The blog of author Dennis Cooper


Andrei Molodkin Catholic Blood in the Rose Window of the Houses of Parliament (2013)
‘The kinetic installation comprises separate symbiotic elements. The central acrylic sculpture forms an exact, hollowed, replica of the Rose Window adorning the façade of the Houses of Parliament. Adjacent, a pharmaceutical fridge retains samples of freshly donated human blood. Regulated by an industrial compressor, a medical pump pushes the refrigerated blood through plastic tubes and into the Parliamentary window. Intermittently, an additional pump draws the blood from the window and back into the fridge. This cyclical process is projected onto the wall behind as a continual real-time stream, creating an inescapable re-presentation of the original installation. The clinically designed, factory produced, autonomous sculpture becomes a simulation of the mechanized life support machine and a configuration of the parasitical human body.’


Imran Qureshi And they still seek the traces of blood (2013)
‘Imran Qureshi’s “And they still seek the traces of blood” (2013) has become renowned for its ability to invoke emotional responses from viewers as this intrinsic work is printed on thousands of crumpled sheets of paper and gathered to form a precipitous heap. The title of his work, “And they still seek the traces of blood quotes a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz1 with reference to individuals who have been killed and buried without their lives honoured nor the events surrounding their deaths investigated.’


Renluka Maharaj Lillah (2019)


Ted Lawson Ghost In The Machine (2015)
‘Brooklyn artist Ted Lawson hooked himself up to a robotic painting machine that used his blood as ink to draw a nude portrait of himself. As part of a series of artworks made using Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines – originally programmed to paint with a self-filling brush and ink device – Ted Lawson decided to hack the device to use his own blood, which led to the notion of a self-portrait.’

Turning the video’s volume off is recommended.


Zeng Fanzhi Portraits (2004 – 2007)


Simeen Farhat Blood Shot is Blood Loved (2017)


Riley Harmon What it is Without the Hand That Wields it (2008)
‘Violence is an inevitable, mechanical function of the human brain, hard-coded down through time by culture, genetics, and evolution. Mediated experiences of killing change our perception of violence and death. As players die in a public video game server for Counter-strike, a popular online first person shooter, the electronic solenoid valves spray a small amount of fake blood. The trails left down the wall create a physical manifestation of nebulous kills. In simple terms it is about manifesting experiences that are purely virtual, or only ‘real’ in a psychological sense, into the physical world – physical computing.’


Heji Shin Baby (2016)


César Bardoux Blood pouch (2018)
Oil on canvas


Andres Serrano Blood and Semen (1990)


Aida Ruilova Hey, 2001 (2001)


Jordan Eagles Blood Mirror (2015)
‘“Blood Mirror” is a seven foot tall 28×28 inch two-way mirror filled with the blood of nine queer men. The work has been made by gay, New York-based artist Jordan Eagles, who came up with the idea and put it in motion with the help of Leo Herrera, gay rights activist and the project’s filmmaker.’


Shary Boyle Flesh and Blood (2010)


Taro Shinoda Model of Oblivion (2006)
‘Inside the screens is a small room containing “Model of Oblivion,” in which a visceral red liquid is clinically pumped across “white cliffs,” creating a vision as sinewy as human muscles on a white table.’


Maxwell Rushton Inside Out (2016)
‘Rushton has taken the concept of putting yourself into your art quite seriously, and quite literally.The significance of blood cannot be overstated, Rushton has decanted his own blood, and actually used his body as painting material in his artwork, turning himself into a logo. Peter Beard was ground breaking in using animal blood to paint over images of animals he photographed, but Rushton has literally transformed himself into a logo.’


Chiharu Shiota Earth and blood (2014)


Johanna Levy Blood and Data Flows: in my panties (2017)


Nalini MalaniIn Search of Vanished Blood (2012)
‘In Search of Vanished Blood is the most consummate and compelling example of Malani’s ‘video shadow plays’ series that she has been developing since 2001. This installation comprises of 5 reverse painted rotating mylar cylinders and six video projections and sound. It is an immersive kaleidoscopic environment, and its title comes from a poem by the Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. The piece itself is inspired by the 1984 novel Cassandara by Christa Wolf, and the 1910 book The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke. The visuals are accompanied by a soundscape made of a collage of lines from Heiner Mullers 1977 Hamletmachine, Samuel Beckett’s 1958 Krapp’s Last Tape and Gayatri Spivak’s 1997 English translation of the short story Draupadi by the social activist and writer Mahasweta Devi.’


