Habitat is a collection of natural samples and orchestral bits and bobs that lets you create atmospheric, moody music (via Gearnews). Sort of related, move.ment is a fun little VST created by Kia (the car people). It blends sampled natural soundscapes with a basic synth. For a more sophisticated and infinitely variable journey through a soundscape, we recommend Forester 2022, by Leafcutter John / some other things. The elaborate con that tricked dozens into working for a fake design agency (via MeFi) / What are some real-life thefts of unusually large physical objects? / cartoon representations and parodies of modern art / updating the iconic GMC Motorhome (via Jalopnik) / All the Things That Drain Your EV Battery / the Hertella Auto Kaffeemachine, one of the rarest ever Volkswagen accessories / a collection of videos about Unfinished London / the animated paper architecture of Charles Young (via Creative Boom) / every now and again, an estate agent will go a little accidental Martin Parr / a bunker complex and safe house for sale, USA / alternatively, Storyliving by Disney, ‘Imagine your life set in a place where world-famous Disney service is at the heart of it all’. What could possibly go wrong?
Bad timing for the launch of St John’s House, a gaudy piece of ‘Great Gatsby-inspired‘ architectural tat by Robert Adam that could only – only – be affordable by someone with a few Swiss bank accounts and a dubious source of wealth. See the case of Witanhurst in Witanhurst, the vast ‘house of secrets‘ that Adams (and other architects) has been involved in during their long transition from dictator retreats to oligarch nests / sort of related. A look at Neom, the scheme for a solar-powered desert paradise. But what’s the green truth behind it? / definitely related. Ruined mansions are a form of cultural self-harm. We may very well be ‘living in the age of schadenfreude‘, but seeing vast houses crumble into nothing is only satisfying when they are symbols of modern era ego and hubris (which only becomes eccentricity with the passing of time). To imagine what St John’s House could become, check out Nicholas van Hoogstraten’s Hamilton Palace, also known as Highcross Manor. A monumental and well-protected ruin in the making / a few other things. A relatively comprehensive guide to EV charging / paintings by Helen Riches / Trophy, a comic in letterpress, by Jon McNaught / Tahti, a browser-based groovebox / Owlkitty’s Titanic.
The Tricorn gets a me-fi post. Time to dig out all those schadenfreude-laden articles: Icon magazine; City of Sound / a new book, / sort of related, Interim Report, March 1979, a soundscape by the Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan / Siouxsie and the Banshees on Play At Home, broadcast on Channel 4, September 1984 / contemporary Japanese custom car culture / the only Lotus Etna concept for sale / all you ever wanted to know about Lost / ‘I’ll Show You Mine so You’ll Show Me Yours: Motivations and Personality Variables in Photographic Exhibitionism’ / David Hoffman’s photographs of Whitechapel Markets, 1972–1977 / a database of Museum Ships / a crossword with a clever clue / please give me all of your advertisements gone wrong / farewell to Douglas Trumbull / Real Me and Fake Me, an essay by Joe Dunthorne:’ … there seemed to be an international network of fakery built on the expectation that people were going to take financial advice from a poet-novelist.’
Lewis Hackett creates 70s sci-fi covers using AI. Great tumblr too. Alternatively, you could always do some virtual shoots in No Man’s Sky / PaperPaul presents memes as physical pop-ups. Certainly beats NFTs / Angi offers tours of unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright houses in 3D (at W*) / Dollhouses by architects (at K) / entertaining videos about bad audio gear / entertaining snippets about unlikely audiophile claims / everything is perfect in the world of Braun Collector / Animation Storage is a modest archive of 60s and 70s animation / kram srednuas (tricky one that) takes their video camera to document London’s current live music scene. Recommended / music by Ghost Patterns / music by Lemondaze.
Wired’s Artifacts from the Future (from the past), a comprehensive round-up / Hearing Birdsong, a speculative app that ‘explores people’s relationship with the health of their hearing’ (via w*) / sound art by Ruth Fox / Music for Architecture by Peter Adjaye / Casio CA-100 melody sequencer emulator / the sound design of Dune (via Synthtopia) / play Philip Glass’s piano / ‘Helping You Find Healthy Mobile Games: avoid addictive dark patterns‘.
Starbucks is a bank that sells coffee: ‘Starbucks has around $1.6 billion in stored value card liabilities outstanding’ / also via Kottke, I’m not a look-alike!, a project by photographer Francois Brunelle / art by Rita McBride / Hot slugs! ‘What a Jazz Age Scrapbook Teaches Us About Materiality’. At Peter Harrington Rare Books / the California Folklore Digital Collection (via an ambitious project collapsing).
