Spot the difference

Just in time for Halloween: Welcome To The Dark Side: Occult London, a map from Herb Lester. Sort of related, How Scientology doubled its downtown Clearwater, Florida, footprint in three years. $103m helps / What’s the Difference?, a newsletter / 80×25, on the origin of standards (via MeFi) / The London Review of Books is 40 years old today / Bruce Chatwin was the internet before the internet existed, a musing on knowledge and ubiquity (also via MeFi). Perhaps one could add names like Umberto Eco, Marina Warner, Angela Carter and W.G.Sebald to the list of quietly connective polymaths, so at odds with the way things are today.

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The real David Attenborough, a lengthy profile of the 93-year old film-maker and (sometimes) reluctant activist. To follow that up, Kottke always does good science and natural history: Watch Scavengers Devour a Fallen Whale Carcass on the Sea Floor; John James Audubon’s Birds of America / some other things. Far from Being a Temple to Rationality, the Bauhaus Was a “Cauldron of Perversions”. Beatriz Colomina on the esoteric lives, occultism and spirituality of the German design school / “First ever AI, crafted by love”. Yamaha has developed Dear Glenn, a ‘Glenn Gould AI’ using 100s of hours of the pianist’s recordings that made its debut performance at the 2019 Ars Electronica Festival / the DFAB House, exploring new ways of digital manufacturing / there are some fascinating things coming out of this year’s Tokyo Motor Show (courtesy of Cars that never made it, etc.).

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You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

A fascinating Video Game Map Size Comparison. See also, the Video Game Atlas, as well as this piece at Retromash, the beauty of retro video game maps. This in turn links to an illustrated story on the hand-drawn maps of Mark Howlett at Retro Games Collector. The days of DIY cartography are surely over, especially when faced with hundreds of square kilometres of lavishly rendered game space. Also see the unmappable (?) Manifold Garden (via RPS). Still related,’s collection of MS-DOS Games, playable in browser.


Other things. Animal magic, furniture and sculpture from the Collection Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne / illustrations by Owen Pomery (via Kottke) / car design concepts by Sydney Hardy / sharky art by Chris Austin / models and cinematic miniature photography by Felix Hernandez, via My Modern Net / illustrations by Corban Wilkin / moody modern cityscapes by SkieGraphicStudio / paintings by Magi Puig / Hidden Architecture, a tumblr / music by Earth Ship / When the Sun Hits, a music blog (remember those?) devoted to all things shoegazy and hazy / as the forgotten fruit recede further into history, it’s time for the Pink Lady to move over: there’s a new apple in town.

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Memories of what used to be

Ghost Towers: The view from Iran’s housing crisis. Includes photographs by Hashem Shakeri / Manzhouli, ‘a City Lost in Translation’, China meets Russia in Mongolia / a fine obituary of Charles Jencks / The Modern House features the boat-inspired house of architect and independent developer Roger Zogolovitch, designed by Mole Architects / Shopfronts of London: Artist Eleanor Crow’s view / another London view: Urban Dandy, taking an alternative look at the structures, physical and social, of the city / ‘Not To Be Sexist, But‘: What It’s Like Being A Woman Who Works In Automotive Journalism / Camera Rescue, devoted to saving analogue film / intense pencil drawings by Swedish artist Roj Friberg / Weather Man, a photo series by Evgenia Arbugaeva (via Nubbs Galore) / fantasy art and esoterica at Mutant Skeleton’s Flickr set / Red Lipstick Resurrected, a tumblr / finally, two excellent posts at 99% Invisible: The Kirkbride Plan, Thomas Story Kirkbride and the architecture of madness, and Solve for X: Deciphering Calibration Marks Made for Classified Spy Missions.

