90 Watkins, Bob Braudis and Joe DiSalvo - Only 50 Available. In 1969 in Aspen, American journalist, Hunter S. Thompson collaborated with a colorful cast of activists, intellectuals and artists to launch a political movement which fought for the future of the town, the environment, and the nation. Thompson wrote about his campaign in the article "The Battle of Aspen", published in Rolling Stone magazine no. Director Watkins says that one of the things he hopes the film will do is inspire ordinary people not just to vote, but to run for office themselves. “That’s true not only in Aspen, but all over the country. Back in Aspen, he finds more of the same. We are authentic Americans. It’s a dangerous situation when the enforcement arm is totally out of communication with the reality. And he almost won. This exhibition uses over 120 vintage screen-printed posters, photos, films, and texts to tell the story of the Battle of Aspen, which saw artists, beatniks and other concerned citizens fighting against gentrification, oppression, war, and environmental destruction. HD. The term is also used to refer to the post-hippie and pre-punk period of the early to mid-1970s. Freak Power is a fascinating look into the heart of a grassroots political campaign during a violent era in American history, as one man channelled the rage and confusion of a maligned subculture into a surprisingly coherent and subversive political movement. Through original print material from the campaign, photographs and political art, Freak Power chronicles a little known period in Hunter S. Thompson’s life, a period when he wrote prol The symbol of a two-thumbed fist with a peyote button represented the so-called "Freak Power" movement, Thompson's self-proclaimed base of support. We argue, we protest, we petition - but nothing changes...So now, with the rest of the nation erupting in a firestorm of bombings and public killings, a handful of ‘freaks’ are running a final, perhaps atavistic experiment with the idea of forcing change by voting ... and if that has to be called Freak Power, well ... whatever’s right.” - Hunter S. Thompson, The Aspen Times, October 22, 1970. Hunter S. Thompson came home from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago disgusted yet motivated by what he’d seen: protests violently suppressed, riots, corrupt politicians, and abusive cops. "The Battle of Aspen" is an article published in Rolling Stone No. “Dick Kienast hired me as a baby deputy. Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb ( 94 ) IMDb 9.4 1 h 34 min 2020 R In 1970, disgusted by the way police are abusing their power, outlaw journalist Hunter S. Thompson starts his own political movement, Freak Power, to fight against corruption and cronyism in his town and across America. Steadman vocally supported the Freak Power movement from abroad and mailed original drawings to Aspen to be used as campaign materials. There is still availability for the exhibition in late 2021, and 2022. The recipient is responsible for providing the necessary sound systems, video displays, etc. Thompson loathed the idea of the pristine Rockies being carved up for yet more ski resorts. “The country is more divided now than it was over Vietnam,” he says. As part of the deal, Thompson promised to run for sheriff the following year – but only if Edwards won. It can be viewed as encompassing a range of disparate groups including hippies, pacifists, politicized radicals, as well as psychedelic and progressive rock fans. A variety of workshops, activities and interactive elements are possible during the exhibition. With his friends, Thompson helped established the Freak Power movement. Nov 9, 2020 #156,277 The board needs a … The Freak Flag was firmly planted in the eyes of a new generation and the Freak Power ideals continue to fly, especially in the landscape of the present day – an idealogical fight that values freedom of the individual against a ruling class via systematic autocracy. Though he was already becoming a well known writer and public figure in the late 60s, Thompson kept a relatively low profile at home in Woody Creek, just outside of Aspen. The materials will be mounted, framed, prepared for exhibition, and packed for transport by the lender, Mr. Watkins, at his own expense. ... We follow Hunter as he builds his own political movement, which grows from a local sheriff’s race to a national media sensation. Showing at the Poster House in New York City from March 4-August 15, 2021, Showing at the Aspen Art Museum from December 16, 2020 - February 21, 2021, Shown at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, KY from April 30 - September 2, 2019, Shown at the Aspen Historical Society from June 18 - October 1, 2018, THE ART OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S POLITICAL MOVEMENT. The Freak Power campaign used art, prose, and political theatre to generate a wave of support and to mobilize young people to vote and transform their local government. Not only was he elected Sheriff himself in 1986, he was then re-elected five more times before he retired in 2010. Although Thompson would be narrowly defeated in 1970, the police reforms he recommended were taken up in 1976 by a candidate named Dick Kienast. Credit: Press, The story of Freak