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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


There's a void at the intersection between aesthetics and technology. When someone suggests that robotised and computerised house-building could revolutionise a rather staid and conservative industry, the mental image is of baroque concrete follies and slick, appliance like pre-fabs that ape German cars in their build quality and attention to detail.

The truth is unfortunately more prosaic. Aesthetics are running far in advance of manufacturing technology. While creations like Enric Ruiz-gelli's Villa Nurbs are possible, they ultimately are still bespoke objects, plotted on computer but stitched together layer upon layer like a piece of marquetry.

Consider the case of the concrete house printer, the ultimate pre-fab making machine. First mooted back in 2004, the 'Contour Crafting' project, helmed by Behrokh Khoshnevis, has recently given funding by Caterpillar.

Khoshnevis, working at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, initially created a system that is necessarily rather angular, as you can see from this YouTube video; right angles dominate. The idea has evolved, as shown by this small scale contour crafting device which can do curves but looks rather impractical to scale up to house size. The Contour Crafting website demonstrates that the solution would be a mix of the two, but would still fall far short of the generative fantasies that represent modern futurism.

The original Contour Crafting announcement resulted in this New Scientist article, which quotes Greg Lynn as saying that "I believe that aesthetically there's a great potential to make things that have never been seen before." Yet Behrokh Khoshnevis's ambitions - "to be able to completely construct a one-story, 2000-square foot home on site, in one day and without using human hands" - were more about volume than aesthetic innovation. This is the kind of future cityscape a robotised army of Contour Crafting machines would create:



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Other things. The Quiet Feather bows out / the Sesquipedalist moves on to a new iteration / a new publication via Archinect and InfraNet Lab, [bracket]. The html for that is going to get irritating / Saudi car culture (video) / huge collection of old car brochures for sale / the website of the book Medical London (via Further) / stolen novels, a great but bizarre story / crashed plane in Russia.

Paintings by Oana Lauric / the ladies of Star Trek, both via Rashomon / on Chaplin's Modern Times / the Swaggart Bible College Dorm, a gem of late evangelical brutalism at Abandoned Baton Rouge / Old Milwaukee / four years on, and Lynn is clutching a Golden Lion, saying "We Want Your Toys.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
'Via Bettina Rheims, a Russian oligarch introduces his lovely wife to the world' is the subtitle to The Book of Olga (nsfw), a new book from Taschen. This object operates on so many levels it's hard to know where to start. As an opulent presentation of what is deemed quite literally a 'trophy wife', it's the modern equivalent of Gainsborough or Reynolds, portraiture for the post-Madonna and post-Koons world.

But through Rheims' involvement the portraits also claim to operate on the level of art, an expression not of love or taste (however misguided this might appear) but a statement of the role of portraiture and presentation within a relationship. The pornographic gaze has evolved from the blurred edges and frenzied brushstrokes of Giovanni Boldini, hinting at a hidden eroticism. Instead, everything is on display. Like Boldini or Gainsborough, these images are struck through with fantasy, and just as in the past, that fantasy doesn't necessarily belong to the sitter, but to the person who paid for the picture.

Perhaps this is reading way to much into what is essentially a glossy version of the glamour photography gift sessions (nsfw, in all probability). It begs the question, what will be the artistic legacy of the oligarch explosion? Now that the twilight beckons, the temptation is to scout around and decry the paucity of the artistic and architectural commissions that resulted from their five year rule of the international scene.

What will be left? A Philippe Starck designed yacht, Project Sigma, commissioned back in 2005 and only just breaking cover (and starting work in its role in facilitating tax avoidance). A private house by Zaha Hadid, which may or may not exist in some physical form by now. The charred remains of an house in New York by UN Studio. Countless destroyed supercars littering the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg. Dachas that are trumping McMansions in scale. Large swathes of London under Russian ownership. A 'destabilised' Riviera'. Etc. etc.

What lingers is the hunch that these acts (the ones of creation, not of destruction) were never deliberate artistic statements (like the recent Koons-designed yacht), but accidental ones, an aesthetic evolved out of new, hitherto unknown, arenas of status and display.

