California Dept. of Corrections’ altered billboard, 1990s.
Martha Senger, a Goodman Building stalwart, describes briefly the history of small artist residential hotels in San Francisco.
In his book The Philosophy of Social Ecology anarchist philosopher Murray Bookchin wrote:
“The terrible tragedy of the present social era is not only that it is polluting the environment but also that it is simplifying natural eco-communities, social relationships, and even the human psyche. The pulverization of the natural world is being followed by the pulverization of the social world and the psychological.”
In the growing recognition that the world ecological crisis is rooted in runaway industrialization, which itself is rooted in the reductionist-materialist mindset that established the modern era, various thinkers are looking to pre-modern and tribal cultures for healthier constructs. Constructs whose economies are integral aspects of multidimensional lifestyles. Lifestyles whose rewards are intrinsic rather than extrinsic, with notions of growth that are equated with aesthetic and spiritual satisfactions rather than material expansion. In short, the kind of organic growth that emerges from within, rather than from without.
This is about such a culture, but rather than being distant in time or place, it exists today in our urban midst, although constantly having to reinvent itself as its underground and illegal environments are continually turned to more profitable uses. A cell within the counterculture, it is the artists’ living and working cooperative.