Making the Geologic Now is an online book in the form of a Zuihitsu, in which short chapters that are part science, part interview, part engineering, part art, part culture, and part whimsy mingle with each other to reflect upon the Anthropocene. It can be browsed on the web, downloaded for a price you choose (including free), or bought as a hardcopy.
Interview with WOHA – a Singapore-based architectural practice: "We aim at merging the megacity project from the past with the idea of a garden city for the future. We want our cities to be cozy, comfortable, natural, and domestic. Our ideal is to create a comfortable garden suburb experience and then replicate it vertically through a megastructure for everyone to enjoy... The beliefs that man is separate from nature and cities are separate from countryside are obsolete. In the Anthropocene era, the whole world is a managed landscape. The only way to preserve nature is to integrate it into our built environment." (via) [more inside]
During the early years of the nineteenth century, as nations in the Americas gained and asserted their independence, pictorial representations of the landscape forged visions of the whole hemisphere. Landscape imagery of the period shows how we are connected by a shared pan-American history, but also underscores the differences between our respective national identities based on our relationships to the land.Picturing the Americas features over 100 landscape paintings from Tierra del Fuego to the High Arctic. You can explore the site by theme, by timeline, by artist, and by map.
Baldwin is trying to convey in one image both his sense of space and height and his view of the ground. The execution is not entirely successful. Nevertheless, the attempt is significant. In combining phenomenological and visual sensations, Baldwin is responding to the extraordinary new conditions of flight.Lily Ford on how balloon flight transformed out idea of landscape. Part 2.
". . .the airplane seat is sort of a planetarium for the Earth,” she says. “It’s a great way to inspire people to learn about the sciences.”Flyover Country is a free app that correlates geo/paleo databases, maps, and other data sources with your phone's GPS to provide information and identification about the landscape below as you fly over it - no wi-fi necessary. [more inside]
Do you feel like you need more culture in your life? Well, then you should head down to The Tiny Gallery on Twitter! Brought to you by emoji, ASCII, and @deer_ful. [more inside]
Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin has been documenting the Los Angeles urban landscape for over a decade. His latest project, The Los Angeles Recordings, examines the physical structure of neighborhoods and how they are molded and reconfigured by outside elements (demographics, gentrification, the passage of time.) “The Los Angeles Recordings is a project I’ve been working on in some way, shape, or form for over a decade. Very soon after getting into photography, I recognized the medium as a way I could show others the city as I viewed it. LA’s people, landscape, and topography exist in a state of constant change that is, in my opinion, rarely portrayed from street level." [h/t] [more inside]
Want to get an idea whether it'll be worth hauling your kit out to your favourite spot to capture a magnificent sunset? Consult the sunset forecast at SunsetWX. Forecast valid in continental US and adjoining fringes only. And SunCalc will let you know exactly where the sun will cross the horizon from your vantage point. [more inside]
You were taught in school that the rain forest is like the lungs of our planet.
It’s not that simple.
It’s not that simple.
In 1987, guitarist Paul Speer and pianist David Lanz teamed up with videographer Jan Nickman to create a video album inspired by the Southwest of the United States. Desert Vision is instrumental music that feels influenced by Vangelis, Trevor Jones, and Pat Metheney coupled with video that soars dramatically across the landscape or introspectively ponders nature from the ground. Eagle's Path Seguaro Desert Rain Sculptures Canyon Lands Carlsbad White Sands Stormlight Tawtoma [audio only]
Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900) - "In 1840, Aivazovsky traveled to Rome, where he became friendly with Nikolai Gogol. He also received high praise from the Roman critics, newspapers, and even Pope Gregory XVI. The pope purchased Aivazovsky's 'Chaos' and hung it in the Vatican... [more inside]
Atop the twin spires of the Andromeda and Milky Way Galaxies the eerie call-and-response of bagpipe players echoed across the valley. I watched four siblings race one another up to the top of the Multiverse's spire as their mother, standing at the base, tried to maneuver a cell phone around the fifth child strapped to her chest.-The Duke, the Landscape Architect and the World's Most Ambitious Attempt to Bring the Cosmos to Earth by Alina Simone is an article about the Crawick Multiverse in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and its designer, landscape architect Charles Jencks. The garden is designed to represent modern cosmological theories.
