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About this project

The North American Ibis Alchemical Company was a unique light show similar to an improvisational Jazz Combo the like of which was never seen before nor since. The other artists involved, besides myself and Roger Hillyard, included Bob Comings, Howard Fox, Ernie Palomino, Lenny Silverberg and the redoubtable art superstar Bruce Conner. 

                                                                                                                      Above and below are approximations of what the Avalon Ballroom screen might have looked like for any half second during one of our shows. Imagine this on a screen 20' high by 100' long, constantly changing.                                                                                                                                                                  

During the week I roamed Haight Street and Golden Gate Park and shot 16mm film and 35 mm slides of events and Pilgrims,                                 

  and some of the bands in the park and in the ballrooms as well as

 Lights & Ladies in my studio,                                                                      

 and made hand painted and "Curious Photos" using various techniques. 

 

 The other artists also contributed slides, including eight hand painted mandalas by Bruce Conner which will be included in the book.  (below)     

 We also appropriated and manipulated hundreds of images from books, everything from gurus and saints to nudes, flowers to fine art, native americans to ethnic art.                                                                                

 When I retired from the Light Show Daze, mostly due to exhaustion, I had accumulated a slide library of about 3000 images.  About a third of those were my original "curious photos" which I categorize in three ways: Rock & Roll, Pilgrims and Lights & Ladies. 

                                          A Grain of Sand

I carried this collection around with me in my wanderings lo these many years, and when I finally retired from a karma yogic career as a social service ronin I set about organizing them and selecting my favorites for scanning and printing.  I also wrote ten short chapters of memoirs.            

 

 This is a rare art/photo collection which has not been seen publicly in 50 years and never before printed. Unlike most of the well known photos of the scene they are in color.

To date I have scanned 800 of the most interesting and made high quality pigment ink prints of about 175. I have also made posters of 26 which are offered as rewards for sponsors as well as pigment ink photo prints and albums in four sizes. 

 A 40 page photo booklet and dvds of some of my films are also available. as well as a limited number of copies of the book itself. The book will include approximately 175 of my favorite shots and ten anecdotal essays I wrote about my life and times in the sixties in San Francisco.  The overall theme being, "The sixties in San Francisco weren't just about sex and drugs and rock and roll."                                                                                                                                                                                       

Roger, Bob & Lenny
Roger, Bob & Lenny

Additionally a sixties Mystery Scholar and collector is interviewing Roger Hillyard, Bob Comings and Lenny Silverberg, the other surviving members of the Ibis, about their memories and thoughts about this unique shared experience. This scholar's identity must remain a mystery here for political reasons (don't ask.) 

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ernie Palomino was not available for an interview and Howard Fox and Bruce Conner have passed and have probably already been reborn and are madly making crazy art in some preschool somewhere, driving the teacher crazy by not keeping their finger paintings on the paper. 

The Foreword to the book is being written by Julian Cox, Chief Curator and Founding Curator of Photography Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young / Legion of Honor.                                                                        

Rosie McGee at the Be-In
Rosie McGee at the Be-In

                                          REWARDS                                                                                                                                                                                 

BEN'S BUTTONS
BEN'S BUTTONS

 

5" x 7" Pigment Ink Postcard Prints
5" x 7" Pigment Ink Postcard Prints

                                            POSTERS                                                            

Poster #1 - Summer of Love Thanka 16" x 20"
Poster #1 - Summer of Love Thanka 16" x 20"

 

Poster #2 - Light Show Indian #1
Poster #2 - Light Show Indian #1

 

Poster #3 - John Cipollina at the Batman Dance
Poster #3 - John Cipollina at the Batman Dance

 

Poster #4 Gary Duncan at the Batman Dance
Poster #4 Gary Duncan at the Batman Dance

 

Poster #5 - Leslie, Goddess of the 2nd Chakra
Poster #5 - Leslie, Goddess of the 2nd Chakra

 

Poster #6 - Phil Lesh @ Trips Festival 16" x 20"
Poster #6 - Phil Lesh @ Trips Festival 16" x 20"

 

Poster #7 - Jerry & Bob @ Trips Fest 16" x 20"
Poster #7 - Jerry & Bob @ Trips Fest 16" x 20"

 

Poster #8 - S.F. Trips Festival, An Opening
Poster #8 - S.F. Trips Festival, An Opening

 

Poster #9 - The Human Be-In 16" x 20"
Poster #9 - The Human Be-In 16" x 20"

 This looks small here but it is a full 20" wide.

