In the 1970’s, TV was beginning to be recognized as a powerful tool for communication. People like the those working at the Raindance Corporation/Foundation saw television in the context of other phenomena like art, politics, and education. At the time 9% of the United States was connected to cable television, but even this percentage—though small in today’s standards—posed a threat to the contributors of Radical Software magazine. Although the writers and artists understood that television opened new doors for the above mentioned cultural domains, they wrote articles that warn against dependence and blind belief of anything conveyed through cable TV. The Langois Foundation as converted the 11 issues into PDF formats for contemporary TV viewers to read and perhaps gain a little caution the next time they turn on the tube. Modern media artists like Nam June Paik, Douglas Davis, and R. Buckminster Fuller contributed curious visuals to complement the articles and appear retro and nostalgic of our (recent) technological past. The articles are perfectly radical in the ‘70’s stereotype fashion, and just as I was about to write them off as hippie-hogwash, a fly landed on my computer screen. Without thinking, I moved my mouse to where it was and despite the other flies who ignored my hands’ shoo-ing efforts, it flew away immediately. Maybe the Radical Software contributors really did have something to worry about when addressing the battle between biology and technology.
The Step Kids make anachronistic music—but that’s not even what makes this music video so bizarre. It follows SNL’s Kyle Mooney as he seems to pout around in a California suburb, waiting for a Kool-Aid trip to kick in while being serenaded by the band. Director Henry Demaio plays off the band’s blended genres of R&B, funk, ‘70’s pop/rock, and classic jazz to create a music video of outdated visual layers and hazy transitions through time and space. I guess you could call this the answer to Tom Wolf’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Cheers—