Olli Olli World, beautiful-looking skate game / A Place Like No Other: ‘the wonders of wallpaper – how Sanderson decorated Britain‘ / The Magic of Stories: Scotland’s Book Sculptures (more) / an exhibition: World of the book 2022 / art by Maisie Cowell / a pre-war journey along the Great North Road / art by Loubna Rizqi / Stuart Semple’s Black 3.0. Back at you, Anish Kapoor / The Deleted Scenes, worth a subscription.
Not Loving The Eccentric Use of Caps, but this is a fun thought experiment: New York, Block for Block (via MeFi), or how to weaponise PR-chitecture and show it for the empty-headed uptopianism it so often is / sort of related: condo country, Canada. Toronto then and now, a slider gallery / the house as art: Waxwing, Tod Hanson / when comets come, so does the fever / speaking of fever, ‘Web3 is going great‘ (via MeFi), all the reasons why weavers of handbaskets are getting busy. Also useful, crypto explainers, and info on the parasitic relationship between art, NFTs, and crypto / silly Zillow listing of the week. The running costs will make your eyes water and the planet bleed / other things. A nostalgic look back 8-bit coding, race, and identity in UK / photography by Ben Huff at Pellicola Magazine / A Grand Unified Theory of Buying Stuff / The Matchbook Edition, ‘On hospitality, mementos, and the pocket billboard’ / epic post-rock landscapes by Anyone, Anywhere.
The marvellous The Mario Rivoli Lifetime Collection of Bakelite / a couple of MeFi things: Favorite Maps of 2021; remastered Thingu / create an Endless Acid Banger in a browser (via Synthanatomy) / try recreating Manuel Göttsching’s amazing E2-E4, from 1984. You can’t / also related, the 40 greatest synth sounds of all time / Wikipedia’s list of ‘unusual articles’ / retro-futures: Where Are They Now: Flying Car Concepts From Just The Last Decade / Zillow Gone Wild, real estate drama / An Exclusive Interview with The Marble Arch Mound: ‘But in reality, I am part of history, merely one chapter of an ancient story. Marble Arch has a long legacy of scaffolds erected for the public good.’ You could always sign the petition / Master of the Universe, architect Mike Davies and his interest in astronomy / trickier times / simpler times.
Electronicos Fantasticos, which ‘reincarnate[s] old electronics to elektromagnetik native instruments and create the orchestra’. E.g. Barcode Boarding / Axel Hartmann designs synthesizers / a Kubrick-esque collection of Onlooker Postcards, at SwellMap’s fantastic Flickr page (via Meanwhile) / Watergate Living, old school advertising imagery. Taste the aspic / Picture the City, at the Bank of England Museum (via BBC News) / paintings by Claudia Rilling / paintings and photographs by Peggy Kuiper / photographs of discarded objects by Daria Piskareva (and the occasionally probably nsfw nude) / some words about Wordle. Overwhelming for its creator, quickly and controversially ripped off. Try this version for unlimited plays in a low-key way. Or try Letterle to experience the music of chance / the Sony CHORDMACHINE, one of those quirky combo creations from the 80s / concept art by Gus Mendonca / quirky one-off Ferrari by Michelotti / music by Es.
The Loumavox (previously mentioned) turns out to be one of those elaborate Piltdown technology projects / IanVisits tracks changes to the London Tube Map / Rowan Moore on the objects that bring him joy / 43 forthcoming games, lots of beautiful environments to explore / Salvage Design by Kristen Meyer (via Colossal) / the Women of Rock Oral History Project / what does $295m buy you in Los Angeles? Related, in Rome, the Villa Aurora is valued at $534m: ‘There’s one small problem for [the buyer], however: the prince’s widow, Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi — née Rita Carpenter, originally of San Antonio, Texas — who still lives in the villa and is more than loath to leave.’ / why have we never visited the virtual Sir John Soane’s Museum? (via MeFi) / the wild, wonderful world of estate sales.
There was a window of time, maybe the first decade of this century, where the cellphone presented an inconvenient obstacle to filmmakers. In order to preserve a sense of isolation and jeopardy, this new technology had to been shown not to work: No Signal Supercut. In the last ten years or so, mobile phones have become far more integrated as plot devices, far less likely to fail at inconvenient moments. Related, what movie plot would have been most easily solved with a simple cell phone?
