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City for Lovers and Friends – Lewis Mumford – Banksy in Studio

October 19th, 2013

Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.

Lewis Mumford (October 19, 1895 – January 26, 1990) was an American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad career as a writer.

  • Edward Burtynsky - Navajo reservation adjacent to a Phoenix suburb.


  • via Robin Gunningham/Mr Banksy… or Banksy in Studio

  • Why Scandinavian Prisons are Superior.

    It’s a postcard-perfect day on Suomenlinna Island, in Helsinki’s South Harbor. Warm for the first week of June, day trippers mix with Russian, Dutch, and Chinese tourists sporting sun shades and carrying cones of pink ice cream.

    “Is this the prison?” asks a 40-something American woman wearing cargo pants and a floral sleeveless blouse.

    The Billy Rose Garden in Jerusalem – Isamu Noguchi

    November 16th, 2012
  • Dome

    Noguchi Garden
    in Jerusalem <>

    ( Photos by Fung-Lin Hall taken from the Billy Rose Garden in Jerusalem)

  • Isamu Noguchi – Nov 17, 1904

  • (image via)

    This set by acclaimed designer Isamu Noguchi, used in Martha Graham’s ‘Embattled Garden,’ was damaged when basement storage of the Martha Graham Dance Company, located in the West Village, flooded in late October 2012. The company said it is still assessing the extent of the damage.

    See Isamu Noguchi design from The Appalachian Spring..

  • Noguchi Museum NY..(youtube)

  • Yoshiko Yoshiko Yamaguchi and Isamu Noguchi and Isamu Noguchi
    Yoshiko Yamaguchi - Isamu Noguchi’s ex-wife .. an international diva who became a politican and has become a passionate advocate for Palestinian causes.

  • Edward Said on Israel occupation (youtube)

  • 24 City – Jia Zhang Ke

    August 30th, 2012
  • 24 city

    The film follows three generations of characters in Chengdu (in the 1950s, the 1970s and the present day) as a state-owned factory gives way to a modern apartment complex.
    The apartment complex featured in the film is an actual development (also called “24 City”) built on the former site of an airplane engine manufacturing facility. Jia will also produce a documentary about the location.
    The film’s narrative style is described by critics as a blend of fictional and documentary storytelling, and it consist of five authentic interviews and four fictional scenes delivered by actors (but presented in a documentary format.


    Joan Chen (Photo via 24 City – Mixing and manipulating Chinese History )

    Peter Bradshaw (Guardian)

    His most sensational “fictional” interview is with a beautiful, lonely factory worker, who is nicknamed Little Flower on the shopfloor, because of her resemblance to the eponymous heroine of a popular 1980 film. The heroine of that genuine film was played by Joan Chen and this character is played by … Joan Chen. Using such an obviously famous star in my view exonerates Jia from the charge of dishonesty. It’s an extraordinarily audacious, even outrageous casting gesture, a day-glo post-modern joke amidst the dour factory dust: an alienation effect which is also its opposite, an identification effect, a way of dramatising how downtrodden factory workers dreamed of glamorous escape, of lives other than the ones they had.

    Early film – 1997

    Jia Zhang Ke photo via

    “Part of the reason I started making films was to respond to cinema’s blind spots, its silences, on the kind of life I knew. I wanted to express all the memorable things that I had experienced, and I think this is still my primary responsibility as a filmmaker.” – Jia Zhangke (MUBI)

    The quest for memory – documentary – (Senses of Cinema)

    There Will Be A Couch

    January 29th, 2008

    Photo by Paul Chinn (image source)

    Pick a title from the list below.

    1 – The Last of the Mohicans Couch
    2 – A Room with a View and Why the Couch Got Away
    3 – The Crucible
    4 – There Will Be Blood
    5 – The Unbearable Lightness of Furniture Being
    6 – The Boxer in the Age of Innocence

    Photo by Paul Chinn (image source)

    The image below is a repost, more about this here.
    <> <> <> <> bedwindow.jpg

    This post is dedicated to Heath Ledger who inspired Daniel Day Lewis.

    Buenos Aires to Hong Kong

    February 20th, 2007

    Robert Weight is blogging from Buenos Aires.
    A few of his photos are featured at Agog post featuring two novels by Argentinian Martinez.

    Yesterday an email came from Valery Grancher announcing his new project, Miniature China blog.

