Friday 1 December 2023

⌘ (11. 155)

Via Things Magazine, we are only introduced to the enthralling blog of Gingerbearman but also can put a name to the early computer artwork and illustrations of Barbara Nessim as featured in Byte magazine and elsewhere. Not just pixelated renditions, these graphics, produced thanks to a residency with Time-Life in 1984 that gave her access to state-of-the-art technologies, were vector drawings formatted and encoded to display on televisions and terminals. See more of Nessim’s extension portfolio and learn about her contributions at the link up top.

Sunday 26 November 2023

componibili (11. 142)

Celebrating half a century since their original presentation in a Kรถln pavilion in 1972 and 1973, the rarely displayed club- and pin-like orbitals by sculptor Roberto Cordone will be gathered for an exhibition near the original grounds to reintroduce the iconic design and symmetry that helped legitimise plastic as a medium to complement traditional public art. Whilst these molecular, tetrahedrons are stationary, Cordone’s most celebrated installations are kinetic, metal elements called perpendicolari and elicoidali that can be repositioned by wind and waves and are self-righting, displayed as permanent outdoor monuments but occasionally adapted for the stage as part of a ballet choreography. Learn more about the showcase, the artist and its sponsors at designboom at the link above.

Monday 13 November 2023

folly cove collective (11. 119)

Under the tutelage of Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios, the all-women’s group in a Massachusetts community from the 1940s to the late 1960s cultivated the art of block-printed fabric patterns informed by their personal experiences and narratives (see also—too bad there was nothing truly subversive like a housewife’s vengeance represented but maybe there were subtle acts of rebellion in themselves), from home economics, local, vernacular architecture and family outings. Click through the link above for more on this community of printmakers.

Friday 3 November 2023

8x8 (11. 093)

outsider art: revisiting the narrative embroidery of Agnes Richter and other works in the Prinzhorn Collection  

market sundries: the paper bag baron of the East End—via Strange Company  

the crispy r: more on rhoticity and unusual consonant 

pentimenti: conservators reveal a hidden demonic figure in Joshua Reynold’s “The Death of Cardinal Beaufort”—see also 

the statistical breviary: an overview of the history of digital design 

uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, cinco, seis: DJ Cummerbund (previously) presents a mashup of the The Offspring and Boney M—with quite a few other musical cameos 

face-hugger: the parasitic crustacean Phronima sedentaria was the inspiration for Ridley Scott’s Alien  

sgraffito: the alleged safe-room where Michelangelo hid from his political enemies, decorated with his anatomical and engineering studies opens to the public

Wednesday 25 October 2023

8x8 (11. 074)

hilma af: a planned towering gallery for the Swedish artist realised as a virtual reality experience  

papercraft: gorgeous moderne four palette architectural models to make 

the book of hallowe’en: a 1919 illustrated, syncretic study of the appropriated holiday in the spirit of the Golden Bough  

swarm charms: a go-to guide of medieval bee spells 

trainspotting: an omnibus post on avoiding rail collisions including a nineteen century timetable still in use 

reconstruction: the sounds of ancient languages—see also 

the logo is formed from minifig hands: the new LEGO Dune playset  

flow-chart: a study on the abandoned shopping-carts of America  

you may touch the artefacts: a gallery of early internet relics from Neal Agarwal—see previously


one year ago:  further adventures in Crete

two years ago: the US Invasion of Granada (1971)

three years ago: a hexadecagonal country retreat, SS Crispin and Crispinian plus pandemic gods and heroes

four years ago: a lyrical headline (1924), a video game atlas plus the world’s first erotic boutique proprietress 

five years ago: The Master Key of Futurity, virtual restaurants and ghost kitchens plus programming a more ethical Pac Man

Sunday 8 October 2023

folio (11. 045)

Via ibฤซdem, we found this vintage 1985 text book cover from D P Schultz (third edition) quite intriguing and so checked out the rest of the graphic design collection curated by Kristen Lound to be an equally captivating resource for ephemera, event posters, advertisements and album art with many interpretative representations on the topic of psychology and sociology. 


