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Special places: Urban life

May 2007

Architecture of density

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On the website of photographer Michael Wolf is this set of photos of the dense residential buildings of Hong Kong. The photographs are formal and abstracted. People are not shown, but one knows they are there.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Hong Kong + Photography + Urban life
September 2006

Canto do Brasil

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In Canto do Brasil (I sing of Brazil) Geoffrey Hiller presents a dozen sequences of photographs, each with a sound track, about different aspects of Brasil. The images are full of gritty reality and vibrant life.

The photos and audio are packaged in Flash movies. Best with a fast connection.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Brazil + Landscapes + Photography + Urban life
July 2006

The old closes and streets of Glasgow

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In 1868 the trustees of the City of Glasgow Improvement Trust commissioned the photographer Thomas Annan (1829-1887) to record the slums of Glasgow. Annan’s photographs are featured in this exhibition on the Luminous-Lint website.

These photographs are amongst the earliest taken specifically as a record of housing conditions prior to urban renewal and as such they are an important milestone in the history of documentary photography. [from the website Introduction by D Spencer]
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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Scotland + Photography + Urban life
June 2006

Hanoi panoramas

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Photographer Thinh Le explains how he came to produce this portfolio of images of Hanoi:

In a previous project, while taking street photographs of my hometown, I felt limited by the confines of the conventional picture frame which could contain only parts of the many interesting activities that were happening simultaneously around me. I felt that in order to better capture the sense of these dynamic scenes, I would need to record the entire circle of view so I started using a rotational camera that could cover a complete 360-degree view. The rotational camera has radically changed my way of seeing, the ‘decisive moment’ is now stretched and is intergrated into a larger and complete frame in which every detail in the circle of view is recorded (and of equal importance, no detail is excluded). Aside from capturing the spatial relationship of the subjects within the circle of view, I also attempt to introduce cinematic elements (temporal relationship) by overlapping the beginning and end of the exposure (allowing the camera to rotate and expose more than 360 degrees) to show that the scene has changed and is no longer the same. [from the artist’s statement].
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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Vietnam + Domestic life + Urban life
April 2006

The 1906 San Fransisco earthquake and fire

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This month marks the centenary of the earthquake and fire that destroyed a large part of San Francisco in April 1906. This web­site tells the story of destruction and rescue, using thousands of photographs along with text transcripts of letters, reports and other documents.»more»

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban infrastructure + Urban life
December 2005

A historical look at Hong Kong

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Randall van der Woning, a Canadian photographer and writer, is the author of the website BWG: Adventures of a BigWhiteGuy living in Hong Kong. Mostly, it’s a blog, with vignettes about life in that dynamic city.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under China + Urban life
October 2005

Brooklyn storefronts

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According to internet folklore, shonky online camera retailers are concentrated in Brooklyn. Stories of bait-and-switch, hard-sell and plain non-delivery abound on rec.photo.digital.

Don Wiss is a Brooklyn local and a photographer. He finds the street addresses of Brooklyn online camera vendors by searching corporate registers and doing whois searches. Then he cycles around the neighbourhood and takes pictures of the premises. He publishes his photographs on his website along with the business names and websites connected with them.

I enjoy this collection of shopfronts. It invites me to analyse and classify, to create a typology. The photographs are full of his­tor­i­cal layering. They stand as backgrounds for viewing the websites, and for reading the stories of scammers and scoundrels.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban life
April 2005

Chicago crime

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Chicagocrime.org is a freely browsable database of crimes reported in Chicago. You can browse by the type of crime (arson, or homicide, or assault, or gambling, or…), by location, or by date. You can even filter crimes by multiple criteria, and view them on one map.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban life
September 2004

Backyards of Babylon

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This body of work by Dutch-born photographer Bee Flowers explores the visual evidence of life and culture for the people of Hebron and the West Bank. I find his images puzzling, poetic and real. Here is part of his introductory statement for the project:

Palestine finds itself on a geopolitical fault line where, on top of the territorial conflict, a battle is fought out between Islamic ways and seductive ‘Western’ cultural values. Perhaps the homogenizing effect of globalization will accomplish what roadblocks and spot searches could not.
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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Palestine + Urban life
March 2004

Frosted windows

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Frosted windows: 300 years of St Petersburg through western eyes is an exhibition of images from the collection of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas. Through its glib annotations the exhibition reveals both the place observed, and the place from which it is viewed.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Russia + Literature + Urban life
September 2003

Moving here

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Billed as the ultimate database of digitised photographs, maps, objects, documents and audio items recording migration experiences of the past 200 years, this website tells the stories of Irish, Indian, Jewish, Carribean and other people who migrated to Britain. Many of the stories are about the places they came from, and the places they came to.

