A lecture by Annie Danis.
In 1968 Dennis Hopper asked the residents of the New Buffalo Commune in Taos, NM to film their back-to-the-land home for “Easy Rider.” The residents refused, shunning his offer of catered meals and trucked-in amenities for their usual bulk rice and beans. Or so the story goes. From beer cans to breast cream, pennies to panties, artifacts of the contemporary past are not always what they seem. Excavations at the commune have recently unearthed objects that complicate the history of the commune movement of the 1960s and 70s and offer up new ways for participants to engage their past. This talk will explore a few stories from the New Buffalo Archeological project, as well as a number of other projects associated with archaeology of the contemporary past.
How far do you have to go to get to the “past”? A series of three lectures explores the notion that you needn’t go very far at all. Under the umbrella of archeology of the contemporary past, Justin Walsh (Chapman University), Annie Danis, and Rob Sullivan (UCLA) will discuss how archeology and geography can help us explore the materials and meaning of people still alive (or still dead as the case may be) today. Surveying the site of the US’s 1969 moon landing, excavating the trash heap of an early 70s hippie commune, and analyzing the ghost geographies of Los Angeles are new windows into a past you already think you know.