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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Short cuts

The Artist Series by photographer Brynley Davies / from which we get the following art by Connie Harrison, art by Daisy Parris, art by Louise Howard / related, 21 Artists to Collect in 2021 / hazy music by A Sisyphus Wish / Sullivan County Illustrated, a comic about felling a tree / Illustration by Hudson Christie / a tour of the House of Dreams / Philips PMC100 Composer Synthesizer Sequencer versus Pocket Beatbox (via Gearnews) / related, Beatport’s Definitive Guide to Techno / MIT Press Open Architecture and Urban Studies. Architecture books online.

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Rising up above it all

A great glass elevator for Battersea Power Station by WilkinsonEyre. See also (because we love trotting this one out): The sad story of Battersea Power Station: a graveyard of architectural visions, together with a gallery / speaking of ruins, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and Memory of Utopia, ‘How a Ukrainian Computer Game Transfigured Folkloric Processes of Remembering’ (via MeFi, which has a great post about a promotional (!) visit to Pripyat) / low-latency visualizations by Arthur Barthur with the Unreal Engine / a new project by Rosey Chan, Sonic Apothecary, personalised music to aid meditation / you probably couldn’t do that with a Suzuki Omnichord / atmospheric electronica music by Waitress / synth pop by Inky Nite / At the Grove, instrumental post-rock from Germany / Why is this interesting? How Formula 1 still seems to be sneaking in tobacco sponsorship / Self Erasing Drawing, a project by Haugen/Zohar / the story of The Empty Man, on the travails of making and distributing films in a pandemic (via FanFare) / does NFT stand for ‘no f***ing thankyou’?: The carbon footprint of creating and selling an NFT artwork; The environmental impact of NFTs is “horrible” says architect Chris Precht.

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Rules of the road

On the end of the Mondeo and Ford’s legendary skill at conveying status with subtle design cues: ‘Ford’s tinsel artistes always made sure that you could tell a base from an L, or an XL, or a GXL, their palette including chrome edgings, dashes of matt black, anodized panels, slashes of cabin plasti-wood, racier wheel trims and vinyl roofs. So your pay grade was parked on your driveway, your aspiration the quad- headlight, Rostyle wheel, vinyl-capped GXL.’ Brings to mind the heartbreaking rep-mobile episode of Nicholas Barker’s From A to B: Tales of Modern Motoring (backed up with a photo book by Martin Parr), oft referenced on this site / other things: Dirty Seagulls FPV, an urbex team that uses racing drones, produced this film of a fly-through of Casa Sperimentale in Fregene, Italy. Designed by the family team of husband and wife Guiseppe Perugini and Uga de Plaisant with their son Raynaldo Perugini, the house was finished in 1975 and is now a spectacular ruin (via designboom) / A Loose Essay in Figures, a remarkable post from Anne Helen Petersen about the inequalities, impossibilities and insecurities that have come to shape modern life / First on Soundcloud / browse the Louvre’s collections / Ray Guns of the 1930s to 1950s, at Vintage Soleil / McMansion Hell on Reddit / an original Moog System 55 / the physical spaces of Californian Cults / ‘The rules of barrel racing, the only female-dominated rodeo sport, are simple. It’s the execution that’s hard.’

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Everything is abandoned eventually

The Museum of Everything Else (via Music Radar) / art by Matt Lyon / amazing concrete micro hostel in Beijing / What’s Under the Lincoln Memorial? / The Growth of London Mapped (via Kottke) / 120 years of the Whitechapel Gallery / photography by Øystein Sture Aspelund / Here in the room with Nile Rogers, a sort of virtual interview. If you’ve ever conducted a real interview, this format represents a sort of fevered anxiety dream, with the subject sitting there, eternally passive, tapping his toe and waiting expectantly for a question / why bitcoin is bad for the planet / Bacon-esque art by Kim Byungkwan / paintings by Zhiyong Jing / art by Emily Forgot / Coastal Brutalism, a series at West Country Modern. Sad to have missed the printed version / a portrait of the Bristol Fungarium by photographer Oliver Edwards / this is lovely: Lego Space Shuttle / some music sites: With Guitars / God is in the TV / Spectral Nights / leads and looping and kit at Sonic Circuitry / the Groove Pizza a huge collection of photographs by Henry Fox Talbot / a fine example of the collision of urbex, economic woes, hubris and sheer insanity: Exploring the $200,000,000 Abandoned Disney Castle Village

