Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Cacophony Society: beyond the mainstream, meaningless madness and art with no rules

Why have I just now discovered the Cacophony Society? Where have I been? I first viewed this video on the Art of the Prank website:

Here’s some info about this film from the Into the Zone website:

Into the Zone is a film by Jon Alloway. This hilarious and exciting Dada-documentary follows their evolution from the San Francisco Suicide Club – 1977, the exploits of SF Cacophony, their nexus creating the Burning Man Festival, to the irreverent Los Angeles Cacophony and beyond. This is the history of the a significant American underground cultural movement.

Intrigued and wanting to know more, I searched on the web and discovered that the Cacophony Society does, indeed, have their own website. Here’s the link: http://www.cacophony.org/.

Here are a few points about the Cacophony Society that interest me:

Experiences Beyond the Mainstream:

keywords: alternative, underground culture, edgy, absurdity, provocation, interactive, fringe, participatory, guerrilla, public, spectacle, pranks, culture jamming, outrageous

Meaningless Madness

There are plenty of things that are meaningless, and yet people make them so important. Take, for example, sports. Or bodybuilding. Or.. wine tasting. Art, in the same way, can be meaningless too. It’s not that I am against meaning in art, and on the contrary much of my art does have something to say and ‘meaning’ behind it. However, meaningless combined with madness has a right in its own. The pure act of creating something out of the ordinary is valuable. Chaos has its place, especially when it is chaos articulated through artistic freedom. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with making some stupid art once in a while. It can be liberating!!

There Are No Rules

It’s hard to make art when all you can think about is the way you should be making it. Techniques are helpful, as is training- I won’t deny that. But once you have all those techniques and training, flush ’em down the toilet!! They won’t give you the freedom to make your own- I still struggle to let go of all the pressures of how I ‘should’ be making things. Entering my thesis year in grad school, all I can think about is what kind of thesis I should be making. But what for??!!  In the end, it doesn’t matter- I’m sure I’ll graduate either way, as long as I make something. And what’s the point of making something if your heart’s not entirely in it? Rules make my heart ache. Rules make my art ache. Rules, in general, ache.

Image Links:

http://www.solarnavigator.net/aviation_and_space_travel/astronaut.htm (Astronaut)

http://www.theitsaliveshow.com/Zombiefest07/zwalk.htm (Pittsburgh Zombie Walk)

http://tickledbylife.com/index.php/avoiding-death-by-powerpoint/ (Avoiding Death by Powerpoint)