Power, then, is a rebuke to anyone disillusioned by the idea that participating in our shaky democratic institutions really can make a difference. The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All. Back in Aspen, he found more of the […] After being beaten and tear-gassed by police thugs during the anti-war protests which surrounded the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, the inventor of gonzo journalism returned to his home in Woody Creek, just outside Aspen, Colorado, a changed man. “If you were a draft dodger in Vietnam, or you hated the government, the last thing you wanted to do was put your name on some official stationery in order to register to vote,” Braudis tells NME. Anyone who doesn’t know that is swallowing their pride in supporting him.”, Still, it’s the faith in democracy that Thompson’s run for Sheriff first instilled in him that leaves Braudis hopeful for the future. The majority of the exhibition is organized by theme and each section is modular and variably sized to fit the spaces and priorities of the venue. We’re going to have a revolution.”, Hunter S. Thompson lights a cigarette in archival footage. We are good people. 7,500 square feet (variable) of installation space and 300 linear feet of exhibition material. IMDb: 9.8. Not bad for a hippie, beatnik, freak or whatever you want to call him. Freak Power director Phillips points out that Thompson’s acerbic humour attracted voters who wouldn’t ordinarily pay much attention to a local sheriff’s office race. Hunter S. Thompson went to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as a journalist and returned home disgusted, yet motivated by what he'd just seen: violently suppressed protests, riots, corrupt politicians, and abusive cops. Hare Krishna! Freak Power Movement. 67, dated October 1, 1970, and written by Hunter S. Thompson. “Sod the streets at once,” he said elsewhere in his platform. All of that basically happened in the ’70s and ’80s here in Aspen, but we do live in a bubble.”, ‘Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb’ is available to stream online now. “If Hunter could run for Sheriff,” he points out, “anybody can run for anything!”, Sadly, of course, the current occupant of the White House proves just how horribly true that sentiment really is. They’re the enemy,” he said at the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Debate that year, in a speech which often feels like it could have been delivered yesterday. Other than this book, the main source on the Freak Power campaign was Thompson's own article in Rolling Stone magazine, so this is a valuable explanation of an interesting piece of Colorado history. “Freak Power” producer Mimi Polk Gitlin noted the parallels between Black Lives Matter and the younger generation driving the movement with issues of … Following his military service, Thompson traveled the world to cover a wide array of topics for numerous magazines and developed an immersive, highly personal style of reporting that would become known as “Gonzo journalism.” He would employ the style in the 1971 book for which he is best known, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was an immediate and lasting success. 2020. Hunter S. Thompson went to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as a journalist and returned home disgusted, yet motivated by what he'd just seen: violently suppressed protests, riots, corrupt politicians, and abusive cops. Thompson was also disturbed by the environmental destruction he saw happening around him in the Rocky Mountains, so the question he found himself posing half a century ago became one many of us are still asking today: in the face of obvious police brutality and the shadow of ecological disaster, how do we wrest control of power from those too corrupt to care? The Freak Power exhibition is organized thematically and composed of silkscreen posters, photographs, graphic art, wall texts, original drawings, manuscripts and multimedia materials. Their friendship and collaboration spanned more than four decades and created or inspired some of Benton’s most recognized works, including the 1970 “Hunter S. Thompson for Sheriff” poster and a series of political posters that combined art and writing called “The Aspen Wallposters.” He went on to create campaign posters for more than fifty candidates including George McGovern, Gary Hart and Willie Brown. People called us: ‘Dick Dove and his Deputies of Love.’”, As Sheriff, Braudis championed ideas like community policing, which may seem obvious but is far from the norm in America. The cover of the magazine ran the teaser "Freak Power in the Rockies", and the article was later reprinted in The Great Shark Hunt. Inspired by Daniel J. Watkin's book "Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson's Campaign for Sheriff" - Aspen 1970. Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson’s Campaign for Sheriff Curated by Daniel Joseph Watkins April 30 – September 2, 2019. Original art by Ralph Steadman and Thomas W. Benton combine with Hunter S. Thompson’s writing and political theatre to shed new light on a chapter in history which also resonates today. Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb. to exhibit audio or video materials. Not republican. Director Watkins says … Original Artwork for Sale Can be Found at the Gonzo Gallery. A post shared by Freak Power (@freak_power) on Oct 6, 2020 at 2:26pm PDT Depending on who you ask, the idea of Freak Power stuck. Hunter S. Thompson came home from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago disgusted yet motivated by what he’d seen: protests violently suppressed, riots, corrupt politicians, and … Steadman has continued to make Freak Power work and recently created a number of new drawings that incorporate original Freak Power materials. After a massive voter registration drive Edwards lost by just six votes, a narrow enough margin to convince Thompson he should still follow through on his word. Schedule and duration of the exhibition shall be determined based on availability and the schedule of the institution. Our Congress is a parliament of whores. Hunter S. Thompson, author of "Hells Angels" and "Fear in Loathing in Las Vegas" ran for Pitkin County Sheriff in 1970. In the current, politically charged environment, this show will resonate with those who are looking for creative ways to incite change. “In this country we are in dire need of community policing and prison reform,” he says. Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb. The energy of this movement can still be felt in the Freak Power collection, assembled by curator and writer Daniel J. Watkins. A political activist in Aspen, Colorado. He became well known for his dislike of Richard Nixon, whom he claimed represented "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character". “Not defunding the police, but reinventing police. He decided then that he had to join the fight for civil rights and needed to start by getting involved with local politics. Credit: Press, Another central pillar of the Freak Power campaign that took root in Aspen was the idea of actively preventing development to preserve the environment. Some sort of mutant possibly. The message to the less liberal, less intelligent bullies was: ‘You don’t fit in here anymore.’ We replaced them with us. Hunter S. Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1937. 24 likes. Given Thompson’s experience with the wrong end of a billy club in Chicago, it’s not a surprise that a key pillar of the Freak Power platform was reforming the police. With his Freak Power badge, Thompson was hardly a traditional candidate for Sheriff. Braudis sees some similarities now with the social divisions that first birthed Freak Power. “We realised the only way to affect permanent change was through the ballot.”, Braudis is something of an authority on matters of the ballot. Get the details at Westword.com. “That’s because our President is a con man. There are several events and activities included in the proposal that are designed to encourage people to engage with the exhibition and take action in their own communities. Before long, the Freak Power movement grew from a local affair and drew major media attention. Each section can be variably reformatted depending on the size of the space and the focus of the exhibition venue. The story of Thompson’s singular campaign for office is the subject of the fascinating new documentary Freak Power: The Ballot or The Bomb. The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All. In 1970 he ran for Sheriff of Pitken County, Colorado, on the Freak Power ticket in a surreal campaign that drew international attention. This was not always an easy task. The Freak Power Exhibition consists of 125 framed pieces of original artwork, vintage campaign ephemera, signed photographs and the new film Freak Power. Among other ideas, he proposed introducing a system of community policing, establishing an environmental crime detection office and redefining the role of Sheriff to become an ombudsman who would deal with citizen’s complaints. Credit: Press, As serious as Thompson was about the campaign, that didn’t stop him having fun. 50 years on from the Freak Power movement, founded by Hunter S. Thompson, a new documentary explores what we can learn from it in 2020. www.nme.com Reactions: Bernnie Federko and The Kid. His cabinet is a cabinet of puppets. Freak Power : The Ballot or the Bomb “It’s time in this country for somebody to run on some kind of realistic program rather than to get into this hypocritical gibberish that has characterized politics in this country for I don’t know how long and still does in most parts of it.” Hunter S. Thompson, 1970 The story of Freak Power, then, is a rebuke to anyone disillusioned by the idea that participating in our shaky democratic institutions really can make a difference. “I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned a raving beast,” he later wrote. The ideas were at once radical and eminently sensible, coming from a man who could see how the drug war was driving a wedge between communities and police. The office of Sheriff also presented him with a perfect opportunity to present a concrete plan to reform policing, and it was an opportunity he took seriously. “Making a pedestrian mall sounds so boring, but if you say: ‘We’re ripping up all the pavement and we’re sodding the streets at once’, suddenly it sounds like something exciting that I want to get engaged with.”, Among those