Wang Xiaofeng Series: work with no series (2009)
‘The surrounding sounds pass through the sound sensor and controller to influence the height of a fountain of pigs blood erupting from the middle of an iron pan.’


Kerry Escobedo Meat Paintings (2015 – 2017)
‘I pick the meat—I try to pick one that I really like, and I try to get the butcher to touch it as lightly as possible—and then I take it home and I photograph it outside. My neighbor’s sidewalk is flatter than mine, and she has a really sunny front yard, so I always text her and say, “Can I come over and photograph meat?” One time, I ended up taking this six-pound leg of lamb over there. I was holding it by the bone and dragging it across the yard. Cars passed by and I locked eyes with [one of the drivers]—it was just kind of hysterical.’


Ed Ruscha Boiling Blood, Fly (1969)


Johann Kresnik 120 Tage von Sodom (Volksbühne, 2015)
‘Austrian director Johann Kresnik – a warhorse of the dance-theatre world who’s been nicknamed “Der Berserker” for loud productions containing a lot of blasphemous imagery – has taken on the novel The 120 Days of Sodom, written by the Marquis de Sade while he was imprisoned in the Bastille. Kresnik has also drawn from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s grim and graphic 1975 film of the same name.

‘As in those works, we’ve got a group of corrupt libertines who enact sadistic fantasies and perversions on young sex slaves. For the 75-year-old Kresnik, that means enough nudity and stage blood to tide audiences over for the rest of 2015. More precisely: cannibalism, copulation, crap-eating, and castration of Christ on the cross (followed by consumption of his cojones as communion).

‘And it’s all in the name of making a statement against capitalism and consumerism. (I’ll take a break from the alliteration now.) As blood-and-grime covered performers writhe about naked, and a zombie conga line in dirty rags dances to “Gangnam Style,” and an infant is ripped out of its mother’s belly, hacked apart and cooked on a real grill, there’s a lot of screaming about Konsumfaschismus, Facebook and banking. Politics, we’re told, is just one big supermarket.

‘But if Kresnik is actually interested in making a cogent argument, he doesn’t show it. Rather than shocking, the onstage brutality feels silly, as superficial as the consumer culture it’s attempting to critique.’


Billie Grace Lynn Dead Mouse (2011)


Claudio Cavallari Suitcase n.85 – Blood and Ink (2013)
‘Visualisation of suitcase of blood and ink for the “THE TULSE LUPER SUITCASES” by Peter Greenaway.’


Judy Watson a preponderance of aboriginal blood (2005)


Tori Wrånes Handmade Acoustic (2018)


Marianna Simnett Blood (2015)
‘Blood runs thicker than water – which is maybe why it clots and coagulates. Emotions adhere to notions of blood, and what it represents; signifying kinship, invoking destiny; marking the body as a source of vitality or, on occasion, a site of shame. Blood goes deep, and in so doing it can get messy. Marianna Simnett knows this. Her short film, adorned with its deceptively simple title Blood, deals in both its material and its mythological dimensions.’

Watch an excerpt here


Rebecca Horn Overflowing Blood Machine (1970)
‘Horn’s machine evokes medical apparatus, though its function remains unclear. Horn says of this piece, ‘the performer is tied up on top of a glass container (more an aquarium), tubes surrounding his body. Blood pumps, slowly, circulated through the glass container through the plastic tubes; enclosing his body like a pulsing garment of veins [it] forces the evolution of the motionless person into being an extension of the mechanism itself’.’


Eleanor Antin Blood of a Poet Box (1965–8)
‘American artist Eleanor Antin produced Blood of a Poet Box very early in her career, while she was living in New York. The work comprises a green specimen box containing one hundred glass slides, each holding a blood sample that Antin took from a poet – a loosely defined category that also included artists, performers and dancers. A handwritten list stuck inside the box lid catalogues these contributors, whose blood was taken by Antin at the many poetry readings and performance events that were a feature of the New York avant-garde during the 1960s.’


