Revisiting “Blueprint for Counter Education” with Larry Miller, Adam Michaels, and Janet Sarbanes at LAXART

Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 6–8pm
Tuesday, January 17, 6–8pm
7000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

East of Borneo, Inventory Press, and LAXART are pleased to present a conversation with Larry Miller (co-author, Blueprint for Counter Education), Janet Sarbanes (CalArts), and Adam Michaels (Project Projects) around the recently reissued Blueprint for Counter Education (Inventory Press, 2016).

Originally published in 1970 by Doubleday and later lauded as “one of the most extraordinary books ever issued by an American commercial publisher,” Blueprint for Counter Education is one of the defining (but neglected) works of radical pedagogy of the Vietnam War era.

Authored by sociologists Maurice Stein and Larry Miller, the book was a founding text of the Critical Studies curriculum at CalArts, of which Stein was the first director. Highly unconventional in form, the slipcased set includes three large graphic posters intended as a portable learning environment for a new process-based model of education, and a bibliography and checklist mapping patterns and relationships between radical thought and artistic practices—from the avant-gardes to postmodernism—with Marcuse and McLuhan serving as points of anchorage.

Larry Miller is a sociologist and was a member of the editorial collectives of the New American Movement newspaper and the journal Socialist Revolution/Socialist Review. Born in 1946, Larry Miller dropped out of Brandeis in 1966 to work for Students for a Democratic Society. He returned to college where he began working with Maurice Stein, on what was to become Blueprint for Counter Education. Following Stein to CalArts he became Assistant Dean of Critical Studies. After leaving CalArts he earned a PhD in Sociology. He began teaching at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 1979 where he remains today teaching Social Thought, Anthropology and Judaic Studies.

Adam Michaels is cofounder of design studio Project Projects and founder of Inventory Press. As a designer, editor, and publisher, his work spans and synthesizes form and content. Internationally recognized for its design work within the cultural field, Project Projects received the 2015 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Communication Design. Inventory Press publishes books on topics in art, architecture, design, and music, with an emphasis on subcultures, minor histories, and the sociopolitical aspects of material culture. Michaels is co-author of The Electric Information Age Book: McLuhan/Agel/Fiore and the Experimental Paperback.

Janet Sarbanes is the author of the short story collections Army of One and The Protester Has Been Released. Recent short fiction appears in Black Clock, P-Queue, Entropy and North Dakota Quarterly. Sarbanes has also published art criticism and other critical writing in museum catalogues, anthologies, and journals such as East of Borneo, Afterall, Journal of Utopian Studies and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program and the MA Aesthetics and Politics Program at CalArts. Her East of Borneo essay “A Community of Artists: Radical Pedagogy at CalArts, 1969–72” draws from archival research on the early years of the institute.

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