Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog - The WHOLE EARTH - a great story, a déjà-vu?, or a lot of missing pieces??    
 The WHOLE EARTH - a great story, a déjà-vu?, or a lot of missing pieces??
picture picture picture picture picture 27 Apr 2013 @ 17:15, by Heiner Benking

Reporting again from the Anthropocene Project at the House of the World Cultures.

IN PROGRESS - Saturday Night - pls. come back. I properly credit the pictures later...

This exhibition and conference in connection with the SYNAPSE Network and exercise to bring avantgade curators together under the title: THE WHOLE EARTH - CALIFORNIA AND THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE OUTSIDE

Please check the websites above and all events listed in the HKW !: and maybe check the video documentation: [link]

Here is a little teaser to get started:
The exhibition and the conference The Whole Earth are dedicated to the story of the image of the “blue planet” which has become one of the most influential images in history. The project takes its starting point in historical developments in California since the 1960s: using materials from cultural history and artistic works, the exhibition will critically explore the application of ecological-systemic concepts to society, politics, and aesthetics. The transformation of romantic and technophile ideas from the realm of counterculture and cybernetics lead to concepts of the system and self-management in network capitalism that have a global impact today. Curated by: Diedrich Diederichsen and Anselm Franke

I was there yesterday and today and hope to make it again. During the the circle yesterday I asked about how all these fragments ... (see more below !)

could be brought together, if they have not heard about certain exhibitions,.... and the answer was, well this is a historic recollection for the foundational years. I will make a transcript. This is what I really wanted to hear as I feel the history books on the 60ies and early 70ies have to be revisited !
I just asked why a few original building blocks leading to all presented in the exhibition, about the original Earth Day at Equninox, and John McConnell are not really part of the exhibit, and promised in this blog to outline what timelines and building blocks I was referring to.

So here is what I have in mind in a timeline: Maybe before see "STAR OF HOPE": [link]
John McConnell and Erling Toness featured in 1957 in Toe Valley View "Make Our Satellite A Symbol Of Hope" and in 1961 in their bi-weekly "Mountain View" joint ventures in Space with American Astronauts and Soviet Cosmonauts, all this leading to the "Minute for Peace" broadcast around Christmas 1963, and in 1965 when celebrating the United Nations Charter, Secretary General U Thant, Margarete Mead and others where already on the alert when in 1968, John McConnell incorporated "World Equality" to foster the idea of equilibrium in nature and human society and present in "Planetary Inheritance" The Earth Flag, as it was featured in the "Whole Earth Catalogue" that year. Times of Change and Times of Hope...

In September of 1969 Earth Day was proposed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and won strong support and was followed by an Earth Day Proclamation by the City of San Francisco. The idea, supported by U. N. Secretary General U Thant, Margaret Mead and many others, spread worldwide and with the ringing of the United Nations Peace Bell to mark the moment of the March Equinox on Earth Day as a tradition to be celebrated by all nations.

Maybe the EARTH CHARTER in 1979 is another milestone to be revisited in historical exhibitions.

I will not cover the April Earth Day here as this is widely known and circulated, but I feel it important in such an historic exhibition called the WHOLE EARTH to see the "WHOLE" not only from inside or outside, but with a temporal, cultural and integral perspective. If not we are leaving our central milestones about the evolution of Environmental and Global Awareness.

There definitely was some synchronicity and serendipity around these days in the late 60ies and early 70ies. When a "button" was created by Steward Brand in 1966 but I feel we need to consider the timeline presented aboved to understand what was going on these days.

The other issue I raised after Bruces Yonemotos reflection of the change of meaning of the word "global", what was meant in 1968 and what we mean about it 45 years later !! I added the term "glocal" in my question, how it "emerged" in Bonn at out Global Change exhibition, but also that was not on the radar of the artists and curtators present. No blame here, but only to give an example of "blind spots" we might want to revisit until 2014 in the Anthropocene !!

Looking back, I feel we are entangeled in our self-created "maze" of looking in a certain position anto selected data of a certain culture and time. When are we going to step back, and try to negotiate "common frames of references" as we layed out with/for Noel Brown, UNEP-RONA after Rio'92 ?
This were some aspects of my questions and conversations after our HKW circle and visiting the exhibitions. More came up later, but let me
say one word why I am so "involved" and "concerned". John McConnell entrusted to me and Franz Nahrada in Vienna much of his documents, and I was not only getting my kicks in the early 70ies in California, but shared some Earth Days and Peace Bell ringing over the years. The last and one of the most memorable was in Geneva recently and I have coverend it in my blog below: 2010 and 2011 Earth Focus Founadtion, UN Human Rights Council, Peacebell at Equinox Earth Day... Maybe start here: [link]

I jsut thought that some names like Margarete Mead, Noel Brown, Aurelio Peccei, Alexander Christakis (Club of Rome) might be not on the "radar" of some readers. So maybe check these 2 article in EuropesWorld from 2010 and 2011: [link]

In a nutshell I feel this time around the 60ies and 70ies is not really understood. For example Doxiadis introduced in 1968 Ekistics. Doxiadis C.A. (1968). Ekistics: An Introduction to the Science of Human Settlements If we only take on the WestCoast perspective we might get very confused and miss much of the bigger picture, and get stuck in singularities and dualisms. I proposed to to use the Digital Peters or Hyperhistory to get going with mapping issues in temporal and cultural contexts and what happened elsewhere ! Check for example "encyclopedias" in the Digital Peters, and before check out some slides (PDF on slideshare): [link] Ekistics and Pointers to Possibilities? check: [link]

Heiner Benking
Formerly and presently an Earth Trustee and Earth Steward

Inside & outside & beyond "prints" [link] "old-think" and "group-think": [link] and: [link] and:
maybe check also: NEW IDEAS - NEW SPACES, Council of Europe 1995: [link]

I will report in detail as I feel this project to open some new realms, ask new and old questions, and maybe come to action and solutions need broad publicity. I will as always try to be as a concerned generalist be constructive and critical. Not only because I feel some old solutions have been forgotten, but also as I feel that this is a place where I can write a parallel text for possibly and hopefully critical words and general comments, because I feel there is the place where we all can benefit and learn from.

As you can believe, form the white-box to black and color boxes [link] for exhibitions and education, from infographics to systems and cybernetics , from environmental awareness to policy issues there is a lot to contribute and learn towards something that matters towards and provides leverage points for science and the public. Very much in the sense of our GLOBAL CHANGE - CHALLENGES TO SCIENCE and POLITICS or later exhibitions and exercises.

I have to rush now - but please come back as I somehow feel I want to invest some time in this process of aesthetically and pragmatically link old and new approaches, paradigms, meta-paradigms description, and supersigns and superstructures... Enough for now but maybe check the links above ...

I had some really great discussions but I could open new vistas, for example into why is the outer disappearing, why not combine symbols, icons, indexes, models...

Maybe someone want to check out my FLATWORLDs and DEEPWORLDs to get started ? or check the NEW RENAISSANCE 3 exercise we did here in Berlin some years ago?: PDF

Connecting the dots, frames, signs, spaces ...:


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