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Stark war memorials of Yugoslavia
02.17.2017
11:04 am
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The Stone Flower, a structure known as a “spomenik” located in Jasenovac, Croatia. Built in 1966, it commemorates the thousands of victims who were executed during World War II at the Jasenovac forced labor and extermination camp which operated on this very location by the river Sava.

To be honest, there is about a zero percent chance that I will ever travel to any of the countries of the former Soviet Union. Which is a shame since I really, really love vodka. However, if I did ever venture to that part of the world I would make it a point to attempt to see at least a few of the haunting sculptures or “spomeniks” that were erected all over what was formerly called Yugoslavia. These stone architectural marvels are meant to serve as grim reminders of those who fought and died in various military events that took place during significant battles, involving among other things resistance operations meant to repel the Ottoman Empire in the 1800s.

Most of the structures were built in the late 60s. One of the most striking is the Monument to the Revolution which is located in Podgarić, Berek. The futuristic-looking sculpture was built by Croatian sculptor Dušan Džamonja and still stands as a memorial to the citizens of Moslavina who died while resisting the German forces during WWII. Others appear to be channeling the architectural design directly from 1976 and the film Logan’s Run—which is perhaps yet another reason I find them so compelling to look at. 

While they are quite beautiful to behold, it’s critical to understand the meaning behind the monuments that serve as a reminder of time much more daunting than what we are being faced with right now. As well as the fact that those who do not remember the past—specifically the numerous historical examples in Yugoslavia that saw the people adapt to authoritarian regimes—will likely allow such events to repeat themselves. Many of the images of notable spomeniks in this post were taken by famed Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers and are the featured in his 2005 book, Spomenik. If you’re interested in learning more about the history behind the spomeniks, I would recommend spending some time at the extensively detailed online resource, the Spomenik Database.
 

A set of sculptures that stand in Bubanj Memorial Park built by Petar Kristic. Located on a hill in Niš, it marks the location where more than ten thousand Serbian people were systematically executed by German forces.
 

“Bulgaria’s UFO,” the Buzludzha monument. Designed by Georgi Stoilov, the monument officially opened in 1981 on the top of Mount Buzludzha which was also the infamous site of the last stand between Bulgarian rebels and the Ottoman Empire in 1868.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.17.2017
11:04 am
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Territorial Pissing: The 19th century public urinals of Paris
02.10.2017
09:14 am
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A man entering a public urinal or ‘pissoir’ at Place Saint Germain l’Auxerrois, Paris, 1875.
 
The photos in this post were taken by one of the most notable and gifted photographers of the nineteenth century, Charles Marville. So revered was Marville in his native France that he was chosen by the city of Paris to document the changing city, especially landmarks that were built by Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann who had been tasked with the job of giving Paris a makeover of sorts. According to details found in Haussmann’s biography, he was also responsible for the introduction of new and improved water supply and drainage for the overcrowded city in an effort to remove “foul odors” from the streets. Which brings me back to Marville’s fascinating photos of public urinals—or as they were called during this time period pissiors—that were located all around Paris during the late 1800s and well into the turn-of-the-century.

The pissoirs were conceived in 1834 by Claude-Philibert Barthelot, Comte de Rambuteau—a French official who pioneered and implemented improvements to the existing sewer system in Paris. Barthelot was convinced that the poor, unhealthy conditions of the streets were directly correlated to a massive cholera outbreak in 1832. However, it would be Haussmann that would be instrumental in helping install pissoirs of varying styles and sizes all around Paris, which helped confine the stench of urine that before their arrival was overwhelming the city. Thanks to Marville’s camera lens, this transformative time in Paris was beautifully chronicled in his photographs.

Most of the pissoirs that Marville photographed are quite beautiful despite their lowly utilitarian purpose, while others are not much more than a slab of carved concrete for Parisian men to relieve themselves on instead of a wall. At one time approximately 1,200 pissoirs stood around Paris and according to some the more private varieties were also used during WWII as places to discuss private matters without worrying if a Nazi was eavesdropping on you (or perhaps this was just what the men who frequented them told their wives?) By the time the 60s arrived, the city of lights had begun the process of removing its pissoirs, and only one still stands in the city on Boulevard Arago near the intersection of Rue de la Santé. Photos of Paris’ elegant pissoirs follow.
 

Boulevard Sébastopol 1875.
 

