Ant Farm, a group of artists and architects based in San Francisco, produced experimental work between 1968 and 1978. The group combined architecture, performance, happenings, sculpture, installation, and graphic design, and documented its activities on camera in the early days of video art, embracing the latest technologies to disseminate its scathing criticism of American culture and mass media.
Ant Farm organized Media Burn, in which two “artist dummies” dressed as astronauts “drove” a customized 1959 Cadillac renamed the Phantom Dream Car at full speed into a wall of flaming television sets. Using the car once again as a cultural icon, Ant Farm addressed the pervasive presence of television in everyday life, affronting the same media they had invited to cover the event. The video is styled after news coverage of a space launch, including melodramatic prestunt interviews with the members of the group and an inspirational speech by a John F. Kennedy impersonator.
Gallery label from Rough Cut: Design Takes a Sharp Edge, November 26, 2008–October 12, 2009.