Sunday, September 24, 2006

Natural History

It's Sunday afternoon and I dont really know what to blog, so its back to the random folder.
These are pictures taken at the Museum of Natural History in New York, a few days after September 11 2001. Everything seemed quite dramatic these days, and even the animal displays seemed to aquire a metaphysical importance.
A deer scared by a pack of wolves. Escimoe life in the deep of winter. Somebody flying his carpet over Baghdad.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Ghost of Londons Past

It's London fashion week, and like every season there's a few outfits inspired by the late great Leigh Bowery.
This time it's a full collection, even if it's a small one, Mr Gareth Pugh does a fantastic job of channeling the post human Mr Bowery. Even though the outfits are fantabulous the checkerboard patern has been around the TopShops and the H&Ms for ages now, so we cannot really consider it a fashion statement, just a solution. Maybe it's time to check the calendar, or maybe it's time to head for Hollywood:
Most action/science fiction movies would look soooo much better costumed by Mr Pugh.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Apartamentos Fantasmas

This is an utterly fabulous never-used-and-abandoned beachside resort in Taiwan.
Once again I was browsing the MARK news, then happened upon this at the very cool Electro_Plankton blog. and also some interesting info in the comments. Now if only these pictures were in color...
If you use Google Earth, try this

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Identity Drama

You may have recently read about Second Life's recent security drama, as it even made cover story on CNN. Somebody hacked into the database and stole members identities blablabla. On my part of the drama, ever since I signed up at SL I've still to find a good name, starting with Andreas Habsburg (ugh) to Andreas Onlyone (sounded funny at first, now just pathetically pretentious). When you sign up they let you create your first name, but the second name has to be from a list of names that they provide, and they all invariably suck. I tried really hard to have them let me use my real name, talking to customer suppeort in the various Linden Corp offices etc but no avail. Anyway, as I've posted in the past, when you get an account (and a name) you also get to design yourself, so when I first got Habsburg, I kind of tried to make me look like me only better of course. When it was to switch to the Onlyone, I had to spend a good deal of time copying myself onto a new body: This was done by logging onto SL with the two separate accounts on two computers side by side and reading the body data on the 1st account and manually imputting on the second. It was definetly sinister copying your self. Then when the security drama happened (on September 11 no less) they had to reactivate all accounts. I log onto the Habsburg account and I am not myself anymore. Instead I see a young, boy-band cute boy with strange hair and naive smile, while getting a "failed to locate body part in database" message. How boring I think, I have re-do myself all over again, but anyway the Habsburg account is the secondary one so it's not really necesary. I turn to the other PC and og onto the "onlyone" only to get the same message but this time I look like a badly tanned and older and more middle-eastern guy with, umm, tits. very scary indeed, and I fire away help messages to the support team. After a while I log back on and I am finally myself with only the skin color to adjust, as I am now rather purple.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some Cities in Venice

Here's some of the imaginary cities presented at the Venice B, whose theme was indeed cities and society and something else.
The composite city made from projects by 20 young italian offices, in the Italian Pavilion at corderie. Each office did a part of this city, such as the cemetery by DOGMA office and this brigde by Menegati Nencini.This was in a way the most ambitious project in the biennale, with mixed results, as it ended up looking a little like Brasilia. Still it wholy embraced the notion of fantasy utopia, and we always like that. This was a COUNTRY as a ROOM and a CITY at the same time. There were many doors, and you entered through a hyper-real mirror and fluorecent light corridor. The room took the shape of Belgium, a country that can easily be described as a city or a fuzzy border between countries with more defined identities.
This was a utopia in the main pavilion that is Italia but not about Italy. Looks like a video game city, but I'm just imagining this, since in all the Biennale I didnt see a single mention of video games. And to think that a major part of the kids growing up today spent 1/3 of their time in cities inside video games like Half Life and Grand Theft Auto. Just goes to show that the next biennale should be curated by someone MUCH younger.
This is a city inside a aquarium size snow globe in the Russian Pav. You turn the handle and some romantic nostalgic music plays and snow erupts inside the post-industrial whateverville.
Magic Mountain "city" inside the curious Danish Pavilion, which pretented to look like a chinese pavilion when in fact it looked like a pavilion by the now defunct Danish firm Plot, which now is BIG and JDS.

