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Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Totally random links today, with little attempt to thread them together. Post-war houses in Suffolk (see also Hyperkit’s specially designed ‘rubbing’ table-top) / clips from 1970s Italian crime movies at Pollanet Squad. Most of the films seem to end up with a lady being run over, and an Alfa Romeo Giulia (the quintessential Italian police car) in the bushes (warning, contains mild, Italian crime movie-style nudity) / vaguely related: the Man from U.N.C.L.E image archive (via the Cartoonist), including super secret silly putty and explicit album cover art / oil on linen, the nudes of artist Steven Harvey.

'The Eclectic Electric': vast collection of writer resources / forgotten New York, under the city / walk the streets of London / Design Bivouac is a great design weblog, which links the automotive schadenfreude of Wrecked Exotics / Ford's Rotunda building / Art Crimes, a site we've overlooked. All about acts of vandalism, whether public-spirited, mean-minded, or just insane, against works of art / old, but still fun: the world's most and least wanted paintings.

An interesting discussion on the benefits of simulating sound in space over at Plasticbag / photography at computer love, e.g. In Your Garden / the art of digital matte painting by Dusso / more mattes, by Jean-Marie Vives, this time with before and after roll-overs: City of Lost Children, Ninth Gate and Amelie / old postcards of St Petersburg (more). More Russian postcards. Russian postcards with original stamps / maps of Siberia / visit the map room at the Federation of East European Family History Societies for more.

Enrico Tedeschi's World of Old Radio has an extensive collection of electronics icons, as well as things for sale / contemporary art at Julian Lax and The Redfern Gallery / The Art Newspaper / containers and Monterey Bay aquarium, both by Eric Alba / we have a new gallery: lighthouse / the Hyde Park Review of Books / speaking of little magazines, RGAP's Small Publishers Fair 2003 runs from the 23 to 25 October, in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1.


Monday, September 29, 2003
Andrew Vicari is one of the world’s richest artists. Being able to sell a series of paintings depicting Gulf War I to the Saudi Royal Family for £17.6 million has obviously helped him achieve this goal. However, the sad truth is that his work is just terrible, and though it might look like a soft target to criticise, the financial value attached to this stuff lays it open for criticism. Paintings gets steadily worse as he gets older, while his early work just looks as if it has escaped from the covers of a Ladybird book.

Actually, scratch that. Ladybird books were illustrated with style and consistency, as the many collector's websites demonstrate. See the Flight Series, for example. Visit Ladybird Lovers, dottybug, as well as the Ladybird gallery at the fabulous Easy on the Eye site, which also has album cover art like this Sugarcubes gallery. Re-visit the incredibly successful phenomena that were the Top of the Pops albums, the (now ultra-hip) stereo demonstration records (which have all been snapped up by hipsters looking for quirky sounds to sample) and the Pifco gallery.

High-density living in ancient Rome / a neat, if twisted, site for icy cool electro band Goldfrapp / novelist Toby Litt uses his website to ask searching questions - send him replies if you know the answers. His article for this year's Architecture Week is also worth a read - all about living above a nailbomber / speaking of writers, visit Byliner: sign up, create a list of your favourite writers and you'll receive email confirmation when they publish something new online.

A huge electronic music archive / the work of Clifford Harper, anarchist and illustrator. The vignettes for the Guardian's Country Diary are his best work (number 10 in the gallery) / Jane Mount, a painter / images of Old Sheldon Church, Beaufort, South Carolina, via tmn. Another view of the church / these very nasty t-shirts are making the Republican Party very nervous.

The museum of the hand-written sign (via Lightningfield, via Laura Titian). Nothing pleads and implies mild mania like a hand-written sign / a gallery of graffiti / the gallery of transport loss (via Muxway) / Expiration Date, Choire Sicha, Blog-fu, monkeyhaus: weblogs.

Free fonts from Mary Forrest, typography resources at typeright / librarian links, with attempts to shake off the profession's staid image such as this bit of sauce, and the image of librarians in pornography (more frequent than you'd think). There's even librarian assertiveness training - could librarians learn from Xena (more Xena)? Related: library weblogs and the outcry over the infamous Archie McPhee Librarian action figure. Related: personalised action figures.

Things that never were - fictional timelines, which includes this pensive essay on the timeline problems in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (what happened to one hour and fifteen minutes of time?), and this Spinal Tap timeline / thanks to that tasty soup du jour of the day for the last set of links.


Friday, September 26, 2003
In yesterday's Guardian, a feature by Jonathan Jones on London's India Museum, a legacy of Empire that had evaporated by as early as 1879, its collection scattered around the city (although most of it ended up forming the basis of the V&A's India galleries). Perhaps the museum’s most famous exhibit was this, the mechanical tiger of Tipu Sultan. Sultan was also known as the 'Tiger of Mysore,' and his fierce opposition to British rule has made him something of a cult figure.

