Prepackaged patina

Archiving is the New Folk Art, at A perfect commotion: ‘Like quilting, archiving employs the obsessive stitching together of many small found pieces into a larger vision, a personal attempt at ordering a chaotic world.’ There’s a scene in the Matrix, the original film, where a small arsenal of weapons suddenly swoops into view (the ‘Stockroom‘) and rattles past the protagonists, making their leather coats flutter. This has always felt like an exaggerated visualisation of the mental museums that exist inside the minds of the blogger/curator (an elegant composite word is not possible here), landscapes of shelves and brackets, racks and trays, into which one’s accumulated digital detritus can be deposited.


We frequently link to flickr groups that function along similar lines – stuffed richly with visual pickings culled and scanned from the ‘archives’. But to date no-one has come up with an automated archivist, a Mechanical Turk of image and information management that can scour, sift, upload and present vast quantities of visual data, ‘shelving’ it in any number of dynamic ways. A cross-platform, cloud-based site with an utterly minimal interface. If Vitsoe made apps, perhaps, this software would be the result.


Other things, chronicled and catalogued haphazardly as usual. Film and photography by Stephen Mallon, including this elegant time-lapse of the new Willis Avenue Bridge in New York (wikipedia) / somewhat disappointed review of Carson Magazine / the Metropol Parasol slips into the city like some kind of 50s B-movie beast / ‘This is a project, begun in 2004 by Stephen Wragg, to document the unique diversity of painted ‘walking men‘ on the streets of the UK.’


The history of fashion and pattern at A Wink and a Smile / How to Make a Magazine. See also Linotype: The Film (via four colour black) / with thanks to It’s Nice That for their recent mention / co-zine, a rich architectural tumblr by Hugh McEwen / photography by Benjamin Antony Monn, including the ‘Endor Project‘, an ongoing study into the imposition of science fiction-styled buildings into the landscape.


Ubiquitous Nostalgia, or how it’s now simple to tint the present to look like some mythical past. A post about Instagram. From the comments: ‘I mean you like it, have fun whatever, but the entire hook is making it look like an old Polaroid right? It’s applying a layer of sentimentality that is entirely artificial. It looks interesting because it pretends to be exactly what it is not: a mundane photo you took with your cell phone this morning. I think this is why people don’t like it. It’s like a shortcut to meaning. It’s trying to imply a history that doesn’t exist. It’s like adding Splenda to your coffee. We both know it’s not what it’s purporting to be. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but in what world is that any definition of “creative”? Particularly when you didn’t do anything other than push a button to run some filters that someone else came up with.’


A history of Photoshop / Print for Love of Wood Letterpress, a weblog / The Art of American Book Covers, richly illustrated / see also The Casual Optimist (books, design and culture) / Area of Interest, a tumblr by Michael Chase / Unreliably Witnessed, a tumblr/weblog / Fab Iche, a traditional tumblr / Southern California Architectural History. See, for example, Playa del Rey: Speed Capital of the World, The Los(t) Angeles Motordrome, 1910-1913, the story of speed and real estate development on the West Coast.

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