The Limitless Complexity Of Vasco Maurao

Spanish illustrator and architect Vasco Maurao creates mind-bogglingly complex structures, site rendered in stark black and white. Utilizing the thinnest and most uniform of lines he constructs sprawling buildings with hundreds of windows, diagnosis eaves, and support beams. So large that they are rendered abstract, it almost seems that Maurao was doodling on a sheet of paper and simply zoned out, shaken out of reverie only to find that he had covered the entire table in those neatly inscribed lines, his subconscious having painstakingly assembled them in his absence.

via DRAWN!

Superhero Hideout of the Week: Brooklyn Clock Loft

Behold: my dream lair. Unfortunately, being located in Brooklyn, this loft probably costs a gazillion dollars. Still, one can dream!

The furnishings in this image, however, are far too benign. You all know that I’m decorating-challenged, but even I can see that the tremendous potential of this space been wasted. I’m not saying that we need to completely goth it up in here with coffin furniture and I.V. bag-styled lamps – love that stuff, but not for this. Still, I’d much rather see this space looking like it belongs to a dignified shut-in taxidermist, and not someone’s rich aunt.

So, Coilhomeboys and girls, how would you design this space if it were yours? For more jealousy inspiration, see below. For some reason, though, I’m tempted to skip out on the cabinet-of-curiosities thing altogether and make it totally disco.

Images by Michael Weschler for the NYT article “The New Antiquarians

What’s Behind the Wall?

Bob Diamond, an NYC engineer-turned-urban explorer, really wants to know:

(Via Scott Spencer, mwah.)

The footage we’re watching aims to raise funds and support for The Tunnel, a documentary film project that could potentially solve one of America’s most notorious mysteries. Behind the wall in question may lie an overturned (but otherwise perfectly preserved) locomotive from the early 1800’s, as well as missing pages from the diary of John Wilkes Booth, naming all of the conspirators involved in Lincoln’s death. No one can know for sure unless The Tunnel’s production team is able to convince state and local officials to let them excavate, with the tape rolling. (No easy task, that.)


“At the heart of The Tunnel is a story that delves into mysteries, engineering feats, murders, and cover-ups. Some of the stories are completely true, some of them merely urban legends yet to be proven. Interviews with experts and modern day explorers will offer insight into the tantalizing traces of facts and fiction. There is no shortage of secret societies, bootleggers, pirates, mobsters, ghosts, and even Nazis in the Tunnel’s rich past and this story will shine new light on all the heinous details. One thing is certain – the tunnel is as much a physical place and place in history, as it is a doorway into a labyrinth of discovery.”

Tiny little hairs standing up on the back of your neck? Me too. Think it all sounds too juicy to be true? Maybe. Maybe not. Aren’t you dying to find out for certain? Put the word out. This is a film project worth supporting.*

Links of possible interest:

*That is, unless you’re a New York taxpayer whose morning commute takes you under Atlantic Ave, in which case, you’re probably screaming “NOOOOOOO!”

Interior Decorating

In my mind’s eye there stands a mansion. From the outside it appears somewhat modest, at least for a mansion. Comprised of brick, mortar, and stone its facade is dotted with windows. It is wider than it is tall, though not by a great degree. It has a circular car park in front of it which you reach by driving down a long, cobblestone driveway. It is surrounded by green, verdant lawns. It is a conglomeration of every Merchant Ivory movie ever made. The skies in this place are always gray. It is a pleasant gray if such a thing exists.

Inside this mansion things become askew. The interior space is an impossibility when one considers the exterior dimensions. Hallways stretch seemingly forever, leading to room upon cavernous room. The architect of my mind’s mansion clearly shows his Escher influences without shame. When you walk your footsteps echo.

And everywhere, everywhere, there are shelves and drawers; cupboards and cubbyholes. The mansion in my mind has a library the size of a sports arena, the shelves rising multiple stories accessed by stairs and platforms and ladders. To attempt to reach a book in my library is to taunt death. The mansion in my mind is a container, a repository for things; a dilettante’s warehouse.

The mansion in my mind is always under construction; though there is never any construction to be seen. Every time I open my browser an addition appears. Sometimes it’s just an another piece of furniture; yet another card catalog on Craigslist. Sometimes it’s an entire room. Today it happens to be a Romanian pharmacy. I think the mansion in my mind could use a pharmacy.

via Curious Expeditions


SAMPARKOUR, directed by Wiland Pinsdorf, featuring Zico Corrêa. (Via William Gibson, thanks.)

Commercial/music video director Wiland Pinsdorf’s SAMPARKOUR is “a short that reveals the city of São Paulo (Brazil) under the look of Parkour. Where people see obstacles, Zico Corrêa visualizes new possibilities.”

Shot in HD with a 35mm lens adapter, the short is simultaneously dizzying and becalming, presenting Corrêa’s death-defying feats in a breathtaking rush of carefully framed shots and well-paced edits. Today –perhaps more than most days– it is deeply satisfying to witness a collaboration (between filmmaker and athlete, city and gravity) so vital, immediate, and perfectly alive.

Crackpot Visionary of the Month: Joseph Carnevale

Via The Smoking Gun:

JUNE 12–A North Carolina man is facing criminal charges for creating an amusing piece of public art from construction barrels. Joseph Carnevale, 21, was nabbed Wednesday after a Raleigh Police Department investigation determined that he was responsible for the work constructed May 31 on a roadway adjacent to North Carolina State University. Carnevale was charged with misdemeanor larceny for allegedly building his orange monster from materials pilfered from a construction site. According to an arrest warrant, Carnevale “destroyed three road blocking barrels by cutting and screwing them together to form a statue.” Police estimated that Carnevale’s artwork caused $360 in damages to Hamlett Associates, the North Carolina construction company that owned the barrels. Carnevale is scheduled for a July 21 court appearance in Wake County.


