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From the Ancestral Mountains to the Colonization of Mars, from the Hippie Trail to the Urban Laboratory

4-part radio feature for ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation)


In the deserts of Arizona, an astonishing range of highly diverse human communities can be found in a dense space: from ancient practices of self-organization among the Tohono O’odham, on which their resistance and cultural self-determination are still based today – to techno-hippies of counter-culture, who accepted Buckminster Fuller’s commission to live for years in a glass ark as a test run for the colonization of Mars. From Paolo Soleri, the architect from Turin, who envisioned his city of the future in a deserted wasteland and attracted like-minded people from all over the world – to urban refugees from California who conquered a former mining town on the Mexican border to celebrate their bohemian lifestyle far away from the culture industry of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Over the course of several years, the artist duo matthaei&pfeifer visited these communities in their places and interviewed them about their visions of a better way of living together. Even in the transformation of their ideals, these tell of our dreams beyond global doomsday scenarios.

Research, Interviews, Editing : Nika Pfeifer & Lukas Matthaei