Ant Farm

Ant Farm Media Burn 1975

Ant Farm (Chip Lord, Doug Michels, Curtis Schreier, Uncle Buddie)
Media Burn 1975 re-mastered 2003
Courtesy the artists and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Ant Farm

Chip Lord (born 1944, USA), Doug Michels (1943–2003, USA), Curtis Schreier (born 1944, USA)

The artists’ collective Ant Farm was established in San Francisco in 1968 by architects Chip Lord and Doug Michels. In addition to their utopian architectural designs, Ant Farm staged actions critiquing the media, politics and art itself. 

Media Burn 1975 stages an explosive collision between two of America’s most potent cultural symbols: the car and the television. On 4 July 1975 at San Francisco’s Cow Palace, a reconstructed 1959 El Dorado Cadillac was driven through a wall of burning TV sets. Footage of the event, much of which was shot from a closed-circuit video camera mounted inside a customised tail-fin, is juxtaposed with news coverage by local television stations.

Doug Hall plays John F. Kennedy as an Artist-President, delivering a speech about the impact of mass media on American life: ‘Who can deny that we are a nation addicted to television and the constant flow of media? Haven’t you ever wanted to put your foot through your television?’