General Reference

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Ever wondered why the BBC don’t get a load of interesting architects, artists and patrons talking about buildings that inspire them? Its because they already did it back in the 90’s….

Building Sights is in the BBC iplayer  Archive, as a series of 10 minute shorts. My particular favourites are Damien Hirst talking about the Worsley Medical Building and Simon Armitage discussing the Humber Bridge.

Jasper’s ‘They Live’ post got me thinking about the 1980’s and also after trawling the BUG website, the rise of the pop video genre.

The 80’s was an amazing creative period for pop video (see Peter Gabriel ‘Sledgehammer’, Michael Jackson ‘Billie Jean’, Dire Straits ‘Money for Nothing’) as MTV broke out across cable networks domestically and globally.

Videos were a genuinely powerful tool for making or breaking a band that were watched by millions of people. In the UK Top of the Pops had audiences of around 12million per week.  Anyone interested in the golden age of the music video could start with “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution”(2011) by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks.

Take on Me has got to be one of the best of this era.

Catchy tune – check.

Cult director – check.

Existential exploration of Gibson-esque alternate reality – check.

Experimental rotoscoping sequences (referencing the adolescent tendency to sketch faces of heartthrob in fine shaded detail) – check

wait… 315 million Youtube views – check


*warning – this video has a lot of strobe effects.

“born in 1966 in Gifu, Japan
lives and works in Paris, France and Kyoto, Japan

Japan’s leading electronic composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda focuses on the essential characteristics of sound itself and that of visuals as light by means of both mathematical precision and mathematical aesthetics. Ikeda has gained a reputation as one of the few international artists working convincingly across both visual and sonic media. He elaborately orchestrates sound, visuals, materials, physical phenomena and mathematical notions into immersive live performances and installations.

Alongside of pure musical activity, Ikeda has been working on long-term projects through live performances, installations, books and CD’s such as ‘datamatics’ (2006-), ‘test pattern’ (2008-), ‘spectra’ (2001-), ‘cyclo’ a collaborative project with Carsten Nicolai, ‘superposition’ (2012-) and ‘supersymmetry’ (2014-).”

See more here:

Robert Fludd’s 1618 “water screw” perpetual motion machine from a 1660 wood engraving. This device is widely credited as the first recorded attempt to describe such a device in order to produce useful work, that of driving millstones. Although the machine would not work, the idea was that water from the top tank turns a water wheel (bottom-left), which drives a complicated series of gears and shafts that ultimately rotate the Archimedes’ screw (bottom-center to top-right) to pump water to refill the tank. The rotary motion of the water wheel also drives two grinding wheels (bottom-right) and is shown as providing sufficient excess water to lubricate them.