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From megastructures to ministructures

The Indoor University; Canadian Welfare And Modern Architecture / Dusky Parakeet, a houseboat by 31/44 Architects at the Never too Small channel / an interactive diagram of car size evolution / architectural photographs by Simone Hutsch / Toyota, a photographic portfolio by Christoffer Rudquist / paintings by Kim Cogan / paintings by Jason Line, including scenic art for film / art collected and curated by Terminus Ante Quem / the story of the Mojave Phone Booth, miles from anywhere / new sounds, slow old music down to 33rpm. Two favourites: ZZ Top’s La Grange; Dolly Parton’s Jolene. A feature that is regularly trotted out: Vice (2017), Reddit (2015), Indie88 (2014), MTV (2013) / a contrarian opinion: Flash Is Responsible for the Internet’s Most Creative Era / Silver Shoals: Five Fish That Made Britain by Charles Rangeley Wilson looks intriguing.

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Collections and clarifications

A farewell to Charles Jencks, dead at 80 / Attempted Bloggery, vintage illustration and cartoons / everyone’s trying to draw a perfect circle / the cutaway drawing and its artists, a thirteen-year old thread at the Autosport Forums that is a treasure trove of vintage engineering drawings / music from Sleep Eaters / all hail people who put interesting things on flickr, still: retro imagery (some nsfw) from bifröst girl; mid-century design from Sandi Vincent; art by Casey Cripe; art by Conrad Bakker; architectural photographs by Jens Kristian Seier (who also points us to more architecture photographs by Iqbal Aalam and Igor Palmin) / Martin Parr on photographing Wales / ambient soundscapes from Conifold / How interchangeable parts revolutionised the way things are made / Which vintage girls’ toys are most collectable? / Untitled Project by Conrad Bakker / Inside the decaying mansions abandoned in UK’s most expensive wasteland / Tokyo Transit in realtime 3D (via Kottke) / not really related, Find cities with a similar climate.

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Outside the envelope

Behind You, a tumblr of original animated, spooky art / sort of related, Dungeon Synth (via MeFi) / Ste Holmes illustration / see also the Synth Evolution Poster / illustrations by Anna Isabella Schmidt / Barbican Winter, Stefi Orazi, at Things You Can Buy / RIP the illustrator Mac Conner (via this isn’t happiness) / Vintage photos offer glimpse of Upper Amazon 150 years ago / Tideline Art, messages in bottles (via Meanwhile) / The Egoist, a tumblr / a site about the Japanese Nostalgic Car / Pagers, faxes & cheques: Things that might seem obsolete, but aren’t.

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Ruins, best get used to them

“A unique property: 31,530 square feet. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths on 14.54 acres, a former Nike Missile Base in Dillsboro, Indiana. All for, wait for it, $850,000. You can visit a Nike Base in the Everglades. Related, Plan A, or how to kill 90 million people in a couple of hours (via MeFi) / sort of related, Red to Green, ‘the evolution of a city’s abandoned acres’. Re-wilding a suburb following the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake, a striking visual essay (also via MeFi) / also related, Swedish navy returns to vast underground HQ amid Russia fears. Muskö naval base has been brought back to life. More photos / some other things. The Brookwell Collection of Smoothing Implements / WePresent has an illustrated interview with Chris Ware / get parts and info on the sport of Sumo robotics / portraits of London artists by Alex Schneideman.

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End of the week

Illustrations, including paper art by Aurely Cerise / old, but probably still pertinent: Uber knows when your phone is about to run out of battery and prices accordingly / more colour-us-surprised tech news: The ‘Smart Kitchen’ Is Very Stupid / Blade Runner 2049, VFX Breakdown, work by Framestore / Jeffrey Milstein takes photographs of cities from above / more aerial photography, this time of Taichung, by Andrés Gallardo Albajar / the Library of Congress’s Flickr set 1930s-40s in Color / Thom Yorke’s Desert Island Discs / listen to David Hasselhoff’s cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Head On’, if you must / music by Cehryl.

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Out on the ice floe

London record store World of Echo to sell hundreds of records from Thurston Moore’s private collection / films by The Modern House / Douse the House, testing the system at the Hill House Box (previously mentioned) / a new book of found photographs of polar bear suits, acquired by the collector of photographic esoterica Jochen Raiß / art by Romulo Celdran / modern British interiors, a collection of mid-century art. There’s a dissertation in there somewhere / the Dr Who theme in the style of Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, John Carpenter and more, all by George C (via b3ta) / old but good, the story of the American Airlines AAirpass / an animated pixel map of the USA / contentious, for sure, the 50 best buildings of the 21st century to date / SOM’s Cadet Chapel, photographed by Thibaud Poirier.

