Whole Earth Catalog exhibit at Museum of Modern Art, NYC

Everyone, including Stewart Brand, likes this exhibit. In an article on the NY Times yesterday, Ken Johnson wrote a perceptive article on the WEC. As Kevin Kelly says, “They get it.” True that.

“Brainchild of the visionary techno-hippie artist Stewart Brand, this compendium of resources for the New Age is the subject of ‘Access to Tools: Publications From the Whole Earth Catalog, 1968-1974,’ a modest but stirring time capsule of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

The Whole Earth Catalog did for counterculture youth in the ’60s what the Sears Catalog did for children of the Great Depression and what Google does for people of the Internet age: provide a way for ordinary people to connect with and make use of the global economy. Against the dominion of capitalist profiteers and the top-down cult of technocratic expertise, it aimed to put practical, intellectual and spiritual means of self-determination into the hands of the people. A telephone-book size tome printed on cheap paper in black and white and in all kinds of typographies, and peppered with sharp, often funny commentary on its products by its editors — as well as essays, short stories by writers like Wendell Berry and letters from readers — the catalog was nothing if not user friendly.”

Runs through July 26th. Since I’m heading for NYC Saturday, I’ll be able to check it out.


About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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