Ant Farm, Collective in distribution
Ant Farm was a collective founded in 1968 by Chip Lord, Curtis Schreier and Douglas Michaels that worked in architecture, video, performance and installation art. Various other artists joined the group at different times, including Hudson Marquez and Tom Weinberg. Ant Farm formed out of San Francisco counter-culture and originally created inflatable architectural spaces that countered the prevailing tendencies of 1960's American brutalist architecture. Their darkly humorous video works combine media excerpts and footage of their own performances in order to critique the way that contemporary American history is largely created through media hype. Pushing the limits of 'good taste' by having Michaels play deceased president John F. Kennedy in their most well-known pieces, Ant Farm pursued a self-declared revolutionary program against the political tyranny of organized corporate media. The obvious artificiality with which they appropriate the TV format makes viewers consider how what they experience as reality is constituted by media simulation. Ant Farm disbanded in 1978 after a fire in their studio destroyed a large amount of their work.