Top of the pops

So where are the small slivers of optimism? / a universe in your browser (via b3ta) / The Myth of the Productive Commute / the Drone Photo Awards 2021 (via Kottke) / 24 underrated websites / Bespoke Synth, ‘an alarmingly blank void that quickly becomes a bewildering adventure in audio…’ / How the vinyl industry reached breaking point / A Minor Blog by photographer George Kroustallis / this link will take you to China’s Ugliest Buildings (via Guardian). It doesn’t work for us though.

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10 PRINT “RIP”, 20 GOTO 10

The Royal Institute of British Architects page at Arts and Culture / aerial photography by Brad Walls / Pelle Cass’ digitally manipulated sports photographs / Amelia, The Trilogy of Terror, fun short film from the 70s / China’s Ghost Cities. The strap, ‘Eye candy for pessimists’, pretty much sums up the blend of schadenfreude and sheer escapist fantasy that characterises the second-hand experience of urbex / the Lamest edit wars on Wikipedia / post-rocky music by Intervention; spooky synth pop by Murmur; gloomy doom from Dawn Fades / signs galore at God’s Own Junkyard / 3D printed map of San Andreas / Pertinent to our interests: “Rewilding Your Attention“, on how to step off the algorithmic path (via MeFi) / Farewell, Sir Clive. Some good links and memories. See also the excellent World of Spectrum.

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Noise annoys

This and that, starting with the Mystery of Havana Syndrome / art by Doug Reina / twitter digressions on aviation by AeroDork / landscape paintings by Lucy Kent / 25 Wallpaper* artist covers / AIDS in the Art World: A Timeline / The Shock of the New, rendered in indignant verse, c.1913 (via MeFi) / The Infinite Corpse, an ongoing chain comic / folded paper art projects by David Umemoto / small realms by Michael Pederson / run your own ant farm / Ludwig Favre’s photographs of the Amalfi Coast / how to stutter and glitch.

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Where we’re going

Friday randomness. Art and illustration by Katherine Lam / 80s digital dashboard designs / Public House: A Cultural and Social History of the London Pub (via Wallpaper*) / Garfield thrown out of the window / Lesbian Horse, soundscapes and beats / How to talk about “Big Data”? Suggestions for analogies for our complex times / art by Yuri Suzuki / a couple of car collections: the London Barn Find. More of a warehouse really, but it has the requisite amount of dust. And an (apparent) auction of the vehicles from Mad Max: Fury Road. Related, Lego Doof Wagon.

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All paintings great and small

Honey, We Shrunk the Art! The Return of the Micro Gallery / creative year zero, with shades of Chris Burden’sSamson‘: Commodity Fetishism, a switch that ‘in all likelyhood will destroy your power supply and, depending on a wide variety of factors, either at minimum damage most of your pre-existing modules or at the worst destroy them outright’ (via Gearnews) / make new beats with the Patternarium / Roland Hauke makes extraordinary guitars / many, many live shows by Mogwai, amongst many, many others at / Dromik, a tumblr / the dying art of the hatchet job / ArtNet goes for the listicle: 7 Unbelievable and Contentious Takeaways from a new documentary about ‘Salvator Mundi,’ the $450 Million ‘Lost Leonardo’ / top ten 35mm cameras from 1982 / By Design: ‘White communists, socialists, feminists, and capitalists tried to engineer society using kitchen design’ / Wallpaper*’s 2021 Architects Directory / the Lloyd’s Register Archives / ‘Tulip, Summit, Mound: can urban properties really be ‘experiences’?‘. A cynic might say that these are essentially public spaces being sold back to us.

