How Magazine Pages Were Created Before Computers: A Veteran of the London Review of Books Demonstrates the Meticulous, Manual Process

The London Review of Books is celebrating its 40th anniversary, but somehow the magazine has always felt older than that: not like the product of a stuffier age, but of a more textually and intellectually lavish one than the late 1970s. Pick up an early issue and you'll see that, as much as it has evolved in the details, the basic project of the LRB remains the same: publishing essays of the highest quality on a variety of subjects literary, political, and otherwise, allowing their writers a length sufficient for proper engagement of both subject and reader, and — perhaps most admirably of all — refusing, in this age of internet media, to burden them with semi-relevant pictures and clickbait headlines.

"Much in those early numbers still looks fresh," writes Susannah Clapp, who worked at the LRB during its first thirteen years. "But the apparatus and surroundings that produced them seem antique. Typewriters. Letters covered in blotches of Tipp-Ex, for which the office name was 'eczema.' No screens; hand-drawn maps for layout; tins of Cow Gum." The cow gum was an essential tool of the trade for Bryony Dalefield, who since 1982 has worked "pretty near continuously" for the LRB as what's called a "paste-up artist." In the video above, she describes how her job — whose title remains "pleasingly still in the vocabulary in the digital age" — once involved "literally cutting up copy and pasting it onto a board so it could be sent to the printers and photographed for printing."




Dalefield doesn't just recount the process but performs it, summoning a presumably long-dormant but well-honed suite of skills to paste up a current page of the LRB just as she did it in the 80s. First she takes the text of an article, fresh from the print shop, and cuts it into columns with scissors. Then she spreads the Cow Gum, with its "strong petrol smell," to fix the columns to the board, fearing all the while that she'll stick them on out of order. Even in order, they usually require the addition or removal of words to fit just right on the page, and at the LRB, a publication to whose meticulous editing process each and every contributor can attest, another round of edits follows the first pasting. We then see why X-ACTO knives are called that, since using one to replace individual words and phrases on paper demands no small degree of exactitude.

With the wrong bits cut out and the right ones pasted in and held down with Magic Tape, the completed page is ready to be sent back to the printer. Pasting-up, which Dalefield frames as a marrying of the work of editors and typographers, will seem astonishingly labor-intensive to most anyone under the age of 50, few of whom even know how magazines and newspapers put together their pages before the advent of desktop publishing. But the very word "desktop," in the computer-interface sense, speaks to the metaphorical persistence of the old ways through what Dalefield calls the "falling out of trades" in the digital age. I myself have done a fair bit of "cutting," "copying," and "pasting" writing this very post — but I suppose I never did say, "Oh, that's very sticky" while doing so.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Talking Heads Songs Become Midcentury Pulp Novels, Magazines & Advertisements: “Burning Down the House,” “Once in a Lifetime,” and More

Do you like Talking Heads? Writer and visual artist Douglas Coupland once proposed that question as the truest test of whether you belong to the cohort named by his novel Generation X. Coupland's contemporary colleague in letters Jonathan Lethem summed up his own early Talking Heads mania thus: "At the peak, in 1980 or 1981, my identification was so complete that I might have wished to wear the album Fear of Music in place of my head so as to be more clearly seen by those around me." What makes the band that recorded "Psycho Killer," "This Must Be the Place," "Once In a Lifetime," and "Burning Down the House" so appealing to the bookish, and especially the both bookish and visual, born after the Baby Boom or otherwise?

Whatever the essence at work, screenwriter and "graphic-arts prankster" Todd Alcott taps into it with his latest round of popular songs-turned-midcentury book covers, posters, magazine covers, and other pieces of non-musical graphic design. You may remember Alcott's previous adaptations of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, and Radiohead appearing here on Open Culture.




The culturally literate and obliquely referential catalogue of Talking Heads, however, may have provided his most suitable material yet: "Burning Down the House" becomes a "a 1950s pulp novel," "Life During Wartime" a "1950s men's adventure magazine," "This Must Be the Place" an "advertisement for a 1950s suburban housing development," and "Take Me to the River" the "cover of a 1950s-era issue of Field & Stream, with the four members of the band enjoying a day on the lake."