Other people’s holiday snaps can be dull, but other people’s family photos, if captioned amusingly, can be quite fun. Dooce goes through the stuff in the attic (related: two new found images, thanks to Oldtimey: I, II) / did we mention this? I forget. Forgotten Detroit (via dublog). You can even have a virtual stay at the Statler Hotel / when big corporations make records: 'Got To Investigate Silicones', a 1973 classic from GE. This came via Tom McMahon, who also links to a chocolate Monopoly set (more chocolate novelties) and this list of famous people who have disappeared. Prominent on this list is one D.B. Cooper, the vanishing hijacker.

Staying with aviation. Over at The Modernist, a new magazine that features lots of naked ladies, is this piece on the amazing Alexander Girard. Girard was a textile designer for Herman Miller in an age of bold, clashing colours. Eventually he turned his hand to furniture design too, and also became curator of the Herman Miller Textures & Objects shop in New York. In 1965, Girard was hired by Braniff Airlines (best known for their Emilio Pucci hostess uniforms) to give it a complete aesthetic make-over. This apparently involved making some 17,543 changes, in everything from seat fabrics to the logos on the tail plane, and arguably set the visual agenda for countless contemporary retro imitators.

Some weblogs: ultimate insult, interalia, thinkless, lies, pip the pixie, craig schamp / a neat idea, freak yourself out with an email from the future (via more than donuts) / the name of this firm doesn't exactly inspire confidence / a collection of Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints / after yesterday’s pants cars, some hipper wheels (it gives us another chance to plug our Frankfurt galleries: I, II, III) / drive a Maximog (via Sachs Report), and usurp even the Hummer (whose website seems to be slotting their cars into a wholly inappropriate Craig Ellwood-style Case Study aesthetic) / more cars: Rolling Sculpture is the portfolio of automotive photographer Winston Goodfellow. There's some fine stuff here, with the emphasis on swooping curves from the golden era of Italian coachbuilding (related: this time last year we linked to this gallery of Pietro Frua's car design).

Obsessive obsession, via tmn: the history of Nirvana day by day / ghost hunters are worried: are mobile phone masts threatening the afterlife? / interesting design at the Marcel Wanders Studio / naked fashion: which came first, this or the Japanese skirt hoax that went around briefly earlier in the year? / T-shirts for extroverts by Roger Carter / harrumph is no more - try hchamp.com instead / NYC London, Rob Gardiner’s black and white urban photography / a new issue of Delve Magazine / also new, Walrus Magazine, something to look forward to (via Caterina).

And a happy second birthday to us. Back on Wednesday, September 26, 2001, we welcomed you all to 'newthings, an irregular collection of thoughts, links and posts.' (the 'newthings' tag hasn't really taken off - 'things magazine' is far more all-encompassing). The pre-weblog site was first archived back in January 2001 - you can see that we were several years behind the weblog concept (although our links pages were getting there, slowly). One thing we hadn’t appreciated about the Wayback Machine is that all links from archived sites are to other archived sites - a very confusing, old-fashioned experience.


Thursday, September 25, 2003
A splurge of things to make up for a slow week.

A neat site for the little Citroen Ami 8 / the International Archive of Pants Cars - criticism of pointless custom jobs / elegant architecture site by Gad / nice updates and new stuff at Habitat / lots of good things at Life in the Present, including the Art Stamp gallery and the Transformations exhibition at the New York Public Library, which covers everything from cross-dressing to early special effects.

Monopoly statistics / high wow factor at my private tokyo, a photoblog, via esthet. Beautiful / designboom have been doing our homework for us: 'all you need to know about robots', with links including this glossary (e.g. walking robots) and the frankly rather creepy Banryu (it even has a creepy name). Designboom have also added a rocking chair history / a gallery of Le Corbusier's Unite d'Habitation / geek chic in Swedish band postcards, via excitement machine (who also gives us 'animals in space' day. Related: Russian dogs lost in space. Funny how stamps seem to be the main way of conveying early space history) / all about cool-hunting, via ashley b.

Mind-melding and visual phantoms (via memepool). We especially like 'The Sun', 'Expanding Cushions', 'Rotating Snake', and 'Earthquake' / a life in thumbnails by Benhossi (Ben Hossi?) / 'Scorn becomes you', Tobias Seamon tells you how to become a historical re-enactor, an activity which is obviously as popular in the US as it is in the UK (you can even 're-enact' historical photographs: I, II, III, IV - it takes some hunting to find some real Civil War images).

