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The Culture of the Copy
Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimilies
Hillel Schwartz - MIT Press

The Culture of the Copy is an unprecedented attempt to make sense of our Western fascination with replicas, duplicates, and twins. In a work that is breathtaking in both its synthetic and critical achievements, Hillel Schwartz charts the repercussions of our entanglement with copies of all kinds, whose presence alternately sustains and overwhelms us.

Through intriguing, and at times humorous, historical analysis and case studies in contemporary culture, Schwartz investigates most varieties of simulacra, including counterfeits, decoys, mannequins, ditto marks, portraits, genetic cloning, war games, camouflage, instant replays, digital imaging, parrots, photocopies, wax museums, apes, art forgeries, not to mention the very notion of the Real McCoy.

At the same time Schwartz works through a range of modernist, feminist, and postmodern theories about copies and mechanical reproduction, posing the following compelling question: How is it that the ethical dilemmas at the heart of so many fields of endeavor have become inseparable from our pursuit of copies -- of the natural world, or our own creations, indeed our very selves?

The Culture of the Copy is a stunning, innovative blend of microsociology, cultural history, and philosophical reflection that will fascinate anyone concerned with problems of authenticity, identity, and originality.

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nola c a

In the 1880's, Currier & Ives, the printmaking company that was the Google Maps of its day, dispatched an artist to record a panoramic vista of New Orleans. The drawing shows a thriving port city - steamboats, church spires and all - whose populace clung to the elevated areas near the Mississippi.

There were few settlements in the flood-prone lowlands to the north. The swamps to the east were not deemed worthy of illustrating.

It is not easy to broach the idea of such a smaller-scale city. The people here have long defied the perils of this place, whether that meant the yellow fever outbreaks of the 1800's or Hurricane Betsy in 1965.

"New Orleans has survived for 300 years," said Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell.

But for much of that time, wasn't the city settled largely on the elevated areas?

"You are underestimating the intelligence of the people of New Orleans," Ms. Hedge-Morrell replied. "They know what they are doing."

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Before lawmakers in Washington, D.C., break for Christmas, people in one hurricane-ravaged New Orleans neighborhood want to send them off with a yuletide message -- "We Want to Go Home."

In a full-color, full-page advertisement set to run next week in the influential Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, a group of Lakeview residents and other New Orleanians hope to impress upon legislators that the effort to rebuild the city's infrastructure and levee system is far from over.

The ad, called "A message from homeless New Orleanians," contains a 570-word message saying they "have lived like refugees in our own country" and are still waiting for members of Congress "to spearhead the rebuilding of our flood protection, and reclaim one of the nation's most important cities from ruin."
Lakeview Civic Improvement Association


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It's appalling to think that a book like this may enter classrooms and inflict itself on young minds with little or no acquaintance with art history. So I have a suggestion for parents of high-school students: Find out whether the college that your child hopes to attend plans to assign "Art Since 1900" in its art-history courses. If so, apply elsewhere.
the wsj

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sleep


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cont gif

This is a webpage devoted to listing as many examples of people using shipping containers as architectural elements as I can find, in an effort to embolden people to use containers in building projects, when and where doing so is feasible and appropriate. Be aware that containers are not a perfect building material, since they tend to corrode, but they have been used effectively in some cases, especially in areas near saltwater. This is mainly a links page, and I cannot guarantee anything at all about the sites that I am offering links to, but I try to periodically search for and add links that are fresh and offer something useful and interesting, and I remove bad links and projects where information is incomplete. If you have a site worth adding, or experiences to relate in using containers for building, please contact me.

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cont gif

Shipping Container Housing Guide is a site that came up after we searched the net for shipping containers information and saw that a lot of people and websites are talking about how can you build a house using shipping containers.

Who are we? We're not container specialists, engineers or architects. We're a bunch of young people who love to surf the net and thought that this will be an in interesting idea.

We plan to update periodically the information on this site with articles written by real specialists and with our own thoughts and opinions. We want this site to be your primary source of information regarding shipping container housing.