Sterling Ruby Various (2014 – 2018)

“Red Uniform”

“Bloody Pots”



Cassandra Chilton and Molly O’Shaughnessy You Beaut (2017)
‘Cassandra and Molly O’Shaughnessy, two members of the Hotham Street Ladies, are behind You Beaut. This piece features two toilet stalls covered extensively with graffiti of uteruses, including examples of uterine diseases and abnormalities. The entire work is painted with royal icing, piped from icing bags in shapes and patterns that give an uncomfortably visceral yet undeniably delicious quality to the uterine diagrams. In one stall, a uterus has menorrhagia, or heavy menstrual bleeding, depicted by volumes of vivid red icing laced with red raspberry lollies pouring down the wall and out the cubicle door. The icing pools in large droplets on the floor, uncomfortably, tantalisingly close to the viewer.’


Naoki Kato Blood Splatter (2019)


Jess Cochrane Various (2016 – 2019)


More blood spilled Thursday in Kevin Hilton’s Criminal Justice classroom than was extracted by Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers during their entire horror movie careers combined. Volunteer High School’s Criminal Justice classroom was the gruesome scene of a lesson in blood spatter investigation that had the walls, floor, ceiling and even some of Hilton’s 85 students dripping with gore. “Since this was Halloween, I thought it would be a good opportunity to show them how to do blood spatter, how to measure it, analyze it, look at it,” Hilton told the Times News. “This is one of the most popular hands on activities that we do. Kids just seem to love it.”’




