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Tuesday, June 29, 2004
All about warship camouflage (via consumptive, via incoming signals. As an aside, I’d never noticed the Cryptozoology gallery, myself. The skunk ape picture still scares me). See also 'Art and Camouflage', part of a surprising amount of information about this field online, thanks perhaps to the close link between abstract art and the angular, modernist shapes that were determined to break up the shape of a ship and make it hard to read its heading, and thus stave off torpedoes.

The so-called 'Dazzle' patterns originated in the First World War, developed first by the artist Norman Wilkinson in 1917, while patrolling the English Channel. From ShipCamouflage.com: 'Stated simply, the theory for dazzle design is as follows: take the starboard side, divide roughly into two, and paint the fore part a dark color.'

Another history of nautical camouflage. Although dazzle patterns have striking parallels with early abstraction, Wilkinson's work was relatively conventional. A short biography. A Northern Ireland Landscape. The dazzle shapes weren't just devised by by artists - even naturalists mucked in, like Peter Scott.

All you ever needed to know about warship colour charts (some of those palettes are now distinctly fashionable again…). Dazzle evolved into disruptive pattern, the classic ‘dpm’. See Camouflage uniforms of the world. There are books devoted to the subject of camouflage. These photos of the exhibition Dazzle and Drab, Ocean Liners at War, shows the patterns to good effect.

Best of all is DPM, a gorgeous-looking coffee table book of camouflage, published by Maharishi. This looks great, but is slightly tainted by the feeling that it's deliberately 'cool', and not quaintly fascinating, such as English Heritage's work on the Cold War.

Elsewhere (but sort of related), She Just Wanted to Blend in, a linklog / Hong Kong at Night, via Life in the Present / the Jackson Museum, in homage to the purveyors of very metal guitars, and the golden era of body artwork. A great resource.

The amazing Viaduc de Millau is rising fast - check the 3D videos / The Branding of Polaroid, an insider's view, via Conscientious / old computer brochures and more at The Commodore Billboard (via the recent skinny) / links digested at tripe soup / kottke has redesigned - always good to see something new.

Lightningfield takes an underground walk in Paris / Skirt magazine / I love detailed biographies of bands I’ve never heard of: The Rosehips / an image a day / great photo by Witold Riedel / why not sue Apple? Muddle-headed legislation might make it possible to do just that...