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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Kit Williams' Masquerade was a minor obsession in early eighties Britain. We were too young to appreciate the frenzy that accompanied the book, as the country became caught up in the quest for a golden hare, buried in a secret location (in the presence of Bamber Gascoigne, no less) as a prize for the person who decoded its location via the densely illustrated book. Despite Williams' carefully devised riddles and illustrations, the hare was eventually found through luck and lateral thinking, at Ampthill Park in Bedfordshire, round about here (close to the Millbrook Bowl high speed proving ground). The findee was a man who'd spent time researching the artist and his life, where he had lived and the likely places he might have used. He had also used a metal detector, despite Williams' attempts to bury the treasure beyond the reach of such devices. Nonetheless, it had proved a taxing quest; two years had gone by since the book was published, and it took a few more months for the real solution to be revealed. All this, and more, was gleaned from Dan Amrich's site.

Williams followed up Masquerade with Untitled, also known as 'The Bee Book'. This time the illustrations were mixed with intricate marquetry and the puzzle was to divine the book's actual title, then express it without words (the answer is at the bottom of this page). We actually have this book somewhere, and can remember not even knowing where to start. Williams' most recent activity has been the design and construction of magnificent clocks, reminiscent of the whimsical constructions of Roland Emmett (images here. The 'armchair gaming' community still exists, via sites like Quest4Treasure and the Armchair Treasure Hunting Club. Here you can find obscure events like the Miglia Quadrato, which 'takes place entirely within the square mile of the city of London, with knowledge and kind co-operation of the City of London Police', and was first held in 1957. Here is a list of hunts for the general public.

*

Other things. Quipsologies, idiosyncratic links / videos.antville links to the most innovative recent music videos, some of which aren't bad at all / an interactive Map of Narnia. CS Lewis gets the JK Rowling/World of Warcraft/LOTR treatment. Roll out the lunchboxes. The style owes a lot to Pauline Baynes, the original and best illustrator of Lewis's chronicles (and who also illustrated Tolkien: see this map of Middle Earth) / Carolina Vigna-Maru runs a weblog linking to artists and photographers, such as the work of Tim Lowly.

Dramatic pictures of suburban sprawl. Via archidose, who also post 'measuring design excellence', musing on the role of photography in architectural presentation, specifically the work of Hedrich Blessing, a Chicago-based agency of nine photographers who seem to have sewn up the market in glossy international style imagery, and other outfits like the rather Tolkeinesque-sounding Steinkamp/Ballogg. Robert Elwall, curator of the RIBA's photography collection, covered the rise of heroic architectural photography in his book Building with Light, which is highly recommended. The work of photographers like Dell and Wainwright were instrumental in shaping the public's perception of new buildings.

Drains of Britain at BLDG blog / 80s mix tapes / a database of Modern Finnish Authors / Junomods, a web magazine that flags up (heavily sponsored) design festivals around the world / The Blue Car, a delightful (but expensive) deco model / the world's tallest chimneys, just one diagram of many at the ever-growing skyscraperpage (via me-fi). Or try this site devoted specifically to the buildings of Richmond, Virginia.

A huge collection of photos of Burlington, the undercover city discussed a few days ago / blurry photos (some nudes) at defocused. The landscapes are especially beautiful / electricityinfo.org tells you exactly how your (UK) supplier generates your electricity / Paul Craig's weblog / frappr melds Google maps with architect location data - find out who and what's where / art and music links at mine.not.mine.