Defective Yeti re-arranges the shapes of sleep (see the original news item) / pantyhose packaging (or tights, as we soberly call them over here) / 74 years of Band Aid / watches for nerds, i.e. those with a calculator (or more) on them. Most of have been proud owners of such a watch at one time or another - this brings back happy memories / Sam Jacob's Strange Harvest will review anything and everything. We especially like this: 'The Standard never seems to make much sense when you get it home. Just like a Kebab, it suddenly loses its appeal on the other side of the front door. Spread out on the kitchen table its magic evaporates and it's just another terrible newspaper. It’s only the relationship to the great sprawling city that makes it.' Send them your suggestions for inclusion.

The Mass Observation Archive at Sussex University, via Grand Text Auto (many of the last few links came via muxway). Vaguely related. Tangents, the 'home of unpopular culture' also has a 'mass observation' project (as well as a weblog, Unpopular). Tangent's MO is a series of very readable 'snapshots of life' / a collection of perfume advertisements, via cup of chica, via quike like a bunny / huge fansite for 80s popsters Strawberry Switchblade, with extensive mp3s (via six different ways, who also shows us how to herd cats).

How to repair things, via Old Timey / Cole and Son are the Queen's wallpaperers, apparently / old, but still interesting. The world's biggest 'IF', a GPS drawing (via haddock). Also, mapping Chicago, GPS noughts and crosses, football pitches in Hackney and the in-the-air maps are beautiful as well (vaguely related, we got a go in one of these yesterday, but weren't allowed to take the camera....)


Wednesday, September 24, 2003
And we're back... apologies for the lack of posts in recent days. Normal service will resume tomorrow.


Friday, September 19, 2003
Malcolm Gladwell's The Social Life of Paper, 'Looking for Method in the Mess'. Interesting background info on cataloguing, the legacy of Melvil Dewey, and the (currently) irreplaceable role of paper strips in air traffic control. It's all about making information physically available:

Because paper is a physical embodiment of information, actions performed in relation to paper are, to a large extent, made visible to one's colleagues. Reviewers sitting around a desk could tell whether a colleague was turning toward or away from a report; whether she was flicking through it or setting it aside. Contrast this with watching someone across a desk looking at a document on a laptop. What are they looking at? Where in the document are they? Are they really reading their e-mail?

Elsewhere. A directory of animated fractals (in gif format), via ironic sandwich. More: Martin Fractals, and animated Mandelbrots / the Hewlett Packard calculator museum / First Class – music for the jetset, full of wonderful retro mixes, pulled from soundtracks and more (like this one).

Art boxes and lamps (using Nixie Tubes?) / old electrical goods advertising (both via Sachs Report) / the Art and Culture Network, an online resource that'll pull up info on everyone from Carlo Scarpa to Karlheinz Stockhausen, all the while providing a neat little flash navigation applet to make links between like-minded and related practioners / old, but still good: typeface smackdown / the gallery of the Gibson Flying V / Brilliant Corners, a weblog.

Anna Oliver writes on maps and contemporary art (via The Map Room). Her main project is a dissertation on The Use of Maps in Contemporary Art, which we'll definitely peruse. It's just the sort of thing we're interested in... / from here, we find a link to the flashy experiments at White Void, especially Lucy May's photo album and Sam Lanyon Jones’ landscapes / more photos: Lost Time, digital archive of photos from Hampshire (old not new) / some blurry images from Finland.

The London Borough of Southwark come across all pixellated and, dare we say it, fashionable, on their re-designed website / punk rock history at Punk77 (via me-fi, with a fair few links to what's punk and what's not) / also via me-fi, Magnatune, an early example of the new breed of record labels. All music is streamable, and the buyer determines the purchase price / graphic musical scores at Maya Recordings.

Sci-fi Annual cover gallery / vacuum cleaner death ray / free linguine from the avocado papers / sea of angels, a weblog / Capolan collages / Going Green with the G-Wiz city car / the ad mascot gallery, via scrubbles (e.g. Mr Clean, also known as Mr Muscle and Monsieur Propre. Related: a semiotic analysis of two cleaning products).

What’s new? Winnie the Pooh. We've also added three galleries from last week's Frankfurt Motor Show: 1, 2, 3 (related: cover-ups). Updates will be irregular over the next few days.


Thursday, September 18, 2003
The toy paintings of Cesar Santander (via Coudal). Somehow creepy, almost like clowns. Believe it or not, but Diane Keaton collects clown paintings, albeit ironically. "When I go to the flea markets in Southern California," [gallery owner Robert] Berman said at the exhibition opening, "People say, 'If you don't buy this clown painting, Diane Keaton will.' ")

The Bombardier EMBRIO/2025, what happens when you cross a Segway with a motorbike (thanks to stungeye.com). Related: fire devastates irreplaceable collection of vintage motorbikes / images from Arnold Odermatt’s incredible book Karambolage, which should be subtitled 'Small town road traffic accidents in Switzerland in the Post-War Era' / gouache drawings of woodland animals by Amy Jean Porter / on the internet, no-one knows who you really are, as Tony Hawks discovers on a regular basis.

