Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

Chip Lord papers on Ant Farm, 1965-2014

Summary Information

Abstract

Chip Lord (1944–) is an architect, media artist, and Professor Emeritus of Film & Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Lord is best known for his work with the art and architecture group Ant Farm, which he co-founded with Doug Michels (1943–2003) in 1968. This collection, gathered by Lord, includes correspondence and material produced between 1968 and 1978, when the group disbanded following a fire at their Pier 40 studio in San Francisco, CA. In addition, the collection includes correspondence and material produced in the following decades that document Ant Farm-related products, anniversary celebrations, exhibitions, lectures, and publications, as well as material documenting litigation (including several cases of copyright infringement over use of Cadillac Ranch), licensing, and royalties.

At a Glance

Bib ID 12305919 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Lord, Chip ; Michels, Doug ; Schreier, Curtis ; Ant Farm (Design group)
Title Chip Lord papers on Ant Farm, 1965-2014
Physical Description 11 linear feet
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings &; Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

All original copies of moving image media are closed until reformatting in 2020.

Arrangement

Description

Scope and Content

The collection documents projects by Ant Farm, the radical architecture group founded in 1968 by Chip Lord and Doug Michels. The collection includes a small selection of drawings, sketches, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera related to work produced between 1968 and 1978, in particular Cadillac Ranch (1974) and, to a lesser extent, Media Burn (1975). Correspondence with various publications and institutions in the 1970s, with art patron Stanley Marsh 3, and with Ant Farm member Doug Michels are of note. In addition, the collection includes more than 1,300 slides that document the group and its work, from early inflatables to the Pier 40 fire that destroyed the group's studio in 1978. Also included are legal and financial records that document licensed and unlicensed use of Ant Farm work—most of which concern Cadillac Ranch and Media Burn—beginning in the 1970s up through the 2000s.

The collection provides an interesting account of the legacy—including products, anniversary celebrations, exhibitions, lectures, and publications, as well as a short-lived restoration—of the group's work in the decades after disbanding. Some materials, gathered under Series V, document projects by Doug Michels, shared with Chip Lord. Scholars interested in individual Ant Farm projects are invited to consult the group's main archival holdings at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA) and the FRAC Centre (Orléans, France).

[RESTRICTION: Please note, all time-based media in the collection is currently closed pending preservation work.]

  • Series I: Project Records

    Series I: Project Records contains drawings, collages, correspondence, photographs and other material related to Ant Farm projects undertaken between 1968 and 1978. In addition, this series includes material documenting successive editions of 42MAR0, the Ant Farm Timeline, a self-published survey of the group's work that eventually framed the 2004 retrospective organized by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive [editions of the timeline have since been published in Felicity D. Scott, Living Archive 7: Ant Farm (Barcelona; New York, NY: Actar, 2008) and Constance Lewallen, ed. Ant Farm, 1968-1978 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2004)].

  • Series II: Cadillac Ranch

    Series II: Cadillac Ranch contains ephemera, correspondence, clippings, and photographs that document the life of Ant Farm's perhaps best known work, created in 1974 on art patron Stanley Marsh 3's property, near Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas. The series is divided into six subseries.

  • Series III: Ant Farm papers

    Series III: Ant Farm papers contains correspondence and publications related to the group's work and subsequent activities after the group disbanded in 1978.

  • Series IV: Slides and Videos

    Series IV: Slides and Videos includes over 1,300 slides and 11 DVDs, including complete sets of Ant Farm's three "slidesets" distributed by Environmental Communications.

  • Series V: Doug Michels papers

    Series V: Doug Michels papers contains material produced by or published on Ant Farm co-founder Doug Michels. This includes the script for Brainwave, a feature film based on the Dolphin Embassy concept, and material on Michels' Bluestar project, a space station occupied by humans and dolphins, as well as various documents relating to trips taken to Australia and Japan. This series also contains obituaries published in newspapers and magazines collected by Chip Lord following Michels' sudden, tragic death on June 12, 2003.

Using the Collection

Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings &; Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

All original copies of moving image media are closed until reformatting in 2020.

Restrictions on Use

Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Preferred Citation

Chip Lord papers on Ant Farm, 1965-2014, Avery Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Related Material

Archives and museums with related holdings on Ant Farm include:

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain de la Région Centre (FRAC Centre)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA)

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Elliott Sturtevant (Graduate Intern), under the supervision of Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, in 2017.

Revision Description

2017-03-20 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Video recordings (physical artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Architects -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Avant-garde (Aesthetics) -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Conceptual art -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Counterculture -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Design -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical sketch

Ant Farm was founded by two architects, Doug Michels (1943-2003) and Chip Lord (1944-). The group was based in San Francisco and Houston and was active from 1968 to 1978. Inspired by the counterculture of the Bay Area, the group presented objects, events, and performances, often with an architectural component, recorded on video for dissemination. In keeping with the times, their work was intended as a criticism of American capitalism, mass media, and culture. The group disbanded after a fire destroyed their studio and most of their archive, in 1978.