The end times draw nearer, thanks to Ren Netherland’s images of American extreme dog grooming. Freestyle dog grooming, perhaps / Michael Danner’s Critical Mass explores Nuclear Power in Germany from 2008-2011, a photographic exhibition that also spawned a print exhibition, looking at publications from the anti-nuclear resistance movement / see also Thorsten Klapsch’s series Atomkraft / above image, ‘Dog in a gas mask‘, by Peter Wegner
Architecture, flow and money eating machines: ‘Slot machines: a lose lose situation‘, Tom Vanderbilt in the Guardian on the science and psychology of the slot:
The space is rather like a city, with gridded blocks of machines occasionally opening into wide, circular “plazas”, in the centre of which are slot machines ringed around columns…. In these spaces, the ceilings are slightly recessed, mirroring a circular pattern in the rug. “Your mind sort of drops imaginary lines down,” Schüll says, “and you have a sense that you’re being protected. It helps differentiate the space, rather than having it feel like one giant warehouse.”
Compare and contrast with this rather gee-whizz short film of slot machine technology, featuring Brett Jackson of Bally Technologies: ‘So to make it exciting for the player quite often what we’ll do is present the illusion of skill, where there are a lot of interactions, but they don’t really change the outcome of the game.’ (Gizmodo). See also this slot machine design by Art Lebedev for Rosgame, the main Russian slot manufacturer. See also the Vintage Slot Machine Web Ring (remember those?).
Love and Madness in the Jungle: ‘A brilliant American financier and his exotic wife build a lavish mansion in the jungles of Costa Rica, set up a wildlife preserve, and appear to slowly, steadily lose their minds.’ The (ongoing) story of Anne and John Bender. One of the most remarkable aspects of the story is the vast concrete house the pair built in the jungle, very little information on which exists online. There are some tantalising glimpses at the Outside Online gallery and a few more pictures here. Finding the house on Google Earth would be the next challenge.
RPS points us towards INFRA, a first person game best described as ‘urban exploration for your desktop’. Inspired by the documentary film The Crumbling of America, the game is perhaps the first to feature a ‘structural analyst’ – ‘a quiet desk jockey assigned to survey some routine structural damage. Quickly though, your mission turns from a mundane trek to a fight for survival. Your tools are simple: the camera around your neck and the wits to navigate a virtual labyrinth of debris. How you tell your story is your choice, will you have the commitment to finish your duty, or will you ignore all else but the preservation of your own life?’ / the Roland RE-201 Space Echo Story / the big machines are over at Cetaceous.
Drawn has closed the curtains. Some suggested replacements / The Water Witch of Wyoming, and How Dowsing Works (or Doesn’t): ‘In many respects, the picture of dowsing painted in the Bible is not all that different from how it looks today. People still tromp around in arid places, often with a Y-shaped stick or a pair of L-shaped rods held before them. When the descending point of the Y dips toward the earth, or when the two rods come together to form an X, that’s supposed to be an indication of vast reservoirs of life-giving water below the dowser’s feet.’
Mr Phoebus, a great weblog devoted to ‘Museums, art and architecture: the inquisitive pursuit of the off-the-beaten-path’ / now expired, but The Serendipity Project posted ‘a single item each day between May 1 2011 and April 30 2012. Items might be books, records, ephemera, objects, photographs or artworks.’ / a weblog by Chloe Nelkin / a collection of staircases / JSBlog returns to the Isle of Wight in search of The Devil’s Chimney / Infocom’s famous interactive version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy came with a bundle of treats (via this MeFi post on classic browser games).
Map Glitch, a flickr set by Peder Norrby. There’s something ominous and post-apocalyptic about this imagery, as if it chronicles the remains of a world scourged by some terrible catastrophe.
Another made-for-web piece of analogue fetishism, Kai Schaefer’s series ‘World Records‘, which brings together classic vinyl and classic turntables / as nostalgic vessels go, this is perhaps less involved and drawn out than creating an entire imaginary soundtrack that purports to be ‘the secret cosmic music of the East German Olympic Program 1972-83′: Kosmischer Läufer (via) / California Cool: How the Wetsuit Became the Surfer’s Second Skin. A companion piece to the book The Springboard in the Pond? / the work of Casey Reas, co-creator of Processing / paintings by C Jeremy Price (via The Illustrator’s Handbook) / Fuck Yeah, Book Arts! (via The Cartoonist). We love devoted tumblrs like this but aren’t mad keen on the ‘FY!’ designation.
