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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Heavily plotted non-linear structures whose velocity lacks narrative drive *

* (restored)

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Maze Mania
Garden City, SC

‘This was a large fence maze located south of Myrtle Beach, SC. The maze changed daily, so the solution was always different. Customers were timed as they went through, and prizes were given if you could beat the posted time of the day. Tickets were good for unlimited admission throughout the day. There was also an observation deck where you could cheer (or heckle) your friends as they tried to make their way through.’ — Roadside Attractions

 

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Visit Walter’s Maze Mansion

 

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The Shining: Hedge Maze

 

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‘Daniel Weber made a huge maze spanning his entire house. Constructed out of cardboard boxes, duct tape, and 300 bolts. The maze spans two rooms and a hallway. A fog machine completely fills maze with fog, making it very very difficult to navigate with a single glow stick.’ — Make: Zine

 

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Chucky’s Funhouse Maze

 

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Zone I: Un labyrinthe fondateur

‘Des portes en bois côtoient du PVC sans âme et des volets rouillés. Au Moulin de la Fontaine à Thoré-la-Rochette (Loir-et-Cher), l’assemblage de l’artiste Jean-Philippe Mauchien est hétéroclite, un brin désuet, mais il plaît aux visiteurs. « Les enfants adorent s’y perdre », assure Monica Santos, scénographe et artiste, copropriétaire des lieux avec le photographe Mat Jacob.

‘750 portes, fenêtres et volets constituent cette œuvre de « land art », qui est aussi lieu d’exposition et aire de jeux, « sous réserve de ne pas escalader les parois », prévient Monica Santos. « Quand nous avons acheté, nous avons trouvé un stock de matériaux de récupération. Plutôt que de tout jeter, on l’a confié à un artiste », raconte la propriétaire.’

 

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HOW TO GET THROUGH ASHTRAY MAZE IN CONTROL

 

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‘The home of Isabelle de Beaufort and Bernard Ramus in Cordes-sur-Ciel, France has an innovative yet ancient security system in form of a complex hedge maze intended to keep criminal types, religious soliciters, and fair weather friends away from their door and possessions. They estimate the amount of time it would take a stranger to reach their house upon entering the maze at anywhere between two and a half and four hours, and they claim the quickest they’ve been able to negotiate their own security maze at twenty minutes at a brisk trot.’ — Designrelated.com

 

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Stick Figure Death Maze

 

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The Book Report

Here is a random maze I have generated by Monte Carlo. Can you find the way out?

In reality, a random maze would be much more convoluted than the above example. Such mazes are less pleasing to the eye. In the case above a maze consisting of walls that spiral from the origin was generated, and then subjected to a Monte Carlo simulation for a short time (before the maze would randomize completely).

Celebrity Portrait Mazes:

 

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William Cameron Menzies The Maze, 1953

‘Known as Hollywood’s first and most famous production designer (Gone with the Wind), William Cameron Menzies was also a director with a taste for fantastic subjects and technical experimentation, as displayed in films like this compelling oddity made for the Poverty Row studio Allied Artists. The source, a 1945 novel by Maurice Sandoz, featured illustrations by Salvador Dalí that were originally intended to be used in the film version as well (much as Menzies had animated Dalí’s designs for the dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound), but by the time the film was released Dalí had dropped out. 3-D stalwart Richard Carlson (It Came from Outer Space) stars as the young heir to a Scottish castle that contains an ancient secret.’


The Maze (1953) 3D Trailer


the entirety (in 2D)

 

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Marsh Maze
Kent, UK

‘Haguelands Farm has recently acquired the tremendously fun and popular Marsh Maize Maze moving it from its previous site at Honeychild Farm to our farm village in Romney Marsh. Walk into the square on the NW corner of the swamp, and you will find yourself in a swampy maze. Each part of the maze is connected by magical mud: specific spots on the map has mud that forms a mouth and waits for your command. Say ‘slurp’ and it takes you into the next connected part of the map. Head for the SE corner of the swamp, and you will find yourself at the base of the Wizard Tower in the swamp. Note that you cannot actually enter through the door because the key does not exist anymore; but you *can* use Dimension Door to get in.’

