“This melody, which was played at some point on a real horn—well, maybe it was real; who knows?—has now passed through radio waves and magnetic tape and digital memory, into the mind of a brilliant arranger and back out into the physical world—an echo in the Temple of Dendur—then through the internet and now into a neural network.” An integration loop, a collaborative project initiated by Robin Sloan, based on William Basinski’s ‘Disintegration Loops‘ / some other things. Bake cookies in the shape of cars / vote for the best small architectural project at the UK’s Architect’s Journal / music by Dead Animals; music by Sensorama 19-81 / a beginner’s introduction to the music of PJ Harvey / making random noises with Patatap / make beats with typedrummer / make loops with BeepBox.
Google cancels its infamous April Fools’ jokes this year. Will they ever come back? / Corona Virus Fuck, Figura Sonora by Marco Falossi, 2020 / Electric Pipe Dream, a tumblr / Paris lockdown leaves streets stuck in 1942 for abandoned film set / Since You’re Isolating: Weird Podcasts!. Spooky audio dramas assembled in one place at MeFi / deliberately creepy post-domestic dioramas by Miyu Kojima / old but good, the Gallery of Regrettable Food. The kind of thing that would once have been found at Boing Boing, that famed ‘directory of mostly wonderful things’. Today came the news that one of BB’s founders, Cory Doctorow, has left the site and started a new, daily links-type venture, Pluralistic. You know, like things only with a dizzying menu of social media side dishes. All that’s old is new again.
This coming July was due to host Small Press Day, an event that’ll now be postponed or cancelled until 2021. It sent us off to places like Dizzy Ink, which pointed us towards this Brief History of DIY and Small Press Publishing / more things small: Broken Frontier, which focuses on small scale comics publishing, and the idiosyncratic Ecstatic Peace Library / A Room with a View, critics and where they write / Animal Houses, three projects by the late Michael Sorkin at Hidden Architecture / The McQueen show that changed the future of fashion, back in 2009.
The coronavirus pandemic is a game changer for mental health care / Guardian collection: a photo essay about Narco Submarines / Nick Cave in pictures / how we made Never Gonna Give You Up / MeFi CV gaming round-up / Noah Kalina is ‘going around the world photographing places using live feed cameras’ (via Kottke) / RIP Albert Uderzo. Something about the way Uderzo drew trees forever cemented our love for forests / this April’s issue of Wallpaper* magazine is available as a free download / Good Movies As Old Books, a project by illustrator and designer Matt Stevens / debunking the Moose Boulder (island on a lake on an island on a lake, etc. etc.), in which the ‘the Atlas Obscura reader par excellence’ sets out to disprove the existence of a myth (via MeFi) / Some People.
Some of the bright spots amongst all the gloom are the pointers to interesting content, old and new, that are springing up all around the web. Diversions and distractions they may be, but they’re also a nod back to the early days of the web, when every site felt like piece of personal curation for the benefit of everyone, not just a marker of personality. Personal favourites Kottke, Metafilter and the morning news are doing a great job of mixing news with information and distraction in equal doses. We can’t hope to match their output, but here are few things collated for your curiosity. Diverted Traffic, articles of note (and they certainly have a lot of these) at the London Review of Books / a beautiful Moleskine sketchbook by the illustrator Mattias Adolfsson / books by GraphicDesign& / Cabinets of Curiosities, a typically lavish Taschen tome / Walking Simulators make a fine distraction / living in bunkers does not / the KORG Kaossilator, free for now / The History of the URL / The history of CSS / we are sleepwalking into disaster: why are robot dogs invariably headless?
The Case of the Missing Hit, already hailed as a legendary podcast episode (via tmn, amongst other places) / the ten most sampled basslines / a reddit for isolated vocals / Mi.Mu Gloves, as created by Imogen Heap. Explainer / Moss & Fog, a beautiful things blog / Soviet Dream Machines, the ersatz cars of the USSR / Archimaps is having a moment / a chart that explains the type of sci-fi you are watching based on the shape of the spaceship / related, how fast is the Millennium Falcon? / Was the Millennium Dome really so bad? The inside story of a (not so) total disaster. The internet is not a fan of quiet reassessments, preferring hot takes and fast decisions that linger / somewhere along the line: photographs by Joshua Dudley Greer / that’s the answer: we are living in an age of schadenfreude tinged with sadism.
Architecture and design, forgetting, remembering and losing sight. We all have short memories when it comes to interior design: The Tyranny of Terrazzo Will the millennial aesthetic ever end?. See also, When everything is “curated,” what does the word even mean? / Moving Away From ‘Peak Car‘ at the Over-View (via Kottke) / crunching tonal shift, but a bit of background about the surviving slave houses in the USA / The invisible city: how a homeless man built a life underground / other things. What we dream about, a blog from Nerdcore medical / Melody.ml uses AI to rip songs into their component parts. Not quite perfect, but hauntologically fascinating for the ghostly artefacts that drift between the separated tracks / finally, let’s all imagine a world without YouTube. Yes please.
