Friday, June 15, 2012

Bateleur Cargo Cults – Wooden LP Series

This is a series of drawings I made for Cape Town based band Bateleur's 2012 EP Cargo Cults. 

They commissioned five artists to each produce album art for four unique limited edition LP sized 'vinyls' made from indigenous South African wood (by product designer Max Basler). Each of the 'vinyls' house a flash disk in a groove in the reverse side with the music on, as well as the music remixed by five local DJs.The name of the EP, Cargo Cults, is a reference to the religious practices found in many tribal societies (especially in New Guinea and other Pacific Islands) where, in the wake of exposure to new technologies via members of post-Industrialised cultures, the tribes develop ceremony and ritual mimicking the more technologically advanced cultures as well as sometimes regarding members of these cultures as deities.Other artists who participated in the project:


The albums sleeves were designed by CLAIRE JOHNSON (

Cult Object #1: Stibnite (Kohl)
30cm x 30cm
Pen and Ink on African Mahogany

Cult Object #2: Asbestos
30cm x 30cm
Pen and Ink on Stinkwood

Cult Object #3: Ruby Sulphide
30cm x 30cm
Pen and Ink on African Mahogany

Cult Object #4: Cinnabarite
30cm x 30cm
Pen and Ink on African Mahogany

Each drawing was of a mineral used by ancient cultures for it's magical properties: Stibnite (Kohl), Asbestos, Ruby Sulphide and Cinnabarite. Each drawing is accompanied a piece of written text on the reverse


Arad mitanguranni 

annu, beli annu 

umma usatu ana matia luppus kimi 

epus beli epus 
amelu sa usatam ana matitsu ipus 
sakna usatu-su in kippat sa Marduk \

e arad ustamma ana matia ul epus 

la teppus beli la teppus 
ilima ina muhhi tillani labiruti itallak 
amur gulgulle sa arkuti i panuti 
ayyu bel lemuttima ayu bel usati. 


Slave, listen to me!

Yes, master, yes.

I will benefit my country

So do, master, do.

The man who benefits his country has his good deeds set down in the record of Marduk.

No, Servant. I will not benefit my country.

Do not do it, master, do not.
Go up to the ancient ruin heaps and walk around. 
See the skulls of the lowly and the great. 
Which belongs to one who did evil, and which to one who did good? 


from Dialogue of Pessimism, Akkadian.