McDonads’ McRib sandwich is a boneless rib sandwich (never mind that ribs are bones) in which the meat has been molded into the shape of meat that appears to be still on the bone. It is food shaped into a fantasy of food and a statement insisting that we can dictate the form of our environment if we choose.
Photos by Bologna & Ketchup.
The US Interstate Highway system was a self-fulfilling prophecy, simultaneously imagining and creating a future in which American life was centered around the car. All around it sprung up architecture built at the scale of the automobile, rather than in the individual. Our celebration of the train was destroyed, not by physically ripping up the tracks, but by laying down countless miles of asphalt criss-crossing every which way and utterly unavoidable.
There was a great article in the New York Times this past April about the decision on whether or not to preserve the insane building above. The article relates closely to the previous posts in this blog about Brutalism, Le Corbusier and preservation. Check it out here.
Photo is by Fred R. Conrad.
In 2011 Rem Koolhaas’ OMA mounted a show in collaboration with the New Museum called Cronocaos that asked viewers to reconsider what, how and why we preserve things, mostly architecture, but also nature. Preservation, it points out, prevents its subject from transforming into something new and better. It attempts to hold on to authenticity… but as my friend Ben Cannon would ask: does authenticity even exist in the first place? Preservation prevents us from creating a new future, unless that future is a museum. Hopefully, humanity can learn to strike the right balance between preservation and creative destruction.
The top photos are by OMA. The bottom ones are by Benoit Pailley and Gloria Suzie Kim.
The Saarinen designed TWA terminal at JFK airport embodies the optimism of the jet age. It seems like it is about to take off. Yet this year is the terminal’s fiftieth anniversary and it is still right there, too small and modest to be economically useful to the 21st century airline industry, beyond iconification. JetBlue has built a new terminal encircling it, proudly showing it off, jealously guarding it, nervously encasing it in glass and cautiously reaching out its arms to this beautiful relic.
The image on the top was created with CGI by Happy Finish. Below are photos by Ezra Stoller (from 1962) and Thalassa! Thalassa! (from the present, seen from the JetBlue terminal).
In the 20th century modernist forms extended their reach onto our plates.
What are baby carrots anyway? Why is a turkey breast at the deli shaped so differently than a breast on a whole turkey? Once we seemed to be charting a road towards food in pill form; I’m glad that that is subsiding for the moment.
The photo on the left was taken in Connecticut at the Danbury Fair in 1981 and I was in attendance that summer at the tender age of one. This was the 140th and final year that the fair was in existence.
Five years later it was replaced by the Danbury Fair Mall which paid homage to its carnival roots in the design of its glass and steel.
The photo on the left is by Robert Miller from the Danbury News Times; the photo on the right is by Daniel Case.
Societal values can be expressed through toasters.
via none other than toaster.org
The insignia for the military unit charged with capturing aerial photographs of the atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll in 1946.
The layers of technology at play here are astounding: a photographer operating a camera, being flown in a plane, documenting a nuclear bomb. This image captures it all.
More information about this can be found at Ephemera Studies.