Off the beaten track

Some more eccentric residences. The Coral Castle in Florida, beloved of conspiracy theorists. The surrealist folk-art masterpiece, Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval à Hauterives, in France. Las Pozas, Mexico, a sculpture garden by Edward James. Bishop Castle, in Colorado, created by ‘a tough-talking man with strong, extreme beliefs, [which he] sometimes expresses bluntly and loudly’. And our long-time obsession, City, by Michael Heizer (which will surely attract more conspiracy theories than all the others put together if it ever gets finished and opened. And finally, and sort of related, the finalists in the Shed of the Year Competition, 2018.

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Centuries of Sound tackles 1905 (via b3ta, which also links these beautiful animations by Andreas Wannerstedt) / The Sands of Voltark, an exploration game (via RPS) / Your Favorite Fictional Universes in Pen and Paper (via Angie’s List) / Scenes from an imperfect world, Rick Poynor on the editorial work of Don McCullin at Eye Magazine / The Pudding, which ‘explains ideas debated in culture with visual essays’, has an epic study of the gendered difference in pocket design. See also their analysis of film dialogue and on crowdsourcing the definition of ‘punk’ / All Hail the Monumental Horror Image. We hadn’t seen Unedited Footage of a Bear before. Sort of related, bipedal robot with quadcopter head / illustrations by Maggie Enterrios / ‘Of Rainbows and Other Monuments‘, illustration by Clemens Ascher at Design Milk / 8-bit musical creativity (via K). Related, 8-bit keys, demonstrating and repairing the iconic and obscure 80s era musical instruments / Cope, the website of James Wallis. Dormant for a while / The immigrants who built Australia’s ‘fairytale’ castles, including Fairy Park and Paronella Park / Modernist Estates asks Do you live in New Ash Green? There is a vaguely Scarfolk-y promo for the development, A Village on the Hill / for sale, the scientific library of Erwin Tomash / a wooden puzzle cabinet (via Gizmodo) / The 36-Hour War: Life Magazine, 1945, at Restricted Data, the ‘nuclear secrecy blog’. See also In Search of a Bigger Boom, via MeFi.

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In orbit

The Shape of Space, ‘what the orbital space habitats designed for NASA in 1975 can teach us about living in new geometries.’ A look at curved space, visible horizons and living in the upside down / ABODE, by photographer Jens Weber, a study of Günther Eckert’s accommodation at the 1972 Munich Olympic Village, turned into student housing in 2009 by Knerer und Lang. See also A Room of One’s Own, a photographic essay by Natalie Payne / maps by Mike Hall / ‘All of the parties are agreed that a snowball certainly is not a biscuit.’ Thomas Tunnock Ltd v Revenue & Customs (via MeFi) / an experiment in living with the ‘Instagram Face‘. From the article, ‘another poll in 2013 found that 30% of every picture taken by 18 to 24-year-olds was a selfie.’ / Italy’s crumbling infrastructure under scrutiny after bridge collapse. Related, the Sack of Palermo, and how the mafia battlefield became a cultural capital.

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Gaming the system

The Dizzying Grandeur of 21st-Century Agriculture, epic and depressing / a full(ish) review of Issue #1 of The Beano, 1938, at The Slipper. Sent us back to these surveys of the more problematic bits of Just William, including the infamous ‘Nasties‘ story / Tape Tapping by the Open Reel Ensemble (via B3ta) / we love projects like Insta Repeat (via Kottke) / Fugue in Void, a walking simulator around a mystical Brutalist environment – trailer (via RPS) / Pierre Menard’s The Asteroids, a hand-drawn game (via Projects).

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Space Brutalism

Martian concrete: Four of the entrants into NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, hosted at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center YouTube page: Team Kahn Yates; Team Northwestern University; Team SEArch+/Apis Cor; Team Zopherous / My First Pritzker, Ombu Architecture / wasn’t this solution to the ‘mystery’ of the Bermuda Triangle first mooted decades ago? Spoiler, it involves ‘rogue waves’ / speaking of old stories from the deep, Robin Brown’s 1981 Megalodon (more and more) is the book we thought the movie was based on, an airport read swimming on the tails of Jaws. But no, turns out it was a book written with a movie in mind instead (via MeFi) / Song Exploder tackles the arpeggios of Stranger Things theme / related, a list of ultra in-depth single subject media podcasts / I’m Good I’m Gone, music and more.