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Monday, October 27, 2008
There has been a flurry of weblog interest in MINExpo ('the world's richest deposit of mining technology, services and products'), including this post at Telstar Logistics. Why? The internet serves us well as a repository for the unusual, the gee-whiz aspects of technology that would otherwise remain hidden away, available only to specialists. But now we are all esotericists and fetishists, as TL's post makes clear, unable to tear ourselves away from 'giant dump trucks, esoteric drilling machines, and industrial explosive'. There is no arcana any more, at least not online.

Attending unusual trade shows will become a new leisure activity, as perverse fascinations and hobbies spill out of the world wide web in search of a physical manifestation. Check out the Ultimate Trade Show Directory for some future vacation ideas, like the awkwardly-named FunExpo (funerals), the International Christian Retail Show, the Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin and Wound Care, Event Expo, Northeast Ohio's premiere exhibition for party planners, and the very self-explanatory The Future of Wipes.

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This Old Toy, neatly packaged parcels of nostalgia / Accuracy and Aesthetics, whose mission 'is building consensus for the construction of semantic space as if it were a series of large scale public building projects.' What does this mean? The site has an interesting, almost sinister, love of diagrams and flowcharts / FormFiftyFive, a ffffound type thing with a more carefully curated approach. Via FFF, Thoughts from E17, the blog of the Build design studio. A blog is as an essential piece of designer kit as a clutch pencil in this modern world / Collected Visuals / I love typography, a weblog.

At Special Presentations at the Library of Congress, John Bull and Uncle Sam, Four Centuries of British American Relations / Peter Nencini, 'Making-looking-thinking of an illustrator-designer-lecturer' / is carefully thought out, beautifully designed, lovingly made, artfully presented and responsibly sold stuff still just _stuff_?

Photography by Ed Panar, via It's Nice That / Everything is Miscellaneous, an ominous-sounding website / The Way Things Go, the classic 1987 film by Fischli and Weiss (YouTube sample) / at first glimpse this is a spectacular mountain viewpoint, but ultimately it's genuinely hard to see what the point is / in the future, we will all have our own personal Biennales.

Cake Wrecks / buy shoes with Modista. Clever / the London Transport Museum photographic collection. Many, many gems, not just for those who get off on photos of vintage traffic (not such a bad thing), e.g. Tower Bridge under construction / How to See with John Ruskin / who would sure have approved of these websites and their avant-garde approach to Ikea's products: Ikea Hacker and Ikea furniture mods.

Rodcorp takes in an art fair: Frieze and Crash / need4speed, a website dedicated to images of speedometer needles reaching the end of their travel / quote from Dieter Zetsche of Mercedes Benz: "There are many studies that say it took 120 years to get to 800 million cars around the globe, and that it will take only another 30 years to double that volume." / Something about Sarah: 'pretty women foil men's ability to assess the future' / Fortress Finland, a nation's unusued bunkers.

We loved Tesugen, but that blog has now evolved into Tesugen Replaced, an experiment whereby past posts are revisited, reprofiled and re-posted, dead links fixed and ideas approached from a different angle. A piece of short-term digital archaeology, akin to flicking through old notebooks, searching for an overall theme to emerge.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


A Continuous Lean, a pretty fine weblog / seen before, but worth seeing again, The Ephemerist / just in time for the 'credit crunch', property snake tracks falling prices in the housing market, as well as the length of time houses have been on the market.

Some HDR photography / Naomi Stead, architecture critic / critical architecture: this proposal for a Peckham cultural centre by Eco-Architecture and Planning is agreeably insane, channelling the spirit of the 60s

We've not dipped into Twitter at all, but kottke rightly points out the entertainment and information to be gleaned from tracking how it's used. Using a site called Twist one can perform instant comparative surveys, like Google Zeitgeist but slanted towards the more tech-savvy user. Sometimes the loser is obvious. More in the comments.

On my desk / the mystery spot collective, new art / art by Michael Rubin / abstract paintings and collages by Josh Smith / paintings by Amy Talluto / Find a Grave / Photoguide, images of Japan / Lead Composition, Dave's Mechanical Pencils on the dark arts of pencil leads (via cult pens).

