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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
And here we are again, see-sawing between producing long lists of ephemera, conjucture, opinions and collections, and then sitting back and thinking about what it all means. In all our years observing the evolution of the weblog, and the exponential growth in the amount of visual material that is being uploaded daily (like the steady rise in CC licensed imagery at flickr), it's rare that anyone actually stops to decode what it all means. Sure, there's an array of new and re-profiled words brought into currency to describe this new world - retroism, popist, neo-futurist, post ironic - but nothing is all encompassing enough to capture the

Barely a day goes by without us stumbling across another repository of wonders (Nouvelle Vague, Arkintia, Supercolossal, etc. etc.). Maybe not 'wonders', but _interesting things_. Stuff that makes you stop and look a bit closer, and maybe click through. Perhaps there's a problem. There's a point in Andrew Marr's excellent book My Trade where he observes, grumpily, that the modern newspaper, with all its supplements and sponsored sections and 'ten bests...' and shopping pages, exists solely to sell you things. The list format, which leaked into newspapers from the magazine trade, has proved the natural way of presenting information on the internet. Visual creatures that we are, it is the sites that spool off an array of delicious images, like a fresh layer in a chocolate box, that garner the most interest.

The danger is that architectural arcana or academic enquiry is relegated to the same level as the ongoing tidal wave of objects and flippant scans, that essays on urbanism are lumped with kitsch flickr sets or scanned scrapbooks. Everything is flattened down to the same level, attention spans are eroded and nothing very much ends up being done. Instead, all that's observed is the accelerating pace of creative activity. Objects, places, things, memes, everything boils down to data points on a graph, the decanting of shifting opinion into easily digestible forms.

*

And so on to the links. Your House, a paper creation by Olafur Eliasson / Fresh Creation, bite-size round-ups of what passes for international creativity / Very, 'a blog about the Pet Shop Boys / Laboratorio Italia, a site about contemporary architecture in Italy / the Double-Nosed Andean tiger hound.

Jailbird Greetings, a love letter from prison, circa 1977, at Swapatorium. A different kind of outsider art to the frankly terrifying Russian prison tattoos (some, actually most, images nsfw) / Footprints in the Snow, the website of designer Rick Myers / Natalia Zelmanov's Second Life Diary, a tour of an imaginary place with a virtual Ivana Trump (via haddock).

David Byrne on people who live in glass houses; a life lived meticulously: 'one very considered vast modernist artwork, or stage set, as if to say that modernism doesn’t stop at the door of the museum or at a building’s edge. It’s a way of remaking the world.' Our Glass House post from a few weeks back.

It's not quite When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Judith Kerr's wartime masterpiece, but Blossom the brave balloon deserves a place in the wartime library. The story of a barrage balloon and her tangle with the Nazis, it's an attempt to familiarise children with extraordinary circumstances.