Consumption and Production: Themes of Sustainability in Artists' Books
This guide shares information about artists' books from the "Consumption and Production: Themes of Sustainability in Artists' Books" events hosted by IU Libraries, as well as supplementary materials such as news articles, research, and multimedia resource
The Positions and Situations Project is a series of 100 letter correspondences between artist Alex Arzt and individuals who placed classified ads in 1970s magazines published as resources for back-to-the-landers such as The Mother Earth News, whose classifieds were called “Positions and Situations.” The project became a series of three artist books covering ads and their corresponding responses from the years 1968-1976.
The magazines are a product of what is known as the Back-to-the-Land Movement of the 1970s. After the tumult of the 1960s counterculture, many young people were disillusioned with the political system, the Vietnam War, consumerism, and pollution and were looking for both a way out and an alternative. Many were seeking land and a community to test out the ideals and experiments they cultivated during the counterculture and hippie years. From the late sixties through the mid seventies, one of the largest urban to rural migrations in American history occurred. Progressive minded twenty-somethings left the cities in droves for rural areas to start homesteads and join communes.
The ads were “designed to help would-be back-to-the-landers get in touch with folks already out there” and were required to have a “country slant.” The 100-word P&S ads are vignettes into the dreams, goals, and desires, both practical and impractical, of a cohort of people in their twenties seeking the lifestyle TheMother Earth News promised. Full names, addresses, and ages of the ad-placer are often listed, and Alex used that information to search for their current address on public records search sites. Her initial letter form to the ad-placers has evolved as her own situation has changed and as the project developed, but from the beginning, it has asked two questions: What came of the ad? Did you find what you were looking for the year the ad was placed? The letters encompass the failures and accomplishments of the back-to-the-landers in imagining and creating alternatives to a society they understood as fundamentally broken.
The books are printed on a Risograph, whose lineage comes from the Mimeograph and Gestetner, two processes once used to print underground and alternative newsletters, magazines, and posters. Looking a lot like a copy machine, the Riso offers a do-it-yourself process that prints one color of ink at a time using a thermal cut screen from a digital image.
An enlightening narrative history--an entertaining fusion of Tom Wolfe and Michael Pollan--that traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream and created a distinctly American cuisine. Food writer Jonathan Kauffman journeys back more than half a century--to the 1960s and 1970s--to tell the story of how a coterie of unusual men and women embraced an alternative lifestyle that would ultimately change how modern Americans eat. Impeccably researched, Hippie Food chronicles how the longhairs, revolutionaries, and back-to-the-landers rejected the square establishment of President Richard Nixon's America and turned to a more idealistic and wholesome communal way of life and food. From the mystical rock-and-roll cult known as the Source Family and its legendary vegetarian restaurant in Hollywood to the Diggers' brown bread in the Summer of Love to the rise of the co-op and the origins of the organic food craze, Kauffman reveals how today's quotidian whole-foods staples--including sprouts, tofu, yogurt, brown rice, and whole-grain bread--were introduced and eventually became part of our diets. From coast to coast, through Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Vermont, Kauffman tracks hippie food's journey from niche oddity to a cuisine that hit every corner of this country. A slick mix of gonzo playfulness, evocative detail, skillful pacing, and elegant writing, Hippie Food is a lively, engaging, and informative read that deepens our understanding of our culture and our lives today.
It's the 1940's and across the country women are leaving their homes, shops, offices and factories to take up a new role in the Women's Land Army. Back to the Land takes a warm-hearted look at the lives and loves of a group of Land Girls making the best of life in a hostel in the North East of England.
For many, "going back to the land" brings to mind the 1960s and 1970s--hippie communes and the Summer of Love, The Whole Earth Catalog and Mother Earth News. More recently, the movement has reemerged in a new enthusiasm for locally produced food and more sustainable energy paths. But these latest back-to-the-landers are part of a much larger story. Americans have been dreaming of returning to the land ever since they started to leave it. In Back to the Land, Dona Brown explores the history of this recurring impulse. ? Back-to-the-landers have often been viewed as nostalgic escapists or romantic nature-lovers. But their own words reveal a more complex story. In such projects as Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Farms, Frank Lloyd Wright's "Broadacre City," and Helen and Scott Nearing's quest for "the good life," Brown finds that the return to the farm has meant less a going-backwards than a going-forwards, a way to meet the challenges of the modern era. Progressive reformers pushed for homesteading to help impoverished workers get out of unhealthy urban slums. Depression-era back-to-the-landers, wary of the centralizing power of the New Deal, embraced a new "third way" politics of decentralism and regionalism. Later still, the movement merged with environmentalism. To understand Americans' response to these back-to-the-land ideas, Brown turns to the fan letters of ordinary readers--retired teachers and overworked clerks, recent immigrants and single women. In seeking their rural roots, Brown argues, Americans have striven above all for the independence and self-sufficiency they associate with the agrarian ideal. Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
"[P]ractically everyone I know is nursing fantasies about escaping the life they're trapped in and creating one that makes more sense," writes the editor of Utne Reader in a recent issue. "The people I most admire, though, are those who actually do it-who break free and pursue a higher calling no matter how great the risk." New Pioneers is about one such group of people-the hundreds of thousands of urban North Americans who over the past three decades have given up their city or suburban homes for a few acres of land in the countryside. Jeffrey Jacob's new pioneers are ordinary people who have tried to break away from the mainstream consumer culture and return to small-town and rural America. He traces the development of the movement and identifies seven different kinds of back-to-the-lander: the weekender, country romantic, purist, country entrepreneur, pensioner, micro-farmer, and apprentice. From over 1,300 survey responses, interviews, and in-depth case studies, at both the regional and national levels, of representative back-to-the-landers, Jacob analyzes their values, use of appropriate technology, family division of labor on their acreages, and predisposition toward environmental activism. Jacob finds that back-to-the-landers for the most part are not completely independent of the mainstream economy, and consequently, their lives do reflect the contradictions between the available conveniences of a high-technology culture and the movement's goals of self-reliant labor. He analyzes their ambivalent attitudes toward technology-hoes and shovels versus mini-hydroelectric systems, wood stoves versus microwave ovens, and so on. After examining the experiences of the back-to-the-country people who live on the margins of a postindustrial society, Jacob creates a clearer appreciation of the preconditions necessary to translate the idea of sustainable living into concrete action on a society-wide scale. While New Pioneers describes an important social movement, it also shows how far a group of highly motivated individuals and families can go, by themselves, in breaking away from the prevailing consumer culture. The dilemmas, frustrations, adaptations, and triumphs of these neo-homesteaders offer valuable insights to anyone contemplating a move "back to the land."
Recent advances in technologies and home-generated renewable energy have made building away from urban and rural infrastructures more practical and affordable than ever. This survey of the world's most innovative off-grid homes reveals the cuttingedge architecture and technology that is enabling us to escape to some of the most extraordinary natural environments on the planet. All of the houses featured in this book are fully, or almost fully, self-sufficient in terms of energy, water and, in some cases, food. Architecture and interior design expert Dominic Bradbury reveals how each architect has made everyday living in these wild and natural settings a rewarding and tempting reality. From snowbound cabins in the far Northern Hemisphere to coastal retreats that can only be accessed by boat, the diverse projects collected here show the innovative ways in which architects and their clients are tackling extreme climates, remoteness and construction challenges to enable a new way of life that is both liberating and sustainable. The imperative to reduce our carbon footprints and refocus on renewable sources of energy is having a profound impact on our domestic lives. This fascinating survey demonstrates that creative architecture, design and technology are redefining the possibilities for leading a truly rewarding and responsible lifestyle.