The Berlage

Session Room K

Information Fall-Out: Buckminster Fuller’s World Game

Mark Wasiuta

Initially proposed for the US Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, Buckminster Fuller’s World Game was played for the first time in 1969 in New York. Over the next decade the World Game evolved and expanded. Across its different manifestations, the World Game remained focused on the goals of overcoming energy scarcity and altering conventional territorial politics through the redistribution of world resources. This anti-war game was intended to discover the right conditions for perpetual ecological peace.Mirroring Cold War command and control infrastructures, proposals for World Game centers described a vast computerized network that could process, map, and visualize environmental information drawn from, among other sources, Russian and American spy satellites. Fuller claimed that their optical sensors and thermographic scanners could detect the location and quantity of water, grain, metals, livestock, human populations, or any other conceivable form of energy. Despite its inventor’s plans for a photogenic, televisual, and cybernetic form of mass participation, throughout Fuller’s life the World Game remained largely speculative and pedagogical. It appeared primarily through copious research reports, resource studies, and ephemeral workshops. This lecture, based on a forthcoming book of the same name, examines the World Game as a system for environmental information and as a process of resource administration.

Mark Wasiuta is Lecturer in Architecture at Columbia GSAPP and Co-Director of the Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture program. His research exhibition practice focuses on archives and under-examined projects of the postwar period.Recent exhibitions curated and produced with various collaborators include Environmental Communications: Contact High, Information Fall-Out: Buckminster Fuller’s World Game; Les Levine: Bio-Tech Rehearsals 1967–1973; and Control Syntax Rio. Wasiuta is a Consulting Curator of Architecture at the Jewish Museum in New York City. He is co-author and co-editor of Rifat Chadirj: Building Index, Dan Graham’s New Jersey, and author of numerous articles. His upcoming publications include The Archival Exhibition: A Decade of Research at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery and Documentary Remains.

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