Saturday 9 September 2023

tirazain (10. 992)

Via Clive Thompson’s Linkfest (happily back after a short hiatus), we learn about the traditional form embroidery practiced in Palestine and the efforts to preserve, promote and catalogue the neglected and endangered craftwork used to decorate dress, curtains and bedding. Called tatreez (ุชุทุฑูŠุฒ), with instructions included on how to create these cross-stitch designs, the formerly unstudied occupation is no recognised as more than a pastime but a form of biography (see also) for those marginalised and had no other medium for expressing and transmitting their ambitions and skills. Much more at the links above.

Saturday 26 August 2023

vernacular architecture (10. 966)

Midcentury Modern embassies and consulates commissioned by the US State Department between the years 1948 and 1962 at the height of the Cold War were not only outposts of ideology, as an interview with historian David B Peterson for an upcoming retrospective on the architecture of democracy, diplomacy and defence reveals but also host to quite extensive outreach programmes and to project culture and the values of progressive and open societies—though considering American’s own practises of apatheid, it’s a rather hollow image. Numerous star architects and luminaries of the day were involved and most compounds had a publicly accessible area for lectures, libraries and exhibition spaces. The chapter on the embassy of New Delhi designed by Edward Durell Stone (the MoMA, Radio City Music Hall and the Kennedy Centre) looks particularly interesting. More from designboom at the link above.

Sunday 20 August 2023

9x9 (10. 954)

cucumber castle: a star-studded promotional film for the Bee-Gee’s medieval-themed, chivalrous 1970 album  

as big as a football pitch: the vague rulers of informal metrology 

good(bye) design: a tribute to the aesthetic of vintage consumer tech by Miki Nemcek with a special focus on Braun  

grand master: World Chess Federation places restrictions on trans competitors  

1:25: a tour inside the scale model of St Paul’s, hidden in a chamber in the attic 

 : like Zuckerburg explored before—in violation of app store policies—Elon Musk is threatening to remove Twitter’s block feature  

magalog: combination magazine-catalogue that was successful print model in the 1970s  

langue รฉtrangรจre: faced with budget-shortfalls, US public university cutting foreign language from its ciriculum 

elephant in the room: the imprint of favourite songs of our formative years and what that says about our capacity for new things

Tuesday 15 August 2023

die bauhausausstellung von 1923 (10. 945)

Opening on this day in Weimar and running for the next six weeks, the exhibition was the first public presentation of the art and architecture movement founded in 1919, and advertised in around one-hundred train stations with Oskar Schlemmer’s Bauhaus logo (the event delayed due individual presenting workshops wanting to prefect their items in accordance with the shift from handwork to industrial production and the poster stickered over), attracting around fifteen-thousand visitors. The first week included lectures by Walter Gropius and Wassily Kandinsky, ballets and concert performances and a procession with lanterns and fireworks. Installations included a model home, ceramics and various painting and building designs by contemporary figures such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. Occurring during the height of the Great Depression, the exhibition became of symbol of the culture war simmering in Germany with praise and enthusiasm on one side for the school’s creative and educational goals and roundly rejected by conservative leaning critics who felt strengthened in their position by the relative financial failure.

Friday 28 July 2023

vinnie ream (10. 911)