p.s. Hey. ** Dooflow, Hi, Dooflow! It’s a rare and great pleasure to see you! I’m happy Bill’s post made you happy. How are you? ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Yeah, people have been pressing me to read ‘Dhalgren’ since I was knee high to a grasshopper. But I’ve read almost no scifi, and it’s gigantically long, so I don’t what strange mood it will take to get me to read it. But, yeah, I should. I didn’t know Peter Beard was in that Adolfas Mekas film. Huh. Thanks! ** Montse, Hi, Montse! I’m so happy you came back. Me too. I’m doing next to nothing but doing even the simplest things is bizarrely hard. Strangest time ever. They said on the news last night that Spain might start easing up just a little bit on the quarantine, but it didn’t like much of an easing up. Still, if that’s true, it inspires since we’re still getting more restricted over here. I feel like it’ll have to start wending down at least bit in May here because businesses are being destroyed left and right. But even a few more weeks of this is hard to imagine taking. It’s so eerie here, and I too find being out on the empty streets very hauntingly beautiful just as long as I keep in mind that it will end one day and how powerfully memorable all of this will be. Anyway, I’m really glad we’re both surviving in what seems like our usual forms. You and Xet take mega-good care, and feel more than very free to let me know the latest if that strikes your fancy. Big love, me. ** Bill, Thank you, Bill! It was very popular. Your guest-posts are blockbusters. You’re the Marvel Studios of the DC’s empire. Ha ha, sorry, about the hunky Jesus contest, I’m so sorry for your loss, ha ha. ** KK, Hello there, sir! Good to see you in this vacuumed out time. I think you’re the only person I know who qualifies for a stimulus check. Congrats. My Switch is in a postal warehouse somewhere and will remain there until the quarantine ends, so I am bereft and fucked. All I have here is an old Wii, and I’m ‘this close’ to plugging it in and playing a game I already played. I don’t have a Steam account. That’s stupid of me, isn’t it? I’ll go get one. Ideally the big crackdown will get the plague under control fast, or that’s the concept, although there’s no sign that we’ll be freed up anytime soon. Oh, sure, about the short story. Heavily forewarned that my reading/concentration is in bad shape thanks to this life squashing, so I might not be so fast on the ball. But yeah. All but one of the people I know who teach and are using Zoom now say the ‘class’ attendance is shockingly bad. I didn’t know that about the Kitano film dump, but that is very good to know, obviously. I’m good enough, just, you know, scattered and bored and tired of this shit, the new normal. Take care, buddy! See you again soon, I hope. ** Misanthrope, Hi. Well, I think if it’s a race towards freedom without fear of a massive re-invasion of the virus leading to a quarantine part 2, France will win that one hands down. The difference between being under the guidance of a strict asshole and a corrupt, self-serving moron. Taking the time to ace the most manipulative, charming query letter you can is a good idea, yes. ** Dominik, Hey, D-ster! Sounds like we had pretty similarly whatever/okay/nothing special weekends. Oops, sorry for facilitating a Gurochan addiction, ha ha, but, yeah, it has quite the force of gravity. The GIF piece is still shitty, but they always are at the beginning until I find my way into a new, inspiring way to use those things. I’m not worried. Zac and I didn’t meet yet. So weird that just taking a short metro trip across town has become like a jail break. This week sometime. Quiet weekend here, yeah. This and that. I can hardly remember any of it now. But, hey, it’s Monday, a whole new week’s starting gate, so here’s hoping on both of our ends. Love that is the opposite of the look of agony on Leonardo Di Caprio’s face when he’s pretending to get a blow job in the bathroom stall in ‘The Basketball Diaries’, Dennis. ** Steve Erickson, Didn’t know about ‘Afternoon’. Interesting. Not a huge surprise about the Beastie Boys doc, but that’s too bad. Spike Jonze was such an interesting filmmaker for his first two films. What happened. They did indeed have the go-go girls and inflatable penis. Everyone, Steve E has reviewed Rina Sawayama’s album SAWAYAMA here should you be so inclined. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Congratulations on finishing and sending in the story! Ooh, nice comp. I love me some bleep techno. I’m going to go indulge in some shortly. Thank you! ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. I’ve never been to his metro stop either. It’s way at the end of the line. But I always look at it when I’m on the … 5 line, I think … and decide I’m going to ride all the way out there but never do. I’ve read parts of ‘Children of Clay’ but not the whole thing. I remember it being, you know, sharp, of course. After you mentioned that Nelson book I looked it up and saw it’s an oldie and that, yeah, it was much disliked by critics. I think I might know the sad FSG news, but, yes, let’s confer about it. Uh, I’m reading a bunch of books randomly, skipping around due to concentration issues. I did finish several that’ll be in a ‘books I loved’ post on Friday. I started reading Guattari’s ‘The Mechanic Unconscious’, which is the opposite of the kind of book that I’m in any mental state to read right now, and yet I’m enjoying it. I watched a few Michael Snow films, and a couple of short Agnes Varda films, and a compilation of B Wurtz’s great short Super 8 films that Metro Pictures has put online, and rewatched Benning’s ‘Twenty Cigarettes’, and … I can’t remember what else. You? ** Armando, Hi, man. I’m, you know, fine, okay, considering, thank you. Yeah, everyone I know who has depression is really having a hard time right now very understandably. Hang on, man. It will end, even if it doesn’t seem so. It will. It’s just you know, when. Ugh. Glad the post hit you where you live. Virtual hugs right back to you. ** Okay. I thought I would you get you bloody today. Don’t ask me why. Strange whim, I guess. See you tomorrow.


  1. David Ehrenstein

    Speaking of “Bloody” here’s the grand finale to “Sunday Bloody Sunday”

    “Dhalgren” is a science fiction novel as its generally known. it takes place in a city suggestive of an alternate universe San Francisco . A kind of drug hallucination “made real” with plenty of Hot Man-On Man Action. I annot recommend it highly enough.

    “Hallelujah the Hills” is one of my favorite films. Adolfas’ sensibity was related to but different from Jonas’ Ed Emshwiller shot it and its one of the most gorgeous black and white films ever made. Plus t has a great score by Meyer Kupferman

  2. Tosh Berman

    Blood! It’s forbidden and attractive at the same time. And, you probably aware of this film website, but they have lots of interesting films here. For sure a rabbit hole that is endless. – pre-code Hollywood to underground, to exploitation to French cinema and a hunk of Japanese films as well.

