throughout the forest. However, the woods have such a reputation that these minor deterrents do little to stop the determined. Local residents say they can always tell who is going into the forest hunting after the macabre and who is planning never to return.

Part of the appeal is dying at the foot of the sacred Mt. Fuji. Part of it is the foreboding nature of Aokigahara, so dense and thick that from just a few kilometers inside it no sounds can be heard other than those produced by the forest itself. Aokigahara is considered the most haunted location in all of Japan, a purgatory for yurei, the unsettled ghosts of Japan who have been torn unnaturally soon from their lives and who howl their suffering on the winds. (3) Spiritualists say that the trees themselves are filled with a malevolent energy, accumulated from centuries of suicides. They don’t want you to go back out. (4)

Forestry workers rotate in and out of shifts at a station building in Aokigahara, and occasionally they will come upon unfortunate bodies in various states of decomposition, usually hanging from trees or partially eaten by animals. The bodies are brought down to the station, where a spare room is kept especially for such occasions. In this room are two beds: one for the corpse and one for someone to sleep next to it. It is thought that if the corpse is left alone, the lonely and unsettled yurei will scream the whole night through, and the body will move itself into the regular sleeping quarters. (5)Zack Davisson, seekjapan, jp

(1)

The Complete Manual of Suicide(Japanese:完全自殺マニュアル) is a Japanese book written by Wataru Tsurumi. It was first published on the 4th of July, 1993 and sold more than one million copies. This 198 page book provides explicit descriptions and analysis on a wide range of suicide methods such as overdosing, hanging, jumping, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc. Moreover, this is not a suicide manual for the terminally ill. There is no preference shown for painless or dignified ways of ending one’s life. The book provides matter-of-fact assessment of each method in terms of the pain it causes, effort of preparation required, the appearance of the body and lethality.

Tsurumi covered 11 categories of suicide methods:
Overdosing
Hanging
Self-defenestration
Slashing the wrist and carotid artery
Car collision
Gas Poisoning
Electrocution
Drowning
Self-immolation
Freezing
Miscellaneous

All chapters begins with a graph assessing the method in question in terms of: the pain it causes, effort of preparation required, the appearance of the body, the disturbance it may cause for others and its deadliness. Each of these matters is also rated by skulls, with 5 skulls indicating the highest rating.

In 2003, Fukutani Osamu, inspired by the book, made the movie ‘The Suicide Manual.’


the complete film (in French)


the complete film (in English) VOD here


Suicide Forest in Japan (Full Documentary)

 

(3)

Ghost Radar, by Japanese Technology, catches Ghost in Aokigahara!

‘You can search Ghost using Baketan! Simply, push the button. Then it starts searching for Ghosts! It keeps blinking for about 10 seconds. If the circumstance around you is normal, it ends blinking (shortly, it blinks 3 times in the end.) oh, you can feel ease =) HOWEVER! if something unusual, it cautions you by blinking in red continuously with some buzzer sounds!!

It’s in danger!! Get out of the place you stand! Or if you have to stay there, keep pausing the button for some seconds, then, BAKETAN safe mode starts to expel some Ghost out of your body! Go out in Aokigahara midnight and find Ghost but beware of being posed by Ghosts or Devils!! Once you find something untouchable horrible existence, push the BAKETAN and protect by its safe mode.’

 

(4)

‘Walking into the forest to take photographs (see: below), we found a long piece of string; someone’s previous path in and out (we hoped). My mobile phone, while working at the car, no longer had signal – its GPS menu not working also.

‘We took an extra handheld GPS unit to ensure we could return. It often stopped working when we went low into some rocks. We would climb out and it would tell us to walk in one direction, and off we would go. Loosing satellites as we again went down into the rocks. Once again we would acquire some satellites and it would tell us to head off in a different direction. Or was it?

‘After an hour of trying to get out we came across our own footsteps in the snow. While not panicking, I was concerned now. Another 30 minutes of trudging up and down the snow covered rocks, we came upon a snow-bound tennis court. Backing into Aokigahara, it was on side-street off the path where we had parked the car… We never saw the string again.’ — Urban Exploration Resource

 

(5)
SUICIDE STATISTICS FOR JAPAN IN 2019 *

HANGING 12,438
DRUGS 63
POISONING 1,256
GAS POISONING 1,059
ELECTROCUTION 77
IMMOLATION 888
EXPLOSION 1
SHOOTING 46
EDGED TOOL 613
DROWNING 1,822
JUMPING(FROM HEIGHT) 2,210
THROWING(INTO TRAIN,ETC) 1,188
OTHER 406
UNSPECIFIED 37

TOTAL 22,104
* source: Japan National Police Agency

 

Comix

El Torres & Gabriel Hernandez Walta The Suicide Forest
‘Just outside of Tokyo lies Aokigahara, a vast forest and one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Japan… which is also the most famous suicide spot in the entire world. Legend has it that the spirits of those many suicides are still roaming—haunting deep in those ancient woods. This series from the creators of the acclaimed The Veil examines the lives of Alan, an average worker from Tokyo and his rather unhealthy relationship with Masami, and Ryoko, a forest ranger who recovers the suicide victim’s bodies from the woods. We discover that behind Ryoko’s unconcerned surface lies a secret, and these three lives will be forever changed by the darkness waiting for them in the Suicide Forest.’

