Vulnerable Cultural Landscapes


The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has announced the eleven projects selected for Landslide® 2014: Art and the Landscape, an annual thematic compendium of threatened landscapes and landscape features. The compendium celebrates the projects as well as brings attention to the struggle of maintaining them. All sites are considered land-based art but vary greatly in form, from ancient petroglyphs to eccentrically decorated vacant homes. Each work has a fascinating background. For instance, White Rock Lake Wildlife Water Theater in Dallas, a prized landscape feature that nurtures a symbiotic relationship between nature and man has recently fallen into such disrepair that it is vulnerable to becoming deaccessioned from the city’s Public Art Collection.

Source: Art and the Landscape

Brooklyn’s Dead Ends


Long time Brooklyn resident David Mandl has spent the last fifteen years photographing parts of Brooklyn that are rarely seen. Mandl’s strict focus is on Brooklyn’s 120 dead-ends. Most of these dead-ends exist on the periphery of the borough, forcing Mandl to explore, as he explains, “the limits of the officially recognized or permitted landscape,” the “no-go zones.” The viewer is hard pressed to avoid experiencing the severity of repetitive, abrupt endings since the views are singular and the path Mandl followed to get to them is not clear. The viewer might contemplate how these “ends” continue to exist in our constantly evolving world.

Source: Places

Back to Work: Industrial Buildings that Inspired the Modernist Movement


Featured in Docomomo US, Miriam Kelly’s article “Following Function: Putting the Industrial Buildings that Inspired the modernist Movement Back to Work” describes the influence post-industrial rust-belt buildings had on early modernists and how those buildings are being used today. Kelly notes specific structures—featured in Le Corbusier’s Vers une Architecturethat were of particular interest to early modernists. Buffalo’s silo skyline inspired Erich Mendelsohn and Le Corbusier utilized the city plan of Detroit for his “utopian plans for a linear industrial city.”

Buildings that have gone “back to work” include concrete grain elevators in Buffalo, New York that now serve as a mixed use artist studio and exhibition space and the Brooklyn Army Terminal, purchased by the city of New York City for the Economic Development Corporation, has returned to its roots and is operating as a light manufacturing warehouse.


Waller Creek Illuminated


Beginning at sunset on Thursday, November 13, Waller Creek Conservancy will host the Creek Show: Light Night. Waller Creek between 5th and  8th Streets will turn into a walkable community space and become host to a visual arts exhibit. The creek will be illuminated by five light installations designed by Austin-based architects and landscape architects, including UTSOA Associate Professor Jason Sowell.  The installations highlight the intersection between nature, urban infrastructure, and inventive design. The event comes at a perfect time for the public to observe the creek’s present state while imagining its exciting future.

The Waller Creek Conservancy has organized several other events throughout the night including a happy hour, live DJ set, and live music at Empire Control Room. All events are free and open to the public. The Empire Control Room event requires an RSVP for free entrance.

Source: Creek Show

Unconventional Carpet


Dutch design studio We Make Carpets pairs the ancient skill of weaving with unconventional materials to create stunning temporary carpet-like artworks. Artists use accessible and low-cost materials such as chalk, cocktail umbrellas, and fireworks to piece together beautiful palettes. The carpets are not only beautiful but also serve to document and re-purpose mundane objects found in our modern day lives.

Source: inhabitat

Urban Neon Signs


Luxury Mindz was inspired so much by Austin-based neon artist Todd Sanders they created a mini-documentary about him. In less than five minutes the documentary not only captures the overlooked industry of vintage style neon designs but also the role the signs play in the urban setting and the fine art world. Sanders also pays tribute to Austin for aiding a self-described odd duck to find success as a working artist. The short film is worth a watch as Sanders is as purposeful with his craft as he is with words, offering sage advice for artists and non-artists alike.

Source: Pop Up City

Fun Friday: Clever Street Art


Web Urbanist has curated an eclectic collection of subtle street art. The collection looks at work that is easily overlooked due to size, stealthiness, or both. The pieces’ motives range from challenging onlookers to examine the illusions of freedom and containment to inspiring a smile by a trash can sporting googly eyes. This art rewards the shrewd city-dweller with a hidden treat, one that many will never know was right under their nose.

Source: Web Urbanist

“@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz”


Ai Wei Wei is confined to China. While the Chinese government holds him hostage on native soil the artist’s installation on Alcatraz island—socially motivated and politically charged—conveys just how little hold they have over him. “@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz” is comprised of various works installed around the former prison. The works center around the “Trace” series—portraits of prisoners of “conscience and political exile” worldwide—created solely out of Legos.

The former prison acts as an architectural canvas for Ai Wei Wei’s work. The US National Park Service has allowed access to spaces that are normally off limits. For example, visitors are invited to sit on a stool and listen to audio recordings of political prisoners in normally restricted cell blocks. A Chinese dragon kite emblazoned with the flags of countries implicated in “Trace” hangs in the dining hall.

Source: The New York Times

Found: National Geographic on Tumblr


National Geographic’s Tumblr, Found, boasts an eclectic collection of images that most often highlight the mundane rather than the monumental. Photographers skillfully capture and crystallize the wonder one might feel from observing simple moments in unassuming places. The collection’s reach is nearly limitless from kittens walking upon giant lily pads in the Philippines in the 1930s to women in Texas sun bathing alongside an oil rig in 1980. One should explore Found to get lost in the whimsy of conventional moments.

Source: National Geographic

James Turrell: Prints and Process


Light is essential to how we view the world. Our eyes absorb and refract light allowing us to see, much the same way a camera lens absorbs light to record an image. Artist James Turrell—creator of acclaimed Guggenheim light installation Aten Reignpresents a re-visitation of the work in printed form. The goal was to translate the installation’s immersive light to paper and ink. The challenge was representing the installation’s luminosity in pigment—considering light blends together to create colors differently than ink. Created in collaboration with Pace Prints, the result is an array of saturated wood-cut prints that beautifully capture the interplay between light and architecture.

Experience James Turrell’s Skyspace at The University of Texas at Austin. It’s free!

Source: Artsy Editorial

Sharing in the City


The sharing economy has made great strides in encouraging sustainable consumption. In an effort to increase potential participants’ accessibility to current programs, the Swiss initiative Pumpipume aims to eliminate the current requirement that one have online connectivity. Pumpipume minimizes barriers by creating a simple system that only requires one to order complimentary stickers that the sharer’s applies to her mailbox to indicate what items she is willing to lend. Pumpipume’s system not only questions the prevailing norms around personal consumption but also addresses the need for a low-tech, all access approach.

Source: Pop Up City

Constructing Worlds


Constructing Worlds,”a new exhibition at London’s Barbican Art Gallery features an impressive array of photographs culled from the respective oeuvres of iconic photographersall heavily influenced by and drawn to architecture. The exhibition juxtaposes iconic architecture photographs, such as Case Study House #22 by Julius Shulman, with more obscure images of Garbage City in Cairo (see “Mokattam Ridge” by Bas Princen). Through their selection, the exhibition’s curators illustrate the intrinsic connection between photography and architecture, as architecture is “the medium’s most willing accomplice.”

Source: The Guardian – Photography