Flash animation experiments at Koert.com / fine art graphic novels at the Holy Consumption. See also Ex Falso Quodlibet at Margo Mitchell Media / Octopus Magazine / Beast Magazine (did we do this already?) / we haven't been here for a while: Grocetaria.net, a shopping history. Related: the history of the shopping trolley (or cart, as Americans like to call them). Their products page isn’t especially inspiring - there are more trolleys here, as well as this Ultrasonic Bubble Bath Appliance. That's product diversification for you.

Some links from Old-timey: brass resources, which links to the Museum of Antique Brass Instruments, the Brass Players Museum and Phil's "Old and Odd" Brass Instrument Gallery / America’s Second Hand Stories, thrift shops ahoy / Current Buns is the not-far-removed from stalker material website devoted to female current affairs presenters (or, er, 'infobabes').

The oddly named gah color! photography site / Paper Brigade, photography galleries and links, a community built by Matt Rubin / more photography at Ayako Takanaga’s minimalist site / New Fundamental, design and things / are games just for geeks? David Braben believes that the future will see an increasing focus on emotion, perhaps using body language conveyed through sophisticated animation / Wireframe Studio, more neat little animations / make your PC desktop all retro or futuristic at Wincustomize / download some Pixture desktops at Pixture Studio. Neat icons to download too / cabinets of curiousities, via Sachs Report.

Sorry about the dodgy formatting that's persisted most of the day.


Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Aerial views over at Lightningfield / why things cost what they cost: all about pricing (via haddock) / Biddingtons, art dealers / an interview with Tadao Ando (via RIBAworld) / things, close up, courtesy of Renze Dijkema, via conscientious, which also links to the awesome urban photography of Peter Bialobrzeski - see his incredible Megacities project, and also the landscapes of Ernestine Ruben / the myth of the divine staircase.

A correction: the photoblog Daily Chisinau is from Moldova, not Romania, as we said last week. See also Daily Copenhagen / Giornale Nuovo tackles Owen Jones / this is some serious data: 'The European VLBI [astronomical] project links 16 telescopes that each generate one gigabit of data per second over the 25 days of an observation session.' / related: beautiful satellite imagery, via me-fi (and Crunchland in particular) / also via me-fi, old computer magazines, lovingly scanned / things you didn't know, some (most?) of which are probably lies / in a similar vein to famed gadget weblog Gizmodo, here’s AkibaLive, the Japanese equivalent.

Grid Shock: 'By the year 2015, an estimated 273 million vehicles will be registered in the United States' / the International Necronautical Society makes manifestos and stages events, such as a recreation of the attempted assassination of Dutch Gangster Geert Roos / SuPerVillainizer: dream up a conspiracy, give it a snappy name, and SuPerVillainizer will set it in motion, automatically generating suspicious-sounding emails, ramping up the conspiracy by inventing rogues, villains, bad guys and scape goats who will chatter incessantly about their ‘plot’.

Sexbots: musing on the (inevitable) Sexually Interactive Autonomous Robots of the future (pdf), which cites Rachel Maines's interesting-sounding The Technology of Orgasm (subtitle: '"Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction'). Sample chapter here, and some of the (many and informative) reviews: I, II, III and IV.

Staying with things cybernetic, some more on the QRIO in this interview with Sony’s Toshitada Doi, founder of ROBODEX. It seems that the uncanny valley is foremost in Sony’s mind:

A: What do you think about the "character" of robots?

A: Take QRIO as an example. We suggested the idea of an "eight year-old space life form" to the designer -- we didn't want to make it too similar to a human. In the background, as well, lay an idea passed down from the man whose work forms the foundation of the Japanese robot industry, Masahiro Mori: "the valley of eeriness". If your design is too close to human form, at a certain point it becomes just too . . . uncanny. So, while we created QRIO in a human image, we also wanted to give it little bit of a "spaceman" feel... A robot's body doesn't have to be humanoid. However, in the case of an entertainment robot, people seem to form an emotional connection more easily with a robot that walks on two legs.


Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Just links today. Sci-fi and thriller lit cover archive from ace doubles, via old-timey / how to: by you, ‘an experiment in intuition’ (which is not always very helpful) / oops - embarassing lab accidents number 1 / neat flash tricks and more at bodytag - we especially like Maya1, Maya2 and Spun4.

Photos at wooden cracker / food icons at magnitude8 / the ghosts of 9-11, photography by Melissa Lyttle, an essay amongst many excellent images (e.g. rawk) / more music imagery at 40h: the Roskilde festival / Heather Champ’s burning man photo galleries: Playas Lomo, Polaroid and Pinhole / Textually, Ringtonia and Picturephoning, a trio of weblogs dealing with the ups and downs of new mobile technologies.

