Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Transgression' keyword pg.2 of 2

MTV Buzz: avant-garde television

"Buzz is a long forgotten MTV experiment from 1990. In 1988, Mark Pellington developed an idea for a non–linear collage program he called "Buzz". Created in partnership with MTV Europe producer/director Jon Klein, Buzz was an ambitious 13–part global series commissioned by MTV and channel 4 (UK). It was hailed by critics as ground–breaking, adventurous television. This is episode 1 of the 4 episodes that have managed to survive on an old VHS tape to be digitized for your edification in this modern, digital age."

(Black Flag Party, YouTube Channel)

Fig.1 Buzz Episode 01 Segment 01
Fig.2 Buzz Episode 01 Segment 02
Fig.3 Buzz Episode 01 Segment 03


19881990 • 90s television • appropriationartistic practiceauthorshipavant-garde • Bruce Conner • Channel 4collageculture jammingcut-up technique • David Byrne • experimentalGenesis P-Orridge • Jon Bon Jovi • Jon Klein • Mark Pellington • MTV • MTV Buzz • MTV Europe • music videopioneering • R. U. Sirius • re-purposerecombinantremix culturesamplingsequence designtelevisiontelevision seriestransgressionUKVHSvisual communicationvisual languagevisual literacyWilliam Burroughs


Simon Perkins
24 FEBRUARY 2010

Iranian popular theatrical forms through the lens of Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of carnival

"[Mikhail] Bakhtin's concept of carnival as a subversive, disruptive world–upside–down event in which the repressive views, lies, and hypocrisy of the officially run and dominated everyday world are unmasked provides a powerful theoretical concept for any study of Iranian popular theatrical and related musical forms. Bakhtin was concerned with polyvocality and the fact that from the onset of the European Renaissance the voices of the common people were increasingly not heard. The Islamic Republic's ban on the performance of improvisational comic theater would seem to support this theoretical stance with empirical evidence of official reaction. In the European context analyzed by Bakhtin, a writer, exemplified by Rabelais, enacts an important role because he or she reflects the voices of the low, the peasant, the outcast. In Bakhtin's view, the healthy voice of the low, which questions the high–the church and the state–is an important check on oppressive officials in a healthy society.

A full–fledged carnival–such as those in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans–does not exist in the Iranian culture sphere. By carnival I mean a massive demonstration of excessive eating, drinking, and sexual and bodily exposure, popularly associated with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, that does not occur within an Islamic/Iranian context. Threads and themes of carnivalesque and grotesque subversion, however, can be found woven through the fabric of the Iranian world. Here the needle that pricks the official religious, social, and political powers most is the traditional comic theater in its many guises.

In many ways siyah–bazi and ru–howzi embody Bakhtin's notions of the grotesque and the carnivalesque. Gholam–siyah, the blackface clown, the 'low Other,' always wins over his master: the world upside down. Gholam–siyah's extravagant clothing, movements, speech, and lower–class language demonstrate Bakhtin's dictum, 'the grotesque...cannot be separated from folk humor and carnival spirit' (Stallybrass and White 1986, 43). Gholam's bright red costume and conical hat, for example, are probably the closest thing to carnival costume in the entire Middle East. William O. Beeman, a scholar of Iranian linguistics, discusses the blackface clown: 'The clown distorts normal physical movement by jumping, running, flailing his arms, and twisting his body into odd shapes' (1981, 515). This is, of course, part of his repertoire, for sight gags make up much of the comedy of traditional comic theater. This grotesque twisting of the body is also part of the dancing that occurs in the comic theater, especially by the male characters."

(Mass Mediations)


Aranyer Din Ratri • Beverley Minster • burlesquecarnivalcarnivalesqueceremonychaosclowncollaborationcomedy • comic theatre • costumedemonstrationdialogicdisruption • Dostoevskys Poetics • emancipationetiquetteEuropean Renaissanceeventexcessextravagance • Feast of Fools • Feast of the Circumcision • Francois Rabelais • Fyodor Dostoyevsky • Gholam-siyah • grotesquehegemonyhumourimprovisationIran • Islamic Republic of Iran • juxtaposition • Lent • Lincoln Cathedral • Mardi Gras • medieval festival • Middle EastMikhail Bakhtin • New Orleans • outcastparticipationpeasant • Pieter Bruegel • polyphony • polyvocal • protestreligionRio de Janeiroriotritual • ru-howzi • sacred • siyah-bazi • social changesocial constructionismsocial hierarchiessocial interactionsocietyspectaclesubversiontheatretraditiontransformationtransgressionunmasked • Wise Children • world-upside-down


Simon Perkins
25 NOVEMBER 2008

Liquid Sky: pleasure-seeking alien lands in downtown New York and gets caught up in a world of casual sex and heroin abuse

"A time–capsule cult movie from 1982: A pleasure–seeking alien lands in downtown New York and gets caught up in a world of casual sex and heroin abuse (the title itself is slang for 'heroin') by insinuating itself into the lives androgynous hipsters Margaret and Larry (both played by Anne Carlisle). Curiously cool, with plenty of early '80s fashion, a vivid colour scheme and a weird, pulsing electronic score.
Dir Slava Tsukerman US 1982, 112 mins, cert 18"

(Institute of Contemporary Arts, UK)



1980s1982alienandrogyny • Anne Carlisle • art filmcasual sexcinemaclubbingconsumptioncoolcounterculture • crystal sceptre • cultdesigndesigner drugsdeviancedrug addiction • electro • electronic musicexcessfashionfashion modelfilmfuturistic • heroin abuse • Liquid Sky (1982) • make-upNew Yorkorgasmpsychedelicpunkrapesci-fiscience fictionspace shipspectaclesubculturesubversion • synth punk • synthesized musictransgression • Tsukerman • undergroundUSA


Simon Perkins
17 NOVEMBER 2003

Kenneth Anger: Sadomasochism, Motorcycles And Catechizing

"Scorpio Rising is about a motorcycle gang that Kenneth Anger met in Brooklyn. It is centred on the emblematic figure of Bruce Byron, shown in various situations: in his apartment decorated with fetishes and idols; at a motorcycle party; in the midst of desecrating a church. But the film uses alternating editing to cut these scenes with... a film about a group of catechists recounting the life of Jesus! Kenneth Anger denounces the erotic fascination for motorcycles, violence, power, sadomasochism and the 'icons' of American culture."

(50th Locarno international film festival, 1997)



1963avant-gardeavant-garde cinema • biker film • biker gang • Bruce Byron • churchcounterculturecut-up techniquefilmJesus ChristKenneth Angermotorcyclemotorcycle gangpioneeringpowerqueer cinemare-purposesadomasochism • Scorpio Rising • sexual fetishtransgressionviolence

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