— bureaux de vizKult


Consumed,Repurpose-Driven Life – NYTimes.com
“America’s shopping infrastructure is vast and abundant. That’s the problem.”

The above is an article in the New York Times about the shopping mall crisis in the USA mentions the photography of Julia Christensen (above) which documents the conversions of big-box stores in the Big Box Reuse book and BigBoxReuse website and a new book with research on the phenomenon called “Retrofitting Suburbia,” by Ellen Dunham-Jones…

A similar book worth mentioning is Rem Koolhaas and his students’ work at Harvard called “The Harvard Guide to Shopping” …if you can get your hands on a copy. $112 and up on Amazon. [We happened to read the intro to Koolhass' "S, M, L, XL" in Vito Acconci's "Aesthetics of Information class" (Spring 08) and we also read a criticism of his books by Hal Foster in Siebren Versteeg's "Workshop in Design History" (Spring 08)]

In regards to re-purposing and mix-use space, here is a film by an artist friend of mine Hatuey Ramos-Fermin, which documents a special mix-use space in Holland.

Coexistence: “Since the year 2000 this Latin American migrants pentecostal church shares their worship space with a ping pong club in Amsterdam. Each weekend they transform the space.”

Finally, this is a great little guide book from architects Atelier Bow-Wow in Japan called “Made in Tokyo“… It’s an index of all the uniqueness of Tokyo’s architectural condition: very little space…

Cambodia 1974, Dith Pran. Dith Pran/NYTimes.com
Cambodia, 1974, photo by Dith Pran. Dith Pran/New York Times.

If you haven’t see the film “The Killing Fields” since it came out in the eighties, perhaps now would be an appropriate time. Dith Pran, the photojournalist and war prisoner who’s story is told by the film has passed away March 31st from cancer just as the Cambodian War Crime Tribunal gears up for a heart wrenching search for truth and justice. 5 top war criminals are being tried in the Khmer Rouge “Year Zero” genocide were an estimated 1.7 million people were killed.

After watching the DVD with bonus material I learned about the rather ironic death of Haing S. Ngor, the actor who played Dith Pran in “The Killing Fields”. Haing S. Ngor, who was a prisoner of war himself and found it difficult to reenact some of the scenes, eventually made a new life for himself in the US but in 1996 was shot to death in an attempted robbery. He escaped the grasp of the Khamer Rouge only to die in a country who still believes that we should be allowed to bear arms.

Sydney H. Schanberg, his partner is still alive.

New York Times article has many more photos of and by Dith Pran and a very recent interview at his bedside. “Dith Pran, Photojournalist and Survivor of the Killing Fields, Dies at 65″ by Douglas Martin, March 21, 2008

Dith Pran NYTimes article.

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Upsetting fact of living in the U.S.A.: If you attend a college in Utah you can now carry a concealed weapon, with the proper license of course. In 2006 Utah Supreme court allowed guns on college campuses. The opinion is guns in the hands of law abiding citizens can save lives. The CNN report Right to Bear Arms on Campus?