We've mention Cauty and Son before but hadn't really delved in the contents of the work, 'a provocatively childish and gleeful (if not disingenuous) lampooning of mass-produced cartoon imagery'. Think Itchy and Scratchy for the Abu Ghraib generation / another cutaway, this time of a minifig.

Things Found in Mum's Basement / World of Kane, a weblog / Play with the machine, a weblog / Multicolr Search Lab. See also flickrbits.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The Architects' Newspaper Blog reports on the strangely out-of-step male fantasy that is the 2008 Esquire House. Promoted via a Shulman-apeing shot of Koenig's Stahl House, the actual location is a dreary McMansion (emphasis on the 'man', as AN points out, rather obviously), stuffed to the gills with increasingly hard-to-shift consumer goods sourced from major advertisers.

The most overwhelming impression is one of aesthetic and materialistic conservatism. Compare and contrast with the Playboy Town House of over 45 years ago, a modernist inner city pad (previously mentioned) that still looks utterly contemporary. The Rudolphesque/Kahn-like facade of the PBT is in stark contrast to the faux vernacular of Esquire's 'modern' equivalent. Is this a reflection of cultural stasis? Or simply an acknowledgment that 'modernism' is, to all intents and purposes, now irrevocably fixed in time as a style, and not a progressive, evolving movement.

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Other things. Is there a British equivalent to Shorpy? There should be / essays by Lee Sandlin (thanks to the Chicago Reader / Perpetual Motion, RB flits between subjects / Zoom Music, a new world of things to listen to. Recommended. See also favourite instrumental music? / Kieran Long on the Biennale, which he finds is a bit like nerds talking about sex / some nerdery, the Elite Wiki / Jet Set Willy X, the sequel.

WM, a tumblr / Mad Men gets only 1.2m viewers in the US? Probably the same number download it in the UK... / relatively old, a Beck-style music map / Space Collective / Kaiju Anatomical Drawings, a series of fantastical illustrations that x-rays the insides of Japan's fictional monster foes. At Pink Tentacle, thanks to Ludwig (whose Blue Plaque Map we can also highly recommend) / yewknee, a weblog / delighted to make it into the Stuckist press archive.

'This is an obituary for the generation gap: Up with Grups / viewers LIke You, a weblog / eye spy, a weblog / Let's talk crap, Salon on global sewage issues / the global culture of queuing / a set of covers from The Economist, charting 11 years of impending financial doom (via magCulture). Related, watch Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Reinventing the Mall touches on Victor Gruen's fatal optimism for the mall as an architectural 'centerpiece of an alternative urban development'. Enter Westfield in West London (quietly rebranded from White City), a 'a new retail empire [that shows] sublime timing for students of paradox'. The piece refers to the Kiralfy brothers, entrepreneurs and special effects pioneers, who we mentioned in this post a few months ago.

Huffduffer, collating sounds as if they were images / homemade basement Lamborghini / two mp3 blogs, both of which open up new avenues: Stratosphering and Una Piel de Astracan / Emilio Ambasz's Casa de Retiro / wire sculptures by Fritz Panzer.

Seen everywhere, but still worth mentioning: In Twin Peaks, then and now images of the 1990 TV series. Hard to imagine something this bleak, analogue and, well, moist, getting picked up by any TV network today (via). See also the Twin Peaks Archive.

Swift weblog round-up: Under the Net, worth bookmarking / newbying / Gromblog / Hit or Miss, a tumblr / unconventional novels versus books that never existed.


The Kinetic Family Drawing, a projective diagnostic technique neatly summarised in the 1948 imaeg 'Child Draws Home', taken in 1948 by David Seymour. In recent years, children's drawings of catastrophe or chaos have come to represent a primal and fundamental truth about an event, emotive media shorthand for horrors we might otherwise be inured to. See, for example, Children's drawings of the Spanish Civil War, the Darfur Conflict, the war in Chechnya. And, at the opposite end of the scale, drawings which speak about aspiration and anticipation, The Laptop Club, a tmn classic. One set speaks of horror, the other of hope and anticipation.

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Other things. Vintage Paperbacks / Paris in Old Photographs / Fictional Cities, including Venice on film / Tanks and Tablecloths, an art project that is all about 'identifying common themes between the military and the domestic.' / A4 papercuts by Peter Callesen.