We've seen some warped art from Google Earth's 3D rendering in Postcards from Google Earth (previously, twice), but what if you look for the best angles and enhance them? Your Earth Transforms is one such project, by Meike Nixdorf, with additional enhancements by Grit Hackenberg, who have previously worked together on the documentary video for a prior photography project by Meike, In the Orbit of El Teide. (Via Wired)
Robert Macfarlane, in The Guardian: In music, literature, art, film and photography, as well as in new and hybrid forms and media, the English eerie is on the rise. A loose but substantial body of work is emerging that explores the English landscape in terms of its anomalies rather than its continuities, that is sceptical of comfortable notions of “dwelling” and “belonging”, and of the packagings of the past as “heritage”, and that locates itself within a spectred rather than a sceptred isle. Such concerns are not new, but there is a distinctive intensity and variety to their contemporary address. This eerie counter-culture – this occulture – is drawing in experimental film-makers, folk singers, folklorists, academics, avant-garde antiquaries, landscape historians, utopians, collectives, mainstreamers and Arch-Droods alike, in a magnificent mash-up of hauntology, geological sentience and political activism. The hedgerows, fields, ruins, hills and saltings of England have been set seething. [more inside]
Robert Macfarlane says we are losing the best descriptive words for our landscape. This matters, he says, "because language deficit leads to attention deficit. As we deplete our ability to denote and figure particular aspects of our places, so our competence for understanding and imagining possible relationships with non-human nature is correspondingly depleted. To quote the American farmer and essayist Wendell Berry – a man who in my experience speaks the crash-tested truth – “people exploit what they have merely concluded to be of value, but they defend what they love, and to defend what we love we need a particularising language, for we love what we particularly know.”"
Parisians claim that in Paris, one is never more than 400 yards away from a Metro station. In Los Angeles, I am equally certain that one is always within 400 yards of a palm tree. Scores of streets are lined with them; they are ubiquitous in domestic and public gardens; they rise from hilltops; they tower above cemeteries; they front museums, movie studios, hotels, hospitals, municipal buildings, modest apartments, and lavish villas; they are clustered around swimming pools; they dominate the skyline — they are everywhere, and have never been more popular. The city’s 200-year love affair with palms has never ceased, and rather than waning, the affair is waxing. From the first palms planted by Spanish padres to the city of Beverly Hills, which recently, in an act of cosmetic alteration, created a palm-lined, palm-bisected thoroughfare on upscale Rodeo Drive, the palm has been the tree of choice for Angelenos. [more inside]
Taking photos from an airplane window seat usually results in banal or just bad (hazy, blurry) pictures. Here are some remarkable exceptions to that rule (in French with credits and links).
Sometimes, famous landmarks lose some of their draw when put in context, as seen in this Imgur gallery, which was expanded and modified slightly by Bored Panda. For more physical context, there are Google earth links below the break. [more inside]
Can you name a firth in Scotland where the dolphins have individual names? The destination of Haiti's Kita Nago parade? A Sami Village in Lapland where tourists go to see the Northern Lights? A former "city of pirates" on the Adriatic Coast? Every weekday, listeners of PRI's international-news radio show The World are treated to the serendipity of a brief journey to a distant point on the globe. It's part of the daily GeoQuiz, a challenging geographical trivia game enhanced with ambient audio, imagery, mapping, and revealing details of history and landscape. You can play along via Twitter or subscribe to the podcast - either way, this 5 minute vacation will make you a little bit smarter about this incredible planet.
