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West of CenterArt and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977$
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Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677252

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677252.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Techniques of Survival: the Harrisons and the Environmental Counterculture

Techniques of Survival: the Harrisons and the Environmental Counterculture

(p.306) Chapter 17 Techniques of Survival: the Harrisons and the Environmental Counterculture
West of Center

Amanda Boetzkes

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the eco-art of artist duo Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison. Originally from New York, the Harrisons relocated to California in 1967 to work at University of California at San Diego, with Newton taking a position as one of the founding members of the visual arts department, while Helen accepted a position as director of educational programs. There, the Harrisons moved to the heart of the countercultural movement and initiated a number of controversial works that galvanized debates about how best to integrate an ecological consciousness into everyday life. The Harrisons’ art walks the line between the artists’ environmental commitments and a technological modus operandi. The value of their work does not lie exclusively in the creation of new means but, rather, in thinking about what our means of survival reveal about the prevailing technological apparatus.

Keywords:   artists, counterculture, Newton Harrison, Helen Mayer Harrison, eco-art, environment, environmentalist movement, countercultural movement

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