Media Burn, 1975

Chip Lord

Iconographic Art Making: The Legacy of Ant Farm

Date 4/14/03

Affiliation Artist, University of California, Santa Cruz


Constance Lewallen, Senior Curator for Exhibitions at the BAM and curator of the upcoming exhibition "Ant Farm 1968-1978" will begin the program with a brief historical overview of Ant Farm's ten-year collaboration.

In the second part of the program, artist Chip Lord, using slides and video, will present Ant Farm's Cadillac Ranch (1974) and Media Burn (1975) projects, two works that achieved popular and wide ranging visibility when they were created and then continued to extend their reach and influence as icons over the next 25 years. Lord will detail this history of appropriation, licensing, and remakes in art and popular media.


The artist collective Ant Farm emerged in the late 1960's, a period in which collaboration went hand-in-hand with explorations of the alternative fringe in architecture and art. Counter-cultural artists and architects turned away from traditional institutional frameworks and created alternative practices that became earthworks, conceptual art, performance, video art, installation, and designer/builder architecture. Ant Farm's hybrid practice touched on all of these areas, which have since been formalized as genres of art practice. While post-structuralism and deconstruction had not yet entered the discourse of art criticism, Ant Farm's best works were prescient illustrations of simulation theory and iconic spectacle demonstrating a deep understanding of "the Society of the Spectacle."

In 2004, the Berkeley Art Museum will present a major retrospective of Ant Farm's work.

-- As of 4/14/03