Archive for the ‘Public Space’ Category

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Giant Machines Boring Tunnels Under London (…and in many other places)

March 31, 2014

By the end of 2014, London will have added 42 km of new underground rail tunnels as part of the Crossrail project. Here’s how the eight tunnel boring machines work.

These machines, manned by a 20-person crew, are working 24 hours a day under London’s streets.

Top Image: Crossrail tunnel-boring machine Victoria lowered into the shaft next to TBM Elizabeth at the Limmo site in London’s Royal Docks area. Courtesy Crossrail.

Text and Image via SINCANADA

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Reducing Congestion

November 16, 2013

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Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (PCVS-Polity Conversations Series)

October 1, 2013

Dispossession describes the condition of those who have lost land, citizenship, property, and a broader belonging to the world. This thought-provoking book seeks to elaborate our understanding of dispossession outside of the conventional logic of possession, a hallmark of capitalism, liberalism, and humanism. Can dispossession simultaneously characterize political responses and opposition to the disenfranchisement associated with unjust dispossession of land, economic and political power, and basic conditions for living?

In the context of neoliberal expropriation of labor and livelihood, dispossession opens up a performative condition of being both affected by injustice and prompted to act. From the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa to the anti-neoliberal gatherings at Puerta del Sol, Syntagma and Zucchotti Park, an alternative political and affective economy of bodies in public is being formed. Bodies on the street are precarious – exposed to police force, they are also standing for, and opposing, their dispossession. These bodies insist upon their collective standing, organize themselves without and against hierarchy, and refuse to become disposable: they demand regard. This book interrogates the agonistic and open-ended corporeality and conviviality of the crowd as it assembles in cities to protest political and economic dispossession through a performative dispossession of the sovereign subject and its propriety.

Text and Image via Politybooks

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1972 by Noritaka Minami

September 9, 2013

In the city of Tokyo, a building stands as an anachronism in relation to the surrounding urban landscape. The building in question is the Nakagin Capsule Tower designed by Kisho Kurokawa (1934 – 2007), who was one of the leading members of an influential architectural movement in the 1960s called Metabolism. The group’s aim was to formulate flexible designs that facilitate continual growth and renewal of architecture. As the first capsule apartment in history constructed for everyday use, the Nakagin Capsule Tower is considered an example that came closest to embodying the principles of Metabolism. Kurokawa designed the building with plug-in capsules to promote exchangeability and modifications to the structure over time, theoretically improving its capacity to adjust to the rapidly changing conditions of the post-industrial society. When the building first opened in March of 1972, it was advertised in the media to signal “the dawn of the capsule age.”

The irony presented by the story of the Nakagin Capsule Tower is the fact that it became the last architecture of its kind to be completed in the world. Furthermore, the building has never undergone the process of regeneration during the forty years of existence. Not a single capsule has been replaced since 1972, even though Kurokawa intended them to sustain a lifespan of only twenty-five years. The design in reality proved to be too rigid in adapting to the unforeseen political and economic developments in the years that followed its construction. With the building’s system in stasis without fulfilling its original mission of continual growth and renewal, it stands like a monument to a future that never arrived in the 21st Century.

Due to the pressures of the city’s real estate market, plans have been discussed for the Nakagin Capsule Tower to be demolished to make way for a conventional apartment complex. Yet, the building today has coincidentally assumed a new role in the city, becoming a poignant reminder of a path ultimately not taken. This project examines “the future” as imagined by Kurokawa in 1972 and its current condition through the medium of photography. Moreover, the photographs capture scenes within the Nakagin Capsule Tower at a time when its very future is in question. With the building as an embodiment of an architectural vision that was thought possible at that moment in history, the photographs reflect on the significance of that vision potentially disappearing today from the landscape of Tokyo as a crucial form of cultural memory.

Text and Images via NORITAKA MINAMI

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Walkie-Talkie Skyscraper Beam Melts Cars and Fries Eggs

September 9, 2013

Blinding rays of light from a skyscraper in the City of London are being blamed for melting vehicles below it.

Developers of 20 Fenchurch Street, better known as the “Walkie-Talkie” because of its distinctive shape, are investigating reports of the damaging glare, and a number of nearby car parking spaces have been suspended, say reports.

Businessman Martin Lindsay said he was distraught when he returned to find his luxury Jaguar XJ saloon with warped panels along one side.

