By Elenore Lester 9.4.1966
"Hate Happenings. Love Intermedia Kinetic Environments." John Brockman is partly kidding, while conveying the notion that Happenings are Out and Intermedia Kinetic Environments are In in the places where the action is. John Brockman, the New York Film Festival's 25-year-old coordinator of a special events program on independent cinema in the United States, plugging into the switched-on "expanded cinema" world in which a film is not just a movie, but an Experience, an Event, an Environment. This is a humming electronic world, in which multiple films, tapes, amplifiers, kinetic sculpture, lights and live dancers or actors are combined to Involve Audiences in a Total Theater Experience. No Way Out : "You can't escape from an Intermedia Kinetic Environments the way you can from a play or any art form that reaches you through language," says Brockman.
Unlike Happenings, which often involve audiences in complicated relationships with plastics, bottles, sacks, ropes and other objects, Intermedia Kinetic Experiences permit audiences simply to sit, stand, walk or lie down and allow their senses to be Saturated by Media.
The New York Times (Tim Kantor)
John Brockman, champion of Intermedia Kinetic Environments
"It can't be told in words—you just have to experience it"
No Way Out : "You can't escape from an Intermedia Kinetic Environments the way you can from a play or any art form that reaches you through language," says Brockman.
"This is primary experience. It takes place in a 360-degree environment." Brockman, who fully accepts Marshall McLuhan's "the medium-is-the-message" thesis, believes that full exposure to I.K.E. is positively "therapeutic." Brockman feels sure that exposure to Intermedia Kinetic Environments like these will change people's perceptions. He finds it difficult to describe exactly from what to what ("You just have to experience it. The whole point is that it cannot be told in words.") In any case, he is sure the change will be for the better. "After all, we're living in the second half of the 20th century, and for all most people know we may as well be in the 16th.
To enjoy the latest thing in discothèques, you had better wear ear plugs, dark glasses and shin guards. Otherwise, you may be deafened, blinded and bruised in an electronic earthquake that engulfs you completely in an experience called "total recreation."