The architecture of revenge

Explore the Autobus Park No.7, ‘Kyiv’s Soviet Modernist Vehicle Graveyard’ (via Architecture of Doom) / The Design of the Roland Juno oscillators (via cdm) / related, creating the pads from Pacific State / the men who collect houses. Related, is it a house, is it a boat? Arkup / new music release strategy: bury your album on Orkney / vintage UFO sounds. Arguably not authentic / a short pictorial history of spite houses / grim Amazon landfill practices uncovered.

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Ephemeral links

Things from here and there. The Zagato Zele / The Topography of Africa, old relief maps / Norwegian sounds from Monolia / possessed pianos by Them / a model of Dawson’s Heights in South London / The ‘visual beauty’ of bricked-up windows, photographs by Andy Billman / a massive broadcast archive from the BBC: Genome / Our Little Darlings, ‘a music collective specialising in experimental pop and ambient’ / the death of the in-flight magazine / whatever happened to Eddie Munster? / some fun typefaces for 2021 / amazing timewarp house for sale / Electric Eel, a newsletter / Sex Pistols map of London / Unbore, a platform for the intersection of arts, life sciences and technology / how we made Doin’ the Do.

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S/he moves in mysterious ways

The mystery of Salvator Mundis, a question of attribution, provenance, and the careful shifting hundreds of millions of dollars around the world. Via The Guardian. There are estimated to be several billion dollars worth of art tucked away in these shadowy facilities. More reading: Inside the Luxembourg free port storing riches for the super-wealthy; Behind Closed Doors: A Look At Freeports; The Role of Freeports in the Global Art Market / other things. The Periodic Table of Factory Records / The Flood is a monumental artwork by John Simpkins commissioned by George R. Stroemple / a proper internet rabbit hole awaits: from the excellent 50 Years of Text Games newsletter, the story of 1992’s Silverwolf, a game that encompasses and epitomises the (deliberately) blurry mythos of St. Bride’s School, a quasi-mystical strand of feminism and Victorian romanticism (the RTÉ Archives are an absolute treasure trove, by the way) / the Monty Hall Problem / a tour of Charles Jenck’s Cosmic House, sonon to open as a museum / we missed this: Lucy Sparrow’s Bourdon Street Chemist / some music blogs: Gorilla vs Bear; We Love That; Obscure Sound.

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Click, clack

Another collection of disparate links. We’re long out of the Lego game, but their sets continue to be interesting. This world map looks a little intense, however. This Typewriter is fun / see also Lego bass. Not a kit / Golf Ball for sale / Photographer Updates Postcards Of 1960s Resorts Into Their Abandoned Ruins, via MeFi. Also via MeFi, the mid-century pre-fabricated home, a Flickr set / animated movie posters: Star Turnz / music by Conifold / an interview with Jason Pierce. Related, ‘A monkey could play one note. But could a stoned monkey?’ / musings on Ambergris / a new issue of Wallpaper* magazine / where is your pointer? Someone will be along to show you / J.G.Ballard takes you Towards Crash.

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Space, sliders and spheres

A collection of links that mostly speak for themselves. A Brief History Of Gasoline: A Century And A Half Of Lies, the first of a ten part series at Jalopnik that explores the toxic culture of misinformation around fossil fuels, starting with the addition – and removal – of lead / relevant to our interests: The Tactile Beauty of Buttons, Meters, Knobs and Dials, a treasure trove of links and reminiscences / similar analogue vibes: Cross-stitch synths / also related, a comprehensive post about the work of Vangelis / move over TVGoHome: What happened to the kidnapped super horse? Vanilla Ice investigates the mysterious disappearance of Shergar in 1983 / Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2021 entrants / IanVisits on London’s last remaining pedestrian railway crossing / Buying a pink NFT cat was a crypto nightmare / related, the interoperability hell of modern gadgets / the elephant in the room, just one of the Everyday Experiments exploring new applications for AR / sort of related, Echolocation, an installation by artist Mat Collishaw / the evolution of screens in cars / a new Podcast from Wallpaper* mag about objects lost and found. Related, Remembrance of things past: ’10 readers on the lost possessions they will mourn for ever’ / How Self-Replicating Spacecraft Could Take Over the Galaxy / related, all about the Bernal Sphere concept.