Amusing even at first glance, these cultural mash-ups also repay knowledge of the band's work and history. "Psycho Killer," with its French lyrics, becomes an issue of Cahiers du Cinéma featuring David Byrne on a cover dated March 1974, "the earliest date the song 'Psycho Killer' is known to have been performed by David Byrne's band The Artistics." "Once in a Lifetime," quite possibly the band's most impressive piece of songcraft, becomes an equally layered Alcott image: a "a magazine advertisement for the 1962 classic The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, based on the best-seller by Sloan Wilson" — in other words, an ad designed for a magazine meant to sell a movie based on a book, and a book as tied up with the themes of alienation in postwar America as "Once in a Lifetime" itself.

Talking Heads fans will recognize in Alcott's graphics the very same kind of genius for resounding literal-mindedness coupled with subtle, sometimes obscure wit that characterizes the work of Byrne and his collaborators. You can buy prints of these images at his Etsy shop, which also offers many other works of interest to those for whom music, books, magazines, media, and history constitute not separate subjects but one vast, densely interconnected cultural field. To those who see the world that way, Alcott's designing the cover for an album by Byrne or another of the ex-Heads — or indeed a Jonathan Lethem novel — is only a matter of time. Enter Todd Alcott's store here.

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David Bowie Songs Reimagined as Pulp Fiction Book Covers: Space Oddity, Heroes, Life on Mars & More

Classic Radiohead Songs Re-Imagined as a Sci-Fi Book, Pulp Fiction Magazine & Other Nostalgic Artifacts

Classic Songs by Bob Dylan Re-Imagined as Pulp Fiction Book Covers: “Like a Rolling Stone,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” & More

Songs by Joni Mitchell Re-Imagined as Pulp Fiction Book Covers & Vintage Movie Posters

How Talking Heads and Brian Eno Wrote “Once in a Lifetime”: Cutting Edge, Strange & Utterly Brilliant

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Watch 15 Films by Designers Charles & Ray Eames

If you’re reading this, chances are good that you live in the modern world, or at least visit it from time to time. But what do I mean by “modern”? It’s a too-broad term that always requires a definition. Sometimes, for brevity’s sake, we settle for listing the names of artists who brought modernity into being. When it comes to the truly modern in industrial design, we get two names in one—the husband and wife team of Charles and Ray Eames.

The design world, at least in the U.S., may have been slower to catch up to other modernist trends in the arts. That changed dramatically when several European artists like Walter Gropius immigrated to the country before, during and after World War II. But the American Eames left perhaps the most lasting impact of them all.

The first home they designed and built together in 1949 as part of the Case Study House Program became “a mecca for architects and designers from both near and far,” notes the Eames Office site. “Today it is considered one of the most important post-war residences anywhere in the world.” “Famous for their iconic chairs,” writes William Cook at the BBC, the streamlined objets that “transformed our idea of modern furniture,” they were also “graphic and textile designers, architects and filmmakers.”

The Eames’ film legacy may be less well-known than their revolutions in interior design. We’ve all seen or interacted with innumerable versions of Eames-inspired designs, whether we knew it or not. The pair stated their desire to make universally useful creations in their succinct mission statement: “We want to make the best for the most for the least.” They meant it. “What works good,” said Ray, “is better than what looks good because what works good lasts.”

When design “works good,” the Eames understood, it might be attractive, or purely functional, but it will always be accessible, unobtrusive, comfortable, and practical. We might notice its contours and wonder about its principles, but it works equally well, and maybe better, if we do not. The Eames films explain how one accomplishes such design. “Between 1950 and 1982,” the Eames “made over 125 short films ranging from 1-30 minutes in length,” notes the Eames Office site, declaring: “The Eames Films are the Eames Essays.”

