A counterculture (also written counter-culture) is a subculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores.
A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era. When oppositional forces reach critical mass, countercultures can trigger dramatic cultural changes.
Prominent examples of countercultures in Europe and North America include Romanticism (1790-1840), Bohemianism (1850-1910), the more fragmentary counterculture of the Beat Generation (1944-1964), and the Hippie counterculture (1964-1974).
Theodore Roszak (scholar)
The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition is a work of non-fiction by Theodore Roszak originally published in 1969.
Roszak “first came to public prominence in 1969, with the publication of his The Making of a Counterculture“ which chronicled and gave explanation to the European and North American counterculture of the 1960s. The term “counterculture” was first used by Roszak in this book.
The Making of a Counter Culture “captured a huge audience of Vietnam War protesters, dropouts, and rebels–and their baffled elders. Theodore Roszak found common ground between 1960s student radicals and hippie dropouts in their mutual rejection of what he calls the technocracy–the regime of corporate and technological expertise that dominates industrial society. He traces the intellectual underpinnings of the two groups in the writings of Herbert Marcuse and Norman O. Brown, Allen Ginsberg and Paul Goodman.”
Theodore Roszak (May 1, 1907 – September 2, 1981) was an American sculptor and painter. He was born in Posen, Prussia (German Empire), now Poznań, Poland, as a son of Polish parents, and emigrated to the United States at the age of two. From 1925 to 1926 he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, In 1930 he won the Logan Medal of the Arts, then moved to New York City to take classes at the National Academy of Design with George Luks and at Columbia University, where he studied logic and philosophy.
Roszak established a studio in New York City in 1932 and worked as an artist for the Works Progress Administration during the depression before going back to Chicago to teach at the Art Institute. He taught at Sarah Lawrence College throughout the 1940s and 1950s and at Columbia University from 1970 to 1973. He was a participating artist at the documenta II in Kassel 1959 and at the Venice Biennale in 1960. Roszak’s sculpture, at first closer to Constructivism and displaying an industrial aesthetic, changed after around 1946 to a more expressionistic style.
Roszak was affiliated with the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Academy in Rome, and the National Academy of Design. He served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 1963 to 1969. He received the Logan Medal of the Arts (1930), a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship (1931), and the Eisendrath Award of the Art Institute of Chicago (1934). Roszak was also an accomplished violinist, and liked to use musical references in his artworks. Roszak died in New York City, where he lived.
- “Birth of an Old Generation“
- “When the Counterculture Counted
- “Raging Against the Machine: In its ‘1984’ Commercial, Apple Suggested that its Computers Would Smash Big Brother. But Technology Gave Him More Control.” Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2004.
There is a pervasive sense that we are at the threshold of an electronic revolution that will transform almost everything that we do. Are there historical precedents for this kind of sweeping technological change? Have we felt like this before? This series explores the “brave new worlds” of the twentieth century as depicted in world’s fairs, science fiction writing, industrial film, scholarly debate, engineer’s blueprints, and everyday pop culture. How have we imagined the future in the past? Do the technological dreams and nightmares of former decades resemble ours today? The series looks back at looking forward, engaging both research scientists and cultural thinkers alike in questions about the nature of futuristic prediction.
(72k) February 8
Archaeologist of industrial and educational film Rick Prelinger conducted an archival excavation back to the homes of the 1940s and ’50s, when streamlined toasters, whirring blenders, and domestic robots were changing the nature of housework. Films and excerpts included Leave It to Roll-oh (1940); To New Horizons (shown at the 1939-40 World’s Fair); Looking Ahead Through Plexiglas (1946); and Design for Dreaming (1956).
(131k) February 11
Envisioning a Technological Future at World’s Fairs
R. Anthony Munn, historian of technology Joseph Corn, and writer/historian Gray Brechin presented a day of slides and lectures of the strange futures predicted at various expositions and World’s Fairs. Included were the the San Francisco Panama Pacific International World’s Fair of 1915; the 1939 New York World’s Fair; the San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition during the same year; and the World’s Fair of 1964. In addition to the slides and lectures the film The World of Tomorrow was screened.
How do we define progress? Do we really like voice-mail? And who were the Luddites anyway- backwards thinking monkey-wrenchers or thoughtful dissenters? A panel made up of historian of technics Iain Boal; writer Chris Carlsson; and research artist Natalie Jeremijenko looked at how multimedia serves our needs and how we decide what is useful about it.
(99k) February 22
The Corporate Imagination
Guest curator Natalie Jeremijenko screened a series of corporate visions of the future. Made between 1985 and 1993, these videos-produced by companies such as Apple Computer, Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems, AT&T, and LSI Logic-are important documents contributing to the shape of both industry and public expectation of an information based future. The screenings were followed by a panel discussion with writer Bruce Sterling; industrial video producers Bob Glass and Dan Udell; anthropologist of technology Michael Fortune; anthropologist of technical systems Lucy Suchman; and linguist Geoff Nunberg.
(149k) March 1
From space colonies to Epcot Center to Biosphere II, the idea of abandoning earth and engineering human colonies elsewhere has been part of the modern technological imagination. Historian of technology Michael Smith and documentary filmmakerFred Johnson discussed these utopian visions. Phil Patiris’ Future Shack and excerpts from Sue Claytons’ Japan Dreaming were also screened.
(14k) March 8
The Virtual Duck and the Endangered Nightingale
Theodore Roszak, author of The Making of a Counter Culture; The Voice of the Earth; and the recently published The Cult of Information, presented a slide lecture on the computer’s eighteenth century origins. Roszack located in time such ideas as “virtual reality” and “artificial intelligence” in automatons-mechanistic models for duplicating human thinking.