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Hang and Twang

Buy art prints at Hang Together Studio, including work by Petra Eriksson, Mitch Payne and Baker & Evans / another new creative venture of note: Paper Boy Magazine / robot Tricks by Mario the Maker Magician / music by MR-63 / The Barbican: A Middle Class Council Estate. A film / how to play Get Lucky / art by Amanda Case Millis / still lives by Nick Dunne / Painting Research, art and exhibitions / a selection of modern luthiers: Blast Cult / Harvester Guitars / Pure Salem / Baum Guitars / Baranik Guitars / Rufini Fine Instruments / Fano Guitars / Wirebird Guitars / Deimel Guitar Works / Bacchus / Harmony / Danocaster / Maybury Guitars / Chris George Guitars / Bilt Guitars / Rebel Guitars / B-Way Guitars / Suhr Instruments.

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Art and music Monday bonanza

The wannabe food influencer who’s wanted by the FBI‘ / The McMansion Hell Yearbook reaches 1979 / illegally demolished London pub is rebuilt, brick by brick / bee stories / documenting the torture of writing, Douglas Adams’s 42, coming soon from Unbound / Stitched Colours / I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, a new graphic novel that starts with a ‘teenage infatuation with the late actor River Phoenix [and] morphs into a remarkable, sprawling account of the city of Portland and state of Oregon’s dark history of white nationalism’ / animations by Neil Sanders (via The Alipore Post) / a shoegaze/noise pop playlist / post rock by Hey Colossus / swirly psych rock from Sun Mahshene / music by Carnival of Light, from Argentina / ‘ambient electronic shoegazer experimental’ music from tobogganing / paranoid electronica by Wolfgang Van Eldorado / Swedish psych pop from Astral Brain / Sublime Frequencies, sounds from around the world / related, there are no bands anymore. From the links, Bardable Instruments / beautifully involved tech projects by Mike Beauchamp / beautifully finished tech projects by Love Hulten, including the custom-built (it’s all custom built) Voxarray 61 synthesizer / selling the real estate that saw action in Colombia’s drug wars / Alex Schaefer paints burning banks which occasionally incurs unwanted questions / an intriguing but technically beyond us musical pattern generator (code) / art by Natalia Vico / art by Anna Liber Lewis / Canalside Press, a small architectural imprint / The Secret Cost of Google’s Data Centers: Billions of Gallons of Water to Cool Servers.

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You’re the book that I have opened

Starting off with a track by track deconstruction of Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy (via Ask MeFi) / two obituaries for the furniture designer Zeev Aram / staying with furniture, New York collective Fort Makers presents ‘Goodnight House‘, ‘a collection of furniture and objects inspired by the popular children’s book Goodnight Moon and its iconic, colorful interiors’. Bonus Susan Sarandon version / Aretha, Queen of the Charts, an interactive guide to Aretha Franklin’s chart career / a history of the Fiat Panda / how to be a car photographer / how to photograph in Antarctica / ‘This is your 2001 Read-Along Book. Kubrick Kids Stuff via B3ta. Actually explains the movie quite succinctly. ‘The brilliant colored lights! The unearthly landscape! Was he moving faster than time, faster than the speed of light?’ / Seduction of the Innocent, the 1954 study into the influence of comic books on today’s youth. The whole moral panic is available for perusal on the Internet Archive.