Meg Handler, Fans, a photo series. Well over a decade now, so obsession looks slightly different, perhaps slicker and yet less focused / sort of related, Alien Nation: Have Humans Been Abducted by Extraterrestrials? / Pareidolia: Why we see faces in hills, the Moon and toasties / related, the Jim Dunlop Fuzz Face Mini / related, the Vermont Novelty Toaster Corporation / the John Peel Wiki / Polaroid Factory is a series by photographer Sean Raggett. We also like his Social Landscapes series.
The Alan Fletcher Archive, a treasure trove of work from one of Britain’s best-known graphic designers, beautifully organised and presented, from Pelican covers through to the simple girl’s guide to living room, and much, much more (via Phaidon) / (related, a regular plug for our own Pelican Project) / build the Iron Giant from Lego / The Metropolitan Line, a tumblr / Photophilia, a photography tumblr.
Who will be the first to combine the remote-control pizza delivery with the thought-guided helicopter? / Archsupply, a website about the practice of architecture / iGNANT hosts a collection of exceptionally elegant gifs by illustrator Guillaume Kurkdjian / incredible desert memorial to Wreckage of UTA Flight 772, destroyed by a bomb in 1989.
The ultra-fast high rise concept from China has been kicking around for a couple of years, ever since its precursor, the 30 day skyscraper, hit the web. Now the ground is apparently being readied for its successor, the world’s fastest – and tallest – structure, intended to be built in just 7 months / farewell to Vollis Simpson, founder of the forthcoming Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park / What’s it like being in a band that you think is amazing and everyone else is completely indifferent to?
Did The Rite of Spring really spark a riot?: ‘The performance continued to the end, despite the rowdiness of the audience, and one thing most accounts seem to agree on is that there was an ovation.’ Obligatory link to the start of Nocturne / related, a piece of high 80s weirdness: Play at home special present – Siouxsie & the Banshees (more) / a recent advertisement for UOMO (‘the new fragrance from Ermenegildo Zegna‘) culminates in a scene at the Casa Malaparte. Does anyone know why the screen features the prominent disclaimer, stating ‘Casa Malaparte is a work f architecture created by Curzio Malaparte’. Some estates have more power than others, and the house – still a private residence – is maintained (against the odds) as a shrine to the writer (his surname, ‘which he used from 1925, means “evil/wrong side” and is a play on Napoleon’s family name “Bonaparte” which means, in Italian, “good side”). More in ‘Part Palace, Part Temple, Part Prison‘ by Michael Z. Wise in the Los Angeles Review of Books, which notes the house’s pop culture resurgence.
San Remo Brochure, 1932, by Mario Puppo, at paper graphic design from the 1920s to the 1970s / flying around the Futurist visions of Antonio Sant’Elia (via BlenderArtists) / Aortica Magazine, via Magpile / another new magazine, Special Request / Tago Mago, new sounds / Ai Weiwei first look at his new music video.
The Charnel-House is a blog by Ross Wolfe about classical avant-garde architecture and more. A typical post, ‘We must construct the Soviet dirigible fleet without delay‘, bringing together a host of visual material / Ship Sinking Simulator (via RPS) / Lesser Known Architecture, the hidden buildings of London, a new exhibition / a vast collection of British Car Brochures / a bit of brutalism at Eternal Opinion of My Spotless Mind, now defunct.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Paint Tube, ‘Without this simple invention, impressionists such as Claude Monet wouldn’t have been able to create their works of genius’ (via Nevver): ‘[little-known American portrait painter, John G.] Rand’s brush with greatness came in the form of a revolutionary invention: the paint tube. Made from tin and sealed with a screw cap, Rand’s collapsible tube gave paint a long shelf life, didn’t leak and could be repeatedly opened and closed.’ (above image is Monet’s palette, via The New York Botanical Garden) / Famed photojournalist Robert Capa and the mystery of his “Mexican Suitcase” (via DP Review). The suitcase, which contains 126 rolls of unseen films, is now held at the International Center of Photography.
The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time / Mayan pyramid bulldozed in Belize / gig photography by Stuart Leech / Sniffing the Past, dogs and history / Merchandising is Forever, hypnotic animations of decaying Star Wars figures / related, Star Wars action figures, a hand-made selection, early 90s.