Surrounded

The City of Samba, a remarkable tilt-shifted film. See also Fuck Yeah Aerial Photography / paintings by Emil Robinson / Open the Tower, Lego deployed as an architectural sketchbook / a blog from William Wegman / Sannah Kvist has taken a series of portraits of young people with all their possessions (at flavorwire). See also Sannah’s tumblr, which captures an impossibly beautiful light in almost every photograph.

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Yet more rumination on ruins, at the Guardian, Ruin lust: our love affair with decaying buildings, and Design Observer, Poynor on The Unspeakable Pleasure of Ruins, and how the debate surrounding the aesthetics of decay has shifted in the past few years, as a general sense of frustrated ennui spills from the genre, rather than any meaningful engagement with the circumstances behind them: ‘If pictures of ruins are ruin porn, then presumably visiting actual ruins is ruin sex (see how stupid this metaphor is). I know which I would rather do.’ Poynor also notes the New World’s objection to ruins in general:

Perhaps the US, as a younger country, is just less used to the presence and idea of ruins. Maybe ruins, as signs of thwarted hopes and failure, offend deeply against national positivity so that photographing them, appearing to enjoy what the pictures show, is felt to be in horrible bad taste. Hard to know: I don’t feel that way. Where I come from, a childhood trip in the family car at the weekend to look at a half-ruined castle or monastery was almost routine. Europe is littered with lovely ruins. There is a tradition, many centuries long, of visiting them, admiring them, musing on them, and depicting them.

The Guardian piece, by Brian Dillon, looks at the historical role played by ruins and the origins of the ‘cult of melancholy collapse and picturesque rot’ that took hold in the eighteenth century and remains with us today. Many interesting links and digressions in the comments.

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