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Birth, school, work, death

TONTO, ‘The Original New Timbral Orchestra’, the invention of Malcolm Cecil, who died last month. Listen to Stevie’s Wonder Men for more insight into the innovation, as well as the album by Tonto’s Expanding Head Band / farewell to Ken Garland, designer, writer and educator / farewell to Eric Carle, writer, illustrator and caterpillar wrangler / Japan’s karoshi culture was a warning. We didn’t listen / Holm, ambient post-rock from Zurich / Mudhoney, live at the Fulham Greyhound, London, in March 1989 / sculptures by Matthew Simmonds / portrait painting by Isabelle Watling / generative art by Nakauchi Kiyoshi / Zombies and Ghosts, ‘In 21st-century finance capitalism, residential buildings are valued less as homes than as investment assets. The results are eerily underpopulated cities and bleak unfinished suburbs.’

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It’s a blimp, Frank

How Washington Got Hooked on Flying Saucers: ‘We must hold Team Space Poltergeist to the levels of skepticism, seriousness, and scrutiny it pretends to demand’. Instead, we heartily recommend a dose of Metabunk (via MeFi) / The Mill House, by Wingårdhs / art by Lauren Drescher / photography by Philip Butler (via Sesion de Madruga) / art by Henrik Simonsen / deliberate pareidolia: Studio Likeness / an appreciation of the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha / sort of related, Cats of Brutalism / Zosya make modern games for old computers, including this new driving game / how Japanese technology shaped dance music / see also Land of the Rising Sound, the story of Roland / the fight to save Saudi Arabia’s modernist heritage / the demolition of Kensington Town Hall in 1983, at The Library Time Machine / ‘Male Aggression Now Playing Everywhere’: a fascinating, and hugely dated, piece about Hollywood agents from 2002.

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Splashdown

This and that and everywhere else. Art by Katherine Lam / art by Beth Rodway / art by Daisy Gin1sberg / an entire Rush gig with only the unaffected guitar tone and nothing else / ThanAverage, compare and contrast. Depressing / revisiting the music of Rachel’s / Harnessing the Dystopian Dread of the Brutalist Tower Block, ‘The real-life British buildings behind J.G. Ballard’s harrowing “High-Rise.”‘ / Cinemagraphs, a subreddit / the chaos of Crossrail. Two miles to walk to contractors’ toilets; designs that ran behind the construction schedule; the wrong kind of contracts (‘The more times Crossrail asked one of the companies to re-do something the more they had to pay them’) / the current UFO flap is gathering momentum, despite being founded mostly on hearsay and a small collection of easily debunked videos. The countercultural narrative has run through UFOlogy since the earliest days. In the modern era, conspiracies feel more harmful than playful. Some good discussion here / Racism and cocktail culture: The whitewashed history of your favorite drinks / Tokyo Nude, photographic art by Rumi Ando. Safe for work / a photo-essay on British mosques / you do it to yourself: Amazon’s Ring is the largest civilian surveillance network the US has ever seen / My Teenage Band, an instagram / old piece, but fascinating insight into aristocracy, eccentricty and psychedelics / music by Condor Gruppe / there were a bunch of great bands on Wrong Speed Records.

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Happy accidents

A selection of old and new things. The Accidental Observer, an abandoned tumblr / Le Neuvième Art, another old tumblr of hard line comic illustrations / Una Vida Moderna, mid-century modern in Mexico and Detroit, a tumblr / art by Chris Turnham / Trashed: how the UK is still dumping plastic waste on the rest of the world / Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes / People Map USA, People Map UK (via Spark Edition) / calling for a flat and level Kanvas at Cartographers Without Borders / Neil’s Speed Writer, a focused writing tool / Pippin Barr’s The Nothings Suite: ‘… you get to see each game engine’s idea of what “nothing” (or at least no effort) looks like when you set out to make a game with it.’ / pixel games by Machine Screen / photography by Sean David Bradley / post-rock music project, Unknown Replica / Erik Kessels’ excellent ‘In almost every picture‘ series continues / Sierra Nevada Airstreams, old school RV stories.