Poster #10 - Electric Albert 18" x 24" or 11" x 17"
Poster #10 - Electric Albert 18" x 24" or 11" x 17"

 

Poster #11 - Graffiti in GG Park 18" x 24" or 11"x17"
Poster #11 - Graffiti in GG Park 18" x 24" or 11"x17"

 

Poster #12 - Light Show Buddha #1
Poster #12 - Light Show Buddha #1

 

Poster #13 - Cassandra, Goddess of the Heart Chakra
Poster #13 - Cassandra, Goddess of the Heart Chakra

 

Poster #14 - The Avalon Welcomes Swami Bhaktevedanta
Poster #14 - The Avalon Welcomes Swami Bhaktevedanta

 

Poster #15 - Jefferson Airplane at the Matrix
Poster #15 - Jefferson Airplane at the Matrix

 

Poster #16 - Light Show Buddha #2
Poster #16 - Light Show Buddha #2

 

Poster #17 - Jorma Kaulonen at the Early Fillmore
Poster #17 - Jorma Kaulonen at the Early Fillmore

 

Poster #18 - "Cool....."Very"
Poster #18 - "Cool....."Very"

 

Poster #19 - Sun Flower Girl
Poster #19 - Sun Flower Girl

 

Poster #20 - It WAS the Summer of Love
Poster #20 - It WAS the Summer of Love

 

Poster #21 - Oracle Vendor
Poster #21 - Oracle Vendor

 

 

Poster #22 - A Spring Day
Poster #22 - A Spring Day

 

Poster #23 - Rebirth of A Nation
Poster #23 - Rebirth of A Nation

 

Poster #24 - Seeing the Clear Light
Poster #24 - Seeing the Clear Light

 

Poster #26 - Ajna, the Sixth Chakra
Poster #26 - Ajna, the Sixth Chakra

 

Rebirth of A Nation DVD
Rebirth of A Nation DVD

 

 

Rebirth of a Nation de Young Edition DVD
Rebirth of a Nation de Young Edition DVD

   

5" x 7" Pigment Ink Photo Album video 

8.5" x 11" Pigment Ink Photo Print Album Video 

 11" x 14" Pitment Ink Photo Print Album Video

 13" x 19" Pigment Ink Photo Print Album

Yogananda said, “Life is a cosmic movie (projected within the screen of consciousness)...You are the immortal self (consciousness) living only temporarily in a dream that is sometimes (imagined) to be a nightmare.”

                                                                                                              Presently a minor Dark Lord and his cabinet of Corporate Dark Riders and Military Orks are in control of our government, and they are hell bent on plunging the world into a nightmare that humanity may or may not survive. 

Following this analogy you might ask, “Where the hell is Frodo?”                                                                                                                                    

Poster #25 - Rejoice Bus
Poster #25 - Rejoice Bus

Frodo is in your hearts my brothers and sisters and in the hearts  of your children. Or as Yogananda also said,: “Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world.                                                                                                                    

 “Rebirth of A Nation” my films, photos, light shows and the book are my tributes to the beauty of this Universal Truth,  to what happened in San Francisco fifty years ago, and to my hope that it can happen again, and again, and again until everybody sees the Light..                                                                                                               

Rejoice & Resist!

