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  • Soviet Fabrics, 1920s-1930s
    Published: September 26, 2011

    Thank you to English Russia

  • Esther Stocker.
    Published: September 27, 2011
  • 52hearts:pretty-bird: (via ubai) on vi.sualize.us
    Published: September 15, 2011
  • (4) Tumblr
    Published: September 20, 2011
  • Abandoned Organisation
    Published: September 19, 2011

    ‘Please don’t ask me where it is’

    - Pila Dotoshnaya

    All images by Pila Dotoshnaya

    Thank you to Pila Dotoshnaya

  • Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth
    Published: September 21, 2011
    Source: Colossal

    Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

    Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

    Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

    Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

    Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

    Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

    Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

    Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

    I was floored to discover the work of UK artist Debbie Smyth who uses hundreds of needles and delicate lengths of thread to create wall-sized installations. Via her website:

    Debbie Smyth is textile artist most identifiable by her statement thread drawings; these playful yet sophisticated contemporary artworks are created by stretching a network of threads between accurately plotted pins. Her work beautifully blurs the boundaries between fine art drawings and textile art, flat and 3D work, illustration and embroidery, literally lifting the drawn line off the page in a series of “pin and thread” drawings.

    Incredibly beautiful work, I would love to see these up close. Here’s a video interview with Smyth as well as a timelapse of one of her most recent installations. (via joetta maue and rhumboogie)

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  • Landform Building
    Published: September 17, 2011
    Source: BLDGBLOG
    [Image: From Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain, designed by Thumb Projects].

    This evening, Saturday, September 17, down at the BMW Guggenheim Lab, Marc McQuade and Stan Allen will be celebrating the release of their recent book Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain, designed by Thumb Projects.

    [Image: From Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain, designed by Thumb Projects].

    The book is a sustained look at "the evolving relationship between architecture and landscape," with a specific focus on geomorphic megastructures—that is, buildings that look like mountains and other earth forms—vegetative ornament, including green roofs, and complex interpenetrations between architecture and the surface of the earth (semi-subterranean structures, structures penetrated by bedrock, and so forth).

    You can see some shots of the book itself here—

    [Images: From Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain, designed by Thumb Projects; see more].

    —and you'll learn much more about the publication at tonight's book launch. There, you'll hear from McQuade and Allen themselves, but also from Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Lucia Allais, Eric Sanderson, and Nina Katchadourian.

    [Image: Landform Building launch at the BMW Guggenheim Lab].

    I'm excited to be participating in this evening's event, as well, with a short, pecha kucha-style presentation, looking at everything from constructed hills in Rome to artificial glaciers, and from the particularly vertiginous paranoia of a manmade earth to Celtic myths of the Hollow Hills. The quasi-mystical appeal of ground-penetrating radar, muon detectors in the rain forest, and methane-ventilation technology used in landfill construction will all make brief appearances.

    Things kick off at 6pm; here is a map. Hope to see some of you there!
  • L'emploi du temps
    Published: September 18, 2011
  • Corner Portraits by Irving Penn
    Published: September 20, 2011

    Truman Capote

    ‘Irving Penn (1917 –  2009) was an American photographer known for his portraiture and fashion photography. He was among the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white backdrop. Expanding his austere studio surroundings, Penn constructed a set of upright angled backdrops, to form a stark, acute corner.’

    - Wikipedia

    Salvador Dali

    Marlene Dietrich

    Marcel Duchamp

    Gypsy Rose Lee

    Joe Louis

    Georgia O'Keeffe

    Mrs. William Rhinelander Stewart

    Igor Stravinsky

    Spencer Tracy

    Duchess of Windsor

    Ballet Society

    Thank you to the Irving Penn foundation

  • With great respect, Marge Simpson
    Published: September 19, 2011
    Barbara Bush received a letter from the unlikeliest of sources in 1990, after an article in People magazine quoted the First Lady as saying The Simpsons "was the dumbest thing [she] had ever seen." Marge Simpson's polite response can be seen below, followed by the transcript of an apologetic letter from Barbara Bush in reply.

    It's worth noting that tensions between the two families resurfaced two years later, when Barbara's husband, then-U.S. President George H. W. Bush, promised, "We're going to keep trying to strengthen the American family. To make them more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons." A reply from Springfield soon materialised in the form of this addition to the show's opening sequence.

    As mentioned, transcripts of both Marge's letter and Barbara's reply follow. Image courtesy of The Washington Post. Many thanks to Josh Conrad for suggesting it.



    Transcript
    THE SIMPSONS™

    September 28, 1990

    Mrs. Barbara Bush
    The First Lady
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington, D.C.

