Ettore Sottsass. The Planet as Festival: Study for a Dispenser of Incense, LSD, Marijuana, Opium, Laughing Gas, project (Perspective). 1972–1973

Ettore Sottsass The Planet as Festival: Study for a Dispenser of Incense, LSD, Marijuana, Opium, Laughing Gas, project (Perspective) 1972–1973

  • Not on view

Concerned with the deterioration of urban life, Sottsass used the series The Planet as Festival to depict a utopian land where all of humanity is free from work and social conditioning. In his futuristic vision, goods are free, abundantly produced, and distributed around the globe. Liberated from banks, supermarkets, and subways, individuals can “come to know by means of their bodies, their psyche, and their sex, that they are living,” he said. According to his ideas, once consciousness has been reawakened, technology could be used to heighten self-awareness, and life would be in harmony with nature. Reflecting the counterculture of his time, Sottsass illustrated such instruments for entertainment as a monolithic dispenser for incense, drugs, and laughing gas set in a campground, rafts for listening to chamber music on a river, and a stadium in which to watch the stars.

Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.
Additional text

Concerned with the deterioration of urban life, Ettore Sottsass used The Planet as Festival series to depict a utopian land where all of humanity would be free from work and social conditioning. In his futuristic vision goods are free, abundantly produced, and distributed throughout the globe. Freed from banks, supermarkets, and subways, individuals can "come to know by means of their bodies, their psyche, and their sex, that they are living." Once consciousness has been reawakened, technology would be used to heighten self-awareness, and life would be in harmony with nature. The Planet as Festival drawings are black-and-white studies for hand-colored lithographs. They depict such "super-instruments" for entertainment as a monolithic dispenser for incense, drugs, and laughing gas set in a campground, rafts for listening to chamber music on a river, and a stadium to watch the stars.

Publication excerpt from an essay by Bevin Cline and Tina di Carlo, in Terence Riley, ed., The Changing of the Avant-Garde: Visionary Architectural Drawings from the Howard Gilman Collection, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002, p. 134.
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
15 1/8 x 13 3/8" (38.4 x 34 cm)
Credit
Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation
Object number
1296.2000
Copyright
© 2021 Ettore Sottsass
Department
Architecture and Design

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