A fallen empire in the snow

Tkachenko

From Wired:

In the early 1970s, the Soviet Union built an amphibious airplane designed to skim the sea, searching for US nuclear submarines. It flew, but the Kremlin scuttled the Bartini Beriev VVA-14 after a prototype crashed, the designer died, and a supplier bungled an order. The one remaining plane rusts away in a field at the Russian Air Force Museum outside Moscow.

That ill-fated plane is among 33 Soviet-era relics that Danila Tkachenko photographed for his series and photo book Restricted Areas. Many see them as monuments to the Cold War, a reminder of a time when the world lived under the threat of annihilation. But Tkachenko sees the Soviet Union’s aspirations and failures, and a rejection of the pursuit of political and technological utopias. “My project is a metaphor [for] post-technology apocalypse,” he says.

The series takes its name from the dozens of “secret” cities that housed the government’s most sensitive military and scientific programs. These cities were closed to all but the people who worked in them, and visits required approval from the highest levels. Many of them still stand today, abandoned and falling into ruin.

Read the rest.

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A fallen empire in the snow

We used to run this town

Screenshot 2016-04-29 22.07.12From City Lab:

Once ubiquitous in bustling metropolises like New York City, payphones have been cast aside as relics of a tethered time. In the rare instances that we walk past one, we don’t even bat an eye. We barely look up from the sleeker, shinier devices that made them obsolete.

And, well, payphones have something to say about that. “You don’t want to use us anymore? Fine. But do you even see us anymore?”

That comes from “Dead Ringer,” a four-minute film by directors Alex Kliment,  Dana O’Keefe, and Michael Tucker that premiered earlier this month at the Tribeca Film Festival and was featured online Tuesday by the New Yorker. Against the backdrop of a somber, jazzy tune, one of New York City’s four remaining phone booths narrates its disdain for how invisible payphones have become, despite everything they’ve done for society.

You can watch the short film here.
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We used to run this town

Urbex photographs of the nightmare that was Lancaster County Lunatic Asylum

Lancaster Moor Hospital

Growing up in Lancaster, the old Moor Hospital used to terrify me. Originally known as the Lancaster County Lunatic Asylum, it was a large complex of imposing Victorian buildings, purpose built from the early 1800s onwards to house people not deemed fit to live with the rest of us. I dread to think how many people were taken there against their will for the flimsiest of reasons, and what kind of “treatment” they endured.

Today the site is being renovated. Already you can buy a luxury home at The Residence, as it is now is known, for upwards of £300k.

The photos above and below were taken by a team of urban explorers going by the names of Ben, Beardy, Travis and Chard in 2013, before the renovations began. I love their work. You should check out more here.

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See more photos of the Lancaster Moor Hospital, and other locations, here.

Urbex photographs of the nightmare that was Lancaster County Lunatic Asylum

Janet Delaney’s photographs of New York in the 80s

American, Staten Island Ferry, 1985
American, Staten Island Ferry, 1985

Some photographers know how to make you feel alive, even when the moments they capture are long gone by the time you see them. I love the work of Janet Delaney, and I encourage you to seek out more of her photographs, and to buy prints from her website.

6am on the Staten Island Ferry, 1985
6am on the Staten Island Ferry, 1985
Coffee and a Sandwich, 1985
Coffee and a Sandwich, 1985
Event at City Hall, 1985
Event at City Hall, 1985
Manhattan Bridge, 1987
Manhattan Bridge, 1987
Painter, SoHo, 1984
Painter, SoHo, 1984
Woman with Tree, 1987
Woman with Tree, 1987
$2.00 Contribution, SoHo Party, 1985
Janet Delaney’s photographs of New York in the 80s

Sometimes there are no words

A refugee screams for help after she and her daughter fell into the water after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, on October 2 , 2015. The International Organization for Migration says a record number of people have crossed the Mediterranean into Europe this year. Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Every week the Atlantic publishes their photos of the week. I encourage you to check it out.

A surfer catches a wave on his board as a super moon rises in the sky off Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia, on September 28, 2015. # David Gray / Reuters
India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30) lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, South India, on September 28, 2015. PSLV-C30 mission included the launching of India’s space observatory satellite Astrosat.
A devotee carries a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, to be immersed into the polluted waters of the river Yamuna on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, in New Delhi, India, on September 27, 2015. # Adnan Abidi / Reuters
Sometimes there are no words

Soviet bus stops

This is started as a great idea for a photography project, and is now a Kickstarter backed book, Soviet Bus Stops:

Photographer Christopher Herwig first discovered the unusual architecture of Soviet-era bus stops during a 2002 long-distance bike ride from London to St. Petersburg. Challenging himself to take one good photograph every hour, Herwig began to notice surprisingly designed bus stops on otherwise deserted stretches of road. Twelve years later, Herwig had covered more than 18,000 miles in 14 countries of the former Soviet Union, traveling by car, bike, bus and taxi to hunt down and document these bus stops.

The local bus stop proved to be fertile ground for local artistic experimentation in the Soviet period, and was built seemingly without design restrictions or budgetary concerns. The result is an astonishing variety of styles and types across the region, from the strictest Brutalism to exuberant whimsy.

Soviet Bus Stops is the most comprehensive and diverse collection of Soviet bus stop design ever assembled, including examples from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, the disputed region of Abkhazia, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Estonia. Originally published in a quickly sold-out limited edition, Soviet Bus Stops, named one of the best photobooks of 2014 by Martin Parr, is now available in this highly anticipated, expanded smaller-format trade edition.

See more details here.

Soviet bus stops