With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
Rubix by University of Greenwich student Chris Kelly - an Escher-like surrealist film which mixes and rotates urban landscapes like a Rubik's Cube, created for his thesis "Time and Relative Dimensions in Space: The Possibilities of Utilising Virtual[ly Impossible] Environments in Architecture." (via)
A couple of years ago developers of Johnathan Blow's upcoming video game "The Witness" tapped landscape architect David Fletcher (Fletcher Studio) and architect Deanna VanBuren (FORUM Design Studio) "to help synthesize what was, at the time, a remote, anonymous island setting without much context . . . Witness required the landscape architects to reverse engineer a site from ruins to birth." (Previously)
Savagery - Arcadia - Consummation - Destruction - Desolation. The five stages of The Course of Empire, a fascinating quintet of paintings by 19th century artist and Hudson River School pioneer Thomas Cole. In it, an imaginary settlement by the sea becomes the stage for all the dreams and nightmares of civilized life, a rural woodland grown in time into a glorious metropolis... only to be ransacked by corruption, war, and a terrible storm, at last reduced to a forgotten ruin. At times deceptively simple, each landscape teems with references to cultural and philosophical markers that dominated the era's debate about the future of America. Interactive analysis of the series on a zoomable canvas is available via the excellent Explore Thomas Cole project, which also offers a guided tour and complete gallery of the dozens of other richly detailed and beautifully luminous works by this master of American landscape art.
Giger's Necronomicon (yt) (nsfw) - a 1976 documentary about H.R. Giger with music by Joel Vandroogenbroeck of the Brainticket.
Wiki Loves Monuments: "World's largest photo contest" seeks to create a visual record of world monuments and historic sites on the Wikimedia Commons. The USA version focuses on sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Canadian version here. If you don't see your country among the 30 participating so far, you can volunteer!
Christoffer Relander creates multiple-exposure portrait photographs, crossing humans and nature to haunting effect.
"With respect to landscape design, art, and the quality of spectacle, the picturesque 1,000 acres of Gibbs Farm afford one of the most intriguing, tastefully presented, and well-thought-out private collections of site-specific sculpture of the modern era." - Sculpture Magazine [more inside]
Many visitors to Boston assume that the Back Bay neighborhood is one of the city's oldest. It's actually one of the newest, reclaimed from Charles River marshland at the end of the 19th Century. Before the completion of this project, Beacon Street to Brookline was the top of a tidal dam. Today's Boston Proper is actually mostly fill: in 1630, Boston was 783 acres of land. By 1901, it was 1,904 acres. Filling in Back Bay was an enormous project, but some valuable lessons were learned decades earlier while filling in the South End.
"I'd like my work to be found in a skip, in Southgate or somewhere, in forty years' time". Nick Papadimitriou walks and looks and writes and thinks, as he ventures around London and its fringes. He eschews the term 'psychogeography', preferring the notion of 'deep topography' to describe what he does. The London Perambulator, a short documentary about his work, was released in 2009 and features Will Self, Iain Sinclair, and Russell Brand talking about his impact on their work. His first book, Scarp, will be released by Sceptre this summer.
"The U.S. Geological Survey has just released more than 161,000 digitally scanned historical maps spanning in excess of 130 years and covering the lower 48 states. This Historical Topographic Map Collection provides a comprehensive repository of the landscape of our Nation..."
The Titanic Guide to New York City. An exploration of traces of the disaster, revealing history still written on the landscape.
"This monster of a land, this mightiest of nations, this spawn of the future, turns out to be the macrocosm of microcosm me." ~ John Steinbeck
Language of the Land: Journeys into Literary America: The inspiration for this exhibition was the Library of Congress's collection of literary maps--maps that acknowledge the contributions of authors to a specific state or region as well as those that depict the geographical locations in works of fiction or fantasy. Throughout the exhibition, these colorful and varied maps reflect the contributions of authors to specific states or regions and locate their imagined people and places. Through these maps, authors' words, images, and characters, Language of the Land presents a tapestry of the impressions that endure in our collective imagination of the American land and its culture. [more inside]
Earth in perspective:
- Stratocam takes the most beautiful landscape satellite photographs from Google Maps, as voted on by visitors, and switches them every few seconds, with a fullscreen mode.
