The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Bouncy Castle Day *

* (restored)

3 British men attempt to sail a bouncy castle across Lake Garda in Italy







‘World’s Largest Inflatable Sliding Super Yacht Bouncy Castle is 41 feet long, weighs 1,850 kg and requires 45 days to build.’





‘Outside Pentalum looks like a giant plastic bouncy castle with coloured turrets and stripes. Inside there’s the strange artificial winds moving about the modules, and patches of coloured light beckoning in the distant gloom of tunnels that branch out in all directions. Little bubble alcoves pop out of the tunnel sides offering personal spaces where you’ll find various entrants sitting, lying, sprawling, and of course jumping, absorbing their surroundings. Despite the barrage of noise and riot of colour, one feels strangely serene amongst it all when not on the move. Not so the children gleefully bouncing off the tunnel sides as they race to explore the next big bright space. I don’t know that I’d describe it as a sculpture experience.’





‘In INVASION, our engineers managed to achieve a unique shaky experience for the passengers of the Space Module. INVASION’S giant slide is an invitation to reach the mother ship and later descend among the aliens to pilot the Space Module.’





‘The visitor’s unavoidable inclusion in the idiosyncratic kinetics of Dana Caspersen and William Forsythe’s White Bouncy Castle creates a choreographic space where there are no spectators, only participants. The choreography that appears, led by Joel Ryan’s encompassing soundtrack, is the result of complete physical destabilisation and the resulting social absurdity. The inadvertant euphoria that results from the situation is infectious and, in some cases, addictive.’











‘A bouncy castle made in the shape of giant breasts is among the attractions at a new exhibition at the Museum of Sex in New York. The exhibits are the brainchild of sensory artists Bompas & Parr, collaborating with Professor Vanessa Toulmin from the National Fairground Archive in the UK.’







‘It adds up to a 1,200-square-metre construction which makes visitors lose their spatial coordinates and leaves them scrambling between the floor and the ceiling, known as ‘earth’ and ‘sky’. This installation, called ‘On Space Time Foam’ is the brainchild of Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno. The 39-year-old’s work transforms and changes shape when people move around in it – like it’s a living organism. On Space Time Foam, which required months of engineering and static testing, is the accomplishment of a utopian dream for Saraceno, that of flight and lightness moving beyond the limitations of physics by experimenting with new materials and techniques. The work was created thanks to the collaboration of a team of engineers and Lindstrand Technologies, a leading company in the research and production of aerostatic materials and products, hot-air balloons and space vehicles.’











‘As part of the London 2012 Festival celebrations, Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller has created Sacrilege, a life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge which has popped up unexpectedly in locations throughout the country. Deller has described the work as “a way to get reacquainted with ancient Britain with your shoes off” and access to the bouncy castle will be free and open to people of all ages.’





















The World’s Largest Bouncy Castle



‘Brook Andrew’s Jumping Castle War Memorial presents a puzzle: as a full-size inflatable ‘bouncy’ castle it offers fun and laughs and an immersive experience, but as a self-titled war memorial it suggests solemnity and reflection. A monumental black figure stands proud atop the Wiradjuri patterns, while skulls dangle like Halloween toys within the plastic ‘windows’ of the castle turrets. The dizzying ‘mix of pop and Wiradjuri-op’, as Anthony Gardner describes Andrew’s patterns, stamps its identity on this fairground symbol of European wealth and power. Andrew offers a contemporary war memorial for the Indigenous people who died after European settlement. His work may also suggest the ‘bounce’ of debate and the verbal jousting of the ‘history wars’. Questions are posed to the viewer – what would it mean to jump on this heritage, this site of commemoration?’













‘When Inez Crawford was a child, she imagined her local marae and meeting house at Te Kaha on the east coast of the North Island was a castle, the kind of grand and glamorous place usually heard of only in fairytales. In this new artwork, she turns her memory into reality. Collaborating with expert balloon-makers, Crawford has created a wharenui in the style of the bouncy castles often seen at fairs and big birthday parties. Brown on the outside and sugary pink on the inside, this is a sculpture you’re welcome to jump around in.’





‘Parisienne architecture firm Atelier Zündel Cristea have proposed a trampoline bridge across the river Seine in Paris. Given that the Seine already has thirty seven bridges across Paris, AZC state that “it appears to us that Paris already has the bridges and passages necessary for the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic across its waterways. Our intention is to invite its visitors and inhabitants to engage on a newer and more playful path across this same water.” It was submitted as part of an architectural design competition organised by Archtriumph with the brief of simply designing a bridge in Paris (AZC’s entry finished third). Theoretically the bridge would be constructed close to the pont de Bir-Hakeim, an existing bridge that links the fifteenth and sixteenth arrondissements.’











