In 1972, architect Kisho Kurokawa designed a residential building in Tokyo to house office workers during the week in small, interchangeable pod apartments. In addition to a uniform circular window, each pod came with a built-in bed, television, heater, and bathroom, and sometimes a stereo with a reel-to-reel tape recorder.
The one-person pods aren't far from Mike Bloomberg's new plan for micro-apartments in New York, but they might have been built about 40 years ahead of their time. The concept of moving the pods for renovations and upgrades didn't catch on, and the building eventually fell into disrepair.
Photographer Noritaka Minami shot a photo series of the soon-to-be-demolished building in 2011, and managed to find a few units that seem to be relatively untouched since their construction. [images via IGNANT]
It's a misconception that all ghost towns were once thriving cities. The traditional narrative of the ghost town, in wich cities are suddenly emptied by war, economic pressure, or an environmental catastrophe, now includes new varieties with bizarre political backstories.
Pyramiden, a remote coal mining city was built by Sweden in 1910 on Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago next to Greenland. The city, sold to the Soviet Union 17 years after its construction and shuttered in 1998, now stands preserved with its full basketball courts and schools completely empty. It has inspired at least one album by a member of Peter Bjorn and John. And Efterklang went so far as to record an album there.
In Angola, Kilamba New City is a massive real estate development built by a state-owned construction company from China, and paid for with oil exchanges. Currently, it's largely unoccupied, but has the capacity to house half a million residents and boasts 750 apartment buildings.
Photos by Jeremy Farmer
There are similarities between artist Doug Aitken's brainchild, the Station to Station art/music tour crossing the States right now, and the art happenings of the '60s.
The filmic interludes, the choreographed surprises, the repurposing of space, the combination/juxtaposition of musical acts from wildly different genres, the artist-centered programming—all made for the right ingredients to shake us up in our audiovisual realms.
But there are just as many details that make it unique and uniquely 2013—the traveling-by-train show, the use of a magnificent public space rather than a squatted building or old theater, a corporate sponsor in Levi's, and the relative sobriety of the multigenerational crowd. Also, there's a bit about the train Aitken has designed and its on-board studios.
Happenings were once deliberately bizarre in-crowd events for hardcore bohemians. Aitken's are open to the public and not particularly hard to understand for the everyman. Still, one couldn't help but recall the sonic backdrops laid by improvising Pink Floyd Sound at the London happenings when one walked in to an ambient noise set from L.A.'s No Age. Welcome to a contemporary freak-out, it seemed to say.
In our day and age, despite the availability of 24/7 everything music, we still have a hard time placing live music in the background. It's hard not notice a band performing in front of you. So No Age, Caught on Tape (Thurston Moore's duo), the jazzy Theaster Gates/Black Monks of Mississippi, and others took center stage at the event and commanded attention as in a concert format. But Moore, in particular, took the art angle to heart—delivering a spoken "song" for Kurt Cobain that shook up the concert formula. A headliner of sorts, Mavis Staples, was surely a revelation to those unfamiliar, but most Chicagoans who would hit this kind of event were probably well versed.
Yurts for artist installations, crafts (bagmakers, rug weavers), and a Levi's capsule collection provided interesting and interactive diversion, but didn't have the requisite weird factor to be come across as transformative art. Printed matter, posters from Aitken and others, were rather nonchalantly on display in a central area of the party—a hard place to get attention for a poster.
The big winner in the competition for the art crowd gaze was video. The video sets projected on three screens between live acts were sometimes jarring, sometimes hypnotic, arousing curiosity—almost improbably in our YouTube/Instagram overloaded world—from historic bits from Raymond Pettibon or re-edited "Wonder Woman" episodes to a short film shot on Vieques. The video element dazzled and wowed—and that's the bit that felt like art.
Station to Station visits St. Paul, MN tonight.
Just about a week ago, NASA christened its new Instagram account with a photo of the Earth rising over the moon taken 44 years ago during the Apollo 11 mission. While we're sure there's always a demand for vintage space photos, NASA's made it clear the account won't been limited to just archival images. This week they shared some amazing shots of a capsule landing in remote Kazakhstan as it happened, and a few days ago they documented the launch of the LADEE mission, the unmanned mission to study the atmosphere of the moon.
For more NASA imagery, check out their extremely through Flickr account.
One of the many benefits of being Richard Prince is that art book stores are willing to host your garage sales. Earlier in the summer, the Long Island branch of the Karma bookstore held a one-day sale of erotic books, prints, and paintings, and an ironing board Prince was willing to part with. While the yard sale was light on Prince's own work, it offered one more chance to grab a few cans of Richard Prince's Lemon Fizz, his soda collaboration with the Arizona Iced Tea company. If you missed out on the last few cans, apparently, Arizona still has a few T-shirts for sale.
See more photos from Kava Gorna at Nowness.