A large, elegant pissoir located at Champs-Élysées 1874.
 
More period pissoirs of Paris after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.10.2017
09:14 am
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Complete your LEGO Women’s March with pink Pussyhats!
02.09.2017
07:53 am
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Okay, these are downright sweet. I love them. Sadly, the Pussyhats for your LEGO figurines are not available to purchase but can be made with a 3D printer. That’s how these LEGO-like hats and signs were created. 

From Thingiverse:

This LEGO® minifig compatible Pussyhat celebrates the millions that joined the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and around the world on January 21, 2017. “The Pussyhat Project is a movement, not just a moment.” Print a Pussyhat and create a Women’s March minifig to display as a reminder of the fight for women’s rights and equality.

There are 2 version of the Pussyhat model, v1 requires supports but is a better fit while v2 requires no supports. Some trial and error and/or post-processing may be needed to get a perfect fit with your printer. Scale the model up or down slightly as needed. Designed in Tinkercad and printed on an Ultimaker 2.

According to Thingiverse, if you do decide to tackle this project on your own with your 3D printer and have any questions, you can contact the designer on Facebook or Twitter.


 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.09.2017
07:53 am
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Retro wonderland: exploring the postmodern aesthetics of ‘90s Taco Bell interior design
02.07.2017
09:23 am
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Taco Bell in Las Vegas, NV courtesy of @heycomet‘s instagram
 
The year is 2017, you’re driving across the country and you’ve decided to pull over at a random offramp for a quick bite. You’re not familiar with your locale, but you see a familiar restaurant and you’re hungry so you put your better judgment aside and walk into a Taco Bell. As soon as you enter you are instantly transported 25 years into the past, a time capsule of early 90’s interior design. You are standing in one of the very last Taco Bell franchises that have not yet succumb to the horrible, present day faux-Tuscan make-over.

It was the Milan-based Italian design and architecture company The Memphis Group and their fun, colorful, geometric, postmodern aesthetic that were responsible for this specific style of design. The Art Deco and Pop Art movements collided in all their concepts throughout the 1980s. By the time the 1990s rolled around the style had become so mainstream and widely popular that it could be seen all over television, such as on shows like Saved by the Bell where the gang from Bayside High School hung out in a similarly wacky diner called The Max.

Los Angeles-based interior designer Jared Frank of Topsy Design explains just how quickly Memphis trends trickled down into popular culture. “On TV you could find it, most noticeably all over MTV, which was postmodern not just in design but also in its very style of programming. Another thoroughly postmodern show in both design and concept was Pee-wee’s Playhouse. The Simpsons flirts with it. And of course, every coked-out ‘80s movie about a movie producer, record executive, or radio deejay is guaranteed to show sets that look like Otho from Beetlejuice was asked to design an office space.”

Luckily I was not alone in my nostalgic love of Taco Bell’s past designs. Photographer Phil Donohue (not to be confused with talk show host Phil Donahue) began using film to document the few remaining Taco Bell locations in California that were still home to that beautiful pink, purple, red, and turquoise color combination, artificial plants, and squiggly geometric shapes. “Most of the design from the ‘80s and ‘90s was so quickly discarded for something even more corporatized and mediocre that I wanted to contextualize what was left before it was gone,” Donohue said via e-mail. “Capturing it digitally seemed to only highlight this mediocrity so shooting on film was, for me, the best way to translate this feeling of what the past was, with what is still present. I probably have another year or two before a lot of what is genuinely out there is gone — before everything is stuccoed over or faux-Tuscan.”

Of course, true experts of the postmodern movement will not be fooled by imitators. “In light of Robert Venturi calling out emergent ‘70s architecture as, ‘communication over space’ these Taco Bell interiors are cleanability over communication.” explained Matthew Sullivan of AQQ Design. “Hyper-cleanliness is the designer here—from the impermeable upholstery, to the visible floor drains, down to the drip or crumb channels or whatever the fuck those recesses in the banquets are called. It’s operating room meets diner- super Ballardian. Personally I could never make a value judgment—should be labeled something like disinfranchisementarianism. Looks as fine a place as any to stomp on someone’s face or make-out or enjoy a double-decker-taco-supreme.”

