Sound, space, demos

Photographs of University of Glasgow Library under construction, one of the library’s monthly posts from its Special Collections, including such gems as The Curious Case of Mary Toft (1726). ‘Mary Toft’s explanation for her strange births was that, in April 1726, she had been working in a field and was startled by a rabbit. She, and another woman, ran after it, and but could not catch it. They also failed to catch another rabbit that they had chased… The theory was that an emotional stimulus experienced by a pregnant woman (such as Mary’s rabbit dreams and her desire for rabbit meat) could influence the development of the foetus.’ The library also has a photostream, with maps and special collections.

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Archinect interviews photographer Nelson Garrido / Meth/Rad, a tumblr / pop culture nostalgia in its rawest form at I’m Remembering! / etymology of the video game boss / Worn Stories, ‘a collection of stories about clothing and memory’. From the other end of the spectrum of object-orientated reminiscences, perhaps / ceramic biscuits, and other things, by Robert Archard / the UK SoundMap. As yet, no-one has captured this ‘weird demonic chanting‘.

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At what point does the demoscene intersect with conventional technological innovation? There’s always appeared to be some vast disconnect between those who code new things into new hardware and those who push old hardware to the utter limits (this audio demo for the Commodore 64, linked via me-fi, might have piqued our interest). What is demonstrated, time and time again, is that the potential of devices – even devices that are getting on for thirty years old – is only now being fully exploited. One the one hand, it suggests that if technology production were to simply stop right now, the pragmatic tweekers and circuit board explorers out there could eke out centuries and centuries more use from all the silicon scattered around the planet. Some random demo links: raww.org, ZX Spectrum demos / C64.CH, Commodore 64 demos / Gij’s home page, homebrewed electronica / Critical Artware, glitch art.

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Interesting behind the scenes story of ‘Take on Me‘ / more on the Las Vegas Death Ray at BLDG BLOG / Wonderland of Decay, photographs by Suzy Poling / Wallpaper magazine’s tumblr / Facsimile Magazine is like a digital National Geographic (yes, we know such a thing exists). ‘Inspired by things underground that burrow interdependently, Facsimile is devoted to the reconstruction of yestermorrow’s collective copy consciousness’. The most recent issue is Underwater themed, and previous themes have been oil spills and art, but all are fascinating, a stream of imagery and text.

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MTAA-RR, artists’ weblog / a/v mapping, ‘research [that] looks at the city both from within and from above as kind of urban cat-scan’ / Photographers of Great Britain and Ireland, 1840-1940 / the secret department of the Moscow Aviation Institute. Many, many, knobs, buttons, tubes, pipes and thrusters / Richmal Crompton’s ‘Just William’ and the Jews, a fairly cut and dried case of casual anti-semitism in a children’s favourite. Related, 10 most challenged titles.

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The mistake by the lake ‘is a photographic record of the assortment of school bus stop shelters scattered across the greater-Buffalo, New York landscape. Local parents build these structures in order to protect their children from the notoriously brutal Buffalo winters’. At Lozen up books. See also L O Z and publishityourself / Steve Albini, Thurston Moore and the spectrum of indie. Essentially, does independence matter any more?

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