Friday Arts

Bucky and the Fringe




Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly

“The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” is an ungainly, unlikely and inaccurate title for a creative work that is actually not a song at all, but is, in fact, what director Sam Green calls a “live documentary”. Green is an Academy-award nominated documentary filmmaker (WEATHER UNDERGROUND) who travels with this work to different cities across the US, changing it slightly each time he screens it to take advantage of any connection the screening city might have with R. Buckminster Fuller. “Bucky” (to his friends and in this piece) is the inventor of the geodesic dome – think the Epcot Center dome – in addition to countless other advances in technology as well as in the way we think about the planet. RBF coined the term “spaceship earth” and his views about how we were squandering this planet’s resources in the 1960’s, seem prescient to issues we are just now confronting. While many may see Bucky as a crackpot, author Mimi Sheller (Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity) tells us of the advances RBF was able to make in many different disciplines. While director Green delivers the live narration for “Love song”, YO LA TENGO provides an all instrumental soundtrack. Indie rock stalwarts, YLT founding member Ira Kaplan tells FRIDAY ARTS that 2014 is their 30th year.

Not only does Green find fertile material to include in the “Love song” performance of April 4, 2014 (RBF lived here in the 60’s and 70’s) but he found a receptive audience and presenting organization. The building that houses the new Fringe Arts (formerly the Philadelphia Fringe Festival) is in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge on the Philadelphia side, and Nick Stuccio has been the director of this organization through its many iterations and many “live arts” presentations. We talk with Nick (just voted one of the 75 most influential people in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine) and find out how he was able to bring the building and R. Buckminster Fuller together for an unforgettable live performance.


Buckminster Fuller meets the Hippies on Hippy Hill

Mimi Sheller gives us some insight into why Fuller was embraced by the counterculture of the 1960’s and one of the highlights of “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” is presented in it’s entirety, straight out of 1968 San Francisco.




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