On this day, aged 18, in 1866 Lavina Ellen Ream Hoxie became the youngest and first female sculptor to receive a commission by the US government for her most famous and celebrated work, the statue of Abraham Lincoln (see also here and here) in the Capitol rotunda. Ream also sculpted the bronze of Cherokee inventor Sequoyah (the town of Vinita, Oklahoma in Statuary Hall and the monument of David Farragut in Washington DC’s Farragut Square. Although her selection by the House of Congress to render a life-sized marble of the president had already generated some controversy over her experience and false accusations by some factions that she was a “lobbyist”—the term at the time referring to a public woman of ill-repute and Ream took the slander and attacks in stride, it was mild compared to the scapegoating and unrelenting attacks to come. Whilst working on Lincoln in a basement studio of the Capitol, the impeachment proceedings of Andrew Johnson were taking place in the chambers above. Failing to secure a conviction that would have removed Johnson from office, by a single vote, radical elements of the Republican Party sought out someone to blame other than their own members and deflect from the bribery that was actually the motivating factor. It was discovered that the Kansas senator, Edmund G Ross, who cast the decisive vote to acquit was staying in a DC boarding house owned by Ream’s father during the trial, and it was suggested that Ream, notably absent from the family lodging operation and busy with her work, had somehow influenced Ross’ vote in order to vouchsafe her commission and preserve the legacy of Lincoln through saving his predecessor. The House passed a resolution to turn the studio space into a guardroom and nearly ejected Ream and her unfinished statue from the Capitol. The press and the art community aired their outrage at this petty retaliation and Congress eventually reversed the decision. Ream went on to open studios in New York and Washington after studying in Europe and producing busts of continental celebrities including Franz Liszt and Gustave Dorรฉ, her career essentially ending after her marriage at twenty-four as it was considered unseemly for a married woman to earn an income.


one year agoEilean Donan plus Castle Linlithgow

two years ago: your daily demon: Bunรฉ, assorted links to revisit, a silly super villain plus a Czech space opera

three years ago: artist Lรฉon Spilliaert, cartooning the US constitution, assorted links worth the revisit plus moving forward with fusion technology

four years ago: more links to check out, a food writer and former pirate plus growing one’s own victory garden


Sunday 23 July 2023

9x9 (10. 901)

effective altruism: FTX lobbyist tried to purchase the island nation of Nauru as a doomsday bunker and create a genetically enhanced human species  

getting drunk at a disco: 1977 found footage of an evening not necessarily going downhill 

this is not a love poem: a round-up of favourites that are not all lovey-dovey—via tmn  

rambler: a collection of illustrated exteriors of California ranch homes—see also

1975: Kuala Lumpur authorities shut down the Good Vibes festival after headliner Matty Healy criticised Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws  

point of no return: time is running out on the Climate Clock  

stooping: trend adopted by Chinese young people involves decorating with cast-off furniture left by the curb 

smokey, this is not ‘nam—this is bowling, there are rules: Big Lebowski (previously) inspired bowling alley via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to explore there) 

typoglycemia: bypassing chatbot’s ethical subroutines using word scrambling and transposed letters

Sunday 16 July 2023

esprit d’corps (10. 887)

While problematically exclusively white and male with militaristic overtones, we enjoyed looking through this workwear catalogue in a classic instalment of the Daily Heller from the George Master Garment Corporation dated 1951—reflective of the post-war ideal of reintegrating soldiers into the civilian workforce. Whilst perhaps not as finely tailored and mass-produced, many trades in Germany still keep to a professional uniform (not to say it hasn’t become more relaxed and informal here too) provided by the company or guild, especially for manufacturing and construction, usually in the form of a monogrammed jumpsuit.  More from Print magazine at the link above.


one year ago: the flag of Estonia plus assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: Askersund, Sweden and adventures in Vรคrmland

three years ago: Disney’s pandemic reopening plus more links to revisit 

four years ago: a celebration of usual holidays, the Space Race was meant to be a call for international cooperation plus farewell to an iconic sign

five years agoBreakthrough Starshot, Trump and Putin meet plus the TV advertisements of David Lynch

Wednesday 5 July 2023

church key (10. 862)

From the shifting onus of mass-delivered single-use that incentivised disposing of one’s beverage container properly to the technological innovations that allowed beer from a can to be palatable and not compromised in the filling and distribution process while being easily and readily accessible, to follow-on safety concerns about the opening mechanism and wide-spread pull-tabs, which led to engineering that we are familiar with today, we are directed towards the design history of the aluminium can. Learn more from Tedium at the link above—with plenty of top-popping detail.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

i have some notes (10. 839)