The wing mirror and badge had also melted from the heat of the reflected sunlight, he claimed.
“They’re going to have to think of something. I’m gutted. How can they let this continue?” he told City AM.

Another driver has also come forward to complain of damage to his Vauxhall Vivaro van.

Eddie Cannon, a heating and air conditioning engineer, said: “The van looks a total mess – every bit of plastic on the left hand side and everything on the dashboard has melted, including a bottle of Lucozade that looks like it has been baked.”

The 37-storey skyscraper is still under construction. On Tuesday temperatures measured in front of the building reached 33C (92F).

In a joint statement, developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf, told the newspaper: “As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected.”

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The Rio 2016 Olympics: sun, sea and absolutely no swimming

September 9, 2013

The Olympic architects reveal that Rio 2016 will take over a lagoon site. But the water’s too polluted to swim – and many of the city’s communities do not fit into the glossy urban legacy plan.

One year after the London 2012 Olympics, the gates to the east London site have reopened to reveal the new Queen Elizabeth Park, the first tangible piece of the two-week sporting circus’ promised legacy. You would think the architects behind the Olympic masterplan might be able to breathe a sigh of relief: the games were deemed a success, and the “legacy communities” still remain safely on the drawing board, judgments withheld. But in the Holborn studios of Aecom, the Olympic team is as busy as ever – working on the next one.

“Rio 2016 is a whole different animal to London 2012,” says project lead Bill Hanway, who heads up the Americas section of the global giant’s 10,000-strong buildings and places division. “Brazil is still an emerging nation, and we’re having to compress what took nine years of planning for London into half that time for Rio.” Text by Oliver Wainwright. Continue at The Guardian

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Where do artifacts go when they are destroyed? | Journal #47 September 2013 | e-flux

September 7, 2013

Boris Groys
Becoming Revolutionary: On Kazimir Malevich

After all, what is revolution? It is not the process of building a new society—this is the goal of the post-revolutionary period. Rather, revolution is the radical destruction of the existing society. However, to accept this revolutionary destruction is not an easy psychological operation. We tend to resist the radical forces of destruction, we tend to be compassionate and nostalgic toward our past—and maybe even more so toward our endangered present.

Nato Thompson
The Insurgents, Part I: Community-Based Practice as Military Methodology
The US military is seductive and repulsive in its grandiose violence. But it is also a fruitful place to examine developing techniques for the manipulation of culture. Considering the sheer scale of the US military—with its colossal budget—it’s not a bad place to look for new ideas and new methodologies concerning tactics for “getting to know people.”

Amanda Boetzkes and Andrew Pendakis
Visions of Eternity: Plastic and the Ontology of Oil

If plastic appears irreducible—appears to be a constitutive basis, instead of having emerged from and subsequently effaced its earthly basis—then the challenge is to uncover what plastic so readily disguises. Plastic is a petroleum product that claims at least a quarter of all the oil extracted. More than this, though, it is through plastics that we begin to fathom the complete permeation of oil into every facet of cultural life.

Jon Rich
The Bachelor Century: Single Sinners Seeking God’s Job

A soldier in the battlefield kills indiscriminately—gunfire and stabbings directed at whomever happens to be present. In contrast, the target of the bomb in Hiroshima is entirely ethnic, akin to the way Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’s chose his victims. It is a crime against the human race, or a part of that race, because the bomb acts without regard for the political views of its victims. To be murdered because you are American, or Japanese, or Kurdish, or Christian, or Muslim is fundamentally different from being targeted because you are a soldier.

Claire Fontaine
We Are All Clitoridian Women: Notes on Carla Lonzi’s Legacy

In the Italian feminist ultra-left of Lonzi’s time, a deep connection between knowledge of oneself—especially of one’s own pleasure—and satisfaction was regarded as the only way to reach autonomy. There was a vivid awareness that colonization operates through the mind and the body, and the only way to reach freedom was working on one’s own subjectivity.

Lars Bang Larsen
The Society Without Qualities

Money is the one thing that connects us and that we cannot truly have in common. In societies without qualities we can, in theory, have any number of things in common. However, after the decline of symbolic orders, it is an enormous effort to call them up and give them words and form. Remember, this is the desert of the real … So never mind good intentions, they won’t get us anywhere: when art addresses the future in (self-)skeptical ways, it refuses nostalgia and hope as sentimental compensations for an uncertain future.

