Trade Tokens #2 – January Tidy-Up

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As part of what I do in the ‘day job’, I’m interested in borders, in the US-Mexican/US-Canadian borders in particular, and in the ways authority attempts to impose arbitrary borders and boundaries. Via Building Blog, I came across David Taylor’s project, ‘Working the Line’, documenting 276 markers installed on the US/Mexico border between 1892-1895. Lots of useful links worth following up!

I’m not sure how I’d categorise this next link, also to Building Blog, to a post about fictional architectures, a student project which used a document-based approach to create extraordinary fictional worlds.

A different form of fictionality: I like automata, and this post from Cabinet of Wonders contains a number of videos of different machines. I find the hand a little unnerving; there is a sense that it is the hand that turns the cogs and makes the human hand move. I like that.

On a similar theme, No Fear of the Future recently included a video of a Lego version of the Antikythera Mechanism (beware when you watch the video: it has annoyingly portentous music). Bonus clips are of machines by Arthur Ganson, who made a number of the machines featured in the earlier blog post.

Shifting tack entirely, via the Guardian I came across Bookshelf Porn, which naturally appealed, given I live in a house in which bookshelves form the main (often the only) decorative accents. Having looked through it, I realise I am clearly in the ‘neatly stacked and functional’ camp when it comes to bookshelves. This, while it might be an amusing talking point is of absolutely no use to me whatsoever. Which is not to say that my shelves don’t have the odd talking-point here and there – I have two Maine Coon-cross cats with a taste for mountaineering and a keen appreciation of the high places shelves provide – but I leave that to them to sort out.

Alas, given the paper-chewing propensities of cats (all three of mine have attempted at various times to use books as chew toys while teething), I don’t think it sensible to own any of Su Blackwell’s book sculptures (and I must admit to a faint queasiness about doing things to books, even though I know the world is hip-deep in old books which would otherwise be pulped, shredded, etc.).

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