This week, change is coming to The Atlantic. Stay tuned.
What if city blocks could be extracted, isolated, stripped of all but their essential form, and lined up like soldiers for inspection? Would we know Paris or Berlin by the sum of their parts?
French artist Armelle Caron has satisfied this curiosity in “Tout bien rangé,” an assembly of what Caron calls “graphic anagrams” of well-known cities. The series, whose title translates roughly as “All in order,” is composed of digital images of cities printed on canvas — cities whole and cities disassembled, catalogs of parts for some Borgesian Ikea project.
Read more. [Images: Armelle Caron]
A small community of fundamentalist Mormons, about 15 polygamist and monogamist families, have established a unique home for themselves, living in modern homes literally carved into the side of a massive sandstone rock in the desert south of Moab, Utah. Rockland Ranch, informally called “The Rock,” was founded about 35 years ago by Robert Dean Foster, who set out to create a safe, remote space for a Christian community that embraced plural marriage. Large houses were built by using dynamite to blast caves into the sandstone cliff, then finished into relatively modern homes complete with running water, electricity, internet access, and more. Reuters photographer Jimmy Urquhart was recently invited to visit and photograph The Rock, and returned with these images, a rare glimpse into a unique Utah community.
Read more. [Images: Reuters/Jim Urquhart]
Multimedia artist Jeff Frost’s Flawed Symmetry of Prediction isn’t your average time-lapse study of the Milky Way. Frost paints massive geometric shapes on walls so that they function as optical illusions, blurring the line between 2D and 3D when captured on video.The experimental piece unfolds to reveal a haunting, post-apocalyptic world where flickering wildfires and industrial plants illuminate desert vistas. Frost’s sci-fi vibe is inspired in part by actual science — one painting draws on a NASA diagram of evidence for the Big Bang and the soundtrack uses clips recorded by Voyager 1. Be sure to watch it full screen in HD to appreciate the crisp visual detail.
Technology can often be perceived as cold, dead and alienating, but not in the hands of multidisciplinary artist Matt Pyke who heads up art/design studio Universal Everything with interactive director Mike Tucker, sound designer Simon Pyke, and animation director Chris Perry. The company creates gorgeous visual spectacles on screen that, while they will never be attained in physical reality, reinterpret the nuances of natural human motion and seem to have a soul, a heartbeat, and the breath of life.
Keita Onishi’s music video is so spellbinding that it evokes a computer screen saver, making the viewer want to gaze mindlessly at the screen until it begins again. The video features “Dynamics of the Subway,” from the experimental Japanese band Haisuinonasa’s first album, Animal Bodies. Each geometric shape matches a musical note, in sync with the score. In the end, the shapes reveal not only a moving train, but the components of the subway system.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo is an unusual building.
For one thing, as you can see in the center photo above, it’s over 10 stories high — most embassies are much shorter. For another, it’s right in the middle of downtown Cairo, in a posh area called Garden City, a stone’s throw from the Nile and a short walk from Tahrir Square.
On normal days, this prominent location underscores that the U.S. is an engaged and important presence in Egyptian affairs. This past week, it made the building a quickly accessible assembly point for protesters and the site of a violent stand-off.
Issues like these are the subject of serious debate in the world of embassy design, where architects try to construct buildings that will, in good times and bad, represent American values while they withstand the force of bombs. For the people who build embassies, that’s a difficult balance, and one that has shifted many times in the last few decades between two competing schools of thought: isolation and civic engagement.
Read more. [Images: State Department/SOM]
Sven Völker, a designer and artist, describes the fascinating evolution of racecar design in this short documentary based on his book, Go Faster. How did cars develop the colors, stripes, and logos that we associate with NASCAR and Formula 1? Why does that Apple-sponsored car look so awesome? Going back to the 1950s, Völker collected dozens of images to explore the haphazard way these design concepts came together through the decades.