From the project 'Running the Numbers' by Chris Jordan. Above you see 6 panels displaying 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005. Below is a detail in actual size.
The brilliance of this project is how it visualizes those unfathomable quantities in a way so they become almost tangible. 2.3 mill. is no longer an abstract number, but can now be "experienced fundamentally through a bodily identification rather than as mere external objects" - if you remember Pallasmaas and Benjamins thoughts from this post.
You step up close to the panels. Zoom in. And can imagine the human body fitting inside each of the folded uniforms. You take five steps back. And as you do it, the overwhelming scale and tragedy of the American prison system presents itself. The abstract numbers are really understood through your body, its position in space, its relation to the image on the wall.
Jun 30, 2007
Jun 29, 2007
Turn down volume and watch...
"Since 2003, the MTA has made available for exhibition purposes 80 LED screens located at subway entrances across New York City. ... While the MTA's effort to create more opportunities for video art exhibition in public spaces is to be commended, selected works remain wholly fixated on commercial goods and media conglomerate events, a short-sighted curatorial choice that regrettably ignores the full potential of these promising exhibition spaces."
The PIXELATOR project including an easy How To guide
Jun 28, 2007
kRANggggGGGGgggGGGggggGGGggggGGGGgggGGGGgggGG. . .
PURPLE HAZE, ALL IN MY BRAIN!
LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME!
I'M ACTIN' FUNNY BUT I DON'T KNOW WHY?
'SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY!
PURPLE HAZE ALL AROUND!
DON'T KNOW, IF I'M COMING UP OR DOWN
AM I HAPPY? OR IN MISERY?
WHATEVER IT IS, THAT GIRL, PUT A SPELL ON ME!
TWAngga TWang TWANgggGGGggggGGGggggGGGG
twanGGA-twaNG-TwanGGA-twaNG-twanGGA-twaNGGggggGGGggggGGGggg-TWANgga TWAng TWAngggGGGggggGGGggggGGGG
TWAnggA-Twang-TWanggA-TWang-TWanggA-TwangGGGggggGGGggggGGGGtwaNGGa twANG twaNGGGgggGGGGgggGGGGgggG
HELp me BABy! HELP me BAby!
PURPLE HAZE WAS IN MY EYES!
DON'T KNOW IF IT'S DAY OR NIGHT!
YOU'VE GOT ME BLOWING, BLOWING MY MIND!
HElp mE Baby! HElp mE BAby!
YEAAAAAAAAH! PURPLE HAZE! YEAH YEAH
YEAAAAAAAAH! PURPLE HAZE!
TWAngga TWAng TWAngggGGGggggGGGGgggGGGG
TWanggA-TWang-TWAnggA-Twang-TWanggA-TwangGGGGgggGGGGgggGGGG-twANGGa tWANg twANGGgggGGGggggGGGggggGG
TWAnggA-TWang-TWanggA-TWang-TWAnggA-TwangGGGggggGGGGgggGGGgtwaNGGA twANG twaNGGggggGGGGgggGGGGgggG
Help ME babY! Help ME babY!
Written live by MoveOverRover in the comments on this article. So click it and scrool down for more Hendrix hits.
Argggoddammit - blogger cut's of the end of all the long guitar riffs... well, just follow the link and get the whole concert uncut.
We need some life here. Old life. Seen over time in glimpses. Notice the little guy in the red jacket appearing twice.
I'm really quite buggered with Natasja dying just like that. Never before felt like that for someone I've never met in person. She's my Lady Di i think.
All the music that will never be.
The only consolation is the fact that she was on Jamaica. Had just played a concert. Was driving away from it in the company of her best friend. Stoned, drunk and happy as can be. That was her state of mind when she died. And that could be worse.
Give her some airtime this summer.
Tree by James Balog - via Pruned
Jun 24, 2007
Natasja interviewet i Bryggebladet
Sad, sad and shocking news - Danish rapper and dancehall queen Natasja Saad, aka Little T, died this afternoon in a car crash on Jamaica.
She had a flow like no one else around here. And she had something to say. Her future seemed brighter than ever and now it stopped. Just like that.
This is from summer '06 when she won - in front of 700 other contestants - Irie FM's influential "Big Break" contest in Jamaica.
Next to the video there's a press release from her manager
The concept "fair" has obviously never been part of natures (dis)order in this world...
To much to prepare for tomorrow - when I'll be hosting a small seminar on the subjects Shared Space and interactive urban spaces - to write anything sensible... so today just a photo I took on Vesterbro.
...and happy sunday .
Oh - in case you need something to ruin your evening with: Desktop Tower Defense... a very, very contagious game. Via Kottke.