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Support and explore

Kickstart Heart of Neon, ‘the inspiring story of gaming legend Jeff Minter and Ivan Zorzin of Llamasoft‘ / very much sort of related, the Butter Churn music visualizer / another thing to Kickstart: A Gift‘, a film by Marc Kristal / the far right’s obsession with modern architecture / Repetition, a film by Max Cooper (via tmn) / also via tmn, the substantial 4AD Video Archive / photographer Philip Butler traces the surviving iconic Odeon cinemas of the 1930s, at Creative Boom. See also Butler’s images of Pre-War Garages.

Other things. A futuristic camping car / emergency services around the world discover the art of Knolling. Knolling on Flickr / a series of anonymous Climate Confessions / Never Too Small is ‘a video channel dedicated to small footprint design and living’ / compare and contrast with the Penthouses and Mansions of NYC in film and TV (the latter via MeFi) / a piece from Places Journal: Disaster for the People, Bonanza for the State, the unintended consequences of post-war Italian land reform / a differing kind of land re-forming: Crop circle ‘inventor’s’ son talks about father’s legacy. See also Crop Circle Center, ‘the world’s largest archive on crop circle sightings’.

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Wrapped in plastic

Will Self urges us to blame the forty-somethings, not the baby boomers or the hipsters (‘… the once proud artistic avant gardes of western Europe plummeting through clouds of frothy coffee, down into a brownish gloop comprising one part “crafted” gin to three of moustache wax.’) / undercover, the Hill House Box by Carmody Groarke / paintings by Simon Stalenhag / The dashboard of 7 cars through the years (via Carsthatnevermadeitetc) / 25 years of the Mercedes F100 concept / house prices through the decades / Jimi Hendrix’s isolated guitar on ‘All Along The Watchtower‘ / the sound of the Utility Perkolator MKII / sigh: Mmmm – interchanges, at Present and Correct / reimagination: What Would 6 Cities of the United States be like if Frank Lloyd Wright or Robert Moses had Designed Them?

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On the edge of eighteen

Viking Valley Fall, consumer drones come of age / Big Timelapse Stories – Episode 1: The 30 Year Timelapse / WebGL Fluid Simulation. Much fun to be had / Satan’s a woman / Rakotzbrücke Devil’s Bridge, Germany / gifmk7, gifs with a certain squidgy quality / all about the painter Eric White / Richard Parry breaks down technology and photographs it. See more on his Instagram / related, Click, whir, ping: the lost sounds of loading video games / a couple more Instagram portfolios: paintings by Andrea Kastner; graphic artworks by Magali Brueder / some portraits of architects by Ivan Jones / the Hidden Women of Design, raising the visibility of women in graphic design / a house with an indoor beach / a low carbon travelling test / music by Loud Women / From bombs to Benidorm: how fascism disfigured the face of Spain. Meades is back / any old school bloggers still posting?. Things turns 18 next month. The online version, that is.

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Camper than

Everybody in The Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992, a film by Jeremy Deller that ‘uses rare and unseen archive materials to weave together a narrative that investigates the music and protest movement that created “seismic social changes” in Britain and reshaped the country forever’. Via Mixmag / art and math by Ani Abakumova (via designboom) / Why did we wait so long for the bicycle?: ‘The key insight was to stop trying to build a mechanical carriage, and instead build something more like a mechanical horse.’ (via MeFi) / music by On Autopilot / Living Vehicle, a cross between an RV and an upscale prefab / see also art and campers by Jay Nelson (via Dwell) / see also the Saab Toppola / retromodern speculation on iPhone design / a new town in Mongolia, a journalistic fascination: Ordos 2009; Ordos 2012; Ordos 2016; Ordos 2019 / seen in various places, the work of Thatcher Wine, artful organiser of books for the rich. We have written about this before, we feel / model Porsche, $11,000.

