Islands

The latest issue of Cabinet is all about islands. There’s not a lot online (you should really buy the issue; like every Cabinet, it is wonderful), but even the little that is offers tantalising glimpses of histories and connections. Islands and the Law: An Interview with Christina Duffy Burnett explores the possible Guano/Guantánamo association, but mostly had us marvelling at the Peruvian Guano trade.

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An abandoned house made entirely from Lego(s) by Mike Doyle / the great Played in Britain series continues with a book on the heritage of play in Tyne and Wear / Randominal, a tumblr / the art of Toby Ziegler (more) – 3D objects reappropriated into the non-digital realm / Vintage VW Bus Signage / 15 kiloton detonation of TNT, a minecraft nuke. See also the Crysis barrel movies. And building a computer in Minecraft.

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Not depressed, just sad, lonely or unhappy, a call to retain the romanticism of sorrow (anomie, accidie, weltschmerz, mal du pays) / imagery from maps by Matthew Cusick / Chris in South Korea, a weblog / How to stack wood / 50 years of Japanese concept cars, from which we learn that of all the Japanese manufacturers, the relatively low-key Isuzu has the most remarkable archive of sci-fi concepts.

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Catalogue living. The past decade has seen a deluge of mail-order companies spring up, each offering an array of curated, lifestyle-y products, brought together and artfully photographed in such a way as to form the ideal image of a well-lived life, full of objects and acquisitions that appear to speak of experience and travel. Pedlars is particularly adept at this, often bringing together marked-up ‘vintage’ items with new goods. The extent to which we want our experiences manifested in our purchases is highlighted by Made.com (blog), which ‘crowdsources‘ popular designs then deals directly with the (mostly) Chinese manufacturers to get them constructed (news story), appearing to steer the business of commissioning and curating back onto the consumer. Our ‘choices’ suddenly appear to have more depth and resonance than before.

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A nice little scam: Miles for Nothing: How the Government Helped Frequent Fliers Make a Mint. Apart from earning some individuals ‘enough miles to put him over two million total at AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, giving him lifetime platinum – elite status – early availability of upgrades for life and other perks on American and its partners around the world’, coinage is also environmentally sound: ‘Dollar coins save the country money because they can last 30 years or more and can be recycled, the Mint says. A paper dollar in circulation lasts only about 21 months, says the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.’

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Finally. Judith Schalansky’s self designed books are slowly making their way into English. There are four sketchy images from an Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will below, which hopefully go some way to convey its cartographic beauty. Fifty Islands, published by Particular Books, is an imaginary travelogue, drawing tall tales, legends and histories out of each of the fifty far-flung spots. Recommended.

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