The Future of Nature
Historian of science and “cultural meteorologist” Andrew Ross, author of Strange Weather and the newly published Chicago Ganster Theory of the Life, wrapped up the History of the Future series with a discussion of the “future of nature.” Ross explored new developments in technoscience and the greening of the military.
and the award goes to …
Computing and the Counterculture
The Macintosh has from its introduction been viewed– and among some of its users, cherished– as a computer that brings (as the 1960s slogan put it) “power to the people.” News accounts casting its development team as fearless rebels and advertising describing it as “the computer for the rest of us” projected an image of the Macintosh as a machine for creative types, freethinkers and free spirits.
This connection between computing and anti-authoritarianism was successful in part because it played on an assumption held by many people involved in early personal computing: that the invention of the personal computer owed as much to the counterculture’s desire to oppose centralized authority and technology, as it did to the invention of the microprocessor. Many of the early developers of personal computers had strong countercultural credentials. Lee Felsenstein wrote for the East Bay underground newspapers Berkeley Barb and The Tribe while founding Resource One and Community Memory. Stewart Brand was founder of the Whole Earth Catalog and co-founder of the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link (and later the Electronic Frontier Foundation). The Whole Earth Catalog, in turn, was connected to the Portola Institute, founded by former CDC engineer Robert Albrecht. As inventor Jim Warren put it, the personal computer “had its genetic coding in the 1960s’… antiestablishment, antiwar, profreedom, antidiscipline attitudes.” User groups likewise shared some of the philosophical foundations (and problems) of community activist projects and employee-owned businesses.
Given the popular perception of the Macintosh as a computer whose qualities put it in opposition to either mainframes (whose cost and complexity kept them in the hands of corporate-sponsored priesthoods), or business-oriented personal computers (such as the IBM PC), it is necessary to explore this connection in greater detail.
SUGGESTED PATHS THROUGH THE DOCUMENTS
A complete list of the documents related to the counterculture and computing is on a separate page. The place to begin is with Theodore Roszak’s From Satori to Silicon Valley, the most articulate presentation of the argument that the path to the personal computing began with the counterculture. Roszak first came to public prominence in 1968, with the publication of his The Making of a Counterculture; From Satori to Silicon Valley is based on Roszak’s 1985 Alvin Fine Memorial Lecture at San Francisco State University. For this electronic printing, Roszak had added two new essays, and made available the slides used in lectures dealing with this subject (and unpublished until now).
The philosophical roots of user groups are discussed in several articles published in user group newsletters. Scot Kamins’ Introduction [to SF Apple Core], published in Ken Silverman, ed., The Best of Cider Press 1978-1979 (San Francisco Apple Core, 1979) places the founding of Apple Core in the context of radical activism. Ed Seidel, What a Users’ Group Ought To Be, The DeskTop Journal 3 (Winter 1984), describes the impetus behind the founding of the Yale Macintosh Users Group. Raines Cohen and Stephen Howard, The State of the User Group, BMUG Newsletter (Fall/Winter 1987), and Reese Jones, BMUG After One Year, BMUG Newsletter (Fall 1985) reflect on the origins and aims of the largest of the Mac user groups.
User groups’ connections with the counterculture are also discussed in two interviews. Apple documentation manager Chris Espinosa describes early user groups’ reflection of radical values, and its pros and cons, while BMUG co-creator Reese Jones discusses BMUG’s philosophy.
Theodore Roszak, 1933-2011 – Cult of Information (complete) – Thinking Allowed w/ Jeffrey Mishlove
This program is being posted in its entirety to honor the memory of Theodore Roszak, who passed away on July 5, 2011.
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
Our real educational and cultural needs are in danger of becoming lost in the erroneous fascination with the information processing model of the mind. One of America’s foremost social critics, Theodore Roszak, Ph.D., author of The Making of the Counter-Culture, Eco-Psychology and The Cult of Information, delivers a scathing indictment of the over-selling of computer and high-tech ideology to the American public.
Carlos Castaneda Interview with Theodore Roszak 1969
LO QUE LA CULTURA NO PUDO EVITAR….
En las últimas dos décadas, el público comenzó a darse cuenta de que en los campos de concentración nazis se componía música. Esto queda de manifiesto principalmente a través de las presentaciones contemporáneas de compositores de Theresienstadt y de las canciones de los guetos y campos de concentración, como el estreno de la ópera de Viktor Ullmann, “El emperador de la Atlántida o la muerte abdica”, que se llevó a cabo en Ámsterdam en 1975. También se evidencia en los recuerdos de los músicos sobrevivientes y en películas como “Playing for Time” de Daniel Monn (1980) y “El pianista” de Roman Polanski (2002). Sin embargo, la música de todos los tipos, estilos y géneros constituía un aspecto fundamental de la vida en los campos de concentración, incluyendo los campos de la muerte. Esto hace que uno se pregunte: ¿cómo se podía crear música en esas circunstancias y qué funciones y significados tenía la música en los campos?
SIGUE AQUI: http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/es/places/camps/
La vida musical en los campos de concentración y exterminio se caracterizaba por una doble naturaleza. Por un lado, la música actuaba como medio de supervivencia para los reclusos. Por otro lado, funcionaba como un instrumento de terror aplicado por las SS. El personal penitenciario se abusaba de los músicos prisioneros para sus propios beneficios. Con las funciones musicales diarias forzadas, avanzaban con el proceso de quebrar la voluntad de los prisioneros y con la degradación humana. Así, la música en los campos nazis funcionaba no sólo como medio de distracción necesaria y como un método de supervivencia cultural para las víctimas, sino también como un medio de dominación por parte de los perpetradores.
Por Guido Fackler