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Architectural things

Architectural things. Some isometric landscapes by Cinta Vidal / more urban imagery by Alexandra Pacula / Van Life, the non-Insta variety / Cover : The curious case of a shared database. On the somewhat familiar art of book cover design / the typos that changed lives / Why have cars become so wide? / paintings by Hans Vandekerckhove / the creative community in Hastings, photographs by Tim Willcocks / The Art of Warez, early alternative digital art / the Starchitect Rankings, searches, visibility and influence, via Archdaily, which also collates Architecture and Dystopia, ‘Music Videos Based on Superstudio and Archigram’s Criticisms’.

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To the bells of the cathedral

The Ghost in the MP3: ‘moDernisT‘ is a track by Ryan Maguire, ‘created by salvaging the sounds lost to mp3 compression from the song “Tom’s Diner“, famously used as one of the main controls in the listening tests to develop the MP3 encoding algorithm’ / South London before gentrification. Would like to see some ‘after’ photographs, as this all still looks fairly familiar / An Atlas of American Gun Violence / Letters of the Damned: Exorcising the Curse of the Petrified Forest: ‘Please take back the rocks we stole. We’re sorry; we shouldn’t have done it.’ / graphic art by Nvard Yerkanian / art by James Nolan Gandy / art by Pascal Campion / music by Let’s Eat Grandma / ambient music from Radiolarium / A beautifully illustrated glossary of typographic terms you should know, at Canva.

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What a waste

Desert Island Dump, a trip to Henderson Island: waste, reefs, plastic and rats / sort of related, imaging the planet, a visual demonstration of how satellite imagery is gathered / official posters at the National Office of Importance / a blog by Dennis Cooper / music by The Soft Cavalry / music by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends / houseboat for sale / the terrible anxiety of location sharing apps / six leading architects recall their first commission.

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Occasional output

Things sieved from the stream. The Archive of Styles, a type fetishist’s delight (via Meanwhile) / paintings and sculptures by John Clarke / the demolition of a Pasadena landmark / art, faith and modernity, on show at Liss Llewellyn / small publishers collated at Tipitin (get it?) / more publications at Draw Down Books / Diet Prada, an instagram about copying vs inspiration / Abstract Aerial Art (via Kottke) / Highlights from In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, also at Kottke / The Rescued Film Project, via this Guardian piece on developing random camera films / at home with Richard and Ruth Rogers.

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Wishing I had a photograph of you

A random selection of things. This is sort of like a crowd-sourced Upside Down: Doodle Place / linocuts by Vanessa Lubach / music by Gurtwyrm; Love Family Robinson / Futuro House, in a different environment / gig reviews by Rob Weychert / Anthology Resource Vol. II: Philosophy of Beyond, an album of ambient works by Dean Hurley, David Lynch’s sound designer / Michigan Central and the rebirth of Detroit. The end of ruin porn? / Uninteresting Photographs (via The Morning News) / sadly related, Vice’s London Rental Opportunity of the Week / Amazon nomads are on a permanent quest for the unicorns of modern mass consumption / AI Portraits, let a computer reinterpret your self / a gallery of Livecams from around the world / on the beach: the instagrammers of Australia / art by Tito Merello Vilar / The Short Life and Strange Death of Maryland’s Ghost Fleet (via This isn’t Happiness) / one step closer to Mars / the Sony Walkman is forty. See also the Bluetooth tape deck / furniture by Ted Lott.

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Decay and fall

Learning Synths, a fun educational site from Ableton (via The Verge) / thanks to Kottke for highlighting the other-worldly sounds of a giant gong. An Paiste 80 Symphonic Gong is rather dear / the cartoonist Mordillo (wiki) has died / a history of the smartwatch / art by Simon Palmer / Five schemes for cheaper space launches—and five cautionary tales / Welcome to Goose Creek Tower / The Happy Reader, a Penguin magazine / Astronaut Dinosaur, paintings by Scott Listfield / sort of related: Inside Information: MinimoogMalik Thomas, see also inside the VOX AC30 / art by Kate Neave / 35 Innovators Under 35 / Sounds of American Doomsday Cults Volume 14 / the art of mass production by photographer Daniel Stier / a Porsche-powered camper van. Not the performer you might expect.

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