Counter Culture guru Osho’s discourse on versatility of the word “fuck”
got me thinking of all things hippie. With the original hippie generation aging it seems that
The National Hippie Museum
is a project long overdue. While an online component (see below) would act as most people’s touchstone for the museum- having a physical place where people from all over the world could come to celebrate Hippie-is a no brainer as it caters to the pilgrimage aspect that underlies so many of the important hippie culture events from music festivals to anti-war demonstrations to the random groupings that sprung up whenever hippies met anywhere during those times.
Taos, NM feels like the perfect place to locate it. Not only was Taos an important hippy hub with communes and personalities there (Dennis Hopper for instance) but even today there are still pristine hippie threads woven into the Taos environment like:
- The Earthships out on the mesa.
- Taos Pueblo which maintains its traditional ways .
- A strong hippy spiritual tradition still thriving with Lama and other groups.
- A healthy legacy of psychedelic research.
- A place where nature predominates with big skies, lots of sun, and the mountains.
And Taos, unlike any number of well-traveled hippy spots has never experienced the branding make-over and gentrification other places have.
In a word: Perfect.
Below are some elements and programs that come to mind. Take these as field notes.
Structures on the museum campus could find some inspiration in buildings designed by Ando, the great Japanese architect whose approaches rest on using concrete, light and water. Add the sun-and you’ve got a good benchmark from which to start.
Keeping true to the hippy spirit you’d want to look at incorporating resource-conserving approaches like the Earthship which was conceived in Taos and permaculture to terra form the grounds.
Also more contemporary techniques and materials- used in a hippy spirit of innovation – hempcrete, adobe, core 10 steel, 3-D printing, rammed earth for instance.
As far as the grounds – we go hippy- you have to have places for people to ….commune…with each other…with nature. Some aspen groves, large rocks, wild patches, wild-grassy knolls and a labyrinth -the campus has to breathe.
And accommodate a variety of activities-people do their own thing -sit, sun, meditate, gather, rant, eat, concert-commune
Field Notes: Programs and Exhibitions
The exploration of hippie culture in the U.S.-the world- rivals critical research and writing in the art world- it’s endless.
Below: some sketches-mock ups – strategy suggestions.
The Hippie Archives
The Hippie Archives-an online, real time –updating, international archive of hippie photos and films submitted by the museum’s hippy family from around the globe.
Like the WAPO’s Comments section-there’s a curator-the photo editor reviewing submissions.
Hippy photos from the Afghanistan rock stars visited-the days of the King’s hashish and lapis shops- – Tehran in the decadent days of the shah. Paris, London, East Village -things from all over appearing.
Photos are sorted/cross-filed like “General, Stars, Festivals, Women, Hippie Homes & Communes, Black Hippies, Brown Hippies, Native American Influence, Nudity with an over 18 disclaimer.
You can take a Periscope approach with the screen-display the world and click on the country whose hippy pix you want to see.
Naturally there would be prominent places devoted to the spiritual paths running through hippie culture both in the Hippy Archive and the physical location-a permanent wing devoted to:
Gurus and Teachers
Spiritual teachers/gurus/teachings and movements get a spotlight with photographs, films, art works and talks-museum stuff- on figures like:
- Da Free John-the Marlon Brando of Hippie spirituality.
- Gurdjieff – creates intense seekers-crazy creatives.
- Osho – great comedic timing.
- The Maharishi – people are still levitating to his work.
- Meher Baba- The saint who inspired Pete Townsend.
- Yogananda- Cali loved him and he- Cali.
- Aliester Crowley- the man for the times- sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.
And the spiritual memes including Zen, Buddhism, Hindu religion, The Craft, Tarot, I-Ching, UFO’s, magic, hermetics and the Essenes…..ideas-the subjects- you were likely to see in the form of books, art work, and practice in any self-respecting hippie’s home.
Of course need we say more when it comes to hippies? Without drugs there is no hippie. But it wasn’t all groovy. And it wasn’t all bad. Many of the boomers who got into various spiritual/religious trips got into them because they opened those “doors of perception.”
There are an unlimited amount of topics that can be addressed here:
Writers, authors and others with a focus on drugs and hippy culture can talk:
For instance the author of Acid Dreams could come and discuss the CIA’s unauthorized and secret experiments with LSD on Americans.
The writers of recent articles and books about LSD Mircrodosing
(see https://arcaneword.com/lsd-microdosing-bio-hacks-the-religion-of-personality-coming-to-a-work-place-near-you/ )
can be invited to share their experiences.
LSD and Silicon Valley-can be an exhibit and talk- tracing the influence of this and related hallucinogens on the origins of Silicon Valley with Jobs etc.
Art exhibitions featuring work done under the influence of various substances can be mounted.
This wing of the museum and space in the online archive is probably going to be one of the most active and story-inspiring aspects to the hippy museum. Where do you start?
Rural Hippie, City Hippie, Hippie Evolution, Artists, Politicians, Authors…endless.
All kinds of talks, presentations and exhibitions dedicated to the women of hippie culture and the women that inspired them. Important curator post to fill here..
Naturally all kinds of films from the time of hippie are out there and later ones that deal with the era. Many unusual and intriguing presentation approaches can be taken here-including personal appearances by the people who directed, wrote and acted in them and programs around themes like Horror Hippie Films or Hippie Road Trip flicks, Hippy movies from Europe –constant re-contextualizing of the available material.
Music the medium that infused all hippie activities is everywhere and again there is so much here to look at whether footage, recordings, recollections by those who were there, authors on their books and articles on era. Only limit here is imagination Some of the topics can include:
- Be-Ins and footage and recordings from those.
- Festivals-not only Woodstock but Monterey Pop, Altamont, and others.
- Personal recollections by solo and band recording artists, managers, producers and so on.
- Listening Booths/areas
- Nights: Janis Joplin, Hendrix, The Doors, Beatles……
- Exhibitions of relics and artifacts from music personalities of the hippie era.
You could have a Hall of Saints with revolving exhibitions of actual articles of clothing, instruments, journals and so on from famous personalities of the time. Even something special like this sketch of a vitrine-like case that allows people to touch an article of clothing from a famous musician or other personality from hippie culture.
Art Exhibitions and other avenues for hippie exploration can encompass things like:
- Mount Yoko Ono installations.
- Do the same for proposed installations that never made it from the conceptual stage to exhibition space.
- Dada exhibition
- Art work done under LSD, shrooms and other conscious altering substances and states.
- Alex Gray the contemporary artist who explores these regions in his painting.
- Hippie era plays by Sam Shepard, McClure and others.
- Black Hippie culture.
- Hispanic peoples and hippie culture during the 60’s in New Mexico.
- Hippies In….name- the country, city or time….
Maybe it’s anti-hippie…a building to tie the culture down.
My guess is the story here is too deep to tie it down.