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Andrew Blauvelt, curator of “Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia” (Walker Art Center 2015-2016), echoes a popular perception when he argues that the sharing economy culturally reprises ‘60s communalism and its fascination with designing utopia. Beyond simply referring to an ideal place or perfect society, the word utopia today sticks to buildings and people, places and politics as incongruous as Queerness, Kibbutzim, Disneyland, Fascism and Abu Dhabi. It can turn whatever it qualifies into something insane or ingenious, impractical or vitally important. When Sir Thomas More coined the word in his political satire of the same name – a neologism from the ancient Greek meaning “no place” – he seems to have aimed for this provocation, which may be why the term applies so well to the revolutionary movements of the 60’s and 70’s.

Pierre Alexandre De Looz

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