Never Underestimate the Power of a Paint Tube, ‘Without this simple invention, impressionists such as Claude Monet wouldn’t have been able to create their works of genius’ (via Nevver): ‘[little-known American portrait painter, John G.] Rand’s brush with greatness came in the form of a revolutionary invention: the paint tube. Made from tin and sealed with a screw cap, Rand’s collapsible tube gave paint a long shelf life, didn’t leak and could be repeatedly opened and closed.’ (above image is Monet’s palette, via The New York Botanical Garden) / Famed photojournalist Robert Capa and the mystery of his “Mexican Suitcase” (via DP Review). The suitcase, which contains 126 rolls of unseen films, is now held at the International Center of Photography.
The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time / Mayan pyramid bulldozed in Belize / gig photography by Stuart Leech / Sniffing the Past, dogs and history / Merchandising is Forever, hypnotic animations of decaying Star Wars figures / related, Star Wars action figures, a hand-made selection, early 90s.
The Curious Trail at West Norwood Cemetery is another example of life returning to these under-utilised urban and suburban assets. The great Victorian cemeteries – the Magnificent Seven, of which West Norwood is one – were citadels of death, splendidly appointed places of rest that have evolved into havens of wildlife, artful decay and funerary art. Managed by the London Necropolis Company, and served by its own railway, the Necropolis Railway / some people like to render up expensive cars in complex 3D programmes. Others then like to crash the cars they’ve built / Spire WTC final segment lift / Beware of Mr Baker, a film about drummer and professional curmedgeon Ginger Baker. Read the director’s 2009 Rolling Stone profile of Baker (pdf) and watch a typical interview recently conducted by The Guardian.
Paris 3D is a new venture from Dassault Systemes, long time purveyors of all forms of simulation, including the Geovia ‘virtual planet’ software (used in the mining industry, and looking a little bit like Minecraft in the process) and flight simulation by their subsidiary Sogitec, a pioneer in French computer graphics. The model of Paris is historically accurate and adjustable and can be accessed via the web (with plug-in), offering a sort of enhanced Google Earth experience, complete with wandering peasant avatars and the clink of mallet on stone.
Related, Google’s new Timelapse feature combines Landsat imagery with the Google Earth Engine to provide a two decade overview of life on earth, be it the environs of Las Vegas – where suburbs explode and Lake Mead shrinks – or anywhere else on the planet. It makes for terrifying viewing. Metafilter, Time and Atlantic Cities have detailed posts with more examples.
Baseball Magic, ‘George Gmelch Gmelch shows that magical ritual, taboos, and fetishes surround aspects of baseball that are least predictable, thus most likely to challenge human control.’
There is a taboo against crossing bats, against permitting one bat to rest on top of another. Although this superstition appears to be dying out among ballplayers today, it was religiously observed by some of my teammates. One of my Hispanic teammates became quite annoyed when another player tossed a bat from the batting cage and it landed on top of his bat. Later he explained that the top bat might steal hits from the lower one. In his view, bats contained a finite number of hits, a sort of baseball “image of limited good.” For Pirate shortstop Honus Wagner, a charter member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, each bat contained only 100 hits and never more. Regardless of the quality of the bat, he would discard it after its 100th hit.
Crushed Cayenne, an installation by Köbberling and Kaltwasser: ‘The ambiguous frailty and accessibility of the sculpture representing their destruction were in stark contrast to the familiar tank-like look of these cars – intact – in real life. SUVs with their military origin have an inherent menacing allure. The intrinsic vulgar excess of a Porsche Cayenne really comes into its own when it is destroyed in a heavy crash.’ Ballardian carpentry. Their earlier installation, Cars into Bicycles, is also worth a look: ‘Over the time of three months we transformed a Saab Turbo 900 into two functional bicycles on a car parking at Bergamot Station Art Center, Santa Monica, in 2010.’
Other things / we love these paintings of cheese by Mike Geno (at Faith is Torment) / Farmmodels makes agricultural models / The abandoned movie set of Cameron’s ‘The Abyss’ / GeoGeussr has kept us amused for a long time / Live train map for the London Underground, by Matthew Somerville / The Pyongyang Papers, their true intent is all for your delight / urban equations by Aakash Nihalani at Exhibition-ism.
The New English Landscape is a new blog from writer Ken Worpole and photographer Jason Orton. Together, the pair have been traipsing around the fringes of what we define as rural Britain, chronicling the shifting status of landscape, beauty, the bucolic and the sublime. Orton in particular has spent a long time documenting the Lea Valley and the Olympic Park, even being termed a ‘radical-pastoral photographer’ and aligned with the psychogeographical appreciation of non-place and edgeland zones. This is a new English landscape, for sure, as it’s a landscape being re-made and re-shaped all the time, with various interest groups pitching in to dictate exactly how Arcadia should look. One to watch. Above image is ‘Rushmore’ by Oliver Akers Douglas.
Other things. Joe Forkan’s The Lebowski Cycle (via David Winkfield’s great film-centric tumblr) / it’s Scams Awareness Month / sort of related, Has the internet killed the Loch Ness monster? / Kodak Retinette notebooks at Linescapes / Oil in Ghana, changing economies / The Alarmist, a literary magazine / new mural in San Francisco / intense architectural renderings by Dionisio Gonzalez / Every Noise at Once, genre map with sound samples (which weren’t working for us?).
the man in the seat in front of me,
BA flight 143, Edinburgh to Heathrow,
31 August 2012
you put your seat back
as soon as we’ve taken off
I learn about you
Andrew James Brown
(from DOG-EAR, ‘the magazine that is also a bookmark’)
Covered Cars, a photoset / new updates to the Wing Mirror Project / Epic Citadel, the Unreal Engine in a browser (Firefox only) / One Week One Band tackles Neil Young in an impressively comprehensive fashion / Kateoplis, a tumblr (spelling corrected) / photography sites: The Indepedent Photobook / the Hatje Cantz Fotoblog / the Photobook / History of Our World / the Daewoo Matiz was originally intended as the Fiat 500 replacement / the Toyota ME.WE concept takes the speculative Newson-designed Ford of 15 or so years ago and makes it much more practicable / nightmarishly ambient first-person experiment NaissanceE (via RPS).
Why do the French still love graphology? Scientific practice or just a few steps from astrology? ‘… most graphologists are able to pull off the trick because they use the content of candidates’ letters – the detail about their lives, motivation and so on – to draw up a psychological profile.’
We will never tire of crumbling ekranoplans / Loop are returning / the bitsavers pdf archive, hundreds of documents dating back to the early days of computing / Remi Rough works at the intersection between graffiti and abstract art / a short history of kites / fetishism in fashion / a short film about the Farnsworth House.