If you find yourself up Denver way anytime in the next few weeks, be sure to check out West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977 at MCA Denver. Though it does have the faintest waft of stale patchouli and latter-day baby boomer hagiography about it (what doesn’t these days?), it treats the era in a decidedly Big Something fashion: as a series of micro-documentary-style primers on a variety of sub-subcultures of the times. San Francisco’s band of merry dragsters, The Cockette’s; utopian inflatable “happenings” practitioners Ant Farm collective (There’s a fun inflatable room you can hang out in and watch a archival film projected on the plastic.); posters by Black Panther propagandist Emory Douglas; a whole display of ephemera and photographs from Womyn’s Land lesbian communes in Oregon; and Drop City, the Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic dome community outside of Trinidad, Colorado, all get their due. While the exhibit design feels slightly overwrought (the architectural elements that attempt to lend analog verisimilitude to the decidedly bloggy nature of the content feel like goofy props in most cases), it’s a nice light romp through lesser known facets of the period from a safe distance.

For a primer on Drop City, here’s intern Ruby Kimberly’s audio slide show and interview with John Curl, one of the co-founders residents of of Drop City, from last June:

 

7 Responses to Drop City at the MCA in Denver

  1. The communal model seems to fail at ever producing a sustainable utopia. This reminds me of stories from “The Farm” which, while still existing today successfully as the ETC, had to adopt self-reliance as a central tennet.

    With the advent of the internet it today might be possible to build a sustainable remote community. I could see something like business savvy e-commerce Amish-esk neo-hippies actually pulling it off.

  2. joyce cheney says:

    Interesting! Thanks for always including links in your pieces. For example, this story links to DCA’s site, which has many links related to this exhibit and the rest of their shows.

  3. Rick says:

    As I watched this video, the video counter hit 4:00 min. it showed a black and white photo of what was called the Bindu Dome. I read that this structure collapsed and when you see how the design allowed the bottom row of triangles to curve inward so quickly it is no wonder. Yann Lipnick and others are creating similar structures and are calling them Zomes. http://www.zomes-concept.com/Jliens.htm They are very beautiful structures

  4. Rick says:

    Disclaimer: I don’t endorse Yann Lipnick’s beliefs. I just like the structures. I endorse Jesus Christ as Lord. :)

  5. peter douthit says:

    John Curl was Not a co-founder of Drop City / he arrived well after much of the building was finished / please straighten out the intern who was handed that load of shit.

  6. Peggy Westmoreland says:

    Thanks KRCC for finaly going south of Pueblo and into the funcky little town of Trinidad. If you think Trinidad has an interesting history, you should see it now – you’ll swear you had mushrooms!

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