Grand Issue, a photolog / Maganda.org goes back into her past with 'all about me from A-Z', then and now / two more cartoonist links: Polish propoganda posters, 1951-57 (‘proper graphic design at last’, he notes approvingly. We like this one) and these old Jaguar brochures / there are some stunning photos of Norway at those green eyes. The English countryside, lush as it is, simply can't compare.

The ongoing saga of the 'At Home with Hitler' post. Read more at Plasticbag and see the site mirrored at the-crease.org.


Monday, September 15, 2003
Smart's iMove is the culmination of ‘cool’ branding synergy. All it is, in essence, is a Smart car with a neat bracket to plug in an iPod. Shame they didn’t do something about the hideous upholstery as well. The Smart range lends itself well to the insertion of snappy new technology: apparently a mobile phone model is also in the works. Is this the start of cars becoming more object-like, or just an acknowledgement that 'Smart' consumers are savvier when it comes to the brands they patronise? Apple also have a deal going with Volkswagen, whereby you get an iPod with each New Beetle bought.

More cross-over stuff. Sony continue their quest to get a serious toe-hold in the nascent robotic market with the Qrio. A miniature humanoid, Qrio is for those who hanker after something more than an Aibo. Which begs the question: do Aibo owners treat their 'pet' like a flesh and blood animal? And does this mean Qrio owners will treat their robot like a small child? The Qrio also ventures deeper into Doctor Masahiro Mori's 'uncanny valley' than the Aibo. For now, it's just a cute little humanoid robot, but just imagine if Jake and Dinos Chapman got their hands on it, or Ron Mueck. The apparent grace and subtlety of the robot's movements would become shambling, stunted and perverse if we were looking at something that although closely approximating a human being, very clearly wasn't.

Sony have got it right by playing up the 'robot-like' qualities of their creations. As humans, we're uncommonly good at anthropomorphising inanimate objects, and at creating objects that somehow mimic human traits (see, for example, the entire output of tiresome design house Alessi). By the same token, we're also extremely adept at spotting when something 'isn't quite right' in our fellow humans, whether it be a genetically-related condition or simple sickness. That said, some roboticists are striving to 'bridge the uncanny valley,' working on ever-more sophisticated humanoid faces (as detailed in this recent Popular Science article, The Man who Mistook his Girlfriend for a Robot). Based on the tasks that robots are actually being developed for (fighting wars, picking watermelons, patrolling buildings), it seems likely that replacement humanoids will come later, rather than sooner.

Related: QUALIA, a sort of tree-based depiction of Sony’s ‘brand values’ / an art installation at the fabled Winchester Mystery House at ten by ten magazine (via Fishbucket, who also links to sound toys) / make your own fledermaus / a Pavement tab archive / some photos of Norway / 'drifting', a new urban driving trend (facilitated, no doubt, by big wide roads) / the church of the block, a vast Lego Cathedral (via Bifurcated Rivets) / Just Be Design, a gallery of 'urban influenced art and design' / NYC cross-section drawing (via Sylloge) / a huge arts database.

Puzzling Pictures at the National Gallery (via dublog) / 100 Years of Design (the good) versus Bad Designs / how to keep your old Windows 98 installation going / thought: why doesn't someone do a kind of Pete Frame-style rock family tree online? (e.g. The Eagles, Hawkwind, Creation Records, California country rock) / the car from A Clockwork Orange / modern ruins / more model toy catalogues: I, II (all via the cartoonist) / a beautiful exhibit about skulls. Related: a modern bestiary - All Species.org (via Kevin Kelly) / desert photo.


Friday, September 12, 2003
It's nice, sometimes, to post something you know just doesn't exist anywhere in cyberspace. Something that's old, yet is also new, the first ever digital incarnation of an object, or image (or, in this case, an object that contains images). things is proud to present our first found photo album - the first images are the most, shall we say, unusual.

Of course, digital photographs are also unique, but one of the most interesting things about the profusion of photologs and personal galleries has been the gradual emergence of patterns and duplications: the shot over the wing of a plane, for example. The constant stream of fresh imagery is also inspirational, regardless of how banal the imagery. Thus inspired, others scurry out with their digital cameras in hand, and every day the world is scrutinised just a little bit harder.

More photography. Stark portraits and interiors by Kimm Saatvedt / Peter Funch, especially his amazing Las Vegas series, Made by Man / Pixelman, who has a Waking Life-type thing going on / the story behind the image at 'A Picture’s Worth', via purse lip square jaw / we also have a new gallery: a fairground.

Elsewhere. An image of the very first bug (although this smacks of hoax to our jaded, cynical eyes) / the Codex Seraphiniaus, the 'world's weirdest book' / handbags with a Detroit theme / yet again, I'm going to miss London Open House due to poor timetabling. This year also sees the debut of Open House New York.

