A little Joy (Division)
January 2, 2020 11:33 PM   Subscribe

I was just tooling around looking for a qgis function and found Maps Inspired by Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures

A little slice of Joy amidst the terror of the early 20's.

Link has a full QGIS and R workflow to roll your own.
posted by unearthed (19 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't understand all the tech behind it but this is really cool. Thanks!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:06 AM on January 3


Do the maps say anything about the songs? Would you be able to tell one Joy Division song from another, or a Joy Division song from a Robert Fripp song, just by looking at the maps? Could I run it backwards and create a song from a map?
posted by pracowity at 3:02 AM on January 3


The songs have no relation to the maps. As the site explains, the cover to Unknown Pleasures is a visualization of some astronomical data. On the above webpage, Travis White has written some code to convert elevation data of real terrain into a visualization that looks very much like the aforementioned album cover. It has nothing to do with the songs.
posted by timdiggerm at 5:24 AM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Scrolling that page brings many of them to life. (for my screen resolution anyhow)
posted by filtergik at 5:29 AM on January 3


The songs have no relation to the maps.

Ah, hell. I thought they were making visualizations of the songs as terrain.
posted by pracowity at 6:03 AM on January 3


Thanks for the post. I am excited to try this! I hope folks here add to this thread as they get results, even if it is weeks or months out!
posted by drowsy at 7:05 AM on January 3


In the notes, the author pointed to an ESRI/ArcGIS Pro solution as well. I plan use this as an opportunity to get more QGIS experience, but it is nice to be able to try this with $DAYJOB software.
posted by drowsy at 7:10 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I've done this with Python feeding a pen plotter. It's fun, for a bit anyway.

Thing is, the original CP 1919 plot isn't describing terrain. It was a convenient way to describe on paper the regular clicks received from the pulsar. Must've been a pain to trace by hand compared to linking to audio [WAV; clicky AF].
posted by scruss at 7:31 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


(Additionally, I've always meant to laser-cut the pulsar transmissions onto thin black acrylic and stack them into a tangible object, but that would be expensive and mean much mucking about with wav files. Also, fingerprints on piano-black acrylic …)
posted by scruss at 7:36 AM on January 3


As the site explains, the cover to Unknown Pleasures is a visualization of some astronomical data.

It's also one of the screens in the original Alien movie, which came out the same year. This isn't relevant to the post, i just think it's a neat fact.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:44 AM on January 3 [5 favorites]


FirstMateKate, I am a huge nerd for both that album cover and that movie and never knew that fact, wow! (After some Googling, I found this screenshot from Alien)
posted by gwint at 8:16 AM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Ha. Last time we were in northern Michigan my wife bought a shirt with an Unknown Pleasures-style transect map of the Upper Peninsula. It doesn’t look anything other than abstract until you take a second glance, then the UP pops out like one of those Magic Eye images...
posted by caution live frogs at 9:21 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I have this tshirt (there's also an Oregon version) from a local designer, and I absolutely love it; it's always fun when someone gets the reference.
posted by epersonae at 9:40 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Unknown Potholes is my current favorite t-shirt.
posted by umbú at 10:23 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I have this shirt with the cover altered to resemble a kebab rotisserie and the words döner kebab and unknown pleasures.

Last time I wore it, I learned a lot of people either don't know what döner kebab is or don't know the album cover.
posted by smelendez at 11:11 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Wait, there’s a band!? I thought it was a made up thing like Thrasher that the kids wore!



I kid, I kid. One of my all time favorite albums.
posted by misterpatrick at 12:35 PM on January 3


Went to Capetown a few years back (I highly recommend a visit) and brought this t-shirt back. That's a very recognizable local landmark btw.
posted by evilDoug at 9:10 PM on January 3


I have this t-shirt, which people have mistaken for the standard Joy Division t-shirt at first glance. Which is ok with me too.
posted by randomonium at 3:58 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Ah, this is the perfect only opportunity for me to show off the t-shirt design I made for Pilchuck Glass School last year! (The picture is a pair of jacks, an important glassblowing tool)
posted by moonmilk at 7:26 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


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