Where do artifacts go when they are destroyed? | Journal #47 September 2013 | e-flux
Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle
Editorial

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What Urban Planners Can Learn From a Hindu Religious Festival

September 5, 2013

What they don’t tell you about Varanasi, probably India’s holiest city, is that in addition to being filled with sacred temples, mischievous monkeys and bearded ascetics, it’s also full of waste of all kinds: mountains of fetid cow and other, much worse kinds of dung, muddy tributaries of dubious origin, mounds of fast-decaying flowers, shards of shattered clay cups. As I left the utter squalor of Varanasi, a permanent and ancient city of four million, for a temporary religious celebration of even more people nearby, I could only imagine the enormous crowds, inescapable filth and utter chaos that it would produce.

It was January, and I was headed 80 miles west to the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, a Hindu religious festival in which tens of millions of pilgrims come together at the convergence of two real rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, and one mythical stream, the Saraswati. They stay for all or part of a celebration—this year’s would last 55 days—that is the largest single-purpose human gathering on earth.

In the mythology of the Kumbh Mela, gods and demons fought for 12 days over a pitcher (kumbh) of nectar of immortality from the primordial ocean, and the nectar spilled onto the earth at four different places, including Allahabad. The gathering (mela) takes place every three years at one of the four locales in a 12-year cycle—a day of the gods’ time corresponds to a year of human time—with the largest (maha) celebration in Allahabad. The first written record of its occurrence dates to the seventh century A.D.

Excerpt from an article written by Tom Downey at the Smithsonian. Continue THERE

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Concrete Mushrooms

September 4, 2013

“Concrete Mushrooms” is a project initiated as an idea for research by two Albanian graduate students at Politecnico di Milano, and the purpose was to emphasize the appreciable assets of Albania such as bunkers which are vast in number and across all the rich and beautiful landscape of Albania. Apart all the studies done about the history of Albania, the reason of building the bunkers all over the country, how the people of Albania nowadays coexists with them, how and why do they use them, it is also thought of how the remaining bunkers can last their lives without being totally disappeared and can become the icon of a paranoid past transformed to the symbol of a bright future of the landscape of Albania. Bunkers seem to be happy of being born and living in Albania, and above all proud to be Albanians. But in fact their happiness masks an enormous sorrow of the past which would be recovered by their contribution to Albania.

Any of the “tourists” interested in adventures and nature, can enjoy natural resources of Albania by passing their nights in local at the same mobile cheap hostels without being obliged to carry their camping tents.
Cheap hostel – that’s what the future function of the bunker could be having the same commodity anywhere in Albania, there is not just one, there are supposed to be around 750 000 bunkers in Albania.

The priority of “Concrete Mushrooms” project is facing the symbol of xenophobia (bunker) with deliberate awareness for the purpose of inverting its meaning, the preservation of the memoir of a significant period of the Albanian history, giving bunkers value instead of having them as burden and as a result the promotion of an underdeveloped touristic sector such as Eco-Tourism which has an enormous potential at the same time growing the financial viability, social and environmental sustainability.
The project aims to create an institutional support for initiating the first steps of realizing it, the designed website will be a significant tool for any information related to the bunkers, to the implantation of network of transformed bunkers, the possible itineraries around them and great possibility for hunting and recording the number of the rooms of this huge hostel already built in Albania.

Production by Elian Stefa & Gyler Mydyti. Text and Images via Concrete Mushrooms

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Recover the Streets

September 4, 2013

Recover the Streets arises from the need to interconnect different European projects that work with urban art in their respective cities; the need to offer artists the possibility of interacting with other European creators, of improving their visibility and finding new expression formulas; the need to boost urban art as a regenerator of new city visions; to create participative processes that bring culture, and in this specific case, urban art, closer to population sectors that do not normally participate in cultural events.

Recover the Streets is a collaboration project between five European cities that, using urban art as a tool and common language, purport to interconnect artists and cultural agents from all these cities, promoting the exchange of artistic and social experiences; recovering, in each one of them, a debased space by means of a collaborative process that engages the social agents of the neighbourhoods where the activity takes place, and providing citizens with a new perception of urban art and its ability to activate social and cultural dynamics.
A project that will last for 8 months, which has united a total of six cities from different parts of Europe, where institutions and cultural agents have committed to promoting urban art, thus offering an open and diverse collaboration framework which has already given rise to sporadic collaborations outside the programme, among some of the cultural agents involved:

• Zaragoza (Spain): Sociedad Municipal Zaragoza Cultural
• Besançon (France): Association Juste Ici
• Toulouse (France): Mairie de Toulouse
• Colonia (Germany): Association artmx e.V / Cityleaks Festival
• Zagreb (Croatia): Association Centralna Jedinica

Know more HERE

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Playgrounds For Everyone: A community-edited guide to accessible playgrounds

September 4, 2013

Why Accessible Playgrounds?

