Art, Design, Education

Rare Bucky interviews released by Art on Air

Buckminster Fuller was no stranger to the public eye. But while he rarely shied away from an opportunity to address a public audience, there are few today who can say that they have heard him speak—those who can often do so with an air of nostalgia. Certainly recordings of the late inventor exist, but the completeness and availability of them are few. As Bucky’s ongoing legacy and near cultish following continues, today’s twenty-somethings should be counted amongst those that can say that they’ve heard his enthusiasm and earnest opinions. Operating under this assumption (and as an audio archive enthusiast), I worked with a small team to bring Bucky’s voice, literally, into the 21st Century.

Beginning in February, the results can be heard in a pair of hour-and-a-half long Bucky interviews on Art International Radio’s Internet radio station. Noted academic and literature critic, Charles Ruas, hosts these interviews, which were prompted by the publication of two of Fuller’s books: Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (Macmillan, 1975) and And It Came to Pass—Not to Stay (Macmillan, 1976). Bucky reads selected passages from the books and discusses the meaning behind both titles.

In these fascinating conversations, Bucky reflects on his years as a young inventor, defines his Fuller-esque terms, and delves deeply into his theories on synergetics and spaceship Earth. Throughout both interviews he speculates on government practices and how design can impact one’s personal space. At moments, Bucky candidly reveals his mistrust in Malthusian theory and questions the privacy of everyday citizens. He urges people to maintain a child-like perspective on life and to live multi-dimensional, rather than “horizontal” lifestyles. While many of Bucky’s ideas have been widely publicized in print and realized through design, there is something to be said for matching a voice to his passions. Listen to both interviews at Art On Air.
-Tennae Maki