Bourbon Street emerged from an inward shift in the urban geography of “sin” in the late 19th century. It gained momentum with the rise of leisure tourism in the early 20th century, and catapulted into national fame during World War II. It has hummed ever since, round the clock, 365 days a year — all without the benefit of a corporate structure, a team of experts, a board of directors or a marketing branch.
Formed by working-class characters toiling individually but prospering collectively through the clever use of space and the adaptive commodification of culture, Bourbon Street today is at once “the biggest disorganized street in the whole country” and a well-honed economic engine that pumps millions of outside dollars into the city’s economy and generates imagery and reputation about an entire metropolis.
For some, the Bourbon Street image is a delectable mélange of historicity and hedonism; for others it’s iniquitous, crass, phony and offensive. Americans on either side of the culture wars hate Bourbon Street, but they hate it for entirely different reasons. The Right hates it for its commercialization of sin; the Left, for its commercialization of culture. The Right hates it because it is dangerous pretending to be safe; the Left, because it is safe pretending to be dangerous. The Right, because it’s funky and honkytonk; the Left, because it’s neither.
Hating Bourbon Street is one of the few things traditionalists and progressives agree on, so long as they don’t compare notes.
More: Hating Bourbon Street: Places: Design Observer
Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” in Google Earth
More: A Google Earth Perspective on Land Art
(via Before And After Photo Series Captures The Disappearing Face Of New York City Storefronts - Beautiful/Decay Artist & Design)
From German forests to the French Pyrenees, from the Rock of Gibraltar to Iceland’s tundra, artist Aaron Hobson spends endless hours traversing continents looking for eye-catching scenes. He’s a digital tourist and travel photographer, grabbing images from exotic locales in Google Street View (GSV) rather than mess with planes, climbing gear, or snow shoes.
There are plenty of GSV photo projects out there, but Hobson’s heavily ‘shopped Cinemascapes are a refreshing departure from the usual documentary reality. Not only does he find the most compelling views GSV has to offer, he then mashes them up with dream-like elements to create illusory panoramas.
“GSV is a fantasy world,” says Hobson. “The locations I visit are places of fantasy for most people, myself included. Most of the images beg for a narrative or a folk tale. Storytelling is my favorite form of art.”
(via An Incredible Fantasy World Mapped With Google Street View | Raw File | Wired.com)
Online architecture organization Blank Space recently released renderings from its fairytale competition, wherein they asked architects to write a story and design the fantastic structures of its world.
(via Here’s What Happens When Architects Write Fairy Tales - Once Upon a Rendering - Curbed National)
The city of Houston might lose a 45-year-old artistic landmark. Dubbed “The Art Barn,” the corrugated metal building at Rice University was constructed by arts patrons John and Dominique de Menil over 10 short weeks in 1969 to house the MoMA exhibition Machine: As Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age.
More: Will Houston Demolish Its Iconic ‘Art Barn’?
Let’s All Cool It With These Stupid Maps
Entertaining piece by Alissa “No Relation” Walker.
(via 38 Architectural Renderings You Won’t Believe Are Fake)