Cover of Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools (Fall 1968). From “The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside.”


“The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside”

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
April 26–July 1, 2013

Curated by Diedrich Diederichsen and Anselm Franke

Nature or network? This was the question haunting 1960s California. And the answer was, of course, both. Ecology and technology were seen as part of a single teeming system, hopefully headed toward homeostasis: Counterculturalists led the search for a universal equilibrium between tools and worlds, minds and machines and energies, as a way of remaking the postwar world in all its crisis and promise. This exhibition endeavors to trace that quest, taking as its figurehead Stewart Brand—impresario and visionary creator of the Whole Earth Catalog, that manual for life in the nuclear age. With an eclectic range of more than forty works by artists from then and now, including Eleanor Antin, Bruce Yonemoto, and the Otolith Group, curators Franke and Diederichsen aim to tell the story of how the West tuned in, dropped out, and became Silicon Valley.