May 23rd, 2006

Chris Keeley

dedicated to collecting links to sites displaying automata, from clockworks to electronics

automata, from clockworks to electronics

Gallery of links to automata-related sites

This Wists thumbnail site is dedicated to collecting links to sites displaying automata, from clockworks to electronics. Right now, they're showing replicas of the Mechanical Turk, a small hand-cranked storm-scene in a porcelain cup, an automata orchestra, hand-cranked monkey automata (in fezzes, natch), and historical accounts of Victorian steam-driven human automata. Link (via Kottke
Chris Keeley

A pair of elderly women accused of fraudulently collecting more than $2 million in life insurance on

Alleged Scammers Had the System Down Cold

Elderly pair accused of collecting on homeless men knew the fine print of life insurance claims.
By Cara Mia DiMassa and Richard Winton
Times Staff Writers

May 23, 2006,0,7410454,print.story?coll=la-home-headlines

A pair of elderly women accused of fraudulently collecting more than $2 million in life insurance on two homeless men demonstrated a remarkable knowledge of the intricacies of life insurance policies, officials said, and aggressively used this expertise in pressing their claims.

Insurance industry experts familiar with the prosecution's case said that Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt took advantage of a provision that makes a policy valid after two years even if it was obtained using fraudulent information on the application.

When it was time to collect, officials said, Golay and Rutterschmidt took a hard-line stance.

"They were bullying the insurance companies into making sure they paid off, threatening a lot of lawsuits," said Marty Gonzalez, chief investigator for the fraud division of the California Department of Insurance. "In one instance, they filed a complaint with the Department of Insurance, saying their claims were not being handled properly. They knew how to deal with these companies. They were very comfortable trying to collect on the money they felt they had coming to them."

In 2001, the family of one of the homeless men took the pair to court, suggesting that foul play was involved in Paul Vados' death in a Hollywood alley and that the women should not receive proceeds from the life insurance.,0,3179124.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Vados was struck by a car and killed in an alley off La Brea Avenue in Hollywood on Nov. 8, 1999. McDavid was found dead in an alley off Westwood Boulevard just south of Wilshire on June 22, 2005. Both men died of multiple traumatic injuries to their upper bodies, according to coroner's reports.

The insurance industry does not maintain a central registry to look out for possible life insurance fraud. By contrast, the industry has systems in place designed to detect fraud involving people who take out multiple auto insurance policies on a single vehicle.

Chris Keeley

Decrevecoeur's Lord Peter the Cheater nickname may be have faded away, but his new name is appropria

Ex-girlfriend gets a court order against a con man who has posed as British nobility and a fireman. He says he has reformed.,0,3333410,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines
From the Los Angeles Times

Duking It Out With Peter the Cheater

Ex-girlfriend gets a court order against a con man who has posed as British nobility and a fireman. He says he has reformed.
By Bob Pool
Times Staff Writer

May 23, 2006

Lord Peter the Cheater was trying to talk himself out of a prison term stemming from a stolen 350-year-old oil painting when last we heard from him.

The Long Beach man had been exposed as a smooth-talking con artist who set Great Britain on its ear by romancing a string of women while pretending to be a member of the English aristocracy.

He had pleaded guilty to taking a stolen 17th century painting by Flemish master David Teniers the Younger out of the United States and trying to sell it to a London gallery for $150,000. But he had reformed, Charles Lee Crutcher told a federal judge in Los Angeles in 1994. He had changed his ways, he promised.

"I know now I have to actually work the rest of my life. I've done exemplary work at Starbucks," he said. "It's given me an extraordinary opportunity. I've cleaned up my act."

Charles Crutcher was acting like aristocracy in the 1980s in Great Britain.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Lakewood, he moved to England in 1977.

His Chelsea neighbors knew him as Lord Peter de Vere Beauclerk, the son of the Duke of St. Albans. He dressed in dignified, well-tailored suits and bowler hats and always carried a neatly furled umbrella when he walked his Labrador named Hussar. He variously described himself as a highly educated investments advisor to the Vatican or as a financial consultant to the city of London who belonged to the same polo club as Prince Charles.

