“The very mundanity of Kelly’s performance leads to my second, sadder conclusion about his presence at Pitchfork: That the formerly Chicago-now Brooklyn-based brains and businessmen behind the festival and the Webzine, … just don’t think that the music we embrace means anything at all in the real world. It’s just a cool, digitally stored backing track for your oh-so-hip and groovy lifestyle at home, and every bit the ideal tool in concert for marketing and money-making that we see at the festival’s larger corporate cousin, Lollapalooza.” Here’s Jim Derogatis’ insightful review of the Pitchfork fest in Chicago, and a critique of the mainstream music industry as well with the whole “irony thing” going on. Although irony can elicit personal and cultural emotions, it’s a double-edged sword. On some … Read More
Here is an interesting analysis of traffic patterns in the city by Tim Stonor of Space Syntax, a company that also does a lot of research on retail spaces.
Here is a playlist of National Geographic’s “Megacities” series. I was poking around to find some architecture documentaries and ran across these. I grouped them first by cities and then by themes that they made episodes around. It starts out in North America with New York, checks in on Las Vegas (yeah, it’s basically a city in a desert… totally a lot of work to create a modern city there), pops down to South America, and then crosses the Atlantic to look at some European cities (London and Paris), and then jumps over to Asia, starting with Mumbai and then checking in on Hong Kong and Taipai. I’ve also found a Jakarta documentary, but the resolution is so low it would be an embarrassing addition to the playlist.
I like architecture and urban planning, so you can see why I am intrigued by this lecture delivered from Gresham College (who has been all about talks open to the public since 1597 [!]) by Proffesor Thurley. This is totally one of those things you can put on and then walk away from, since there are only a few slides, and mostly a bunch of talking. It traces the history of worker housing in Victorian Britain that sprung from the industrial revolution, but you will notice there are quite a few U.S. parallels, especially their take on light wells in the slums–the deleterious absence of which (amongst a gigantic amount of other basic things) was so famously documented in New York City by Jacob Riis in How the … Read More
Urbanized posits that city dwellers must not only forge an innovative self-reliance, they must imagine higher forms of living. The radical fluctuations of growth and decline happening in modern cities necessitate infinite innovation. Urbanized is an extraordinarily ambitious attempt to make sense of a world flowing into cities. This visually arresting film, like Hustwit’s past work, elegantly conveys the omnipresence of design in daily life. Essential viewing. www.urbanizedfilm.com