Sunday 24 March 2024

11x11 (11. 448)

inauspicious beginnings: a rift opens up in a group of official astrologers employed by the Sri Lankan government to pick ideal dates for new years rituals  

disco arabesquo: record label Habibi Funk aims to introduce Middle Eastern vintage music to wider audiences 

typecraft: a transformative font foundry in India 

the allegory of the cave: on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film’s premiere, we may be still trapped in the Matrix 

banjaxed and bockety: two curious Irish terms 

der buch der hasengeschichten: Tom Seidmann-Freud’s 1924 collection of hare fables 

working for tips: bizarrely robot baristas will accept gratuities, in a service sector landscape already fraught with insecurity and precarity—via tmn  

the juice is on the loose: a sequel thirty-six years in the making, reuniting the original cast—via Miss Cellania  

international system of typographic picture education: an archive of the pictograms of Gerd Arntz—see previously  

pocket full of kryptonite: the preponderance of alternative rock songs about Superman in the 1990s, 2000s 

prosopometamorphopsia: a new study on generalised social anxiety disorder tries to see from the perspective of those with a rare condition that causes faces to appear distorted, demonic—via the New Shelton wet/dry

Monday 18 March 2024

7x7 (11. 435)

deadwooding: Banksy acknowledges authorship of a new mural bringing back some greenery to an aggressive prune tree in Finsbury Park  

subspace: an ultra high-definition video of a cat chasing a laser-pointer was beamed over thirty million kilometres to improve future video calls to the Moon and Mars 

running-stitch: beautiful embroidered portraits from Karola Pezarro  

deadspin: more on the internet’s undead, reanimated by private equity and name recognition—see previously, see more  

bunga bunga: Italy’s Foreign Press Association to move into former home of Silvio Berlusconi, who famously disparaged reporters as Communists  

honeytrap: Aphra Behn’s intersecting careers as a professional writer and spy  

sequoiadendron giganteum: imported by the Victorians as status symbols, Giant Redwoods (see also) are thriving in the UK at more than half-a-million and growing

Saturday 9 March 2024

8x8 (11. 411)

๐Ÿšซ: the origins of the circle-and-slash prohibition symbol, its adoption as an ISO standard coinciding with 1984’s Ghost Busters  

return to sender: as part of the Prize Papers Project, a pristine Faroese hand-knitted sweater was discovered in an impounded parcel from 1807 

electronic labyrinth: the 1967 student film from George Lucas that would be later reworked into the feature  

snowdrops: Robert Marsham’s Indications of Spring (1789)  

clairaudient: more on Rosemary Brown with other classical compositions from beyond the grave  

if it doesn’t exist on the internet, it doesn’t exist: as of the beginning of the year, the venerable repository, the Ubuweb whose founder Kenneth Goldsmith is famous for the axiom, of the avant-garde has gone into archive-mode—via Web Curios 

sella rotalis: Paul de Livron crafts beautiful wooden wheelchairs, including one for the Pope

belinda new: exploring the typography of Oscar nominated films

Sunday 21 January 2024

8x8 (11. 285)

80s chillpill: a nostalgic, slow-dance playlist 

topdressing: an appreciation of the world’s “ugliest” utility airplane, the Airtruk, designed for crop-dusting in New Zealand—via Clive Thompson’s Linkfest  

future-proof: an advertising campaign from a pen company in the early 1960s strangely forecasts our technological present 

these children aren’t french—they’re american: a retrospective look at the BBC’s language learning mascot Muzzy 

night-climbers: John Bulmer’s photographs of a secretive group that scaled the campus of Cambridge under the cover of darkness—more here  

crochet coral: an evolving nature and craft hybrid project to memorialise and raise awareness about our disappearing reef—see previously—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links 

money pit: a tour of the world’s abandoned airports  

doses & mimosas: a remix by Vintage Culture featuring Zerky

Sunday 31 December 2023

9x9 (11. 230)

