John Solomon, owner of Café Venezia on University Ave. in Berkeley conceived of and ran the annual “How-Berkeley-Can-You-Be-Parade” 1996. He personally invited Cacophony to “do anything you want” in a phone call to Sebastian Melmoth before the first parade.
Melmoth & J.D. Boggman put out a call for “meat providers” such as Carrie White from the movie “Carrie” Leatherface of Texas Chainsaw fame and Kal Spellitech from the Industrial Art Ensemble SEEMEN. These and throngs of other meat crazed Cacophonists created the first Meat Parade featuring P.E.T.A. (People Eatin’ Them Animals) and their mandatory Berkeley counter protestors The Veget-Aryans” Cremating entrails on BBQ grills, tossing generic brand cigarettes to the hordes of families and old hippies lining the streets and chainsawing pigs heads for two more years, P.E.T.A. hung up the cleavers in 1998 and the event morphed into early Zombie attacks and other meat related parade floats over the years.
This event was conceived of by William Binzen, assisted by Judy West and John Law, with the tactical support of the SF Cacophony Society and over fifteen individual artists. Taking place during Summer Solstice four years running, DSW conceived, crafted and implemented a philosophy of collaborative art as life. A huge area around Trego Springs that had been a material storage and watering siding for the railroad was repurposed (with the express intent of returning the area to it’s original condition) into a colossal art canvas containing over twenty earthworks and surface installations. Rituals, performances (for the participants only – there was no audience) and ongoing fabrication and modification of large-scale installations went on for ten days. These sessions in 1993 at Black Rock Springs, 1994 at Trego and 1995-96 at Frog Pond Springs pioneered the “Intentional Community” philosophy that informs and inspires the best components and participants of the Burning Man Festival to this day.
The history of the most influential underground cabal you’ve never heard of