If this statement has prepared you for dry, didactic short films filled with jargon, prepare to be surprised by the breadth and depth of the Eames' curiosity and vision. Here, we have compiled some of the Eames films, and you can see many, many more (15 in total) with the playlist embedded at the bottom of the post. At the top, see a brief introduction the designers’ films. Then, further down, we have the “brilliant tour of the universe” that is 1977’s Powers of Ten; 1957’s Day of the Dead, their exploration of the Mexican holiday; and 1961’s “Symmetry,” one of five shorts in a collection made for IBM called Mathematica Peep Shows.

Just above, see the Eames short House, made after five years of living in their famed Case Study House #8. The design on display here shows how the Eames “brought into the world a new kind of Californian indoor-outdoor Modernism,” as Colin Marshall wrote in a recent post here on famous architects’ homes. Their house is “a kind of Mondrian painting made into a livable box filled with an idiosyncratic arrangement of artifacts from all over the world.” Unlike most of the Eames designs, the Case Study house was never put into production, but in its elegant simplicity, we can see all of the creative impulses the Eames brought to their redesign of the modern world.

See many more of the Eames filmic essays in this YouTube playlist. There are 15 in total.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

How Bicycles Can Revolutionize Our Lives: Case Studies from the United States, Netherlands, China & Britain

A two- (and three- and one-) wheeled revolution is upon us. Dubbed “micro-mobility” by start-up marketers and influencers, the trend incorporates all sorts of personal means of transport. While the buzz may hover around electric scooters and skateboards, the faithful bicycle still leads the pack, as it has for over a hundred years. And advocates—who bike as their primary means of exercise, commuting, and running daily errands—are challenging the orthodoxies of car culture.

As an avid cyclist myself, who bikes as often as I can for groceries and other errands, I will admit to a strong bias in their favor. But even I’ve been challenged and surprised by what I've learned from biking advocates like Liz Canning, producer and narrator of a new documentary film, Motherload, a portrait of the many people who have chosen to use cargo bikes instead of cars for nearly everything.




The film is remarkable for the ordinariness of its subjects. As one cargo cyclist, Brent Patterson of Buffalo, New York, says, “I’m not an athlete. I’m not superhuman. I’m just a completely normal person like you.” The Patterson family “sold its car,” notes Outside magazine, “and travels by cargo bike year-round, even in snowstorms.” Another cargo cyclist in the film, Emily Finch, “carts all six of her kiddos around on two wheels.” We see cargo cyclists around the world, using bikes as emergency transport haulers and daily grocery-getters.

Most of the Americans profiled live in bike-friendly communities like Marin County, California or Portland, Oregon. But others, like the Pattersons, do not, “and not all are as comfortably off as Canning,” who retired as a commercial filmmaker to raise her kids in bike-friendly Fairfax, CA. “Some had to sell their car or take out a no-interest loan in order to afford a cargo bike.” No one seems to have regretted the decision.

Readers who hail from, or have lived in, places in the world where bike-reliance is the norm may scoff at the presumed novelty of the idea in Canning’s film. But at one time, even the Netherlands—home of the ubiquitous Bakfiets—was almost as car-centric as most of the U.S., as American Dan Kois writes in a New Yorker essay about how he learned to become bike commuter in the Netherlands.

I had assumed that Dutch people’s adeptness at biking was the result of generations of incessant cycling. In fact, after the Second World War, the Netherlands had, like the U.S., become dominated by cars. Cycling paths were overtaken by roads, and neighborhoods in Amsterdam were razed to make room for highways. Between 1950 and 1970, the number of cars in the country exploded from about a hundred thousand to nearly two and a half million. During that same period, bike use plummeted; in Amsterdam, the percentage of trips made by bike fell from eighty to twenty.

That all changed when young activists and parents, especially mothers—like the biking mothers in Motherload—began protesting high numbers of traffic deaths. They took to the streets on their bikes, blocking traffic, running for office, and pressuring city officials to make infrastructure and public space safe and accommodating for bikes. Now, there are more bikes than people in the Netherlands, and cars co-exist on roads full of cyclists of all ages and classes, on their way to work, school, and everywhere else.