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cont gif

So the argument has been made that these containers could be turned into shelter for use in emergencies. In light of the recent aftermath of hurricane Katrina, there could actually be immediate need for such shelters. Ideally, the converted containers could be delivered by truck to the actual home sight of the disaster victims. They could live in the shelter on their own land, using the utilities that are already supplied to that lot until their home is rebuilt. The shelters would be preferable to tents because of their steel beam construction. They can endure strong winds, snow and even wildfires.

However, the first step is to get the containers converted. At the moment, there are a few problems that those performing the conversion face. First of all, the containers are only 8 feet wide which doesn't create much room. Cutting away sides and joining 2 containers together can solve this problem. Windows and other holes for utilities have to be cut with a blow torch, requiring specialized labor. So, at the moment, the cost of converting these shipping containers would be prohibitive.

But there is a solution to this problem. Proponents of the idea, including professors, students, nonprofit organizations and some members of the building industry suggest that the containers should be designed so that conversion is possible at some point in the future. They could have removable panels that would not endanger the integrity of the container when it's being used for shipping and could be easily removed when the container is needed in an emergency for shelter. When needed, these containers could then be transported and set up much faster and would be a much more comfortable solution for the victims.

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she's about a mover - sir doug 5 and the joan of arch


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tokyo
teleport
center




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Harvard Design Magazine Fall 2005 / Winter 2006, Number 23
Regeration - Design as Dialogue, Building as Transformation


ONLINE ONLY BOOK REVIEWS
post ex sub dis: Urban Fragmentations and Constructions* edited by the Ghent Urban Studies Team; The New Civic Art: Elements of Town Planning* edited by Andreas Duany, Elizabeth Plater–Zyberk, and Robert Alminana; reviewed by Susannah Hagan
Charlotte Perriand: A Life of Creation; An Autobiography* by Charlotte Perriand; Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living* edited by Mary McLeod; reviewed by Daniel Naegele
Moment of Grace: The American City in the 1950s* by Michael Johns; reviewed by Marshall Berman

LETTER
Emily Talen's Response to Alex Krieger's Critique of Her Essay*

IN MEMORIAM
Hilary Lewis on Philip Johnson*

FEATURES
Regeneration: Design as Dialogue, Building as Transformation
Innovation and Insight in the Contemporary Architecture of Additions* by Paul Spencer Byard
Deference, Dialogue, and Dissolve How New Architecture Meets Old by Peter Buchanan
In Celebration of Complementary Architecture Architectural History's Suppressed Glories by Wilfried Wang
Masked Nostolgia, Chic Regression The “Critical” Reconstruction of Berlin* by Sebastian Schmaling
Reconstruction Doubts The Ironies of Building in Schinkel's Name by Barry Bergdoll
Roadside Redesigns —Woody and Variegated—to Help Sustain Nature and People by Richard T. T. Forman
Gathering the Given Michelangelo's Redesign of the Campidoglio by James Ackerman
Urban Land is a Natural Thing to Waste Seeing and Appreciating Drosscapes by Alan Berger

ON URBANISM
Bust or Fold Suburbia as Destiny by Jeffrey Inaba and Peter Zellner

ON CULTURAL POLITICS
The Work of Architecture in the Age of Commodification* by Kenneth Frampton

ON TECHNOLOGY
Diminishing Difficulty Mass Customization and the Digital Production of Architecture by Daniel WIllis and Todd Woodward

ON HISTORY
The Production of Locality in Josep Luis Sert's Peabody Terrace by Sarah Williams Goldhagen

ON PRACTICE
Does Enforcement of Architects' Regulations Protect the Public Welfare? Not Enough.* by Thomas Spector

ON CRITICISM
Moneo's Anxiety Rafael Moneo's Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies in the Work of Eight Contemporary Architects by Jeffrey Kipnis

BOOK REVIEWS
Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs; reviewed by Ken Greenberg
Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory by Andreas Huyssen; reviewed by Jan Otakar Fischer
Warped Space by Anthony Vidler; reviewed by Christopher Long

*available online


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Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein is being urged to speed up his rebuilding effort - or lose some public funding, sources said yesterday.
The behind-the-scenes push comes as Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki suggested publicly that some of the $3.35 billion in tax-free Liberty Bonds Silverstein is counting on could go to other developers.