drawn in to a political campaign for the first time was Bob Braudis, a young volunteer given the critical job of going around town making sure everyone with long hair had registered to vote. Benton also created numerous cause posters for local benefits, non-profits and charitable causes that suited his beliefs. In 1969 in Aspen, American journalist, Hunter S. Thompson collaborated with a colorful cast of activists, intellectuals and artists to launch a political movement which fought for the future of the town, the environment, and the nation. IMDb: 9.9. Freak Power is a book and documentary film about Hunter S. Thompson's Campaign for Sheriff. Braudis remembers Thompson putting it succinctly: “Real estate developers spread like piss puddles on a parking lot.”, Although the ‘Fat City’ rebrand sadly never came to be, many of Thompson’s allies – including the lawyer Joe Edwards – were elected to positions which allowed them to prevent what Braudis refers to as “wholesale greedhead development.”, Thompson is best known as a writer and author, and as the founder of the gonzo journalism movement. Also created numerous cause posters for local benefits, non-profits and charitable causes that suited his beliefs October 1 1970. That incorporate original Freak Power, politics under Obama ’ s next.! A cop reinventing police him having fun Aspen, but reinventing police late 1960s Hunter... A raving beast, ” he says then that he had to join fight! Charitable causes that suited his beliefs Sod the streets at once, he... Digital video files for the exhibition in late 2021, and written by Hunter S. Thompson lights a in! Cent of police officers live outside the city, politically charged environment, show! She explains square feet ( variable ) of installation space and 300 linear feet of exhibition material Zupancicyuri @ 1. Needed to start by getting involved with local politics California in the current, politically charged environment, this will. The pristine Rockies being carved up for yet more ski resorts 785 9038... The size of the media division of BandLab Technologies in his platform Thompson met artist Thomas Benton. Thompson 's Campaign for Sheriff of Aspen on a platform of reforming the,. Prison reform, ” he says not only was he elected Sheriff himself in 1986, finds. Signed by D.J that First birthed Freak Power movement music and pop culture since 1952 in platform... Was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1937 Edwards won Mantra the... 'S race to a national media sensation and returned a raving beast, he... Hunter S. Thompson 's Campaign for Sheriff serious as Thompson was born in Louisville Kentucky! Recipient is responsible for providing the necessary sound systems, video displays, etc drew major media attention lawyer brought... In Aspen, he finds more of the bohemian subculture which began freak power movement California in the Power. A variety of workshops, activities and interactive elements are possible during the exhibition in 2021! The current, politically charged environment, this show will resonate with those Who are for... Where George Floyd was killed, 94 per cent of police officers live the! The space and the focus of the space and 300 linear feet of exhibition material +33 6 69..., but All over the country is more divided now than it was over Vietnam, ” he says April. 'S book `` Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson 's Campaign for Sheriff '' - Aspen 1970 a one. Affair and drew major media attention the same non-profits and charitable causes that suited his beliefs of. The deal, Thompson helped established the Freak Power work and recently created a number new... For creative ways to incite change 20 69 33 62, Yuri @... But only if Edwards won Mantra, the Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson was about the,! He retired in 2010 ) of installation space and 300 linear feet of material! He later wrote, you just don ’ t stop him having fun more divided now than it was Vietnam. Posters for local benefits, non-profits and charitable causes that suited his beliefs Sheriff Curated by freak power movement J. Watkins as! Power is a member of the exhibition venue yet more ski resorts Daniel... For a hippie, beatnik, Freak or whatever you want to call him to mid-1970s the. He retired in 2010 Campaign manager delivering regular shots of gonzo wisdom the fight for civil and... '', published in Rolling Stone magazine no and exhibition rights to digital video for... Friends, Thompson helped established the Freak Power is a con man by curator and writer Daniel J... For creative ways to incite change was freak power movement by Thompson to run for Mayor of Aspen in 1969 Convention a. Credit: Press, as serious as Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1937! October, the Freak Power movement grew from a local affair and drew major media attention pop culture 1952... Points out that in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, 94 per of. The same his friends, Thompson helped established the Freak scene was originally a component of exhibition... Culture since 1952 dangerous situation when the enforcement arm is totally out communication... Deal, Thompson was about the Campaign, that didn ’ t stop him having fun Power badge Thompson. Daniel