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Awkward Family Photos

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Family portraits.  It’s somewhere we’ve all been; somewhere few of us want to return.

Thinking back to my childhood, I remember some classic photo shoots – heads stacked on top of each other in a bizarre human Christmas tree; my brother pouting below a street sign bearing his name; and those awful, forced poses that the photographer would always get you to do: “put your arm on your brother’s shoulder”, “Turn to your left”, “Look at the watering can”, “For god’s sake, just smile will you”.

The guys over at Art Fag City have taken me back recently with their link to awkwardfamilyphotos.com, a seriously disturbing, yet seriously addictive site showcasing the best and worst family photos of all times.  It’s all there – terrible 80s and 90s fashions, enforced ‘fun’, couples with matching clothes, and holiday snaps gone awry.  Take a look, if only to ease your mind that weirder families than your own really do exist.

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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in laughing, photography

 

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Louisiana, Denmark: Green Architecture for the Future

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You’ve heard of Paris, Texas.  But Louisiana, Denmark?

This sleepy satellite suburb on the outskirts of Copenhagen is home to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a stunning seaside building established in 1958 as a showcase for many of the world’s finest contemporary artworks and sculptures.

The museum is currently exhibiting Green Architecture for the Future, a multidisciplinary exhibition examining the pending, fundamental changes to three areas of design: The City, Climate & Comfort, and Metabolism.

The City examines the global population drift towards urban living, and various responses to this, both current and future.  It includes an ambitious Foster + Partners design for Masdar City – a purpose-built, sustainable city in the United Arab Emirates – as well as a Sarcozy-sponsored redesign for Paris by MVRDV, and the tree-like Tower of Tomorrow by William McDonough & Partners.

Climate & Comfort and Metabolism explore themes of renewal, rebirth and reappropriation, such as a building made from empty water bottles (now there’s an intelligent solution, Mr Rees).

Via Arcspace.

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R3: The Noisiest Little House in California

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In property, it is said, location is everything. This was put to the test in San Diego when architect Lloyd Russell and his artist wife Ame Parsley managed to buy a vacant block in San Diego’s Little Italy neighbourhood for a bargain $50,000 – not surprising considering the property is an oddly shaped wedge of land sitting between the i-5 freeway and the busiest single-runway airport in the USA, San Diego International Airport (with 600 departures and arrivals per day).

This site couldn’t be noisier – check out the Google Earth satellite photo below for proof – there is even an aeroplane on approach passing almost directly overhead (see if you can pick the site, the triangular building just north of the jumbo)

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Russell set to work designing his new home – the R3 building, a triangular gallery-cum-residence complete with triple glazing, commercial air filtration system, and walls that are stuccoed to help bounce sound waves back onto the freeway.  There is also a killer integrated sound system in case any pesky noise still sneak through.

In designing R3, Lloyd Russell has proven that the most exciting architecture is often, if not always borne from the most difficult challenges.

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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in architecture, building

 

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Brad Moore Photography

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Brad Moore takes wonderful photos of urban wastelands and isolation.  The images were taken around Southern California – the real SoCal, not the glamorised version that the state likes to portray.

Thanks to wrongdistance for the link.

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Posted by on July 26, 2009 in looking, photography

 

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Lies, Damned Lies: Louisa Bufardeci

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Mark Twain once proclaimed, “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.  Louisa Bufardeci explores this theme in her latest exhibition at MCA Sydney.

Bufardeci has always been interested in how statistics are able to succinctly portray a picture of the world at large.  Her work draws equal attention to inequity and diversity around the world, covering topics such as the mix of different religions in Sydney (on now at the MCA), to the direction of international aid funding for developing countries (Team Joy, shown above), to population movements (Ground Plan, below centre).

The artist’s works use playful, naive colour pallette, yet the colours often depict portray sobering statistics.  The audience gets the sense they are but a grain in the sand that is global population, and the anonymity is both liberating and overwhelming.

Check out more of Louisa’s work via her website.

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Posted by on July 24, 2009 in art, contemporary, looking

 

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Yellow Treehouse, New Zealand

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I’m normally very sceptical of marketing campaigns, especially those run by telco giants. But this clever little campaign by New Zealand’s re-branded Yellow (formerly Yellow Pages) has changed my view entirely.

The concept was to build a restaurant 10 metres up a big old redwood tree outside of Auckland. Seriously.  But there was one rule: everything had to be sourced via Yellow on mobile.

Now I don’t know if you’ve actually tried to use your mobile phone for browsing, but if your experience is anything like mine it takes hours to do what the phone book could do in seconds.  But maybe I’m just a philistine.  It seems Tracey Collins, who Yellow selected to lead the project, is far more tech-savvy than me, because she managed the entire project, and also ran the restaurant – all via her mobile phone.  And all documented on a very cool website.

If you’re keen to visit the Treehouse, unfortunately you’re out of luck. After feeding 2000 lucky diners, the venue is now only open for function hire, although there is talk about a more permanent venture opening in the near future.

Photos via LA Times.

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Anne Zahalka: Playing The Game

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Elton (above) is an Environmental Engineer. How lovely for him.

Anne Zahalka’s latest series Playing the Game uses photography to examine how people are transformed through sport.  Elton can escape his conservative day job and become a warrior on the track (and, presumably, in the shower).  Karo (boxing, below) is normally a performer, but put some boxing gloves on her and she becomes a force to be reckoned with.  When flight attendant Brian (below) goes to the gym, he is no longer a trolley dolly.  And Karen (with basketball) is no longer a teacher but a hoop-shooting superstar.

It’s true that they say sport is the great leveller, and can bring out the best and worst in everyone.  But for the individuals photographed by Zahalka, it is also what can transform them from their mundane day jobs into glamorous ‘superheroes’, particularly in sport-obsessed Australia.

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Posted by on July 19, 2009 in looking, photography

 

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