Frontiers – Prologue, California as the Limit of Modernity
The notion of the frontier is as old as that of the New World – historically problematic in terms of the genocide committed against indigenous peoples, romantically misrepresented in the narratives of the pioneers. In this context, California marks both the final stage of this land grab and the starting point for new promises – such as the gold mines of Hollywood, Haight Ashbury and Silicon Valley. Where were the frontiers and what methods were used to overcome them? And what might a history of modernity look like if it were told backwards from the geographical limit of the West Coast?