Gerd Stern, NO OW NOW, USCO Two Mantras, 1966-70

USCO was an American media art collective in the 1960s, founded by Gerd Stern, Michael Callahan, and Steve Durkee in New York. USCO, an acronym for Us Company or the Company of Us, was most active during the years 1964–66. USCO exhibited in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is considered a key link in the development of expanded cinema, visual music, installation art, and the Internet. In addition, USCO’s strobe environments heralded new media art. In the late 1960s Durkee co-founded the Lama Foundation, while Stern and Callahan co-founded Intermedia Systems Corporation. The founding members of USCO were poet Gerd Stern, electronic technician Michael Callahan, and ex-Pop art painter Steve Durkee (aka Stephen Durkee, later known as Nooruddeen Durkee). These three, along with photographer/weaver Judi Stern and sculptor/photographer Barbara Durkee, made up the core group. Barbara Durkee (later known as Asha Greer) ran the group’s Intermedia Gallery. Judi Stern stated, ‘We dreamed collectively.’ Among USCO’s other members were the filmmaker and video artist Jud Yalkut. Yalkut created the following films for USCO events in the mid-sixties, some in collaboration with USCO members: Turn, Turn, Turn (USCO did the soundtrack), Ghost Rev, Diffraction Film, and Down By the Riverside. Yalkut works can be found in The Experimental Television Center Collection. Stewart Brand, although not a formal member of the group, held close relations to USCO and was considered a peripheral member who played a major role in connecting countercultural networks with groups of researchers in the developing cyberculture. Other peripheral members included Lois Brand, California painter Dion Wright, tie-dye artist Bob Dacey, and light artist/architect Paul Williams. California and New York background (1948–1964). Gerd Stern was a German Jewish refugee who lived in the San Francisco Bay Area starting in 1948. Stern’s background in the Bay Area Beat community grew out of his involvement with Pacifica radio station KPFA in Berkeley, where he met Lew Hill, Allen Ginsberg, Harry Partch, Henry Jacobs, Michael McClure, and Harry Smith. … New York (1964–1966).  In 1964 Steve and Barbara Durkee bought an old church to use as a studio, located in Garnerville, Rockland County, New York in the Hudson Valley. Later that year Gerd and Judi Stern moved to Woodstock, New York near Garnerville, and arranged to have Callahan join them. Callahan moved in with the Sterns in Woodstock, and then the three moved into the church with the Durkees in 1965. …”
Visual Arts Feature: Looking Back at ’60s Art and Technology — The Pioneers of USCO
Jacket2: Take the no out of now
The acid-inspired interactive art of 1960s psychedelic collective ‘The Company of Us’
National Register of Historic Places Program – USCO Church in Garnerville, New York
Carl Solway Gallery – DISTANT HORIZONS
Suzanne’s Circle: Spotlight on Gerd Stern, Beat Poet and Pioneering Multi-media artist

USCO (Gerd Stern, Michael Callahan), Contact Is the Only Love, 1963

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Alan Watts, Allen Ginsberg, Computing, Counterculture, Happenings, Movie, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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