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Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Jonathan Schipper's Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle is very reminiscent of Chris Burden, especially his 1985 piece 'Samson', a machine designed to destroy the gallery it is exhibited in: 'a turnstile connected to a gearbox and a 100-ton jack, the latter pushing against the ends of two giant timbers wedged between the outer walls of the museum. Every visitor to the show, passing through the turnstile, pushes the museum's walls a little farther apart.' (source, Outrageous Acts Give Way to Eccentric Sculpture, NYT, 24.09.11). Video. 'Real slowly, each person coming into the museum is helping this jack to expand.'

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Objects and accumulations. From a recent Guardian piece, As I love them, so my dad loved me: 'Frankly, I still can't face properly sorting out all the old photographs, memorabilia and cuttings. What do you do with the mementos of someone who has died? I can't even bring myself to throw away his old school reports (terrible ones!) or photographs of long-ago weddings of relatives whom I don't know. I am no longer surprised that there are people out there who will do it for you for money. It occurred to me what a burden we may be putting on our children, who will inherit our vast digital archives.' And what about the future? Will we have digital house clearance specialists who will come and sift through your files,

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How does American Apparel make money? 'If you trace the textile industry it is a timeline of the development of world economies, first the South, then Mexico, China and now Vietnam.' / paintings by Wilhelm Sasnal / photography by Sophie Brasey / Photocartographies: Tattered Fragments of the Map.


Yet more from David Levine's photostream: The Port of San Francisco Annual Report 1938 - 1940 and LOOK's Guide to the New York World's Fair 1964-1965 / Knitting Pattern Handsome, self-acknowledged nostalgia / Never had a dream come true..., a visual collage of alt culture references, clips, vids and scans / SGIstuff, a 'source for SGI (Silicon Graphics, Inc.) related information on the web since 2001'.

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Small scale iconism, the Living Architecture project (related story in Building Design). There's a blog as well. There's something inherently frustrating about this approach, opening up so many questions about the role and definition of 'modern' design, as well as who it is actually aimed at. Helmed by Alain de Botton (he of The School of Life, amongst other things), the resulting projects, by Peter Zumthor, Jarmund Vigsnaes and Nord, amongst others, presents a strange mix of chic holiday home, modernist utopia and show house. This self-conscious definition of contemporary architecture marks it out as a place of otherness and aspiration, 'retreats' designed to elevate the senses and the spirit on a very temporary basis. There is no room for the prosaic or the ordinary, effectively broadening the gulf between architecture and non-architecture (as architects tend to see it), or, in other words, keeping the good stuff bottled up and out of reach.

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