Silverstein, who leases the site from the Port Authority, is finishing one office tower, plans to start the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower in the spring and hopes to erect four more office buildings. But questions have arisen about whether he can line up the prospective tenants he needs to keep the projects moving.

"There are a variety of projects [the bonds] could be used for," the mayor said. "Some are Silverstein projects, some are other projects."

Pataki said a bigger role by the Port Authority and "private-sector investors" might be best.

Sources said the Port Authority wants to renegotiate its lease with Silverstein so the agency can move up development of two Church St. sites.


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Real estate developer Larry Silverstein, who holds the rights to build on Ground Zero, is asking the state and city for permission to sell $3.3 billion worth of so-called Liberty Bonds to help finance the office towers that are supposed to rise on the site. He must be required to make some very big promises to get them.
Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg must use every bit of leverage they can apply to persuade Silverstein to surrender his near total control over building the mega-project. And, critically, they must insist that Silverstein forfeit the bonds if his development scheme doesn't meet the tightest possible schedule for construction.

Created by the federal government after 9/11, the bonds are a critical economic development tool that must not go to waste. If Silverstein falters for a minute, he must lose them. And there is great concern he will falter because his plan to build 10 million square feet of office space in five buildings around Ground Zero is economically dubious, even if he does receive all the proceeds of the insurance he had on the World Trade Center.

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The Stork Club: Quintron, The Frogs and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci

For a brief but delirious spell way back in the 1990s, The Stork haunted our halls. That's him on the left. Stork hosted a must-listen program called Live At The Stork Club, mostly on Sunday nights, if memory serves. As the name might imply, mostly Stork hosted live musical guests, in his own impeccably gracious manner.

I bet somewhere on The Internet there exists a full list of all the bands who served time in Stork's "Moose Room". Unfortunately, most of this stuff happened during the last Stone Age, just before we began archiving all our programming. Happily, many of these shows do exist, someplace, in some form or another; and where time, technology and endurance permit, we'll make the archives available to you. Here's three vintage shows to get you started:

Christmas With Quintron - Mr. Quintron, Miss Pussycat and Flossie & The Unicorns joined Stork on Xmas Eve, 1995 for a uniquely warped evening of organs, drum buddies & puppet shows. Listen here (mp3 stream).
The Frogs - Wisconsin's legendary Flemion brothers celebrate their newfound 90s celebrity among the era's alt-rock elite; spin records by Wesley Willis, Beck and Jewel; and perform an acoustic set of music positively guaranteed to get us some major FCC finery were this show to be aired today. From July 20, 1997. Listen here (mp3 stream)
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - On July 16, 1998, WFMU consummated its love affair with these Welsh psych-folk imps. And Stork was there. Gorky's would visit us three more times over the years, visiting Irene's show and my own show (twice, in fact). Listen here for their first appearance, with Stork.
fmu bonus :
NYC Radio The Night John Lennon Died (mp3) Here's a dial scan of New York City's FM band from 25 years ago (MP3). It was recorded shortly after the news of John Lennon's murder broke. The recording was made by an unknown listener, and it was included on our CD compilation, Radio Archival Oddities, Vol. 2.

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A long-standing debate as to whether Frank Lloyd Wright or his former employer, Louis Sullivan, designed two beachfront bungalows in Ocean Springs, Mississippi may have been rendered moot by the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.

One of the homes, built as Sullivan's coastal retreat in 1890, was vaporized by the wind-driven 30-foot swell that surged out of the Mississippi Sound on August 29. The remains of the house and its separate servants' quarters lie heaped in ragged outcroppings of rubble. The other house and its octagonal guest cottage, built next door the same year for Sullivan's friend James Charnley, are still standing, but just barely. Knocked off its piers, the house sits crumpled and forlorn, its windows and doors blasted out by the storm. The guest cottage is in a similar state of disarray.