    Valery Grancher Stanley Bay Hong Kong
    Stanley Bay Hong Kong by Valery Grancher (via)
    Buenos Aires and Hong Kong are happily linked together here at vitro-nasu.

    RIP Jane Jacobs – D+A = nD

    April 30th, 2006

    Jane Jacobs Jane Jacobs

    There is perhaps no person in the 20th Century who was more influential in raising the benchmark for our quality of life in cities than Jane Jacobs, who died on April 25, 2006 at 89.
    Remembering Jane Jacobs (Cool Town Studios)

    She decided to leave the United States in part out of her objection to the Vietnam War and due to worry about the fate of her two draft-age sons. She chose Toronto as she found it a pleasant city and its rapid growth meant plenty of work for her architect husband. She quickly became a leading figure in her new city and was involved in stopping the Spadina Expressway. A common theme of her work has been to question whether we are building cities for people or for cars. She has been arrested twice during demonstrations. (Jane Jacobs Wikipedia)

    Dark Age Ahead (Ideas That Matter Quarterly)

    D+A = nD (D is labor division in a given economic system, A new activities of entrepreneurs and nD the resulting new form of labor division.)

    In the forty-plus years since her book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” appeared, her views, which then seemed wildly eccentric—basically, that New York’s future depended less on tall buildings and big projects than on the preservation of small, old blocks and catch-as-catch-can retailing—have been vindicated so many times, and in so many ways, that by now one can hardly think about this city without thinking about her, and like her.

    Jacobs has closely followed the Ground Zero plans and debates, and she thinks that the right thing to do is not to do anything right away. “The significance of that site now is that we don’t know what its significance is,” she said. “We’ll know in fifteen or twenty years.”
    (Cities and Songs - Adam Gopnik, New Yorker )

    Deptford X Ephemeral Cities – Net Art Open from London

    October 28th, 2005

    The Ephemeral Cities web art project is curated by Paul Malone and hosted by A2 Arts in collaboration with the Deptford X Festival.
    Click on the small thumbnail image to the left of the page to see each artist’s project.

    6artists

    Contributors : Caspar Below, Elizabeth Coulter-Smith, Errol Francis, Valery Grancher, Fung Lin Hall, Susie Hinchliffe, Julian Konczak, Mac McKean, Paul Malone, Andy Parsons, Nicola Rae, Jurgen Trautwein

    (To Paul, thanks for putting together Net Open and for inviting me. Fung-Lin Hall.)

    Ephemeral Cities

    October 21st, 2005

    Lost in Words Lost in Words
    Watercolor on the photos of Jungmannova in Prague.

    ” … the city which can not be expunged from the mind is like an armature, a honey-comb in whose cells each of us can place the things he wants to remember…” Italo Calvino.

    Uffizi Ephemeral Cities
    Uffizi, Florence Photo Fung Lin Hall -

    “Perfection is a road that leads only to solitude: I no longer see in men anything but surmounted rungs. The Maestro, who has greater genius than I, is in my presence nothing more than a poor man no longer in possession of himself, and Michelangelo would gladly exchange his ardor for my serenity…..
    That mad emperor wished that the world had only one head, so that he could cut it off. Would that it were only one body, that I might embrace it: one fruit, that I might pluck it: one enigma, which I might finally solve. Shall I seize an empire? Shall I construct a temple? Shall I write a poem, which will last longer?…
    One has to have too many illusions to desire power, too much vanity to desire glory. Since I possess myself, what enrichment could the universe bring me – and happiness means nothing to me. ” (excerpt from “That Mighty Sculptor, Time” by Marguerite Yourcenar.)

    Boboli Boboli Fung Lin Hall
    Boboli Garden, Florence photo by Fung Lin Hall – Sculpture by Sculpture by Igor Mitoraj

    The archive of Cities from this blog will be presented at the Deptford Festival in London. The following index was created to offer an alternative viewing experience for the audience. The individual pages will be presented without the sidebar menu.

    -c- New Orleans

    -i- San Francisco

    -t- Walking in the Clouds – New York City

    -i- Cities + Cinematheque

    -e- Venice to Florence

    -s- Besieged

  • Film Quiz + Nobody Knows + Cities & Neglected Children

    October 10th, 2005

    The film quiz of this month – do these images seem familiar?

