ICA Philadelphia

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania | 118 South 36th Street
PA-19104 Philadelphia

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press release

This is the first exhibition to survey the work of the legendary architecture and art collective, Ant Farm. A group of radical architects who were also video, performance and installation artists – but above all, visionaries and cultural commentators – Ant Farm was founded by Chip Lord and Doug Michaels in 1968 amidst the hot-house of San Francisco's counter-culture. Influenced by "alternative" architects like Buckminster Fuller, Archigram, and Superstudio, Ant Farm's early inflatable structures were suited to a nomadic, communal lifestyle, divergent from the mainstream Brutalist architecture of the 1960s. The group was also known for spectacular performance events like "Media Burn" (1975), for which Lord and Michaels dressed up like astronauts and sped a customized Cadillac El Dorado through a pyramid of burning televisions. Organized by the Berkeley Art Museum, this exhibition is centered around a visual "timeline" of the group, which includes ephemera, blueprints, publications, documents, drawings, collages, photographs, architectural models, and documentary video clips. ICA is the only East Coast venue for the exhibition. ICA gratefully acknowledges the lead sponsorship of KieranTimberlake Associates, LLP - Stephen Kieran, FAIA and James Timberlake, FAIA and the generous support of the Goldberg Foundation, Inc. Additional support has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; The Dietrich Foundation Inc.; MGA Partners, Architects; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art, friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania.

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Ant Farm : 1968-1978
Kurator: Constance Lewallen

Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
ZKM, Karlsruhe
ICA Philadelphia
Santa Monica Museum of Art
Blaffer Gallery, Houston
Berkeley Art Museum