Plinky plonk

A playable Grand Piano made out of Lego / some new style takeaway food packaging / playing with the internet’s most reviled synthesizer / out with the 3D chrome effect; car brands are returning to flat logos / A MAZE. / Berlin is a festival that focuses on ‘arthouse games and playful media’ (via CDM) / computer graphic history at the Pixar Online Library / a 3D sprite printer / ‘photogrammetry models’ of London by David Fletcher (via Meanwhile) / the EYESY Video Synthesizer from Critter & Guitari / Sonic Youth live from the basement, 2007.

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Still watching the skies

a few publications: Document Journal (art, culture, photography, e.g. The secret drawings of Great Britain’s UFO Desk); White Hot Magazine (international art); Tape Op (the magazine of creative music recording) / How to cheat the bestseller list / widely seen, but worth bookmarking for future reference: Artist Recreates How Iconic Figures From History Would Really Look in Real Life, the work of Bas Uterwijk / RIP Tim Smith. The music of The Cardiacs is collected at the Alphabet Business Concern / more music by Tiltshifting / a short film about architectural modelmaking from Morris + Company / J Mascis Garbage Face / Bonfire of the Inanities, an epic history of the New Yorks Times ‘Style Section’ by Jacqui Shine.

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Cogs and gears

Dreamscapes & Artificial Architecture, a new book about computer generated alternative realities / sort of related, architectural models by Frank Kunert (via Dezeen) / sci-fi cities illustrated by Grant Riven Yun / Cigarettes, Space Invaders and the birth of the game watch / Could Liverpool be a 15 Minute City? (from this MeFi discussion) / Science Museum asks public to help identify mystery items. The gallery and some suggestions over at MeFi / Powland is a loose collective of sound artists, with an extensive online presence (via Gearnews).

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Planning ahead

Townscaper, building cities as a welcome distraction (via MeFi). See also the Medieval Fantasy City Generator / Queen Victoria’s private railway station at Nine Elms. Now firmly buried beneath the Gladwin Tower, just one of the area’s many, many claims to sheer architectural banality / WikiDelia, a ‘study of the life and work of the pioneer of electronic music Delia Derbyshire’ / We’re stuck in a lockdown work from home purgatory / The Quetiapine pedal from Pierrot (available from Break the Machine) / illustrations by Bernice Lum.

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In the mix

The Concrete House, one of Connell, Ward and Lucas’s quiet masterpieces / twenty years of the Wallpaper* architects’ directory / 100 years that changed Houston; ‘Just add an overwhelmingly oppressive humidity and you’ve got the place.’ (thanks, David) / welcome to the ‘micro hood’ / an obituary for Michael Glickman, an architect obsessed with Crop Circles / the Temple of the Steps, Sameep Padora & Associates (photos Edmund Sumner / illustrations by Felicia Chiao / switching gears to music. Listen to sounds by Wolf People; Temple Solaire; On Autopilot / Richardjcooper is up to the sixth edition of his endearing scuzzy indie covers series / Bad Moon Rising at 35: How Sonic Youth’s 1985 masterpiece reinvented indie rock / Atomic bombing; how to protect yourself / some classic copycat car designs / How to do archaeology with place names.

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Hook, line and sinker

The Fishing Party, an ancient post about a mid-80s British documentary that’s worth re-watching, if you can stand it / a history of the German autobahn / My Own Private Bookclub, a traditional and wonderful blog / Jon, episode 1 and 2, ‘a Garfield fancomic considering the life of Jon Arbuckle, cartoonist’ / the end of Blueprint’s Print Edition. The website will live on / remembering the 1990s Indie Dance Boom / play with a Slayer action figure / LA under construction / Dawsons Heights, South London’s ziggurat / FOMA 7: When Bricks Are Put Together, Carefully, the ‘seventh edition of Forgotten Masterpieces is taking a field trip through Italy’. At Architecture of Doom / watch the Japanese Consul General to the USA play the Star Spangled Banner, Hendrix-style.

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Fire in the sky

Yes, it’s Los Angeles, July 2020 / I had such a lovely dream last night / Land of the Rising Sound, a Roland Retrospective (related, vintage Roland catalogues / how to pick the perfect watermelon / ‘a new spectacting style’ with the Remote Cheerer app / Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird has officially ended its mission / A Mammoth Of The Air, a silent newsreel from 1921 about the Caproni Ca.60 Flying Boat (via Oobject) / Beer mats of the 1970s.