unwound: a cartoon that speaks to the time-dilation of the Winterval—and the year in general 

politics or otherwise: year’s end Can’t Let Goes from NPR’s podcast contributors 

fast-forward: a century of New Year’s men’s party fashions

aitana lopez: the virtual, machine-generated influencers stealing jobs from humans  

cap d’agde: the restoration of the Art Nouveau Chateau Laurens—a palace also known for its connections with Catharism  

like a fridge in reverse: a visualisation of the science of heat-pumps—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links

fondue chinoise: a variation on the Swiss holiday tradition inspired by the Asian hot pot 

favourite global tech stories from publications not named rest of the world: like Bloomberg’s Jealousy List, staff compiles articles they wish they’d written—via Waxy  

cartoon cryptozoology: explore a chaotic archive of the earliest animations

Sunday 10 December 2023

13-1023 tcx (11. 176)

As a counterweight to the aesthetic of maximalism embodied by the popularity of Millennial Pink, Pantone announces Peach Fuzz for the Colour of 2024, with their global team of trend-watchers and chromatists reflecting back on the past quarter of a century of the nomination process, beginning with Cerulean Blue to welcome the dawn of the new millennium and finding a nostalgic nexus for their choice, which represents a calm, tactile and nostalgic hue in the pink and orange combination in very stressful and unstable times.

 
 synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: the Nobel Banquet, a duet from McCartney and Jackson, 1984 from Julia’s perspective, more Chinese fuzzwords of the year plus the Pantone Colour for the coming year

three years ago: more on the Year in Search, Ubu Roi plus a 2020 recap

four years ago: Alphabets Heaven, the Apostrophe Protection Society, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Latin scripts for Cyrillic languages, RIP Marie Fredriksson plus Cincinnati’s music underground

five years ago: more links to explore, more piรฑata creations from Roberto Benevidez plus a collection of Industry Musicals

Friday 8 December 2023

7x7 (11. 170)

recueil de la diversitรฉ des habits: a 1562 volume of national dress from around the world—including the costumes of mermonks 

psychedelic cryptography: a contest to make hidden messages that only can be deciphered in a state of altered consciousness—Waxy  

schallloch: the acoustic development of violin f-holes

thus the unfacts, did we possess them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude: a dedicated, careful reading of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake 

hiveopolis: a project to create hybrid, smart bee colonies with robots tasked to defend the queen  

fluid dynamics: winner of the American Physical Society’s visualising science goes to the process of making marbled paper—see previously  

smock-frock: the hidden history of the outer garment traditionally worn by shepherds and waggoners

synchronoptica

one year ago: Hotel California (1976) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: the depths of Wikipedia plus a hackers’ collective

three years ago: your daily demon: Alloces, Mobil Armoured Strike Kommand, more links to revisit, the death of John Lennon (1980) plus the third emblem of the Red Cross

four years ago: more links worth visiting

Tuesday 28 November 2023

the battle of versailles (11. 145)

Similar to the surprise coup of this other culture rafinรฉe, high stakes challenge from earlier in the same year, the historic fashion show held on this day in 1973 at the famous venue in order to raise funds for its restoration. Organised by the museum and government forum’s curator, the event pitted French designers, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Carin, Marc Bolen and others against Americans Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston and Oscar de la Renta before an invited audience that consisted of artists and celebrities like Andy Warhol, Princess Grace, Marie-Hรฉlรจne de Rothschild, Jane Birkin, Liza Minnelli and Josรฉphine Baker (the last two performing for their respective sides). The show was legendary (more here) and the mostly French spectators were stunned with the American designs and models, a new benchmark set for representation with eleven Black women on the catwalk and shifting the industry in a way that brought respect and legitimacy for the US contribution and the palace which had seen better days was rebuilt.

