Last dance

Tonight is the 25th anniversary of the Cure’s three-night residency at Wembley Arena in July 1989. The result was a live album, Entreat, issued in 1991 and remixed and re-released in 2010

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A fine gallery of images of the Boeing 314 Clipper / Nicholson Baker on LCD. Related, Nicholson Baker wrote an article / the story of the Texas Towers (via historical times) / Burlington Bunker, under RAF Corsham, Wiltshire (via Coudal) / The Flemish Cap / Architorture / the soul the screen, tumblrs / gaming legends in pixels / What are the worst songs? / UK magazine plunges

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We recently caught an installation by the architects Chance de Silva and the sound artist/musician Scanner (a hugely expansive website) at the Venice Biennale. Vex in Venezia uses the studio’s upcoming Vex House in Stoke Newington, an unusual collaboration between the architects and Scanner. Music and architecture both take as their starting point Erik Satie’sVexations’ – a looping, repetitive piano work which lasts around 28 hours in continuous performance, creating a form that not only directs the shape of the house, but also a work that will be installed inside it.

On Satie: ‘ In a filing cabinet he maintained a collection of imaginary buildings, most of them described as being made out of some kind of metal, which he drew on little cards. Occasionally, extending the game, he would publish anonymous small announcements in local journals, offering some of these buildings, e.g., a “castle in lead”, for sale or rent.’ And some more: ‘Over the course of his 27 years in residence at Arcueil, where Satie lived in stark simplicity, no one had ever visited his room. After his death, Satie’s friends discovered compositions that were totally unknown or thought to have been lost. The orchestral score to Parade was thought, by Satie, to have been left on a bus years before. These were found behind the piano, in the pockets of his velvet suits, and in other odd places, and included the Vexations.’

But to encounter the composer’s most extravagant act we would have to turn to the small and mysterious room in Arcueil. Indeed, when he died in 1925, after leading a solitary life for 27 years, his friends entered his immaculate chamber. There was a general feeling of surprise: among his few belongings they found a collection with over 100 umbrellas, a series of drawings portraying medieval buildings and a piano which, judging by the amount of spider webs on its cover looked as if it had never been played. In terms of the drawings, these proved who had been responsible for the enigmatic ads announcing the lease of a “lead castle”, among other buildings, in a Parisian newspaper.

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Wrecks and shells

Nice to have Rudolph on the market and not on the end of a wrecking ball, although the former quite often precedes the latter / a cache of old posters discovered in a walled-off section of Notting Hill Tube station (at Urban Ghost Media) / The Land of Trees, photographs by Daniel Kovalovszky / how to master a record / aapstra, a tumblr about comic art / space shuttle, a limited edition screen print by Tim George / images from Ghost in the Shell / beautiful photographs at O Meu Outro Eu Esta A Dancar.

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Dipping in

Social Pool, ‘an eleven-by-five-feet wide pool in the Southern California desert, open for anybody to use. White, unadorned and geometric’, by Alfredo Barsuglia (via the Guardian). See also Jorge Macchi’s 2009 work Piscina at the Instituto Inhotim (via the occasionally nsfw Bernard Perroud).


Images of the A7 by Matthias Heiderich / finding the most beautiful route through a city with science. Michelin has included scenic routes (bordered in green) on its paper maps for decades, and there’s a scenic option on its digital service as well / collages by Shelley Davies / a blog about Japanese textiles by John Marshall / all about the Ranch House / Tony Scott eat your heart out: From Jet to Jet- Being the USAF Thunderbirds Official Photographer (via DP Review).

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Second set of chunks

Another chunk of things / an AMA with Chip Kidd / Echoes from the Vault, ‘a blog from the Special Collections of the University of St Andrews’ / a massive collection of Pulp Magazines / delve into back issues of the ever-sunny Holiday Magazine (‘Marshal Tito and his dog take some time off for a dip during a stay at one of his many villas’, which reminds us of the infamous At Home With Hitler feature from Homes & Gardens) / an urban myth of the super rich / Deceptology, a blog about ‘deceptions + pranks + magic + frauds + cons + lying + cheating + fakes + hoaxes + illusions’ / the multi-layered, photorealstic art of Diego Gravinese, with more on his flickr site. The above image is Principiantes – Beginners from 2011.

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The road less travelled

A collection of Information Tea Towels, just one of many collections catalogued over at Obsessionistas. We miss this kind of single-minded, simple, utterly devoted website / photographs by Morgan O’Donovan, including these images behind the scenes of a toothpaste tube factory / music: Kindling / create an extremely long sound with Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch / a suite of Sempé at Ma Galerie a Paris, an illustration blog. More of the work of the great Jean-Jacques Sempé at Illustration ESAD (recently moved to 7 plis, which publishes things like this bootleg edition of (the somewhat notorious) Tintin in the Congo) / one final cartoon at Roads were not built for cars: class and the evolution of traffic (a small portion of which is reproduced above).

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Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?

After a hard day of leveraged buyouts, a tired industrialist could come home and view something less taxing than cubism. Perhaps a sunset in Maui, displayed in dazzling colors on a high-definition screen. It’s not just pretty pictures that Gates and ultimately others will watch. Movies will seem real. Cookbooks, encyclopedias and history “books” will come alive, allowing a person to browse through sound, image and text, no longer restricted by the amount or sequence determined by editors.
(Seattle Times, 26 May 1991)

We sort of like the idea of this: EO1, a ‘computer made for art’ (via kottke), although it’s hard to see why a plain old tablet (or TV) wouldn’t be better. Harks back to the days of Bill Gates’ legendary house, with its 50,000 paintings on call, an awe-inspiring concept back in 1991 and one that required Gates to buy up digital rights and picture libraries of great swathes of imagery. The end result wasn’t an art wall in every home, but Corbis Images (tumblr), a giant but now rather traditional picture library. The idea of piping art into the home is frequently smothered by good intentions. There’s also Artkick – ‘Spotify for digital art‘ – fundamentally the same as the E01 except it uses your television, with a subscription model to get rid of ads and boost access to more ‘premium’ content (pitching us straight into judgement calls about which art is worth more when it’s all reduced to pixels). Ironically, the predicted spin-offs from Gates’ initial vision of high quality screens in the home have all come to pass; it’s the original idea that still hasn’t found traction. (above, Untitled 371, Ditty Ketting, 2012)

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Materials of the artist, a beautiful set / we are absolutely loving Monument Valley / the Black Desert House / a planner comes clean / Titanic size comparison. Related, Allure of the Seas in Google Street View (via MeFi) / death and mysticism, a tumblr about exactly that / the man who bought the first book on Amazon / planing wood into thin slivers, a time lapse video. Like storms on Jupiter.

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Beats, bolts and blogs

Ken Butler’s Hybrid Visions: the guitar as art. Butler’s music on soundcloud. Works well with the spooky desert rock linked earlier / today’s music recommendation thread: heavy, fast instrumental music and the worst songs ever / ridiculous to the sublime, a lovely video for the Savages’ Marshall Dear / we love Korg’s trio of compact analogue music machines, the Volca Keys, Volca Bass and Volca Beats / a triumverate of political pop culture sites: ….and what will be left of them?, a blog about the 70s; up close and personal, a blog about the 90s; faces on posters too many choices, a blog about the 80s / alien fiction, writing on ‘Video Game Ballardianism’ and other subjects / delicious wafer Airfix model.

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