Some slightly silly things that exist only in virtual plans; Floating Motors, boats that look like classic cars. Cryptoland, an elaborate parody? / instrumentals by Legos / a set of successfully crowdfunded product designs from 2021 / 52 things learned in 2021 / 52 more things learned in 2021 / The Year That Was and Wasn’t, at tmn / Mini Tokyo 3D, a fun realtime visualisation of the city’s transit system (via MeFi / a Wired article on gravity-driven energy storage systems / beautiful architectural drawings by Takuro Yamamoto Architects / Philipp Doringer’s Atlas Of No Direction Home, ‘ a database filled with all the locations relevant to Bob Dylan’s career’ (via w*) / play Video Games Developed Behind the Iron Curtain at Slovak Digital Games From the Late 80s. Often played on cloned Spectrums / talking of nostalgia, a look back at Ableton Live through the years / man spends six years recreating Ceefax: NMS Ceefax.
Why do we hate newer music the older we get? / Music, Makers and Machines, a Google Arts and Culture project for fans of early music technology / Golden Hymns Sing ‘Hurrah’, post rock from New York / Lebenswelt, gloomy atmo-folk from Italy / the best experimental music of 2021 / smart punky outbursts from Savak / the Lemonheads, live in 1987 / One-minute time machine, a short film / pictures of vanishing coastlines / London to Bath by Mk2 Jaguar, July 1963, at the Wiltshire Byways page (via Newbury Today) / M.R.James’s A Warning to the Curious, 1972, via Wyrd Britain.
Art selections. Landscapes by Louisa Longstaff-Scales / paintings by Tracy Everly / oil paintings by Michael Weller / art by Emily Thomas / paintings by Peter Jones / paintings by Michele Fletcher / paintings by Geraldine Swayne / a chance discovery of the existence of the Commissioners in Lunacy led us to the art collection amassed by Edward Adamson, and Simon Cornwell’s archived exploration of the long-demolished Cane Hill Hospital / a depressing infographic of American mass shootings / Prince of Persia online / meticulous remote controlled miniatures by Danny Huynh.
The Paper Bag Archive / the Plastic Bag Museum (via i-D) / related, the Sainsbury Archive / we weren’t aware, until we read this, that Mark Woods of Wood S Lot, died in 2017 / celebrating those we lost in 2021 / visual essays at The Pudding / SF Girl has an eye / browse the Mace Archives of amateur films.
Create glitchy sequences with Tahti Studio (via Bedroom Producers Blog) / A Conversation With Jean-Michel Jarre / the Loumavox, the synthesizer that time forgot / explore a landscape of sound with Forester (via CDM) / psychedelic Lego at Pen and Brick / music from Rouse the Boroughs / music from Sredni Vashtar / a link from RPS: which video game has the best snow? / re-shape the city with The Architect: Paris / a fond celebration of Usborne’s The World of the Unknown: Ghosts, complete with one of the original team turning up in the comments / The History of Horse Doping (at recto|verso) / book cover art collected by Ivan Chekhov / farewell to Richard Rogers. Many appreciations and obituaries are online, including two from Wallpaper*, Dezeen, the RIBA Journal and an earlier piece by Paul Rennie.
An archive of Uruguayan graphic design, for example this epic collection of bus tickets / elegant abstractions by Marie Amédro / paintings by Serena Rowe / paintings by Jason Line / art and design by Molly Haig / Sketched, a collection of artists’ sketchbooks / collages by Stéphanie Filion / drawers of dead birds at the Moore Lab of Zoology / Alex Shoots Buildings / pig-shaped pocket erotica viewer / the controversial Sky Pool keeps itself in the (bad) news / Nuclear Biscuit, all about a VR apocalypse / Collecting the Set, Monocle meets a mid-century prop store owner in Athens / the mythical creaturologist, daily drawn mysteries / urban exploration by Yahiro Takahashi / Festive Photos of Christmas Lights – and the People Behind Them.
Why a toaster from 1949 is still smarter than any sold today. Related, The Toaster Project by Thomas Thwaites / Death Is Not The End, London Pirate Radio Adverts 1984-1993, Vol. 1 / The Vinyl Boom. A slightly thrown together stat quoted within: ‘A band would have to amass 450k streams on Spotify to match the profit of 100 vinyl sales’ / a riff masterclass from Buzz Osborne of The Melvins / Strong & Stable My Arse: The Ephemera Of Jeremy Deller / we love the effortlessly generated worlds of Townscaper so much / art by Kieran Gabriel / music by Fires of Denmark / a virtual BBC Micro Model B (complete with Chuckie Egg!) / a virtual shredder game (both via b3ta) / music by Black Sky Giant / coming soon, new album from Loop. Related, fan-owned memorabilia / Brutal London chess set (via The Modern House gift guide) / Mikhail Filippov, a Russian classicist, has meticulous penmanship.