Soviet Innerness: wallpaper journeys behind the Iron Curtain

Monday, 24 October, 2016

USSR era wallpaper

Do you remember Brezhnev? The iron curtain? The Soviet Union? The wallpaper? Yes, I kid you not, do you recall the wallpaper design of the Soviet era?

In case you’ve forgotten, or didn’t know what is was like in the first place, then Soviet Innerness, a collection of wallpaper designs, is for you. Brought to you by Elena, and Alessandro Calvaresi, curators of wallpaper design from the Eastern Bloc.

Related: , , , ,

Looking for vintage stock photos? Vintage Stock Photos is the place

Thursday, 15 September, 2016

Photo via Vintage Stock Photos

A handy resource for anyone looking for vintage style stock photos, Vintage Stock Photos. The images can be used free of charge on websites, and in books and videos, for commercial projects. Terms and conditions apply, so read before use.

Related: , ,

Plotting the rise of Earth’s average temperature over 22,000 years

Wednesday, 14 September, 2016

A timeline of Earth’s average temperature over the last twenty-two thousand years, by xkcd.

Temperature are now, on average, five degrees Celsius warmer, than they were at the beginning of this time period.

Related: , , ,

Should there be a name for the last pre-internet generation?

Tuesday, 6 September, 2016

If you were born before 1985, then you have lived with, and without, the internet. What do you think your life might be like today, had the internet not come along? I’m not sure I could imagine a world without anymore. In fact, I’m not sure that I’d want to. Life might be simpler, but it would also be a lot more, well, cumbersome.

Think of having the world at your finger tips, which we do to a degree, against having to go out into the world to attend to everything yourself. That’s not to say there aren’t downsides to being constantly plugged into an all seeing, all knowing grid, so maybe it could be said we’re neither better nor worse off, overall.

These people, says Harris, are the last of a dying breed. “If you were born before 1985, then you know what life is like both with the internet and without. You are making the pilgrimage from Before to After,” he writes. It is a nice conceit. Harris, like your correspondent, grew up in a very different world, one with limited channels of communication, fewer forms of entertainment, and less public scrutiny of quotidian actions or fleeting thoughts. It was neither better nor worse than the world we live in today. Like technology, it just was.

Related: , ,

There’s the Paleo lifestyle, then there’s really living Paleo like

Friday, 2 September, 2016

Paleo foods served at certain cafes may be the closest most of us come, or think we come, to stone age living. For others though, there is no holding back, only total immersion, latter day hunters and gatherers, who go into the wilderness, and live primally, for extended periods.

Indigenous photographer Kiliii Yuyan recently accompanied members of the Stone Age Living Project, and documented their way of life, when he spent a month living with them, as they as lived as hunters and gatherers.

Yuyan has spent ten years involved with a group of 21st Century hunter-gatherers, a movement called the Stone Age Living Project. Their aim is to return to primitive living, away from the modern age. In the summer of 2014, Yuyan embedded himself with the group for a month, for which they had spent six months in preparation. They tanned hides and collected and dried foods in anticipation of the month ahead. During the month itself they hunted, “strained [their] way up scree slopes in bloodied bare feet”, and lived primally. Yuyan chose to carry a camera rather than a weapon, and with it he recorded their activities.

Related: , ,

Colourising old photos, the work of Brazilian artist Marina Amaral

Thursday, 1 September, 2016

Photo colourised by Marina Amaral

Brazilian freelance designer and artist Marina Amaral colourises well known old photos, such as this image, taken on 23 August 1963, during the The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

More of her work can be seen on her Behance page.

Related: , ,

Weronika Gesicka, a photographer turning old stock photos into art

Monday, 29 August, 2016

Photo/artwork by Weronika Gesicka

After searching through stock photo images dating from the 1950s and 1960s, and then altering them with the aid of Photoshop, Polish artist and photographer Weronika Gesicka has assembled a photo series titled Traces, that could be variously be described as outlandish, or eerie, or plain strange.

Weird the work might be, but wonderful it is as well.

Related: , ,

Old computers made to look brand new thanks to photo retouching

Friday, 26 August, 2016

Photo by James Ball and INK

London based photographer James Ball, in collaboration with digital production studio INK, recently retouched vintage photos of early computers, to make them appear to look brand new.

Included in the collection of images, that is titled Guide To Computing, are the Pilot ACE, designed by Alan Turing, and the IBM 1401, that dates from 1959.

Related: , , ,

The flag of the United States, the way it might have looked

Wednesday, 24 August, 2016

US flag design proposal, circa 1950s

The current flag of the United States of America, that features fifty stars, one for each member state of the union, flew for the first time on Independence Day, 4 July 1960. During the 1950s however, much thought had been given to how the flag should look once Alaska and Hawaii became fully fledged states, which they did in 1959.

This prompted US citizens to send their – often unsolicited – design ideas to the President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Of the three thousand submissions, one by then high school student Robert G. Heft, was chosen. And the rest is history, as they say. But now, a selection of ideas that were rejected, have been published in a book, Old Glory.

There were certainly some interesting proposals put forward, that’s for sure.

Related: , , ,

There aren’t too many lift operators in the world, but here’s one

Monday, 22 August, 2016

Today it might seem strange that the elevators, or lifts, in many buildings once had human operators, whose job was to drive it. Open and close the doors. Push start and stop buttons. Be prepared to announce the floor the elevator had arrived at, and what might be there.

It makes me wonder, did operators require a drivers license, before they could take charge of a lift? Of course, elevators weren’t quite as automated as they are today, so some level of skill was required to work one.

But seventy-five year old Ruben Pardo, who has been driving the elevator in a high rise on Los Angeles’ Wilshire Boulevard since 1976, could tell you more about that. His work may have been made redundant by technology just about everywhere else, but I doubt that the people who use his lift mind that there is still a human driver.

Related: , ,