‘Department of the Interior by artist Tom Dale is a bouncy castle made from black leatherette. You can’t access this piece, says Dale, You have to imagine that you’re bouncing on it, which is twitching the nerves between the brain and the fingertips. Dale uses the word “wrong” as if the castle is a moral error: When something is wrong, we are drawn to engage with it. When things are wrong, we want to put them right, he says. We want to put the house in order.’




p.s. Hey. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Thanks, I’ll see if Mainline Records has an online presence. Since I got my new PowerBook, I no longer have anything in the apartment that plays CDs, so that was my cure. Ah, the Fillmore East. I saw two shows there, let me think. Pink Floyd (in 1970) and Fleetwood Mac/Savoy Brown/Fairport Convention (also in 1970). I think that’s all. My guess is that they used to oversell the venue because I remember the crowds seeming def. bigger than 2600. I never went to CBGBs. I don’t know why, seems flukey. No, it feels very good to be back in Paris. I always miss it. My trip back West was very good, apart from the sickness phase, but I really love Paris pretty much without any qualifications at all. So no downside ever rears its ugly head or anything. ** David Ehrenstein, Ah, gotcha, interesting. I have that clip bookmarked. Antonioni directing Richard Harris is a curious prospect. ** James Nulick, Hi, James! Nice to see you, bud. The NN conference was quite interesting and fun. Two days of panels all day, plus some readings. I saw and got to hang with a lot of writers I haven’t seen in many ages. The highlight was a reading by Judy Grahn of her incredibly great epic poem ‘A Woman Is Talking to Death’. It was one of those ‘time stands still’ things that blew everyone away. At the reading I did with Eileen, I read a very, very old piece from 1981, ‘My Mark’, which was the first fiction I wrote that I still think is good and which is also the most ‘New Narrative’ thing I’ve ever written, I think. The reading was kind of great, and I usually don’t like doing readings, and Eileen was amazing. The only bookstores Zac and I went to were art bookstores at museums we visited. I wanted to pop down the road and go to Skylight Books, but I just never did for unknown reasons. I got decent sleep last night, so hopefully my jet lag is dying now, although it always takes a few days to know. What’s up with you, man? ** Tosh Berman, That sentence made complete sense to me. I remember you doing the St. Sulpice sojourn/homage. So cool. I don’t think I’ve read Perec’s book of dreams. Now you’ve intrigued me since theoretically it’s hard to imagine an undelightful Perec work. Although I do remember not being all that into ‘W, or the Memory of Childhood’ when I read it ages ago, although I assume now that must have been a weakness on my part. Thank you for the welcome back! You have any plans to visit Paris in the offing? I get to have lunch today with the currently visiting Lynne Tillman, lucky me. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hey, Ben. I think my lag is on the wane, I hope, I hope. Ah, ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’, pretty amazing, if memory serves, and I’m pretty sure it does. Have you aced a hot idea yet? Do you have any tricks or methods to get those juices revved? ** S., Hey. Indeed on the long time, but time gets so relative on this blog for some reason. Cool that you’re continuing to be so into the ghost thing. Fruitful. Death Metal was invented there? Wow, I did not know that. By who and how? Oh, I managed to read your Halloween piece through very hazed eyes/brain, and I was able to appreciate its awesomeness even so. Oh, shit, yes, I thought about you during the hurricane and wondered if you were in the heavy path. Was it exciting? Or was it a massive headache? Or … ? Take care, sir. ** Jamie, Jamie! If I’m really lucky, last night’s good sleep begins to sound the death knell or whatever on my jetlag, but you never know. Being back in Paris is a delight. The weather is generously chilly and borderline winter-like, yum, especially after living through days of 104 degrees Fahrenheit in LA. Oh, yes, yes, I’ve wanted to read that Michael Crowe book for yonks. I’m going to score it before I forget again. Thanks! Yeah, I can’t really even explain why the new ‘Spiderman’ didn’t bore or annoy me. I think maybe that new actor playing Spiderman has some kind of wacky charm or appealing liveliness or something. I suspect that poster is the best thing about the new ‘Thor’, I don’t know? I did watch the first two ‘Thors’ on planes, and they didn’t bother me. I think I read that the new one is more ironic and self-conscious or something? Curious. No, not too much at all. May your day fly by and inexplicably contain infinite gifts a la Santa’s sleigh. Gigantic bowl of macaroni and cheese love, Dennis. ** Nik, Hi, Nik! My sickness did eventually fade out, yes, and my vacation was quite excellent after that, thanks to Halloween and its detritus. Great about the one act’s success in the class! Obviously, you must trust that success’s effect and not your current, more wobblingly placed worries. Really? I’m kind of the opposite. I hate writing first drafts, but I love editing like a lamb loves clover or something. You just have to get into the fiddling. Seriously, it can be more fun than playing a video game even. Very happy you like ‘Fable’. Let me know how it goes with the editing and with everything else, eh? ** Misanthrope, He is, as is the G Man, not coincidentally. Exaggeration is the sport of kings. Maybe? Well, it sounds like LPS is on course, and that’s good. I don’t know how you make someone get how pleasurable it is to succeed. Fingers crossed. Dude, I sure hope your stomach stops hurting long before December 20th. If it doesn’t, promise me you’ll fast-forward the doctor visit. I’m very happy to have not made it into that particular dream, so all my thanks to your subconscious. ** Sypha, Thanks, James, and same to you! Ha ha, thanks about my capsules. Capsule reviews are a fun form to work in. ** Bill, Thanks, Bill. I think the costume winner in my Halloween walkabout experiences was, very unsurprisingly, clowns. Ha ha, knowing your distaste for the unnecessarily lengthy, I would suggest LSD in the case of your ‘Blade Runner’ viewing. It’s a snooze, man. I think my jet lag has begun its death rattle maybe, but I’ve thought that peremptorily before. Bon Friday! ** Right. I brought back Bouncy Castle Day partly because I thought it and yesterday’s Perec shebang make a nice couple. Was I wrong? See you tomorrow.


