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weblog archives
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Monday, August 18, 2003

Pretty serendipities, a weblog (via iconomy). This weblog has only been going for a fortnight or so, but posts already include a comprehensive collection of photographic portraits of Frida Kahlo and the links between Modigliani's portraits and those by hip German photographer Loretta Lux. Serendipities provides plenty of examples, even throwing up some Modigliani landscapes we’d never seen before. Recommended.

Cedric Price died last week. An architect whose built legacy amounted to very little, yet who was hugely influential through his writings, schemes and teachings. Price arguably paved the way for high tech: his proposals for a Fun Palace for the Littlewood's entertainment group is a precursor to today's ubiquitous self-contained theme parks, while the megastructural ambitions of the 1965 Thinkbelt Plan (more) in Staffordshire's deprived potteries area is an early version of the so-called 'smart communities' sought by contemporary cities from Malmo to Beijing / more architecture: New York galleries at Hyperkit / digital cities (via Muxway) - browse urban architecture in Serbia, Uzbekistan, Israel and more / Simmons Hall at MIT, Steven Holl's new student residence building.

Being Hunted is a good example of a zine/weblog with higher aspirations. Focusing on locating and displaying things ('dedicated to the sole purpose of providing information'), this publication presents a very urban cabinet of curiosities. The emphasis is on street style, toys, graphics, music and clothing (thanks to absenter for the link). Sort of related: 'What is Real?', behind the scenes at MTV's 'The Real World'. The Merchants of Cool, an old but very comprehensive look at the world of corporate cool-hunting / more weblogs: boynton, vanDerwoning, a weblog with images, curious girl, the photography of Jeff Brouws, via conscientious.

Some unusual Landrovers, apropos of nothing. A while back we were trying to find a link to 6x6 Range Rovers the other day, and no luck. But here it is. Why one would need to add another axle to one of the largest vehicles on the road is beyond me. This led us to Jankel, manufacturers of armoured cars, and the extraordinary 'hawking' Range Rovers (I like their hugely inappropriate techno-soundtracked opening page). There's no direct link, as it's all in screaming flash, but check the hawking vehicles' great 'elevated hunting seats'. Related: history of falconry.

Weird and not so wonderful. This aviator doll has been everywhere, and I bet they’re selling a shed-load / an extraordinary example of a yawning culture gap: Nazi chic in a store in Hong Kong (and, by the way, the oft-told story of the crucified Santa in a Japanese department store is false. Perhaps this is too). Diana Moseley would have loved it / interesting - an executive order that seems to grant total immunity from anything to all those engaged in rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure and oil industry (via the Guardian diary). More info at Seen.org and earthrights / handy, backgrounders, super-dense, hyperlinked reference essays from the Economist.

Die-hard indie devotees should check this comprehensive list of who owns what in the global record industry, courtesy of the British Library's sound archive (related: 'Music sales defy the doomsayers'). Speaking of indies, we can highly recommend Asian Man Records, proudly operating independently out of a garage in California. The BL's sound archive is worth a browse - you can listen to early recordings such as this brown wax cylinder of death crying at Mabuiag, on Australia’s Torres Strait. The record company link came via 99000, who got it from Erase, a London-based music-centric weblog (it's good to see the Shell Centre getting the visual kudos it deserves). Erase has many excellent links, such as the pointer to Simon Reynold's Blissblog, which we'd lost track of, and the astronaut's notepad, another leftfield music weblog.

An empty Kmart is a beautiful thing. Kate Bingaman’s 'Attention Kmart Shoppers: The Closing of a beloved friend' at Core77 is a homage to the joys of late-night shopping: 'Kmart was my corporate sleeping pill.' Love the photos too. Related: empty high school (via consumptive). Also brings to mind Douglas Coupland's latest, Hey Nostradamus!, which is indicative of the ever-narrowing gap between Coupland's novels and his artwork, perhaps uniquely among popular authors. 'Tropical Birds' is the novel's companion piece, a sculptural installation of a school canteen in the immediate aftermath of a massacre. This might sound trite and sensationalist, but when combined with the incessant chirping of lost hope, the effect is ultimately very moving.

A gallery of images at Carter's Original Steam Fair, from Bowblog. See also the 'permanent fairground' at Hollycombe in Hampshire, staffed by a merry band of boiler-suited enthusiasts. More steam engines at the Steam Plough club, the Robey Trust and Old Glory magazine.

The black-out links we didn't post on Friday. Galleries at the Guardian, a weblog at buzzmachine, a 'mo-blog' called Blackout and, best of all, the slower take on things. And read Rosecrans and Melissa's Recipes for a Blackout (and Blackout!) at tmn. In days of old, when the power seemed to go out every couple of weeks, we would make crumpets on the top of our wood-burning stove. That is all.