The Zone Trip concept was pioneered by Ethyl Ketone when she discovered that fellow Cacophonist Phil Bewley grew up a few blocks away from her childhood home in the prototypical nondescript LA suburb West Covina. They (of course) decided they must do an event. Her fascination with the Tarkovsky movie Stalker and the weird locale called “The Zone” that serves as the central metaphor and place of action (inaction, really) for the film set the idea in motion. The Zone was a place where anything could happen, the laws of physics did not always apply and where people often were last seen. Any Cacophony road trip could be (and often was) a Zone Trip.
The only criteria was for all participants to mentally prepare for the trip to another place as they would were they going to another planet. The first time Burning Man appeared in the Black Rock Desert in 1990, it was as a part of the “Cacophony Society Zone Trip #4: Bad Day At Black Rock.” Carries idea was mirrored a few years later by Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z. Temporary Autonomous Zone and together with William Binzens “Desert Site Works” events, provided much of the philosophy behind the emerging Burning Man Culture throughout the succeeding years.