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Where did you see it last?

One of the first analogies we ever had for ‘things’ was a website like a filing cabinet, a place into which stuff could be placed for later retrieval. Today, even our archives need archives (thank you to the kind people, usually PRs, who pop up every now and again and request that we change a broken URL from 2011. Even if we knew how to do this, broken URLs serve as empty manila folders in the filing cabinet; tantalising but infuriating). Writer Craig Robertson’s piece on The Filing Cabinet for Places Journal delves into the history of organising information, a task that swiftly threatens to overwhelm every collective endeavour unless it is snapped into place with logic and consistency at an early stage.

Robertson traces the gendered advertising of early filing cabinets, and how the object came to represent bureaucratic stasis: “Today a cabinet jam-packed with files symbolizes the particular anxiety that is provoked by our awareness that paper records can create an alternative paper-based reality to which officials reflexively defer.” (shades of Douglas Adams: “It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”). The piece also delves into the evolution of the ‘desktop metaphor’ in computer interfaces, of which the original filing cabinet was an integral part. His chance discovery of a ‘Mr Google’ from 1921 is also worth a mention. Closely related, ‘The Memex Method: When your commonplace book is a public database’. Cory Doctorow on writing, being online, writing online and how blogs function as a weird in-between space between thought and finished work. Both pieces are well worth a read if, like us, you struggle with the often contradictory values of ‘file and forget’ and ‘write down to remember’.

Some other things. Paintings by Francine Hsu Davis / When Cell Phone Towers Cosplay as Trees, photographs by Annette LeMay Burke, via tmn, which also links to Which country’s Emergency Alert System siren is the most alarming? / a deep dive into a painting by Alice Neel / the ‘opaque industry’ of superyacht design, construction and ownership. Perhaps Bellingcat could look into the fleet allegedly belonging to one Mr Putin, but helpfully ‘owned’ by a bunch of his friends. Related, the story of the vintage yacht Nahlin, now owned by James Dyson. Big boats are shuffled around a very small pool of very rich people / a bit of tech-driven juvenalia, What Three Rude Words? See also Four Kings Maps / upcoming post-rock project by Held by Trees / Behind Closed Doors, a YouTube channel about usually inaccessible architecture presented by Tarek Merlin (via Wallpaper*). Urban exploration with an invitation.

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Deep dive

A selection of things. Cursed Render, a tumblr / art at the near-sighted monkey / tips and tricks for Field Recordings / Water Geomaids, synchronised swimming photography by Brad Walls / drone sounds by Gjør Styggedom / instrumental post rock by LITE from Japan / Red Light Skyscraper, post-rock from Siena, Italy / FORT, ‘cinematic instrumental post-rock’ from Wales / Art that accidentally predicted the future / 8 Popular Shows Recreated in LEGO (the original headline is classic SEO bait) / The dark future for the world’s greatest violin-makers / paintings by Steven Platt / paintings by Teagan White / track Sharks!

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Icy wastes

If Any Living Inuk Knew, ‘Louie Kamookak has been on a 40-year quest to solve the Franklin mystery—for himself and for his people’ / related: Building Terror, ‘Scratch building a 1:48 scale model of HMS Terror’ / Wired has called it: An obituary for the internal combustion engine. Perhaps a trifle early, but when it comes it won’t be unexpected. Sort of related, The world’s most beautiful gas stations / writers recall their worst pitches / the Guardian recalls its worst mistakes / power pop by Ryan Flynn / saturated portraits by Miles Aldridge / photographs by Patrick Joust / low poly animals. A good band name / Paperback Paradise.