 

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Mouse in VR Maze

 

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The Petrin Mirror Maze
Prague

‘The Petrin House Mirror Maze, located in a mock-Gothic castle in the hills of Prague, was originally the Pavilion of the Czech Tourists Club at the Jubilee Exhibition at Stromovka, from where it was transferred in 1892. It is a reconstruction of the Vyšehrad Gate called špička from the time of Charles IV. Inside, at the end of the maze, is a diarama depicting the fight of the people of Prague against the Swedes on Charles Bridge in 1648. It is the combined work of Karel and Adolf Liebscher and Vojtěch Bartoněk.’

 

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Bestmaze Trail of Terror
Webberville, Michigan

What is expected of you: You will be staggered out in small groups as you enter. Walk through the trails and stay on the path. Anyone going off the paths or onto a fenced off trail will be removed by maze cops – no refund. We will not tolerate any rough contact with actors; destruction of fencing; buildings; corn; or throwing of any objects. No alcohol allowed onto paths. Drunks not allowed to enter.

Age for participants: While the Trail of Terror will have intense scares it will not be a disgustingly gross production. We take the gross out of some of the well known plots and present “the scare or terror”. Not recommended for kids under 12.

Note: It was not our maze that left people stranded alone in a huge maze after dark This happened at a local maze & haunt on Sept 20, 2008. We have had a system in place for years of sweeping through our maze at end of each night. Even if we have no cars in the Bestmaze lot we still sweep through the maze in case a few kids were dropped off and parents went to Mc Donald’s. Michigan Screams.

 

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3D Monster Maze Vid

 

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‘In 2001, Gregor Schneider won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale when he exhibited his childhood home, Totes Haus u r (Dead House u r) in the German Pavilion. But this was no ordinary suburban dwelling: visitors walked up to an inconspicuous brown front door, the kind found on any German street, only to be admitted in to a house of horrors. The place was a maze of fake partitions, lead-lined rooms, makeshift sleeping quarters and a kitchen encrusted with mould. The most disturbing aspect was the basement, whereunder a low ceiling, amid the dirt and dust, hung a disco ball. Schneider is at his most gruesome when he alludes to sex and death, and more than anything this small prop suggested something sordid in the house of Schneider, as horrific as the nefarious activities of Fred West or Josef Fritzl. Although Schneider would argue (possibly disingenuously) that any associations we make concerning his art are constructed from our own ghoulish imaginations.’ — Guardian.co.uk

 

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‘Stretching to an estimated total length of 2,500km, the Odessa Catacombs is the largest labyrinth anywhere in the world. They’re significantly longer – and more complex – than the famous catacombs found beneath Rome (300km) and Paris (500km)… in fact, if these Ukrainian tunnels were stretched out to full length, they’d reach further than the distance between Odessa and Paris.’

 

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Labyrinthe de Beaugency

‘Créé en 2003 à Beaugency, dans le Loiret, à la frontière du Loir-et-Cher, ce labyrinthe végétal situé dans un champ de maïs vous permet de plonger dans un univers mystique et hors du temps. Les 2 500 mètres d’allées vous attendent pour résoudre de nombreux mystères et découvrir les légendes qui planent autour de ce lieu.

‘Les énigmes sont au cœur du labyrinthe de Beaugency, car ce sont elles qui vous accompagneront tout au long de votre périple dans le labyrinthe. Aidez, entre autres, Godefroy de Montmirail et Jacquouille la Fripouille à s’extirper du labyrinthe et à retrouver leur époque en trouvant la clé magique. Le tout sans vous perdre et en évitant de tomber sur des personnages moins accueillants…’

 

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7 extreme mazes by RJ Clarke

 

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Paris zoo unveils the “blob”, an organism with no brain but 720 sexes that can solve a maze to get food.

 

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Buy a laser maze attraction.

‘Laser maze is a small footprint attraction. Player needs to get through the room filled with lots of laser beams without crossing them. Just like in spy movies. If player touches a beam, he triggers a light and sound alarm. At the end of the game player can see their stats on the screen. Tesla lasers offers 4 different game modes: spy (single player), team, survival, destroyer.’

 

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Corn Maze Confusion

 

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Danish firm BIG has installed a wooden maze with a concave surface inside the National Building Museum in Washington DC. The architect says the structure borrows forms from mazes throughout history, from ancient Greek labyrinths to European hedge mazes and modern American corn mazes. Starting with a height of five and a half metres, it gradually diminishes towards its centre. “From outside, the maze’s cube-like form hides the final reveal behind its 18-foot-tall walls,” said Ingels. “On the inside, the walls slowly descend towards the centre, which concludes with a grand reveal – a 360 degree understanding of your path in and how to get out.”

