Tag Archives: art

Visual Influences: Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon screaming popeMusing about Paisley Babylon recently it suddenly occurred that the work and life of Francis Bacon really deserves a look as an influence. His work has always been fascinating in the Paisley Babylon camp, but visually speaking I feel the work (the more visually aggressive the better) is a good visual representation of at least part of the landscape that is Paisley Babylon.

I revisited an excellent bio on Francis Bacon on YouTube (see below), talking about the artist’s technique in one section-Bacon, like Paisley Babylon, valued the accident in his work. I find such a kindred spirit there that I find myself wishing I had been at work in Bacon’s heyday instead of…later.

Chances are, given the environment of the day, that visual art and performing arts wouldn’t collide as well as these elements do now…we only have to look at Throbbing Gristle to see that it’s a difficult marriage at times to say the least; it takes a steady hand to navigate situations that confuse the lines between the gallery and the concert hall. But I digress.

In my own work, I find that the venue is often an important part of the event itself-it’s not enough to set up and display or perform; the physical landscape you work in can play an major part in how you approach the work. That may not be a universal, but it has always seemed to come true for me even in spite of efforts to control that aspect of things.

You don’t maintain control for very long in Paisley Babylon (wherever that may reside this week in the cosmos) but this week that floating city of sinister decadence is drifting backwards in time to appreciate Bacon and the contemporary art world of the day even as things are bracing to move forward into the future once more–but the engines must be warmed up, the fires must be stoked, and supplies must be loaded.

While all that is going on, enjoy this documentary on Francis Bacon with me while it lasts on YouTube (if you see the a broken link here you know what happened, the Internet police got to the doc and had it shuffled off again.)



Distorted Musings About What It Means To Be Paisley Babylon

zandorPaisley Babylon has been in a quiet and mostly secluded existence since around 1996. I have no real idea who is listening, or how, or even why…but I do have solid evidence that there are Paisley Babylon people out there and I am grateful for that.

The reason Paisley Babylon exists is in part thanks to a desire to explore altered/othered states of consciousness. At the time Paisley Babylon was formed, I was serving in the U.S. military as broadcaster and had no ability to partake of the chemicals people normally use to find these altered states…I had to get my hallucinations the HARD way.

So I started mixing up Zen ideas and John Cage notions with 90s zine culture, The Great Rock-n-Roll Swindle, Fluxus, Burroughs, and other influences. The results have been bumping into themselves and everybody else for the entire time since the mid 90s.

I owe a great deal to the Texas psychedelicexperimental scene between Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas. Paisley Babylon got its’ start in San Antonio and there were a lot of like-minded fellow travelers there. It feels like that entire scene decentralized and kind of drifted away since then….but I know there are other space explorers looking for the same mind-blowing experiences in varying sizes and duration.

Paisley Babylon is about strange journeys along the near-future landscape created by the unholy love children of H.P. Lovecraft, Phillip K. Dick, and William Gibson. The Marquis de Sade as viewed by Jess Franco, projected onto the walls of a mausoleum just before the event that ushers in the post-apocalypse.

We post this here because it’s hoped that this is the first in a long series of “band-as-art-project” posts…something that might serve as an explanation or organizing principle or…something else that clears off some of the fog surrounding all this,,,

-Joe Wallace