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edwin

edwin with cinderblock


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Despite Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Emmylou Harris achieving #1 hit success with his songwriting, Townes Van Zandt never ascended to the upper eschelon of celebrity bestowed upon so many of his peers, no matter how lauded he was. The reason was clear: Van Zandt never settled into the familiar promotional avenues that so many others who did achieve success traveled, and instead chose an endless loop of travelling, playing his songs, and racking up more experiences to put into them. Plus, he wasn't easy to categorize: folk, blues, country were all factors in what he did, but he'd be a marketing man's nightmare, even despite a growing reputation. Hence, he relied on a good friend to put out his records and do what he could to spread the word, while Townes did what he only knew best.

Margaret Brown's documentary, Be Here To Love Me (premiered at Angelika here in NYC December 2nd) is a long overdue look at his music and life, which was ceaslessly tempestuous. In his 20's he was administered shock treatment after being committed for falling from a four story window willingly ("to see what it felt like"), and the result erased much of his childhood memories. This inability to cement connections in his life led to a continual wandering, and the film takes a very intimate look at the people, friends, and family who all were affected by this. In Townes' own words, his own sanity and life itself depended on the ability to "blow off everything and go." Despite this, Brown's interviews with Townes' children and ex-wives reveal a true reverence towards him despite the darkness of their relationships; his little daughter sings his songs, his sons even reckon that their personal relationships may have not been able to happen any other way and not lessen the impact of what he did musically. Sadly, hard living drained him by the 1990's, though his fervor to create never lessoned. Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, who was set to record Van Zandt at Easley Studios in Memphis after a label deal was struck with DGC, recounts the tragedy of the aborted 1997 session which happened right before the man's demise, despite his insistency to crank out one more record.

The film is a well-done telling of his story, there's some great live clips and TV interviews, and riveting testimony from the likes of Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark and others. Our own Hatch interviewed director Brown on his show last night, and you can check it out here. (real audio). You can also check out a trailer of the film here.
from brian turner wfmu beware the blog


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But first I want to persist with the ongoing story of post-Katrina reconstruction, and to respond to readers who felt that my last post, on the Mississippi Renewal Forum, was a bit rough on the New Urbanists and their design ideas for rebuilding a dozen or so Gulf Coast towns. David Sucher, in particular, of City Comforts, argued that I failed "to separate urban site plan—which is the core of New Urbanism—from architectural style"; and then wondered whether I and other critics would "really prefer to have Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry—as opposed to Andres Duany et al.—taking lead roles in helping Mississippians in their rebuilding." Perhaps I was too hard on the New Urbanists' efforts to advocate pedestrian-oriented communities; though I'd still argue that the popular appeal of the movement is based less on its planning principles than on its neotraditional pattern books; which means that developers often forsake the principles—the emphasis on regional planning, mixed uses, multi-family housing, transit corridors, et al.—and focus on the period decor, on the porches and porticoes, the gables and gambrels.

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folk-songs for the five points


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gilmore clark's 500x333

the BRP


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skaterdater


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world of kane

thanks jim b
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watched barry lewis's walk through the bronx on 13 last night. fair warning, its pledge week. of particular interest were the terra-cotta bas-reliefs of parkchester which were looking very john ahearn like to me. coming from westchester i guess this is my borough by extension. it was pretty intense in the 70's. we would catch a lift down gilmore clark's brp (bronx river parkway) to 241st street right on the edge of mount vernon and the bronx to take the 2 or the 5 train into the city. all the while picking up fashion tips (red pro-keds with alternate lacing techniques) and checking out the cool subway graffiti ("stay high 149").

ill try and find more info on those late deco parkchester relief sculptures. it was mentioned that they were commisioned to soften those hard edged (literally) buildings. heres three pages with lots of pictures for starters.


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Alison Brooks's Salt House, among the oyster-pickers' old cottages in Essex, is a triumph of ingenious, affordable design.


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