Objects, patina and private airfields

Airships and the Empire State Building, fact and fiction. Has an airship ever successfully docked with a tall building? ‘Passengers would have to make their way down a stinging gangway, nearly a quarter mile in the air, onto a narrow open walkway near the top of the mast. After squeezing through a tight door, they would have to descend two steep ladders inside the mast before reaching the elevators. “Can you see some of the 75-year-old dowagers doing that?” asks Alexander Smirnoff, the current telecommunications director of the building, as he stands on that walkway…. One small airship did drop a long rope to the mast and held on from a distance for a precarious three minutes, and another delivered a bundle of newspapers by rope. After that, the effort was quietly abandoned.’ At the aviation-focused Old Beacon, which links to this Brief History of Aircraft Flight Simulation. From there we read the obituary of Robert E.Fulton Jr, ‘inventor of the Airphibian, the Gunairstructor and the Skyhook‘. A trained architect and motorcycle enthusiast, Fulton wrote One Man Caravan to chronicle his epic round the world trip in the 1930s (that post at The Velobanjogent is well worth a look). You can also see the sale particulars for Fulton’s house, Flying Ridge in Connecticut, complete with airstrip.

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The computer history section of Jason Scott’s site ASCII makes one weep for the torrential deluge of data that has been created in the short few years at the tail-end of the twentieth century. Whereas our archival meanderings are usually concerned with the digitisation of print ephemera, it never really occurs to us that digital ephemera is just as precious and just as likely to eventually disappear for good. Scott’s sites, including Textfiles, bring every lost byte to life. It’s terrifying.

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Dr Seuss, A Catalog of Political Cartoons, far darker and distant from his happy go lucky creatures of the imagination / vintage fansite for Dangermouse. This one has the same feel and quality as a restaurant collectible, where age can only enhance its aura, despite the almost total absence of visual patina. Digital patina is just as discernable, but manifests itself through fashion, not form. Sort of related, are the tactile nature and visual confusion of print errors, typographical quirks and mixed textures still relevant in 2011? David Carson certainly thinks so, having shifted his cultural orbit from creator to brand name in the interim. As a result, Carson Magazine will appear soon. Will an iPad edition follow? Via MagCulture.

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The World as Flatland, information designers / The order of MUG, a collection / drawing architecture, a tumblr of plans and visualisations / Fuck Yeah Middle East, a celebratory tumblr / re-inhabited Circle K’s, a project by Paho Mann (via SpaceInvading) / Volume ctrl, architectural tumblr / an archive of book cover designs and designers / Book Monkey 88, contemporary first editions / London Reconnections, about ‘transport projects and transport issues in and around London’. See London Stations from the Air.

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More future car: the centre console on the upcoming Tesla Model S is almost all screen and therefore infinitely configurable / Craven, makers of luxury pannier equipment / Visual Communication Blog / Annalogs, a tumblr / The Jane Chronicles, a tumblr (although the sentence ‘Alex Cornell created promotional material for a hypothetical Wes Anderson Film Festival‘ pretty much sums up the subject matter and preoccupations of a whole swathe of the visual internet).

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Cardboard Antlers’ photostream / an untitled tumblr / derive, tumblr / Nick Jainschigg’s a painting a day project / the Hybrid Air Vehicle / Prints of Japan / Society6, promoting illustration / Antarctica, a tumblr / Cricket in Australia, a collection at the State Library of New South Wales, which also has fine galleries on the arrival of Modernism and the Harry Seidler Collection.

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