Some recent links on oversaturation: tourist attractions that we are literally destroying with our love (how did they forget Venice?), how nobody goes to Barcelona anymore because it's too popular, Martin Parr on how too much photography blinds us, and the endgame for collectors of matchbooks. I'll leave behind observations today as to avoid oversaturating the net on oversaturation. After all, the net is oversaturation at its purest, a Slashdot effect for the human race.
Over at Fantastic Journal, Charles Holland writes about hipster urbanism, comparing the High Line, which turns infrastructure into tourism with the reopening of a train line in east London as…get this: a train line.
Hipster urbanism is hardly rare anymore. A short while back, I enjoyed a stroll on the Walkway Over the Hudson, a former railroad bridge in upstate New York. Near where I live in New Jersey a project is underway for a train line that leads into Hoboken. The idea of building a bike path to the city is laudable. After all, I could get a Brompton and ride to the PATH train and head to Studio-X. But note that not only do trains still use the line, the train company that owns it expects that use will expand in the next few years. So is riding my bike to the city really the best use of the line? Maybe industry is old hat?
[Walkway over the Hudson]
In the countries once known as the developed world, we’ve replaced productivity with tourism. This is a prime difference between modernism and its successors, postmodernism and network culture. Few modernists could have understood relinquishing production. Think of Tony Garnier’s fabulous Une Cité Industrielle, for example. Today, however, industry plays little role in (formerly) developed economies like the United States or the United Kingdom. In the case of the former, where finance generated roughly 12% of the GDP in 1980 and industry generated around twice that, today the figures are reversed… and this has only been exacerbated by the economic crisis.
Remember the Roger Rabbit conspiracy theories that General Motors paid to destroy the train system to favor the automobile? It’s hardly so simple, but surely as we are heading into a new century, we wouldn’t want to exacerbate those mistakes, would we?
Looking something like a Roger Dean album cover, somewhere off the northern coast of Taiwain a pod city lies in ruin. Supposedly construction accidents at San Zhi generated fears that the site was haunted leading to the failure and eventual abandonment of the vacation complex.
I’ve long predicted that RVs would become popular with the young. Finally it appears that I’m right. Today’s LA Times addresses the growth of RVs among members of Generation X. But Gen X isn’t merely adopting the Baby Boomers’ old wheels. Instead, they’re turning to toy haulers that can not only serve as mobile homes but also as mobile garages.
Continue reading “the rise of the toy hauler”
Why has this blog been so barren lately? Am I giving up on the Net? No! Far from it. I have, however, been a little busy lately. Now that the project is safely established, we can announce that…
AUDC Establishes Network Architecture Lab
Formed in 2001, AUDC [Architecture Urbanism Design Collaborative] specializes in research as a form of practice. The AUDC Network Architecture Lab is an experimental unit at Columbia University that embraces the studio and the seminar as venues for architectural analysis and speculation, exploring new forms of research through architecture, text, new media design, film production and environment design.
Specifically, the Network Architecture Lab investigates the impact of computation and communications on architecture and urbanism. What opportunities do programming, telematics, and new media offer architecture? How does the network city affect the building? Who is the subject and what is the object in a world of networked things and spaces? How do transformations in communications reflect and affect the broader socioeconomic milieu? The NetLab seeks to both document this emergent condition and to produce new sites of practice and innovative working methods for architecture in the twenty-first century. Using new media technologies, the lab aims to develop new interfaces to both physical and virtual space.
The NetLab is consciously understood as an interdisciplinary unit, establishing collaborative relationships with other centers both at Columbia and at other institutions.
The NetLab begins operations in September 2006.
As a culmination to the Networked Publics program, the faculty research group that I have been working at for the last year, we will be publishing a collaboratively written group book with the MIT Press. Three of drafts of our essays are finished (on place, culture, and politics) and available online at the Networked Publics site.
Throughout the Networked Publics program, we have tried to employ collaborative scholarship whereever possible and effective. Readers, colleagues, and friends are invited to to contribute by posting comments at the end of each essay (note that easier to read versions of the essays can be also be downloaded from the appropriate pages). Our hope is to take the comments that we receive and append them to the essay in a virtual symposium to follow each chapter.
Things Magazine picked it up earlier this month, then Anne Galloway blogged it at Space and Culture, and Jo-Anne Greene at Networked Performance posted it too. So, I thought I’d post it as well. If you haven’t seen it, enjoy.