Kevin Evans first proposed a Cacophony Society trip to Black Rock Desert. He attended the aborted 1990 Baker Beach burn and, along with P Segal and John Law, helped spearhead bring the Man to the Black Rock Desert. Kevin attending every year, from 1990 to 1995.
Kevin Evans reports on the early days of Burning Man:
Labor Day weekend, 1989. I, with my roommates Miss P., Dawn and a mutual friend Cindy attended a wind sculpture event in the Black Rock desert sponsored by Planet X pottery in Gerlach Nevada. We hauled a lightweight mobile canopy bed (our sculpture) on top of a tiny sedan out to this remote, inhospitable area. The surreal local combined with mobile sculptures was both incredible and inspiring. That weekend was one that had a great & lasting impact on my life. I never wanted to leave. The desert attracted and stirred me, and I knew I had to go back.
It’s so empty its full…
Dawn once said “it’s so empty its full”.
When I returned to the Bay Area and started my final year in art school, I rallied a few friends and schoolmates around the idea of planning a Labor Day weekend trip to the Black Rock desert. I had been reading Hakim Bey’s “Temporary Autonomous Zones” and his ideas struck a chord.
At that time I was into the youthful notion of destroying parts (if not all) of my artwork as a meditation on impermanence and the importance of flexibility. These concepts fused into a plan of generating a creative incident in the Black Rock desert with a central theme, the ritual destruction and immolation of both structures and artwork (a lager manifestation of the meditation on impermanence and the importance of flexibility).
For an impoverished, young and naive art student, this vision seemed far too grand and expensive to accomplish alone. I decided to present the scheme to my good friend John Law (whom I had met through my involvement in The San Francisco Cacophony Society) and that was when the idea for Zone trip 4, Bad day at Black Rock was officially hatched as a cacophony event.
I approached this individual because I sincerely considered he was (and is) person of great veracity and he would respect and lend a hand in my somewhat delusional concept. I was correct in my impulse and the event was to happen.
Along the way, a few months from the target date of the Zone trip, I attended the Baker Beach burn of the Burning Man. Fortunately, (via the intervention of both the San Francisco police & fire departments) the monolithic figurine was not razed.
Amidst chants of “burn it anyway!” and pagan-like drumming, a few of us cacophonist including Miss P. and Dawn thought it would be a great idea to invite Larry and his man along for our strange ride out to the Black Rock. If anything, he had the biggest, most expensive and elaborate piece of firewood that would make a glorious conflagration.
It was a magnificent, awe-inspiring weekend. I would return and participate for the next 4 years, 1995 being my last year.