 

Desiree Bressend & Ruben Gil Call of the Suicide Forest
‘The sequel to the acclaimed graphic novel! Portia, an American student overwhelmed by her life, prepares to commit suicide in Japan’s notorious “suicide forest” of Aokigahara. The living and dead who make this forest their home will begin a struggle not only for Portia’s life… but also for her soul! Every issue of this miniseries features a connecting cover by Toni Fejzula!’

 


Eiji Otsuka & Housui Yamazaki The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
‘Five college grads decide to create an company that gets involved with the supernatural as well as the last wishes of the recently deceased.’

 

El Torres Tales From the Suicide Forest
‘The immense forest of Aokigahara lies in Japan, impressive in its beauty – and scary because of its legends and the many horror stories it harbors. This book contains two horrific ghost stories, complementing the graphic novel “The Suicide Forest”.’

 

Movies


Trailer: The Forest (2015)


Trailer: THE SEA OF TREES (2016)


Trailer: Suicide Forest Village (2020)
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p.s. Hey. ** h (now j), Hi, J. My pleasure, you’re welcome, how curious: the timing. Hm, I don’t think I have a favorite Mekas film. He’s one of those filmmakers where I’m interested in what he does and how whereby each film becomes another example of that to me or something. Although, like you, I do like ‘Lost, Lost, Lost’ especially. You’re writing on Mekas too? Wow, you are being very productive, which is, you know, fantastic. Oh, yeah, I’m heavily relying on galleries these days since they’re basically the only art-based IRL experience available these days. ** David Ehrenstein, Lovely thoughts on Mekas, thank you so much! RIP Phil Spector. His death turned virtue signallers into an insurgency yesterday, at least in my feed. ** David S. Estornell, And to you a wish for a great week ahead. ** Dominik, Hi, D!!! 90% of escort profile texts, Hungarians’ included, are a slight variation on this: I’m attractive, I’m nice, I have a good cock and a great ass, I top or bottom or both, you’ll have a great time, just be hygienic.’ Then I hereby christen you Od. Ha ha. Weird, I just an article about foetuses that eat other foetuses in the womb. Love building a giant womb prop in its living room and hiring two escorts to crawl inside and pretend to eat each other as love jacks off, Dennis. ** _Black_Acrylic, Thank you, and enjoy! And mega-kudos for an excellent latest Play Therapy session. It made walking around in my semi-locked down apartment feel like clubbing. Your pitch does sounds like a total winner. Let me/us know if they wisely bite. ** Misanthrope, Hi. Yeah, I understand. I guess it just seems like a fait accompli or something. And you just have to behave on social media as if you’re still living with your parents or something. Huh, I didn’t expect a revenge comedy based on that title, so that’s cool. Opioids?! Dude, talking about slippery slopes, whoa. Let’s hope that, in his case, that 9 lives aphorism or whatever has a bunch of 0’s after it. I still await your ‘Louie Louie’ youtube debut. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Impossible to tell about escorts’ sincerity always, but I think the MAGA references are probably rooted in some form of reality. Chic = classy always, no? ** Shane Christmass, Hey! Awesome, thank you hugely for the playlist! Excellent about your AS book, and with Mr. Purtill on board! And very soon too. AS is kind of the exact center of excitement these days. ‘The Gaudy Image’ is a rather really nice title. Everyone, Here’s a playable playlist of Disco tracks curated by the unimpeachable writer/taste maker Mr. Shane Christmass. Don’t hesitate.’ ** Brian O’Connell, Hi, Brian. I had thought Mekas’s stuff was pretty inaccessible, which why I waited so long to a Day about him, and I was truly surprised by how many of this films are watchable if you forage around out there. Most people I know who love Bolano tell me the best place to start is ‘The Savage Detectives’, so I think I’m going to begin there as it’s less daunting than cracking the massive ‘2666’. Yes, we got a good three or so hours of snow, although followed up by rain that had completely erased it by nightfall. But still. My weekend was no big. My friend Zac got back to Paris is almost totally healthy again, so that’s huge. Worked on this fiction/novella thing I’ve been fooling around with for months, and it seemed to progress. Did the Zoom bookclub thing with my US friends. That was great. Not bad overall, I suppose. Beanbag chair! Cool, I miss those. (I haven’t seen one much less plunked down on one for years.) May your week have started with magnificence! ** Okay. Don’t let today’s post give you any funny ideas. See you tomorrow.

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