Because kids in wheelchairs can’t play on playgrounds covered with wood chips. And children with muscular disabilities can fall out of swings that lack sides and backs. Or a child with vision or hearing problems can benefit from equipment specially designed for play alongside friends, siblings or any other child.

New federal requirements define playground accessibility as a civil right. And under those rules, playgrounds built or altered after March 14, 2012, are required to have wheelchair-friendly surfaces and equipment that helps kids with physical challenges move around.

You can Help HERE

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Zone: The Spatial Softwares of Extrastatecraft

September 4, 2013

“Today urban space has become a mobile, monetized technology, and some of the most radical changes to the globalizing world are being written, not in the language of law and diplomacy, but rather in the spatial information of infrastructure, architecture and urbanism. Massive global systems — meta-infrastructures administered by public and private cohorts, and driven by profound irrationalities — are generating de facto, undeclared forms of polity faster than any even quasi-official forms of governance can legislate them — a wilder mongrel than any storied Leviathan for which there is studied political response.

One of these meta-infrastructures is the phenomenon of the free zone — a highly contagious and globalized urban form and a vivid vessel of what I have termedextrastatecraft. A portmanteau meaning both outside of and in addition to statecraft, extrastatecraft acknowledges that multiple forces — state, non-state, military, market, non-market — have now attained the considerable power and administrative authority necessary to undertake the building of infrastructure.

The zone — a.k.a., the Free Trade Zone, Foreign Trade Zone, Special Economic Zone, Export Processing Zone, or any of the dozens of variants — is a dynamic crossroads of trade, finance, management and communication. If, in the contemporary scene, diverse spatial types demonstrate the ways in which architecture has become repeatable and infrastructural, then it is the zone that demonstrates the ways in which urbanism has become infrastructural. Though its roots are ancient, dating back to the free ports of classical antiquity, only in recent decades has the zone emerged as a powerful global form, evolving rapidly from an out-of-way district for warehousing custom-free goods to a postwar strategy for jump-starting the economies of developing countries to a paradigm for glittering world cities like Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. [...]“

An essay by Keller Easterling featured in Places. Read it THERE

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Totem and Taboo: Grindr remembers the Holocaust

September 4, 2013

“Totem and Taboo: Grindr remembers the Holocaust” is an online archive of Grindr pics of people using another architectural icon to meet people. Running since 2011, this incredible collection of amateur shots of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin provides another insight into spatial appropriations for casual sex purposes. As they state on their website:

“In an age when ignorance is prevalent than ever, Grindr, the latest most addictive gay obsession, has wowed its members in relentlessly promoting the memory of the holocaust. While the gay community is being under scrutiny for promoting hedonism and alienation, this tribute seems all the more compelling. Totem and Taboo […] asks nothing more but to harness the vibrant blogosphere to Grindr users’ innovative manoeuvres to keep the memory alive, fresh and attractive.”

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Japanese Masked Hero Comes To The Aid Of Tokyo Subway Users

September 4, 2013

In a green outfit with silver trim and matching mask, a superhero waits by the stairs of a Tokyo subway station, lending his strength to the elderly, passengers lugging heavy packages and mothers with baby strollers.

“Japanese people find it hard to accept help, they feel obligated to the other person, so the mask really helps me out,” said Tadahiro Kanemasu.

The slender 27-year-old has spent three months being a good Samaritan at the station on Tokyo’s western side. Like many in the city, it has neither elevators nor escalators and a long flight of dimly lit stairs.

Inspiration came from the children he met at his job at an organic greengrocer, which also prompted the color of his costume. He picked up the green Power Rangers suit and two spares at a discount store for 4,000 yen ($41) each.

Since Kanemasu can set aside only a couple of hours each day for his good deeds, he hopes to recruit others in different colored suits. Already he has inquiries about pink and red.

Hayato Ito, who works alongside Kanemasu at the greengrocer, said his kindness to others over the years meant his alter ego did not come as a complete surprise.

“There were hints of this from a long time ago but finally he flowered as a hero,” Ito said.

