Atoms for space

Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives / film and more at Slightly Intrepid / Dreams of Space, regularly visited / related, the Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness. More marvellous space things at Atomic Rockets and at False Steps, ‘the space race as it might have been’ / Go-Karts for the modern age / paintings by Tim Kennedy / geometric gifs by Ross McCampbell / What’s Next for the Car / ‘Freaks on the peaks‘: the lonely lives of the last remaining forest fire lookouts. Strangely doesn’t mention Firewatch / The Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace (via MeFi). See also things13 / Patrik Schumacher looks on the bright side of Brexit. The comments are enlightening / via world-architects / old book covers at Toekneesan’s flickr page.

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Raise the roof higher

A tranche of new music curated at Bandcamp Daily / women in publishing, at Motherland, ‘an online destination for women who happen to be mums’ / Peter Garritano’s series Hajwalah looks at drifting culture in the Middle East. See also the fascinating book Joyriding in Riyadh (via Wired) / more W: House Raising, photography of storm preparations by Ira Wagner / Stéphane Goin’s photographs of the American road trip / paintings by Zsofia Schweger have something of the low-res early 3D game about them (at the incomparable It’s Nice That) / Scorched Ear, music and UFOs / nature’s imitators / a list of unexplained sounds. You can listen too / the Doig verdict is not unsurprising. Previously / explained sounds courtesy of the pedal wizards at Henretta Engineering / music and nostalgia, repackaging the past with Touch & Go / my God, it’s full of stars.

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Art and photographs

Harvard Art Museums makes available a large searchable Bauhaus archive / Get in the Sea / Tom Gauld’s Jetpack, a great tumblr / yet more visual insights into Historic London / another look at Henry Ford’s failed jungle utopia, Fordlandia / A Moveable Beast, Helge Skodvin’s images from the ‘Natural History Collections in Bergen, Norway, [which] are undergoing a major restoration’. We also like Skodvin’s 240, a celebration of a venerable Volvo / photographic projects by Francisco Reina / art by Joanne Hummel-Newell / This is Frank Lloyd Wright / photographs by Henry Leutwyler.

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Borrowed and Billowing

X-ray images by Xavier Lucchesi / still life photography by Andrew B.Myers / Paging Adam Curtis – ‘Nooscope mystery: The strange device of Putin’s new man Anton Vaino’ / the rise of ‘Borrowing Clubs‘ / parenting styles distilled, a review of The Gardener and the Carpenter by Alison Gopnik / the works of science fiction author Ted Chiang / Instagram profiles reveal user depression in new machine learning study (via DP Review) / a collection of cutaways / design concept for London housing by Matt Lucraft / the architecture of London’s Olympicopolis Arts Quarter – would B-OS have been a better choice (giving London the art-centric megastructure it’s hankered after since the 70s) / the Voynich is coming to facsimile. More at MeFi: 2003, 2014 / collections by Dina Kelberman / a fascinating exploration of the modern fascination with ‘field guides’, how we’re all cultural explorers and collectors now: Cloud and Field / see also An Ode to Clouds (via Kottke) / Milton Glaser analyses Olympic logo design through the ages (via Medium).

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Since you’ve been all mapped out

Superb Popbitch article about the influence and importance of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ 2003 song ‘Maps‘, tracing it through its sampled life with both the Black Eyed Peas and Beyoncé, as well as the track’s inspiration for a peerless and hugely influential piece of pop-rock, Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone (check the middle 8s), an early triumph for Max Martin and a template-setter for the decade.

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Cloak and dagger

A collection of superb images of 1970s Britain. Via the comments: Southsea in 1983 / Thomas Mann house by midcentury great J.R. Davidson: L.A.’s next big teardown? / Welcome to Camp Midlife Crisis. Baldwin in the woods, finding himself / the work of Will Holmes, designer and typographer / 120 years of the men’s 100m sprint final, animated / travels by Land-Rover / architecture in the arctic by Steve King / faking a new Bugatti. See also the Blackbird / All Vinyl Apocalypse, the albums you missed (via Projects, by Philip Random) / the Socialist Modernism map / ceramics by Shio Kusaka / a fine dissection of Jaws.

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Old things revisited

Don’t Parade in My Rain, the art of the TV guide (via MeFi) / making random maps / contemporary embroidery by Sarah K Benning / Wallpaper magazine’s Artist’s Palate / Ghosts of Olympics past, overgrown stadia, etc / why bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists / this summer’s Serpentine ‘Summer Houses’ are all for sale via TMH: Barkow Leibinger; Yona Friedman; Kunlé Adeyemi and Asif Khan / contemporary woodcuts by Max-Karl Winkler / Art for All, ‘the Colour Woodcut in Vienna around 1900’ / Fiat 126, from Italy to Poland (via Coudal) / Ferrets can be gods, the work of Saki (via MeFi) / buy the entire Leica Family Tree (via DesignTaxi) / art by Mårten Lange / hugely comprehensive examination of filming locations for The Italian Job on the Grand Saint Bernard Pass and in London. Just one of a long list of film locations on the site with a big focus on the Bond series / McMansion Hellwhat makes a McMansion bad?. Bang on the money (via MeFi, which we have borrowed from copiously today).