Jun 23, 2007
... to follow up on the comments to the previous post:
Fred mentions above video - a parody of an ad for Microsoft Surface. It points directly to what is probably Microsofts main problem - they buy some very cool existing technology without having any idea what to use it for whatsoever.
So they make a very expensive completely niche product that can do anything in the world, but nothing in particular. Meaning it's still all just potential. As it was when they bought it.
At the same time Apple takes quite a bit of the same technology, makes it pocketsized and affordable. Because they had a clear picture of the iPhone. They start with functionality. A specific idea.
Along this line it's very instructional to compare Microsoft Surface to Reactable - super cool project Dubi has brought to light. Here's what the main man behind it, dr. Sergi Jorda, says:
"... unlike many projects which involves a lot of technology, it started from a concept and not from a technology. So first we knew what we wanted to build and then we discovered how to build it"
This video shows the basic principles of Reactable. It's a little noisy, but so nice. Notice that the hardware is exactly the same as for Surface, except Reactable is round... in other words - anyone can make a touchscreen table-computer... the interesting question is why you do it.
I'll end it here for now cause it's late. Hope to pick up on the vitual reality tomorrow. Tangible, tactile, virtual reality perhaps. Just got a marathon monologue with a mad genious to go through before...
Jun 21, 2007
This movie shows a demonstration of the most incredible piece(s) of software I ever saw.
But please notice in the beginning the sentence: "...technology we brought to Microsoft as part of an acquisition" - in other words M$ didn't figure this out themselves. They bought a little innovative company who had already done it. An important point for a mac-addict like me, hehe.
None the less - this looks so incredibly exciting.
Once more via my new favorite blog Bioephemera - spend some time there. It's worth it.
And there's a new, and much needed, label: "Technology"... to compensate "web" will die. This should open up for some more posts about things such as robots and interactive architecture.
Jun 20, 2007
Being an architect currently working as a planner on a project with a timeframe of two years - and that's just to make a fucking strategy - I've always envied the a- & possibility of musicians to be present in the now. The immediacy of their artform. Goes right from mind & body and out into the world. Now. Here.
Along this line one must also say that what is produced is extremly ephemeral. It also only exists now. And then it dissapears again. Off course aboriginal songlines are probably 40.000 years old, but for now let's concentrate on what the individual produces and experiences. As such, music is apparently the complete opposite of architecture.
However Juhanni Pallasmaa writes (architectureanimation, p. 58): "Music has historically been regarded as the art form closest to architecture. The metaphor of architecture as 'frozen music' is an expression of this relatedness. ... the over 2000 years of Pythagorean tradition concretely connects the principles of musical and architectural harmonies."
Pallasmaa goes on to talk about film being even closer to arch than music. But then continues - referring to Walter Benjamin and his book The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction - he writes: "In Benjamins view, architecture and film are communicated primarily through the tactile realm in opposition to the pure visuality of the painting. ... Works of music ... as well as architecture, are experienced fundamentally through a bodily identification rather than as mere external objects".
And so we return to the blind Stevie Wonder. Standing on the stage obviously identifying with the music through his body - as well as his ears. Experiencing the space through his body - not his eyes. Thus, even thoug both music and architectuere are abstract artforms, it becomes a tactile experience. And the music, the space and the body becomes one.
Which is one of the basic priciples of songlines. We're closing in on that subject.
And also perhaps answering the question of why this blog, sort of claiming to be concerned with architecture, has such a focus on things relating to the body.
Jun 18, 2007
Dear readers - It's time for a little status-report. The fact is that it has never gone better here on the blog. I changed the layout a while back and started posting consistently. Tweaked the design again a few days back. The aim has been more simplicity and legibility. Hope you like it.
There's never been more visitors - though most, 95% in fact, of them only come to see Britney give birth from behind. Fortunately the regular readership is also slowly expanding. And that is seriously nice. There's even a handfull of complete strangers amongst you. However I can safely say you're still a part of a true cult phenomenon.
I'm still trying to find the right format for posts. I've realized I'm not the most organized blogger in the world. Some are long and serious. Some short and silly. They sort of just follow my mood and momentary inspiration. And there's probably nothing to do about it, however much I want a strong, stylish concept.
So that's how it is. I you have any suggestions or critique - fx what to do with the hundreds of people wanting to see Britneys wide open pussy - don't hesitate to write me a mail or comment.
Cheers and thank you for reading :)
Love and peace
ps - bldgblog reports that Peter Cook has been knighted... so that's Sir Cook henceforth. Cheers to him. May he sleep well during crits.