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Sounds of the oceans

Phantom Islands, a soundtrack project. ‘During centuries of ocean exploration these phantom islands were sighted, charted, described and even explored – but their existence has never been ultimately verified. Poised somewhere between cartographical fact and maritime fiction, they haunted seafarers’ maps for hundreds of years, inspiring legends, fantasies, and counterfactual histories.’ Andrew Pekler has created an ‘interactive map which charts the sounds of a number of historical phantom islands’ / soundtrack music by Jonathan Roberts / the Nature Soundmap captures the sound of biodiversity from around the planet. See also Wild Ambience. See also this recent episode of Clare Balding’s Ramblings: Walking in Sound: Ellie Williams in North Somerset / from phantom islands to random ducks, a Map of the Names of Donald Duck’s Nephews in Different Countries / New Yorkers at home / I Installed Every Version of Ableton Live (via MusicRadar) / Radio is a Foreign Country features ‘cut-ups of international radio broadcasts (AM, FM & shortwave) & ethnographic film, as well as primary source vintage records & tapes’ / see also shirley & Spinoza Radio, ‘an ongoing, eclectic audio stream of far-flung obscurities and concoctions from all earthly times and places’.

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Deep dives

The wisdom of whales / it’s all about the pixels: The National Video Game Museum / turn your iPhone into a 90s pocket organiser (bonus links, Is the Psion 5 still usable in 2017? and a history of Psion) / buy yourself a domestic retro display. Who needs Alexa? / revisiting Space Cadets, the ‘reality show that never left the ground’ / rarely updated but always worth a visit, Baindex, the best weblog about indexing / the late Yaphet Kotto made a few records, but also lent his name (probably unwittingly) to a Santa Cruz punk band. Found at the Dead or Arai Yumi soundcloud page (slightly nsfw imagery), which collates and curates a huge swathe of soundtrack, pop and rock from elsewhere and way back when, probably not entirely legally / Via Fanfare, ‘In 1950s America, was it common for the boss and his wife to have dinner an an employee’s home, or is that purely a sitcom plot?’, includes a link to New York State Regents Exams from the 1930s onwards.

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Pay as you know

Well, this could go badly: Telegraph plans to link journalists’ pay to their popularity. Eternal winter of clickbait, anyone? / The Collected Wisdom of Banacek / Cryptocurrency explained, even more succinctly / lovely feature on cherished mixtapes / the line between urbex and straight up trespassing appears to be breached: the Evergreen Crystal Palace, ‘Exploring an $80,000,000 Glass Mansion with Everything Left Inside’ / portrait photography by Robert Rieger / ruining music / Wandre Scarebeo, a guitar from the mid 1960s collected at Fetish Guitars / art by Shaun Duke / music by Bantamweight / new music from Airships on the Water / boater bashing: the Straw Hat Riot of 1922 / online version of a Louis Kahn monograph / Depths EP, from Tech Level 2 at avalanche recordings.

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Power into art

Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are an absolute disaster for so many more reasons than the ecological. Worth noting that ‘a recent study out of the University of New Mexico estimated that in 2018 every $1 of Bitcoin value was responsible for $0.49 in health and climate damages in the US’. Compare and contrast with We finally know how bad for the environment your Netflix habit is: ‘In short. Netflix is not as bad for the environment as crypto, which is basically catastrophic: ‘Netflix claims that one hour of streaming on its platform in 2020 [produces less C02…] than driving an average car a quarter of a mile’. In short. Watch more Netflix. Don’t buy, encourage, promote or celebrate cryptoart / decayed and abandoned. A bit of a fixer-upper / Derelict Fulham Town Hall to Be Given New Leaseof Life Starting with a show from Art Below / for sale (or possibly recently sold), 1950s Crown Buildings nuclear bunker in Kingsbridge, Devon / a grim tunnel from WW1 / fun with flowcharts / music by Concrete Ships / music by RXS3 / celebrating 23 years of Kottke.

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Bargain hunters

The Russian Cyberpunk Farm, a film by Sergey Vasilyev, article at The Common Table. Sort of related, Scenes from the Last Day on Planet Earth, a project by Chris Maggio / the mid 70s Mohs Safarikar, a vehicle designed for big game hunting and exactly as awful as that sounds / interior envy: best home studies / MVRDV’s Serpentine Pavilion re-emerges as the Marble Arch Mound / art by David Fullarton / art by Xavier Marabout / music by Neon Dayze / music by Distant Third / a collection of Soviet Monsters / Lautner on Film.