Kanemasu admitted he got off to a bit of a rocky start.

“When I first began, people basically said ‘Get away from me, you weirdo’,” he said. “Now they still think I’m weird but in a good way.”

($1 = 97.6850 Japanese yen)

Text by Tokyo Reuters. Via Huffington Post

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Introducing Culture Identities: Design for Museums, Theaters and Cultural Institutions

July 9, 2013

An inside look by designers and clients at graphic design’s main playground and proving ground–working for cultural institutions.

This book takes an inside look at graphic design’s main playground and proving ground—working for cultural institutions. One would be hard pressed to find another area of graphic design in which the work is so fresh and experimental and so often serves as a precursor for future visual trends.

Introducing: Culture Identities features outstanding poster campaigns, publications, and cross-platform corporate design for international cultural institutions by both young designers, who are striving to prove themselves creatively, and established studios, who are experimenting with new forms of visual expression. In the book, readers not only hear from designers who are especially active in the cultural field, such as Bureau Mirko Borsche, the New York-based studio 2×4, James Goggin, and Johannes Erler, but also from notables on the client side including MoMA, the Barbican, Van Abbemuseum, and documenta.

With its selection of striking collaborations between innovative designers and visionary cultural institutions, Introducing: Culture Identities presents the field of visual identities for cultural clients as a continuous dialogue that pushes the limit of what is possible creatively.

Text and Image via Gestalten

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VISUALIZING CARBON

July 9, 2013

For Antony Turner, pictures make a story come alive—and in the climate change story, one of the main characters is invisible. In 2009, together with artist/scientist Adam Nieman, he founded Carbon Visuals to help people “see” the carbon dioxide that’s trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Their strategy: Transform the mass (tons and gigatons) of carbon dioxide emissions we hear about so much into volumetric representations and then show them as 3-D shapes in familiar landscapes. Carbon Visuals has worked with governments, schools, corporations, and others to help them make sense of carbon footprints, comparisons, and sequestration targets. Changing the trajectory of the climate story, Turner believes, starts with getting the antagonist in our sights.

Via Conservation Magazine

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City Archives – Tasveer Journal

July 9, 2013

The Tasveer Journal is an online magazine for photography in India. New articles are added each week showcasing work from the 19th century to today – contributed and contextualised by our network of critics, writers and curators.

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Demographers Discover The Fundamental Law Governing the Growth of Cities

July 6, 2013

The discovery of a law governing the growth of cities means that future urban populations can now be forecast in advance. When you live in a city, you can sense its pulse, experience its pace of life and get to know its unique character. It’s almost as if a city is a living, breathing entity in its own right.

That may be little more than the fantastical imaginings of city dwellers who tend to humanise all things inanimate. And yet, there is much demographic evidence to show that cities have their own unique identity, even though they are made up of millions of seemingly independent individuals.

One test of the idea that cities are coherent entities is the ability to predict their future characteristics based on their past behaviour. Text and Image via MIT Technology Review. Continue THERE

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No, I Do Not Want to Pet Your Dog

May 13, 2013

The other day I walked into my gym and saw a dog. A half-dozen people were crowding around him, cooing and petting. He was a big dog, a lean and muscular Doberman with, I later learned, the sort of hair-trigger bark you’d prize if you wanted to protect a big stash of gold bullion.

“This is Y.,” the dog’s owner said. No explanation was offered for the pooch’s presence, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to have a dog in a place usually reserved for human beings. Huh, I thought.

The dog came up to me, because in my experience that’s what dogs do when you don’t want them to come up to you. They get up real close, touching you, licking you, theatrically begging you to respond. The dog pushed his long face toward my hand, the canine equivalent of a high five. And so—in the same way it’s rude to leave a high-fiver hanging, especially if the high-fiver has big teeth and a strong jaw—I was expected to pet him. I ran my hand across his head half-heartedly. I guess I was fairly sure he wouldn’t snap and bite me, but stranger things have happened—for instance, dogs snapping and biting people all the time.

Anyway, happily, I survived. But wait a second. Come on! Why was this dog here? And why was no one perturbed that this dog was here? When this beast was barking at passersby through the window as we were all working out, why did no one go, Hey, just throwing this out there, should we maybe not have this distracting, possibly dangerous animal by the free weights?

Excerpt from an article written by y Farhad Manjoo at SLATE. Continue THERE

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New Yorkers don’t fade away—they just move.