Jun 17, 2007
Dear Hajra just commented on the previous post and left a wonderful present:
Situatinists in Wonderland - a very nice and suitable analogy on their ideas. You don't wanna miss Part One either... actually you probably ought to start with it...
And to continue with some more Alice in Wonderland here's another movie I came across yesterday on the seemingly very, very nice blog Bioephemera. This one's by an absolute favorite of mine - Jan Svankmajer:
Happy Sunday... and if you feel the need to know more about the situationsts after this just follow the links in the previous post.
Puuh... hope this won't get much to slow to load with all them movies...
Jun 16, 2007
A while back I promised a loong in-depth series about the aborigine mapping-koncept of songlines. And I admit it's been so so with the updates on that. But you must understand we're talking serious stuff here. Serious thinking.
So - introduced to the subject by the gentlemen Hank Williams and in particular Tony Bennett - let's continue warming up on the subject and take a detour around urban nomads.
Many people living in cities today doens't let themselves be defined by a limited geographical locality. Rather our identity is created through the daily or weekly routes we move along through the city. From home, to work, to favorite bar, etc... and when we get a new job our route shifts and we see a new city. But we don't plot these routes according to practical consideration alone. They also follow our immediate desires and mood. Through these choices we define ourself and the city. And as the city changes atmosphere throughout the day, year or more - we change our routes. It is not the place that matters but the velocity (uuh - veloCITY) we choose to move with.
The Parisian bohème around 1900, the flaneur, drifted strolling through the city. A tempo where the senses are kept open to even the most ephemeral impressions - the scent of a woman, the mood around montmatre at dawn.
The 50'ies International Situationists with Guy Debord and Asger Jorn made it into an artistic strategy - the Dérive. Their Psychogeographic maps are assembled of urban fragments. Areas and places with particular atmospheres, connected by taxi-rides.
Space changes over time. Not just when you build up or tear down. But because the subject that percieves the space always will be moving. Always interpreting. And thus an urban space is is not stable, but vibrating with the people who occupies it. Taking shape of their actions and the memories of other places they bring with them. Actions and memories again shaped by the space where they take place.
Extra bonus - found this along way:
Psychogeographic Guides to Paris and New Orleans
Extra extra bonus - Oh Tony, style and charm and those moves, my new hero... here's three more videos with him:
Interview and duet wit K.D. Lang - such an odd couple making that particular song even more beautiful.
Starring in the Comedy show Saturday Night Live - this really made me crack up.
And finally the young Tony again on the Dean Martin Show - those funky underplayed moves
Jun 14, 2007
An easy post for me, a hard one for you... a whole long, very beautiful, short-story by Haruki Murakami who I hadn't read anything by untill Dubi sent me this today... I think I could get rather used to it to be honest.
Read it - 10 minutes... 15 - max...
On Seeing The 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning
One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo's fashionable Harajuku neighborhood, I walk past the 100% perfect girl.
Tell you the truth, she's not that good-looking. She doesn't stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn't young, either - must be near thirty, not even close to a "girl," properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She's the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there's a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is dry as a desert.
Maybe you have your own favorite type of girl - one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you're drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I'll catch myself staring at the girl at the table next to mine because I like the shape of her nose.
But no on can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can't recall the shape of hers - or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It's weird.
"Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% perfect girl," I tell someone.
"Yeah?" he says. "Good-looking?"
"Your favorite type, then?"
"I don't know. I can't seem to recall anything about her - the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts."
"So anyhow," he says, already bored, "what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?"
"Nah. Just passed her on the street."
She's walking east to west, and I west to east. It's a really nice April morning.
Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and - what I'd really like to do - explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock built when peace filled the world.
After talking, we'd have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woodie Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed.
Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart.
Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.
How can I approach her? What should I say?
"Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?"
Ridiculous. I'd sound like an insurance salesman.
"Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?"
No, this is just as ridiculous. I'm not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who's going to buy a line like that?
Maybe the simple truth would do. "Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me."
No, she wouldn't believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you're not the 100% perfect boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I'd probably go to pieces. I'd never recover from the shock. I'm thirty-two, and that's what growing older is all about.
We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can't bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She's written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she's ever had.
I take a few more strides and turn: She's lost in the crowd.
Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.
Oh well. It would have started "Once upon a time" and ended "A sad story, don't you think?"
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.
One day, the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.
"This is amazing," he said. "I've been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you are the 100% perfect girl for me."
"And you," she said to him, "are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I'd pictured you in every detail. It's like a dream."
They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It's a miracle, a cosmic miracle.
As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of a doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one's dreams to come true so easily?
And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, "Let's test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other's 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we'll marry then and there. What do you think?"