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Exhibitionists

Gabriela Galimberti’s book The Ameriguns (Dewi Lewis) is a bit like Things Organized Neatly but for _ _ _ _ (fill in the blank accordingly) / let’s not put an X-Wing in the Smithsonian / more non-science: fuses or magic beans? You can pay nearly $3000 for a fuse. At some level, audiophilia seems like an intellectual exercise on a par with the flat earth movement. It’s a Mexican standoff where no-one quite knows who is bluffing and who believes / colour in architecture / cars are stupid / Antii Lovag house model / six difficult screenplay endings. Includes spoilers…

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Belief systems

Things from here and there. Could be better edited. Old blog archaeology with Telstar Logistics / the people of Hackney, photographed by Jenny Lewis / England’s 20th Century coastal communities seen from above / Metabunk.org does a very fine job of explaining those ‘mysterious’ UFO videos that have been showing up lately (via MeFi) / sort of related, Snopes or Nopes / Akiyoshi Kitosha’s illusion pages / Polar classification scheme sheds light on bold expeditions that never were. How to have a terrible time, officially / the analogue focus edition, on searching for distraction-free writing techniques. All this back and forth with dumb terminals and blocked wifi is usually a welcome excuse from actually getting on with something. Creatives will distract themselves with technology whenever possible / The Loving Dread, a tumblr / a useful NFT definition / the depressing annual Top 10 C20 Society Buildings at Risk List 2021 / risk is distant memory for many of the places visited by Greg Abandoned / Wired up Wrong, a comic by Rachael Smith / Synths and Wood make elegant retro stands for modern audio gear / failed auto start-ups, a small selection / impressive insight into James Turrell’s Roden Crater project / “We See from Where We Stand“, ‘a survey of artworks created in prison is informed by debates about the systemic inequities of the American criminal justice system, from the cops to the courts to the penitentiary cages’ / video game weapons reimagined as Nerf guns / Jonathan Meades, ‘One of the foremost prose stylists of his age…. Visit the Meades Shrine.

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Brmmm, brmmm

A selection of things / aerial photography by Klaus Leidorf / photography by Matthieu Salvaing / a Russian pet cemetery / Debbie Harry on The Muppets (via Kottke) / architectural photography by Mårten Lange / art by Katie Trick / Deepfake satellite imagery poses a not-so-distant threat, warn geographers / Problematic Ships, a tumblr / Fifehead revisited: my ride through north Dorset’s mysterious past, includes an exploration of the lost Fifehead House, one of the 2,000 properties catalogued at Lost Heritage / not lost, a barn made of glass / tracing the origins of a fabled comedy routine, what the papers say / speakers up for an endless techno session / art by Heather Ihn Martin / a collection of weird fiction podcasts / Colour Memories, an exhibition about architectural polychromy at the Museum of Architecture / How to die well, Andrea Ucini / now that’s a beach house / why is this interesting? What will happen to automotive sound?

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Slow week

It’s been a slow week. Enjoy Nick Cave’s egg cup / Ian’s revolutionary shoelace knot / the sounds of Heretical Sect / the What makes this song great? series / Keep your distance, pandemic photographs by Matthew Chattle (via BBC News) / watch Sisters with Transistors, out today / read two fascinating MeFi posts: Text Adventures: Past, Semiconditionally Modified Past, and Present and Unearthing the Forgotten Design History of the Recent Past / at home with designer David McKendrick / How Many Plants? Caring for the current influx of indoor greenery / have wargaming fun with the Missile Strategy Computer.

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Mondays

A collection of things from here and there / a collection of the best fashion podcasts / best humour podcasts / buy Cave Things (via Vogue) / Aphantasia: The People Without a Mind’s Eye, a film by Wired UK / the Grand Hotel, Dubrovnik / Estate agent’s hi-tech house tour exposes personal data / “When will we see good design as a NFT?”. Isn’t ‘bad design’ inherent to an NFT? What would ‘good design’ even look like? Sort of related, Genius Loci, ‘a grand tour of video game landscapes and gardens’. An intriguing-looking monograph to support / the Nicholas Hawksmoor map of London / Ghostly Noises, a tumblr / a new album by New Dark Age / a post in praise of TE’s OP-1, now ten years old.