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A different view

Londons – The Polycentric City, an exhibition by eight photographers, Luca Piffaretti, Francesco Russo, Henry Woide, Sue Barr, Caroline Charrel, Simon Kennedy, Andrew Meredith and Polly Tootal / Considering Immersive Art Rooms and Why We Love to Escape (via TMN): drawing a line between panoramas and frescos and Cycloramas and the modern hunger for ‘experiential spaces’ / an oral history of Mr Blobby / Vieux Pays of Goussainville, a ‘forgotten’ village (too) near (to) Paris CDG / Peter Hook: The New Order Collection. For bootleg enthusiasts / not sure how accurate the BPM Database is / Oh my fucking God…

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The man who went up a hill

The Secret City, the latest map from Herb Lester / O and Planks have a split 7″ covering two unexpected classics (via DoomRock) / Aoko Matsuda’s The Woman Dies, at Granta. See also, Let’s All Be Final Girls / the boat houses of Equihen-Plage, France. Originally a functional necessity, now a somewhat ersatz choice / ‘Stop that! It’s not Tourette’s but a new type of mass sociogenic illness‘, or, as this Wired article explains, the new phenomena of ‘mass social media-induced illness’ / 6 Echo Chambers That Shaped the Sound of Pop Music / the Mound goes free. You now have the right to roam over this not-so-secret temporary part of London.

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A mixed bag

A mixed bag. This Islington apartment has a bunker (via b3ta). Housed in the Research Building at the New River Head site / another property, this time in a former WWII observation tower in Nova Scotia / Chipperfield vs Mies. It seems that only now have we got the technology to achieve the vision of architects like MvdR, but when it comes down it, their visions aren’t really worth expending all that energy on to achieve / some neon-drenched future cityscapes by nagafujiriku / velour-drench 1974 motorhome / Douglas Coupland, in defence of Elon Musk / the evolution of Android / see also, Google’s muddle of messaging apps (via MeFi) / The Ides of August, a good read on Afghanistan / some light insights into the drumming of Charlie Watts / The Cursed History of the Sexy Green M&M / photo essays collated at Landscape Stories, including Bedroom Rockers by Christopher Woodcock, From the study on Post Pubescent Manhood, by Stacy Kranitz and Notting Hill Sound Systems, a 2004 project by Brian David Stevens / Dog days of summer, a new album by Owl in the Sun.

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A good walk/large swathes of city spoiled

‘An 18-hole round of golf typically takes four hours to complete. During a typical summer day (8am to 8pm) that equates to a maximum number of 216 players per course. On this basis, if Regent’s Park in central London were to become a golf course, at 166 hectares it could only be used by 105 people at the same time – or 314 people per day. Visitor number for London’s parks are quite difficult to obtain, but [in] August 2007 Regent’s Park actually had 809,039 visitors; or just over 26,000 visitors each day.’

‘This is not a war on golf.’ Although would that be such a bad thing? The Golf Belt, a study by architect Russell Curtis (via the Guardian) / some other things. sheep-shaped heart / illustrations by Camilla Perkins / knitted animation by Chloe Lemay / illustrations by Peony Gent.

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Things get in your eye

The challenge of moon dust / the Österberg Collection Online Catalogue, the origins of netball and the gymslip / the soundtrack of Wipeout / an interview with J Masic / eBay is awash with haunted dolls / generative artwork by Yann Le Gall / the dance music archive / the Moviedrome archive (both via b3ta) / save the Crystal Palace Pool / Cinemagraphs / Recovering Lazyholic, a blog / nuclear-powered rockets and robots / photographs by Brendon Burton.

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Noise annoys

Marc Ribot Makes the Case for Loud Music at Lithub (via tmn) / the Washington Tunnels, an underground atlas of DC / Sunday Suns, 100 suns by Tad Carpenter / minimalist techno at Naiad Records / music from The Catenary Wires / to celebrate the return of Changing Rooms, we give you Room for Change / and as a bitter chaser, ’99 Portraits of Americans in Debt’, The Debt Project, a photographic study by Brittany M.Powell (via Kottke) / how fast can you type the alphabet? / a selection of spooky music by UFO Sightings / generative cat-trees / some more music by Smooth Kiwi.

