Spring 2015 Exhibition Opening | Restoring Cultural Monuments: Oaxaca, Mexico

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The images on display document restoration projects of the Open Chapel at Teposcolula (1995-1999) and Santo Domingo de Guzmán Monastery (1994- 2000).

Join us for the opening of the School of Architecture Visual Resources Collection’s Spring 2015 exhibition “Restoring Cultural Monuments: Oaxaca, Mexico.” Assistant Professor
Benjamin Ibarra Sevilla contributed to the VRC’s collection the images featured in this exhibition documenting the restoration of Santo Domingo de Guzmán and the Open Chapel of Teposcolula in Oaxaca, Mexico.

WHEN: February 17, 2015 from 2-4 pm
WHERE: VRC, Sutton 3.128

Refreshments will be served.

Image Source: School of Architecture Visual Resources Collection

Iced Flowers

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Life and preservation are juxtaposed in botanical artist Azuma Makoto’s most recent installation, Iced Flowers. Makoto freezes bouquets of exotic flowers in blocks of ice, essentially freezing the flowers in time—halting the natural process of decay.  As the ice renders the flowers lifeless it simultaneously preserves the beauty attributed to a flower full of life. Azuma permits the natural cycle of life to reengage by allowing the ice to melt, leading to the plants’  succumbing to decay. Makoto’s most recent project carries on his tradition of challenging the life and place of a plant, from pieces that propel plants into space to stuffing them into bottles to replicate a birthday cake of massive proportion.

Source: Spoon & Tamago

A Comprehensive Survey of Chicago’s Built Environment

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Chicago Architecture Data has launched a citywide survey that records Chicago’s built environment, documenting the built history and characteristics of distinct Chicago buildings. By surveying the built environment one can identify historical development styles as well as neighborhoods’ cultural narratives. Chicago Architecture Data enhances this understanding through partnering with Chicago Patterns, which provides a deeper context through photographs and histories of buildings.

Source: Chicago Architecture Data

Homage or Prototype? The Untold Influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Apprentice

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Peters-Margedant House, Evansville, Indiana

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian homes are likely his most ubiquitous contribution to the world of residential design. Clients from diverse economic backgrounds were able to commission designs by one of the most famous architects of the time.  But, what if the first Usonian home was not built by Wright?

In 1935 Frank Lloyd Wright’s first apprentice at Taliesin, Wes Peters, designed and built a structure in his hometown of Evansville, IN—two years before Wright built his first Usonian home. The Peters-Margedant house is a modest 522 square feet with a central fireplace as its focal point. Preservation Nation and Preservation Alliance of Evansville are raising awareness of this tiny gem to halt its removal from the property and attend to its restoration. Controversy is arguably the most effective catalyst for recognition and change.

Source: Preservation Nation

Photogrammar: Revolutionizing Database Retrieval of Photographs

These women drilled a wing bulkhead for a transport plane at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant in Fort Worth in 1942. Credit Howard R. Hollem / Library of Congress

These women drilled a wing bulkhead for a transport plane at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant in Fort Worth in 1942.
Credit Howard R. Hollem / Library of Congress

Archiving, navigating, and sharing visual media historically has challenged the information repository world. As more historic images are digitized every day the need for methods of easy searching has never been greater. A team at Yale University has created an ingenious site to search within the Library of Congress’ (LC) vast image database. The result is an easily navigable interactive map where viewers can search—170,000 images from 1935-1945—on a county by county, country-wide basis.

North Texas Public Media outlet—KERA News—highlights images specific to Texas during the Great Depression and Wartime. Use the map to search historic images of a favorite destination or hometown.

Source: Kera News

Master Darkroom Printer: Behind the Safelight

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Before and After of Dennis Stock’s iconic image of James Dean  – Master Printer Pablo Inirio

As analog photographers know, sometimes there is just that one shot, at just that one time, that can never be recreated but the exposure is bad. In the current Photoshop era and the relative ease of digital manipulation it brings, it stands to reason that a great number of photographers are not aware of the pains taken by darkroom printers to make the final, perfect image. Online photography journal PetaPixel published an illuminating look into the significant lengths Master Printer Pablo Inirio goes to render the best possible image from a negative. The image on the left shows an untouched test print with exhaustive notes on dodge and burn areas complete with different exposures. The juxtaposition of these images display the true beauty of an image and the delicate attention to detail a Master Printer brings to the process.

