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weblog archives
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007


There has been an explosion in visual weblogs. Does this indicate that there is a corresponding increase in the amount of creative work, or is it just that more and more of this work is making it onto the internet, being collated and offered up for perusal? The common thread that binds these weblogs together is the single arresting image, be it a film still, flickr pic, piece of scanned ephemera or fragment of corporate identity or brochure. These are the new cultural hooks, one shot slices of instant visual gratification that get lodged in the brain, ultimately persuading you that somehow you have seen everything before and yet it all remains strangely new.

Some examples. Viewers Like You, which links to Jonathan Keller's Sign Language Matchbooks / The Errant Aesthete, branding, interiors, that sort of thing / Smogr, a tumbling, image log type of thing / Bruno Bergher's design and code-centric weblog / Bobby Sattler's visual weblog / Today and Tomorrow, a weblog / Lullabulle, French fashion weblog / Andy Bosselman's design-centric weblog / Notcot, page after page of creative projects, distilled down into a single, arresting image / Publication Design, a weblog / Bloesem, craft and art / old school car navigation system by Honda / Made by Blog / Pan-Dan, more stuff stuff stuff. The 'modernist project' seems to have evolved into a generator of enormous quantities of elegant, but largely superfluous, objects.

These modern compendiums are catalogues of contemporary culture, just as the Great Exhibition was a snapshot of mid-C19 century manufacturing excess. The Great Exhibition saw a deluge of things, many of which were just as flippant and superfluous as the flotsam of today's consumer overload. The Exhibition celebrated the taste of the era, capturing the point at which high Victorian style boiled over completely into orgiastic whimsy. If you don't believe us, check out Artserve, a site at the Australian National University, which has pages and pages and pages of GE exhibits, hastily scanned but retaining all their ornate complexity, displayed by exhibitor, medium, and type.

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The idea of a building as logotyope is something that occasionally comes up here, whether it's Detani Colain's font Utopia (inspired by the graphic silhouettes of the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer) or the sheer ubiquity of images of 30 St Mary Axe as visual shorthand for the City of London. Brand New delves into the neat self-generating identity created by Stefan Sagmeister for the Casa da Musica in Porto. Sagmeister uses OMA's faceted yet graphic architectural elevations as a means of spawning a set of icons that can be applied to just about any situation. Will the Beijing CCTV building be used in a similar way? Somehow, we doubt it.

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Developer ordered to rebuild flattened Goldfinger cottage / IZO, all about the Russian art scene / Lumas, art photography / Some Paintings, the website of artists Alex Kanevsky and Hollis Heichemer. The pages chronicling the progress of his paintings are especially interesting / illustrations by Mattias Inks. His cities are especially intriguing / Explore Laboratory, architecture students, tech and trends from the University of Delft.

Created in Birmingham, tracking creativity in the city / prints for sale at Bellagraphica / refined and atmospheric photography by scotchpenicillin / The Self Divider, a thoughtful weblog about life and literature / Arts Blog, a collection of Italian projects / Dan Hill on wind power, and the visual and aural impact of installing turbines in the urban environment / search through old UK phone books on line / a set of battery hacks (the first one is a hoax).