Cosmic Compositions present; Joan Grossman and Tom McCourt’s ‘Drop City’ – 13/04/2016


Please join us on Wednesday 13th April for a screening of Joan Grossman and Tom McCourt’s film ‘Drop City.’ Grossman and McCourt’s film takes Drop City, the artists community that became an icon for a global countercultural movement, as it’s central thematic and weaves “a story of whimsical innovation and the drive to create a new civilization on the scrapheap of wasteful society.”

In 1962, Gene Bernofsky, Jo Ann Bernofsky and Clark Richert were students at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Gene and Clark developed a concept they called “Drop Art” (coining the term well before the era-branding slogan, “Turn on, tune in, drop out”). “Dropping” artworks from the rooftop of a loft space in Lawrence, they were making art a spontaneous part of everyday life in the face of a society they saw as increasingly materialistic and war-mongering.

In 1965, they bought a small piece of land near Trinidad, Colorado and called their settlement Drop City. They were soon joined by other artists, writers and inventors, and they started building a community that celebrated creative work.

The settlement’s dazzling structures were based on Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes and the crystalline designs of Steve Baer, a pioneer in geometric structure and solar energy. The Droppers had little building experience, but they were full of ingenuity and exuberance. The domes cost almost nothing and were made from salvaged materials – culled lumber, bottle caps and chopped-out car tops. Drop City became a lab for experimental building, and in 1966 Fuller himself honored its citizens with his Dymaxion Award for “poetically economic structural accomplishments.”

Now Drop City is recognized as the first rural commune of the 1960s, and its early experiments with solar technology and recycled materials speak to a green economy and inspire a new generation of DIYers. However, while this flood of international attention inspired a generation of alternative communities, it also led to overcrowding, and the community was eventually abandoned to transients. By 1973, Drop City had become the world’s first geodesic ghost town.

Wednesday 13 April @ Audio Foundation, doors 7.30pm
$10 on the door // no presales.