Jan 8–31, 2019
(free and open to the public)
Originally published in 1970, Blueprint for Counter Education by sociologist Maurice Stein and his collaborator Larry Miller is a publication with a set of three charts and a “shooting script.” The charts, quite sizable at 37 x 45 inches, were designed to be pinned to wall. They have numerous names of radical cultural moments and people in sociology, visual art, performance, film, literature, political theory, psychoanalysis, and more. The shooting script is a magazine-like visual bibliography presenting covers and table of contents of books and journals. Overall, the portable learning site was intended to be curriculum on-the-go, a socially-engaged mode of learning that prompted users to sort through the influence of these vanguard thinkers and movements—and why. Each learning site that Blueprint initiates can be personalized dependent on the experiences and interests of people involved.
While Blueprint is a useful tool of radical pedagogy, one of the qualities any reader today will notice is the absence of voices by females, people of color, queers and non-Western practitioners. Whether intended or not, Blueprint for Counter Education is both a time capsule of 1960s counterculture radicalism and an opportunity for contemporary readers to reflect on its shortsightedness and rewrite the constellation charts of cultural references. Students at the time of Blueprint’s release evidently pointed out the limited perspective of the data. In the introduction to the shooting script, the authors noted, “We urge the reader to do the same thing that many of our students did: design your own wall charts as soon as you finish learning from ours.”
Accompanying this new facsimile edition of the book, posters, and slipcase is a 80-page book featuring a conversation with the Blueprint authors Maurice Stein, Larry Miller, and designer Marshall Henrichs, as well as essays from Jeffrey Schnapp, Paul Cronin, and notes on the design by Adam Michaels of Project Projects. It also includes a review of the publication and a transcript of a dialogue about counter education, both published by the Los Angeles Free Press in 1970.
Case Studies identifies a book to unfurl into an exhibition of archival materials, photographic reproductions, periodicals, ephemera, sound, and text that amplify ideas explored by the featured publication.