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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Sounds and sights from beyond space

A very random collection of things. Fire Maidens of Outer Space (1956) / water simulation on kinetic displays / photorealist paintings by Ben Weiner / love this: noclip, unfettered exploration of classic 3D gaming environments in a browser (via b3ta) / a silo drums sample set, featuring extreme natural reverb / hear also the Lullatone Sample Sets / a map of Agatha Christie’s England / Skyscrapers, the vertical evolution of London and New York, a project by Recent Spaces (via dezeen) / the current state of artificial intelligence – bring your own emotions / paintings by Lee Price / sculptures and paintings by Susanne Kathlen Mader / MVRDV’s Marble Arch Hill is not widely admired / collage art by Sarah Bridgland / the The London Nobody Knows (1967), at Unseen Films / All the trains in my son’s train podcast ranked by how much I hate them (via MeFi). After all, Accidents Happen.

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Six underground

The Airstream Funeral Coach, ca 1980s (via Cars That Never Made It) / Vintage Covers. Sci-fi reimagined / beats and samples by Wan-Vox / always worth a visit, Synth History / Eileen Gray’s E-1027 House completes its restoration / entertainingly hubristic read, Dead Start-up Toys / the reality of van life, a surprise to practically no-one / potential new life for the train station at the Estación Internacional de Canfranc, a long-standing urbex favourite / Stewart Copeland’s solo’d drums, Walking on the moon / more dramatic abandoned things, Greg Abandoned’s view of electric city cars left to rot in China / The Smell of Calpol on A Warm Summer’s Night, ‘Scarlett Carlos Clarke captures lockdown motherhood in surreal imagery’ / are megabasements causing floods?

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The eternal circle of nostalgia

Dispersing the Capsules: ‘Although the Nakagin Capsule Tower, an icon of Metabolist architecture in Tokyo designed by Kisho Kurokawa, could not be saved, plans are afoot to remove the capsules, refurbish them, and donate them to museums in and beyond Japan.’ We predict these will go the way of the works of Jean Prouvé, designed to be low-cost, ubiquitous and functional but now elevated to the status of art object / World Report award 2021 shortlist. Some incredible images there / Ray Guns of the 1930s-1950s / The sounds of technology are making us unhappy, via UX Design / retro gaming comes in several flavours, remakes, retro inspired games and remastered games. There’s an increasing number of old games being revived for modern systems, or even new games that are made to look like old games, or even brand new games made for old platforms (mostly played in emulation) – see the work of ZOSYA entertainment or The Doom Of The Pond / ‘Life goes deeper: The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms’ / how Instagram became Skymall: ‘maybe this is a glimpse of the inevitable heat-death of ecommerce: Bots trying to convince other bots to buy stuff no humans would ever click on.’ More on Skymall’s demise / Unofficial Rotring, a blog about pens / How the Tour de France disguises the phallic artwork on its route / the disputed origins of the Jeep / Osaka Matchboxes, a project (and poster) by designer Tim George.

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Down, boy

Why Do Electric Cars Look The Way They Do? Because They Can, on the design challenges and opportunities of electric cars (via WITI? and Kottke) / vintage drum machine quiz. Pretty esoteric / exploring the Ice Factory, Grimsby, soon to become a theatre / Birds, a new book from Jim Moir. See also, art by Cally Yeatman / The Illustrated Book in Italy, 1918–1945 / live in a London church / live on an derelict Welsh fort / live on Norman Wisdom’s yacht / theories and thoughts about the Hum / ambient shoe-gazing rock by Made of Stone / Long Live the New Flesh / Interior of The Caravan Club, London, 1934, at the National Archives. ‘The club, located on Endell Street, Soho, was frequented by members of the LGBTQ+ community.’ / photographer Gareth Gardner has a physical gallery in South London / ‘Renting clothes is ‘less green than throwing them away‘ / bring the Puppy back to life.

