The Whole Earth - California and the Disappearance of the Outside
The image of the “blue planet,” a new perspective of the earth as seen from the outside, is one of the most popular images in history. This image, more than any other, has shaped the popular notion of the age of the “whole world” and globalization, from a worldwide society linked by the Internet to the current debate on the climate. Using artworks and materials from cultural history, the exhibition will critically explore the application of ecological-systemic concepts to society, politics, and aesthetics.
The exhibition is one of the first to explore the history of the photograph of the “blue planet,” and reflects in a comprehensive way the power of the Whole Earth Catalog, the analog predecessor of Google (Steve Jobs). It was published in 1968 for the first time by Stewart Brand, who later coined the term “personal computer”: a compendium of useful utensils for the planetary future, it used the image of the whole planet for its cover. the whole earth takes up the historic moment of what was later called the “Californian ideology”: an alliance between hippie culture and cybernetics, nature romantics and technology worshippers, psychedelia and computer culture. In this exhibition, curators Diedrich Diedrichsen and Anselm Franke explore these countercultures in California of the 1960s and 1970s: with visual and audio documents, historical and contemporary artistic contributions. They reflect various impulses from politics, ideology, and popular culture for an environmentalist movement and the rise of a digital network culture.
How have political conflict lines been neutralized? How did ecology and cybernetics lead to the system and self-management of the capitalist network society?
With works by: Nabil Ahmed, Ant Farm, Eleanor Antin, Martin Beck, Jordan Belson, Ashley Bickerton, Dara Birnbaum, Erik Bulatov, Angela Bulloch, Bruce Conner, Öyvind Fahlström, Robert Frank, Jack Goldstein, Nancy Holt und Robert Smithson, Lawrence Jordan, Silvia Kolbowski, Philipp Lachenmann, David Lamelas, Sharon Lockhart, Piero Manzoni, Raymond Pettibon, Adrian Piper, Robert Rauschenberg, Ira Schneider, Richard Serra, Alex Slade, Jack Smith, Josef Strau, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, The Otolith Group, Suzanne Treister, Andy Warhol, Bruce Yonemoto and others.
On June 21–22, the conference THE WHOLE EARTH will continue with California: From Eco-Psychedelia to Internet Neo-Liberalism.