And finally two cities from the reference wall in the Italian pavilion that is about Italy.
Aldo Rossi's Citta Analoga, 1976

and Superstudio's 1971 Prima Citta from "12 Ideal Cities".

Monday, September 11, 2006

Venice Super Post

If you've already visited the Venice Superblog, you probably know too much. No intention to describe the Venice Biennial here, just to post some nice things I saw along the way, like this photo as a representation of Los Angeles, in the Arsenale. As has been written all over the place, this was not the most fascinating exhibition, as the main part consisted of facts prettily illustrated to look a bit like contemporary art, a bit like science, a bit like wacky corporate info and a whole lot like Koolhaas' WIRED issue of a couple years ago. I'm more interested in proposals than facts so I'll concentrate more on the pavilions that didn't take the main theme too seriously.

First off the ultra fabulous and supremely weird Japanese pavilion which featured the work and inspirations of architect Terunobu Fujimori. Not only is his work , umm, particular, but what can I say about carving an architectural model AND it's base out of a single tree trunk? The only place I'd seen his work in the past was of course Casa Vogue...
The Austrian Pavilion featured an exhibitit called Rock over Barock (!) and featured 2 Hans Hollein and one Frederic Kiesler project from the 60's and some contemporary works inspired by these. Holleins' Superbuilding is propably the single most inspiring image in the biennale... The Korean Pavilion featured a show on Housing: how it gets chosen, built, placed in the city etc. Apparently housing gets built by catalogues; you draw the building, a pamphlet gets published, people choose and buy from the catalogue and from 1-1 mock ups, and the thing gets built if it sells well enough. Also apparently they are running out of "last homes" or graves, and they have to invent new techniques to properly bury their own. The French pavilion featured Daniel Buren's fantastic striped cylinders on the facade, something I seem to have subconciously reffered to in the Cloud House, though I'd never actually seen them. Inside the pavilion had been turned into a squat with 20 young architects DJs artists bla bla living and rotating for the duration of the biennale. The idea is great and fresh etc but I found the scaffolding thing kind of ugly and borng and even passe, if I may say so. Other things to check out are the Cypriot participation which featured projects about the "green line", and I particularly liked this inhabitable frame that could be transfered and transformed into many differered buildings. The idea is not new but the result was super interesting. The Dutch pavilion featured a historical exhibition of utopian projects for cities, like Constants' bridges etc. Not a challenging or attention grabbing show but definetly full of great encyclopedic content, and the set-up was hip as usual. Finally the Americal pavilion focused on the destruction from Hurricane Katrina, and projects that propose solutions for the flood striken area.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Havent been posting because I'm in Venice for the Architecture Biennale. In the meantime check out the VeniceSuperBlog by the lovely people at MOMA.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Texture Map Drama

This past weekend I bought a little piece of land in Solbim, on the mainland of Second Life (if you want to visit, the coordinates are 128, 128, 0) . The plot is between two houses, so just enough room to try out the building tools and make a little demo house for Angelo and me. So naturally I went for inverted leopard rhomboids with arrow graffiti interiors, just as a base for building on. The next door neighbors came over, and I thought I was happy to meet them, instead I got : "whats this - this is ugly- can u please delete it? - now, yuk yuk" etc etc. Apparently they both hated the Leopard, thought it vomitrocious, and one of them even wanted to get into a fight. The neightbor to the east put up a wall of forest so as to not see my house, and the one on the side demolished his house and put the plot up for sale. So much for feeling at home on the internet. All this was semi fun of course, but it brings us to the real Carrie Bradshaw: Is a Leopard wall less fitting for a building than a exposed concrete wall, and arent they all just texture maps? Can we consider one material to be authentic and correct and another one kitch or just wrong? When are they going to invent photoprint concrete so everything can be texturemapped everywhere and nothing be tha same again?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Leopard Friday

Been thinking about Leopard Buildings recently, ever since the Polygon Housing project, and today I was browsing the Diane Pernet blog, and I saw these super cute photos of The Leopard Cube. The Leopard Cube by Konst2 is a an exhibition space at Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm. Who would have thought it was so simple to find and alternative to the white cube.
Also available the Leopard Cube wallpaper by Konst2