About News and Events
The Positions and Situations Project was started in 2014 by artist and researcher Alex Arzt. An aspiring back-to-the-lander herself, she picked up a few issues of The Mother Earth News from 1974/6 from an antique mall in Maine and noticed the seekers in the classified section were looking for things not-so-different from what her and her peers were looking for at the time, namely to protect the environment, keep an organic garden, buy land, pursue a DIY ethic, dabble in communal life, experiment with the status quo, and “escape” 9 to 5 culture. She started writing letters to the ad placers by looking up current addresses online using the info published in the classifieds. In the initial letters, she asks if they found what they were looking for back in the 70s. Those initial responses began the project and today she has received more than 100 letters detailing first hand experiences in the back-to-the-land and counterculture movements. In addition to Mother Earth News, the project includes the classifieds from The Modern Utopian, Alternatives Newsletter, and Country Women. As a kind of letter-writing as oral history, the project speaks to an important era in American history and provides context and solutions to contemporary issues. On a broader scale, it examines a persistent and recurring desire in post industrialized America to return to agrarian life and search for alternative community.

Exciting P&S development! Received 40 letters in response to an ad for a commune at a Colorado honey farm in Mother Earth News from 1975: Scanning marathon!

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May 12: Henbane release party, Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive

Studio at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in 2017

 © Alex Arzt 2017