VanDerBeek's neato graphics offer an initial rush; after that, they begin to feel slight. And the substance he sought to transmit is more a utopian vibe than a meaning. Also, galleries aren't conducive to watching films and videos — you're always walking in during the middle of looping video, and droning sound bleeds from one space into the next, making much of the audio unintelligible.

Still, many of the ideas of VanDerBeek and his contemporaries came to fruition as cable television, the Internet, and Wi-Fi. Tech developers were often idealistic hippies from the same social circles as the artists and psychedelic gurus. Whole Earth Catalog editor Stewart Brand wrote in Time magazine in 1995: "Counterculture's scorn for centralized authority provided the philosophical foundations of not only the leaderless Internet but also the entire personal-computer revolution." The web, in this light, is one big, psychedelic commune.

Read Greg Cook's blog at

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , North Carolina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Photography,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   PERFECTLY HUMAN  |  April 16, 2014
    Sometimes I think you can understand everything about our society today by considering it through two themes — the perfection of technology versus the messily human handmade.
  •   THE LAST FRONTIER  |  April 02, 2014
    They say that temperatures in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica haven’t been above freezing in millennia.
  •   ASSURED ABSTRACTIONS  |  March 19, 2014
    “The golden age of abstraction is right now,” ARTnews informed me last spring.
  •   COMMON GROUND  |  March 12, 2014
    “I did everything in the world to keep this from happening,” exclaims the assistant to the rich man in Kerry Tribe’s There Will Be ___ _.
  •   LOCAL LUMINARIES  |  March 05, 2014
    Reenacting a childhood photo, portraits of fabulous old ladies, and dollhouse meditations on architecture are among the artworks featured in the “2014 RISCA Fellowship Exhibition.”

 See all articles by: GREG COOK