Learning by Doing at the Farm

Curator, with Anna Kryczka
Contemporary Arts Center
University of California, Irvine
June-July 2012

Learning by Doing at the Farm was supported by a grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts

Learning by Doing at the Farm documents a series of interrelated architectural, social scientific, artistic, and countercultural  experiments that took place on the new campus of the University of California, Irvine in the 1960s. The Farm  brought indigenous people from Guatemala, Mexico, and Samoa to an undeveloped plot on campus, a space for these visitors to demonstrate their crafts and a laboratory for new methods of education and research. Inspired by the work of these informants, the Farm would also become a gathering site for members of the countercultural movement. As faculty and students developed new theories of human difference on William Pereira’s California Brutalist campus, the Farm was the site of “traditional” thatch and adobe buildings constructed by native informants as well as the informal, communal architectures of counterculturalists. The exhibition includes archival photographs,  Guatemalan  woven materials, film footage, and original works by Adi Goodrich and is accompanied by a curators’ essay. These materials also form the basis of a recently published book entitled Learning by Doing at the Farm: Craft, Science, and Counterculture in Modern California (Soberscove Press, 2014).