• Community Memory terminal at Leopold’s Records, Berkeley, California, c. 1974; photograph; courtesy of the Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA.

Hippie Modernism Forum: Counterculture / Cyberculture

The first of a series of four monthly Saturday afternoon forums bringing together artists, scholars, and counterculture veterans to explore the contemporary relevance of the Bay Area hippie legacy. Lee Felsenstein, Fred Turner, and Lynn Hershman Leeson join in a discussion moderated by UC Berkeley’s Greg Niemeyer.

Lee Felsenstein is a digital pioneer and a fellow at the Computer History Museum of Palo Alto. In 1973 as a member of the Berkeley “Village of Arts and Ideas” commune, Felsenstein worked with Efrem Lipkin, Mark Szpakowski, and others to develop the Community Memory Project, a hippie experiment in decentralized, user-friendly technology that has been called the world’s first version of online social media.

Fred Turner is the author of several books about media and American culture since World War II, including the award-winning From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. He has taught at Harvard University and MIT, and is currently Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communications at Stanford University.

Deborah Oropallo's artistic practice incorporates mixed media including photomontage, computer editing, print technique and paint. Her work has been featured in two monographs: POMP (2009) and How To (2002). Oropallo's solo exhibition "Bell the Cat" is on view at Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco until February 18.

Greg Niemeyer, UC Berkeley associate professor of art practice, creates works that explore the mediation between humans as individuals and as members of a technological collective, and emphasizes playful responses to technology. Niemeyer’s teaching focuses on critical analysis of new media on human experience, including digital citizenship and the nature of online participatory practices.