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Observed around the web

Running Car ‘Faces’ Through An AI Face-Processing Algorithm Is Amazing And Terrifying / enjoy the slow pace of the Ogmios School of Zen Motoring / The accidental dystopia of major construction sites (via K) / Moldova Shuts Down Bootleg Helicopter Factory (via Popbitch) / band photography on I Spy with My Little Eye / music by Zebede / music by The Telescopes, who might even crop up in the the 90s Festival Generator / websites that imitate desktops both via b3ta / a collection of movies to watch from home at BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley Museum and Pacific Film Archive / Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles, 1972. The Baede-Kar Visitor Guidance System used in the film – a fictional device, according to one of the two posts on – perhaps harks back to the 1971 cassette navigation system shown on Tomorrow’s World the year before.

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The speed of Austen

Could Teleporting Ever Work? (Spoiler: No) / where’s the beef? RIP Carl Reiner / QasarBeach emulates the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) (via Synthtopia) / New York scene in miniature by Cityfolk Studio. More small things at D.Thomas Fine Miniatures and the Wonder of Miniature Worlds / the speed of travel in Jane Austen’s England at Sarah’s History Place (via MeFi) / ambient drone-y soundscape music by Starthief / a collection of counter-cultural magazines at the Letterform Archive / Manchester After Engels, an essay at Places Journal / the dazzling world of EXP TV, a streaming video channel of eccentricities and obscurities (via MeFi).

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Short and random things

RIP, Milton Glaser / From Russia with Loewy: The U.S.S.R.’s failed world car. The story of the Moskvich / an ongoing project, Photo collections from every state in the Union / the thoroughly depressing secret economics of the VIP party / beautifully detailed 1/64 car models from Tomica / Create Digital Music, ‘a home for people who make and play music and motion’ (.e.g That Hans Zimmer ad, but it’s chiptune) / the history of the Crystal Palace / always believe in gold / live as a cowboy at Mellonsfolly Ranch, NZ (via The Guardian).

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Infuriatingly idiosyncratic

A film about Carmine Street Guitars (via The Guardian) / music by Danish band Tales of Murder and Dust / recommendations via We Love Lo-Fi / more via American Pancake / Twist Spin Tuck Jump (at K) / beautifully painted film set floor plans by Boryana Ilieva (via Meanwhile). See also how three contrasting houses in 2020’s Oscar-winning movies would be described by an estate agent. Also sort of related, on the film set design of Space Force / time to revisit the architectural illusions of Víctor Enrich / real versus game: the Seattle of the Last of Us Part II / more music at Start Track, a little dose of indie, luna collective, SSG Music and Radio Insight / useful reference: The New Citroen by Roland Barthes, 1957 / hastening the untimely end of the Airbus A380, how COVID-19 killed the era of ‘big’ flying. Meanwhile, in a world where budgets barely matter and the passengers aren’t paying, General Electric Wants To Keep America’s B-52s In The Air Until 2097 / praise be, all of Kottke’s Quick Links are in a single place.

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Life in lockdown

numb‘ is a short film about life in lockdown by the teen filmmaker Liv Mcneil. Recommended (via MeFi) / The Booksellers: ‘This was once a clubbable – and very male – profession that hardly changed for centuries, run by a mole-tribe of eccentric, tweed-wearing guys who were irritated to be beckoned from their chaotic shelves of old books by someone cheeky enough to want to buy one.’ / the Formanta was a Soviet-era synthesizer. Check these and similar at the Soviet Guitar Effects Online Store & Museum and the Good Luck Vintage Shop in Ukraine.

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Get me out of bed

Play with Google’s Shared Piano / Soulwax and the hunt for the EMS Synthi 100 / music at A Certain Kind Records / another label to check out, I Heart Noise / photographs by Jan Koster / Milcho Pipin’s photographs of the Brazilian prison system / Tulgey Wood, a weblog about Disney / the birth of the literary travel journal, ‘Journey Along the Sea Road‘ / a web 1.0 approach to very much ongoing problems: The Police Officer’s Dilemma / a Monopoly-inspired trip around London / Teenage Riot.

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Folded up

For Sale: Eppich House II by Arthur Erickson (via Wowhaus) / former Medicine frontman Brad Laner has a treasure trove of audio on his bandcamp page / more concrete, sorry. On Le Corbusier’s housing at Fruges / sort of related, How Normie Minimalism and Farmhouse Chic Took Over Contemporary Design / the art of Ellen Sheidlin / music by Steve Tibbetts / the afterlife of TV puppet(eers) / Mad Magazine-style fold-ins in css / it’s 1989, all of it (via tmn), at The Hood Internet / make paper computers / buy Prince’s Yamaha DX-7 / the sound of the Trautonium, the monophonic electronic instrument used to soundtrack The Birds / Filmscapes transform with greenery, real and artificial, turning UK locations into the Florida Everglades for Annihilation or creating the gardens surrounding Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children / still lives by Clara Rubin / the art of Nicola Samori / ‘Siri, I’m getting pulled over’.

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Is it hot or not?

