What I Read This Week - 10th March

A few of my favorite things this week, from photos of an idyllic Cape Cod summer to an exploration of pornography. - Summer on Cape Cod, 1940 (The Retronaut)

Not much to read here, I just really like these photos.

- The Topographical Soul (Thomas Beller at the Paris Review)

After this unlikely pair was established in my imagination, I began to wonder: What does it mean that in traveling to new places we always yearn on some level for the old places? Is it nostalgia? Separation anxiety? Maybe it’s that we all have an internal map we consult no matter what the terrain. This map corresponds to places and to emotions; it's a way of accessing personal history and integrating it with the present.

- Notes on Home, on Life, on Love (Cheri Lucas)

In between these meetings, we’ve created a space for us, just us, online: a portal through which that flow sustains. A borderless space that transcends geography, that exists somewhere only we can access.

- Double Fault ( A-J Aronstein at the Paris Review)

There was something intoxicating about the idea that the mind could exert too much control over the body and that there could be freedom from the mind’s tyranny in the ability to let the body take the helm.

- What that puppy photo on Pinterest says about the future of the internet (Megan Garber at the Atlantic)

The line between seeing the world and recreating it has never been thinner.

- Demedicalize Architecture (Giovanna Borasi and Mirko Zardini at Design Observer)

The contemporary green city is quite different from the modern city and the 19th-century city, which were dominated by an apparent need to protect the urban world from illness and natural hazards through a process of “sterilization.”

- Biblio: your friend in the library of the (near) future (metaLAB)

Inspired by simple, charismatic digital pets like Tamagotchi, Ben imagines Biblio as a digital creature who serves as a digital guide and assistant, mediating the world of printed books and the realm of networked, open, personal information.

- Porn and the shadow side of paradise: Thomas Ruff's Nudes (Geoff Dyer at the Guardian)

Ruff's Nudes show part of the process by which these most intimate moments – longed for, remembered or imagined – are preserved and warped. But it's more complicated than that. Remember the scene in Blade Runner when Rachael the replicant shows Deckard her little collection of snaps which authenticate her memories and prove that she's human? They're not your memories, Deckard tells her. They're just … implants. Something similar happens here. These are not our memories – or if they are they are entirely impersonal ones.

From last weekend's Review section; I found it (in print form!) this morning as I was having breakfast and leafing through the stack of papers on our kitchen table. Reading it made me slightly dizzy (it's like being on a runaway train: the point of departure is a 34-year-old Dyer's first real encounter with pornography, from where we whizz a high speed through a landscape populated variously by Hitchens, Ruskin, Lawrence, Berger, Amis, Kundera, Swift, Steve McQueen, and Rick Deckard from Blade Runner, to name just a few characters), but in a good way. I think.