Dutch drivers “look out for cyclists,” writes Kois. “After all, nearly all of those drivers are cyclists themselves,” using the car for a brief, necessary outing before they get back on their bikes for most everything else. Next to Kois’ first-person account of his few-months-long sojourn through Delft, we have the global testimony of the Bicycle Architecture Biennale, a “showcase of cutting edge and high profile building designs that are facilitating bicycle travel and transforming communities around the world.” The exhibits, writes Karen Wong at David Byrne's Reasons to Be Cheerful, "point the way to a two-wheeled utopia."

BYCS, the group responsible for this well-curated exhibition, come from Amsterdam. The projects they feature, however, are in London and Chongmin and Chengdu, China. The cargo cyclists in Motherload, and the ferocious activism of cyclists in places like New York City, despite tremendous "bikelash," may show Americans they don't need to look abroad to see how bikes could slowly displace cars as Americans' vehicles of choice in some parts of the country. But learning from how other places have reimagined their infrastructure could prove necessary for lasting change.

Many Americans cannot imagine life without their cars, even if they also have garages full of bikes. Some lash out at cyclists as a threat to their way of life. The country is enormous (though we do most driving locally); cars serve as modes of transport—for human, plant, animal, and everything else—and also as escape pods and status symbols. Canning’s film shows us ordinary American men and women getting the gumption to trade some comfort and security for lives of minor adventure and ecological simplicity. (And a good many of them still have cars if they need them.)

We also see, in exhibitions like that previewed in the video above how design principles and policy can help make such choices easier and safer for everyone to make. Canning pointedly frames her argument in Motherload around cycling's radical history. "100 years before the bicycle saved me," she says in the film's official trailer at the top, "it liberated the poor, empowered the suffragettes, and transformed society faster than any invention in human history. It could happen again."

via Outside

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

The Glorious Poster Art of the Soviet Space Program in Its Golden Age (1958-1963)

How do you sell a government program that spends tens of millions of dollars on research and development for space travel? While the average taxpayer may love the idea of braving new frontiers, far fewer are apt to vote for funding scientific research, the space program’s ostensible reason for being.

During the Cold War, however, when the biggest breakthroughs in space flight occurred, selling the program didn’t involve sophisticated methods, only the broadest themes of heroism, patriotism, futurism, and, in more or less subtle ways, militarism. The appeal to science always went hand-in-hand with an appeal to the sublimely austere beauty of the heavens (which we'd hate to lose to the other guys.)

All of these were strategies NASA utilized, and then some. In addition to planting a U.S. flag on the moon, they delivered the first color image of Earth from space. On the ground, they enlisted artists like Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Laurie Anderson and actors like Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols to sell the program.




Recently, NASA has seemed to be in a reflective mood, from its antiquarian preparations for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing to its ad campaign of retro posters that resemble not only vintage sci-fi book jackets and movie ads, but also the futuristic social realism of their former Soviet rivals.

There’s almost something of an admission in NASA’s retro posters: we may have won the “space race,” but it wasn’t winner take all. There were some things the Soviets just did better—and when it came to making space travel look like the most monumentally heroic and exciting thing ever, they excelled, as you can see in this early collection of Soviet space posters from 1958-1963.

There’s something for, well, not everyone, but for men, women, young, old, young adults. Sci-fi geeks and model builders, people celebrating the new year, children celebrating the new year, a gaggle of young students who somehow all look just like Mary Tyler Moore. The artists are not celebrities, they’re fellow workers who “foresaw a Utopia in space,” writes Flashbak.

The Communists would bring peace and prosperity not only to the people of Earth but also to the technology-enabled, God-free Great Beyond. The artists created Soviet Space posters, vivid, energising and inspiring visions of the rosy-fingered dawn of tomorrow. They’re terrific.

They're maybe even more terrific when we consider that ordinary citizens didn’t have much say, at all, in the funding and direction of the U.S.S.R.’s space program. (Whether American citizens did is another question.) It was important that Soviets know, however, that “We will open the distant worlds!” as one poster reads, and, as the sixties teenage cigarette ad on a train above proclaims, “In the 20th century, the rockets race to the stars, the trains are going to the lands of achievements!”

