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Saturday, August 18, 2007


Why is there such a focus on the unexplained and the arcane on the internet? This post on Abandoned Tunnels & Vast Underground Spaces is a Dark Roasted Blend special mix, compiling some of the most memorable subterranean photo sets from around the world. Urban exploration, above and below ground, holds an eternal fascination, as the built environment succumbs to renewal and change. We'd speculate that the internet itself is perceived as a hybrid of the tunnel and archive, an underground repository that is all around us but simultaneously invisible. In his interview with the novelist Patrick McGrath, The possibility of secret passageways, Mr Manaugh speculates on what forms of architecture tap directly into our emotions and fears. This post was followed by one on the underground Turkish city of Derinkyu, a vast network of largely unmapped passageways and chambers beneath the modern city. This above and below status is what makes the internet simultaneously new and also reassuringly old, an alluring throwback to the mental image of the tunnels and systems that sustain us, revealing long lost knowledge to all, yet somehow preserving it as something that is available only to the lucky few.

As if to confirm the above, all about the London Hydraulic Power Company, who piped pressurised water around the capital so that their subscribers could tap into it and power their devices. More at Wikipedia. The The Wapping Project building once housed one of their steam-powered hydraulic pumps. A fine map of the extent of the network over at Interconnected (read the rest of the presentation), and explore the surviving tunnels with the Subterranea Britannica / The Future: Present and Past, Near-Mint Heroes collates a few futurology links from round about / Rolu dsgn, recycled architecture and more / the assemblage art of Lesley Hilling.

Photographs by Christopher Morris / 'acolytes of Veblen,' apparently the 'Japanese buy half of all luxury goods' / design snips, 'collecting snippets of good design' / two straight lines, craft and more / between song banter, the masters / Comic and Story Paper Family Trees, via haddock / oh, and BLDG BLOG has had a redesign. How does he find the time?

Photography and Time, a journal by photographer Nicholas Whitman / all about the Happy Flowers / elegant visualisations of pertinent data at SOM's proposed Transbay Tower, courtesy of Stamen / quaint modernism for infants at Sparkability / Architektur Video, snippets of environments real and virtual / Dime Geography, a visual weblog / an abstract view, beautiful paper sculptures (via Tantas Cosas) / Digital Past, collections from Illinois cultural institutions, e.g., 'Card Sent to Ellsworth From a Member of the Albany Burgess Corps, c.1850s'.