Right now, I am not on board with this whole Dubai thang. If Dubai wants to have any credibility with me it will greenlight this. As their submission to the Thyssenkrupp Elevator Architecture Award (rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?), VisionDivision submitted a design for a gigantic animatronic eunuch storyteller to be placed in Zaabeel Park in Dubai. That’s right: a giant animatronic eunuch storyteller.
You had me at giant animatronic eunuch.
The idea is that the statue represents al Hakawati, an ancient Arabic storyteller. It’s arms and head move as it recites ancient Arabic stories that are broadcast through speakers that are placed throughout the park. The proposal calls for a children’s library in the base and numerous other rooms throughout the body of the sculpture including a gold room, a crystal cavern, a green room and a room full of fish tanks. Take away the children’s library and you got one helluva strip club there.
The only question is, how could this NOT win!? Look, if it doesn’t, I invite the VisionDivision guys to set this up on my front lawn. No charge. Only instead of ancient Arabic stories it will make it recite crazy non-sequitur jibberish. Or Henry Rollins spoken word stuff. Or how about if it just shouts, “Hi, neighbor!!” every three minutes? Oh, the fun I could have…
I find this both exciting and inspirational. I remember hearing about plans to take a portion of the elevated train system in NYC and turn it into a park a few years ago but I wrote it off as just being a beautiful pipe dream that would never come to fruition. I have never been more glad to be wrong.
The High Line was built in between 1929 and 1934 on Manhattan’s West side. The High Line went right through the middle of city blocks so that freight trains (it could support 2, fully loaded) could roll right in to warehouses and factories to pick up and drop off goods. This alleviated any interference with street traffic that was starting to become a problem in the bustling city. By the 50’s, trucking began replacing the railway and, after some demolition in the 60’s, it finally stopped seeing any use in 1980.
To make a long story short, advocates spoke, protection of the abandoned railway was granted and funding was raised. A design competition was held and architects were chosen. And now, it is physically happening. The first section of the High Line (Gansevoort Street to 20th Street) is projected to open in the Spring of 2009. That is almost now, people!
Here is a great video kind of showing what it will be:
Here is the Friends of the High Line blog that has some great info and updates.
Check out this awesome poster from El Jefe. It is a beautiful two-color silkscreen, hand pulled, with an addition of 100. Did I buy one? Damn straight. There is also one that is red instead of green with a smaller edition.
Yes! Wolfdog over at Metafilter just added a great post on two transistor radio collections. Then, in the comments, Slack-a-gogo sweetened the pot with two more links. This can definitely be a time waster. Someone tell me how it turns out ’cause I gots work to do, durn it. Click at your own risk:
Dutch artist Bethany de Forest creates her art by first building tiny models and dioramas. She then takes pinhole photographs of the models, capturing the look and feel of a truly imaginary world. The models she creates are meticulously detailed and are made with such materials as sugar cubes, twigs, cotton balls, fruits and vegetables, and meats. She also frequently uses mirrors to enhance the small spaces she creates. To hide the camera from the mirrors, she custom builds most of the cameras for each shot so, that when a shot is taken with a mirror directly in front of the camera, the cameras blend right into the scene.
Thanks to Joe Barr (also a pinhole photographer) for sending me this about three years ago.
This is my new favorite site. it is called The Vanishing Point. It is a website all about exploring the man-made structures that are buried beneath our feet and abandoned like old power plants and abandoned mines. I have always wanted to be an urban cave explorer. I find the huge abandoned spaces filled with discarded heavy machinery fascinating. The site gives some great history of the places they explore as well as some great photographs. Sometimes the writing is a bit forced but the rest of the site makes up for it.
Well worth exploring. Pun intended.
Photography + technology = *Drool*
This is a great video (almost an hour long, be warned) of an interview with Professor Marc Levoy. Man, I want to take a class with him! He is the part of the Computer Graphics Laboratory at Stanford and he gets to work around some amazing imaging technology. (I also like him because of his e-mail listing on this page.) In the video he talks about computational photography; photographs that cannot exist without the help of a computer including images that can have the focus and depth of field changed after the photo is recorded.
This is a long video and, if you can get through the sometimes off-point questions (in my opinion) from Robert Scobble and Thomas Hawk (why are you talking about your 5-D!?!), this is a super video with wonderful information presented by a man who seems to really get a kick out of the work he is doing. What he says about Ansel Adams is 100% right on the money. (You will just have to watch it to find out!) (The snark on Robert and Thomas aside, I thank those guys for doing it and posting it.)
At one point Levoy pulls this huge book off of a shelf that contains various papers that were written for the Siggraph conference that I would love to sift through. If anyone has a copy, I would love to get it from you! I wantitIwantitIwantit!!!