retroactive records of fridays #04 / by Mikhail Kim

We're almost caught up. This post records dispatches from January 2015.

January 9, 2015 - "Far far away land friday"

Happy New Year folks! You have likely seen WPA travel posters from around 1930s promoting tourism in national parks. But what you may not have seen are these analogs promoting tourism on (national) planets. So just as soon as I can save up enough PTO we should take a jaunt over to check out that white picket fence on Kepler-186f. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as easily as Yellowstone.

January 16, 2015 - "Is this a real friday?"

Do you go to museums/art galleries? What if any given famous painting you were looking at was a fake? Would you be able to tell, would you care, how much do you really pay attention, or does it matter? Artist Doug Fishbone will be sneaking in a fake painting into a London gallery this spring and the above questions are some of the first that come to mind. He commissioned a replica of one painting from a Chinese workshop and will switch it with the original and is asking for people to guess which is the fake.

Closer to the archi world, this raises questions about intellectual property over a design (aka, all the fake Zahas and quaint European towns popping up in China). Should you be (secretly) proud that your creative output is good enough to be copied, or do you want all the credit to yourself?

January 23, 2015 - "Contrast friday"

Have you seen this chocolate collection by Nendo? Aside from the fact that I want that, they immediately reminded me of John Hejduk’s series of architectural Masks (a nice summary, and a  google image search for some of his masks). Granted some of their names such as “House of the Mother of the Suicide” sound pretty far from what Nendo might have in mind, but the formal investigation is uncannily familiar, the implication of material and texture (or lack thereof) is intriguing. Put two of them side by side and you may have the permanence of concrete next to a something that starts melting once you touch it… All that triggered just by a shape seen before.

Now how about that beautiful packaging… whew!

January 30, 2015 - "An almost virtual friday"

I’m not much of a gamer, but bear with me for a sec (and please tell me I’m an idiot if I’m just spewing bs right now). There is this big package of software called “Unreal Engine 4”, and it is a graphics platform that powers many first-person adventure/shooter type video games out there today. It’s a platform because it’s developed and sold as a product that serves as a foundation for other developers to use and develop other things such as games, and in our case, an architectural walkthrough. It’s pretty impressive, right?

Now the thing that makes this worth noting is that because Unreal Engine is a gaming engine, what you saw in the video was rendered in real-time… aka it was a straight recording of someone actually pressing arrow keys to move around the space and not a pre-rendered video (the classy music was added in post-production, obviously).


As a bonus feature along a parallel thread of thought, there is a new “film” studio called Story Studio (which is owned by Oculus, which is owned by Facebook – interesting, right?) that just recently premiered a new “film” called Lost. I use quotations around “film” because it’s made specifically for the Oculus Rift (it’s a virtual reality headset) (and yea, you look weird in one). The article and the short video interview in it describe that what makes it unique is not just the full immersion, but the possibility of you taking part in the action and influencing the pace of the story. It’s like one of those make-your-own-fairy-tale books (minus the book, plus giant goggles).