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weblog archives
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Friday, September 05, 2008


This weblog used to be called 'newthings', implying that we were only really interested in novelty and invention. In truth, the title was chosen as the world of the internet seemed represented the 'new' when compared to 'oldthings', our printed output. When we started, the idea of the internet as perpetual repository for stuff, as opposed to searchable directory of information that facilitated the finding of real world stuff. We've always known that the object in isolation is not as fascinating as the object within its cultural context. The internet provided not just a new context, but a new way of looking at existing contexts. It took a while to realise it, but the collection, presentation, and curation of objects has become an intrinsically revealing way of tracing the ins and outs of modern culture.

This new curatorial context is also a space of collision. The work of Iris Schieferstein, taxidermist and artist, illustrates one such collision (via Ravishing Beasts, an excellent taxidermy weblog that delights in concepts like Fraudulent Animals, still very much a contemporary concern). RB writes, 'Generally speaking, I am not a fan of taxidermy that makes new - and often woebegone - creatures from the parts of other animals. I think much of such combinatory art uses animals as mere raw materials, manhandled for shock effect or to manifest the dark depths of the human imagination.' Although these hybrid objects are clearly analogue, they are above all digital creations, relying on the rolling wunderkammer of the internet for a place of display.

Also via RB, Curious Expeditions and Morbid Anatomy (from where the above image of an elephant skin being cleaned at the American Museum of Natural History, date unspecified, is taken. Both deal with the vast, relatively uncharted world of pre-digital collectomania.

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Other things. The Double-Breasted Dust Jacket, fine title for a book-centric weblog / London from the air at night, via CTRL+V / Rich and Grace, an art and design weblog / Old Soviet Christmas card collection / photography by Sannah Kvist / A DSLR catechism, neatly summarising the nature of technological upgrades / Mapping Star Wars influence / Jumbo Hostel, cheaper than flying first class in the A380 / make a pinhole camera out of Lego.

Shutting down the Shuttle, NASA's Wayne Hales on the economic impossibility of keeping the craft alive, the role of small scale craft and production in building the machine in the first place and the inevitably bespoke nature of the modern spaceship / a collection of news infographics / peacock moon, product and design weblog / Setagaya-mura, the 'open tech house', an ongoing experiment in architectural design by Osamu Ishiyama. More on the work of this outsider architect.

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