Cupcakes and Creative Automation

Installations, sonic and visual, by Urs Hofer, including the Scenic Panner, a ‘visual instrument’: ‘Scenic Panner is project, in which we are photographically collecting lots of items like buildings, objects, streets, plants, persons. These items are stored in one database. We assign them speed, an initial position and the depth in which these objects are placed in their new environment.’ You can play with an online version here. See also the Automatic Cinema, ‘a research project about the automatic generation of narrative structures.’ A follow-on perhaps from yesterday’s post on machine-driven creation and information sifting. With cameras able to edit your best shot, the next step is to automate the creation of a short film, a sort of auto-summarise of the day’s work.


Do typefaces really matter? / Brand New Paint Job, modern art as a texture map (via Today and Tomorrow) / you can make a board game out of anything: Offshore Oil Strike for all the family, back in the days when a company didn’t have to worry about global PR catastrophes / Let’s Make it Better, more informed reviews at tmn / Motto Distribution sell artists’ books / photography by Sandro Fiechter / The Lark, selling nostalgia. See also Ian Jack’s recent essay, ‘Sugar coats this hunger for the past‘, on retro-chic and fairycakes, or, to be more accurate, imported American cupcakes, ‘the perfect cake for commerce, the perfect cake for our times’, now totally integral in the ‘harmless Enid Blytonisation’ of middle class taste. Related, Sharon Core’s photographic work brings Wayne Thiebaud’s gaudy cakes into reality.


Revisit the Architectural Review’s 1961 article on Le Corbusier’s Monastery of La Tourette. The AR has redesigned its site, but it’s still a bit frustrating to find articles sliced up into several large pdfs, rather than just one / a 35mm camera made of Lego / Marvin is a fully function ZX Spectrum emulator for the Android platform, linked into the World of Spectrum game browser. See also ZX Droid. Both are works in progress, and not exactly suited to touch screen devices. They are fun though.


Save the Hoe Centre. Plymouth is ill-placed to make good decisions on architecture. Home to Carbuncle Cup-winning Drake Circus, it’s unable to even cling on to the modest achievements of inter- and post-war urbanism, chosing scour, scrub and rebuild as the more ‘dynamic’ option. Check out the visual essay on Post-war Plymouth at Nice Buildings.


Meier flies the coop, concept housing in NYC. See also Meier’s bid to get his own station on the Daily Mail Tube Map (or the Daily Telegraph relief map of doom, yet to be created) with the proposed Rowan Atkinson House / Total Housing, a new book from Actar on contemporary residential architecture / John McKean’s review of Charles Rennie Mackintosh by James Macaulay is an evisceration; one can’t help but feel there’s personal vendetta at play.

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One Response to Cupcakes and Creative Automation

  1. T says:

    Thanks for the pointer to AR – great stuff!

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