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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Monday, June 30, 2003
Salon's take on David Beckham seems to miss the point somewhat. It fails to mention his gay icon status in any detail, a status which makes the footballer a hugely more complex cultural symbol than a mere pretty blonde with a 'Jesus complex.' Also missing, the fact that he's frequently portrayed as somehow subservient to his apparently ambition-hungry wife, or even the most heinous charge - that he's extremely stupid. When Jonathan Key tackled Beckham (if you'll pardon the pun) back in things 9, it was a look at an earlier incarnation of the icon, Beckham in the pre-Posh era, a younger, more innocent symbol of a different age.

Last year's Serpentine pavilion, designed by Toyo Ito, is being erected in the big empty spaces that surround Battersea power station, for some reason. Perhaps it's going to be used as a sales pavilion for the endlessly delayed redevelopment? Pictures when we remember to take them. An excellent gallery of the Ito pavilion construction is available at 0lll.com (they've also tackled this year's pavilion, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, with a series of dazzling Quicktime panoramas).

Images of Prada Tokyo: I, II, III, IV, which seems to have eschewed the tricksy technological approach of the Koolhaas store in New York. Instead, it's 'a six-story, free-standing mirror of the Prada gestalt' (although we think it looks a bit like a great big piece of bubble wrap). This is architecture as retail hegemony, a Trojan horse for a brand that doesn't even have a web prescence. (Even more images at dezain.net. We have a gallery of Herzog + de Meuron's latest London building, the Laban Dance Centre, coming very soon). All this via archinect.


Architecture of such complexity and detail could be built only in Japan, where the tradition of precision construction (not to mention an obsession with shopping) thrives. One noted Japanese architect, who attended the party but asked not to be named, added that such a structure - basically a cage of glass expensive to heat and cool - had more symbolic than practical meaning.


Elsewhere. No flesh, naughty pictures, with all the, er, naughty bits removed (not really safe for work, even so) / the future we were promised... (via Uren.Dagen.Nachten, who also points to vintage side show banners, an apparently authentic collection of the art of the carny, mostly depicting ladies with curious powers: Fifi, Mona and Electra)/ the imaginary world of Dan Goodsell / scanned people.

ACME was the company who provided the Coyote's fiendish traps, so it's a delight to find a link to this huge illustrated catalogue of their fiendish products (via Kottke). No prices, though, which is a shame, as some of these would be very handy, e.g. the ACME Atom Re-Arranger, which 'can change a large construction vehicle into a strange dinosaur-type creature', or the Do-it Yourself Tornado kit / vaguely related, the gallery of obscure patents (both links also found their way onto me-fi, as most things are wont to do).

The Phenakistoscope (1832), by 'Belgian inventor' Joseph Plateau, 1832 / somewhat ambitious peace plan, an imaginary map to end all imaginary maps / more lands that don't exist - imaginary animal islands (also, zoom in on Japan / Robert Smithson's Imaginary Map / how to prune trees.