Although authorities said he was married to a British woman and had a 3-year-old daughter, Crutcher swept a string of other unsuspecting women off their feet, including the daughter of the royal jeweler. When he asked her to marry him she said yes.,0,808600,print.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Chris Keeley

U.S. immigration officials have blocked the Sri Lankan music star known as M.I.A. from entering the

U.S. Immigration Blocks Musician M.I.A. Entry Into Country
And U.S. immigration officials have blocked the Sri Lankan music star known as M.I.A. from entering the country to visit or work. The artist wrote a message to her fans online saying “I’m locked out! They wont let me in. Now I’m strictly making my album outside the borders!” M.I.A. was born in Britain but raised in Sri Lanka where her father was a founding member of the militant Tamil Tigers. Earlier this year, the editors of the Village Voice named her debut record the second best recording of 2005. 

AIPAC Accuses Critic of Palestinian Bill Of Supporting Terrorists
Leading the lobbying effort for the bill has been AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC has been accused of threatening lawmakers who oppose the legislation. Democratic Congresswoman Betty McCollum of Minnesota said an AIPAC activist warned her chief of staff that her “support for terrorists will not be tolerated.” McCollum said she is no longer allowing representatives from AIPAC in her office or to meet with her staff. McCollum has said she opposes the bill because it could destabilize the situation and heighten chances of a humanitarian crisis. 

Israeli Forces Capture Leading Hamas Commander
Meanwhile, Israeli forces have captured the leader of the military wing of Hamas in the West Bank in a raid in Ramallah. The Israeli government has accused the man, Ibrahim Hamad, of masterminding a string of suicide bombings.

House to Vote on Anti-Palestinian Aid Bill
In Washington, the House is scheduled to vote today to ban direct U.S. economic assistance to the Palestinian government and restrict money to private aid groups that operate in Gaza and the West Bank. The bill is expected to be overwhelmingly approved even though it does not have the support of the White House. According to the Knight Ridder news agency, the United States would only be allowed to provide limited humanitarian assistance to Palestinians through non-governmental organizations. Assistance beyond food, water, medicine and sanitation would require a presidential waiver.

Chris Keeley

Power Politics," "War Talk," "The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile" and her latest, "An Ordinary Per

Arundhati Roy on India, Iraq, U.S. Empire and Dissent 

acclaimed Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy. Her first novel, "The God of Small Things," was awarded the Booker Prize in 1997. It has sold over six millions copies and has been translated into over 20 languages worldwide.

Since then, Arundhati Roy has devoted herself to political writing and activism. In India, she’s involved in the movement opposing hydroelectric dam projects that have displaced thousands of people. In 2002, she was convicted of contempt of court in New Delhi for accusing the court of attempting to silence protests against the Narmada Dam project. She received a symbolic one-day prison sentence. She has also been a vocal opponent of the Indian government’s nuclear weapons program as she is of all nuclear programs worldwide.

Arundhati Roy has also become known across the globe for her powerful political essays in books like "Power Politics," "War Talk," "The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile" and her latest, "An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire."

In June of 2005, she served as a Chair of Jury of Conscience at the World Tribunal on Iraq. She joins us today in the firehouse studio for the hour. Welcome to Democracy Now!


  • Arundhati Roy, author and activist.
In June 2005, a World Tribunal on Iraq was held in Istanbul, Turkey. A 17-member Jury of Conscience at the Tribunal heard testimonies from a panel of advocates and witnesses who came from across the world. You were selected as the chair of the jury. This is an excerpt of your address.
Chris Keeley

Power Politics, War Talk, The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile, and her latest, An Ordinary Person's

America, Israel and India, and China in Tibet, are now becoming experts in occupation, and India is one of the leading experts

AMY GOODMAN: Let me play another clip of President Bush. I think in this one he’s talking about trade in India.

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The markets are open, and the poor are given a chance to develop their talents and abilities. They can create a better life for their families. They add to the wealth of the world, and they could begin to afford goods and services from other nations. Free and fair trade is good for India. It’s good for America. And it is good for the world.

    In my country, some focus only on one aspect of our trade relationship with India: outsourcing. It's true that some Americans have lost jobs when their companies move operations overseas. It's also important to remember that when someone loses a job, it's an incredibly difficult period for the worker and their families. Some people believe the answer to this problem is to wall off our economy from the world through protectionist policies. I strongly disagree.

AMY GOODMAN: President Bush speaking in India. Arundhati Roy, your response?

