The dynamic climate of the 1960s and '70s found Tom in Venice, California, working creatively in a multi-media collective called Environmental Communications. The group's work would later emerge in a show put on by Columbia University in New York on October 6, 2014. The press release for the event, called "Environmental Communications: Contact High," reads:
Environmental Communications: Contact High is the first major exhibition of the prolific west coast media collective, Environmental Communications. Formed by a group of young architects, photographers, and psychologists in the Venice Beach of the late 1960s, Environmental Communications honed an image practice that aimed to constitute a new visual syntax for the late-20th-century city. The group speculated that their “environmental photography” would alter architecture and transform the consciousness of architecture students via the university slide library. Both serial and psychedelic—with debts to LA’s conceptual photography and its electronically mediated counterculture—their practice was attuned to the spatial, mediatic and social forces they documented in Tokyo, the American Southwest and Los Angeles, their primary object of analysis. Organized into thematic slide sets with titles such as “Human Territoriality in the City,” “Ultimate Crisis,” and “Hardcore LA,” they experimented with the behavioral capacity of images as they pursued their goal of developing “systems of perception.” Through their media experiments, events and slide catalogs they positioned themselves as interpreters and purveyors of new trends, assembling a mass design imagery to resist the buildings and monuments that dominated architecture and its institutions.