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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in United States
Ant Farm 1968 - 1978

Ant Farm (Lord, Marquez, Michels): Cadillac Ranch (detail), 1974 • site-specific installation, Amarillo, Texas. © Ant Farm • Photo courtesy of Berkeley Art Museum
Ant Farm (Lord, Marquez, Michels): Cadillac Ranch (detail), 1974
site-specific installation, Amarillo, Texas. © Ant Farm
Photo courtesy of Berkeley Art Museum
Ant Farm 1968 - 1978
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA  •  Berkeley Art Museum  •  Ongoing
Ant Farm was founded in 1968 by recent architecture graduates Doug Michels and Chip Lord. In the idealistic spirit of the times, they were determined to work outside traditional architecture. They were joined by Curtis Schreier, Hudson Marquez, Douglas Hurr, and others who came and went. The group, who saw themselves as part of the cultural underground, were compared by a friend to a toy Ant Farm where frenetic activity takes place below the surface and collectivity is a way of life. The name stuck.

Working against a backdrop of tremendous cultural ferment, Ant Farm partook of the youth culture's embrace of communal living, sexual liberation, mind-altering drugs, and utopian ideals, from the mundane do-it-yourself ethos of the Whole Earth Catalog to the grandiose belief that they could change the world. In the early years of their collaboration, Ant Farm set out to create an alternative architecture suited to a nomadic lifestyle. Inspired by such visionaries as Buckminster Fuller and Paolo Solari, as well as utopian European architecture groups such as Archigram, they concentrated on developing giant inflatable structures, easy and cheap to build and transport and symbolic of their opposition to mainstream Brutalist architecture of the 1960s.

Berkeley Art Museum Web Site

Contact: Tel: (1) 510 642 08 08

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