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Colour me beautiful

Automated Photographic Colorising / Prisma, create art from photos / The Classical Organ in Britain, 1955-1974, at Found Objects / this stuff is always fun: 70s interiors rendered in vivid colour / the rise of the AirBnB-startup visual aesthetic (via MeFi) / sort of related, Branding and Brexit, or tracking political affiliation through brand preference / porcelain sculptures by Ignacio Canales Aracil / GM’s EV1 / the diaries of L’Obscurier / ZZ Top Reveals Meaning Behind Classic Song ‘Legs’ / James Turrell’s Irish Sky Garden at the Lissard Estate / Artist Accused of Disowning a Painting Testifies. More on the bizarre Doig case / arts and more at We Find Wildness.

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Hold Zara Responsible for Art Theft / beautiful architectural photography and drone imagery by Dimitar Karanikolov / thanks for the tip, The London Parchment / the City of London Picture Map / Laurence Jones paints Modernism by night / the art installation as journey: 7 places of modern pilgrimage. Although the list includes Michael Heizer’s City, still very much out of bounds although ‘basically finished’.

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Surveying the past

Diamond Geezer does its annual blogroll review, from which we glean that a) blogs are (probably) dying a long, slow death, and b) blogs are still really good places to read and discover new things, places, people and just stuff in general. The self-publishing revolution happened, peaked, evaporated and almost completely disappeared. But what’s left is still worth your time. Examples: Plenty of Taste, The Charlton Champion, Dig Your Fins, and more to come / The 1980s Survey Mixes, as seen through the lens of Fluxblog, ‘the original mp3 blog’ (via MeFi) / Sonic Youth, live in Germany 1996 / Inside the Void (via RPS) / the Chinese Straddling Bus / which doesn’t qualify for the saddest Kickstarter projects on Earth.

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Strange days

British Artists in Europe, an online gallery / Can mythbusters like keep up in a post-truth era? We’re getting a little tired of newspaper headlines with question marks, to be honest / the cycle of nostaglia gets a little tighter with each revolution: Ode to the iPod Classic / UFO chasing, still more fun to observe than to participate in / pictures of abandoned UK railways / sort of related, flickr collections on urban exploration / a restored modernist gem in Hayling Island / build the Lego Land-Rover / Lego Women of NASA / mathematics and car-parking / Unexplained Events, a tumblr / related, music by SURVIVE, who soundtrack Stranger Things / “Mea Culpa”, die-oramas by Abigail Goldman / virtual oil paint, a project by Nvidia / scans of 90s indie bible Select Magazine.

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Throwing itself under the [Micro]bus

The psychology of the VW emissions scandal laid bare (via MeFi), a decade-long deception that stems, in part, from VW’s stubborn desire to give the US market what it thought it needed as opposed to what it so clearly wanted – the ‘stillborn’ 2001 Microbus concept in particular. Going even further back, perhaps VW’s German masters never quite got over the very slightly patronising (although clearly self-deprecating attitudes) that made the 1960s Beetle campaign so important? Those now-legendary ads positioned VW as a tiny, plucky underdog up against American industrial might (and scale). Presumably at some point this narrative started to rub the engineers and executives in Wolfsburg up the wrong way.


Bunker Research, ‘the hidden history of modernism in the mountains’ by Max Leonard and Camille McMillan / computer generated art and physical installations by Jonathan Monaghan, via POSTmatter, an online publication dedicated to the intersection of the real and virtual / Zadie Smith on Brexit / some music: Unknown Rains, by Prurient / Lift Off Delay, by Cicada Verse / Wovoka Gentle / In celebration of the 1980s 12″ remix – a lot of excellent links there to sift through and listen to.

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Sitting in a tin can

Atomic: Living In Dread And Promise is a documentary about the nuclear age. You can watch it here, for now, but capture some of the menace and dread with Mogwai’s soundtrack / 67 Years of Lego Sets, an analysis / An Exhibition of Japanese Portable Record Players, put the niche on the record / sort of related, My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection / Just Like Heaven, what happens after we die? A few points about belief / inside Ryde’s Royal York Hotel. And Pondwell Holiday Camp / support the recent travails of one of our favourite tumblrs, FYB / this interview with Apollo 15 Astronaut Al Worde includes Stephen Biesty’s epic Saturn V cutaway art and some superb photographs before it soars unexpectedly into The Spaceships of Ezekiel territory and the paranormal interests of returning astronauts.

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In search of lost time

A Split-Screen Tour of Los Angeles, Seventy Years Ago and Today (via Coudal) / an analysis of the art, design and story of Kentucky Route Zero, a new episode of which was released this week /Meet Graham, artist Patricia Piccinini‘s unsettling vision of a human ‘evolved’ to survive car crashes and impacts. It’s all about the neck / it’s a bed on a mountain: Null Stern’s ‘hotel’ on a mountainside / a collection of contemporary beach houses / the lost Media Wiki, worth a regular revisit / Tokyo Houses photographed by Jeremie Souteyrat / ‘I will design a cover for every single book on the list‘: the Bowie Book Club, a new project by Daniel Benneworth-Gray.