May 4, 2013

New Yorkers don’t fade away—they just move. But to where? From Miami to Austin to Berlin, detailed maps of nearly every other significant city’s neighborhoods show ex-pats exactly where to emigrate.

Read Repost HERE

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The Informal City Dialogues

May 4, 2013


The Informal City Dialogues is a year-long project supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and conducted by Forum for the Future. It homes in on six cities: Accra, Bangkok, Chennai, Lima, Manila and Nairobi. In each of these cities, it aims to foster a conversation about the informal urban realm, and how it can be cultivated and harnessed for the benefit of all.

These informal realms, from single-chair barbershops to nine-passenger vans to sprawling settlements, are propelling the explosive growth of the urban Global South. They are the neighborhoods, economies and systems that exist beyond the reach of government: the slums, black-market industries and undocumented businesses that fuel these cities’ growth. They’re split off from the formal city, and often neglected or harassed by local authorities.

And yet the informal aspects of these places are also intricately intertwined with the formal. Indeed, many residents have one foot in both worlds: the slum dweller who commutes to her job at a major hospital, the unlicensed microbus driver who lives in a condominium highrise.

Text and Images via The Informal City Dialogues

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The Aestheticization of Everyday Life

May 3, 2013

For the next round of discussion I’d like to shift the subject to the physical environment, posing the question, Is architecture rational?

Much of the newer work we see as we walk the streets of the city whether it’s New York, Seattle, Dubai, or the newer sections of Copenhagen, is more dramatic than architecture once was: taller, swoopier, twistier, less symmetrical. Architectural language, informed by the capabilities of parametric software and computerized fabrication tools, has become more fluid and less rectilinear.

From the onlooker’s perspective, it looks a lot like style. But when you talk to an architect, you often wind up having a conversation about how utterly pragmatic the building in question is.

For instance, the Seattle Central Library by OMA, completed in 2004. The lead architect on the project, Joshua Prince-Ramus, once told me: “Style freaks us out, the very word style.” He went on to explain the strange shape of the building—it looks like a monstrous mechanical jaw—by showing a diagram made by the library’s administrators of all the functions they required in the new building. Prince-Ramus claimed the architects translated the librarians’ chart directly into architectural form. He called this method “hyperrational.”

More Info HERE

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Book-ish Territory: A manual of alternative library tactics

May 3, 2013

Book-ish Territory: A Manual of Alternative Library Tactics by architect NIkki O’Loughlin is an exciting and interesting way of conceptualizing the idea of libraries as a public space not just for the public but by the public. Read it HERE

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3D Portrait Sculptures using DNA Samples from Strangers

April 30, 2013

Through an un-usual DNA collection method, American artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates portrait sculptures from the analyses of genetic material collected in public places. From cigarette butts to hair samples, she works using random traces left behind from un-suspecting strangers. In a statement by Dewey-Hagborg, ‘Stranger Visions’ calls attention to the impulse toward genetic determinism and the potential for a culture of genetic surveillance. Using DNA facial modeling software and a 3D printer, physical models are conceived – reconstructed from ethnic profiles, eye color and hair color.

Text and Images via DesignBoom

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How to Hide Things in Public Places

April 27, 2013

Did you ever want to hide something from prying eyes, yet were afraid to do so in your home? Now you can secrete your valuables away from home, by following Dennis Fiery’s eye-opening instructions. The world around us is filled with cubbyholes and niches that can be safely employed….and this book identifies them. Illustrated with numerous photographs, and including an index of hiding places, appendices of Simplex lock combinations and appropriate vendors, and a bibliography, this is the most comprehensive and informative book ever written about public hiding spots. Eliminate the risks involved with hiding your possessions at home by utilizing the techniques described in this book. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Text and Image via Amazon.

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Flattened Fauna: A Field Guide to Common Animals of Roads, Streets, and Highways

April 25, 2013

Are you among the millions of people whose only opportunity to observe wildlife comes after it has been run over and pressed into a patty by big rigs, then desiccated by the elements until even flies don’t recognize it? This is the field guide for you! Roger Knutson, a biologist at Luther College, IA, fills an important gap in our natural history knowledge and fosters a heightened respect for the ecology of the paved environment. FLATTENED FAUNA is a classic field guide to the 36 most common species of roadside remains in North America. The book includes descriptions and silhouetted illustrations of the top squashed avian, mammalian, reptilian, and amphibian species. Due to rabid interest from overseas, the expanded new edition includes global ramifications of international necrology.