synchronoptica

one year ago: Christopher Isherwood’s I am a Camera plus Word of the Year: Gaslight

two years ago: the duet from Dirty DancingAdvent season plus some COVID comic-relief

three years ago: your daily demon: Furcas, Trump at the kiddie-table, assorted links to revisit plus the Great Bed of Ware

four years ago: a visit to a local museum plus a Thanksgiving pageant

five years ago: barely maps plus a proposed change to the UN Security Council

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 27 October 2023

the black gold tapestry (11. 079)

Via the always excellent Web Curios, we are directed to the outstanding hand embroidered sixty-seven metre (two hundred-twenty foot) chronology—in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry (see previously)—from artist Sandra Sawatzy that documents the saga of the discovery of petroleum products, all edged with dinosaurs, and its attendant societal and environmental change through the millennia to the present. Be sure to visit Sawatzy’s accompanying blog on their creative process, main characters in these global shifts and exhibitions.

Monday 16 October 2023

electric boots, a mohair suit (11. 061)

Vis-a-vis this expo coverage from Adobe that included this animated, chameleon dress called Project Primrose as well as a host of other prototype features previewed from the sandbox like a translator that automatically dubs and lip-syncs one’s speech in other languages and posable figures for generative tableaux, we quite enjoyed this look back to the mid-1960s at the dynamic fabrics of engineer, fashion model, wardrobe artist for Joan Baez, and e-textile pioneer Diana Dew. Her miniaturised power source was eventually acquired by the US military for further research applications. Much more from Weird Universe including an appraisal of one of Dew’s dressess on Antiques Roadshow at the links above.

 synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit plus the revival of Brigadoon

two years ago: St Gall, distilling writing down to its punctuation,  a mushroom atlas plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) plus more studies of the human face and emotional expression

four years ago: consequential pieces of code

five years ago: airfields from aboverestoring Nightwatch, John Paul II chosen as pope (1978) plus recruiting for jobs in the Iraqi government

Sunday 17 September 2023

7x7 (11. 007)

spiral town: AI artistry with geometric patterned medieval villages captivate the internet—via Waxy 

the fabric of civilisation: the fascinating history of sericulture—see previously here and here  

๐Ÿซ : an informal survey reveals men think about Ancient Rome daily, sometimes to the surprise of their partners 

magic screen: a look at the creative crew behind Pee-wee’s Playhouse 

lennon 2499: hunting down the artist’s famous wristwatch—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to check out there)  

hal mooney and his orchestra: ballet standards as lounge music  

everyday yลkai: AI generated Japanese folklore figures hiding in plain sight—see previously

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.

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.

synchronoptica

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

Friday 23 June 2023

8x8 (10. 828)

never change: a gallery of US high school annuals from the 70s and 80s—via Web Curios 

oceangate: executive piloting the submersible tourist vessel on its fateful descent has a familial connect to those who went down with the Titanic—more here  

mechanical turk: many of the human tasked to train AI are recursively outsourcing their work to AIs—see more, see also

reform club: the advent and eventual demise of Bellamy’s Refreshment Rooms that catered to Parliament’s schedule—see also—via Strange Company  

rocket lab: a visit to Norton Space Props, a junkyard full of salvage and surplus items from the Space Race 

scene together: the 70s craze of his and hers matching fashions—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

atoms for peace: a tour of the nuclear-powered cruise ship, the NS Savanna—see previously  

katakana: the vintage signage of shops and restaurants in Japan captured as digital fonts—also via Web Curios

synchronoptic 

one year ago: My Sharona (1979), Logan’s Run (1976) plus the Sterling Area (1931)

two years ago: sustenance from CO2 plus St John’s Eve

three years ago: assorted links to revisit, satisdiction plus another most favoured word, acnestis

