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CONTEMPORARY ART MOVEMENTS

PUBLISHER
Inventory Press/RITE Editions

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 9 x 12 in. / 128 pgs / 150 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2020 p. 116   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781941753354 TRADE
List Price: $35.00 CDN $49.00 GBP £30.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

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INVENTORY PRESS/RITE EDITIONS

Media Burn: Ant Farm and the Making of an Image

Text by Steve Seid.

Media Burn: Ant Farm and the Making of an Image

A detailed account of Ant Farm’s 1975 Media Burn performance, a legendary act of consumerist critique

This book examines the complex set of cultural references and art-making strategies informing Ant Farm’s seminal 1975 performance Media Burn in which a customized Cadillac, dubbed the Phantom Dream Car, was driven through a wall of burning television sets.

Originally conceived as a conceptual architectural practice, Ant Farm evolved into a full-service art collaborative, culminating in such notable works as House of the Century (1971-73), Cadillac Ranch (1974) and The Eternal Frame (1975).

In Media Burn the artists flourished in a rich tumult of ideas that engaged contemporary media theory, an oddly complicated aesthetic spectacle, textual appropriation and an all-encompassing branding effort.

Written by Steve Seid (Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive), and drawing upon a rich visual documentation, this book delves into the little-known critical backstory to this influential performance (and video work) involving a massive effort to mount a subversive critique of media hegemony while continually re-imagining the crux of the performance itself.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Burnt Offerings: Ant Farm and the Making of an Image.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

San Francisco Chronicle

Sam Whiting

Seid’s work of art history, “Media Burn: Ant Farm and the Making of an Image,” was published in November as a softbound book with full-bleed double-truck images and an account of the year it took to customize the Caddy into a land rocket called the Phantom Dream Car and accumulate 40 TV sets, many the living room console style in vogue at that time. The organization and documentation of “Media Burn” [is] nearly as complex as the staging of Cristo’s “Running Fence,” which was completed the next year along the hills in Marin and Sonoma counties.

SFMoMA

Theadora Walsh

Language is pinned to context but images happen over and over again, as what they capture is reanimated with each viewing.

Archidose

John Hill

There's no shortage of meaning in the collision of a fast-moving car anda burning wall of TVs, but Seid skillfully explores ideas that are far from obvious. The text is intellectually stimulating and dense, yet highly readable. But the book is also a visual treat, with the original $1 program reprinted on its pages, stills from the video (fourth spread), and lots of images beyond that single, iconic image.

Media Burn: Ant Farm and the Making of an Image

in stock  $35.00


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/31/2021

Hot Book Alert: 'Media Burn: Ant Farm and the Making of an Image' is Back in Stock!

Hot Book Alert: 'Media Burn: Ant Farm and the Making of an Image' is Back in Stock!

Featured spreads are from Media Burn: Ant Farm and the Making of an Image, an in-depth study of the San Francisco conceptual art and architecture practice Ant Farm’s legendary 1975 Media Burn performance, in which a customized Cadillac, “the Phantom Dream Car,” was driven through a wall of burning television sets in a seminal act of consumerist critique. In a souvenir booklet published on the occasion of the July 4, 1975, performance, the members of Ant Farm wrote, “There was born in America during World War II a generation of children who were to be introduced to the new invention, television, at a formative age. This generation, different from those older whose view of reality was catalyzed before television and those younger who never knew a reality without the tube, is the ‘television generation.’ They grew up as the medium itself was growing up. ‘Media Burn’ is a statement from representatives of the ‘television generation.’
At 2:50 today the phantom dream car… will start its engine to begin an historic trip. It will shoot across the Cow Palace parking lot into the just-ignited stack of 50 television sets. At the moment of impact Admirals, RCA’s, G.E.’s, Sylvanas, Zeniths and Hoffmans will fly apart in a cathartic explosion. The car will shoot on through to the other side and, God willing, the two dummies will step out unhurt, free at last from the addiction of television.” continue to blog


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