ARUNDHATI ROY: Well, look, let's not forget that this whole call to the free market started in the late 19th century in India. You know, that was what colonialism was all about. They kept using the words “free market.” And we know how free the free market is. Today, India has -- I mean, after 15 years of economic liberalization, we have more than half of the world's malnutritioned children. We have an economy where the differences between the rich and the poor, which have always been huge, has increased enormously. We have a feudal society whose feudalism has just been reinforced by all of this.

And, you know, it's amazing. Just in the wake of Bush's visit, you can't imagine what's happening, say, in a city like Delhi. You can't imagine the open aggression of institutions of our democracy. It's really like courts, for instance, who are an old enemy of mine, are rolling up their sleeves and coming after us. You have in Delhi, for example -- I have just come from being on the streets for six weeks, where all kinds of protest are taking place. But you have a city that's been just -- it's just turned into a city of bulldozers and policemen. Overnight, notices go up saying tomorrow or day after tomorrow you're going to be evicted from here. The Supreme Court judges have come out saying things like, “If the poor can't afford to live in the city, why do they come here?”

And basically, behind it all, there are two facades. One is that in 2008, Delhi is going to host the Commonwealth Games. For this, hundreds of thousands of people are being driven out of the city. But the real agenda came in the wake of Bush's visit, which is that the city is being prepared for foreign direct investment in retail, which means Wal-Mart and Kmart and all these people are going to come in, which means that this city of millions of pavement dwellers, hawkers, fruit sellers, people who have -- it's a city that's grown up over centuries and centuries. It's just being cleaned out under the guise of sort of legal action. And at the same time, people from villages are being driven out of their villages, because of the corporatization of agriculture, because of these big development 

So you have an institution like -- you know, I mean, how do you subvert democracy? We have a parliament, sure. We have elections, sure. But we have a supreme court now that micromanages our lives. It takes every decision: What should be in history books? Should this lamb be cured? Should this road be widened? What gas should we use? Every single decision is now taken by a court. You can't criticize the court. If you do, you will go to jail, like I did. So, you have judges who are -- you have to read those judgments to believe it, you know? Public interest litigation has become a weapon that judges use against us.

So, for example, a former chief justice of India, he gave a decision allowing the Narmada Dam to be built, where 400,000 people will be displaced. The same judge gave a judgment saying slum dwellers are pickpockets of urban land. So you displace people from the villages; they come into the cities; you call them pickpockets. He gave a judgment shutting down all kinds of informal industry in Delhi. Than he gave a judgment asking for all India's rivers to be linked, which is a Stalinist scheme beyond imagination, where millions of people will be displaced. And when he retired, he joined Coca-Cola. You know, it's incredible.

Chris Keeley

Grey Lodge Occult Review

The Cut-Up Films of William S. Burroughs (1963-1972) (AVI): Five seminal films by Burroughs in collaboration with Anthony Balch: William Buys a Parrot (1963), Towers Open Fire (1963), Ghost at n°9 (Paris) (1963-1972) Bill and Tony (1972) and The Cut-Ups (1966). You can also listen to audio by Burroughs and read his Electronic Revolution (1970). 

UbuWeb | Spring 2006

GreyLodge: UbuWeb's New Partner UbuWeb is pleased to announce our new alliance with the incredible avant-garde resource GreyLodge, home of the Grey Lodge Occult Review and G-Pod. Over the past year, we have shared a similar aesthetic and have mirrored each other's content. Now, with the two sites partnering, you will see an increase in new film and audio offerings on UbuWeb, as well as a great increase in bandwidth and server stability for GL users. Welcome GreyLodge!
Chris Keeley

sharks and cows pickled in formaldehyde are out.

Damien Hirst's Skull and Bones

For Damien Hirst, sharks and cows pickled in formaldehyde are out. What's in are a platinum skull encased in diamonds and the latest rendering of "The Virgin Mother," his 35-foot-tall, 13.5-ton bronze statue exposing the bones, muscle tissue and fetus of a hugely pregnant woman. First the skull, which Mr. Hirst, described in an interview with The Observer of London as "certainly the biggest single undertaking by a jeweler since the crown jewels," Agence France-Presse reported. Mr. Hirst said the work, titled "For the Love of God," will consist of a human skull, cast in platinum and covered in 8,500 diamonds at a cost of $15 million to $18.8 million. "The biggest expense will be the 50-carat beauty that will sit on the forehead," he said, adding: "The only part of the original skull that will remain will be the teeth. You need that grotesque element for it to work as a piece of art." Explaining the artistic impulse, Mr. Hirst said: "I just want to celebrate life by saying to hell with death. What better way of saying that than by taking the ultimate symbol of death and covering it in the ultimate symbol of luxury, desire and decadence?" "The Virgin Mother" went on view yesterday in the courtyard outside the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the BBC reported. An earlier rendering was installed in 2005 outside Lever House in Manhattan.