The number of posters here is but a smattering of those posted on All about Russia (here and here) and Flashbak. Each poster has its own enchanting quality: emulating the propaganda of the 1930s; turning industrial laborers into anonymous towering heroes; and reaching some very heavy metal heights of bombast, as in the ad above, which declares, “Glory to the conquerors of the universe!”

One poster superimposes the beaming faces of four cosmonauts, lined up like Kraftwerk, over a scene of four rockets leaving the earth. "Gagarin, Titov, Nikolaev, Popoviich—the mighty knights of our days." (I’m not sure how that pun works in Russian.) The Soviets could also proclaim “Glory to the first woman cosmonaut!,” Valentina Tereshkova, who became the first woman to fly in space in 1963.

The Soviet space program deserves plenty of recognition for its many historic firsts, and also for the wildly enthusiastic optimism of its ad campaigns. They sold grand ideas about the exploration and, yes, conquest of space (and “the universe”) with the same verve and populist appeal as U.S. companies sold cars, cigarettes, and washing machines. Glory to the unsung Mad Men of the Soviet space poster!

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Watch Interplanetary Revolution (1924): The Most Bizarre Soviet Animated Propaganda Film You’ll Ever See

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Songs by Joni Mitchell Re-Imagined as Pulp Fiction Book Covers & Vintage Movie Posters

I wish I had more sense of humor

Keeping the sadness at bay

Throwing the lightness on these things

Laughing it all away 

                           - Joni Mitchell, “People's Parties”

Joni Mitchell has been showered with tributes of late, many of them connected to her all-star 75th birthday concert last November.

The silky voiced Seal, who credits Mitchell with inspiring him to become a musician, soaring toward heaven on "Both Sides Now"…

"A Case Of You" as a duet for fellow Newport Folk Festival alums Kris Kristofferson and Brandi Carlile….

Chaka Khan injecting a bit of funk into "Help Me," a tune she’s been covering for 20 some years...




They’re moving and beautiful and sensitive, but given that Mitchell's the one behind the immortal lyric “laughing and crying, you know it's the same release…,” shouldn’t someone aim for the funny bone? Mix things up a little?

Enter Todd Alcott, who’s been delighting us all year with his “mid-century mashups,” an irresistible combination of vintage paperback covers, celebrity personae, and iconic lyrics from the annals of rock and pop.

His homage to "Help Me," above, is decidedly on brand. The lurid 1950s EC horror comic-style graphics confer a dishy naughtiness that was—no disrespect—rather lacking in the original.

Perhaps Mitchell would approve of these monkeyshines?

A 1991 interview with Rolling Stone’s David Wild suggests that she would have at some point in her life:

When I was a kid, I was a real good-time Charlie. As a matter of fact, that was my nickname. So when I first started making all this sensitive music, my old friends back home could not believe it. They didn’t know – where did this depressed person come from? Along the way, I had gone through some pretty hard deals, and it did introvert me. But it just so happened that my most introverted period coincided with the peak of my success.

Alcott honors the introvert by rendering "Both Sides Now" as an angsty-looking volume of 60s-era poetry from the imaginary publishing house Clouds.

"Big Yellow Taxi" carries Alcott from the bookshelf to the realm of the movie poster.

The lyrics are definitely the star here, but it's fun to note just how much mileage he gets out of the floating text boxes that were a strangely random-feeling feature of the original.

Also "Ladies of the Canyon" is a great producer's credit. Given Alcott’s own screenwriting credits on IMDB, perhaps we could convince him to mash a bit of Joni’s sensibility into some of Paul Schrader’s grimmest Taxi Driver scenes…

That said, it's worth remembering that Alcott's creations are loving tributes to the artists who matter most to him. As he told Open Culture:

Joni Mitchell is one of the most criminally undervalued American songwriters of the 20th century, and that now that I live in LA, every time I drive through Laurel Canyon I think about her and that whole absurdly fertile scene in the late 1960s, when artists could afford to live in Laurel Canyon and Joni Mitchell was hanging out with Neil Young and Charles Manson.

See all of Todd Alcott’s work here. (Please note that this is his official sales site… beware of imposters selling quickie knock-offs of his designs on eBay and Facebook.) Find other posts featuring his work in the Relateds below.