 

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The Shock Labyrinth (2009)

‘A group of teenagers take a sick to a hospital only to find out it is a horrific labyrinth.’

 

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Zardy’s Maze is an extremely challenging horror game where you must enter a corn maze in the dead of night. Your goal? Cut down the giant plants that have started to grow there. Equipped with a flashlight and an axe, you must brave the unknown… And avoid what lurks in the darkness.’

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p.s. Hey. ** Dominik, Hi, D!! Thank you, pal. I’m still not feeling all that great, but a little better than yesterday, at least. It’s odd: I have a fever and am kind of weak, spacey but not sick with a capital S. Anyway, I’m glad you escaped any punishment for your shot. Love making your favorite song the official Hungarian national anthem, G. ** G, Hi, G. Yeah, so they say, and that’s good, if so, I guess. I’m okay, but bleah and blah. Thank you for the gift of the exquisite poem. I can feel my brain revving its engine. Love, me. ** Misanthrope, I think it would definitely and completely ruin the charm. I hope ‘stellar’ panned out. ** _Black_Acrylic, Thanks, Ben. A definite highlight of my sluggish weekend was a Play Therapy-triggered in-house fireworks display. France and Scotland in the finals? ** Bill, Thanks, Bill. Haven’t seen ‘King of the Ants’. Tempted now. Are you hot to see that lost Romero? I am, but maybe not enough to see it in a theater. ** Sypha, Thanks, James. Lucky you. Not that it’s hell on earth or anything. Huh, I felt sure you would know Gordon’s films due to the Lovecraft connection. ** Steve Erickson, Thanks, man. It’s … improving. It’s not an ‘in bed’ kind of thing, weirdly. It’s a unique malady, I’ll give it that. Glad you like Gordon’s films. Steve does drum ‘n’ bass: this I’ve gotta hear! Everyone, Mr. Erickson speaks: ‘Over the last 2 days, I wrote and produced my first drum’n’bass song. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get that thick, distorted bass sound from ’90s records, but it’s a start in the genre.’ ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Thank you. Most of my LA friends got pretty much the same whatever-this-is that I got from their second shots. Who knows what’s what. Cronenberg’s ‘Naked Lunch’ has basically nothing to do with the novel. He should’ve titled it something else. But even then it still would have been crappy. ** Brian, Hi, Brian. I’ve never read Lovecraft. Weird, right? As I’ve often said, sci-fi is one of super weak points as a reader. Not sure why. Like I mentioned to David, the Cronenberg movie has virtually nothing to with the novel and the experience of reading it. As long as you know a little bit about Burroughs’ history and persona, you know what you need to know. ‘Story of the Eye’ is a multiple rewarder for sure. Thanks about the side-effects thing, man. Mine never peaked, or maybe it wasn’t supposed to. It’s just kind of this lingering weakness and mental fuzz, very odd. Anyway, I’m determined to force it into non-existence starting today. How was your Monday? ** Right. Today I give you a very old and restored post with a fancy name about mazes. Please have at it. See you tomorrow.

12 Comments

  1. Dennis, You know, I’ve never done a maze. Like a corn maze or whatever. Probably should fix that.

    No artsy fartsy stuff this weekend. Did my errands, the gym, and the party, which was fun. Got home at 4 a.m., which kinda ruined Sunday for me. But I have days ahead. 😀

    Now back to the work grind for 5 days. Eep.

  2. Dennis, yes, I’m certainly aware of Gordon’s films, just have never seen them. I do know that RE-ANIMATOR is somewhat inspired by Lovecraft’s “Herbert West: Re-Animator” story, itself a pastiche of FRANKENSTEIN that’s widely considered one of Lovecraft’s lesser efforts (somewhat perversely, despite not being a huge fan of it myself I did draw upon a lot of it for HARLEM SMOKE: in fact, the words “Harlem Smoke” appear in that very story and inspired the title of my own work).

    Recently I was reading about someone who had a fascination with labyrinths and even had a replica of the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth made as a hedge maze at their home, but for the life of me I’m drawing a blank as to who it was!

  3. I love mazes. Those celebrity portrait mazes are hilarious.

    I remember enjoying this:
    https://letterboxd.com/film/grass-labyrinth/

    Also vaguely remember a short story about an autistic boy who builds a cardboard box maze in the basement, and eventually disappears in it. Wonder if I can find it again.

