Oyvind Fahlstrom: World Politics Monopoly 1970

Oyvind Fahlstrom: World Politics Monopoly 1970

From the perspective of a neutral, the Swedish Fahlstrom brings a cool, incisive and avant garde eye to the Cold War – that ghastly period of the nuclear arms race, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), rabid anti-communism (etc) that dominated our youth in the 1960s. In the development of MAD, the think-tanks that built US cold-war policy (the RAND Corporation, the Hudson Institute) used von Neuman and Morgenstern’s Theory of Games to explore strategic decision-making. This philosophical investigation gave rise to concepts like zero-sum and non-zero sum games, the prisoner’s dilemma, and the idea of mutually assured destruction – a set of ideas satirised bleakly in Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove (1963). Here Fahlstrom takes the ever-popular Monopoly board game and casts it in the frightening equations of cold-war thinking. Fahlstrom was one the most important multi-media artists emerging in the 1960s. While in New York, he worked with Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Kluver in their Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT) events and happenings.