Martin Roemers’ “Relics of the Cold War”

Posted by on October 3rd, 2010

This and many more amazing photos via who explains:

Dutch photographer Martin Roemers spent ten years compiling an incredible collection of images that expose the clandestine underbelly of the Eastern Bloc. Relics of the Cold War explores and documents underground tunnels, abandoned system control centers, former barracks, rotting tanks, and destroyed monuments.

Watching Europe Drown

Posted by on June 17th, 2010

OK, enough with the Gulf of Mexico Oil Leak disaster pr0n (at least for the moment).  After all, it’s not the only place with problems.  Singapore also has had an oil slick hitting it’s shore. Nigeria has had it’s habitat utterly trashed by years of blown-up pipelines and poorly maintained drilling platforms and pumping stations.

Who needs photos of Man vs Nature, when in Europe, Nature is ruining Man.

So revel in these amazing photos of the devastation left by the worst flooding there in decades, selected from the Boston Globe’s collection – marvel as we continue to watch the world be destroyed through the eyes of a photo journalist:

Delicate Patterns in the Sea

Posted by on June 16th, 2010

From the Guardian:

Delicate patterns in the sea

Delicate patterns in the sea breaking on Orange Beach, Alabama, more than 90 miles from the BP oil spill, cannot distract from the mess four to six inches deep on parts of the shore

Meanwhile, Mother Jones asks: “Is the BP Gusher Unstoppable?”

Faded dreams of Russian space shuttles

Posted by on June 10th, 2010

Once upon a time, in the dying days of the Soviet Empire, back in the grand ole 20th Century, when there was still something of a space-race going on, the USSR tried to construct it’s own space shuttle fleet.

At the time this was just a rumor; it was the Cold War still, remember, and much as we’re never sure just what those crazy North Korean’s are up to today, back then it was very hard to verify if those damn Ruskie’s were full it, or actually had built their own version of the USA’s then mighty space shuttle.

Today, of course, it’s a completely different story. It’s the final year of the US’s space shuttle, and it will be many years before that country will be capable of launching manned space craft again (or will it?). In the meantime, who will they be dependent upon to send astronauts up to our pitiful space-station, the ISS? Russia.

And as this photo essay shows (from which the above pictures were taken) the USSR did almost have a shuttle fleet of it’s own.

Once you’re done contemplating lost Futures, wander over to the Breaking Time for David Forbe’s thoughts on this; Is space still the place?

Hong Kong’s rooftop shanty towns

Posted by on May 26th, 2010

From daily tonic:

In South America the slums are attached to the outskirts of mega-cities such as Caracas and Mexico City like wasps’ nests on a cliff face. In a hilly island city like Hong Kong, however, living space is limited. Here you only see the laboriously constructed huts made of corrugated iron and planks of wood in which the poorest of the poor live if you look upwards – they occupy, to put it in cynical terms, a penthouse location.

Some of these rooftop shacks, which in the year 2006 after the government’s first slum clearance programme still housed 3962 people in 1554 households, are up to three storeys high. Improvised structures made of ladders and bits of furniture create connections between the individual parts of the buildings and join these impoverished dwellings into complete rooftop settlements – sociologists even talk of a “self-organising niche architecture” and point to the utopian aspects of this urban way of life.

This brings to mind the excellent post on the Kowloon Walled City by David Forbes, over on Coilhouse.

thanks for the tip-off Vertigo Jones!


Posted by on May 25th, 2010

Via suspiciousminds’ photostream.

Bruce Sterling defines Atemporality at Transmediale

Posted by on February 13th, 2010

Previously on Grinding I posted a video of Bruce talking about Gothic High-Tech and Favella Chic in his Reboot 11 closing speech. In it, he mentions he was trying to make concrete his notion of what this next decade might be, something he was calling Atemporality (“it’s steampunk with metaphysics”, he said).

At the recent Transmediale Festival, he’s back to report that all the historical narratives are broken, multi-temporality is the new multi-culturalism and network culture is the new dominant force.

Strap your brains in, take your smart drugs and drink deeply from the fount of knowledge that is Sterling’s mind:

Château des Anges

Posted by on February 4th, 2010

From suspiciousminds’ flickr stream, who went through three plans to get the shot:

Meet Château des Anges. A post-mediaeval castle that was once surrounded by an immense park. It belonged to a very noble family of counts. It just had everything: a grapevine, vast orchards, fountains, stables, arable lands for crops and livestock, woods, a lake. Ownership changed quite often and the castle wasn’t maintained as it should be. The last owner left the place in 1970. It is untouched ever since.