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Tricky second issue

This and that. Issue 02 of The Modern House Magazine is available / drawings and paintings by Jake Grewal / taxidermy-inspired art by Polly Morgan / prints by Cicely Englefield. See also / the Wood Society of the Arts / art by Sophie Smallhorn / decaying car vignettes by Joe Kanno / pixel art by Gutty Kreum / Big Muff, a throwback fanzine from the early 90s placed online in its entirety, including the free flexis and tapes / abandon hope all ye who enter: the map of Reddit / The Vault of the Atomic Age, a tumblr / illustration by Peter Greenwood / epic post rock by Oreana / there’s a lot to unpack here: the CIA report on Astral Projection. Related, The Twilight Zone / Brian Sewell soundboard / Short Trip, a game by Alexander Perrin from a while back / Lego Las Vegas, a cancelled set following a mass shooting / The rise and fall of Canary Wharf / a short history of the Travelers Cheque / Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities.

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Quirky follies and spooky geology

The Obelisk aka Conolly’s Folly, which still exists / Wendy Carlos demonstrates her Moog Synthesizer in 1970. A pretty comprehensive explanation of synthesis for the layperson / beautiful ceramic urns by artist John Booth / ambient soundscapes and new electronica at the Rural Colours label / farewell to Robert Opron, one of the greatest car designers. Who knows what he would have come up with had his career been peaking now, instead of back in the 70s. The Simca Fulgur, his 1958 projection of the world of 2000. Related, ‘City drivers ‘should think twice’ before buying SUVs‘: ‘Annual emissions from SUVs rose to more than 700 megatonnes of CO2, and if SUV drivers were a country, they would be the seventh in the world for carbon emissions’ / the legends and science of bottomless pits. Enjoyed this 1973 diversion to Lake Dulyn in Snowdonia. At the Spooky Geology site (via MeFi) / maps by Mike Hall / End of the Road Guitars, the ultimate in distressed designs (via MusicRadar) / a distressed house / the unexpected pain of letting machines do our remembering: I Called Off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget (via MeFi). Turns out that curating your memories is work / the road to Mirrorworld, the virtual inverse of our own realm. Perhaps we could put all the memories there instead / see also the Internet K-Hole (via MeFi and this accumulation of digital things (via MeFi Projects) / IN MICE.

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Since we’ve been gone

Musician Nils Frahm calls out artists for selling NFTs: “It’s unforgivable to participate in something which is so bleak and wrong” / related, NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This / If Y2K-Era Movie Theater Carpets Could Talk: ‘Like cartoon corporatism and hypermodernism getting smashed through a cultural particle collider’ (via MeFi) / new music from GY!BE / Pithoprakta (1955-56) by Iannis Xenakis, complete with graphical score. Reminiscent of the multi-million note ‘black MIDI’ compositions that gained favour a few years ago / Pierce Film Productions has gathered a huge number of interviews about the art of miniature effects and model-making in movies / some great instrumental soundtrack recommendations, including the work of Mega Drive / a profile of pop mastermind Max Martin / recreating 40 of the greatest synth sounds of all time / music from the Dry Cleaning Band / Islands of Abandonment, ‘Life in the Post-Human Landscape’, a book by Cal Flyn / would make a good ruin: a New Jersey house by Gwathmey Siegel / a bit further down the road it’s ‘Off-Season‘, photographer Tyler Haughey and historian Gabrielle Esperdy explore the New Jersey shore, ‘an unlikely place in which to document landscapes that are still, quiet, unpopulated. Now the pandemic has given new meaning to images evoking an uneasy stasis and uncertain future’ / these reminded us of Sheila Rock’s Seaside series.

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