Tumbling into tomorrow

Recently, an image or two on the things tumblr set off some kind of internal chain reaction, causing the archive to get thoroughly dug over by a host of sites previously unknown to us, the bulk of which we’ve set out below. This sudden delugy of imagery-driven sites set us thinking about not just the future of print, but the fluid relationship between print and digital aesthetics. As things nudges ever closer to publishing a physical issue for the first time in many years, we’ve spent a lot of time exploring the new worlds of print on demand and how it might interact with the old world of traditional methods. Because of its emphasis on the visual, tumblr has a far greater relationship with the visual culture of magazines than weblogs ever did. Every blog was a diary or journal, whereas every tumblr is akin to a fanzine.

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Even popular tumblr themes tend to err towards the style of laid out print pages, whether one-hit articles or grids and columns. Put a bunch of print alongside the above – NoLayout.com, for example – and the differences melt away (it’s also fascinating how the low tech gif has become a way more expressive medium than any number of plug-ins or pads or streams). This romantic relationship with print is akin to the romance of the internal combustion engine, something evocative, glorious yet also the representation of a used finite resource (from here, via: ‘When the new issues arrive at the London HQ, they all stand around plunging their noses deep into the binding for a whiff. Some issues have eight or nine different paper stocks, each with its own distinctive smell, and so they sometimes smell each section on its own’). So do the following tumblrs (to name just a few) represent a nostalgic hankering after a print-based medium they will never be able to replicate, or are they a bold new means of self-publishing?

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Little Thoughts / 529 / -3.00 -2.75 / Two Birds on a Branch / dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio / imagine a room, a sudden glow / Les grandperes ont toujours tort, art / robots n friends, photography / An Epicure’s Garden, activisim / Central Unit, gifs and art / La Perfieria Domestica, architecture and interiors / in the forests / iconic image / Coalesce / les printemps / dreamless dream and nameless name / Um… Yah / L’Eugenio Tascabile / espacegeneric / consciousness is a congenital hallucination / rommy / A reminder / love at the end of the world / I’ll be your mirror / Max Von Sydow / Cool Anxiety is about to die / notes et documents / it’s always sunday afternoon / ablaknaplo / Design Design / heksenhaus (nsfw) / Whatevs / Fostercare / Love Crumbs / Lyssa Humana / oh, anayatzin / Blogthoven / The Metropolitan Line / Polio Nomio / Turmoil and Tranquility / Make someone happy. NB Some of the above are nsfw on random and unexpected occasions. Be warned.

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Other things. More well organised American architectural conservationists: Neutra Lives, ‘a forum… created by Neutra residents to head off disasters like the wanton destruction of the Maslon House in Cathedral City’ (via AR) / So, Why is WikiLeaks a Good Thing Again? / In search of lost Paris (via tmn) / San Francisco: The City as it Was / it’s been a while since we visited mp3 blog Said the Gramophone, but their Best Songs of 2010 is a good place to start.

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Vintage British Argos 1985 Catalogue, via me-fi / see also Men’s Adventure Magazines, another cascade of old-school illustration, exaggeration and imagination, also via me-fi. Both seem to conform to Phil Gyford’s recent assertion that if you “scan and upload any pre-Internet artefact … people will go ‘Wow!'” What is this about? A hankering for the pre-digital era? / related, The First 1500 Covers Of 2000AD, via haddock / a list of online encyclopedias.

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Julinjallo asks How exactly do Roombas go about their work? / in-contro, ‘a series of seven images from the industrial area of Kalasatama, close to the city centre of Helsinki, where spontaneity and planning are meeting in a built environment’ (via SpaceInvading) / what is the name for the genre of YouTube post that puts the score alongside the music? / Back of the Envelope, the British Council’s Architecture, Design and Fashion blog.

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War on the Motorist is an ironically titled weblog that aims to divert from tabloid hysteria and instead ‘to add to the many little people who are trying to tell politicians and planners that people want an alternative to roads and cars, not more of the same mess that we have now.’ The site’s occasional forays into history and speculation from times past are very welcome, e.g., Where’s my self-driving car?

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3 Responses to Tumbling into tomorrow

  1. Pingback: links for 2010-12-14 « links and tweets

  2. Robert says:

    So, this print edition… how closely have you nudged towards it?

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Tumbling into tomorrow | things magazine -- Topsy.com

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