A totally mixed bag today. What’s the logic of inverting the controls? / ‘Ping the Herb Guy’ Is London Chefs’ Go-To Dealer / music by Kainos / adorable mini camper vans / adorable miniature pop-up books / illustration by Becca Muir / paintings by Susan Ashworth / movie reviews at My Geek Blasphemy / inside the world of extreme metal logos / A very unusual car auction, field of dreams or field of nightmares? Here are the listings / the tainted legacy of Paolo Soleri / how did we miss that Pablo Escobar’s brother tried to launch a folding gold smartphone. Surprisingly reasonable at $399, although perhaps the taint of the blood of thousands is an unwelcome hidden cost. We can’t help but feel very trolled by that website; the founder’s biog reads, ‘Co-Founder, Former accountant and chief of assassinations of the Medellín Cartel.’ Beyond awful.
Landscapes of chemical and biological warfare, a project by photographer Dara McGrath entitled ‘Project Cleansweep: Beyond the Post Military Landscape of the United Kingdom’. Project Cleansweep was launched by the Ministry of Defence in 2007 to investigate ’14 former chemical weapons factories and stores across the UK for contamination’. Ironically that Guardian link contains a soon-to-die flash component, demonstrating how the trace elements of chemical warfare can outlast our technologically-driven attempts to catalogue them. Such places are fertile ground for photographers, coming in off the back of urban explorers and less covert historians and chroniclers. We’ve always been fond of Subterranea Britannica, whose existence long predates the internet. Sub Brit explorations are helpfully arranged into categories (e.g. Nuclear Weapons) and they gain access to off-the-map places around the UK (e.g. Dean Hill Royal Naval Armaments Depot) / some art. Eric Tucker’s oeuvre was only discovered after his death / Artist in the World (via Kottke) is all about the living, with André Smits travelling the world to photograph artists in contemplation in their studios / also via Kottke, a short film, How Art Arrived at Jackson Pollock / music by Kaityln Aurelia Smith / sort of related, a new book on Kraftwerk by Uwe Schütte.
Daniel Gray’s excellent Meanwhile newsletter now has an archive. File alongside Kottke’s twitter and Coudal as a regular source of inspiration. Related, the current iteration of Kottke is 15 today / comparing Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite and Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle / a time of LGBTQ+ life at the BBC from the 1920s to the present day / sort of related, the Radio Times Archive / How big tech hijacked its sharpest, funniest critics / Construction Workers on the Chrysler Building, 1929-1930. Hammering those metal gargoyles/hood ornaments into place / Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Images Into Public Domain: Smithsonian Open Access / illustration by Mahdieh Farhadkiaei / classic albums: Songs from the Big Chair / Autopsie, a project by photographers Bruno Mouron and Pascal Rostain / The Dabbler is a website from an earlier age, a ‘Culture Blog For Connoisseurs Of Everything’.
This Chinese Factory Makes $100,000 Architectural Models / see also the models of Made by Mistake printing money, visualising spending / here’s where some of that money went: an underground missile complex on 14.73 acres of land, yours for $495,000 (at house hunting) / art by Isabella Cotier / art by Jean-Claude Gotting / music time: jazzy psychedelic noodling by Felix Essex / Blacklab, ‘the dark witch doom duo from Osaka, Japan’. As good as that sounds / epic noises from Spotlights / Die or D.I.Y?, charting the esoteric, the homemade, the off-beat and the political / a fine selection of bands at Shore Dive Records / Signed, Sealed, & Undelivered, exploring a “17th-century trunk of letters once belonged to postmasters Simon de Brienne and Marie Germain” (via MeFi) / Quinn, One man’s fictional journey across Britain, a project by Lottie Davies. Beautifully evocative images.
This and that. Art by Joël Penkman. There’s also a movie, courtesy of the Handsome Frank agency, which makes short films about its illustrators and artists / also using egg tempera, the exacting interiors of Andrew Grassie / Soviet Space Graphics, a new book / Trump’s new Air Force One design / ARK D-0: Tito’s Nuclear Bunker / photographer Alastair Philip Wiper has a new book, Unintended Beauty / see also the Stahlwerk Project by Bernhard Lang / Sea of Artifacts, an installation by Mandy Barker, includes this lost and found mixtape / things that have changed your mind.
Why do so many bad drivers have luxury cars? A new study blames ‘disagreeable’ men: ‘A new study out of Finland has found that argumentative and egotistical men are particularly likely to drive cars like Mercedes, Audis or BMWs, and those same personality traits can also explain why these people can be such aggressive and unethical drivers.’ / the broken promise of the Sydney Opera House / Mission to Mars: beautiful imagery, but also a comforting fantasy, a unifying story we can tell ourselves when the complexities and conflicts of living together on this planet all get a bit too much / but look! Lego space station! / How Instagram is making jigsaw puzzles cool again / the School of Architecture at Taliesin is closing / It’s Just a Question of Style, a tumblr / diskprices.com; compare and contrast: ‘When Computerworld was founded in 1967, a 1-megabyte hard drive would have set you back by $1 million.’ / The Modern House on YouTube / Do not pass go: the McDonalds Monopoly Scam.