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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-27 05:48:00
[Image: The cover for About Trees, edited by Katie Holten]. Artist Katie Holten has just published an interesting book called About Trees. It is essentially an edited compilation of texts about, yes, trees, but also about forests, landscapes of the anthropocene, unkempt wildness, altered ecosystems, and, more broadly speaking, the idea of nature itself. It ranges from short texts by Robert …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-17 19:40:00
I haven't done one of these in a long, long time... Here are twenty-seven new or recent books, ranging from true crime to science fiction, architecture to media theory, for your back-to-school or end-of-summer reading pleasure. * * *1) The Cartel by Don Winslow (Alfred A. Knopf) The Cartel is technically a sequel to The Power of the Dog, but …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-17 15:34:00
[Image: "FOGBAE.TWR4" by Mike Winkelmann, 07.06.15]. Since 2007, artist Mike Winkelmann has been producing an image a day, primarily using Cinema 4D, though all the specific tools differ year by year. As Winkelmann justifiably boasts on his site, he has been working on the series for 3,030 consecutive days?of course, he also humbly refers to his work as just "a variety …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-17 03:06:00
[Images: I've been enjoying a new Instagram feed called The Jefferson Grid, which describes itself as "everything that fits in a square mile." These images are just screen grabs from the feed, which is well worth scrolling back through in its entirety (and which will hopefully stick around for many more square-mile images to come].


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-14 15:53:00
Alec Earnest recently made an interesting documentary about a house in Los Angeles whose owner died, leaving behind a personal map collection so massive that, upon being acquisitioned by the city's public library, "it doubled the LAPL?s collection in a single day." When LAPL map librarian Glen Creason, interviewed for the film, first entered the house, his jaw dropped; "everywhere …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-11 21:33:00
[Image: Rendering of a possible "BaseTern" landscape by students Brett Harris, Andrew D'Arcy, and Heidi Petersen, via Landscape Architecture Magazine]. Not all the news coming out of Milwaukee involves misguided highway megaprojects or tax-funded crony capitalism?though there is that. For example, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker?confusing an earlier generation's urban mistakes with how a city is meant to function?has been plowing billions …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-11 17:09:00
[Image: "How The Burglar Gets Into Your House" (1903), via The Saint Paul Globe]. One unfortunate side-effect of the Greek financial crisis has been a rise in domestic burglaries. This has been inspired not only by a desperate response to bad economic times, but by the fact that many people have withdrawn their cash from banks and are now storing their …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-09 13:36:00
[Image: "Riggers install a lightning rod" atop the Empire State Building "in preparation for an investigation into lightning by scientists of the General Electric Company" (1947), via the Library of Congress]. This is hardly news, but I wanted to post about the use of artificial lightning as a navigational aid for subterranean military operations. This was reported at the time as …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-02 18:32:00
[Image: An otherwise unrelated shot of rebar used in road construction; via Wikipedia]. A quick news item from last month seems worth mentioning: "approximately 3,400 confiscated firearms" are being melted down and turned into rebar to be used for bridge and highway construction projects throughout the American Southwest. As Global Construction Review reported, "The weapons will be melted into steel reinforcing …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-02 18:16:00
[Image: Snow-making equipment via Wikipedia]. The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are something of a moonshot moment for artificial snow-making technology: the winter games will be held "in a place with no snow." That's right: "the 2022 Olympics will rely entirely on artificial snow." As a report released by the International Olympic Committee admits, "The Zhangjiakou and Yanqing Zones have minimal …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-02 16:08:00
[Image: Illustration by David McConochie, courtesy of The Art Market, via The Guardian]. Last month, The Economist reported on the widespread presence of radioactive tailings piles?waste rock left over from Soviet mining operations?in southern Kyrgyzstan. Many of the country's huge, unmonitored mountains of hazardous materials are currently leaching into the local water supply. In a particularly alarming detail, even if you …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-01 18:39:00
[Image: Horse skull via Wikimedia]. If you're looking to install a new sound system in your house, consider burying a horse skull in the floor. According to the Irish Archaeological Consultancy, the widespread discovery of "buried horse skulls within medieval and early modern clay floors" has led to the speculation that they might have been placed there for acoustic reasons?in other …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-08-01 16:10:00
[Image: Via the Pacific Cold War Patrol Museum]. Somewhat randomly?though I suppose I have a thing for antennas?I came across a blog post looking at the layout of Circularly Disposed Antenna Arrays. A Circularly Disposed Antenna Array, he explains, was "sometimes referred to as a Circularly Disposed Dipole Array (CDDA)" and was "used for radio direction finding. The military used these …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-07-31 02:01:00
People of Denver! If you are around next week, MCA Denver's legendary Mixed Taste series roars along with a new installment on Thursday, August 6, dedicated to "Burglary & Rabies." I'm proud to be representing the burglary part of the evening, discussing some behind-the-scenes tales and spatial research from my forthcoming book, A Burglar's Guide to the City, due out …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-07-30 17:08:00
[Image: Here's another image from the same French rare-book seller seen in an earlier post; this one comes from Thomas Alcock's Travels in Russia, Persia, Turkey and Greece, printed in 1831. The scene depicted here equally resembles some strange act of theatrical scenography?a geologic backdrop shaded to resemble urban space?and a horizon-spanning speculative megastructure by Étienne Louis-Boullée (previously)].


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BLDG BLOG 2015-07-30 16:44:00
[Image: Sewn geology; photo by Matthew Cox of Kit Up!]. Earlier this summer, packaging and apparel manufacturing firm ReadyOne Industries debuted a new line of products: "moldable camouflage kits that can be customized to mimic virtually any type of rock formation or similar type of terrain." The sewn geological forms seen here?in photos taken by Matthew Cox of Kit Up!?use a …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-07-30 16:14:00
[Image: A figure and his optical context pop up from the pages of a 17th-century treatise on perspective by Abraham Bosse, defending the ideas of Girard Desargues; taken from the website of a French rare-book seller, via John Overholt. For other interesting spatial book arts on BLDGBLOG, don't miss "The Emperor's Castle" or "Book of Space"].


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BLDG BLOG 2015-07-30 15:56:00
[Image: From Ways of Knowing by Daniel Stier, on display at the kulturreich gallery]. Photographer Daniel Stier has a new book out, and an accompanying exhibition on display at the kulturreich gallery, called Ways of Knowing. Skier's photos depict human subjects immersed in, or even at the mercy of, spatial instrumentation: strange devices conducting experiments that function at the scale of …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-07-30 14:48:00
[Image: "Magnetic Field" by Berenice Abbott, from The Science Pictures (1958-1961)]. An interesting new paper suggests that the ritual practice of burning parts of villages to the ground in southern Africa had an unanticipated side-effect: resetting the ground's magnetic data storage potential. As a University of Rochester press release explains, the "villages were cleansed by burning down huts and grain bins. …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-07-18 18:59:00
[Image: A sidewalk corner in Los Angeles, albeit not the one for sale; via Google Street View]. If you've been longing for a way to satisfy your inner Gordon Matta-Clark?the artist who, among many other things, once purchased an interstitial empire of "odd lots" throughout New York City, including the spaces between buildings and other "unusably small slivers of land sliced …


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