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Classic Songs by Bob Dylan Re-Imagined as Pulp Fiction Book Covers: “Like a Rolling Stone,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” & More

Songs by David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads & More Re-Imagined as Pulp Fiction Book Covers

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inkyzine.  Join her in NYC on Monday, September 9 for a new season of her book-based variety show, Necromancers of the Public Domain. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

 

Buckminster Fuller Tells the World “Everything He Knows” in a 42-Hour Lecture Series (1975)

History seems to have settled Buckminster’s Fuller’s reputation as a man ahead of his time. He inspires short, witty popular videos like YouTuber Joe Scott’s “The Man Who Saw The Future,” and the ongoing legacy of the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), who note that “Fuller’s ideas and work continue to influence new generations of designers, architects, scientists and artists working to create a sustainable planet.”

Brilliant futurist though he was, Fuller might also be called the man who saw the present and the past—as much as a single individual could seemingly hold in their mind at once. He was “a man who is intensely interested in almost everything,” wrote Calvin Tomkins at The New Yorker in 1965, the year of Fuller’s 70th birthday. Fuller was as eager to pass on as much knowledge as he could collect in his long, productive career, spanning his early epiphanies in the 1920s to his final public talks in the early 80s.

“The somewhat overwhelming effect of a Fuller monologue,” wrote Tomkins, “is well known today in many parts of the world.” His lectures leapt from subject to subject, incorporating ancient and modern history, mathematics, linguistics, architecture, archaeology, philosophy, religion, and—in the example Tomkins gives—“irrefutable data on tides, prevailing winds,” and “boat design.” His discourses issue forth in wave after wave of information.




Fuller could talk at length and with authority about virtually anything—especially about himself and his own work, in his own special jargon of “unique Bucky-isms: special phrases, terminology, unusual sentence structures, etc.,” writes BFI. He may not always have been particularly humble, yet he spoke and wrote with a lack of prejudice and an open curiosity and that is the opposite of arrogance. Such is the impression we get of Fuller in the series of talks he recorded ten years after Tomkin’s New Yorker portrait.

Made in January of 1975, Buckminster Fuller: Everything I Know captured Fuller’s “entire life’s work” in 42 hours of “thinking out loud lectures [that examine] in depth all of Fuller’s major inventions and discoveries from the 1927 Dymaxion house, car and bathroom, through the Wichita House, geodesic domes, and tensegrity structures, as well as the contents of Synergetics. Autobiographical in parts, Fuller recounts his own personal history in the context of the history of science and industrialization.”

He begins, however, in his first lecture at the top, not with himself, but with his primary subject of concern: “all humanity,” a species that begins always in nakedness and ignorance and manages to figure it out “entirely by trial and error,” he says. Fuller marvels at the advances of “early Hindu and Chinese” civilizations—as he had at the Maori in Tomkin’s anecdote, who “had been among the first peoples to discover the principles of celestial navigation” and “found a way of sailing around the world… at least ten thousand years ago.”

The leap from ancient civilizations to “what is called World War I” is “just a little jump in information,” he says in his first lecture, but when Fuller comes to his own lifetime, he shows how many “little jumps” one human being could witness in a lifetime in the 20th century. “The year I was born Marconi invented the wireless,” says Fuller. “When I was 14 man did get to the North Pole, and when I was 16 he got to the South Pole.”

When Fuller was 7, “the Wright brothers suddenly flew,” he says, “and my memory is vivid enough of seven to remember that for about a year the engineering societies were trying to prove it was a hoax because it was absolutely impossible for man to do that.” What it showed young Bucky Fuller was that “impossibles are happening.” If Fuller was a visionary, he redefined the word—as a term for those with an expansive, infinitely curious vision of a possible world that already exists all around us.

See Fuller’s complete lecture series, Everything I Know, at the Internet Archive, and read edited transcripts of his talks at the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Everything I Know will be added to our collection, 1,500 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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Buckminster Fuller Creates Striking Posters of His Own Inventions

Buckminster Fuller Documented His Life Every 15 Minutes, from 1920 Until 1983

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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