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Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society

by and and

Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society Cover

ISBN13: 9780867197747
ISBN10: 0867197749
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book will prove to be a template for pranksters, artists, adventurers and anyone interested in rampant creativity, for years to come. Tales of The San Francisco Cacophony Society is a retelling in period images and words of the history of the most influential underground cabal that you have 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.

Flash Mobs, Urban Exploration, and Culture Jamming are a few of the pop culture trends that Cacophony helped kick off. Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, Burning Man and Internet social networking powerhouse Laughing Squid were informed and inspired by Cacophony. The Burning Man Festival actually began as a Cacophony event as did the annual, and now world-wide SantaCon. Cacophony events could range from something as simple as climbing the Golden Gate Bridge or having a discussion over drinks about a movie seen together, to something as elaborate as The Atomic Cafe — an event involving a hundred bedraggled nuclear holocaust Survivors mounting elaborate costumed rituals throughout the bowels of a massive abandoned tooth paste factory. Yes.... Cacophony was that strange.

Cacophony's heyday was concurrent with the rise of the internet. The story of this group is of historical significance for this reason. Information about upcoming pranks, street theater and other events hosted by Cacophony was spread by paper flyers posted on telephone poles and left in coffee shops, by the Societies mailer Rough Draft and by word of mouth. Then, with the genesis of personal computing and social networking, the jokers, artists and troublemakers of Cacophony were among some of the first non-geeks to explore the power of this new and world changing way of communicating. Burning Man, Urban Exploration, flash mobs and the like were avenues of creativity with their roots in Cacophony, that spread like wildfire through the mechanism of these new communication technologies.

This book is a large format, full color, hardbound homage to this protean group. Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society is replete with original art, never before published photographs, original documents, incredulous news accounts and is beautifully laid out by Carrie Galbraith with color illustrations by Kevin Evans and end plates by noted artist and Cacophonist Winston Smith.

Review:

"Before the Internet vomited headlines by the millisecond and turned the minutia of a million boring Facebook lives into news, we were left the privilege of mystery. This was something The San Francisco Cacophony Society gave me in spades. Over the years, I would catch glimpses, collect pieces of a puzzle I was slowly assembling — a car crushed flat by an earthquake miraculously tooling down Golden Gate, toasters glued to buildings, news-clips of mock protests and costumed impostors, flyers for strange art spectacles. Now the puzzle is assembled in this gorgeous graphic collection, a book every lover of eccentricity and enemy of the status quo should enjoy." Margaret Cho

Synopsis:

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. A large-format, full-color, hardbound homage to this protean group, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society is packed with original art, never before published photographs, original documents and incredulous news accounts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Richard Mackin, July 5, 2013 (view all comments by Richard Mackin)
This book serves several purposes: it is a historical archive for those interested in the inspirations of Burning Man, Santacon, Fight Club and many other (Counter?) Cultural institutions. It's a great coffee table book, with amazing visuals...both from the archives of the authors and Kevin Evans' brilliant illustration. Perhaps most importantly, this book is a TO DO list... not intended to be a literal recipe book of step-by-step instructions so much as a food-for-thought buffet of ways to prank, count coup, push your own boundaries or simply have a zany adventure.

For those interested in the current state of Portland's Cacophony Society (and a group who may be mentioned elsewhere if the spam hasn't been removed), I suggest the reader look up Matthew Korfhage's article in the July 13th, 2013 Willamette Week, "Capture or Asylum: Chuck Palahniuk’s Fugitives and Refugees 10 Years Later." (another great book, whose anniversary happens to be coincidentally good timing.)

Having read this book and attended the brilliant slideshow by John Law and company, it's humbling for many of us 20-30-40 something Portlander's to learn how many now-Portlanders (and some Powell's staff) were heavily involved with some of this early stuff.

If you've ever been (or considered going) to Burning Man, dressed as a Santa for nefarious purposes, or simply are interested in lesser known historical sidenotes, this book is well worth a perusal.
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Elvis, May 17, 2013 (view all comments by Elvis)
Weird = Unique. No longer is that true, thanks to the internet and social media.

In sum, a person can argue in this deceptively short but insightful manifesto, thanks to today’s technology, the weird are no longer isolated or no longer ignored by marketers and companies. And thanks to the wealth offered by the productivity of the past industrial age, most of them have the time, money and confidence to choose to be weird.

Creation is amplified. Today, not only can anyone be a creator, but through the free, simple and instant worldwide connections of the Internet, your creation can be seen and appreciated by fans. "Anyone anywhere can publish to the world,"

There are more people on the edge today. For example, a new era arises in Portland, a group called Stumptown Crawlers, who defy the Cacophony culture jamming of old. These edgy, brash, young rebel rousers are a welcome revised appeal into mainstream popularity, as this new group has shaken the very root of weirdtown. The days of the old secret PDX Cacophony run by a few cantankerous men, has all but fallen way to the overwhelmingly popular, always fresh weirdness, and highly exciting fun new group.

The new and exciting weirdo’s of today, culture jam much more efficient, more so for charity, and unlike the old, they open their doors to mainstream. The old legion has all but crumbled in Portland.

The bottom line for business, "If you cater to the normal, you will disappoint the weird. And as the world gets weirder, that’s a dumb strategy." The overtone in today’s culture describes the end of the era of "mass" and the ascendancy of the "weird."
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780867197747
Author:
Kevin Evans and Carrie Galbraith and John Law
Publisher:
Last Gasp
Foreword:
Palahniuk, Chuck
Editor:
Galbraith, Carrie
Editor:
Evans, Kevin
Editor:
Law, John
Subject:
DRAMA / General
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
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Arts and Entertainment » Excess Culture » Everything Else
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History and Social Science » Americana » San Francisco
History and Social Science » World History » General
Metaphysics » Numerology
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » Computers

Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society New Hardcover
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$39.95 In Stock
Product details pages Last Gasp - English 9780867197747 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Before the Internet vomited headlines by the millisecond and turned the minutia of a million boring Facebook lives into news, we were left the privilege of mystery. This was something The San Francisco Cacophony Society gave me in spades. Over the years, I would catch glimpses, collect pieces of a puzzle I was slowly assembling — a car crushed flat by an earthquake miraculously tooling down Golden Gate, toasters glued to buildings, news-clips of mock protests and costumed impostors, flyers for strange art spectacles. Now the puzzle is assembled in this gorgeous graphic collection, a book every lover of eccentricity and enemy of the status quo should enjoy."
"Synopsis" by , 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. A large-format, full-color, hardbound homage to this protean group, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society is packed with original art, never before published photographs, original documents and incredulous news accounts.

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