Apr 26–Jul 7, 2013
The Whole Earth
California and the Disappearance of the Outside
The exhibition and the conference The Whole Earth are dedicated to the story of the image of the “blue planet” which has become one of the most influential images in history.
At the end of the 1960s, the photograph of the “blue planet” replaced the “mushroom cloud,” which had been the global icon of the post-war period and the Cold War. The view of the planet from outer space was an event of historical importance. It brought about a comprehensive change in consciousness and promoted new notions of a planetary unit and the “earth system.” Cybernetic theories and technologies and a romanticism about nature coincide in this new icon. Our present as well, as shown by the climate debate and the concept of the Anthropocene, is shaped by the notion of “one planet.” The exhibition deals with the transgression of boundaries and the emerging consciousness of limits in the sign of the “one earth.” The “Whole Earth Catalog,” which in the late 1960s was a central document of Californian counterculture, played a key role in mediating and popularizing images and concepts of the “earth system.” The vision of the global Internet and central concepts of the ecology movement can trace their roots back to this moment. Combining artistic positions and materials from cultural history, the whole Earth. california and the disappearance of the outside interrogates the transfer of economic-systemic concepts to society, politics, and aesthetics.