Rebecca Binns
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Radical art collectives and the free festivals movement
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This chapter explores the radical autonomy and alternate social structures of the world Vaucher inhabited in the 1970s, when she lived and worked at Dial House, a communal living experiment in her native Essex. The development of the peace movement, with direct action strands evolving in conflict with CND, and in response to the Vietnam War, provide context for her growing pacifism. The influence of the Situationist International (1957–72) transmitted via the underground press and anarchist-pacifist ideas are explored alongside those of Freud, Mikhail Bakunin, Emma Goldman and R. D. Laing, who she cites as a particular influence. The work of anarchist author Murray Bookchin also provides insight into the cultural zeitgeist of the times, one that Vaucher and Rimbaud would use to reshape punk in the late 1970s. During this period, Vaucher was involved in various art collectives, such as the Stanford Rivers Quartet and EXIT. These are situated in relation to contemporaries such as Fluxus (with whom she collaborated during the International Carnival of Experimental Sound in 1972), and COUM Transmissions (1969–76). She often collaborated with Rimbaud in these collectives, and the chapter traces their role in the development of the counterculture, particularly the free festivals movement. In the wake of the Windsor Free Festival, the first Stonehenge Festival was planned and envisioned at Dial House. Her series Homage to Catatonia (1974–76) documents the tragic story of the co-founder of Stonehenge, Wally Hope, and marks a key moment in the development of her visual aesthetic.

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Gee Vaucher

Beyond punk, feminism and the avant-garde


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