Monday, 28 June 2010

fistful of links

Screen print via Nakatomi Inc.

Gulf of Mexico: go in crude, come out refined. Some news.

London is full of weird historical kickbacks – perhaps the weirdest is the 100th Livery Company, a guard group from the old City formed in medieval times to regulate the guilds. They have now been re-named the Information Technologists Company, but if you think this means they've abandoned the silly metal hats, tights and big wooden sticks then you're wrong...

You know, MP is way more popular in the States than it here in its hometown. I attribute this to the time-honoured lust that yanks have for poms. Segue: Date British Guys (.com); 1960's posters have been discovered in an abandoned Nottinghill Gate tube tunnel; Take me there Boris: the mayor of London as a cab driver. Moving on to Britain (also known as Greater London), Prince Charles blames the world's ills on Galileo and 'soulless consumerism'. the UK tightens its recession belts, and prepares to make penny-pinching £5-note dispensing ATMs.

The ConDems are really screwing British architects: the Sesquipedalist eloquently explains why (bloody fools). A map of the London Underground in real-time. Ace. Related, a geography of London formed by the number of tweets from each part of the city. Also maps:

Historypin is a like a digital time machine that allows people to view and share their personal history in a totally new way. It uses Google Maps and Street View technology and hopes to become the largest user-generated archive of the world's historical images and stories. Historypin asks the public to dig out, upload and pin their own old photos, as well as the stories behind them, onto the Historypin map. Uniquely, Historypin lets you layer old images onto modern Street View scenes, giving a series of peaks into the past.

America: Restrepo, a documentary about fighting the war in Afghanistan; Still on Afghanistan: a recent mineral deposit find could completely change the game; Marshall McLuhan playing cards; MJ killed for his money, says whacko sister. I'm just not sure that corporate education is a good thing: the Wal-Mart university. iPreach: ipad used to spread the Word; salt flat racers made from the cowls of WW2 fighter planes.

The world: A closer look at sink holes; the silo home; hilarious tattoo mistakes: Loltatz; Chairs prefer gym socks; Two really nice photographers: untitled, and Andrew Moore. One more for good luck (a bit more pop). A fictitious brand created to campaign for industrial architecture in a post-industrial era: Cityfix.

There's been a trend to bend (apparently sexily) in Facebook photos of late, now there's a tumblr devoted to: The awkward lean. Japanese spacecraft deploys first ever solar sail. Still space, "We treat each other with respect and we have a great working relationship. Personal relationships are not ... an issue," says astronaut team-leader, when asked about what its like in the 100 mile club. Humourless response, but who can blame him? The man's name is Poindexter.

A five-step simple plan for everyone and everything; algae-powered flight; Jaguars are obsessed by Calvin Klein cologne; probably the coolest table in existence. Word on the street is that more and more women in their 30's are freezing their eggs, still waiting for "Mr. Right". I don't quite understand who Mr. Right is, but I can only assume he is symbolic for some sort of Cargo Cult. China gets their own native-script URLs. This. Is. Hot. How to beat Super Mario in 11 minutes; Save the Kittens; turn out whale faeces absorb CO2. Clingfilm (or, if you prefer, ceran wrap) architecture (must see!)

Finally, some videos:

1. Perhaps the best thing I've seen this year... via l'Histoire de l'Oeil. (if it gives you an ad, just click the cross to close it).

2. Cleese on Extremism.

3. The most awkward personal transporter I've ever seen...

4. Classroom Mario.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

aa, eh?

Millennium People's prolonged silence these past few weeks is the result of preparations for the AA Projects Review, which opened with a champagne-fueled party that spilled out of the school and into the green shadows of Bedford Square.

I haven't had time yet to see the whole show, although there were several units that looked quite interesting. MP will be reporting on the content some time next week, with the aim of trying to describe how the school is expressing contemporary trends in architecture.

There's several other surprises coming up in the next couple of weeks – the least interesting of which will be a fat fistful of fresh links first thing Monday (given that's at the bottom of the list, you can imagine that the other stuff is going to be pretty alright). Without giving too much away: Millennium People's new printhouse (Speculative Publications) will be launching its first title in a pilot run of 50; MP will be celebrating its first birthday with a fresh new site; and I will be travelling to the most remote part of Britain for a week to report on the possibility of isolation in the modern world.


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

post net art and the new now

Screenshot from Ian Andrew's 2002 piece: Ether-1.

I know Millennium People has been quiet recently. But the summer is coming, and a bold prospect of speculation awaits us. In the meantime, a finally-finished draft:

'The New Now' is the term used in this blog's tagline. It's really just another way of saying 'spirit of the times' or 'zeitgeist' – which were not used for these reasons: the former puts one in mind of la belle epoque, and the latter smells a bit too much like Nazis and 9/11 conspiracies. The core business of this blog is the attempt to describe, if only in a lateral or fragmentary sense, the conditions that make life in the second decade of the third millennium the swell trip that it is. It pursues several fields: global and local economic trends; our changing relationship to technology (in particular the Internet); the city (as a psychogeographical, historical and political arena) – all primarily through the lens of architecture and the built environment. Except of course where that lens fails to describe anything of relevance, which is more frequently than you might think.

"Net art is seen as an archaeology of the future, drawing on the past (especially of modernism) and producing a complex interaction of unrealized past potential and Utopian futures..."
Julian Stallabrass
"Hype around Net-based art began in the early 1990s, before the Internet had become a commodity. It developed in skeptical parallel to the rise and decline of the new economy. In 1997, documenta X featured Net art. Around the same time, major museums in the US started online art commissions or virtual showcases. The first (and last) retrospective exhibition, “netconditon,” was held in 1999. Several books published in the first years of the new millennium give overviews of the practice and theory of this art. But since then, this particular chapter of art history appears to have closed. The final indication that Net-based art was not to become another genre in the contemporary art canon was perhaps the discontinuance of the “Net vision” category in the Prix Ars Electronica 2007."

So begins Net Pioneers 1.0, a book about contextualising early Internet art. I'm fascinated by Net Art – which is produced specifically for the medium of the Web – such that remains, like Blue Hyacinth or Seattle Drift. And while this book dates the death of Net Art to 1999, I think it is clear that art that can only be experienced through the Internet is flourishing. We are using information today in such remarkable ways, here are just three of my favourite examples of what I would call Post-Net Art (Po-NeAr?):

1. Solar Beat: an ambient music artwork that composes a score by assigning each planet a note and then having that note sound when the planet passes a datum. Art thanks to flash (oh what will happen when Flash finally dies?)

2.Moonbell: developed by the Japanese space agency JAXA this is a violent piano piece generated by the scans returned from Selene (one of Japan's orbiters that recently crashed into the moon). You are hearing a translation of the moon's surface into music.

3.Three Frames: surely the Internet's greatest .gif (sic) is the addition of time to mediums that were otherwise atemporal. Three Frames is not the only, but one of the best, examples of a blog dedicated to expressing minute slices of time in otherwise still images.