Artwork by Liam Devereux, especially the Nighttime Series (via This Isn’t Happiness) / the Autohistorian has many Flickr albums of old school charm / A Typology of Lego Computers at Present and Correct (via Kottke) / music from Ovlov / spooky, drone-filled soundscapes from the Faint Music label in Spain / an eclectic selection of artists on Dewfall Records in Tokyo / Wallpaper* Poster Campaign: 50 of the finest / second hand liposuction machine? / Dark, a ‘Warp-speed Guide to the Universe’ / a new book about the Goddess / a spectacular model of a Santorini-like village / the adorable Jazzmaster ukelele.

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Thoughts on this and that

The Urban Adventures of Keïteï. Related, exploring the Millennium Mills / music by rincs / Not Pulp Covers, a tumblr / linked most everywhere but well worth your time, the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, a staggering amount of content raising money for the cause / 3D fashion show / creating collectable design / How England’s Oldest Road Was Nearly Lost Forever / a guesthouse made of Corten Steel / the golden era of mobile recording studios / DIY electronics projects / Rough, cold and politically charged: why do we love to hate concrete? (via MeFi. Of course, just four years ago, Brutalism was back) / climbing El Capitan / the 1950 Martin Stationette / Where was Mad Max Filmed? / What lies beneath: our love affair with living underwater / see also these Remains of an Underwater Habitat left by 1960s Sea Dwellers / How human history is represented in The Great Span.

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Moving heaven and earth

Kicking off with a fantastic collection of Musical Instruments Brochures from Japan, dating back to the 70s, 80s and 90s. Lots of lovely guitars (Jolly Bible for the Young) and one for the retro synth crowd as well / related, the art and models of Dan McPharlin (via Meanwhile) / also related, the SynthMania channel / Tales from Weirdland, a tumblr / An Occult Psychogeography of Hawksmoor’s London Churches, a worthy afternoon read on the imaginary(?) lines and connections carved into London’s streetscape (via MeFi) / also via MeFi, all about the US Army Road Train project, the life’s work of Robert Gilmour LeTourneau / sort of related, the Jetway 707 (via Cars that never made it) / play out with an excellent song by Mandrake Handshake, a ten-piece psychedelic band.

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Sounds to catch up

A collection of audio installations by Zimoun (via the TRACE archives) / music by Spare Planet / music by Airships on the Water / music by Unwed Sailor / undefinable pop from Jessica Genius / dreamy guitar pop by Winter / instrumental music by Drawing Eights / motion graphics by Kenny Brandenberger / how The Vast of Night pulled off its 4 minute tracking shot. The film is recommended / a selection of unassuming long takes, courtesy of Kottke, who has an eye for cinematic tracking shots / a primer on Musique Concrete / the inside story of the Dyson EV / photography, mostly fashion, at The Photo Registry / exploring fashion collections at the Met’s Costume Institute Library / Chronicles of Modernism: uncovering the history of the Isokon Building, north London’s answer to the Bauhaus.

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Small minded

“It is worth remembering a website does not have to be a product; it can also be art. The web is also a creative and cultural space that need not confine itself to the conventions defined by commercial product design and marketing.” Something we can get behind. Rediscovering the Small Web, an essay by Parimal Satyal, found via the ultimate aggregator of the hand-rolled internet, Metafilter. It’s all about the wunderkammer… / other things. Mellow acoustic music by Lily Hayes / fuzzy sounds by BDRMM / more music curators: We All Want Some; Tonic Grain; Hard of Hearing Music; Midsummer Madness; Wild Patterns / buy the new Pip Blom album and it’ll be hand delivered to your door (NL only…) / the instagram belonging to Mr Joe Cornish / Mudlarking the Thames. See also Thames Discovery / speaking of the small web: The Zymoglyphic Museum / RIP Christo / Architecture of Doom posts about a map of American animal husbandry, ‘Project Counterglow‘ (originally linked by The Intercept) / real magazines – why not close that web browser and go out and do something less boring instead?

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Random things / blind auctions like the Art on a Postcard series are always intriguing / a Brutalist renovation project for the brave, courtesy of Wowhaus / icons at risk / art presented by The Jealous Curator / Return of the Obra Dinn, a vintage adventure game / building miniature cities with Townscaper (via RPS) / London’s lost venues in pictures / music by Spectral Gates / music by Joe 4 / music selections at Destroy//Exist, Independent Music Reviews, and Obscene Baby Auction / covers for an imaginary, but timely, magazine (via tmn) / was Paul Rudolph a Satanist? A rumour we hadn’t heard before / more Escobar folding phone fun / unboxing the world’s cheapest new car / slightly weird thought. Images of protests have a different hue and texture these days, more dramatic and even cinematic. Is this down to advances in low light camera sensors? Especially mobile ones? The revolution will be in high-definition.

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