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As above, so below

Farewell to Kristen Richards, creator of the excellent ArchNewsNow newsletter / on tunnels beneath the ocean. Deep Blue Sea Thinking / the Lovell House as a furniture store / the late Rick Mather’s own house and roof garden / Davit Jilavyan, ‘Paint Your Life‘, via designboom / Vintage Everyday serves up fascinating photosets / an interesting piece on the pervasiveness of caffeine addiction, the rise of enlightenment thinking and even capitalism / aiiaiiiyo, ‘Foodporn, historyporn, earthporn’ / chipmunks on 16 speed, into the audio uncanny valley / the Games Done Quick Marathon. See also this why is this interesting? piece on Speedrunning. WITI also links to a piece from a few years ago, Against Little Free Libraries / Skymail, a mail art project that ran from 1974 to 1978 by the late Gregory C Haymes (via Ask MeFi) / How to draw Islamic Geometry.

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Rock and bricks

Aesthesys, an instrumental progressive band from Moscow (via Doom Rock) / indie rock by Morning Eagle / ‘The original, unaltered period photo into which actor Jack Nicholson was composited to create the iconic photograph seen in the final shots of The Shining.’ / exploring Kingsway Tram Station, soon to be temporarily re-opened. More information / life in the Stahl House / an interview with Seefeel / cars made from Lego / see also ‘App Helps You Build New Creations from Your Existing Lego Pile‘ / in search of the Georgian papier mache horse / an artwork created from a lighthouse / an oral history of the All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals / the great guitar build-off / how a new road drove Montenegro into debt / photographer Dia Mrad captures the aftermath of the 2020 Beirut explosion / Hong Kong in miniature / sleeping cats / ABYME, an ‘independent publisher of artist’s editions and multiples founded by John Morgan and Adrien Vasquez‘ / plotter prints by Sean M Puckett / illustration by mu.andcoco.

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How high’s the water, mama?

Aqua Aesthetica, ‘Visual Research on Sea Level Rise’ by artist Marijn Achternaam. See also, ‘Stories to save the world: the new wave of climate fiction. Still sort of related, a house in a water tower / Inventive Vents: A Gazetteer of London’s Ventilation Shafts, found via this Guardian review, which also points us to the amazing Layers of London mapping website / a Bonhams auction, Aeropittura: Italian Futurism in Flight, using art to storyboard the next wave of horror, which presumably gave the Futurists tingles of transgressive joy / interactive musical sculptures by Bichopalo. More on YouTube / related, a new version of the TAL noisemaker VST synth / illustration by Dominika Lipniewska / cars that got cancelled, in the old sense of the word / a profile of Joe Rush, one of the founders of the legendary Mutoid Waste Company.

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Different takes on the future

Photographs by Thibaut Derien (via El tiempo en cucharitas de café) / so what problem does this solve exactly? The Aska flying car-roadable helicopter / The Story of the MiniDisc, ‘Sony’s 1990s Audio Format That’s Gone But Not Forgotten’ / Rosemary Hill, former things contributor, on Edward Gorey (both via Daniel Benneworth-Gray) / go with the flow: sheep and drones / Die of D.I.Y?, slightly illicit music downloads / Peter Zinovieff has died, one of the pioneers of sampling, and the founder of Electronic Music Studios, ‘The World’s Longest Established Synthesizer Manufacturer‘. Zinovieff also appears in the highly recommended Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes / an episode of the Reasonably Sound podcast about climate change, as well ‘as the ecological impact of vinyl records and digital music streaming’ (via MeFi, which has an interesting digression into the virtues of relative vinyl weights) / you do it to yourself, part 26. If ‘Twitter is the Stasi for the Angry Birds generation‘ (according to Stewart Lee), then are smart doorbells creating a global surveillance network? / Don’t believe the alien hype, for Aliens Wouldn’t Need Warp Drives to Take Over an Entire Galaxy, Simulation Suggests. So where are they? / a selection of long-form pieces about scams and con-artists.

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