    Dear First Lady:

    I recently read your criticism of my family. I was deeply hurt. Heaven knows we're far from perfect and, if truth be known, maybe just a wee bit short of normal; but as Dr. Seuss says, "a person is a person".

    I try to teach my children Bart, Lisa, and even little Maggie, always to give somebody the benefit of the doubt and not talk badly about them, even if they're rich. It's hard to get them to understand this advice when the very First Lady in the country calls us not only dumb, but "the dumbest thing" she ever saw. Ma'am, if we're the dumbest thing you ever saw, Washington must be a good deal different than what they teach me at the current events group at the church.

    I always believed in my heart that we had a great deal in common. Each of us living our lives to serve an exceptional man. I hope there is some way out of this controversy. I thought, perhaps, it would be a good start to just speak my mind.

    With great respect,

    (Signed)

    Marge Simpson

    Barbara Bush's response:
    Dear Marge,

    How kind of you to write. I'm glad you spoke your mind; I foolishly didn't know you had one.

    I am looking at a picture of you, depicted on a plastic cup, with your blue hair filled with pink birds peeking out all over. Evidently, you and your charming family — Lisa, Homer, Bart and Maggie — are camping out. It is a nice family scene. Clearly you are setting a good example for the rest of the country.

    Please forgive a loose tongue.

    Warmly,

    Barbara Bush

    P.S. Homer looks like a handsome fella!

  • Money Trees
    Published: September 10, 2011
    Source: Colossal

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    As perhaps a companion piece to last week’s skull nickels, here’s yet another thing I had no idea existed. Apparently in several wooded areas around the UK, passersby have been stopping for decades (if not centuries), meticulously hammering small denomination coins intro trees. Most of the trees seem to be in and around Cumbria and Portmeirion, and I didn’t find a single example of a tree like this located outside the UK. According to this recent article by the BBC, the practice might date back to the early 1700s in Scotland where ill people stuck florins into trees with the idea that the tree would take away their sickness. The practice seems akin to love padlocks or Americans collaborative effort of sticking their nasty ass gum all over everything. (photos courtesy shaun whiteman, drew, ken werwerka, rachel bibby, paul moriss, ministry, donald mcdougal, heartbeeps, via lustik and hrtbps)

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  • The Shape of War
    Published: September 12, 2011
    Source: BLDGBLOG
    I'm excited to invite everyone to another evening at Studio-X NYC, with photographer Simon Norfolk and journalist Noah Shachtman, who will participate in two back-to-back live interviews discussing new spaces and technologies of conflict in the 21st century.

    [Image: Photo by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].

    Long-term readers of BLDGBLOG will remember Simon Norfolk from his interview here on the site back in 2006.

    [Image: Photo by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].

    Tuesday's conversation will revisit many of those same themes, but it will do so in the provocative context of Norfolk's newest project, a photographic tour of Afghanistan in the footsteps of photographer John Burke:
    In October 2010, Simon Norfolk began a series of new photographs in Afghanistan, which takes its cue from the work of nineteenth-century British photographer John Burke. Norfolk’s photographs reimagine or respond to Burke’s Afghan war scenes in the context of the contemporary conflict. Conceived as a collaborative project with Burke across time, this new body of work is presented alongside Burke’s original portfolios.
    We will take a look not only at the resulting photographs—a selection of which appear here—but at the often overlapping responsibilities of the photojournalist and the artist in documenting political events in conflict zones around the world.

    [Image: Photo by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].

    As you can see in the photos reproduced here, Norfolk has an eye for complex stratigraphy: where US and UK basecamps overlap with Afghan townscapes, which in turn visually—and politically—repeat earlier scenes from a different era of misbegotten imperial adventures in Central Asia.

    It is all simply "a cycle of imperial history," Norfolk suggests, one in which a "lack of historical perspective on the part of the West allows them to blunder back for the fourth time thinking that you can turn Afghans into western liberal democrats and feminists by bombing them." Norfolk doesn't mince words: "the prosecution of the war makes me furious," he explains in a long conversation hosted on his website.

    [Images: Photos by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].

    Noah Shachtman's reputation as a journalist and editor has been firmly solidified over nearly a decade. Beginning with DefenseTech, a site Shachtman founded in 2003, and continuing with the current reign of Wired's Danger Room, Shachtman has been prolific, engaged, and highly active in helping to set the agenda for national defense coverage in the post-9/11 world.

    [Images: Photos by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].

