1968 and the future of information
To consider the global protests of 1968 from the perspective of the present, especially in view of the particular intersections of media and counterculture that gave them their distinctive flavor, is of necessity to consider contemporary issues. This is true not only due to a recently renewed focus on democratic participation precipitated by developments such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring on the one hand and a growing awareness of the proliferation of digital surveillance on the other, but, more fundamentally, because processes of informational convergence in that nominally analog moment can tell us much about our current, digital age. Indeed, more recent studies focusing on the development of computing and networks from the 1960s onward highlight contiguities between bureaucratic forces of establishment control and the countercultural movements that once sought to oppose them.1 Such studies rightfully emphasize the links between the countercultural and technological milieux, usually noting the connections between California hippie scenes and the rising high-tech industry of Silicon Valley. Similarly, the cultural backdrop of Southern California and the products of its attendant entertainment industry also have the power to elucidate aspects of this broader symbiotic relationship. This chapter examines two such instances: the 1967 Hollywood film The President's Analyst, directed by Theodore J. Flicker, and the career of experimental composer Joseph Byrd from the early 1960s through 1968, including the 1968 self-titled LP by his Los Angeles avant-rock group The United States of America.
Lison, A. (2014)., 1968 and the future of information, in T. Scott Brown & A. Lison (eds.), The global sixties in sound and vision, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 245-274.
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