The concrete-domed radioactive landfill of Runit Island
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Here's a lovely piece of intervention by the Dutch artist Helmut Smits. A minor act but profoundly marvelous.
Smits briefly notes that his street fountain spurts via a small water pump. But how small is it, we wondered. How complex are its wirings and how great is its energy requirement? One certainly wishes that it could be mass produced, bought by the dozens, or at least hackable from easily procured cheap parts, a craft project whose step-by-step instructions can be downloaded from Instructables, like LED Throwies. When the rains do come and fill up pot holes or shallow pedestrian depressions, you can sow little fountains everywhere, adding a bit of playfulness to the concrete playgrounds of weary city-dwellers. It's Banksy meets Salomon de Caus hydro-graffiti.
Should you want to add a subversive underlayer, you could say that at the same time it highlights the deplorable condition of urban infrastructure, that pouring in billions of dollars into these pot holes isn't going to solve the problem. The collapse is perpetual.
Bloggers with Large Breasts, Three Eyes, Deformed Ears and Four Hands Standing in a Landscape
Sunday, March 01, 2009
It's been a while since we posted a list of recently discovered blogs. Despite the lamentations of my colleagues about the demise of both the quality and quantity of blogs on the built environment, for every one that goes dimmer with each passing week without a post, there's a handful that crops up, most of which are worth keeping tabs on.
Of course, these newer blogs aren't going to be any less ephemeral. In fact, those started by thesis students and studios will most likely expire with the end of term, but at least a record of their investigations exists for anyone to use for whatever purpose. Because what if before they published the book, Venturi and Scott Brown's Las Vegas studio had maintained a blog in which students and instructors recorded all their initial observations, posted their pre-collaged photos, lecture podcasts and unedited videos using Flickr, Vimeo and YouTube, and the Web 2.0 crowd participated wiki-like, unencumbered by notions of proprietary and editorial control? It would have been interesting at the very least.
Here, meanwhile, is the list. The bloggers responsible for these blogs may or may not be as described above, but they all possess fertile minds and fecund imagination, are consummate observers, have individualized but keen insights into important issues of the day, and are voracious collectors of net flotsam and jetsam.
21st Century Plowshare
The following are maintained by the incredibly fortunate three who were awarded The John K. Branner Traveling Fellowship.
For our public blogroll, see our list of