Archive for January, 2008

Fear and laughing

January 31, 2008

Below is a collection of one-liner visual jokes from a popular website, though I’ve selected only the images with architecture. (Whether or to what extent they’re photoshopped is beside the point here, and their origin is totally unknown – I’m just interested that they’re being propagated.)

In an unrelated brain drift the other day I was wondering about humor in architecture, i.e. uh, where and what is it? I kind of like these images for their blatant contradiction and/or absurdity, which is maybe a sort of taboo in buildings.

The cliché of the door leading to nowhere at the second story is a pretty basic example. The gag is the danger, the implied image of the door opening. When I think of architecture it is almost always something I implicitly trust: as a provider of basic safety it manages fear. Including a fear of the building itself. Maybe humor in architecture has a different potential for mediation.

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[pix from a post on sneezl]

Beached soviet espionage outposts

January 28, 2008

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“From 1988 to 2001, groups of Russian weapons inspectors were stationed at the Hercules Aerospace plant in Magna, Utah. After the inspectors left, their guardhouses were removed from the plant and transported to Wendover, Utah. They now stand empty and deprived of their original context, forlorn Soviet islands in the Utah salt desert.” – Lewis Colborn

Lewis and I were both on residencies last summer at the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Wendover, Utah. Lewis was working on a project that dealt with these transplanted guardhouses, which you can see on his website here. I stopped by to take a look and made the pictures below.

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The guardhouses had been fully functioning surveillance units, kitted out for both espionage and residence. They’d been shipped over from Russia in entirety, from the formica to the siding to the oven. Seeing them was an eyeful: on a remote, decaying former American air force base, these two Soviet time capsules sit, beached.

Below is selection of then-and-now comparisons.

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[pix by imagineering]

Discover

January 27, 2008

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For $9.99 you can “Discover… your Personality, your Style, your Color” on the Ace Color Visualizer CD.

Color Visualizer CD…

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[pix by imagineering]

Drink up, freud

January 27, 2008

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[pix by imagineering]

Costumes for buildings and people

January 27, 2008

Preparations for the carnival next week intensify.

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[pix by imagineering]

In the news (literally)

January 27, 2008

Ztohoven: this Czech art collective spliced a mushroom cloud into a live television news broadcast. You can see the footage on youtube here. The Guardian reports that “the artists sent shock waves through the Czech Republic in June last year by splicing footage of [an] atomic explosion into a live panoramic shot of the Krkonose mountains, in north-east Bohemia.” And now they’re going to jail, for, in part, “penetrating public space.”

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Newsbreakers: a multi-cell group of media activists who physically infliltrate local news TV broadcasts. One member of the team monitors the live TV programming, while speaking to other members of the team on-location via cell phone, directing them into and out of the live broadcast shot. They record video from the perspective of each member of the team, plus the TV footage, and post the compilation on their website. In my favorite clip, the “cheese ninja”, a Newsbreaker dressed as a ninja stands in the background behind a reporter while whizzing slices of processed cheese toward the camera. Original video here.

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San Francisco’s Most Exclusive Loft Apartment Complex

January 25, 2008

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On a visit to San Francisco last fall, I was surprised to find that the Interstate 280 freeway is actually inhabited. Hollow spaces inside the freeway are occupied and personalized by what appear to be full-time residents, making this waterfront location one of San Francisco’s most exclusive loft apartment complexes.

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The unit below was more difficult to access (no rope-ladder) but had a more decorative entrance.

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[pix by imagineering]

*Note: I’ve re-uploaded some of the images on this post, as WordPress wasn’t displaying them, for some mysterious reason.

The arches of Maastricht city

January 23, 2008

1. The pedestrian bridge over the river Maas.
2. A sculptural thing next to the medical complex.
3. A soda can display at the supermarket.

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[pix by imagineering]

Da mix

January 21, 2008

“Da mix. If you assume, as I do, that reality is really made up, then you are automatically launched into this wild project conflating fiction and non-fiction. The only choice you’ve got is whether to acknowledge this or not, whether you will exploit the joints and seams, or not, and whether you will allow the sheer act of writing itself to seem a self-conscious activity, drawing attention to the continuous work of make-believe in art no less than in politics and everyday life. Because they expand the notion of theater in these ways, and because they animate the magic of the state, Brecht and Kafka make congenial company for anyone working with the mix.” Michael Taussig, from an interview in Cabinet magazine.

So wit

January 20, 2008

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Sol LeWitt
wall drawing in a massive domed room at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht.

It

January 20, 2008

“Italy now has its own logo and slogan to promote the country as a brand in areas like tourism.

The logo and slogan were presented… to the press by Premier Romano Prodi and Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli, who oversaw the tender for the initiative.” – Italy magazine.

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I love this image. Apologies for the poor quality. “It” was part of a presentation by advising researcher in design Daniël van der Velden at the Jan van Eyck opening week.

[image source is here]

TV elsewhere

January 20, 2008

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Top: Tim and Eric’s TV show on the web.

Tim and Eric have two amazing short shows on the Cartoon Network, but their world can’t be contained. It spills over to this streaming web show, which Tim explains thus: “We thought it’d be fun to use live Web streaming. We’re not trying to overwrite it so much. We’re trying to just set up a couple scenarios that will probably be a disaster—but hopefully in a good way. It’s kind of like a calculated disaster.”

Bottom: Photo from a Thomas Hirschorn installation titled Presentoir: les plaintifs, les betes, les politiques

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[top image screenshot, bottom pic by imagineering]

Nieuw!

January 18, 2008

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I think that’s an example of euro-english advertising.

[pix by imagineering]

Paint can party

January 18, 2008

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There’ll be a big carnival in Maastricht in February, but people are already gearing up. Above, the paint shop gets festive.

[pix by imagineering]

Apples for apples

January 16, 2008

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Found apple altar. Unknown intent.

[pix by imagineering]