Dust & Illusions, 30 years of Burning Man History, A Documentary by Olivier Bonin

The Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society

Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society from Madnomad Films on Vimeo.

Credits: Filmed by Chuck Cirino (Weird TV), Doug Wellman, Scott Beale (Laughing Squid), Jon Alloway, Richard Darigo. Edited by Olivier Bonin.

You’ve heard about Burning Man, about Santacon (with over 10,000 Santa Claus gathering in Ireland), but have you heard about the Cacophony Society? The group emerged from the ashes of the San Francisco Suicide Club in 1986 after Gary Warne, its founder, passed away at the age of 35 in 1983. Gary famously said “Fear is a freeze on the future, the floodgate
that stops our imaginings…
“. Things were just getting started!!

In short the Cacophony Society is at the origins of many events such as Santacon, and made Burning Man as we know it today. Without Cacophony…

Now 3 of the people behind the group have written a book full of fascinating essays about following just what Gary Warne had in mind. From the authors themselves: “From Fight Club to Burning Man, Flash Mobs to Santarchy Cacophony influenced everything subversive, playful and anti-authoritarian in popular culture over the last 20 years – this is the great, untold story of the 1980s and ’90s. A template for pranksters, artists, adventurers and anyone interested in rampant creativity, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society is the history of the most influential underground cabal you’ve never heard of. Rising from the ashes of the mysterious and legendary Suicide Club, The Cacophony Society, at its zenith, hosted chapters in over a dozen major cities, and influenced much of what was once called the underground. The Cacophony Society’s epic exploits radically changed the way people live and play in the world. The group inspired Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and Burning Man and helped start pop culture trends including flash mobs, urban exploration, and culture jamming.

Authors are Kevin Evans, Carrie Galbraith, John Law

Upcoming Book Readings
May 16th: Book Premiere, City Lights, San Francisco.
May 18th: Panel Discussion, Makers Faire.
May 19th: Readings from the book, Green Apple Books San Francisco.
June 6th: Readings and book signings, Pegasus Books, Berkeley, CA.
June 14th: Powell’s Bookstore in Portland.
Jue 22nd: Le Luz de Jesus in LA.
August – Varnish Gallery and SFAI Lecture Series.

Tales of the Cacophony Society

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