I enjoyed Andy Beckett's 'Santiago Dreaming', the story of inventor Stafford Beer and his great technological experiment for Chilean democracy, Project Cybersyn. There's a dedicated Stafford Beer website, and here's more information from Beer's son. Beer was a painter too / in a similar spirit, perhaps: the Computacar (also here).

Word has it that that instant online classic, 'At Home with Hitler', has fallen foul of Conde Nast's copyright lawyers. Catch it while you can.


Thursday, September 11, 2003
And we're back. With lots of links. A-matter.com is also about architecture / the Nazi-era Provenance Internet Portal, tracking looted art. It would have been nice to have some thumbnails at least. Last week's epic Guardian supplement on missing masterpieces - the 'Greatest Art Show You'll Never See' - has links to all the pictures discussed.

Meomore is a pdf-based magazine. The first issue tackles cars through photos, art, reflections and more. Recommended / this article on the new crop of online magazines includes many of our favourites / a life in the present, a things-obsessed weblog (e.g. fantastic beasts and 'Titanic of the Sky', about the Hindenburg) / elsewhere weblog / imperial doughnut, photos, links and more / the late Cedric Price, architectural visionary.

Surfing photo albums / a great collection of designer's business cards, via dublog / mp3 links at kittyspit.net / old coffee machines. Related: making tea by electricity, the history of the Goblin Teasmade, part of 'Switch On', a virtual museum of small early domestic appliances / the lyrics to Pulp's 59 Lyndhurst Grove, Peckham's small contribution to the rock'n'roll gazetteer of London.

Retro illustrations at Shag / scratch built model cars / great hurricane photo gallery (see wild weather.com for more commercial work in this vein) / we’re not sure whether it’s an honour or not, but someone on the Bolton Wanderer’s fansite 'WanderersWay.com' has decided that this qualifies as one of the most 'gloriously inane photos' on the web. The rest of the posts have quite a nice boring postcard feel to them (see here for boring postcard musings and links etc. etc.)

Acroyear design projects are expertly presented, including Charles Coldwell’s photos of Snowdon / textism and exploding fist are both back after a slow August ('If I'm honest I much prefer to re-design sites than actually maintain them'. I know how you feel…). Best wishes for a speedy recovery for the internet's most famous dog / doodle of the day / Cityscope are flashy London estate agents, in every sense / isn't technology amazing? ten years graphics like this would be utterly amazing.

All Maple, a magazine from Canada / Bad Fads museum / illegitimate tunes at Bastard Pop / Daily Chisinau, photos from Romania / built a miniature city with Canon papercraft, via shitfit / photorealist artists / further to the Esquire cover gallery, there's also the a Conde Nast equivalent (a little bit more commercially minded).

The living history of the UK motorway network / spaceship model links: I, II, via haddock / a suburban home hides a subterranean fortress / Islam around the world / delicado, a music weblog / Corn and Death, a weblog, with posts on the recent death of Leni Riefenstahal (Guardian obituary, and Riefenstahl, the Nuba and me). C and D also has these excellent Godspeed You! Black Emperor photos / amazing photograph.

Finally, Surviving the Fall, a pertinent read today, as well as this article about the film, 'The Center of the World', and the 'Why the Towers Fell website.


Monday, September 08, 2003
Still out and about. Streatham Cemetry (via Coudal via Blurbism), beautiful photos with sneaky, subtle animations / two online magazines we were unaware of: Opium and Sweet Fancy Moses (again, both via Coudal) / 'cancelling' things, a new street art tactic? / assassinations foretold in book about great white whale - or how if you look hard enough, 'mathematical miracles' can be made to say whatever you want.

Vintage pencils ads (yes, Coudal again) vs vintage pen ads / chairs with pictures of naked ladies on them / the daily chump, a weblog / Living Doll, a pin-up website, with page upon page of sketches / the American Advertising Museum sounds great, but has practically zero on-line presence / the vintage fire extinguisher emporium.


Friday, September 05, 2003
Some links and weblogs to atone for our absence. Weblogs: daring fireball, maniacal rage, jejeune, cloudiness. There are also lots and lots of links over at the Neasden Control Centre.


Thursday, September 04, 2003
We're out and about for the next week or so, so updates will either be irregular or entirely absent. The latest photolog has just run its course, and there's a new gallery to be going on with as well.

Some links. We've overlooked Irregular Orbit and Ashley B's Notes from Somewhere Bizarre for too long. Especially like the latter's link to Feike Kloostra's amazing Gluebooks - the epitome of collage. There are also links to phonebin (warning, some pixellated, grainy nudity as the camera phone finds its lowest common denominator, although the scenic section is nice, if a little sparse) - and Pericles Lavat's photos of an abandoned jailhouse at Zone Zero. It looks as if it was abandoned yesterday. Also at Zone Zero, Martin Parr's Mobile Phones (someone should collate all Parr's online galleries in one post - there must be hundreds) and Stuart Isett's KyotoLand.

