July 28th, 2013


David Bowie is... currently assimilating my dinosaur earring

I have visited the Bowie immersion environment at the V&A. Birthday present from timscience. And I am now the proud owner of a David Bowie eraser and pencil set. It's an exceedingly cool thing, but I still think they missed a trick by not selling a stripper pens with a costume overlay on the full length Aladdin Sane shot. The exhibition is a fabulous and disorienting experience, as most of the exhibits are also transmissions to your headset. As you walk around, the exhibitions talk to you, occasionally through barriers and round corners, sometimes in the voice of Bowie or others, sometimes with the music or soundtrack to whatever is showing. If you get caught in a transmission overlap you can end up with fragments loop-repeating as the transmissions repeatedly cancel each other out. The point where you are simultaneously flipping through old LPs and biographic fragments while observing out of the corner of your eye Bowie's personal cut-up generation programme digesting the day's headlines is particularly good for this. It also smells, not unpleasantly of oranges, stage costumes that cannot quite be cleaned, excitement. A word on the costumes; seeing them up close is worth it. Some serious attention to detail.

I also threw all the gallery staff into an uproar by losing Glamchops the plastic dinosaur earring somewhere in Bowie's Sound + Visionscape. Despite their best efforts (and all the staff were really lovely and helpful about it) it was nowhere to be found, and perhaps exited exhibition clutched in the hand of a small child, as Glamchops is a modified children's toy. This is a tragedy indeed -- Glamchops was brought back from New York by (equally) dinosaur and toy obsessed friend Jason Z, where he found it in a shop where (or so he said) I would have wanted to buy everything. He was a little bright orange plastic dinosaur wearing a diamanté choker, with an earring hook plunged into his skull. That said, I've always meant to make a few more of him, and maybe this is the time to do so!

We arrived early, so took in the 80s fashion show where timscience was admirably tolerant of me saying, "I used to have that on my wall! I owned that copy of Blitz!" It contains a particular cabinet I feel would be of interest to motodraconis. Diamanté lobster fascinator! Also original costumes from Adam Ant, Leigh Bowery, Toyah and dozens of other 80s style icons. It's not pulling the crowds like Bowie, but oh there are some fine costumes to behold.