Tag Archives: video

Russia

Black Soviets

As seen in the 1939 Soviet Pavilion, Stalin was interested in projecting an image of racial harmony in the Soviet Union, as socialism ostensibly embraced. Realizing they had little to lose in the racist environment United States, a handful of Black men and women immigrated to the Soviet Union. Some still live there, along with more recent migrants from Africa. Black Russians covers this unusual, but kind of unsurprising chapter of Russian history.

Architecture Russia

Concerning Stalin’s Fructification of the Earth

If you have ever wanted to see Joseph Stalin masturbate victoriously onto the fields of the Zalesye while Jonathan Meades muses on the barrenness of totalitarian art, well son, here is your one chance.

Joe Building: The Stalin Memorial Lecture (2006)

Other

A new exiting educationalizing opportunity

Other

The ear is a slave and maybe that’s OK

Put your earbuds in. Watch this. Try to maintain eye contact.

How does it make you feel? Have you ever imagined, sitting on the metro, that the guy across from you is belting out that Ronnie James Dio song you really love? Is that a fender in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? Can you use your Zune like an Youtube Doubler?

Watch it without the sound. Listen to it without looking at the screen. We’ve become very comfortable with schizophonia because it’s convenient for music. Try to play a field recording and we have a sense that something isn’t right. Have you ever tried to make Subway Dio perform 4’33″?

The little clues do more than we admit, and you have to get creative when you don’t have them. But if we put an video up there, we’re back in the real world, I guess. We desperately want to believe that Lorde is singing right to us. It’s teasing, with the same tinge of sadomasochism as the makeup. Is the body language related? Would we habituate without the “Yeah”? I just want to relate.

We all know video is weird, but it’s kind nice of Joel Kefali to point it out.

Related, also from the antipode:

I wonder what it sounds like in that park? Do the millions of fragments vying for your attention look like how it sounds, anyway? What would Adjaye think?

Architecture

Duany on Landscape Urbanism

This lecture by Andres Duany is probably the most important lecture on the topic of Landscape Urbanism this year. The essential takeaway of the talk is that New Urbanism has become aware of the landscape-informed design practices that have been percolating up into practice and academia – and the better practitioners are about to engage them, either as an opponent or an ally. It’s easy to dismiss the lecture as a retardaire hit job on the movement, but the critique heralds the conflict and dialogue that will come along with the completion of landscape urbanist projects, the dissemination of its ideas, and the reaction of architects outside of academia.

I could write reams about his perspective on history or the take on form or why he excludes so much of the interest in infrastructure. I am tempted to get into a CNU kremlinology of what compliments are genuine (he was, after all, the co-founder of Arquitectonica) and which are the clever rhetorical devices of a very smart and charismatic man. Instead, it’s just better if you watched it yourself.

Hat tip:  John Massengale.

Other

Sand Moon

I mentioned Sam West, auteur and gentleman scoundrel, once before. A graduate of the prestigious Janney Elementary School, a couple years back, he produced this film called Sand Moon, which is embedded below.

It’s a sort of tale of karma passed through the lens of Upper Northwest slackers. Produced in 72 hours in 2008, is also a showcase of DC’s highlights, such as the roof of the Tenleytown CVS, truck barrier planters, Mazza Galerie, the Chevy Chase Starbucks, and Potomac Video.

The film runs for 21 minutes and stars Mason Cash (Murch), David Iscoe (Lafayette), Tommy McCarthy (Murch), and the rest of the Cocaine in Motion crew.

Local

The Winds Shift over Tenleytown

Gate way

DCMud reports that Safeway has put their PUD approval on hold. On Monday, the Zoning Commission approved an indefinite delay for the project. This is good news. As best as anyone can tell, it indicates that Safeway are reconsidering their entire plan. If they choose the option of urbanism, I know that Torti Gallas will deliver a plan that is beautiful and energizing.

Adding a few residences above, townhouses behind, or even just a streetwall with a few independent stores would turn the project from a pig to a prize  for Tenleytown. A commitment to LEED Gold certification and the reconfiguration of 42nd street will ensure that Safeway delivers on the real amenities they owe the neighborhood in exchange for a zoning exemption. Finally, Safeway must be flexible enough to design a building that does not require a forest to hide its bulk.

If the new store is beautiful and adds vibrancy to the city, I will be more than glad to support it. I know many others will, as well. But some will never support appropriate and sustainable growth.

It is easy to see this process as another company battered into submission by Tenleytown NIMBYs. But it’s far from that – I, groups like Ward 3 Vision, and the current board of ANC 3E understand that developers are not the enemy. A Wisconsin Avenue that serves all ages and facilitates community and sustainability is not only good, but necessary.  This recent prodding was necessary to restart the motion towards TOD lost over the years of fighting.

The old regime of Tenleytown and Friendship Heights has fallen with this action. The divisive, victimizing attacks, a relic of the freeway wars, are tired and out of tune with modern planning. They have scared off too many developers with endless appeals. But their time is fading. Their secrecy and and tactics disengaged neighborhood residents. But their currency is spent. Their Rovian arguments once swayed commissions. But they fool no one anymore.

Other

After the GGW Meetup

At the GGW meetup this past week, Dan Reed or Matt Johnson reminded me of the segment of Koyaanisqatsi that shows the results of bad parts of civilization and… well just watch – with the volume up.

Oh, and this brings up all the year-end album collections getting thrown around. I’m going to spare the bloviation, and just give you some lyrics tangentially related to Pruitt-Igoe:

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Architecture Other

Two accomplishments

I just saw these two things last night and thought they were impressive enough about what is possible with some elbow grease, a Ph.D, and a few billion dollars. So learn what it’s like to stand on the top of the Burj Dubai: It’s wobbly and tall. And it warms my heart to the hellhole that is Dubai. (gizmodo)

Closer to home, DARPA is paying the University of Maryland to weaponize maple seeds or samaras. That might seem insane, but watch the whole video to see what 3 years of research on single-wing rotary aircraft can get you. Go terps!?    (hackaday)

Don’t get “samara” confused with the city in Russia, or samsara, or you may experience endless cycles of misunderstanding.

Russia

Transit insanity in Perm

This gentleman in the Ural city of Perm had a close call with a bus, and no doubt is thanking the polar-bear-riding bible that is on Perm’s crest.

But what happened to the bus? Well, the brakes failed and it hit 16 other cars before getting stuck near a statue. All that after the break.
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