The City of the Future versus The Mountain of the Future. We fear that the latter might be a more common direction in the future / AskMe offers up a selection of contemporary small presses / some guitary things. James’ Home of Tone; Axe and you shall receive; heavy repping, all about guitar picks; the Boss colour chart / Vinyl Post, new records by mail, with a twist / the 9 deadliest sharks in videogames / covertly demolishing the National Theatre of Albania / cheer remotely / paintings by Jean-Philippe Delhomme / a natural for the sidebar: The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things.
10 Years of Forensic Architecture, exploring the minutiae at the intersection of space and polities / the Atlas of Urban Expansion / cooking with Blixa, Einssturzende Neubaten’s front man on noise and food (via The Guardian) / the story of Kensington Roof Gardens, currently closed / climate change: Top 10 tips to reduce your carbon footprint / HD Beasties / Bowiebranchia, ‘Nudibranchia or other opisthobranchia compared to the various looks of David Bowie’. See also this longform dive into the Bowie song Looking for Satellites / Landscape Stories, a magazine / 100 artworks selected by the Saatchi Gallery, including the work of Littlewhitehead / a weekend on abandoned oil rigs / what if rockets were transparent? / design links: Design Principals Podcast by Bethan Ryder; Material Matters from Grant Gibson; On Design, by Justyna Green.
But how are you feeling? diamond geezer presents a cube of Coronavirus complications / DC Punk, for free, Dischord discography to stream (via boing boing) / upgraded to 60fps, ‘the oldest recorded film’, the ‘Roundhay Garden Scene‘, Leeds, 1888, taken by cinema pioneer Louis Le Prince. Le Prince disappeared two years later / floating architecture (via tmn) / Stats, Maps n Pix, a blog about ‘statistics, maps and images’. Sidebarred / art by Grace Weaver / This Japanese Man Paints a Picture of Every Meal He Eats. sort of related, Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman, a Manga-turned-Netflix series that is like a hallucinogenic version of The Trip.
‘Jukebox, a neural net that generates music, including rudimentary singing, as raw audio in a variety of genres and artist styles.’ Best explored through this Waxy post, OpenAI’s Jukebox Opens the Pandora’s Box of AI-Generated Music (via (Kottke): ‘The Jukebox AI can generate new music in a genre or artist’s style, guided with lyrics and an optional audio prompt, or completely unguided.’ Lots of examples in that article, but delving around the 7,000+ ‘uncurated’ files is fun as well. For example, a Hans Zimmer-esque soundtrack piece that is perfectly usable; The Fall also lend themselves to credible AI reinterpretation, ‘We gotta taxi for Mr. Nelson‘; Nine Inch Nails; crackly pop by T.a.T.U, as if heard from a passing taxi window in an unnamed Far Eastern city; a Pink Floyd song called ‘Family Table‘. What’s the legality of covering these ‘songs’?
The great British art quiz / Artbreeder, ‘simply keep selecting the most interesting image to discover totally new images. Infinitely new random ‘children’ are made from each image.’ / music by Spectral Gates / music by Conifold / The Sand Pits of Zonhoven, by Dubmood, ‘a eulogy to the grit of late 80s and early 90s cycling scene’ / music by Black Meteoric Star / A room with a view: fashion designers’ line of sight, see also architects’ sketches and thoughts from life at home, part one and part two / the spread of CorporateSpeak / online influencers in fiction, books ‘featuring Vloggers, Social Media Personalities, and Their (Occasionally Obsessive) Fans’. But doesn’t include Oliva Sudjic’s great Exposure / Breaking Development: ‘Our concept of “development” is destructive and irrational. It must be abandoned.’ See also ‘Fatcat developers created our housing crisis. Here’s how to stop them’ / The Anatomy of AI, ‘the Amazon Echo as an anatomical map of human labor, data and planetary resources’ / ‘Eileen Gray, the design genius who scared the pants off Corbusier’ / Lego x Walala House of Dots / How to create a mobile holder from an egg box.
Myth and Monolith, the story of the vast concrete Nine Elms Cold Store, written by Andrew Rogers for Vauxhall History. The piece delves into the building’s alleged satanic past, and includes mention of people like Pinkie Maclure and the late proto performance artist Ian Hinchliffe. It doesn’t seem very long ago, but it also feels like ancient history / how loopy is that? / sneaky tactics: The Definitive Guide to Pricing Plans / a trip to Tashkent / we built this city / hand-drawn neighbourhood lockdown maps (via Kottke) / a blog about Picture book makers / I Turned a 1920’s Typewriter into an EDM Drum Machine (via tmn) / the Poly Digit, a clever sonic gadget / music by Seas Starry; Pumajaw (featuring Pinkie Maclure, see above, and Mr John Wills of Loop); related to the last, Ballardism, a three part symphony of sound by Mr Robert Hampson; more sounds at the Short Wave Music project / The boy who photographed La Belle Époque of France, the childhood of Jacques Henri Lartigue.