So why did it go away? “Culture eats itself” designer Jared Frank concluded. “Folks then reacted against the exuberance of PoMo and found safety in the corporate style of the ‘90s. And then folks reacted against that with the ‘new sincerity,’ the ‘authentic,’ all those horrible reclaimed wood walls. And of course, Taco Bell followed suit, jumping onboard the latest trends just as they’re flaming out.”
 

Taco Bell in Milpitas, CA courtesy of yelp user Maria A.
 

Taco Bell in Anaheim, CA courtesy of @heycomet‘s instagram
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Doug Jones
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02.07.2017
09:23 am
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Wear with Confidence: Nick Cave’s beautiful and empowering Soundsuits
02.06.2017
12:04 pm
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Nick Cave is an artist, performer, educator and “foremost a messenger” who works in a wide range of media including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance.

Not to be confused with the antipodean singer and screenwriter, this Nick Cave is best known for his beautiful Soundsuits—“sculptural forms based on the scale of his body” which “camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment” or prejudice.

The idea for Soundsuits came about as a response to thinkingthe brutal police beating of Rodney King in 1991. As cave recalls:

It was a very hard year for me because of everything that came out of the Rodney King beating. I started thinking about myself more and more as a black man—as someone who was discarded, devalued, viewed as less than.

And:

I started thinking about the role of identity, being racial profiled, feeling devalued, less than, dismissed. And then I happened to be in the park this one particular day, and looked down at the ground and there was a twig. And I just thought, well, that’s discarded, and it’s sort of insignificant. And so I just started then gathering the twigs, and before I knew it, I was, had built a sculpture.

Cave carried the twigs he had collected in Grant Park, Chicago, back to his studio where he drilled a small hole at the base of each one. He linked these together with a wire before attaching them to a large piece of material. From this he created his first wearable sculpture or Soundsuit:

When I was inside a suit, you couldn’t tell if I was a woman or man; if I was black, red, green or orange; from Haiti or South Africa. I was no longer Nick. I was a shaman of sorts.

Inspired by this incredible sense of freedom and empowerment, Cave began making more and more outrageous and fabulous creations from materials he found in flea markets and thrifts stores across country.

Cave admits he never knows exactly what he is looking for or how he will use it once found. When he does find some suitable object he will spend considerable time working out where best on the body this item can sit. When this is finally worked this out he then develops each design organically from this point. The finished sculptures are worn in performances devised by Cave. There is an obvious similarity between Cave’s Soundsuits and Leigh Bowery’s performance costumes from the eighties and early nineties. Both take traditional crafts (needlework, macramé  and crochet) and use them them to create powerful and beautiful works of (wearable) art. A selection of Cave’s Soundsuits are for sale at the SoundsuitShop.
 
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More of Nick Cave’s fabulous designs, after the jump….
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.06.2017
12:04 pm
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‘Is this seat loaded?’ Artist makes a chair from gold-plated AK-47 rifles
02.02.2017
01:32 pm
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Well here’s something for the gun nut in your life…. a 22ct gold-plated chair made from a batch of AK-47 rifles.

Why? You might ask. Well why not?

There doesn’t seem to be any reason for this pricey butt-holder other than it’s a functional work of art created by Austrian artist Rainer Weber, who (apparently) “transforms his imagination into reality.” 

If this is your idea of reality then I’m pretty sure you’ll appreciate the way in which Weber has welded together these “still in service” AK-47s to serve as the legs, frame and armrests of this beast. Then finishing it all off with some damn fancy handwoven upholstery. If this is your heart’s desire then it will cost you $127,000.

Weber explains his inspiration stating he was always “fascinated by concepts such as design, technology and functionality” ever since childhood.

I have always been keenly interested in art and seating furniture of any kind. My incentive is to create seating furniture that is unique in its form, meaning absolutely different from other pieces of furniture.

The idea for the AK-47 chair was born while I was reading a book about Mikhail Kalashnikov and I decided to transfer the inspiration into a chair.

But if you think all these gold leaf guns are just a wee bit tacky then maybe you should go for Weber’s original AK-47 chair—price on request.
 
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More after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.02.2017
01:32 pm
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The eyes have it: Classical art-inspired sleep masks
02.01.2017
10:13 am
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I’m always in the market for a clever sleep mask. Aren’t you? Who isn’t? It’s simply impossible for me to sleep with any light whatsoever in my bedroom. Even a tiny light from a TV remote control will disrupt my sleep. That’s why I’m totally digging these sleep masks based on the eyes of classical masterpieces. The sleep masks are by Belarusian designer Lesha Limonov. Even though they’re the eyes of iconic masterpieces, they’re still kinda creepy looking, right?