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Bleeps in the aether

The Google AR Synth is fun but fiddly (via Gear News). Possibly less fiddly in actual AR? See also Modulia Studio, Jam Studio VR and the much-vaunted Korg Gadget VR /art by Heidi Lanino / art by Jack McGarrity / quirky cars from Japan / RIP Lou Ottens, inventor of the compact cassette. More at MeFi. How strange to have seen your invention lauded and adopted worldwide, before slowly and inexorably fading out of view, only to have a strange reemergence right at the end of your life / Anti-Hauntology: Mark Fisher, SOPHIE, and the Music of the Future (also via MeFi) / Japan’s 2011 tsunami, then and now – in pictures / what is the good IKEA? / Lego Bonsai / The Current, a film magazine from Criterion.

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What happens next

More unintended consequences / why Bitcoin is so bad for the planet / In the late 1960s, Shelter asked photographer Nick Hedges to document homes in the UK that were unfit for human habitation (via Fishstickmonkey). More by Nick Hedges, including The City That Was, lost industrial urbanism / crashing juxtaposition, apologies. A new estate agent, Inigo. From The Modern House folk. See also five names shaking up the design industry / other intriguing intelligent designs by matteo loglio / more smart thinking, the Re-Move, a collaboration between Wallpaper*, Konstantin Grcic, Polestar and Hydro / recommended rock docs / recommended short film, a ‘drone’ goes bowling / a collection of Oud Mercedes Brochures / paintings by Casey Klahn / other art by Justin Tyler Close / art by Polly Morgan / art by John Clark / art by Esther Cox / art by Rosa Roberts (all via Blue Shop Cottage).

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The infinite playlist

Marcus Dobbs creates medieval map mash-ups of London / The Ultimate List of Weapons Astronauts Have Carried Into Orbit (via Fanfare) / An Ice-Covered Russian Ghost Town, photographs by Maria Passer at The Atlantic / car thoughts by Serge Bellu / Esotouric offer ‘tours into the secret heart of Los Angeles’, both real and virtual / progress: ‘The latest iPhone has 11.8 billion transistors. So the chip at the heart of each phone is $1.4 billion in parts, no margin. That’s 1981 prices, 2021 money accounting for inflation.’ (via K) / speaking of money, a couple of designboom digressions. Optimists are back at it with yet another Space Hotel concept. The Voyager Space Station promises to unlock the ‘billion dollar space tourism industry’, no doubt facilitated by Mr Musk’s shiny big rockets. Worth noting, that the ISS development, construction and running costs over a ten-year period amount to around €100 billion. The return on investment spreadsheets must be interesting / the Burton-era Batmobile is up for sale. Actually this is just a ‘re-creation’, and is pretty horrid, both in terms of the comic book design and the anxiety-inducing scale. For our money, the original is still the best, even though it required the fatal alteration of the Ghia-designed Lincoln Futura / Old Crash is an instagram collection of wrecks. Lots of Odermatt in there / music by Eulogy Eulogy / music by vhvl / For your savage amusement is well into a series entitled Lockdown LPs, i.e. a complete play through of their record collection, ‘a 300 LP DJ set… in the order we find them and in full’ (via BBC News). A fine diary of memories past and lock-downs present.

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Mail order machines

The Unique Pain of Architects: Letting Go. Not all architects are so precious. Frank Lloyd Wright’s advice? ‘… go as far away as possible from home to build your first buildings. The physician can bury his mistakes,—but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines’ / Minecraft inspires architects to design real-world modular cabin. We’re only at the tip of the iceberg of Minecraft-influenced design / collages by Libera Mazzoleni / entertaining music industry stories from producer Mark Saunders / sort of related but not nearly as stressful, Mogwai talk recording processes / Irenebrination, notes on architecture, art, fashion and more / the Bugs of San Diego / Awesomely weird Alibaba electric vehicle of the week. A world of affordable electrification for the brave / move over Tonka: Modular Tractor Toys by Scott Schenone / the Action Figure Archive / music by Mono Club / World Domination Enterprises were right all along / Cruise Night, a photographic essay by Kristin Bedford / in Washington DC, an ‘AM radio station had been broadcasting the same traffic report since 2013‘.

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