The ARP 2600: The Story of a Legendary Synthesizer / see also famous examples of Yamaha DX-7 use, with sound samples (via Ask). Another one: The 10 best synth presets in history (and where you can hear them) / even more synth stuff at MeFi / we need more sites that gather interesting stuff, like Mr Obscure Eyes, or Hilobrow (e.g. their impressive twenty-five part series of ‘true stories about fetishes. That is to say: things that endlessly, inescapably compel our devoted, obsessive attention.’ / more media: COVID-19’s impact on journalism / “What if your life—maybe shot in better light, maybe a tiny bit beyond your financial reach, but still, in essence, yours—turned out to be what an entire generation was dreaming of?”. Magazines writing about magazines: Vanity Fair goes behind the scenes at Kinfolk / objects, rather than lifestyles, at risk: Iconic Houses; British Victorian buildings; Twentieth Century British architecture; more modern British architecture; global Modernism; etc., etc. / related, a walking guide to Modernist Hampstead / sort of related, The ultimate Shed of the year vote.
Solar Pandas / fun little kids’ art project: A Space Between, making global connections through colour / sort of related, Pushing the Envelope: Mail Art from the Archives of American Art / ‘It is only adults who ever feel threatened‘, a Letter of Note / Seinfeld Adventure, an unofficial pitch (via rock, paper, shotgun) / architect Breaks Down 5 TV Houses from Mad Men, That ’70s Show & More / architectural designer breaks down his own house (Jonathan Tuckey via TMH) / sporting landscapes photographed by Tom Shaw (found via his South Down series at Another Country / paintings by Catherine Kehoe / photographs by Thibaud Poirier / play Wheels of Aurelia for free / mining the links, ‘abandoned’ sites worth clicking around: the republic of less (last updated June 2019); Urban Trawl (last updated January 2014); Mrs Deane (last updated January 2019) / finally, heaven be praised, McMansion Hell has reached 1973. Linked in the piece, It Came From the ’70s: The Story of Your Grandma’s Weird Couch, a Collectors Weekly article that attempts to answer the question ‘What did life in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s really look like for the squares?’
We’ve been mining our draft posts and discovered an embyronic essay on the private house as a metaphorical, self-contained universe. Whatever the unifying theory was is lost to the mists of time. Instead, let’s explore the idea as if it were one of Modernism’s more esoteric side quests, inherited perhaps from the richly allegorical interiors expressed at the heights of Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau. And maybe it’s because more, more than ever, we’re attracted to interiors that act as a form of landscape, rather than just an accumulation of objects and memories. Those who grew up making blanket forts and dens will understand and empathise with the ability to transform an interior into a topography. While being careful not to dismiss the priviledge of actually having somewhere to live, the stock vision of four walls has never felt so limiting and unimaginative.
We’ve apparently been mulling this over for decades, as evidenced by this collection of links, some of which appear to date back to a distant, earlier web. For example, Andreas Angelidakis’s dreamy Hand House (2010) evokes the peak of the iconic age, a post-modern jape colliding with a theme park aesthetic. This miniature Falling Water is presented without comment, whereas this private dwelling in China (located ‘adjacent to the client’s slipper factory in Nanhui’) is a brick labyrinth. Ben Ryuki Miyagi’s Metamorphosis House shares a certain kinship with the iconic Thematic House, the late Charles Jencks’ (images found at MUse & Maker). Both conjure up private realms of symbolism and pattern. There’s yet more ornament and language in the work of John Outram, especially the Egyptian House and The New House. And somehow, our rabbit hole into the distant past ended up at The Venus Project, an ambitious plan ‘to Bring Humanity to the Next Stage of Social Evolution‘. Easy to sneer now, but techno-futurism on this scale has all but evaporated in these cynical times. Pity (or not) those tasked with selling residences on The Utopia. Perhaps four walls are welcome after all.
For some reason, way back in 2013, we clipped this link about Melbourne’s East West Road Link back in 2013, a major infrastructure project that is still mired in controversy over cost, routes and delays. Road infrastructure projects are going to take a battering in the coming years, as budgets dry up and the circular thinking of induced demand is challenged. It also got us thinking about the noise of the internal combustion engine. It is incredibly easy for researchers to map and track the colossal reduction in traffic, but for everyone else, the heightened sense of silence says so much more. Re-introducing the internal combustion engine into this environment is going to come as a very unpleasant shock. In fact, we’d hazard a guess that anything that deliberately rises above the faint whirr and buzz of a Prius is going to seem even more anti-social and out of step than it previously was.
Electric cars are legally supposed to make some noise, after it was decided they were dangerously quiet. Exactly what sounds will be is a matter for conjecture and extensive customer clinics, with most agreeing that certain companies will evolve certain sounds, and that an aural signature that conveys sophistication, wealth, quality, prestige, etc., is going to make sound designer(s) a lot of money. And as a direct result, deliberate excess noise, such as that generated by carefully tuned engine and exhaust systems (or even delivery mopeds), will become a thing of the past. Although there’s a temptation be for temporary road closures to become permanent, in all probability traffic will bounce right back to 110% of where it was before. Hopefully we’ll then realise just how awful it is.
Some other things. Why not condense all your traffic into a road train, originating in Australia’s Northern Territory and flourishing in the post-war era. Mostly for goods, they had military origins. The longest are usually put together for record-breaking purposes, but which usually max out at around 175 feet for a BAB-quad road trains. But will old school drivers soon give way to automation? / some virtual landscapes to wander around / architects share sketches and observations of life at home / Jackson Hole becomes a sanctuary for the super-rich / the first step towards building a giant telescope on the dark side of the Moon / a caravan that tows itself. Perhaps it could take itself on holiday?