    Umm, I highly doubt that you’ll enjoy Lovecraft, Dennis. I did when I was a teen, but I’ve had no desire to revisit in decades.

    Bill

  4. Hi!!

    Ah, shit, I’m so sorry to hear you’re still not feeling great! I spoke too soon, too. By Saturday evening, my arm went all red and very sore, and by Sunday morning, my neck got so stiff that I could hardly move. Without looking like a stick insect (? Really? Is this how it’s called?) somebody stepped on, that is. But I only had a very slight fever for an hour or two, and I’m feeling better by now (even though my arm and neck are still a bit fucked up). Cool stuff, these shots… I’m sending you all kinds of healing energies!!

    Ah, thank you, love! It’ll be lovely to hear Placebo’s “Autoluminescent” instead of Hungary’s official national anthem from now on! That’s my favorite song today. Love pretending to be a doctor, but in reality, he’s a weirdo creature that eats sickness with or without a capital S, and he’s visiting you right… now, Od.

  5. So nice to be reminded of Gregor Schneider’s work here, and it’s helpful to think about in this maze context.

  6. I also wrote this song over the weekend: https://callinamagician.bandcamp.com/track/storefront-blues. I think it’s much better than the last one I posted. It began as a drill music beat, but I took out almost all the percussion and embraced its bleak, droning quality.

    Have you heard anything about Gaspar Noe’s new film, in which Dario Argento has one of the lead roles as an actor? I’m still waiting for LUX AETERNA to become available in some form in the US.

    How do you feel today? I still felt sick 2 days after my vaccination but it was far more bearable by then.

  7. Hey Dennis, hope you’ll feel better soon and thank you for the mazes, the title of the post is great and hilarious. Weren’t you and Gisele working on a labyrinth piece long ago? I’ve read about it somewhere. Was it going to be a large-scale installation like the Schneider piece here or how were you planning to generate the maze form?

  8. My favorite labyrinth is in “The Shining”

  9. Hey Dennis,

    Interested as why so many people seem to want to inject mazes into or on the outside of their own home. Something almost uncanny or creepy about it(and somehow seems like something I’d want to do). In fact it seems like mazes are only made near civilization is nearby. What would really be creepy is a maze in the middle of nowhere. Like deep in the Mojave or within some barren PNW wooded clearing or just in the middle of space.

    It all reminded me of the ‘This is the House that Jack Built’ nursery rhyme which has that hypnotic quality that makes me kinda lose my way every time I try to read it.

    Which in turn reminds me of the last line of the prologue of the graphic novel ‘From Hell’ by Alan Moore which is about Jack the Ripper.

    And of course I have to think about the Lars Von Trier film. A film I don’t really know how to move my way through in any way that seems productive.

    Anyway, I hope you’re well(or get well from the sound of it). ‘Frisk’ should be in the mail in a couple days and I’m pretty excited although its been hard for me to read lately.
    When I do I’ll tell you how much I like it, probably. Cheers.

  10. Hey, Dennis,

    Mazes are so amazing (ha ha), as this post amply proves. It’s been a while since I wandered one—the last time being a rather dreary corn maze in, like, 2019. Maybe they’ll open up like everything else lately, and I’ll make a trip to the one nearest to me. I don’t really think you’re missing out on Lovecraft. But maybe I’m biased, because all of my feelings about his stuff are bound up in my embarrassment for the period of life when I was reading him, but even so, I recall him being a kind of lousy prose stylist. Would need to revisit to be sure though. Liked “Story of the Eye” even better on a second round, it’s a new favorite for sure. I wonder if Barthes is right that it isn’t an especially deep work. Hmm. Ah, I know a few people who experienced the same peak-less post-vaccine purgatory of symptoms. That sounds terrible. I hope the cloud passes soon. My Monday was okay. I was very depressed. I watched a couple of shortish movies: the 1985 anime OVA “Angel’s Egg” (gorgeous, unsettling, kind of opaque), the 1987 Japanese pink film “Rope and Boys” (not really effective as either melodrama or pornography, basically tedious), the 1933 silent film “Lot in Sodom” (pretty, moderately interesting, poignant at the finish), and—for the first time, a major event—Genet’s “Un Chant d’Amour” (loved it, easily the best of the bunch). Those all livened things a little. More tomorrow, I guess. Did your efforts to force your symptoms into non-existence succeed?

  11. Hi Dennis,

    You may like to see the maze in the Ratty Sunrise music video: https://youtu.be/uhB2qOSId4A?t=165

    J

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