Namaste, 

Humble Ben

Risks and challenges

The main risk is that the word of this project will not go out to enough people. I don't really do social media myself. My daughter and a few friends have offered to help me get the word out, but I need as many of you out there that find this project interesting to tweet, face book, linkdin and e-mail your friends and contacts about it. Thank You.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Ben's Buttons x 3

    This reward consists of three buttons made from images from the book. The round ones are 1.5" and the rectangular ones are 1.5" x 2.5" See the photo. You will receive one rectangular and two round ones. I will draw them from the button hat for you and you get the luck of the draw, except no duplicates. If you would like six buttons pledge $20., nine buttons $30., the entire set of twelve just pledge $40. No additional shipping charges.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    5" x 7" Pigment Ink Photo Prints x 3

    You will receive three 5" x 7" pigment ink prints of three of the photos from the book and/or miniatures of the posters, one each of the Rock & Roll, Haight Street Pilgrims, or Light and Ladies categories (specific prints my choice.) For multiple copies just multiply the number you want by $25. and pledge that amount. Would make a nice Christmas gift.These postcard sized high quality prints are printed on the reverse in the style of the classic Avalon Ballroom postcards and signed by Humble Ben.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Pick A Poster Your Choice 1 - 26

    I am offering a selection of 26 posters that I have made from images from the book. They are in several sizes. Choose one by number let me know your selection when the campaign ends. For multiple selections just multiply the number you want by $30. and pledge that amount. No additional shipping charge since I can fit more than one in a mailing tube. Most of the posters are 11"x17", a few are 16"x 20" and a couple are 18"x24", I sign all posters.
    1 - Summer of Love Thanka
    2 - Light Show Indian #1
    3 - John Cipollina at the Batman Dance
    4 - Gary Duncan at the Batman Dance
    5 - Leslie Goddess of the 2nd Chakra
    6 - Phil Lesh at the Trips Festival
    7 - Jerry & Bob at the Trips Festival
    8 - The Trips Festival
    9 - The Human Be - In
    10 - Electric Albert
    11 - Graffiti - Fuck Hate
    12 - Light Show Buddha #1
    13 - Cassandra Goddess of the Heart Chakra'
    14 - Avalon Welcomes Swami Bhaktevedanta
    15 - Jefferson Airplane at the Matrix
    16 - Light Show Buddha #2
    17 - Jorma Kauoken at the Early Fillmore
    18 - "Cool" - "Really"
    19 - Sun Flower Girl
    20 - It WAS the Summer of Love
    21 - Oracle Vendor
    22 - A Spring Day
    23 - Rebirth of A Nation
    24 - Seeing the Clear Light
    25 - Rejoice
    26 - Ajna, the sixth Chakra

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    8.5" x 11" or 8" x 10" Pigment Ink Print

    Choose size print and one of the three categories of photos that will be in the book, Rock & Roll, Haight Street Pilgrims or Light Show and receive one custom printed 8.5 x 11" or 8" x 10" color photo print printed with long lasting pigment inks.You choose the category and I choose the print from available prints or or you choose an image from the list of posters, Prints do not have captions like the posters.To receive more than one of this size make your choices and multiply the number selected by $35 then pledge that amount. No additional shipping charges for multiple selections. All rewards but the buttons are signed by Ben Van Meter.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Rebirth of A Nation Photo Booklet

    For those who can't spring for my full book I have created a 40 page color booklet with 40 full page color images selected from the full sized book. It is 8.5" x 11" and contains the 40 photos and captions selected from the 150 or more in the book but not my memoirs or the interviews or essays. Like all of the rewards, except the buttons, it will be autographed. If you would like more than one copy just multiply the number you want times $45 and pledge that amount. Only one shipping charge for more than one booklet.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Rebirth of A Nation DVD

    This is a dvd of six of my most psychedelic films including S.F. Trips Festival, An Open, "A documentary of the event from the POV of a goldfish in the kool-aid bowl," which is currently featured in the de Young museums Summer of Love exhibition in continuous projection, Enclosed liner notes will be autographed. Only one per pledge due to limited availability. Be advised this dvd plays well on set top players and windows machines. It has trouble playing on some Macs even though the master was made on a Mac. Go Figure. The other dvd has no such problem.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Rebirth of A Nation DVD de Young Edition

    This is an edition of my dvd that I put together for the de Young museum to offer for sale in their gift shop. It includes four of the films on the other dvd and the two pieces I made for the Summer of Love exhibit, Light Show Trip-tych and the slide show, Peace in America. It does not include Acid Mantra or Be. These DVDs are shrink wrapped so my autograph will be on a separate enclosure. My S.F. Trips Festival film is currently featured in the de Young museum's Summer of Love exhibition in continuous projection. Only one per pledge due to limited availability. It plays well on set top players, windows machines and Macs.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    13" x 19" Pigment Ink Photo Print