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Lens flare

An official and objective ranking of London’s 14 major rail terminals. The redevelopment of the ‘number one station’ involved the demolition of the old, idiosyncratic Britain at War Museum / someone is doing a fine job of preserving many largely unseen nuclear test videos: the LLNL Atmospheric Nuclear Tests playlist (via kottke) / Nippon Wandering, a playlist of 4k walks around Japan / Girl Talk in a Box, ‘control your favourite song’. Slow Billie Jean down 75% and it sounds like Massive Attack. If someone could add some Pro Tools magic please / music and more at Mystic Sons / a List of directly imaged exoplanets / digital H20 part 2: Water Rendering in Super Mario Sunshine and Beyond.

Sort of related, Minecraft and Me, a rumination on the familiar, unfamiliar, and comforting value of virtual spaces. By Will Wiles. See also his re-review of Wolfe’s From Bauhaus to our House. Wiles also references Heterotopias, ‘a digital zine and website, hosting studies and visual essays that dissect spaces of play, exploration, violence and ideology’ (twitter). With the prevalence of ‘photo modes’ in open world games, virtual sightseeing is increasingly chronicled: The Last of Us; Josh Taylor Creative; Virtual Geographic; Xenophotography; the art of in-game photography; the Video Game Tourism Flickr Group. Lots of alien planets, shiny cars and armoured warriors, but also some genuinely odd moments and views. From the article:

Minecraft palpably draws on the idea of the sublime, tilting its mountainous and arctic landscapes towards awe and spectacle rather than naturalism and geological authenticity. The game’s inner procedures are remarkably adept at turning out extreme environments: fanged mountain ranges, sheer cliffs, vertiginous waterfalls, impenetrable forests, yawning caves, terrifying rifts. Much of the game involves digging and tunneling, so the subterranean world is almost as enthralling, filled with abandoned mines, vast lava-lit chasms, grim dungeons, and caves upon caves upon caves. One of the player’s frequent sensations is the frisson that comes when you break into a hitherto hidden cavern, which in turn can lead to a far-reaching network of monster-infested pits. That sensation is sublimity.

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On the beach

Abandoned Russia, complete with links to Google map locations / see also this trip to an abandoned submarine base in Broutona Bay, in the Kiril Islands / manufactured cats at Aaronland / woodcuts by Michael Renton / could it really be that 2014 was seen as the Year of Outrage? What does that make 2018? / The Great Tariff Boat Race, tracking cargo in the face of change, at Edible Geography / What’s next for Zaha Hadid Architects? / Magic Leap makes the jump into actual product / Beach, a set of paintings by Philip Barlow.

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Watch and listen

Art and music. Where have all the music blogs gone? From the comments, and elsewhere: Various Small Flames; Aquarium Drunkard; the currently dormant Ants in my Trance; songs for the day; mixes at Musicophilia; Mystic Sons / The Oldest Building in Every US State / Camille Seaman’s photographs accompany the essay ‘The Ice Patrol‘ at Topic Magazine / still going strong, Turps Banana, a magazine about modern painters / art and illustrations aggregated at Faith is Torment / paintings by Kenne Gregoire / paintings by Jessalyn Brooks.

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Love for life

Like Punk Never Happened, Brian McCloskey’s Smash Hits archive (via this Guardian piece on How we made Smash Hits. See also (or compare and contrast with) the Archived Music Press site (currently five years dormant) / The Creepy Things, a tumblr that is indeed creepy and often a bit unpleasant / a mix of the last two links: Kids react to Swans / McMansion Hell, special US politics summer edition. More McMansion Hell / state-run concrete hotels on the Adriatic coast / Solent fort for sale / tunnel installation by MAD Architects (at designboom).

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Please enjoy your day on this planet

Starring the Computer, a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. The IBM AN/FSQ-7, a key component of the USAF Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE). With its many panels of flashing lights and general air of futurism, the AN/FSQ-7 went on to act as a significant prop in numerous sci-fi films, becoming visual shorthand for an all-powerful supercomputer or simply set dressing for a villain’s lair / see also the Internet Movie Cars Database, the Movie Locations Guide and the Computer History Museum, as well as Bonhams’ upcoming sale of Instruments of Science and Technology.

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Beside the seaside

Flooded Modernity”, an installation by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen at Domus / Eight Logos for Trump’s Space Force, including ‘proposals’ from Milton Glaser and others / paintings by Francis Sills / an amazing sequence from Milos Forman’s 1971 film Taking Off.

