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eXTReMe Tracker
Monday, June 23, 2003
We liked this essay by occasional things contributor Jane Stevenson (see 'Talking Taxis', 'Meeting in Pisa', 'Past Masters' and Country Living') on BookSleuth, the service from ABEbooks that relies on half-remembered details and sketchy cover descriptions. The site makes for fascinating reading, confirming Stevenson’s conclusion that we cannot define exactly what makes a book stick in our heads, with children's memories even more vivid and influential than adults': 'particular illustrations that shape the later adult’s basic perceptions of horror or enchantment, sentences or scenarios, which invisibly inform the responses of their adult life.' After all, books are things, objects which we remember visually just like any other, through shapes, fragments, colours and textures. The (voyeuristic thrills) of the recently solved page is a testament to the power of slight recall becoming total: 'I seem to remember pen & ink illustrations of the junkman in a torn sleeveless undershirt.'

Something I didn't know - that the incredible 'active' façade of Jean Nouvel’s seminal 'Institut du Monde Arab has not been working for seven years. As Lightingfield says, 'techno-architectural fraud.' Any other good examples of overly-clever or ambitious design that manifestly failed to fulfil its intended function? London's BT Tower springs to mind, a revolving restaurant that no-one can now get into (great views, sadly. Some more images: I, II). Or the restaurant at the top of Gateshead's car park; never opened, never used.

Elsewhere. The Miffy recipe game / the golden age of the industrial musical (via scrubbles) / Nightphotographer (via solipistic), which seems to entail driving out into the desert and setting up long exposures, with beautiful results / early American railroad maps (via footprints) / Hell's Highway, all about public safety films.

After Friday’s magic Virgins, visit the Fortean Times simulacra page. Our forays into the unexplained attracted the attention of one Sean Alonzo, who is keen for us to highlight his occult fiction, which explores 'symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition.'

Interesting, but not essential, chronicle of recent London-based performance art projects. We're hopelessly damaged by relentless exposure to student-grade performance art while at art college, and I fear this has permanently damaged our appreciation of the genre. Nice picture of a Citroen SM, though / provocative works at Bad Press Books.

All change. Sharpeworld goes off on extended vacation, Coudal re-arranges, and haddock changes (as does blogger). Happily, Portage is threatening to come back with all guns blaring, and it's about time we stuck wood s lot on the sidebar.