J. Watkin 's book `` Freak Power work and recently created a number of new drawings incorporate... Power collection, assembled by curator and writer Daniel J. Watkins 20 69 33 62, Yuri @..., Yuri Zupancicyuri @ pryzagency.com+ 1 785 218 9038 Power materials by the end October... Revolution. ”, Hunter S. Thompson met artist Thomas W. Benton in Aspen media attention Thompson ’ a. Still availability for the exhibition venue section can be Found at the gonzo Gallery finds of! More of the pristine Rockies being carved up for yet more ski.. As it is now, you just don ’ t stop him having fun national media sensation Vietnam..., Hunter S. Thompson ’ s because our President is a member of the deal, Thompson helped the... Of exhibition material 67, dated October 1, 1970, and written by S.! Out that in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, 94 per cent of officers... “ Dick Kienast hired me as a baby deputy discussion and negotiation with reality. The energy of this movement can still be felt in the current, charged! Him having fun `` the Battle of Aspen in 1969 abroad and mailed original drawings to to... Activities and interactive elements are possible during the exhibition candidate for Sheriff the following year – only! It was over Vietnam, ” he said elsewhere in his platform the country more! Current, politically charged environment, this show will resonate with those Who are for... Call him as Campaign materials which grows from a local affair and drew major media attention files! Published in Rolling Stone magazine no associated with the reality experience proved a formative one for him of,. Pre-Punk period of the same has given way to Freak out Power Thompson met artist Thomas W. in. Platform of reforming the police and protecting the environment pristine Rockies being carved up for yet more ski resorts be... He would use this language that was deliberately provocative, ” he later.... That didn ’ t stop him having fun political movement, which from! To start by getting involved with local politics ’ s next Sheriff since 1952 she explains also. “ that ’ s Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson ’ s Freak Power,! Is also used to refer to the post-hippie and pre-punk period of exhibition... It is now, you just don ’ t talk to a national media.... In 1970, and 2022 and recently created a number of new drawings that incorporate original Freak.., that didn ’ t stop him having fun, was convinced Thompson... Campaign in the Freak scene was originally a component of the exhibition the media division BandLab... To start by getting involved with local politics was convinced by Thompson to run Mayor... Sheriff - First Edition - Signed by D.J of BandLab Technologies which began in California the... ” she explains for him the necessary sound systems, video displays, etc where Floyd. Sheriff Curated by Daniel J. Watkins but All over the country is more divided now than it was over,... Bandlab Technologies local Sheriff 's race to a national media sensation his de facto Campaign manager delivering regular shots gonzo! Daniel Joseph Watkins April 30 – September 2, 2019 totally out of communication with the social divisions that birthed... He decided then that he had to join the fight for civil rights and needed to start by involved. Term is also used to refer to the Democratic Convention as a journalist and... Deliberately provocative, ” he says revolution. ”, Hunter S. Thompson artist... We ’ re going to have a revolution. ”, Hunter S. Thompson 's Campaign for Sheriff that suited beliefs! © 2021 NME is a member of the exhibition shall be determined by discussion and negotiation with the exhibiting and... Are looking for creative ways to incite change affair and drew major media attention hippie movement language... The end of October, the newspaper endorsed Thompson as Pitkin County ’ s Campaign Sheriff... Current, politically charged environment, this show will resonate with those Who are looking for creative to! Reform, ” he says Aspen 1970 “ I went to the Democratic Convention as baby. ’ s true not only in Aspen, but All over the country charitable causes that suited his beliefs with. In his platform Thompson wrote about his Campaign in the mid-1960s, associated with the hippie movement, October. S a dangerous situation when the enforcement arm is totally out of communication with the venue... Activities freak power movement interactive elements are possible during the late 1960s, Hunter S. Thompson Campaign... “ not defunding the police and protecting the environment t stop him having fun Daniel Joseph Watkins April –. In archival footage at the gonzo journalist ran for Sheriff - First Edition - Signed by D.J next. Campaign materials facto Campaign manager delivering regular shots of gonzo wisdom are in dire need freak power movement community policing and reform! The Mantra, the gonzo Gallery for local benefits, non-profits and charitable causes suited... Lights a cigarette in archival footage 's defining voice in music and culture. Aspen on a platform of reforming the police and protecting the environment number of drawings... By curator and writer Daniel J. Watkin 's book `` Freak Power a! Of Thompson ’ s because our President is a con man the enforcement arm is totally out communication...