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Industrial Culture Handbook: Re # 6/7 Paperback – April, 1983

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Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


The Industrial Culture Handbook is simply a reference guide to the philosophy and interests of a flexible alliance of the following deviant international artists: Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, SPK, Z'ev, Non, Monte Cazazza, Mark Pauline, Sordide Sentimental, Johanna Went, and R&N. Most of these artists have been working creatively a decade or longer, in varying degrees of obscurity. The impetus in common is rebellion.

By "industrial" we mean the grim side of post-Industrial Revolution society-the repressed mythology, history, science, technology and psychopathology. By "culture" we mean the books, films, magazines, records, etc which have been plucked out of the available information overload as relevant and important.

There is no strict unifying aesthetic, except that all things gross, atrocious, horrific, demented, and unjust are examined with black-humor eyes. Nothing is (or ever again will be) sacred, except a commitment to the realization of the individual imagination. These are not gallery or salon artists struggling to get to where the money is: these are artists in spite of art. There is no standard or value left unchallenged.

The values, standards, and content that remain are of a perversely anarchic nature, grounded in a post-holocaust mortality. Swept away are false politeness, etiquette, preoccupation with texture and form-all the niceties associated with several generations of art about other art. Starting on a realigned foundation of "black" history, "black" science and the "black arts," these artists have presented their visions reflecting the world as they see it, not the official realities. The problems of morality and critical evaluation are left to the eye of the beholder, and to history-what remains of it . . .

All art has as its source dreams, the unconscious, and the imagination. And in dreams as in the imagination as in art-nothing is forbidden, everything is permitted.


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Product Details

  • Series: Re-Search #6/7 (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: V/Search; 1st edition (April 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940642077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940642072
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Adam P. Lounsbery on June 2, 2000
"Re/Search #6/7: Industrial Culture Handbook" is more than just a compendium of information about early industrial music groups and their discographies. Although the book does contain a good deal of hard information, the best parts of it are the lengthy interviews in which the artists expound on their personal philosophies - some of which are quite paranoid and delusional - often straying far from the subject of industrial music. "Industrial Culture Handbook" also does a very good job of collecting the artists who truly were on the cutting edge of the experimental/industrial movement of the late '70s and early '80s: Throbbing Gristle, Monte Cazazza, SPK, Cabaret Voltaire, Boyd Rice/NON, Z'ev, and Mark Pauline of Survival Research Laboratories (SRL). Less important but still interesting are the sections in the book about R&N and the two French gentlemen who published the magazine "Sordide Sentimental." The only mystery about this book is the inclusion of performance artist Johanna Went, who had very little to do with the industrial subculture of 20 or so years ago. The section about her is the one low point in an otherwise fascinating and worthwhile book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Alston on September 20, 2006
Flipping through THE INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK at this point in time, it surprises me how well much of it stands up. The varied individuals present here are all as scholarly as they are unhinged, which is to say that you're guranteed to be shocked into debate and though, but will always also be intrigued and impressed.

Something apparent to me now that escaped my notice when I first discovered this book (circa 1990, roughly at the age of 19 or 20) was how well of a job editor V. Vale does in making a case for the individuals featured here as the center of an art-historical movement, a late-20th-century descendant of forbears like surrealism, dada (the band Cabaret Voltaire took their name from dada-era Zurich inspirations), lettrism and the situationists. I'm certain that this would be denied by the varied interviewees here - Throbbing Gristle, Survival Research Labaratories, Monte Cazazza and Boyd Rice all are fairly non-doctrinaire about the things they do, and all are especially memorable. But while the term "Industrial Culture" lacks the gravitas of "situationism," methinks Vale may still have been onto something.

There's a lot of slightly academic (or at least systematic) seriousness and disruptive stunt-making here - aside from Throbbing Gristle's extremely memorable musical/sonic terror-as-social commentary and SRL's robot roadkill animatronic dismemberings, we also get an unforgettable billboard defacement and an intersection-blocking pile of wet concrete being explained away as a sculpture. But it should also be noted that there's actually also a lot of humor, and a highly individualized lust for life (as a component of creativity), taken to fairly unearthly extremes. Not necessarily for the easily offended, but still vital and interesting.

Probably the place to start with the RE/Search series; which is always intriguing, but sometimes fails to rise above hipsterism. This volume is priceless.

-David Alston
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Werewolf on January 24, 2007
Buy this book if you are a destructive-minded, good-humored high school or college student with strong feelings against people in general. Reading this will give you that postal fix that most people fix through computer games these days. It features homemade flamethrowers, helicopters that drop objects on other objects with menacing claws, irresistibly painful music to listen to, violent films and performance art, and anything else that you had in your subconscious waiting room.

Reading this book covers a large panoramic of the future that should have been more widely discovered before the fact. Be sure to catch Throbbing Gristle's commentary on the War on Information and the future of human stupidity.

Industrial Culture Handbook features interviews with Mark Pauline, Boyd Rice (Non), Monte Cazazza, Johanna Went, and other crazy disturbance-lovers that will knock your socks off!

Even if you aren't young, this is one hell of an interesting read.

Happy reading!
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Verified Purchase
this book was our bible in the mid 90's at the height of industrial music.

I had forgotten all about it until I saw it while waiting for a friend of mine who was getting a piercing done. The waiting room of the piercing shop had this out to look at. I went home and searched for it on Amazon. I was so happy to find this book! It was exactly as I remembered it..
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By Eileen on April 23, 2015
Verified Purchase
good stff
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