  1. Steve Erickson

    Wow, seeing Pink Floyd and Fairport Convention in 1970 seems really exciting. I largely stopped going to see live music in my early 30s – my tolerance for crowds, shitty opening bands and standing up for 3 or 4 hours rapidly sunk – but I am hoping to see Heron Oblivion with a friend at the end of this month. (They would have fit right in at the Fillmore East in 1970 had they existed then!) I saw so many shows at CBGBs that I have trouble singling out any particularly memorable ones. I recall seeing Come there when the club way oversold it and someone from Matador personally got me in even though it was sold out. There was also a Magnetic Fields/Frogs show on Gay Pride day.

  2. David Ehrenstein


    Richard Harris didn’t enjoy making “Red Desert” one teeny bit.

  3. David Ehrenstein


  4. David Ehrenstein

    Joseph Conrad

  5. Dóra Grőber


    A belated “welcome back” to you!!

    Wow, 15 home haunts?! Sounds amazing (exhausting too but mostly amazing, haha)! I looked them up again and yes, I remember most of them! I’m so glad you got to visit so many of them! Maybe next year’s Halloween will finally treat you to Mystic Motel, too!!
    Actually, your whole vacation sounds awesome. I’m really happy it turned out to be so! (Except the Blade Runner 2049 experience, then. … I’m not planning to watch it and your opinion just assured me it’s a good decision…)

    The art gallery job sounded pretty easy when the owner talked about it. The whole gallery belongs to a graphic designer guy – it’s half exhibition, half shop. I’ll just basically have to be there and sell the occasional piece and keep everything tidy. So I’m optimistic about my test day but obviously, I’ll tell you all about it!
    Yesterday was fantastic with Anita, very inspiring as always. And we bought our new apartment today so that’s a huge relief!
    How was the day on your end? What happened? I hope no jet lag haunts you anymore!!

