Tesla does the Astro. Hunter Dukes at Public Domain Review examines the promotion of Nikola Tesla’s ideas via this famous photograph.
• Coming soon from Side Real Press: Kokain—The Modern Revue, a magazine produced in Vienna that ran for five issues during 1925. “Original copies are so rare that it scarcely appears in any of the literature relating to the Weimar period and its contents have remained almost entirely ignored and certainly untranslated. Until now.”
• “Magritte had gotten this far in life by refusing to obey anyone, and in a way his disobedience proved that he understood Surrealism better than the leader of the Surrealists.” Jackson Arn reviewing Magritte: A Life by Alex Danchev.
• “Go as far into your dream as possible and find your own unique voice.” Meredith Monk (again) talking to Elizabeth Aubrey.
• Coming soon from Strange Attractor: City of the Beast: The London of Aleister Crowley by Phil Baker.
• At Spoon & Tamago: The natural world springs to life in kirie paintings by Tamami Kubota.
• Antonia Mufarech on why sunflowers are Ukraine’s national flower.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Etienne-Louis Boullée’s unbuildable tombs.
• Mix of the week: I Can’t Go For That by The Ephemeral Man.
• New music: Triumph Of The Oak by The Lord.
• RIP Philip Jeck.
• Tesla (1997) by Jimi Tenor | Tesla (2011) by They Might Be Giants | Tesla Coil (2016) by Xhei
An entire book of architectural caprices is just the thing I like to see, so it’s a shame that most of the examples in Fantaisies Architecturales (1890) by Henri Mayeux are little more than sketches. Mayeux was an architect and a professor of decorative arts whose previous book had been a guide to the composition of decoration and its historical use. Fantaisies Architecturales applies a similar approach to architectural styles, offering a variety of historical pastiches as well as suggestions suited to stage designs and more contemporary buildings.
Mayeux’s inventiveness is considerable but he shares with many of the architects of 19th-century expositions a reluctance or inability to imagine anything that breaks with the styles of the past. Étienne-Louis Boullée’s colossal plan for a cenotaph for Isaac Newton (proposed in 1784) remains astonishing because its design is so unprecedented. The construction of the vast internal sphere may have exceeded the engineering limits of the time but the unadorned abstraction of the design is closer to the architecture of the 20th century than anything from the 19th. The Eiffel Tower had been built a couple of years before Mayeux’s book was published but it wasn’t until the Exposition Universelle of 1900 that Paris saw any other buildings that could complement its architectural novelty.
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