“At a time when the total world fauna is surely shrinking in both absolute numbers and species complexity, the road fauna is clearly increasing. Before 1900, in the United States, its presence was recorded by only the most fragmentary references to the occasional horse-stomped snake. With the development in the twentieth century of a much elongated road network and dramatically increased traffic speed, the flattened fauna has increased in both species and total numbers.” — Roger M. Knutson

Text and Image via Amazon

The badger, “the largest, flattest creature to be found on the road,” is here compared to a standard road marking for ease of identification. From Flattened Fauna.

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The Transgressive Policy of Parasitism

April 25, 2013

Today, art is simple, direct and clear. No illusions. Today, art could not possibly function as l’art pour art, or ‘art as art’, or ‘art as idea as idea’. Unlike historicism, it does not aspire to exalted objectives (aesthetical or political), as it did during the epoch of historical modernism1, neither is it eclectically dispersed or decentered as pure pleasure like in the era of consumer post-modernism.(2) Today, art subjects are socially explicit(3), culturally referential(4) and artistically realistic(5). The relationship between art and reality(6) is ontological.

Art is not a mirror representation of the world, but it is a representative, or rather a probe of an ‘artistic action’ in the world that is a ‘new-or-other’ nature. Here the term ‘nature’ denotes polysemy of culture, or to be more precise, the multifold effects of the struggle for power inside culture and society. In the course of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, this was the ‘class struggle’ between capitalists and workers. In the second half of the 20th century the struggle was waged between politically opposed blocs (the East and the West) in the symmetrically split world (influential spheres). Today it is the struggle between the ‘center’ and ‘margins’:
- within individual (localized) societies,
- within culture as new nature,
- within private or public art of communication,
- within global politics,
- within local or global economy,
- within the distribution of power inside our everyday,
- within production, exchange and consumption of values (information, influence, pleasure).

Written by Miško Šuvaković. Continue HERE

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The Night Some Russian Teens Secretly Climbed The Great Pyramid Of Giza

March 28, 2013

“A group of Russians went to Egypt and climbed the Great Pyramide. According to their story, they arrived there early while the complex was open, then waited in shadows till the visitor hours are over and the night came down, so later they climbed on the top and made photos. “There are lots of signs on the top of the pyramide on different languages, including Russian, and they say somewhere among them there is a signature of last Russian Tsar who climbed it too sometime long ago”. The security didn’t notice them, they got back down uncaught, keeping in mind that according to Egypt’s laws there is a possible couple of years sentence for such kind of things.”

Text and Images via Russian English, Mister Marat, and Raskalov

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Play Me, I’m Yours and The Sky Orchestra

March 27, 2013

Touring internationally since 2008, “Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Reaching over two million people worldwide – more than 700 pianos have already been installed in 34 cities across the globe, from New York to London, bearing the simple instruction ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’.

Located in public parks, bus shelters and train stations, outside galleries and markets and even on bridges and ferries the pianos are available for any member of the public to play and enjoy. Who plays them and how long they remain on the streets is up to each community. Many pianos are personalised and decorated by artists or the local community. By creating a place of exchange ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.

Play Me, I’m Yours is currently taking place in Monterey in California until 24 March 2013. Watch out for Street Pianos coming to Munich, Cleveland OH, Omaha NE and Boston MA later in 2013! Watch this space as we will be announcing further new cities for 2013 over the coming months.

The Sky Orchestra is an artwork designed to deliver music to sleeping people from out of the sky. A form of provocative urban art, Sky Orchestra questions the boundaries of public artwork, private space and the ownership of the sky.

The Sky Orchestra is made up of seven hot air balloons, each with speakers attached, which take off (at dawn or dusk) and fly across a city. Each balloon plays a different element of a musical score, creating a massive audio landscape.

Many thousands of people experience the Sky Orchestra event live as the balloons fly over their homes at dawn. The airborne project is both a vast spectacular performance as well as an intimate, personal experience. A form of provocative acoustic urban art, Sky Orchestra questions the boundaries of public artwork, private space and the ownership of the sky.

All text and images via Luke Jerram.

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Bastard chairs

March 26, 2013

BASTARD CHAIRS BY Michael Wolf. The bastard chairs of china from the book “Sitting in China” published by Steidl in the fall of 2002, distributed by D.A.P. in the United States.