  6. Jamie

    Hey Dennis!
    I love bouncy castles so this a most pleasing day. I was thinking earlier that it’s funny and excellent that ‘castle’ has become the predominant form of inflatable fun zone. I still remember being shouted at for being too old to be on a bouncy castle – maybe a pivotal moment in my life. That Tomas Saraceno thing looks amazing but a wee bit scary. Have you ever slipped into a crack in a big bouncy castle? I have and it feels a bit like drowning in a hard substance.
    Paris is sounding nice. Autumn’s brilliant, isn’t it? Scarves and leaves and amazing light. Every year I’m taken by surprise by it and think that truly it’s my favourite season.
    I watched the second Thor on a plane and thought it kind of sucked, tbh, but it was a kind of good experience as there was a problem with the plane so we couldn’t take off, but my little screen worked and that movie saved me from two hours of tarmac. I might just watch the start of the new one online and see if it’s worth shelling out for.
    There’s a hospital being demolished right next to our flat and it’s great to look at. It’s given me an idea for a ghost story, which is something I’ve never written before or been that interested in.
    What’s your weekend plans? We have Hannah’s sister and her bf staying with us tonight/tomorrow and we might be going to a wine tasting tomorrow, which seems bizarre.
    I hope your good sleeping continues, your jet lag disappears and your weekend makes you feel like a superhero of your choosing (who would that be??).
    Reverse-toxic love,

  7. S.

    You know its funny when you realize coming from Virginia
    how gothic you are. The Victorian cemetery in the backyard.
    People dont remarry after spouses die. You only know your family
    by a handshake. I really took to the ghost story writers. Some ghost
    stories like the local folkloric ones are really cool. One such from
    here goes like this, theres a hint that the Fort Harrison modern day
    capitol for the Church of Scientology is built on or approximate to the
    fountain of youth, and in fact Keith Richards did write the riff for “Satisfaction”
    there after being kicked offstage for obscenity. Death Metal was indeed created
    in the Tampa Bay area by “The Godfather of Metal” Chuck Schuldiner of Death.
    He did it by being a total shred monster, improvising on many tricks of Euro-Metal,
    and using various stylized vocalizations. Bands from the scene you might here include:
    6 Feet Under, Morbid Angel, Deicide, and Obituary. Thanks a lot about the story, really
    means bunches coming from you meistro. I have a few other stories in the works… classic
    Changling, a story about a Black serial killer of Jewish boys who thinks hes the black
    Hitler, a classic Brunnerish Mars/Twilight Zone story, and various others. I rode out the
    hurricane at a gay resort notorious for its debauchery. Messed around with some black guy
    the first night as the winds picked up, his voice changed with levels of lighting, kind of
    strange, in the dark he sounded like MJ. Then I drank a lot and took a lot of pills and let
    the wind blow, it was a riot. Only been in a bouncy castle one, it was birthday and I was
    wearing the most horrid lavender Guess outfit. Talk soon

    • Steve Erickson

      Have you seen Deicide’s “Homage For Satan” video? It looks like a really cheesy zombie movie – a priest gets turned into a zombie, and his Bible gets turned down, so its cross does as well – and I can’t make out a single word of the lyrics. As far as extreme metal in front of praise of Satan, I prefer European groups like Watain and Behemoth.

  8. _Black_Acrylic

    Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge premiered at the 2012 Glasgow International festival and went down a storm. It was very similar to a work by the Galway artist Jim Rickst who’d made a bouncy megalithic table tomb two years previous, but I think both artists ended up being cool about it.

    My driving lesson today went well, I negotiated some traffic-heavy roads and made it all the way back to my flat at the end. The MS arm tiredness was thankfully absent so I’m grateful for that too.

    I’m screenprinting tomorrow and my hot idea is to do a kind of “Away Kit” version of my previous Perth Road Acid Flashback print. Football teams play in alternative colours for away matches so this will be something along those lines. Does that count as a new idea? Maybe I’m stretching it haha.

  9. Sypha

    Dennis, well, William Bennett from Whitehouse would often post capsule reviews of films on his blog during the first decade of this century… but then he stopped doing so with no explanation. A shame as I recall many of them were quite amusing (in a caustic and vitriolic manner), and it was funny what films he would sometimes
    give 5 stars to: stuff like Mandy Moore rom-coms or children’s tearjerkers like “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.”

    I’ve told Misa about this but I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here: about a month ago I was at the Wal-Mart next door to the Barnes & Noble I work at when I noticed an extremely cute boy running one of the registers: I’m talking “do a double take” cute. Since then I’ve been going there every Friday to get a brief glimpse of him (as Friday is a day he’s always working). A few Fridays ago I passed him by and our eyes briefly met (his eyes are very blue) and I felt a chill run up my spine. Today I worked up the nerve to go into his line and he cashed me out. When he handed me my change and the receipt our fingers touched for the briefest of moments. I’m never washing my hands again. :p Not gonna lie, he’s not the most approachable type: very quiet and aloof, with a voice that is deeper than I would have assumed.

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