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Cheery thoughts

Modern life is rubbish, part 78. Britain’s Idyllic Country Houses Reveal a Darker History. An excellent piece on the National Trust’s struggles with context and interpretation, in the face of vocal opposition from people who are seemingly desperate to avoid any kind of self-examination whatsoever / ‘End of the line for Uber‘, investigating a global scam that is leaving all of us poorer / ‘Learning from the Vessel: How cities can be designed to prevent suicide‘. Minimise access to highly visible vertical opportunities / rain noise generator, presumably to blot out the sound of real rain and rapidly advancing climate change / add fast fashion to the list of obviously awful but casually overlooked things: ‘In Ghana, they call them “obroni wawu” — dead white man’s clothes‘ / Orford Ness, home to an Artangel installation by Tatiana Trouvé. Some more images / ‘a door, a window’, a photographic series by Paul Clifford / how to make a bowling ball. But can you ever get rid of it? / the lucky few can escape to an island / the Matchbook Archive / music by lost space department / three dimensional murals by Peeta / ghost in the machine: Sahara Itza Live Chat (via Electric Eel). Creepy.

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Visions of a life

The James Bond Corgi Aston Martin / an online book fair / art by Callum Eaton / live in a concept house in Milton Keynes / the Winnebago Heli-Home / paintings by Sarah Connell / why imaginary adverts became so popular in the USSR / New Home Quality Control, a sad indictment of contemporary housebuilding in the UK / Nestflix, films within films, via MeFi / Afterness, Artangel in Orford Ness, Suffolk (via the Guardian) / paintings by Damian Elwes / synths by Make Noise / AeroFiat, a project by Alain Bublex, who conjures up alternative technology and design futures and makes them ‘real’. Other projects include the Plan Voisin, exploring how Archigram’s visions might have appeared, and a constructed vision of the modern American Landscape.

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Song Work: ‘Capturing the disappearing sounds of the workplace‘ / Crazy About Magazines / gaming mags at the Out of Print Archive / Wild Patterns, a website for ‘Dreamed Out Music / Vintage Obscura, streaming obscure music from around the world / abandoned cars in rural France versus Chinese bicycle graveyard (the latter via Greg Abandoned) / sort of related, where all the bits and pieces from the bankrupted Bristol Cars ended up before auction / staying abandoned: the recently sold D’Oyly Carte Island on the Thames, a private island and a neglected house / make your own Bauhaus-inspired graphic (via Kottke). Sadly the sort of thing that adds to the lie about abstraction being a somehow lesser art form / speaking of which, Instagram is over, apparently / the panel-bending comic adventures of Mr Invincible / word salad alert: London’s hottest startups, 2021 / rarely seen architectural drawings from Sir John Soane’s collection.

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Friday links

The art of the sub-editor, much missed / the excellent London Picture Archive / The Computer Graphics Museum has an extensive YouTube playlist / Trussart Steelmaster guitars / Radical Gaming, an upcoming exhibition about digital worlds / behind the scenes of the Venice Flood Defence System / all you ever wanted to know about space elevators / one year on, Beirut is still scarred / all about the Cartrivision / music by James Holden / Automotive Prototype Camouflage and its relationship to the art of Dazzle Patterns / 20 GOTO 10, ‘Retro Computing by Numbers’, a proposed book by Steven Goodwin.

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Slow, inexorable decline

The story of IT, how the Segway was hyped and boosted and failed to match sky high expectations (via MeFi). We have fond memories of zipping around the hangars at Farnborough Airfield with Dean Kamen back in the early days. Probably indulged in a bit of boosterism ourselves / the Museum of Everything Else (via Gearnews), a collection of audio gear and experiments in Ramsgate / mice farm, an archive of mice / a Louis Vuitton Video Game / The slow collapse of Amazon’s drone delivery dream / Kyiv’s Flowers of Ukraine, ‘the modernist greenhouse that miraculously escaped demolition’ / music by Memory of Elephants / an early stereoscopic image of Stonehenge, courtesy of the Brian May Archive of Stereoscopy, which is a thing. See also the Stereoscopy Blog.

