Kurt thought Andy Warhol was masterful, and after visiting Andy's "factory" in New York had written a lengthy article about Andy and Warhol's "scene" for Art International magazine in 1966. He also invited Andy to present a guest lecture to Kurt's undergraduate art class, and this audio recording captured that event. Andy, typically, did not say anything, but poet Gerard Malanga plus Lou Reed and John Cale (of the Velvet Underground) read poetry to the class, which was then followed by a screening of a Warhol film. The audio runs close to an hour and takes a minute to load.
In advance of UCLA's Experimental Arts Festival in April of 1967 Kurt planned and organized a 24-hour long Seminar for his art department students, and roughly 20 of them participated. The seminar consisted of traveling to 20 different locations in Los Angeles, and documenting the entire event with notes, photographs and tape recordings. In short, Kurt staged "a happening."
Student reactions were mixed; "During this trip, there was a rather violent-argument between two of the passengers. One felt von Meier was crazy, the other worshiped him. Neither convinced the other of anything, and the rest of us began to feel extremely uncomfortable." Student documentation, a transcript of an end-of-event tape recording and Kurt's preliminary notes were in Kurt's archives, and are presented here.
By 1975 Kurt was immersed in, perhaps obsessed with, G. Spencer Brown's book Laws of Form. Accordingly, he developed a proposal for a course by that title to be offered at Sacramento State University. In his proposal, he states: "Our hypothesis is that "Laws of Form" is a useful tool for integrating academic disciplines. The calculus is the mathematics of form. (It is non-numerical--no messy numbers to add up wrong.) It may be applied in any discipline, since it is the unifying principle behind the various disciplines. It transcends the form of many distinctions by taking distinction itself as the form. This is one way to recombine the multiversity into a university." Kurt's proposal was accepted and the course taught in 1975; the bibliography alone is stunning and provides insight into the depth of Kurt's base of knowledge and library. Audio tapes of the course lectures and discussion were recorded and the first lecture in the course is available.
When Kurt found out that applications were being accepted for the design of a memorial dedicated to female warriors in the military, he jumped at the opportunity to make a submission, and enlisted a number of senior students to help with the application. His efforts received newspaper attention, and though his design concept was not chosen, he and his students had the opportunity to delve deeply into symbolism, mathematics, memorials and design.
Kurt (to the left, wearing the embroidered vest) greatly respected mythologist Joseph Campbell's work and writings. Campbell, like Kurt, saw patterns in mythology that crossed cultural boundaries and pointed to the essential unity of human experience and imagination. In this photo during an event in the early 70s, Campbell is sitting among the students at Sacramento State University..
In 1981, Walt Disney Productions enlisted Kurt to help them in a project to connect the world of fine art to children, "to demystify art and make it relevant to our young audience...." Specifically, Kurt (along with other contributors) prepared remarks under the title "Turning youngsters on to art".