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Say cheese

The London Society presents a selection of favourite London blogs / work by printmaker Alex Booker / the story of the Elcar, better known as the Zagato Zele (the latter link is to the great Small Cars Club) / a combined art gallery and classic car collection in Brazil / the face behind a stock images portrait. Always read the small print / a collection of Soviet spy cameras.

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The view from here

A trip to East Croydon, via Bern (Part Two), a journey to explore housing prototypes at Modernist Estates / a new genre of documentary films are using the almost infinite repository of YouTube films to craft stories with a strong first person narrative: YouTube ‘found footage’ docs: urban legends in their own words / photography by Samuel Zeller / concept art by Gaelle Seguillon / All the Things Satellites Can Now See From Space.

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Sparks of joy

The evolution of water rendering in video games, via Gamasutra, via MeFi, a video in Digital Foundry’s impressive retro series / sort of related, how modern cars might have looked had they been designed in the past / the Globe-Union Maxima, how electric cars used to look / Maps of the spread of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions (at K) / expansive sound worlds by Morgen Wurde / a short history of curry / painting by Hiroshi Sato (via Creative Boom) / Shape of the World, a game to get lost in (via RPS).

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Peckham Heroes, four short films about making a living in modern Peckham / Colouring in Culture, a blog by Stephen Pritchard on ‘art, activism and politics in the place where we live’. Best read in conjunction with Development Aesthetics / Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine – Part 1: Obsession for the 60th Anniversary of the Fender Jazzmaster / Gibraltar Viewpoint / Bloated Motors, a project by INK, at designboom.

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One after the other

Some great animations of China’s mega machines, including the SLJ900 bridge building machine / Club Palace, a geometric wonderland at Nowness / Print! Tearing It Up, an exhibition about contemporary print design at Somerset House / Government admits rabies poster gaffe, in which Scarfolk Council (currently taking a break from important propaganda duties) finds itself at the forefront of government information design / Development Aesthetics, a soul-crushing trudge through the billboard-friendly images of prosperity swathing London’s latest crop of housing outrages / sort of related, Can Economists and Humanists Ever Be Friends? by John Lanchester / She was a wingwalker… / Super Depressed Comic / Doug Coupland on Oxy.

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Breaking out

Birmingham then and now / Parabold, photographs by Stefan Bleihauer / Destination Modernism / video game art styles continue to impress: Sable (via the newly refreshed RPS) / sort of related, what happened next to No Man’s Sky / Film and Furniture / vintage advertising gems at the File Photo Digital Archive / Extremely high-res outtakes from Apollo 11’s 1969 moon landing at quartz. See also Kottke’s lovingly assembled Live TV coverage of the Apollo 11 landing and Moon walk / Our homes don’t need formal spaces at Curbed.

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Ashes to ashes

The Decline of Snapchat and the Secret Joy of Internet Ghost Towns (via Laura Olin’s List). Related, the Last Days of Club Penguin and Exploring The Digital Ruins Of ‘Second Life’ / there are 487 electric car manufacturers in China / composer Lawrence English makes epic and atmospheric ambient and industrial soundscapes. Recommended.

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On other worlds

On the FT’s infamous How to Spend It: “Compared with the truly fashionable, who are often less well-off, and have acquired their edge by having to choose between products,” says a prominent British writer on class and style, “seriously rich people are often ever so slightly behind the beat.” The How to Spent It site / some psychedelic folky music from Cobalt Chapel / big moody sci-fi landscapes by Simon Stålenhag / Fender have launched a parallel universe collection of slightly awkward mash-ups of their iconic guitar ranges. The Dark Timeline Edition, perhaps / more alternate realities: Rendering Trends: Decoding Tired Tropes of Flashy Architectural Graphics at Web Urbanist, which also links to these renderings of Memphis seen as a comic book (via MeFi) / also via MeFi, a subreddit dedicated to abandoned and forgotten architectural proposals for Paris.

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States of mind

Community Plumbing, ‘How the hardware store orders things, neighborhoods, and material worlds’ / Some reflections on my roadtrip across the western United States / The Disco Files: 1973-78, New York’s Underground Week by Week By Vince Aletti. See also Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco / Show me lovely things, a tumblr / albums, in all their gaudy glory / Broochgate / architectural drawings by Ben Tolman (via Notcot). More Tolman.

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