The Wire

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In Writing

Ken Hollings's Portal

December 2008

RAND Corporation

"After writing and presenting a history of the RAND Corporation for Radio 3, I still make a point of checking on what this think-tank is up to – you can still see some of their early writings on UFOs and Telepathy if you look around long enough."


"I’m currently researching how military strategies are converging with those of videogame designers and Hollywood SFX technicians to create combat sims and training environments – it’s going to be for another Radio 3 show, and you can bet I’ll be looking in on DARPA’s official website a lot over the coming months – the Defence Advance Projects Research Agency has a history that reaches back to 1958 and Cold War response’s to the USSR’s Sputnik programme, all of which is covered in ‘Welcome to Mars’. With that kind of history it's interesting to note that DARPA is still going strong to this day."

Buckminster Fuller Institute

"I like to visit the Buckminster Fuller Institute site every so often as his thinking and ideas are still very inspirational – this is the man who came up with the concept of ‘Spaceship Earth’ and designed the geodesic dome Arthur Lyman used to record all of his really great exotic easy listening albums in the late 1950s-early 1960s."

This Is Tomorrow

"I love flipping through the catalogue for the 1956 ‘This is Tomorrow’ exhibition at the Whitechapel: one of the first times that architects, designers and fine artists all collaborated on notions of the future – the catalogue is still visually very exciting. There was such a strong sense of confidence then."

Cybernetic Serendipity

"Not a site I visit very often but Wire readers might like to click on for a download of the catalogue for the ICA’s 1968 Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition, if they haven’t already done so. This contains some great first-hand material on early uses of computers in music, art and design. See what the future used to look like."

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