Drainspotting: A Book About Japan’s Manhole Cover Subculture
Kenji Summers points to Drainspotting – a photography book of Japan’s custom manhole covers, found across nearly 95% of the country’s 1780 municipalities.The book features a curated selection of over 100 photographs, capturing the best and most visually compelling of Japan’s 6000 distinct manhole cover designs, part of a 20-year beautification program — orchestrated by what’s essentially Japan’s version of the WPA — aiming to make manholes reflect the uniqueness of each city — its mythology, its aesthetic sensibility, its legacy and essence.
ArtificialOwl.net is a photographic collection of the abandoned material objects and places in our world. The images are both hauntingly beautiful and a disturbing reminder of wasted possibilities. A wide variety of abandoned subjects are explored, including man-made homages like the Cadillac Ranch. Dormant buildings are shown that are slowly being reclaimed by nature, or being reclaimed as graffitti canvases. Surreal caches of mammoth airplanes and cargo ships also highlight the tail end of the industrial life-cycle. Well worth a browse to understand the magnitude of our throw-away culture.
I really like the photos …
In my ongoing sporadic eulogy of all things Flickr, please enjoy these two flickr tools:
compfight, a flickr search tool
flickrleech a tool for looking at a large number of flickr photos at once
Sleeveface, The Book
What a bloody good idea. Beautifully simple, and especially pertinent to those of us old enough to remember the joy of 12″ vinyl sleeve art.
For those of you not familiar – sleeveface is a popular online meme that encourages participants to obscure a portion of their body with a record sleeve so as to merge the image with reality. Thousands of people have tried their hand at the optical illusion and there are loads of great images filling up flickr pools. There is even a youtube video tutorial. (Of course!)
Now someone has had the brilliant (I wish I’d done that!) idea of making a 192 page book out of it. It comes out on the 17th of November (two days before my birthday, folks!).
Mad Men Illustrated
The subculture around Mad Men is continuing to grow. From fake Twitter characters to all the creatives in the office talking about it endlessly. Now someone has created a series of Saul Bass looking drawings of people and things from the show…
The Mini brand is all about fun and owner-specified (if not always owner-created) customization. Take a look around Flickr and you’ll see an amazing display of creativity. Mini fans are taking the brand ball and running with it.
Around 9am this morning, T-Mobile unveiled the first Android-powered “GPhone” to members of the press. See video of the event. The handset features a touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard. It boasts a three megapixel camera, one-click contextual search and a zoom-ready browser, as well as wi-fi and 3G capability. Support for YouTube is built-in. All users will have access to Google’s Android Market. The unit costs $179 for existing T-Mobile customers. Pre-orders will be shipped to users around October 22. T-Mobile expects to unveil the phone in 27 3G markets by mid-November.
Phillip Toledano’s America: The Gift Shop
A great virtual exhibition from my old colleague Phil Toledano. “After eight years of government that’s left a sizable chip on America’s shoulder, it’s no big surprise that George W-era memorabilia isn’t exactly flooding the market. Enter Cool Hunting favorite, photographer Phillip Toledano with “America: The Gift Shop.” A virtual exhibition with clever takes on the subjects of torture, special rendition and government secrecy, the book features enough cheek to make you gasp, giggle or groan (depending on your politics).”
(tags: philtoledano “phil toledano” art photography popculture america)
“Jordan’s large-scale color photographs portray the detritus of American consumption. Gaining access to some of the country’s largest industrial waste facilities, Jordan photographs the refuse of consumer culture (e.g., diodes, cell phone chargers, cigarette butts, circuit boards) on an immense scale. Spanning up to ten feet wide, Jordan’s prints are at once abstract and detailed.
The frequent use of distorted perspective, repeating forms, and disorienting scale help create the illusion of abstract landscapes. A pile of sawdust appears to be a massive mountain; an endless expanse of circuit boards looks like an aerial view of a dark city. In some instances, Jordan has located specific discarded objects at waste facilities and photographed them on location. In other instances, the artist has created elaborate sets, which are then photographed in his studio. Some images are constructed from multiple 8×10-inch negatives that the artist has digitally interlaced into a single image”.
Chris Jordan has exhibited in galleries across the US and even in Second Life.