Speaking of abandoned spaces, very few cities start then discard entire mass transit schemes. Cincinnati, for example (via Plep at me-fi, which links to this neat and intense parody, the Miami Valley Rail Authority, as well as the amusing British Lard Marketing Board. We digress). Cincinnati's early twentieth century optimism can't be faulted, but the onset of the Great Depression, then the materials limitations created by WWII eventually drained all impetus and urgency from the project. It's fate was sealed by the construction of an Interstate across the site, making future reconstruction impossible (although perhaps not totally). Visit the remains of the system here, together with a map. Even more here. London is full of abandoned, 'ghost' stations, places that fell awkwardly between busy stops, until there were no longer enough footfalls to make them worthwhile. Somewhere we have a fascinating book about the proposed extension of the Northern Line that was also scuppered by the war - we'll dig it out. Of course, there's always the long-awaited East London Line extension.

We keep going back to the Dinky Gallery. Look at the battery-operated color TV in the back of the Lincoln Continental! These zoo vehicles are hugely collectable today / unbuilt architecture - the Vladimir Tatlin photomontages look quite inspirational, but also strangely gothic and menacing / coolfer is a music weblog.

More random snippets. Satan’s laundromat, a weblog / Islands of Order, a decade of collecting / on couture and stores: the links between architecture and fashion, an essay which pre-dates the opening of Prada NY and, naturally, Prada Tokyo. Related: Has Rem Koolhaas Abandoned New York City? / meet the youngest vocalist in heavy metal, and his metal family / Sarah Lovering, a photolog (e.g. my dad's car I and II) / freaky insects.

Update: interview with Douglas Coupland over at tmn, touching on his new book and more.


Wednesday, September 03, 2003
Lots of links today. things has always had a thing about language, and words, as things in their own right, but it’s not a concern that has really manifested on this website. Others are doing it so much better, after all. Open Brackets is the first port of call for anyone interested in the art of translation, interrupted with welcome snippets of domestic minutiae, fictional imaginings and, above all, an all-consuming interest in words and language. We’ve also just discovered Glosses, which is not only beautifully designed (one of those rare sites that successfully blends the analogue world of printing with the screen), but frighteningly multi-lingual. There’s also a handy guide to binding your own books - the objects and texts are inseparable.

Elsewhere. Anti-mega, a weblog, was complaining about our lack of rss feed. No more / 'Sifters blog so you don’t have to' - as good a definition as any, although ‘professional’ time wasting wasn’t quite what we have in mind / Coolstop has a neat visitor’s gallery / Half Life re-created in two dimensions / Beyond Brilliance / Beyond Stupidity, the good, bad and ugly of urban design (via City of Sound).

Quand j’Étais petit, a fantastic then-and-now gallery - how people turn out when they grow up. It's related to Un Jour dans la Vie, a huge photo-a-day type site with contributions from all over the world (via Vigna Marú in Brazil, which also links to this history of Japanese woodblock type) / a collection of original wood blocks by Eric Gill. Even more Gill at the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. Gill woodcuts at the Davidson Galleries / Penkiln-Burn, the work of Bill Drummond.

Vintage stocking adverts / Martin Parr’s mini love cubes - who's with who? (via Traveler’s Diagram) / the new White Stripes video is an on-the-nail collection of contemporary ‘cool’ references. Director: Sophia Coppola. Starring: Kate Moss. Who is: pole dancing / selling time travel equipment to spammers, via this Wired article / City of Sound also linked to the excellent Contact Sheet which, amongst other things, has a lovingly collected gallery of typefaces used in Woody Allen title pages.

This gallery of Corgi and Dinky toy catalogues - some of the most pored-over things from my childhood, and no doubt many others too - was our first introduction to The Cartoonist (via scrubbles). This is true 'sifter' site, digging up all sorts of ephemera – e.g. this 1938 General Motors promotional catalogue, Modes and Motors ('The artist is interested in what the car will look like - in what it should look like. Because it is a swiftly moving vehicles, its exterior must express fleetness and movement; because it contains passengers, its interior must express comfort and repose'). Other links include Project Hessdalen, all about weird lights in Norway, and photos from Claude Barma’s mysterious Belphégor series. Best of all (for me, anyway), are these galleries of Citroen brochures: I, II. This 1968 ID catalogue turns the car into a piece of abstract art. Also, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Judging books by their covers has been updated / scrubbles also sent us over to Desert Modernism, the first 'restoration blog' we've ever heard seen (as opposed to restoration television programmes. Banchory Sanatorium is our favourite) / gig poster design directory (both via Coudal) / further to yesterday's flood of found photos, we've discovered that you can view the whole of Look at Me at once - wonderful. I think my favourites (apart from on the beach) are people posing with new cars: I, II, III, IV / Indie Rock Live offers a whole concert by the Legendary Pink Dots / a neat take on the Global Rich List, via haddock / Spa is pitched at the small architect. It is also refreshingly irreverent.