    We'll be asking Shachtman about everything from the limits of the battlefield—where war chaotically begins and unclearly ends—to new technologies of surveillance, and from the strategic requirements of a journalist covering today's sites of conflict to the possible urban futures Shachtman might detect in current military headlines.

    [Images: Photos by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].

    I'm genuinely looking forward to this, and hope to see many of you there. The format will be as follows. From 6:30pm to shortly after 7pm, we will be engaging with Simon Norfolk in a live interview about his work; then, till roughly 7:40pm, we will be interviewing Noah Shachtman. These will be stand-alone interviews, conducted back-to-back.

    The final stretch of the night, from 7:45 to 8:30pm or so, will be an open conversation with both Norfolk and Shachtman, featuring questions from anyone who might have them. This will allow us to discuss similarities and differences between their work, and to tease out other themes that might have been passed over in the individual interviews.

    [Image: Photo by John Burke, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan by Simon Norfolk].

    Unfortunately, I have to ask that you RSVP to studioxnyc [at] gmail [dot] com if you plan to attend. Otherwise, the event is free and open to the public.

    You will find us at 180 Varick Street, Suite 1610, in Manhattan. Here is a map.

    [Images: Photos by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].

    Meanwhile, please feel free to go back through BLDGBLOG's interview with Simon Norfolk in full—it's one of my personal favorites on the site, and is a great read—and to click through Noah Shachtman's own website, including the overall resources of Danger Room.

    [Image: Photo by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].

    As Norfolk says in the BLDGBLOG interview, and which perhaps serves as a useful conceptual umbrella for the entire forthcoming evening:
    All of the work that I’ve been doing over the last five years is about warfare and the way war makes the world we live in. War shapes and designs our society. The landscapes that I look at are created by warfare and conflict. This is particularly true in Europe. I went to the city of Cologne, for instance, and the city of Cologne was built by Charlemagne—but Cologne has the shape that it does today because of the abilities and non-abilities of a Lancaster Bomber. It comes from what a Lancaster can do and what a Lancaster can't do. What it cannot do is fly deep into Germany in the middle of the day and pinpoint-bomb a ball bearing factory. What it can do is fly to places that are quite near to England, that are five miles across, on a bend in the river, under moonlight, and then hit them with large amounts of H.E.. And if you do that, you end up with a city that looks like Cologne—the way the city's shaped.

    So I started off in Afghanistan photographing literal battlefields—but I'm trying to stretch that idea of what a battlefield is. Because all the interesting money now—the new money, the exciting stuff—is about entirely new realms of warfare: inside cyberspace, inside parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Eavesdropping, intelligence, satellite warfare, imaging—this is where all the exciting stuff is going to happen in twenty years' time. So I wanted to stretch that idea of what a battleground could be. What is a landscape—a surface, an environment, a space—created by warfare?
    I hope to see you at 6:30pm on Tuesday, September 13th.

    [Image: Photo by Simon Norfolk, from Burke + Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan].
  • This is bullet-proof human skin - made from spider silk and goat milk. Yes, really. [Video]
    Published: August 15, 2011
    Source: io9
    Jalila Essaidi is testing the limits of human endurance, and it starts by having to milk spider-goats. Spider goats are otherwise innocent-looking goats that have been genetically engineered to produce milk packed with the protein made in spider's silk. (There is no definitive proof that this also gives them a propensity to skitter up walls or hide out in your sock drawer, but I think it does.) More »
  • tumblr_lmrlsuomqn1qzffuro1_500.jpg (500×671)
    Published: August 15, 2011
  • Learn How to Hide Things in Plain Sight with the Secret Hiding Places Manual [Security]
    Published: August 16, 2011
    Source: Lifehacker
    Looking for a place to stash some cash, jewelry, or other valuable objects? Your home offers plenty of hiding spaces, and the Construction of Secret Hiding Places is a free manual that will teach you how to use or make them. More »


  • Лепрозорий / Убежище
    Published: August 12, 2011
  • GIF | Tumblr
    Published: August 9, 2011
  • Frances Bean Cobain, All Grown Up
    Published: August 8, 2011
    Source: Stereogum

    Frances Bean Cobain has done a pretty good job staying out of the spotlight, but now that’s she’s all grown up — goth, inked, and gorgeous — we may be seeing more of her. The child of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love (who lost custody of her two years ago) turns 19 this month, and has been pursuing visual art and the occasional music project in addition to modeling. (Remember, Ryan Adams stole her trust fund so you may wanna buy some of her work.) Frances recently posed for these artistically grungy B&W photos by Hedi Slimane; take a look, it’ll make you feel old.

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