And Then There Was One

Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China

Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China

“Holdouts” is the common term for individuals or parties who refuse or resist to accept what is offered. But what happens when a developer of a property has a single holdout standing in the way of their “progress”? In China, you build around it. The Atlantic has offered a compilation of images depicting extreme instances of such situations across China. Images of pre-planned communities surrounding the ruins of nearly demolished buildings, construction sites preparing to pour the concrete foundations around familial cemeteries, and vacant lots with one remaining inhabited holdout.

Source: The Atlantic

Co-op Businesses Offer Local Opportunity to Post-Disaster New Orleans

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Next City profiles the cooperative business economy that has sprouted from disaster in New Orleans. New Orleans East has a large Vietnamese-American population that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina as well as the BP oil spill. Vietnamese-Americans’ homes and businesses were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill disproportionately hurt the Vietnamese-American community, since they make up a third of all shrimpers in New Orleans.

As the Vietnamese community was in crisis, the idea of VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative was introduced as a way to revitalize their economy from within—to ensure existing residents directly benefit. The article details more cooperative movements in New Orleans and the most successful U.S. cooperatives that specifically aim to support distressed communities.

Source: Next City

Disappearance of Darkness

Darkroom, Building 3, Kodak Canada, Toronto, 2005 - Robert Burley

Darkroom, Building 3, Kodak Canada, Toronto, 2005 – Robert Burley

Photographer Robert Burley’s body of work titled Disappearance of Darkness documents the fall of both chemical darkrooms and the use of acetate film in the facilities of Kodak, Agfa, and Ilford. Burley’s images expose the “…rapid breakdown of a century-old industry, which embodied the medium’s material culture”.

Visit the Burley’s page to view the images.

Source: The Guardian

Not All American Adults Know How to Ride A Bike

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Planners constantly recommend biking as a solution to a myriad of community issues, from  addressing public health concerns related to rising rates of obesity to decreasing traffic congestion by getting folks out of their cars and on bikes. These plans and recommendations rarely take into account the number of adults that don’t know how to ride a bike. DataLab has collected data on American adults who do not know how to ride bikes and how that population breaks down demographically.  The most revelatory statistic is that there are a greater number of adults in the United States do not know how to ride a bike than the number of adults that bike on a daily basis.

Source: FiveThirtyEight

40 Portraits in 40 Years

1975, New Canaan, Conn.

1975, New Canaan, Conn. by Nicholas Nixon

40 Portraits in 40 Years depicts four sisters embracing, stoic, and fierce. Their gazes are arresting and challenge the viewer to linger. Their attire is never planned and the subjects’ poses just come naturally. As time passes, and the visual story of their lives unfold and the viewer sees not only the sisters’ natural age progression but also their relationship to each other and their consciousness about being photographed. In early images the sisters lightly embrace and they appear cognizant of the camera. However in the current era images the sisterly dynamic becomes increasingly more intimate. Their body language is supportive and protective. The beauty of fine art photography is its ability to capture the progression of time into a chronicle of still moments.

Source: New York Times Magazine

Minimal Maps

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Evergreen Forests of America—Michael Pecirno

Minimal Maps is an ongoing project of London-based designer Michael Pecirno. Using USDA data, Pecirno isolates a single land use or geographic form to create unique maps, beautifully illustrating the United States beyond the typically limited urban and political contexts. Explore Pecirno’s other spatial and visual work on his website.

source: CITYLAB

Humans of New and Old New York

Sponge Peddler, Alice Austen

Sponge Peddler, Alice Austen

New audiences and artists are created at the intersection of social media and street photography. Brandon Stanton, the acclaimed photographer who started Humans of New York (HONY), has amassed over twelve million “likes” on Facebook in just a few years. However, street photography has been around for a long time. Alice Austen (1866-1952) began her artistic career at the age of ten when gifted a camera. Purportedly, for the rest of her life, Austen never went a day without taking photographs. As Austen reached adulthood she became one of the first female photographers to leave the confines of the studio and photograph the world she inhabited. Arguably one of the first photojournalists, her images capture the vibrancy and color of Old New York in a similar way to the images of present-day New York.

Source: Mashable

Digitizing Historic Maps: Cuba

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Over 100 historic maps of Cuba have been digitized by The University of Miami Libraries and are now available through their Digital Collections site. Projects such as this one are extremely beneficial in not only helping to keep libraries and their collections relevant and accessible in the digital age but also contribute to the preservation of the physical objects by limiting handling of fragile and friable material. View the collection of Cuban maps here.

Source: Cuban Heritage Collection

Deceptive Street Art

Astroboy | OakOak

Astroboy | OakOak

Combing the urban landscape in France one finds the work of Street Artist, OakOak. OakOak’s interventions utilize found landscape as the backdrop and inspiration for the series of paste-ups. The resulting photographs are both poignant and playful, and in some instances thought-provoking.

Source: Visual News

All Things Giant Considered

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In 1952, Edna Ferber published, Giant, an extremely controversial novel depicting life in southwest Texas. Ferber was chastised all across the south for her portrayal of rural Texans in the satire. The novel was a runaway hit nationally and was rapidly sold for production into a screenplay. The subsequent film—starring James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor and filmed on location in Marfa, TX—brought the story greater acclaim and even more rancor in Texas.

In keeping with the theme “All Things Giant,” a recent NPR All Things Considered segment highlights a new documentary that tells the story of the families of Marfa, TX who were recruited to play the extras in the film.  Children of Giant explores the racial divide between Anglos and Mexican Americans in the Southwest and the specific experiences of the Marfa families during that period of filming.

Source: NPR All Things Considered

The Eames Shell Chair

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WHY Magazine released a concise history of the Eames Shell Chair—accompanied by a fascinating twelve piece GIF collection—to visually explain the construction of the modern day shell chair. The GIFs were inspired by the Eames’ 1970 film, “The Fiberglass Chairs: Something of How They Get the Way They Are.” The GIFs, filmed in the fiberglass manufacturing facility of Herman Miller in Ashtabula, OH, aim to “explore the ways in which Herman Miller is honoring the Eames original design and ethos by pushing the manufacturing process and quality to be the best and most sustainable it can possibly be.”

Source: WHY

A Forgotten Mural

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The greatest rewards resulting from restoration and renovation projects are the surprises that are revealed. In late March 2015 the contractors, designers, and residents of 5 Bryant Park Tower in Manhattan were treated to a forgotten tile mosaic by notable muralist Max Spivak. During renovation, the metal cladding came down to reveal a remarkably well preserved abstract ceramic tile mural, viewed for nearly a week by passers-by, building patrons, and the Spivak family. However, the mural has since been re-clad “…in a way that will preserve it for the future,” much to the chagrin of art conservation groups in New York and the Spivak family themselves.

Source: New York Times