Simon Norfolk: Supercomputers

From Humanist I found Simon Norfolk’s web site which includes a photographic series on “The Supercomputers: ‘I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that” (click enter, then click the title of the collection and then click photographs.)

The photographs pick out details of HPC installations that are visually arresting. They are without people as if these spaces were silent. In reality when you are in these spaces (at least the computer rooms I’ve been in) they are noisy with cooling systems and there are people nursing the beasts.


Historypin is a very cool project that lets people attach their historic photographs to locations. It is a partnership with Google that allows images to be pinned on Google Street View and Google Maps.

I like the scale and ambition of this project – it invites a country to document itself. I also like the way they have captured the concept with a name (“Historypin”) and an image of the historic photo pinned over the current view.

GHOSTSIGNS: hand painted wall advertising

GHOSTSIGNS.CO.UK is a site dedicated to the hand painted advertising murals that we often see like ghosts of text on the sides of buildings. The site presents itself as,

a collaborative national effort to photograph, research and archive the remaining examples of hand painted wall advertising in the UK and Ireland.

The images of these ghostsigns are up on a Flickr group pool. See also HAT (History of Advertising Trust) web site which has a gallery.

MagCloud | The Best New Magazines, Printed on Demand by HP

Looking at my Flickr account (where I’m steadily uploading pictures taken in Kyoto) I came across MagCloud, a print-on-demand service for publishing magazines, catalogues and other visual printed works. The idea is that you upload a PDF and then people can come an buy a copy off MagCloud who then print and mail it. I wonder what the quality is like.

Onè Respe is an example of a publication using MagCloud. It is a collection of photographs of Haiti donated by many photographers. The proceeds from sales will go to benefit the victims of the disaster.

Bibliothèque Nationale – a set on Flickr


A couple of weeks ago I went to Paris for a meeting and was able to visit the new (see my Flickr set on the Bibliothèque Nationale). It is hard to tell from one short visit how it is as a library, but it is a stunning building to walk around. It spoke to me of exclusion – a cave (or inferno) of knowledge that you get progressive access to. The deepest levels are reserved for the true scholars (not tourists like me.)

Hacking as a Way of Knowing: Our Project on Flickr

Photo of Projection

I put a photo set up on Flickr for our Hacking as a Way of Knowing project. The set documents the evolution of the project which I’ve tentatively named the “ReReader for the Writing on the Wall”. Thanks to all those who made the project and the workshop a success. Now I have to think a bit deeper about making as knowing and things as theories.

The Journal of Urban Typography

The Journal of Urban Typography is a project like the Dictionary of Words in the Wild that “is dedicated to the documentation and study of signs, word fragments, and typography created with utilitarian intent in urban environments.” Many of the images are beautiful – the author of the site calls it a journal but it is more of an art book. The interface is intriguing as if it were a bunch of polaroids. You can dismiss some and rearrange them. This is built on Tumblr, an online blogging or service that you can adapt to collecting different types of things. Thanks to Peter O for this.