Source: PetaPixel

Forgotten Islands

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Web Urbanist has compiled a list of seven “abandoned” islands, although not all the islands are deserted. One Japanese island hosts thousands of cats and around a hundred humans while another—once the host to a top secret chemical weapon plant—is now exclusively occupied by thousands of what may possibly be descendants of test rabbits and the Okunoshima Poison Gas Museum. Web Urbanists not only provides photographs and video documentation of the islands but also provides their history. Some of the islands are man made and at times removed from maps. Almost all were built for society’s unwanted. For example, New York City’s Hart Island currently holds a total of one million individual’s remain; the prisoners of Rikers—another New York island— bury around 1,500 unknown or unclaimed bodies a year on Hart Island.

Source: Web Urbanist

How Bees See

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We often think about how we ourselves see the landscape.  But how do its other inhabitants view it? Dr. Klaus Schmitt of Weinheim, Germany has spent the last decade photographing nature with special cameras using lenses and filters to reveal in ultraviolet the hidden world. Check out Dr. Schmitt’s blog here.

Image Source: Visual News

Storytelling on the Road

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Based in Toronto, FIXT POINT is a site-specific performance and media company dedicated to inspiring audiences to imagine change. FIXT POINT’s latest endeavor A Tale of a Town is traveling from one end of Canada to the other collecting oral histories related to Canada’s main streets. The stories are collected in the “Storymobile” a travel trailer turned mobile recording studio.

A Tale of a Town strives to inspire the rediscovery of main streets, and in turn, encouraging support of small businesses—a key to place making. At the end of each provincial or territorial story FIXT POINT gathers together artists working in different mediums to create a performance installation on a main street in a found store front thereby physically manifesting the mission of A Tale of a Town by bringing people back to downtown to celebrate its history and its limitless future. The project will culminate with the commemoration of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

Source: Pop Up City

The Cross-Section of Kowloon Walled City

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Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was once the most densely populated city in the world. The city was built without a single architect or city planner, resulting in an informal and ungoverned hive of human activity. Most infamously known as a den for drugs, crime, and prostitution, the city was demolished in 1993. Days before the demolition a group of Japanese researchers—including architects, engineers, and city planners—were led by historian and cultural anthropologist Hiroaki Kani into the desolate city to document it before its annihilation.

The researchers created beautiful and meticulously designed cross-sections and panoramic views of the city and interiors of buildings. The drawings bring the city to life highlighting the intricacies of human activity within a city. The spaces people create for themselves and their families form capsules for one’s personal life.

Source: Spoon & Tamago

Grief: A Photo Journey

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After Sarah Treanor lost her fiancé in a helicopter crash in 2012, she began to explore and document her grief through photography. What emerges from Treanor’s exploration are beautiful photos of struggle, stillness, growth, and peace. The yearlong process that consists of Treanor taking a photo of herself each week to document her “journey of grief” is aptly titled “Still, Life.

The photos are admirable because not only is she brave in exposing her vulnerability but also her skill as a photographer is clear. Treanor took all photos by herself in addition to constructing elaborate props such as the human sized bird’s nest in “Sanctuary.” Nearly all of Treanor’s images are unaltered, unedited, original captures. Treanor’s work has not only helped her individually heal but she has built a platform through her blog for others that have lost loved ones to be able to grieve and heal as a community.

Source: VISUAL NEWS

Winter Light

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British artist Bruce Munro has created a beautiful light installation at Waddesdon Manor. The installation aspires to create a winter wonderland that warms up Aylesbury’s chilly winter with lush and vibrant lighting exhibits. Munro utilizes several everyday items to cast light upon the Manor—from clothes pins to PET bottles. The most mystical of Munro’s installations is “Moon Harvest” where he wraps bales of straw in plastic then projects light from behind, creating an illusion of small moons, craters and all, resting upon the Earth.

Source: inhabitat