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Falling down

Studio OBA’sPrenuptial Housing‘, ‘[an architectural] solution for the increasing number of marriages that end up in divorce… When couples feel they are drifting apart, the house initiates a ‘break up’, by detaching the two units which then go solo on the water.’ / a different kind of break-up: Demolition Day, ‘a collection of controlled explosions, blasts, kabooms, and crashes’ in the Atlantic’s Photo Portfolios / the very first Bramley Apple Tree is dying. More apple-related information in this earlier post / music from Third Island / ‘The graveyard of the Earth’: inside City 40, Russia’s deadly nuclear secret / eMoov’s National Property Price Rail Map, a graphic illustration of the UK’s hotspots / should I keep my old journals?

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Hoarding ideas

A City of Dust, the history of London through photography / The Legs of New York (via Kottke) / Relics of the Soviet Era / paintings by Soren Amsnaes / the web presence of the eternal Momus / Inside the life of a hoarder: trauma, loneliness and the secret power of Things / illustrations by Steve Lambert / the secret, library-based apartments of New York / Mametz Woods, still scarred by the Somme / Ladies by Ladies, images of women by women artists. Often nsfw.


The nostalgia industry: ‘I Miss My CDs.’ We sympathise: ‘…my music collection is a lawless (but not lossless) mess—a digital diaspora of streaming tracks; ripped MP3s; Bush/Cheney-era eMusic files; Bandcamp purchases; SoundCloud likes; and iTunes downloads in ancient file formats that now read like dating-site acronyms’ / the ups and downs of life as a celebrity lookalike / Wikipedia’s Global Catastrophic Risk page makes for depressing reading / widebody heaven, My Lovely Cars / Violet Club, the nuclear bomb that could never have worked / London Concrete Utopias, lost then found again.

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Paintings, real and imagined

Art and forgery: Peter Doig is accused of painting something he said he didn’t (via MeFi), while Lee Ufan says a series of known fakes are actually his / on the evolution of Chuck Close / Finally, the public art revival in Nantes, France.

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Friday thoughts

Vimeo’s Experimental, remixes and supercuts page is worth keeping an eye on / Space Dashboard: massive data dump from multiple sources and sensors on Earth and beyond / Unpleasant design and hostile urban architecture, or building benches that people don’t want to linger on / ‘It is hard to recall how insular and grim mainstream British architecture was in the 1980s‘. Owen Hatherley on the false dawn of cafe culture society. ‘What Rogers and his ilk missed was that Europe was becoming more like England, privatising and paring back its public commitments.’


Creepy gifs by Bill Domonkos / Flow of London, art in the streets / The Institute of Isolation is an art film by Lucy McRae about the challenges to human biology created by space travel / tiny house in the (American) woods / tiny house on the Essex coast / Big Black live, 1986.


Two related things: Helsinki wants to eliminate car ownership by 2025 and hyperloop considers a Helsinki-Stockholm track / also related, Calgary versus the car: the city that declared war on urban sprawl / why move to Canada? Or not / totally unrelated, the Black Forest Tragedy, a story of incompetence, Nazi propaganda, lasting grief and the importance of human kindness.

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All work and no play

All Work and No Play, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin uncover the lengths Kubrick went to during production of The Shining: ‘Never one to stint on artistic integrity and veracity, Kubrick used no shortcuts for the relatively simple scene… instead of having the sentence typed on only the few sheets seen by viewers, the director asked his secretary Margaret Warrington to type it on each one of the 500-odd sheets in the stack. What’s more, he also had Warrington type up an equivalent number of manuscript pages in four languages—French, German, Italian, Spanish—for foreign releases of the film.’ See the link for the translations.

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Models, power and soft-focus

The Chromologist, a website about colour / Look away now, photographs of the views from famous landmarks by Oliver Curtis / Stuff from the Loft, a website about the process of design, including interviews with politically-charged admen like Sidney Myers / Wikipedia’s Timeline of the Far Future / The Ontology of the Fashion Model, the origins of mannequins, real and static, and how they are perceived: ‘All these features combine to make the fashion model something a little less than human: mechanical or doll-like in her smooth performance, her body is always svelte, her step rhythmic and her movement gliding, qualities that, again, contribute to her slightly unnatural, even uncanny appearance.’


Design and simplicity at Maluruhukou, a tumblr / photography by Jim Lee, including work from the heady era of 70s soft-focus (includes, naturally, 70s soft focus nudity) / The Spaces suggests a clutch of Modernist realtors / related, tmh currently has two of the UK’s most significant modern houses on its books: St. Ann’s Court by Raymond McGrath and Amyas Connell’s Pollard / a review of Up in Smoke: The Failed Dreams of Battersea Power Station, by Peter Watt, author of the Great Wen, a London-centric blog (‘Brockwell Park … the location of the country’s first One O’Clock Club in 1964, created after an LCC employee was horrified to discover “ten howling babies in their prams abandoned outside Brockwell Park’s playground”, left there by older children who were meant to by looking after their siblings and were instead using the facilities for their own fun’). Related, our now outdated post about the Power Station saga from 2011.

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