Tuesday, September 02, 2003
The Crossbones Graveyard is a derelict site south of London's Borough Market. The hoarding around the site is plastered with posters revealing the history of the scrubby, tarmac-covered land as a former graveyard, allegedly dating to Roman times. There are details in this thread, but although the posters give an URL, www.savethecrossbonesgraveyard.com, it doesn’t work (and doesn’t appear to have even been bought). A few years ago, the now-defunct Railtrack applied to build a four-storey tower of Portakabins on the site - presumably as offices. Saved from mediocrity by bankruptcy, perhaps, but there's still the small matter of the Thameslink plan hanging over the area.

As well as furtherfield, mentioned yesterday, we're told of furthertxt, which links to Dido (Day In, Day Out), a 'collective global diary'. There's also furthernoise, which includes Paul Glazier's Commercial Breakdown, a series of cacophonous sound collages culled from adverts (mp3s available - and also see his 'Surrender'). More music: Backmask Online, 'the absolute best source on the Internet for information about hidden messages in popular music'.

'Six Pillars', an iconic South London house is open as part of London Open House on September 20-21st / hand-printed books live on at the Incline Press / Mimosa, memories of the Soviet era (via me-fi) / the hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness, via Coudal via Geisha / what will happen when the robots finally arrive? Mass unemployment, new Luddism? Or a Utopia for all? / WoW's fascinating scans of the infamous 'At home with Hitler' article have zipped all around the web.

Interesting article by Oliver Bennett in this week's Design Week (all kinds of subscriptions required, unfortunately) about Found Photos on the web. The excellent sites he links to are: Look at me, Time Tales (Stutz Blackhawk!), Object Not Found, Quality Control, is this you?, kittyville, Photorealism, spillway, and found photographs. There's also the Museum of Find Arts. These have all been added to our new photography links page.


Monday, September 01, 2003
The Tate's new archive launches today (via Kate Kellaway's article in the Observer). There's a searchable database, where you can highlight things like these 11 architectural models, including 'Project A', which would have removed the Tate’s frontage and replaced it with a huge (presumably concrete) façade that came right down to the river front. More info). No mention of who the architects of this typical piece of Sixties bloody-mindedness were, though.

Other gems include visual essays on the Bloomsbury Group and the American critic Barbara Reise. However, these images are still.not.big.enough. It’s a theme we touch on frequently at things (and are admittedly guilty of ourselves), namely that of the quality of digital archiving. Given that processing power, size of storage media and access speeds (not to mention monitor size and quality) are all increasingly at an exponential rate, does it not make sense to present scans at the highest practicable resolution (say print quality) right from the start of any archiving project?

With artistic mediums, namely photos, documents, models, paintings, and anything else that repays close attention, a shoddy 512 x 282 pixel resolution just isn’t going to help you. Security could be covered by digital watermarking or simply by the uniqueness of the imagery – anyone making illegal use of the Tate’s collection would be unlikely to have found the same images anywhere else, discouraging copyright piracy.

More archives. This Esquire cover gallery is mighty fine, and the scans aren't too bad. It's a fascinating social document: in the late 70s, Esquire had become really quite a dull looking magazine compared to the graphic simplicity of the 50s (June 1955, June 1957, January 1956). We're not too sure about the repeat motif of the little moustachioed man - Esky - though.

Esquire has always managed to resist the urge to go all-out sexed-up, despite the incursion into its market by the dread trio of Loaded, FHM and Maxim (notice how all those websites use red, red, red, everywhere?), and their even more tawdry imitators. Even so, the last ten years have hardly been a high point of the art director’s craft. Thus far this year, for example, Esquire hasn't once shown its logo in full. It's all a far cry from the 'simple' days of the 60s, when covers could be seriously bold. Related. Alexey Brodovitch was art director at Harper's Bazaar from 1934-1958, during which time he reinvented magazine design. Time, we think, for a new pioneer.

Jim's Big Things, via Iconomy / the new issue of Delve magazine is a little bit kinky / Furtherfield, web art, political art, poetry and more, including the 'real' bodies of skin/strip / just finished Miranda Sawyer's Park and Ride, which was enjoyable. I was partly encouraged to read this book by this Ebay listing - buy the car that features in the book! (more info at Justin Banks).

Some more on Imber's history. Another review / ever get the feeling that you don't want to live in London anymore? Not yet, but the epic sweep of Portland Beach is tempting (we've also just noticed that our pebble illustration was inadvertently 'borrowed' from here (more: I, II). Thanks, Giles).