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Posts Tagged ‘abandoned

“I am a ruin myself, wandering among ruins”*…

 

The abandoned Hachijo Royal Hotel on the island of Hachijojima

Japan is in some sense uniquely blessed as a land of ruins. Its rapidly aging population, low birth rate, urbanization and lack of immigration have left a legacy of ghost towns and more than 8 million abandoned homes, or akiya. That tally could hit 21.5 million, one-third of all residences nationwide, by 2033, according to the Nomura Research Institute.

Abandoned homes are ubiquitous in rural Japan, posing health and safety hazards to locals, but they can even be found in central Tokyo, vacant edifices that for whatever reason owners refuse to demolish and rebuild.

In addition to the scourge of abandoned homes, Japan is dealing with lingering effects of the asset-inflated bubble economy of the 1980s and 1990s that saw the construction of numerous hotels, theme parks and other leisure facilities that went bust when the bubble burst. Some money-losing facilities, including the ill-fated Canadian World in Ashibetsu, Hokkaido, themed on the popular “Anne of Green Gables” novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery, were rehabilitated into public parks. But in all too many cases, others were left to rot…

More on the “ghost towns” of Japan at “The lure of Japan’s mysterious ruins.”

* Heinrich Heine

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As we keep our ear peeled for echoes, we might we might send majestic 100th birthday greetings to the U.S. National Park Service; it was founded on this date in 1916.

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Written by LW

August 25, 2016 at 1:01 am

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away”*…

 

Doug Battenhausen thinks all our advances in cell-phone cameras and photo-sharing technology haven’t made our pictures better, but rather more sterile. We all know how to get the perfect selfie now, with just the right filter — but to him, that’s boring.

What Battenhausen is interested in, and has been collecting since 2010 on his blog “Internet History,” are photos that are beautifully amateurish and capture strange moments.

To find these types of photos, Battenhausen mines the forgotten reaches of the internet, particularly defunct photo accounts on sites like the (now deleted) Webshots, Flickr, or Photobucket…

Read more, and see a selection of Battenhausen’s picks at “A photographer looked through people’s forgotten, dead photo accounts for 5 years — here are the beautiful and eerie pictures he found.”

And see them all at Battenhausen’s blog.

* Eudora Welty

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As we reaffirm our commitment to sort through those digital shoe boxes, we might send aggressively-laid-out birthday greetings to David Carson; he was born on this date in 1954.  A successful professional surfer through much of the 80s, he turned to design, working on a series of skateboard and surfing magazines until 1992, when he became design director of Ray Gun, the seminal alternative music/lifestyle magazine.

At Ray Gun Carson used Dingbat, a font containing only symbols, for what he considered a rather dull interview with Bryan Ferry (though the whole text was published in a legible font at the back of the same issue)– one of the moves that earned him the honorific “Father of Grunge Typology.”

When the magazine Graphic Design USA listed the “most influential graphic designers of the [modern] era” Carson was listed as one of the all time 5 most influential designers, with Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Saul Bass and Massimo Vignelli.

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Written by LW

September 8, 2015 at 1:01 am

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