Gregory Bateson

1904 (Grantchester, England) – 1980 (San Francisco)

Bateson, something of a maverick polymath, was an influential synthesist of multi-disciplinary ideas. With his then wife Mead, he helped invent visual anthropology. With McCullough, he helped found the influential Macy conferences, the intellectual forge for cybernetics; Shannon, von Neumann, Wiener, Pitts, Licklider and von Foerster all participated. He corresponded with Deren, was on a panel with Duchamp and Milhaud, recruited Ginsberg into research on LSD, influenced Capra and loved Malinowski. He wished he’d filmed Lorenz. Brand, who helped spread his ideas, described him as dishevelled.

Gregory Bateson knew…