Chris Keeley

a typical safari rhythm


Chobe National Park to coincide with sunset, when animals by the hundreds come down to the Chobe River to drink: elephants, buffaloes, zebras, wildebeest, spiral-horned kudu and the rare velvety black-brown sable antelope, all silhouetted against a dusty pink sky aglow with the day's last rays.

Amyas Naegele
Victoria Falls in dense rain forest on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe. 
Chris Keeley

Until one spring morning, when he wrestled the lighter from his therapist's hand and held it to his

He strived for years to master psychoanalysis, only to reject it outright after demonstrating, in a landmark 1984 study, that the treatment did not help much at all in people, like Keith, with schizophrenia

George Ruhe

ALTERED NOTIONS Dr. Thomas McGlashan

Scientist at Work | Thomas McGlashan

A Career That Has Mirrored Psychiatry's Twisting Path

The patient, Keith, was a deeply religious young man, disabled by paranoia, who had secluded himself for weeks in one of the hospital's isolation rooms. In daily therapy sessions he said little but was always civil, seemingly pleased to have company and grateful for a cigarette and a light.

Until one spring morning, when he wrestled the lighter from his therapist's hand and held it to his own head — igniting his hair.

"I grabbed him and was slapping at the flames, and he immediately became passive," said Dr. Thomas H. McGlashan, the man's therapist. "He went limp and pulled a blanket over his head."

He added, "That patient, that experience, changed everything for me."

In a career that has spanned four decades, Dr. McGlashan, now 64 and a professor of psychiatry at Yale, has with grim delight extinguished some of psychiatry's grandest notions, none more ruthlessly than his own. He strived for years to master psychoanalysis, only to reject it outright after demonstrating, in a landmark 1984 study, that the treatment did not help much at all in people, like Keith, with schizophrenia. Once placed on antipsychotic medication, Keith became less paranoid and more expressive. Without it, he quickly deteriorated.

Dr. McGlashan turned to medication and biology for answers and in the 1990's embarked on a highly controversial study of antipsychotic medication to prevent psychosis in high-risk adolescents. But doctors' hopes for that experiment, too, withered under the cold eye of its lead author.

Early this month, Dr. McGlashan reported that the drugs were more likely to induce weight gain than to produce a significant, measurable benefit.

Through it all, he has remained optimistic, restless, hopeful that he is close to understanding some of schizophrenia's secrets. In a way, his work mirrors the history of psychiatry itself, its conflicts and limits, its shift away from talk therapy to drugs and biological explanations for illness.

And for those who want a sense of what direction the field will take next — and how — Dr. McGlashan may serve as a kind of bellwether.

"Basically, you're talking about a person who can walk into an extremely hostile environment and deliver bad news; I don't know how to describe him better than that," said Dr. Wayne Fenton of the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a former colleague of Dr. McGlashan's at Chestnut Lodge, a psychiatric hospital in Rockville, Md., closed in 2001. .....

Chris Keeley

1906 San Francisco Earthquake: Vintage Photographs of Earthquake Sites

1906 San Francisco Earthquake: Vintage Photographs of Earthquake Sites presents a collection of photographs of scenes of destruction left in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake taken both during and after the subsequent fire that caused widespread destruction of the city.

George McComb (attr.)

Untitled, 1906
vintage, silver bromide
8 x 6 inches

Chris Keeley



Widnes, Lancashire, England

London College of Printing, London, England

H.N.D. Photography, Distinction
Banbury School of Art, Oxfordshire, England

Upholland College, Lancashire, England

Hokkaido  Japan
Stephen Wirtz Gallery, 2004-2005

Ratcliffe Power Station
Stephen Wirtz Gallery, 2004-2005

Selected Monographs

Stephen Wirtz Gallery, 2003

Lace Factories
Stephen Wirtz Gallery, 2003

New Works: Japan
Stephen Wirtz Gallery, 2002

Recent Photographs
Stephen Wirtz Gallery, 2000

Michael Kenna

Nine Trees
Higashikawa, Hokkaido, Japan, 2004