- ChronoZoom is an interactive, zoomable HTML5 timeline of the entire history of the universe, from the Big Bang to Homo Sapiens, with embedded video and lectures.
Reddit's r/EarthPorn is the largest of the SFW Porn Network, dedicated to large, hi-res photos. [more inside]
If you think that airbrushed sci-fi landscapes like like this have been rendered obsolete by time-saving computer graphics, let Brandon McConnell prove otherwise. You can watch him make similar art in five minutes with a few cans of spray paint, magazines and the lid for a pot. Don't have enough time for that? How about a one minute sci-fi landscape? OK, let's go faster: here's a 45 second painting, and faster yet: a 39 second painting. But it's not all pyramids and planets, there are also quickly created nature scenes, and tutorial clips, within the collection of 184 videos uploaded to YouTube.
The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months near the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, where the sun remains visible at the local midnight. This short, time lapse film was shot in June 2011 over 17 days and incorporates 38,000 images. The photographer/videographer traveled over 2,900 miles throughout Iceland. Midnight Sun (SL-vimeo, via) [more inside]
Beautiful motion controlled time lapse video of landscapes in Arizona and Utah by Dustin Farrell.
Over the past 50 years, the small coastal plain (campo), some 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Almería, has been intensively developed for agriculture. An estimated 20,000 hecatres of extra-early market produce is grown in greenhouses in the Campo de Dalías, and it accounts for over $1.5 billion in economic activity. [more inside]
In addition to being a five term US senator, Barry Goldwater was an accomplished photographer, particularly of people and landscapes of the American West. [more inside]
A preliminary atlas of gizmo landscapes. A comprehensive look at the environments necessitated by American gizmos, as exemplified by a single iPhone in Brooklyn.
Jo Guldi writes a fascinating entry about social engineering and geography in the 1970's. "The geographers located answers in American zones of isolation and hopelessness. Bill Bunge organized his fellow professors into the Detroit Geographical Expedition, leading frequent trips to document the slums of Detroit and later Toronto. Their findings were equally provocative. In 1968, the Society published a map entitled “Where Commuters Run Over Black Children on the Pointes-Downtown Track.” Life and death, they argued, were not merely the commodities available to any hard-working American, but hung upon the thread of a special kind of privilege, the privilege of safe territory." Guldi is a historian at the Harvard Society of Fellows. [more inside]
"I am looking for places that are good for hiding, where you feel secure and safe, where you can disappear or return home. Where you can be invisible."
Paprika Mars and other Strange Worlds by Matthew Albanese.
Influential landscape architect Lawrence Halprin has died at the age of 93. "He was the single most influential landscape architect of the postwar years," said Charles Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation. "He redefined the profession's role in cities." Noted projects include The Sea Ranch a 5,000-acre residential development on the coast of Sonoma county in northern California; Ghirardelli Square, the first major adaptive re-use project in the United States, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C; and a new trail from which to experience Yosemite Falls. [more inside]
Great photographers: Clark Little (surf photography), Nick Brandt (mostly African wildlife), John Hyde (mostly wildlife and Alaska), Veronika Pinke (landscapes), Dale Allman (miscellaneous; particularly beautiful are his Australian cityscapes and the HDR/DRI photos), Ansel Adams (the undisputed master of nature photography who died in 1984; famous quotes: "You don't take a photograph, you make it.", "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words. "), Michel Rajkovic (mostly marine landscape, exclusively in black and white). And again, as a tribute to a gifted artist who died far too early, the work of Bobby Model (adventure photographer). Last but not least: Onexposure, probably the biggest collection of quality photography on the net.
The Georgia Guidestones - Monumental Instructions for the Post-Apocalypse.
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