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Friday, October 17, 2008


SuperSpatial makes some fine points in A Night at the Opera: 'Hadid's Opera House in Dubai is the first true architecture of the 21st Century. Digital. Sleek. Perfect. So why build it?... The sheer beauty of the renderings is breathtaking. I want to inhabit its spaces (virtually). I want to fly through it. I want to explore its surface, its textures and materials. But I have no intention of visiting it.... But the reality will never live up to the beauty of the proposals. So why bother? The future of architecture is not Dubai, but Dezeen.'

In a piece called 'Empty Vessels', Jay Merrick recently described iconic architecture as 'essentially the spatial implementation of corporate decisions'. So why not bring iconism back home? That seems to be the thinking behind the inclusion of Michael Jantzen's M-Velope structure, a $100,000 folly listed in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.

Presumably intended for the country estates and beach retreats of the (crunch-shielded) ultra-wealthy, the M-Velope is fascinating and well thought out, but also has the unfortunate side effect of reinforcing the idea of architecture and design as a source of eye-boggling tchotkes, all the better to impress and enhance. We didn't expect anything more of Neiman Marcus - their traditional annual orgy of consumption has always boggled the mind. NM's Christmas Book is a feast of the absurd, from the 1969 Kitchen Computer (developed with Honeywell) to today's rather more nostalgic offerings: 'our exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime gift. The folks at RiRa Pubs will design a fully functional, traditional Irish pub and build it in your home in 2009. It will be crafted from historic Irish architectural elements and authentic Guinness artifacts'.

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Other things. A collection of music from ATP NY2008 at Strange Attractor / album covers, via Print Fetish. Also via PF, Vector journal / bathing beauties / Kino fist, the website of a film collective. Fine post on Threads, by Owen Hatherley. The whole film is on Google Video / Oolite, an open source Elite, with copious add-ons / neat little 3D java viewer / Timelapser posts film on vimeo (via slowernet).

Dooce unpicks her teenage diaries. Like a personal version of FOUND magazine: 'Satan himself called at the most vulnerable point of my entire semester yet. And how did Heather do? But of course she prattled to the tyranny of Satan and his servants.' / buy a slice of underground London / industrious subterranean Palestinians.

Great tip via ask me-fi: Cheap, Easy Audio Transcription with Mechanical Turk at Waxy - it's all about dividing up audio into little, swiftly digestible packages, apparently. We've used Casting Words before, but this looks like sound advice / 169 Errors, 178 warning(s), thingsmagazine.net gets validated. At least we're not alone (via).

Swiss Miss on browsing, or How Michael Finds Good Stuff on the Web. Quote: 'Yes, I open about 200 blogs in tabs. I know! I know, oh so very analog! RSS readers just don't do it for me. I want to see content in its original environment...' / the Battle of Bergisel (1809), a vast cyclorama. Via Tecnologia Obsoleta / further to our earlier post, The tallest building in the world: the contenders

Did the Olympic Parade really merit a couple of Apache gunships over the Thames on Thursday? Or were they there for something else?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008


On creationism, the ego and the sublime. The insertion of self into the historical landscape is helped substantially when that landscape is relatively compact. The concept of a 7,000 year old Earth therefore makes some perverse kind of sense, as it flatters the ego by suggesting that the average 70 year lifespan accounts for a significant 1% of all recorded time, thus enabling everyone to feel they have an impact on the ways of the cosmos. The alternative is far too alienating; a 4.54 billion year old planet turns your existence into a rather insignificant percentage. If significance is what you're after, then the thought of being such a diluted, infinitesimal part of global history that you're almost homeopathic can't be a comforting one.

Perhaps we can draw parallels between the the apparent egotism of this world-view - one that conveniently denigrates all contrary points of view - with the burgeoning culture of micro-celebrity. Is Young Earth Creationism a sort of cosmic Reality TV of the cosmos? Just as everyone's 15 minutes have been stretched out into a diet of thin, self-perpetuating media gruel, maybe the idea of a truly young Earth - the blink-and-you'll-miss-it school of geology - is a surefire way of asserting one's own primacy, a way of trying to literally make the world revolve around you. Throw in the role of the sublime, where landscape and creation are inextricably bound, and a'young' Earth would feel rich with the lingering aura of creation. That must be an addictive thought.