Saturday 10 June 2023

8x8 (10. 799)

within the wok’s embrace, the dance begins, as secrets blend with savoury sins: Scott D Seligman asked ChatGPT for a pad thai recipe in the style of Emily Dickinson and got an epic 

dockhands: the latest line from Faith O’Hare is inspired by the workwear of the shipyards of the Cylde

hongmeng project: China’s space agency is placing a ring of telescopes in orbit around the Moon to explore the cosmic Dark Age just after the Big Bang  

take care now: inclusive Pride post by Cracker Barrel provokes conservative fury over the loss of this family-friendly bastion—see previously 

reference material: Ars Technica contributor Benj Edwards purchased a copy of the only encyclopaedia still in print  

supergranulation: Parker probe exploring the Sun offers science clues on the origin of solar wind 

blitz kids: a celebration of the fashion of Gary Kemp and Spandau Ballet—previously here and here

 expandart: B3ta community teaching AI how to think beyond the frame—see previously—via Waxy

Thursday 8 June 2023

9x9 (10. 794)

all star festival: the 1963 charity concert sponsored by the UN for refugee aid with headliners Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day and Louis Armstrong  

smoke from a distant fire: New York City’s air quality falls to the most hazardous in the world—see also  

progressive punishment: a speeding driver in the ร…land region gets a six-figure ticket  

bezold-brรผcke shift: the Sun shines green  

better living through chemistry: a glossary of manufactured terminology  

wopr: Nicolas Temese creates dioramas of miniature vintage computers—see previously  

espionage act: Trump summoned to the federal courthouse in Miami on charges of illegally retaining classified files  

cop 28: the warming weather cycle of El Niรฑo is upon us  

wall of sound: the logistics of touring that defies credulity

Thursday 25 May 2023

8x8 (10. 765)

simply the best: tributes pour in from around the world for the Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner—previously

fabric swatches meticulously arranged: piecing together the mystery of the dress diary of Missus Anne Sykes—via Nag of the Lake  

midnight train: routes of Europe’s overnighters—see previously—via Kottke  

pasteurised prepared cheese product: attempts at rehabilitating the impoverished state of American caseiculture  

cotton tree: Sierra Leone’s iconic landmark brought down by a heavy storm  

ะบะพะฝั†ะตะฟั‚ัƒะฐะปัŒะฝั‹ะน ะบะพะฝัะตั€ะฒะฐั‚ะธะทะผ: chief of Russian mercenary forces, retreating from Bakhmut, says that the offensive in Ukraine has backfired  

chintzy: a history of the calico, block printed textile

hollywood babylon: occultist and underground maker of experimental short films, Kenneth Anger has passed away—see previously

Saturday 22 April 2023

10x10 (10. 690)

shave and a hair-cut: a collection of personalised nineteenth century barber shop occupation mugs

culture wars, cola wars: of course that anti-woke beer is just a huge pandering grift  

architecture in music: the photography of Charles Brooks makes the interiors of instruments appear like megastructures  

million dollar homepage: tout your website for one second of the day—via Web Curios  

knit grotesk: a sewable font

yes, virginia, there is a santa claus: the adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret does not disappoint  

intuitive daily stitching: Karen Turner’s knitted visual diary infographics: compelling visualisations that changed public opinion and scientific consensus 

high life: directed by the Comitรฉ, Belgian customs officials crushes a shipment of two-thousand cans of Miller over its “Champagne of Beers” motto 

hairdressers: a BBC videography library on different aspects of the industry

Thursday 13 April 2023

9x9 (10. 671)

mod squad: celebrating the long life and career of Dame Mary Quant, Swinging Sixties fashion icon  

the cure at troy: a poetic reflection on the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement  

31 at jennie richee: outsider artist Henry Darger 

thug shaker central: self-promoting US Air National Guardsman identified as suspected source of Pentagon leaks 

liberica: the studier coffee bean that could save the industry 

ncc-1701: a meticulous ranging of all the Enterprises 

news at 11: an epic 19 80s bumper

rupublicans: images of GOP politicians in drag—see also  

hyperbole: more on the Googie style with this iconic Southern California motel