This richly illustrated book, created to accompany the traveling exhibition of the same name, provides a fascinating critical overview of Ant Farm, the radical architecture collective that brought us Cadillac Ranch, Media Burn, and The Eternal Frame.
Established by several young renegade architects in 1968, Ant Farm was a collaborative art and design group eager to bring to its practice a revolutionary spirit more consistent with the times. Its vision encompassed creations for a nomadic lifestyle, including inflatable structures and radical environments that culminated in projects such as the organically appointed House of the Century and the unrealized aquatic edifice The Dolphin Embassy. Ant Farm 1968-1978 explores the sweeping career of this inspired and inspiring visionary collective as its architectural projects broadened to embrace a range of undertakings that challenged the visual architecture of image, icon, and power.
Constance Lewallen provides an in-depth, anecdotally rich interview with founding members Chip Lord, Doug Michels, and Curtis Schreier. An essay by Michael Sorkin gives the multivalent cultural context for Ant Farm’s radical architecture. Steve Seid takes a comprehensive look at Ant Farm’s influential videotapes. Caroline Maniaque’s “Searching for Energy” details the group’s inflatable structures in relationship to contemporaneous architects working in a similar vein. The catalog also includes a substantial excerpt from Chip Lord’s 1976 meditation on car culture, with a new epilogue; a graphically playful timeline recounting Ant Farm’s essential art projects; and a rich montage of images and ephemera capturing the humor, originality, and prescience of this feisty enterprise.