Hauschka Music Video by Jeff Desom

Young German filmmaker Jeff Desom graduated from the Bournemouth Arts Institute in 2007. His senior project featured the experimental pianist Volker Bertelmann, a.k.a. Hauskchka. That partnership has led to this flawless collaboration:

Music video for the song “Morgenrot” off Hauschka’s latest album, Ferndorf. (Via Siege, thanks.)

Painstakingly animated, composited and rendered, “Morgenrot” features a flaming piano falling in slow motion through a series of vintage black and white photographs of NYC. Desom talks about the process:

The finished animation is mostly made from early twentieth century photographs that I found while browsing through the vast collection of the U.S. Library of Congress. I also used old postcards from New York that I purchased at a flea market in Paris. Most of the time I would only zoom into a tiny portion of the picture and utilise that as my frame.

The hardest part was to make it look as if it had been pasted together from a lost reel depicting this curious experiment where they’d [lit] up a piano and thrown it off a building only to see what would happen. The kind of unnecessary crash test executed [for] the sole purpose of drooling over the beauty of slow motion.

Mission accomplished. One can only imagine what Desom is going to come up with next.

Sail On, Tom Kennedy


Gutted by this news. Artist, activist, teacher, prankster Tom Kennedy drowned at Ocean Beach in San Francisco last Sunday, April 12th. John Law has written him a beautiful memorial over at Laughing Squid, and everyone’s telling tales in the comment thread of the big, strong, tender-hearted man who inspired them to live more fully, more bravely, more creatively.

Photo by Mister W. Burning Man, 2003.

The single most cherished moment of my time at the annual Burning Man festival: one perfect evening in 2003, singing sea shanties at the prow of La Contessa with some of the best friends I’ll ever have in this life. A member of the Extra Action Marching Band leaned halfway out of the crow’s nest, shouting “PORT BOW, THAR SHE BLOWS” and we all looked… Tom’s glowing white whale, her belly full of whooping passengers, her blowhole spouting propane fire, was on a collision course with us.

At the last moment she gave way, and the chase was on! We sped after each other across the playa, weaving and dancing, hollering and cheering and going much too fast –sometimes missing one another by mere yards– until finally the Black Rock Rangers pulled over both vessels and gave everyone a stern talking-to.

It was an exhilarating dream. No one who was there will ever forget that night as long as they live.

Thank you, Tom. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tom Kennedy (1960-2009). Photographed by Leo Nash.

Jessica Joslin’s “Clockwork Circus” Exhibition in LA!

Orlando (5”x5”x4”). Antique brass findings and hardware, leather, velvet, wood, tacks, cast/painted plastic, glass eyes.

Damn you, Hollyweirdos! You get to have all the Joslin fun. *shakes fist* As I write this, the astounding Madame Jessica J. (featured extensively in Coilhouse Issue 01) is over at the Billy Shire Gallery prepping a cavalcade of her Wunderkammer critters for the show’s opening reception tomorrow (Saturday).

Lambert & Salvia (8″x10″x22″) Antique hardware and findings, bone, brass, beads, leather, velvet, trim, coat hook, model cannon, glass eyes.

Trying to picture the Joslin lovebirds mounting a show is always a bit dangerous for me, prompting ardent fantasies of Jessica and Jared donning drum major uniforms and marching their whimsies down the street and through the door in step to a demented chiptune rendition of “76 Trombones” before shooing various characters onto pedestals, canvases and placard hooks. (There’s usually some whip-and-chair action in there as well, but… uh… I digress.)

Anyhoo. Jessica’s been working on these “Clockwork Circus” beasties for months now. They’re as winsomely exquisite as anything she’s crafted yet. If you’re in the area, go get acquainted.

Aster (27”x19.5”x10”) Antique brass findings and hardware, bone, leather, antique vestment trim, velvet, brass bullet casings, chain, silver, snakeskin, glass eyes.

Click below to view a couple more of Jessica Joslin’s “Clockwork” creatures.

[EDIT] Oh! One more thing! I’m sure Jessica wouldn’t mind us mentioning this here… Heads up, Phillyfreaks! If you’re not already all swoony and spent from Laura Kicey’s reception (or even if you are) and you’re feeling piney for something to do tonight (Friday), you probably shouldn’t miss the Mutter Museum “Disco Inferno Dance Party” for ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. What better way to celebrate the museum’s 150th anniversary than some inspired booty-shaking amidst the bones and tumors? Go, go, go!

Underground City: Deep Down into Derinkuyu


Through history, Anatolia’s rarely been the most peaceful region – just between Europe and the Middle East, it’s seen a stream of invading armies and battling creeds over the centuries. Little wonder, then, that beginning a long damn time ago (8,000 B.C. or 1400 B.C. depending on who you believe), someone around the small town of Derinkuyu decided on an obvious solution: if the other guy’s got an army and you don’t want to die, go underground.

Yes, this is obvious. Notice that in the popular imagination secret societies and super villains love, in all their chthonic splendor; underground passages, catacombs and hidden chambers. So too did the embattled denizens and dissident religious sects of Cappadocia, and there’s been over 200 such refuges located in this region, with 40 having more than three levels.


But Derinkuyu is different. This is a veritable city under the earth.