Sadly, these are just concept designs and not available to purchase… just yet. They were made for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam as part of the International Rijksstudio Award 2017. These must become a reality!


 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.01.2017
10:13 am
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Earrings that look just like ears!
01.06.2017
09:31 am
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If you totally want to FREAK PEOPLE OUT—I mean, if that’s your goal—then might I suggest these earrings that look just like ears? Everyone will think you have extra ears. Quite a look!

The EARrings are made by artist and jeweler Nadja Buttendorf. What’s cool about these is they come in dozens of different skin tones so you can probably find a pair that will match your complexion perfectly. The EARrings are made of silicone.


 
And if having extra ears isn’t enough, Nadja also makes FINGERrings. At this point it’s probably pretty self explanatory what this might be, but it’s a ring that’s made to look like you have an extra finger. Again, it’s made of silicone.


 

 
I couldn’t find any prices on Nadja’s website. Perhaps these are prototypes and not for sale. I don’t know. You may want to contact her website to find out.

via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.06.2017
09:31 am
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The world’s most perfect gold-plated turd
01.04.2017
11:53 am
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If you’re into “decorational defecations,” have I got the piece of crap for you, bucko. In fact, it may be considered the king of decorational defecations! It’s called the “Archimedean Turd” and it’s damned near perfect-looking, if you ask me.

If you’re curious about the turd’s geometry, here is its formula, below:

The turds’ geometry is based on the combination of an Archimedean spiral (r = a + bθ) and the Golden Ratio / Phi in triangles (a = 1, b = √φ, c = φ). The latter proportion is found in Egyptian Pyramids.

The “Archimedean Turd” comes in 18K plated gold for a mere $350 or in a regular matte charcoal porcelain for only $20. It’s entirely up to you and your preference for turds.

I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with this if I got one, although this golden bowel movement might make for a shitty paperweight?


 

 
via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.04.2017
11:53 am
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Sub Pop really nailed the retro packaging of Sleater-Kinney’s new ‘Live in Paris’ cassette
01.04.2017
09:34 am
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I’ve seen Sleater-Kinney play three times, and all three shows rank as highly memorable concertgoing experiences. It was in support of The Hot Rock that I saw them play the second time, in 1999. During the spring tour someone in the band got sick and they had to postpone a bunch of dates, including the original NYC date, which I had a ticket for. They came back a few weeks later, in May, and because of the catch-as-catch-can nature of rescheduling a bumped date at the last minute, S-K was forced to schedule their show for 2 p.m. on a Saturday in late May. The experience made me wish that more rock gigs took place in the afternoon. Sweaty and galvanized, I emerged from the darkened cavern of Irving Plaza around 5 o’clock—the sun was still shining! It was such an odd experience, I remember that my chums and I made a snap decision to see Rushmore, which was playing around the corner (third showing for me).

TL;DR: Sleater-Kinney kick ass live.

2017 will see the first official live album from Sleater-Kinney. It’s called Live in Paris, and it comes from the band’s triumphant reunion tour of 2015, recorded at Paris’s venerable La Cigale venue on March 20, 2015.
 

 
All three members of Sleater-Kinney are veterans of the D.I.Y. movement of the Pacific Northwest of the early to mid-1990s, so it makes sense on some level that someone involved with the project came up with the clever idea of designing the album’s cassette edition to be an utterly perfect representation of a dubbed cassette. Believe me, if you love music and you were born before about 1980, at some point you bought 60- and 90-minute cassettes by the dozen and made mixes for your friends—but even more centrally and importantly, you dubbed entire albums off of your friends because you were too fucking cheap to pay full price for that goddamned .38 Special album. (Sometime in the mid-1980s, I made a cassette with Revolver on one side and Rubber Soul on the other, and they will never not be pretty much one long mega-album in my stupid head.)
 

 
Live in Paris is slated to be released on January 27, with the LP priced at $16.98 on Amazon—you can pre-order it here (it’s slightly cheaper from Sub Pop). The CD is $12 and the brilliantly designed cassette is just $7 direct from the label.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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01.04.2017
09:34 am
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