On rails

Ivan Puig’s SEFT 1 project, in collaboration with Andres Padilla (via Thank You Very Much), takes the aesthetic and heroics of the space programme and translates it to the rather more pragmatic mission of exploring the history and remnants of many of Mexico’s rather investment-lacking railway system. To this end, Puig built the SEFT-1, the Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada (Manned Railway Exploration Probe), a bizarrely angular probe built from aluminium body panels on a pick-up truck chassis: ‘The probe is a vehicle that can travel on land with rubber tires on the roads and transit through the Hi-Rail, mechanism of metal wheels that guide the ship on the rails.’ Puig and Padilla traveled across the remnants of the railroad, taking photographs, audio samples and short films about the surviving stretches of track and the places the railway once went.

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Other things. The Internet Underground Music Archive is back / SketchUp has been updated and spliced away from the Google mothership / live recordings on video From the Basement / My mobile hometown, a photo essay by Eric Tabuchi / Acorn Moon, a weblog about art / chronological collection of paintings by Wassily Kandinksy – a masterclass in the evolution of abstraction.

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How to Kill a Rational Peasant, Adam Curtis on the strange, sad and violent history of counterinsurgency / From the New Statesman: ‘In 2006 (when figures were last available) James Dyson contributed the bulk of the income tax paid by the 54 billionaires then resident in the UK. Out of £14.7m paid by all 54, he contributed £9m. That’s a whopping 61 per cent of the total tax take from billionaires.’

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