Ant Farm, Media Burn Review

(Video of Media Burn, the Project)

On the third space once again, the audience from all parts of the world coincides with the Adobe Connect platform to watch the live conference hosted by Mr Randall Packer and Chip Lord. Founded in 1968 by Chip Lord and Doug Michels, Ant Farm explores the experiment of avant-garde architecture, the medium of television, the power of image, the fetish of automobile design and many other aspects of hyper futurism. Their attempts are often conceptual or realistic, which focuses on disseminating criticism of the American Culture and Mass Media. A strategy to redefine the meaning behind an item perceived by the country’s imaginary.

In one of their initiatives, Ant Farm organized Media Burn, in which 2 drivers dressed in astronaut outfits are put in a 1959 Cadillac which is then renamed as the Phantom Dream Car. They “drove” at full speed right into a wall of flaming television sets. In this act, Ant Farm focused on bringing Cultural Icons in view, to address the extensive presence of Television in daily life through humour. In the 24-minute video, it is styled as a coverage on space launch, which encompasses an exaggerated stagy interview with the group members as well as an interview with John F. Kennedy impersonator.

In the initial phase, things were not smooth sailing. While Michels and Lord were looking for an event sponsor for the planning of Media Burn Project, Walker Art Center was the first to reject the role of the idea of sponsorship. Eventually, the planning of Media Burn took a whopping six months worth of planning as Michels and Lord had the idea of wanting it to be “more than a spectacle”. Through the collision of symbols (Cadillac and Television), this project thoroughly encapsulates and reflect the essence of Guerrilla Television. The act of spreading countercultural propaganda to the public.

1 thought on “Ant Farm, Media Burn Review

  1. Randall Packer

    Felicia, you have a lot of interesting comments about Media Burn. It is important though to support your comments, such as why it was “more than a spectacle,” and how this was important to the performance of Media Burn. Also in your concluding paragraph you reference Guerrilla Television, but it is important to explain what that means and how it contributed to the work. There is also a lot of language that you have assembled together from the various information provided, which is great that you are doing the research, but I am also very interested in your own interpretation, your own critique, your own words, and response. When using language provided, be sure and put it into quotes, thus separating it from your own language. Ultimately in the research critiques, I am interested in what you think and how you have processed the work and what it means to you. I am really pleased that you watched the interview, but in the future, be sure you support your essay with specific references from the reading or interview materials that are assigned.

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