    Choose one of the three categories of photos that will be in the book, Rock & Roll, Haight Street Pilgrims or Light Show and receive one custom printed 13" x 19" color photo print printed with long lasting pigment inks.You choose the category and I choose the print from available prints, or choose from the list of posters. Most prints do not have captions like the postersYou may choose more than one by multiplying the number you want by $75 and pledging that amount. No additional shipping charges for multiple selections. These are collectible, framable and signed by Humble Ben.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Rebirth of A Nation the book pkg. #1

    Pledge $100 and you receive a copy of the book I am funding, which includes a dvd of my Trips festival film and one 8x10 or 8.5x11 pigment ink photo print in the category of your choice. The book includes many curious photographs and amusing essays by Humble Ben. Signed and numbered in order of the date that you pledge your support. 100 copies available at this level of support. Only one book per pledge due to limited availability. Books and print will be mailed by USPS Priority Mail. Everyone who pledges for a book will have his/her name included on the Sponsors' Page.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Rebirth of A Nation book pkg. #2

    Pledging One hundred fifty dollars gets you a copy of the book I am funding which includes a dvd of my Trips Festival film and three framable 8" x 10" or 8.5"x11" pigment ink prints (one from each category.) 50 copies available at this level of support. Only one book per pledge due to limited availability. Books will be mailed by USPS Priority Mail. Everyone who pledges for a book will have his/her name included on the Sponsors' Page.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Rebirth of A Nation book pkg #3

    Pledge two hundred dollars and receive a copy of the book I am funding which includes a dvd of my Trips Festival film, three framable 8" x10" or 8.5"x11" pigment prints and three 5"x 7" prints one from each category in both sizes, Only one book per pledge due to limited availability. The book will be signed and numbered in order of the date that you pledge your support. 50 copies available at this level of support. All prints are also signed by the artist. Everything will be will be mailed by USPS Priority Mail. Everyone who pledges for a book will have his/her name included on the Sponsors' Page.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    5" x 7" Pigment Ink Photo Print Album

    Receive a 48 print 5"x7" Collector's Itoya album of Pigment Ink Prints printed and signed by the artist. The album includes photos from all three categories of images in the book, Rock & Roll, Haight Street Pilgrims and Lights and Ladies. Only three available. Each album comes with a numbered C.O.A. Scroll to the bottom of the rewards to see a video of this album. Will be shipped by Priority Mail.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    8" x !0" Pigment Ink Photo Print Album

    Receive a 48 print 8"x10" Collector's Itoya album of Pigment Ink Prints signed by the artist. This album incluces photos from all three categories. Three available each with a different selection of prints.. Rare collectible with C.O.A. No video of thei one because they differ slightly from one another. Insured hipping included.

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    8.5" x 11" Pigment Ink Photo Print Album

    Receive a 48 print 8.5"x11" Collector's Itoya album of Pigment Ink Prints signed by the artist. The album includes photos from all three categories of images from the book, Rock & Roll, Haight Street Pilgrims and Lights and Ladies. . Only one available. C.O.A. included. #1 of 3. The other two are spoken for. A rare collectible collection. Scroll toward the bottom of the page to see videos about the albums.

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    11" x 14" Pigment Ink Photo Print Album

    Receive a 48 print 11"x14" Collector's Itoya album of Pigment Ink Prints signed by the artist. This album is dedicated to the Trips Festival and some of my hand painted light show art. Rare collectible with C.O.A. Only one available. Scroll toward the bottom of the page to see videos about the albums. Insured hipping included.

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    13" x 19" Pigment Ink Photo Print Album

    Receive a 48 print 13"x19" Collector's Itoya album of Pigment Ink Prints signed by the artist. The album includes photos from all three categories of images in the book, Rock & Roll, Haight Street Pilgrims and Light Lights and Ladies. Rare collectible for the dedicated collector. Only one available. Scroll toward the bottom of the page to see videos about the albums. Insured shipping included.

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Funding period

- (42 days)