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July 2003

Mark Tucker’s Cuba and Mexico

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An online portfolio of photographs of Havana and Mexico City — all whole-frame, black-and-white Hasselblad shots. The Havana photographs start the Buena Vista Social Club soundtrack playing in my head.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Cuba + Mexico + Photography + Urban life
December 2002

Brisbane’s living heritage

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This is a tourist guide to 29 heritage locations around Brisbane, my home city. I feel connected, in a fond way, to most of these places. I cringe at some of the blurb on the Brisbane’s living heritage website, but it would be churlish for me to be too critical. I hope you enjoy it.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Australia + Urban life
September 2002

Chaplin film locations then and now

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Gerald Smith revisits the Californian locations of Charlie Chaplin’s classic silent films. With his collaborators, Smith compulsively searches for these places, and records them with photos, stories and videos.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban life
June 2002

Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village

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Beginning construction in 1956 at age 60, and working until 1981, Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey transformed her 1/3 acre lot into Bottle Village, an otherworld of shrines, wishing wells, walkways, other random constructions, plus 15 life size structures all made from found objects placed in mortar. The name “Bottle Village” comes from the structures themselves — made of tens of thousands of bottles unearthed via daily visits to the dump for years, some of them from her husbands own bad habit. Appearances aside, Bottle Village began as two purely practical needs for a cheap building material to build a structure to store her pencil collection, which eventually numbered 17,000 and a bottle wall to keep away the smell and dust of the adjacent turkey farm. However, it was her own ability to have fun and infuse her wit and whimsy into what she made which over time became the essence of Bottle Village. Practicality alone would not explain The Leaning Tower of Bottle Village, the Dolls Head Shrine, car-headlight-bird-baths, and the intravenous-feeding-tube-firescreen, a few examples of her delightfully idiosyncratic creations.
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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Landscapes + Urban life
April 2002

The city stories project

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I have this idea. There is a thing that I call city-based storytelling. It’s somewhere in between a personal journal and a city guide. It’s a series of personal stories where the city itself becomes a character in your story. SF Stories is basically my long love letter to San Francisco. What city do you love?
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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under World + Urban life
November 2001

New York City map

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Experiences of New York recorded by Marketa Bankova, a Prague-based web artist. She says the project is…

… a sort of virtual guide to the most interesting parts of New York City (at least from my point of view). But it isn’t a guide in the usual sense. While “walking” through these Web pages you can, as you choose, find yourself “standing” on a particular street, look at photographs, listen to sounds and even read something. In contrast to traditional maps, the aim of NYCMap is not to document the layout of the city or point out its most famous tourist attractions. With the NYCMap I’ve tried to capture the atmosphere, the energy, or that something (Something?) which I think makes New York City so curiously different from other cities with skyscrapers. At the same time, this project is my personal diary, a document of time I spent there from May to July 1999.
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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban life
August 2001

Mies in Berlin/Mies in America

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This is a web catalogue for a pair of exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum, New York. You’ll need the flash plug-in to see this slick hagiography of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) and his buildings.

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June 2001

The empire that was Russia

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Here are photographs of the Russian empire in 1909-1915 by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. These are colour pictures, each made with three successive filtered exposures on monochrome glass plates. The plates have recently been scanned and the colour images digitally reconstructed.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Russia + Photography + Urban life
March 2001

The Kahiki Supper Club

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Until I found this web site the name tiki restaurant meant nothing to me. This piece from the Atlantic magazine describes one, and a campaign to save it. It’s an engaging story subtitled How do we distinguish the historic from the sentimental? There are links to other web sites about these special places.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Food + Urban life
January 2001

Andrew Nemeth’s Sydney

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A Sydney photographer’s Virtual Reality panoramas, filled with sunlight, people and a sense of place.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Australia + Urban life
December 2000

The Haberfield Association

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Web site of a community group dedicated to protecting their Sydney suburb. Haberfield, established in 1901, is Australia’s best-known garden suburb, with a consistent character of broad leafy streets and detached brick houses.

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Australia + Urban life
November 2000

A picture of Bradford

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Young people photographed their home city, to create a picture of Bradford, England. This web site presents 150 of the pictures and invites you to browse and select your favourite four.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under England + Photography + Urban life
July 1999

Picture LA: landmarks of a new generation

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A project to get a group of kids to express their connection with their neighbourhoods of Los Angeles​—​an elegantly presented project sponsored by the Getty Conservation Institute.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban life
December 1998

Australia Street

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Some Australians talk about the streets where they live​—​and you can add your bit.

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Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Australia + Urban life
Search marquis-kyle.com.au

On this page
Architecture of density
Canto do Brasil
The old closes and streets of Glasgow
Hanoi panoramas
The 1906 San Fransisco earthquake and fire
A historical look at Hong Kong
Brooklyn storefronts
Chicago crime
Backyards of Babylon
Frosted windows
Moving here
Mark Tucker's Cuba and Mexico
Brisbane's living heritage
Chaplin film locations then and now
Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village
The city stories project
New York City map
Mies in Berlin/Mies in America
The empire that was Russia
The Kahiki Supper Club
Andrew Nemeth's Sydney
The Haberfield Association
A picture of Bradford
Picture LA: landmarks of a new generation
Australia Street

Subject archive
Afghanistan  2
Antarctica  1
Australia  20
Austria  1
Bangladesh  2
Barbados  1
Brazil  2
Burma  1
Canada  1
Chile  1
China  2
Cuba  2
Egypt  1
England  10
France  2
Georgia  1
Germany  3
Greece  1
Guyana  1
Haiti  1
Hong Kong  1
India  4
Iran  1
Iraq  2
Ireland  2
Israel  1
Italy  3
Jamaica  1
Kenya  1
Lebanon  1
Mexico  2
New Zealand  4
Pakistan  2
Palestine  1
Poland  1
Russia  7
Scotland  6
Spain  1
Syria  1
The Netherlands  1
Turkey  2
USA  29
Vietnam  1
Wales  2
World  5
Archaeology  4
Architecture  21
Domestic life  9
Entertainment  1
Exploration  1
Food  3
Industry  10
Landscapes  19
Lighthouses  4
Literature  3
Photography  27
Timber buildings  3
Urban infrastructure  17
Urban life  25
War  9

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