[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Very Large Array

At 5:25 PM -0800 2/5/01, rich wrote:

>mmmm...now i got my curiosity going...are you referring to the now 
>SF based band Giant Ant Farm?  elvis costello meets tom waits meets 
>squirrel nut zippers kinda thing?
>If this is the band your referring to...do you have any info on them?

The Ant Farm was not a musical group. They were primarily architects 
and media artists. Two of their strongest images have been 
appropriated, by the punk band the Plasmatics (Wendy O. Williams' 
driving a bus through a pile of burning television sets was a direct 
rip off of Media Burn) and by the Hard Rock Cafe (the Cadillac taking 
a dive on the marquee of their restaurants is a rip off of Cadillac 



A San Francisco-based collective of artists and architects working 
from 1968 to 1978, Ant Farm's activity was distinctly 
interdisciplinary, combining architecture, performance, media, 
happenings, sculpture, and graphic design. With works that functioned 
as art, social critique, and pop-anthropology, Ant Farm tore into the 
cultural fabric of post-World War II, Vietnam-era America and became 
one of the first groups to address television's pervasive presence in 
everyday life. As Chip Lord, who co-founded the group with Doug 
Michels, states, "Video became Ant Farm's equivalent to the 
architectural model, to record the group's live-in design process 
(The Warehouse Tapes, 1971); to explore the multi-barreled impact of 
electronics on auto-America (Cadillac Ranch, 1974 and Media Burn, 
1975); and to exploit the structure of pure electronic culture 
(Eternal Frame, 1975 and Off-Air Australia, 1976)." As graphic 
artists, Ant Farm contributed to numerous underground publications, 
including Radical Software, and designed Michael Shamberg's Guerrilla 
Television (Hold, Rinehart, Winston, 1971). Ant Farm members included 
Chip Lord, Doug Michels, Hudson Marquez, and Curtis Schreier.

Cadillac Ranch/Media Burn:

We buried ten Cadillacs in a row alongside Interstate 40 (the old 
Route 66) just west of Amarillo, Texas. Each car represented a model 
change in the evolution of the tailfin. This was clearly a sculptural 
act, but with a minimal amount of formal manipulation Media Burn, 
created a year later in San Francisco, was a live performance. It was 
a spectacle staged for the camera culminating in the 4000 pound 
"Phantom Dream Car" crashing through a pyramid of TV sets to  the 
cheers of the audience of 400. This image and the videotape have 
become classics of the first decade of video art. -Chip Lord, 1988

Richard Zvonar, PhD                     zvonar@zvonar.com
(818) 788-2202 voice                    zvonar@LCSaudio.com
(818) 788-2203 fax                      zvonar@well.com