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weblog archives
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Friday, June 11, 2004
Sometimes you put together a whole bunch of links but forget the mental glue that bound them together. Today is one of those days.

Fredric Jameson writes (at length) about Koolhaas's Project on the City series in the New Left Review and how traditional urbanism is, apparently, at a 'dead end'. Koolhaas himself, who doesn't actually write the books in question (he oversees and edits them), is described as 'certain versions of the deity, nowhere and everywhere all at once', a bit like the urban interventions the books chronicle; the architecture of an increasingly hectic everyday.

Lest one forgets, Jameson coined the term postmodernism, using it to describe such buildings as the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles (by John Portman Associates), a structure so impenetrable that he complained it was near impossible to navigate - a 'spatial mutation'. Rather than a mere hotel, the Bonaventure became a symbol of the great, and ever-increasing, complexity of the modern world. Yet Koolhaas puzzles Jameson, with his paradoxical ability to relentlessly recycle imagery and generate new forms, not to mention his apparent (and usually cynical) mania for dystopias - 'Junkspaces'. Ironically, Jameson opened our eyes to the moebius strip-like quality of malls and endless consumption, a strip which Koolhaas and his acolytes are happy to travel. Jameson, however, now wants out.

Other things. Buy Michael Mandiberg's time (only $20/hour). Previously, you could buy Mandiberg's stuff, but it's either all gone or he's stopped selling it. At around the same time, Michael Landy performed 'Breakdown,' whereby he fed his worldly possessions into a crusher (in the inauspicious surroundings of the former C&A store on Oxford Street). Landy's piece involved destroying other artists' work in his possession - a kind of personal Momart fire ('We aim to repay your trust', they say, inappropriately, on their site). Related: did this move cost him the Turner Prize? (scroll down). You can see Landy's new installation, 'Semi-detached,' at the Tate Britain.

Crimes of Persuasion, the low-down on con artists. Good to see that the speaker scam, the only one of these we've nearly fallen for, is a global thing. Actually, the only reason I spent so long listening to the scammers is that I thought they were going to give me the speakers, not try and sell them... They weren't amused / Refresh Reload, graphical goodness / Microsoft's XNA is a games development tool. This means nothing to us, but there's a big movie download on that page of two Saleen sports cars driving into each - the future of video games graphics?

Blogging Baby, should be useful / Zoe's World / Smoke: a London Peculiar - issue 3 out now / African Imagery (via milton / the Marx and Engels Internet Archive / Orwell Today / Ironminds, a weblog with a musical slant / what the Swiss are getting up to / Stigmata: In Imitation of Christ (not to be confused with this Imitation of Christ), an article on the origins of saintly stigmata.