By Monica Gonzalez
This Saturday at Colony Theater, Academy Award-nominated director Sam Green will be recounting the life of the late visionary R. Buckminster Fuller in The Love Song of Buckminster Fuller. A live score created by the elusive yet inspiring indie “it” band, Yo La Tengo will be performed as the soundtrack alongside Green’s narration of Buckminster’s colorful trajectory. This live documentary will showcase video clips and vivid imagery, much like Green’s previous works, The Measure of All Things and Utopia in Four Movements.
For those who may be unfamiliar with Buckminster’s story, most of the dome like structures we see today are owed to his design. The shape he coined the “geodesic dome” can be seen in The Miami Seaquariums’ Golden Dome, Pinecrest Gardens’ Banyan Bowl and the Planetarium at the Miami Science Museum. In addition to being ahead of his time in design, he was proposing environmental sustainability way before it was deemed trendy by the Whole Foods mainstream.
For the 1960’s, Buckminster’s views were seen as radical and mind baffling in comparison to his peers, however, he was eventually tapped to be the second president of Mensa, an organization with a particular membership requirement of having an IQ within the top 2%. It is almost hard to believe Buckminster truly began his career at the age of 32 and thus shining light on late bloomers in a whole new way.
As a former Miami-Dade College (MDC) student, I’m proud to share that “The Love Song” is actually being produced by MDC Live Arts. With just a few days left until the highly anticipated show, I was able to poke and prod at the mind of executive producer, Kathryn Garcia.
With Miami being the hub that it is for local film, art, and music—how did “The Love Song of Buckminster Fuller” first catch your attention as something that would translate well to the Miami audience?
KG: In Miami there is such excitement surrounding film and about innovation, it seems like we are a natural audience for film that exists outside of the usual format and definition of how it is presented. Also, I knew our bustling indie music scene would be excited about Yo La Tengo and that our sophisticated design enthusiasts would love a program about Buckminster Fuller. And Miami loves multidisciplinary!
What message do you intend for the audience to take with them after watching The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller?
KG: There are so many possible messages that the artists themselves will send and that was my goal programmatically: to expose our audiences to the high caliber of creativity and possibility contained in this project. Also, we want to leave audiences fascinated by Buckminster Fuller and his work. I hope audiences walk out of the theatre wanting to know more and following their own impulses to explore his legacy.
Given Buckminster’s unconventional views on formal education, as a representative of MDC, does this collaboration validate his stance in any way?
KG: Fuller’s ideas about education were rooted in ideas about alternative access and models of learning. In fact, Miami Dade College enrolls and graduates more minorities, including Hispanics and African-Americans, than any other institution in the United States, and our President, Eduardo Padron, is nationally respected for his advocacy on behalf of underserved populations in higher education. The College’s incredible commitment to cultural initiatives allows students the opportunity to examine ideas and perspectives from multiple angles and to expand their learning to include opportunities outside of the classroom, which is right in line with Fuller’s thinking. This is not the traditional ivory tower Fuller refers in his criticism of higher education; this is a completely redefined educational paradigm.
What upcoming relationships between MDC Live Arts and other national/international artists should we look out for?
KG: Definitely keep an eye out for Baloji. This Congolese MC has an electrifying stage presence and mixes hip-hop with rumba and American soul. We can’t wait to introduce Miami to his incredible sound next month on April 25th!
If you were to choose a favorite Buckminster inspired geodesic dome, which would it be?
KG: Rather than a Buckminster-inspired dome, I’d like to point to a Miami landmark that is in fact a Buckminster Fuller dome! We forget we have one in town right at the Miami Seaquarium -The Golden Dome, built in 1960 – a classic piece of Miami’s architectural history.