    Name this man. -Dziga Vertov-
    Clip of L’atalantaParis, Paris (Paris, Paris)

    What is the relationship of this man and the film directed by Jean Vigo?
    Go here for Answers.

    Theme: Abandoned children growing up by themselves in the cities, name three.
    Well the answers are here for this quiz. Two are acclaimed films from last year and one is almost 17 years old.

    TokyoNobody Knows - Kore-eda

    Bombay -Salaam Bombay Mira Nair (Her first film is her best film – a near masterpiece).

    Rio de JanairoCity of God – Fernando Meirelles.

    Nobody KnowsNobody Knows (via).

    Back to Ephemeral Cities

    A Streetcar Named Desire – Love Note to New Orleans

    September 8th, 2005

    “Welcome to Johnny White’s, a New Orleans bar that has actually managed to stay open all through the Katrina disaster and has turned into a kind of community center for folks who have refused to leave the city. ” (via Sfgate)

    Bellocq bellocq11

    FIRST 0F ALL, the pictures are unforgettable – photography’s ultimate standard of value. And it’s not hard to see why the trove of glass negatives by a hitherto unknown photographer working in New Orleans in the early years of this century became one of the most admired recoveries in photography’s widening, ever incomplete history. (Susan Sontag on Bellocq )

    13 more photographs by Bellocq from Masters of Photography

    Step inside A Gallery for Fine Photography, located in an historic 19th-century building at 241 Chartres in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
    Bellocq at A Gallery, here.

    Luois Malle and Pretty Baby.
    “Violet (Shields) is the daughter of a prostitute (Susan Sarandon) who works at one of the brothels in New Orleans’ legendary red-light district, Storyville. One day photographer Ernest Bellocq (Keith Carradine) arrives at the brothel to take photos of the prostitutes and becomes fascinated with Violet, who is fast approaching her 12th birthday and a subsequent initiation into prostitution. When her mother moves to St. Louis in search of marriage and respectability, Violet determines to marry the much older Bellocq. Malle infuses the potentially lurid subject matter with a lyrical beauty that brings humanity to his characters and story, with the assistance of a sensitive script by Polly Platt and superb cinematography by Sven Nykvist.”

    Andre Codrescu on Love Note to New Orleans

    The Lady with the Cross from A Gallery of Eccentrics from New Orleans

    My Family Can Help

    World Changing on Katrina home.

    A Street Car Named Desire on Wikipedia

    “A strong, soulful, wicked, frail city” wrote Reed Johnson –
    “After disaster recedes, the rebuilding will begin. Artists and others wonder: What will become of the culture?”

    New Orleans is a ghost town, an occupied city, from Life in the Necropolis.

    Spike Lee is headed to New Orleans to make a documentary examining how race and politics collided in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    The Subject Supposed to Loot and Rape:
    Reality and fantasy in New Orleans by Slavoj Zizek
    “New Orleans is one of those cities within the United States most heavily marked by the internal wall that separates the affluent from ghettoized blacks. And it is about those on the other side of the wall that we fantasize: More and more, they live in another world, in a blank zone that offers itself as a screen for the projection of our fears, anxieties and secret desires.”

    Back to Ephemeral Cities

    Hotel des Arts – On the Streets of San Francisco

    August 14th, 2005

    All in one – a slide, a bed, and a balcony, a new concept in architectural design?
    Or a bed trying to escape from the building?

    bedwindow.jpg

    The image was copied from a news headline from SF gate a couple years ago. It was a time people were fleeing the city, losing their jobs and rents remained expensive.

    Yesterday from the same newspaper came this delightful news:
    Local California artists are busy decorating the rooms of a new hotel in San Francisco.
    Three photos on view, here.

    Gallery of Hotel des Arts.
    (great idea)

    New Can below by Los Angeles street artist Buff Monster who decorated the rooms of Hotel des Arts.

    New Can #4 New Can

    Back to Ephemeral Cities

    Street Artists and Mother at the Ranch

    August 9th, 2005

    Where? Here, there in the (Ban)-sky, Museum of Bank sy(stem)

    Micky and Ronnie got the famous screaming naked girl

    August 2, 2005 – walls got decorated in Palestine

    Dead Soldier’s mother camping at Crawford

    with a Cow in Warhol tatoo.

    Besieged by Banksy

    Street artists Practice war on the ground
    Practice war
    digital image Aug 8, 2005 Fung Lin Hall

    Back to Ephemeral Cities