Plan C
Waiting. For a harsh winter. And ice. I waited 8 months to explore this baby. On one of the coldest winter mornings NeQo and me set off. It was -10°C. There wasn’t a single soul for miles. Just us, this decayed castle, and Mister Winter.
The lake was frozen solid and we didn’t have any difficulties wading through the thorned bush. We arrived at the castle. The backdoor of the terrace was open. Of course it was open. What was the owner thinking? Some schmuck would cross the water – or even better – cross the ice in the event of winter?

And there we were. Setting foot in an untouched place that’s been decaying since the seventies. Forsaken. Since long. But captured in our minds. For ever more.

How To D*Face A Skate Pool With A Thousand Skulls

Posted by on December 25th, 2009

San Bernadino was hit hard by the economic slump and subprime mortgage fiasco, so many of its properties have been left vacant. This gave the skating community the chance to mark their turf on an abundance of abandoned swimming pools – echoing the era when Alba and others took their hardcore style to the pools following the 1970s drought in Southern California.

The invitation to paint ‘Ridiculous’ was put out by MTV, but if that makes this sound more commercial than it perhaps should, remember that the guys who found it could, in theory, have been arrested for this stunt. And look no further than D*Face’s skull designs, hundreds of which litter the pool basin, to see that this is a graphic artist doing what comes naturally to him – and an artist who loves skating.

Link, photo and video via

Centrale Thermique

Posted by on December 21st, 2009

From suspiciousminds’ photostream, who went through a trial to get the photos:

This unknown power plant had been visited in the past by some of the old explorers, dating back to 2005 and 2006. At that time it was rather easy to access the plant, but very few actually risked it. The decayed part situated just next to the active part made it a very though one…

The year 2007. Chances are you’ve never heard of Electro Magnetic Pulse, but the boys in blue had. A 24/7 security patrol was put on site, with the aid of a handful of live camera’s. There’s even a camera on top of the building, just in case some lunatic parachutes his way up there. The complete area was fenced with razor wire top to bottom and the occasional landmine was put in place. Ok, kiddin’ about that landmine.

Summer of 2008. Everyone who tried that place over the past two years got caught by security. I don’t know what we were on to, but in some crazy mood we decided to give this one a go.

Click through the photo link for the rest of the story….

zahn in zahn

Posted by on December 20th, 2009

Via EXurban’s photostream.

IDN02: Industrial Decay Network 2

Posted by on November 17th, 2009

Gorgeous book, featuring prints from thirty-seven photographers from around the world, including ~EvidenceE~.

Ordering info here.

Missed Vol 1?

Way up to the Light

Posted by on October 12th, 2009

Via EXurban’s photostream.


Posted by on September 28th, 2009

Photo from ~EvidencE~’s photostream.

A View from Beyond

Posted by on September 28th, 2009

Via’s photostream.


Posted by on September 18th, 2009

From suspiciousminds’ photostream on flickr.

The Empty Armada

Posted by on September 16th, 2009

See this? This is a representation of the ships, on ghost/skeleton crews and devoid of cargo, sitting off the coast of Singapore. They’re waiting for work. According to a few articles around, it’s been massing since sometime at the start of the year. The economy has decimated the shipping industry, leaving these slow monsters to wallow and wait.

The size of the idle fleet becomes more palpable when the ships’ lights are switched on after sunset. From the small fishing villages that dot the coastline, a seemingly endless blaze of light stretches from one end of the horizon to another. Standing in the darkness among the palm trees and bamboo huts, as calls to prayer ring out from mosques further inland, is a surreal and strangely disorientating experience. It makes you feel as if you are adrift on a dark sea, staring at a city of light.

Mail One article here.

Photos and another article here.

Thanks to Joseph A Holsten, et al,  for the heads up.

Ryugyong Hotel – Ziggurat of North Korea

Posted by on September 15th, 2009


The Ryugyong Hotel was named after the historic name for Pyongyang, “capital of willows”.. more like a pyramid that would be every skater’s dream, it towers over the city of Sojang-dong; the whole country in fact.

Construction of the ambitious project began in 1987.. went on for five years but ceased due to lack of funds, electricity and building materials. It was abandoned for 16 years, but construction resumed in 2008 and the hotel is now being readied to open its doors in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of Kim II Sung’s birth. With 360,000 sq m (3,900,000 sq ft) of floor space and 105 stories, it would be the world’s tallest hotel. It is currently the world’s 28th tallest building.

Just one of The Tallest Abandoned Structures on Earth.

The Chemical Pools of Osarizawa Mine

Posted by on August 23rd, 2009

Beautiful photos of the Osarizama Mine, taken by Michael John Grist. Here’s a video given a close up view:

Thanks to VertigoJones for the link!

There Is Light At

Posted by on August 7th, 2009

Via ~Evidence~, who also has some great pictures in the Garden of Decay book.