All of your favorites, in one place.
a 1974 documentary by he cult figure Buckminster Fuller, an impossible to categorize, the anticipatory Design scientist, foreshadows the complex persona of a contemporary media artist. John Cage, America's foremost avant garde composer, became enamored of Fuller during the first summer Cage spent at Black Mountain College, and his admiration grew over the years. This film is not so much about Fuller but rather Buckminster Fuller explaining himself in his own words. As such, it is a fascinating historical document. Fuller was great at pitching his ideas. Appropriately the film begins with Fuller lecturing on the concept of “Spaceship Earth,” a theory that defines the Earth as a closed system. This is in contrast to an infinite one that allows for perpetual growth. It is not an idea that originated with him but he certainly popularized it. A finite Earth seems obvious today but in the 1960’s it was a radical idea, and one we still have yet to accept.
Fuller was an idea man, the definition of a futurist and a real conceptual artist. The film moves briskly from one challenging and intriguing idea to the next. It is no wonder that Fuller developed a devoted following in the counter culture years of the 1960s and that the establishment Time Magazine called him a “nut job.” As Fuller speaks, you can see he has spent his life explaining himself. And as this is his side of the story, there is no counterpoint.
Neither the film nor Fuller flinch at mentioning one of his first schemes from the 1920’s. He proposed to place a string of portable dirigible bases across the North Pole. This is an idea that has stepped right off the cover of Popular Mechanics along with moving sidewalks, flying cars and jet packs and adds some credence to Time’s characterization of Fuller. Well, most anything with dirigibles would do that.