"Yes," she said, "that is exactly what we should do."
And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.
The test they had agreed on, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should have never undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other's 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.
One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season's terrible influenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. Their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence's piggy bank.
They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.
Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.
One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking east to west, both along the same narrow street in the Harujuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in the chest. And they knew:
She is the 100% perfect girl for me.
He is the 100% perfect boy for me.
But the glow of their lost memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fourteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.
A sad story, don't you think?
Yes, that's it, that is what I should have said to her.
No animals were harmed during the posting of this blog.
Check out Murakamis official website - very cool if you ask me.
Also someone has made a rather nice visualization of the story. Letters about four times too small to read, but it looks very pretty and poetic - pure visual poetry.
Jun 12, 2007
One thing leads to another - we all know that. And so the movie from yesterday led me on to these two:
This is the HeartLander, a so-called cardiac robot. It is inserted through a small hole in the body to mend a broken heart ... well, doesn't that just sound too good to be true! Above is the first prototype, below is the new slimmer, faster and funkier version. One of it's great successes so far is a myocardial injection which as far is I can understand is about tatooing a dot on the heart. Very handy. But what do I know.
Apparently one of its very funky abilities is that it can move about on a beating heart. An ability I'm sure patients still alive will appreciate. Obviously it's all still in early testing. None the less it is a rather impressive little robot they've made. So bloody simple.
I guess the finetuning of its mechanics might not hav been so simple though. Not to mention the practice it takes to learn controlling it - with what looks like a pretty regular joystick. All in all amazingly amazing.
Jun 11, 2007
When stress at work coincides with very nice weather blogging becomes rather hard. That's years of personal experience talking right there. Luckily our correspondent in Belgrade spend as much time roaming the net as usual - she send me a link to this film today:
In liverpool sculptor Richard Wilson has created a piece reminiscent of an updated but not quite as interesting Gordon Matta-Clark-work. Amazing what you can do with simple technology and a few (450.000) pounds and some giant shoulders to stand on... tssss! At least mr. Wilson could have come up with a less obvious title than Turning the place over. The very archilicious Bldgblog has some stills of it here.
I hate obvious titles. They don't add a thing to whatever they describe, except perhaps a cheap giggle. If you insist giving your artpieces obvious titles you should really be consequent and go for the good old style a la nude women bathing with cows and geese in the background (bad example - now I'll have geese fetichists all over my blog). My friend Odey got me into those the other day... and he's a real artist. Certified and royal. The final bonus of this post is a painting by him. If you're in Copenhagen do yourself a favour and go and watch it full size - 200 x 170 cm - at EXIT07.
One of the reasons I like his work is that instead of stating the obvious he makes realities clash. Mmmmmmm.... Odey Curbelo - the man :)
Jun 8, 2007
Mmmmm....memory.... I did it long time ago, but I have to do it again - draw your attention to the amazing world of anandamide. A master of delicate photomanipulation, creating surreal images and sets with a strong sense of a narrative. And I like that. He can even draw.
Jun 5, 2007
Today it's the Danish national day. Meaning I as a public employee get to sit in the sun and laugh of my friends toiling hard in their dynamic architectural studios. Why I choose to spend this day inside in front of my laptop is another question.
To further rub salt in the wound here's a little extra holiday treat they can't enjoy unless they put on headphones - an awesome freestyle battle by the two grime mc's Wiley and Kano. Amazing what young kids nowadays can do with a little practice and a lot of drugs... or should that be the other way round... probably.
Joking aside - these guys standing on a derelict staircase transcribe thoughts into words and beats faster than ... something very fast.
I've used the term long pork before without elaborating on its meaning. But since my discovery that the photo in that post now rank no. 1 in google image searches on the term I feel obliged to do just that.
Long pork is a term used by south east pacific islanders as an euphemism for human flesh. Isn't that wonderful. Most sources claim it refers to the taste being pig-like. But according to amarican occult journalist William Buehler Seabrook human flesh is more "like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was very definitely like that, and it was not like any other meat I had ever tasted. It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal."
Pictured above is the pioneer plaque send with pioneer 10 and 11 into deep space. It is devised to describe to extra terrastials what humans look like and where to get them. Just like the menus the myriad of local pizza joints keep leaving in my mailbox. If aliens do ever arrive here to have a taste of the exotic delicacy we might be to them this recipy for whole roast human seem to me like a good, if time consuming, choice. Otherwise I've heard that the upper arm of a young woman is supposed to be the most tasty and tender cut. Bon appetit.
For a thorough read on cannibalism i suggest you turn to wikipedias article on the subject. Or return here - quite a few interesting links came up during research which I'll be posting in the future.