  3. Dominik


    I’m writing these words listening to The Acid’s debut album, Liminal. I just finished posting on SCAB’s instagram and twitter before coming here and I was really surprised to see that today’s theme was “bloody” because I picked this picture out of the blue from my self-made photo collection for the posts: Nice. I also tried to draw a little today (I changed up the usual routine, yay!), a panel from Killing Stalking (it’s a manhwa – I vaguely remember talking about it once but I can’t remember what was said. it’s horrifying. sharing the “my very favorite manhwa ever” title with The Summit.) and it didn’t turn out a 100% satisfactory but I’m happy I sat down and actually put energy into it so that’s all good. Maybe it’s a little bit how you feel about working on your new GIF piece at the moment?
    It is weird how a simple metro ride became this near-impossible mission. We just talked about this the other day with Anita: how someone patting my dog or touching a fucking onion without gloves in the grocery store seem like these huge, awfully dangerous happenings. It’s really crazy. Anyway, I really hope you can get together without any problem and make the video as you planned!
    What gave you the most joy today?
    Love as complex as Slater’s monologue about George Washington and weed in Dazed & Confused (though it’s hard to compete with your Leo one, haha!)!

  4. _Black_Acrylic

    I always used to find Serrano’s photos clunkingly obvious but I dunno, maybe it’s these extreme times right now but I could be coming round to them somewhat.

  5. Bill

    Whatever whim led to this bloody day, it’s full of gems, wow. That blood splatter class is awesome! Wish I had a teacher like that.

    I’m a big Dhalgren fan and have read it several times, but I’m not sure you’ll enjoy it, Dennis.

    Have you seen the 2014 Flemish film Violet? I really enjoyed it; might be up your alley:

    I’m seeing more live-streamed events from the locals. I know these won’t work for you, but a couple interesting examples:

    Jeff and Armando, glad you enjoyed the Tsai post. It was great fun to put together and revisit some of his work.


  6. Misanthrope

    Dennis, As I always say, is it really sex if there’s no blood involved?

    That’s the thing, right? We’re all on lockdown and not getting exposed to it, so when they start unlocking us down, BAM! Flattening the curve just prolongs the inevitable. I understand the hospital shortage thing, but man, another 18 months of this until they get a vaccine? No thank you.

    I find the immunity card thing interesting. Only really one way to get immune to it: get it and get over it. Vaccine is way off. Just read a top vaccine guy who said the quickest a vaccine has ever been developed was 4 years. Usually takes 15 to 25 years. Ay caramba!

    Yes, take my time on this query, rewrite the fuck out of it. That’s the plan.

    Shitty sleep last night. We ordered out and picked up food from this Italian chain that’s not too bad and watched the Impractical Jokers movie. Of course, I fell asleep for a couple hours after and couldn’t get back to sleep. Maybe got another hour and a half. Going to bed early tonight.

    These $1,200 checks are on the way. LPS is getting his Wednesday. Curious to see what he does with it. I know where his tax refund went. 🙁

  7. Steve Erickson

    I downloaded that “bleep and bass” compilation, and it’s very good. Inspiring production-wise.

    AFTERNOON got very limited US distribution – the theater that showed it in New York booked it straight from Taiwan – and I can’t imagine there would be much of an audience for a film that just consists of Tsai and Lee talking for hours. But that audience would find it fascinating.

    I watched THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR last night, in a muddy VHS transfer on YouTube. It lived up to its reputation – the filmmaking isn’t particularly exciting (it’s notable that the entire first 40 minutes all take place inside) – but the idea of Black radicals being able to pull a reverse COINTELPRO and infiltrate the CIA to use its tactics in urban guerrilla revolt is still incideniary. (Enough so that Herbie Hancock’s score still hasn’t seen official release.)

    New York was supposed to get a tropical storm today. My parents sent “THE POWER IS GONNA GO OUT! IT WILL BE JUST LIKE HURRICANE SANDY!” E-mails yesterday. But all we got was a typical day of rain and wind, with nothing particularly oppressive. That was a relief, but due to the forecast I
    didn’t go further than half a block outside and I’m even more bored than usual now.

    The high school kids’ delight in learning about blood splatter reminded me of Jordan Wolfson’s VR video!

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