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Other things. Engaging the punters with Cold War Modern; the 7thsyndikate. Ponder a minute or so as to how a genuine Cold War era surveillance society would have treated the internet (at we made this) / nice set of film posters reduced to their placed products, at A2591, via me-fi).

A tribute to Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, and the people who worked there, including a matter-of-fact sounding mp3 of the station's final minutes before shut down / a fine but unsigned review of Glancey's Lost Buildings: 'For those who treasure cities and what gets called our "built heritage", this book will strum on your sense of poignancy with pornographic reliability.'

The Daily Beast, already making its talons felt in the absurdly angry American political scene. Right now the discourse is a little bit like a monologue from the angriest dog in the world / this isn't happiness, a pretty superior tumble log / The Sentences of Sarah Palin, diagrammed. Including: 'This sentence is not for diagramming lightweights... It requires not a diagram but a selection of push buttons.' A bit more about diagramming.

Nothing but Green Lights, mp3s of new British music / see saw, 'a daily dose of sourced images' (when did the phrase 'a daily dose' enter popular currency?) / Simon Norfolk has an exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Gallery. Full Spectrum Dominance, a 'series of photographs of military rocket and missile launches in America' that is allied to a modern landscape sensibility, a new sublime. Something the Iranians haven't quite mastered.

Beautiful brochures for the Citroen 2CV. Related, to Moscow and back by Deux Chevaux / HotWheels, a tumble log / The Royal Art Lodge / 3D software and you, designers reveal their favourite renderers / Speccy, an emulator. See also Spectrum Spoilers / Digital Compositing, a weblog / GraphicDesignBar, a weblog / the Second Solar Spaceship, the ultimate children's play area.

Simon Whatley, a weblog / Shelfari looks interesting / beautiful photography by Luca Gabino / After Corbu, a weblog / Retro and Vintage in Modern Web Design, via Coudal / 'today is a good day... for co-existing with humans' / Analogue Sunday, an idea we can get behind.

A Rule of Thumb, Cabinet of Wonders on the history of fingerprints / Curious Objects on Orson Squire Fowler and his penchant for octagonal architecture. See also Weekend Stubble on Fowler / via the latter, the new Times Archive Blog. The post on the Elephant Man is especially affecting.

Something we only just discovered, the Google Chrome scroll issue. Here's a fix that works / Lemmatica looks suspicious. It rides high in our referrer tables, but asks for a google login before you can proceed. Anyone have any idea what's going on?

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Monday, October 13, 2008
Try applying Nassim Nicholas Taleb's 'Black Swan Conjecture' to architecture. Is there such a thing as architectural capitaulation, whereby the nadir of one particular style or aesthetic is reached and beyond that point everything surges in the opposite direction? One might argue that Dubai's 1km tower is the capitulation of the modernist aesthetic. At 1,000 metres, design is reduced to the status of feeble greebling, manifesting itself only in the jagged spires that grace the final few metres of the building. These are physical spikes that flow in precisely the opposite direction to the financial ones that currently seem to be digging their jagged way to the bottom rule of the graph.

For some, this is pretty thrilling stuff. Dubai's expansion - mimicked by other Gulf states - has physically impacted on the country's appearance from space, giving succour to the idea of architecture as the mother of all arts, able to bend and shape whole countries to its will. For others, the relentless pace will inevitably culminate in a catastrophic engineering oversight, environmental rupture or financial meltdown. It's not just schadenfreude, but a growing suspicion that things can't last in their current state. Whether it's architects apparently willing to turn their backs on the possibility of career-making commissions (Mayne warns Dubai set for 'ecological disaster'), or smaller stories like the 'Raw sewage threat to booming Dubai' or the problems on the Palm, the region is being set up as a ticking timebomb, a soon-to-be deserted wasteland (quite literally) where the half-finished spokes and spikes of abandoned starchitecture rapidly succumb to the dunes.