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A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld

A small selection of things. Invoking Betteridge’s law of headlines: Does London really need a gigantic glowing orb the height of Big Ben? The mocked up view from nearby apartments is properly dystopian / speaking of which, some more photographs of the Mafia’s architectural legacy in Sicily / ‘Dungeon synth music feeds on atmospheres, stories, adventures and is closely linked to an imaginary that takes shape behind our closed eyelids’ / a documentary on Ultimate: Play the Game / Genius Loci, Rob Dwiar, ‘a grand tour of video game landscapes and gardens’ / architectural illustrations by Andrew Cadey.

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Collision time

Tangerine Dream: Zeitraffer, an exhibition at London’s Barbican (via Synthopia) / a curated selection of Google’s best doodles / an Oliver Hill classic given the contemporary makeover treatment. This listing / Citizen magazine, an architectural journal / local issues: Ryde Esplanade Matters / inside the German submarine SM UB-110, 1918, at album of sea monsters. A photograph that gives us complete anxiety / ‘The life expectancy of a character in a public information film was roughly 4.3 seconds‘ / mathy prog from Poly-Math / mathy rock from A-Tota-So / Last Day Deaf offers up a selection of contemporary textural/reverb-drenched songs / My Imaginary Lake, post rock from Spain / hunting HMS Beagle, a ship that has effectively vanished / it’s the end of the line for Ballardian, one of our favourite websites. ‘Ballardian has also run its course. The site has been part of my personal drive to absorb Ballard’s work, a mission that began when I commenced my PhD on him in 1996 and culminated in the 2018 publication of my theory-fiction novel Applied Ballardianism: Memoir of a Parallel Universe (a fantastical account of academic failure and literary obsession, filtered through the Ballardian lens). I don’t really have anything left in the tank. As Miéville indicated, the idea of ‘the Ballardian’ has become so ingrained it’s a cliche to state it.’

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The Hill of Shame

Not that hill. A People’s Architecture, Owen Hatherley on Elain Harwood’s new book Mid-Century Britain, a plaintive, puzzled cry of loss for ‘a new world that was light, optimistic and without angst, a carefree vision of a society devoted to public welfare’ / meanwhile. ‘Pick-up trucks are ridiculous clown cars and 99% of the people who buy them will never have a practical need to own one.’ See also American Trucks And SUVs Have Gotten As Big As WWII Tanks / feed me art, someone Asks. The results are worth adding to your lists: The Art Showcase, plenty of contemporary fantasy art; Austin Kleon, an artist and blogger; Olena Shmahalo, an artist; Contemporary Art Curator, a magazine; Lines and Colors, a blog about art; The Near-Sighted Monkey; Gurney Journey; the excellent Public Domain Review; Art Show; speaking of loss: Buried in concrete: how the mafia made a killing from the destruction of Italy’s south. You can wander around the abandoned villas of Sicily at Liotrum. The text is rather romantic and less than informative, but you can draw your own conclusions: Villa Corradina. Here is a Domus article on Pizzo Sella, the ‘hill of shame’, one million square metres ‘anthropised by a combination of mafia, large-scale construction and corrupt politics’ / School with Jomon pottery, an urbex at Wanderlast / the cars of San Francisco, photographs by Christopher Last / Happy birthday to us. Does anyone still use tumblr?

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Let the Doodle Champion Island Games begin! Speedruns are available / Adam Hillman arranges objects neatly / ‘A Complete Digitization of the 1960s Magazine Avant Garde‘ (via MeFi, via Open Culture) / music by A Formal Horse / The Sounds of Space / podcasts and sounds from NASA / LowPolyLights take nightlights to another level / Buckminster Fuller, TC Howard and the disputed authorship of the geodesic dome / always a sucker for these long projects: ‘I see people ageing – I don’t always see us’: one family, 30 years, 30 photographs / What Runs Doom? A pregnancy test, amongst other things.

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