Down below

If only there existed a survey drawing of the Mole Man tunnels of Hackney. William Lyttle died in 2010 and his house is finally for sale, although it’s in a pretty parlous condition. One of London’s great modern myths, the Mole Man tale combined obsession, madness, mystery and real estate (making it perhaps the perfect Daily Mail story). Mr Lyttle’s underground obsessions first came to light at the turn of the century, and it was never satisfactorily explained as to why he should have spent so much of his life expanding the cavern complex below his house. MeFi stepped by a couple of years ago and the ensuing comments threw up a number of other tunnel complexes, like the Williamson Tunnels in Liverpool, apparently built purely for the “employment of the poor“. There was also a recent BLDG BLOG post on the mysterious tunnel networks of Bavaria (which quoted the celebrated phrase ‘a maze of twisty little passages‘). It feels like there is a growing obsession with tunnels and hidden spaces in contemporary culture, something evident in the popularity of Minecraft and the fascination with subterranean spaces (rarely very practical) and underground dwellers.


Other things. Why is a film still from The Ghost Writer used as a backdrop for the Luxury Society website? Clearly a shabby writer’s trousers and a Zumthor-esque set with a dropped in beachy background represents the epitome of casual luxe style / sort of related, It’s Lonely in the Modern World, the book of the Unhappy Hipsters website; complicated, in that the book can’t simply re-purpose the clipped images that fill the websites (and are allowed there under ‘fair use’). Instead, the book purports to be a carefully styled and note-perfect parody of careful styling and note perfect interiors.


Words in Space, a weblog / Zaha’s Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton wins the Stirling Prize, much to everyone’s surprise / Burning Car (2008) / strange animated paintings by Duane Keiser (website) / is automotive journalism inherently corrupt? / good discussion of clothing retail and wholesale prices /UNTITLEDmag, a tumblr.


Spectrum Screenshot Maps made from actual screenshots, compare and contrast with the scanned maps drawn up during the machine’s heyday. The above extract can be seen in larger scale here at the Antique Silicon site / Regeneration? What’s happening in Sheffield’s Park Hill is class cleansing, Hatherley on gentrification, taste and nostalgia. The illustration below is by Matt Kenyon.

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One Response to Down below

  1. Pingback: Down the rabbit hole, again | things magazine

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