Via Kottke, we are directed towards the latest xkcd panel from Randall Munroe that’s a design critique on the Latin alphabet, which we love for registering all the inherited features and flaws in its design, from the semi-vowels, tittle and jot to the problematic X and coda.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

8x8 (10. 825)

the restaurant of mistaken orders: a pop-up establishment in Japan serves a lesson in compassion along with its dishes  

specimens of fancy turning: these late nineteenth century lathe patterns look like spirographs 

dwarf fortress: an interview with the author of 50 Years of Text Gamessee previously 

mercurial: more on the found and lost planet Vulcan  

monk parakeets: over a decade living in Wiesbaden, these invasive birds went from rare, doubtful sightings to absolute flocks  

area sacra: assassination site of Caesar and since taken over by semi-feral cats opening to the public 

รฑ: the origins of the letter with a diacritical tilde  

evergreen appeal: once considered dire sustenance only, pine-based cuisine in Nordic countries is becoming fine-dining

Sunday 28 May 2023

moonbird (10. 773)

Our gratitude to Fancy Notions for the re-introduction to the life and portfolio of animator John Hubley (with credit to his contributing creative partners and family members), who left Disney after Fantasia and the 1941 Animators’ Strike, dissatisfied with the direction the company was going, joined up with UPA, was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee and essentially blacklisted before starting an independent studio, Storyboard, through his Academy Awarding winning cartoon from 1959, that illustrated a secretly recorded discussion between his two sons (his wife Faith taping the imaginary adventure shared by Mark and Hampy). More to discover at the link above.

Saturday 27 May 2023

platonic solids (10. 769)

Via tmn, we are directed to a 1974 installation by collector, curator and conceptual artist Sol LeWitt’s serial exploration of negative and positive space, both flat and realised in three-dimensions, in his one hundred-twenty-two permutations of how a cube could be not closed space. This matrix of deconstruction invites one to reexamine the fundamentals of geometry and perspective that we otherwise might take for granted. More at the links above including a tour of the gallery space hosting these open cubes.

Friday 12 May 2023

beflix (10. 736)

Via Waxy, we a directed to this thoroughgoing study of early computer art of the 1950s and 1960s by Amy Goodchild, beginning with the moment of inception with Babbage and Lovelace speculating on the creative potential of their difference engine to the realisation of mathematician Ben Laposky using sine functions and oscilloscopy to produce “electrical compositions” and one of the earliest interactive applications called MusiColor that generated patterns and light mapped from audio inputs. There are profiles of the pioneers in this field with images and video presentations of various pivotal works and installations as well as the above programming language for computer animation—from Bell Flicks—made for educational and engineering applications 1970 to explore, which are really remarkable considering the time and labour put into each project and makes one reflect how pace and patience temper the creative process in an age of instant iteration.

Saturday 6 May 2023

10x10 (10. 724)

shark tank: MS Teams has a suite of customisable in app stickers  

let him love fellows of a polecat: recalling a scholar’s naรฏve but noble translation attempt of Lorem ipsum—see previously here and here 

i was there (at the coronation): a 1953 calypso song by Young Tiger s s minow: Federal Communications Commission who called television a vast wasteland (see previously) has passed away, aged 97

like family, but with more cheese: more on that pizza commercial produced by AI  

brownstone: Ruxandra Duru collects colour swatches of Brooklyn townhouses  

some disassembly required: a proposal to construct a Dyson’s Sphere (see previously) around the Earth using Jupiter for raw materials  

yeoman’s work: Penny Mordaunt as the unwavering bearer of the Sword of State stole the show—see more here and here 

native tongue: research shows nearly half of the world’s linguistic diversity at risk  

dark patterns: digital services make it difficult to unsubscribe—via Waxy