Perhaps the 1km tower and other recent designs like the Michael Schumacher tower (with automated boat parking, apparently), denote the final flourish of this era of architectural extravagance (via tatosite). In any case, from this evidence, India is the new Dubai (via Indian Skyscraper Blog, via me-fi).

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Other things. The marvellous Modulex Planning System (via Peter Nencini), developed by the Lego-owned Modulex company (still in existence) and apparently a favourite of Eero Saarinen / Sci-Fi-O-Rama, a popular source of things to be ffffound.

Pop Art Zaha / illustration by Justin Blampied / The School of Life, 'a new cultural enterprise based in central London offering intelligent instruction on how to lead a fulfilled life'. The school of life weblog is worth a read, too / The Manual, a handmade newspaper that will probably remain a one-off (via mag culture).

Noisy Decent Graphics has a small, but no doubt burgeoning, collection of credit crunch graphics / Brief Epigrams / Rawsthorne on Ken Adam / Material World, a weblog we'll be paying more attention to in the future. This past post celebrated the life of Judy Attfield, one of the first people to get things interested in things.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008
Will Kane retro and film still flickr sets, via automatism / seen everywhere, but interesting as an example of the wunderkammer's logical extreme, Jay Walker's Library, the modern equivalent of the labyrinth in The Name of the Rose, filtered through a search for 'neat modern ephemera' / why should rock stars expect to be rich? / the ultimate modern ruin, via archinect / what do coke and meth look like up close? / a very short lived weblog, haxadecimal, highlighting the automotive oddities of ebay.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Paho Mann's Junk Drawers and Medicine Cabinets series are beautifully executed, the kind of thing we couldn't possibly pass up (via kottke). But each little composition of objects reminded us not just of Joseph Cornell, Kurt Schwitters and even Damien Hirst, but also the plethora of similar projects that abound on flickr. As we're fond of often saying, we are all curators now that the internet has given us keys to an infinite cabinet. Nowhere is this more evident than in the plethora of flickr pages that serve as personal monuments to acquisition.

Some examples: a junk drawer project, kitchen drawers, inside your drawers, my desk drawer, etc. Many of these seem to be inspired by the What's in your Bag? group (and its nemesis, What's REALLY in your bag?), as well as What's in your purse?, handbag contents, in my purse and object collections. Unsurprisingly, there are even groups devoted to bathroom cabinets and genuine wunderkammer.

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Other things. Six Martinis and the Seventh Art, a fabulous film stills weblog. E.g. this image from House of Bamboo / illustrations by Joao Fazenda / strange form of life, a weblog / junk drawers (via the moment) / letters from Salisbury at English Buildings: 1, 2, 3 / peta press, craft and more / all but the dissertation, a weblog / Russell Davies on patina, something the shiny digital world sometimes encourages us to forget, unless it's a deliberate ploy. Flickr's patina group.

Shut(er)eyes, a visual blog focusing on the unseen in the everyday / A cup of Jo, a weblog, which links to Nina Katchadourian's Sorted Books project / my happy things / the glossiest fashionesque images on flickr at flickrista / Save our Saarinen! The American Embassy in London under threat. Pearman on the inevitable philistinism that's about to go down in Grosvenor Square / gone to croatoan, a weblog.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Studio Orta, the work of Lucy and Jorge Orta, including the series Survival / Secret Bases, which leads to the Pyestock turbine facility, a vast complex near Farnborough, tucked away in the woods, where experiments were wrought and occasionally failed. Great ideas like vertical take-off airliners were agonised over by one of the last generations of true British boffin. The site, stuffed full of the quirky architecture of experimentation, may soon become a supermarket distribution depot. Related, the Rover Turbine Cars, as recently aped by Jools Holland (many thanks to Max).

The most decadent car options / Ford introduces a car with parental controls / Iranian car for women (related, Swedish car for women) / art by Ian Monroe / art by J Cauty and Son / artist Tim Machin, whose work features at the Bureau Gallery / we like the post-Google aesthetic of the Galerie Gabrielle Maubrie in Paris / Equivalence, European photography / Stop Smiling Magazine.

Andreas Muellerpohle's Riverproject.net, including the Danube River Project, 'a photo, video and sound portrait of the more than 2,800 kilometer-long river at its most significant points - the historical scenes, the large cities, the spectacular views - but also at its quieter stages. Taken from the water level, the upper part of the photographs shows the landscape, the lower part the water of the river at that point.'


Monday, October 06, 2008


We've noticed that the digital aesthetic is increasingly spilling over into the analogue world. Obvious examples, like these (very self-conscious) 'my document' and 'my photo' cases', or iPhone coasters or even the Atari, since 1972 ad campaign, the crossover project makes light of its digital origins (one thinks of the ceramic space invader installation), making a virtue instead of the craft, not the process. The above image of the GT by Citroen concept is an extreme example - a car designed for a computer game yet manifested as a physical object.

No matter that the attributes of the virtual car (designed for Gran Turismo 5) are impossible to replicate in the real world, or that the extravagant styling bears little relation to the genuine needs of aerodynamics. The rendered concept has also become an accepted means of journalistic speculation. Related, how to make a Google Earth sign. Google Earth vs. Reality.

What to do if you drop your mobile/cell phone in the bath: one, two, three, four. We can't vouch for the alcohol or rice/silica gel, but remove the battery, give it a good shake and then apply a vacuum cleaner enthusiastically to all the nooks and crannies. Twelve hours later, and our soggy excuse to go and buy an HTC G1 had miraculously returned to full working order. Vaguely related, June Eternal, images taken with a faulty digital camera. The ghost in the machine. See also broken camera photos. Good to know that occasionally digital can replicate the joys of the cross processed film or accidental double exposure.

A pleasure to be cited as an influence: Christian Neukirchen's Trivium appears to be worth watching, especially given that the entire blogging engine has been built from scratch. Things feels like it is running on an increasingly rusty chassis these days, the Model T of weblogs. See also Anarchaia.

For what it's worth, a real estate blog in Greenwich, Connecticut, at the heart of the credit crunch (via 'Down Hedge Fund Alley', a piece in last week's Guardian) / no-one is especially surprised by Nakheel's announcement of a 1km high tower in Dubai / photographs by Jordi Bernado at the eminently browsable Galeria Senda / another place that has become a meme, the abandoned holiday resort in Sanjhih, Taipei / the work of Osbert Lancaster.

The White Whale Laughs Last, a sketchbook. See also the scrapbook for a fine example of online collectomania / an excellent blog by Collyn Ahart Chipperfield / We Heart It is a sort of post-ffffound site / Militant Modernism, a book by Owen Hatherley. Something for your wishlist / Compfight, a seemingly swift way of flicking through flickr.

The todbot blog, making, hacking things / speculative car design and more by Andrei Avarvarii / Cult Pens, for all your writing fetishes / Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward have updated their seminal architecture guide to London / lukees, a tumble log / Traces of Hope, versus the UN food distribution game Food Force / watchismo, a watch blog / Images from How To Photograph an Atomic Bomb.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008


The Biennale of Perpetual Decay. Nothing is ever demolished, only added to or altered. Just an idea / a boat we missed / photography by Michael Danner / more conjectural space: Japanese space elevators, American solar sails / the 10th anniversary Google page inspired us to drag up the oldest archived version of this site, complete with 2002 weblog. It's a shame that sites like this have evaporated into nothing, leaving only bits and pieces behind.

The Vandercook Press, in praise of the traditional printing press. There was once a wonderful Chicago printshop called the Fireproof Press. See also the Museum at the Briar Press website. It seems to us that the aesthetic of the traditional press has survived, even though the technology has all but disappeared. At the time, the Fireproof web presence seemed like a true bridge between digital and analogue.

Thought for the Week at johnson banks / matching trailer, a flickr group / Morrell, 'Moving Turrell' sculptures, part projection, part object / BrickArms, arm your Lego minifigures to the teeth (via BBgadgets) / all about the Renault Estafette / dirty mice, a design blog / photographer Chris Clunn has many images of a vanished London (via flavorpill).

We can't paint, a weblog / MoMA's architectural drawing collection / Olympus Camera Wallpaper Gallery / weird RVs / combat zone/post-combat zone photography by Christoph Bangert.

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