Photos of Desert Siteworks by Judy West

Online Video

Desert Siteworks project was an early precursor to Burning Man. A lot of the artistic methods and rituals were worked out on a small scale by William Binzen, Judy West, Pepe Ozan, John Law, and a small army of artists and sculptors working with found materials in the desert.

Prior to Binzen's input and Ozan's fantastic sculptures, the Burning Man event was a costumed cocktail party on the playa, organized by the The San Francisco Cacophony Society.

John Law1

"Waiting for News" by William Binzen

William Binzen organized Desert Siteworks through the Cacophony Society Rough Draft newsletter. He and John Law produced the first Siteworks event at Black Rock Springs in 1993, which Judy West attended. She met William Binzen at one of the first Madrina Group meetings, when they were organizing to buy the old Best Foods factory across the street from Project Artaud.

Pepe Ozan, a member of Project Artaud, built his first Lingum at Desert Siteworks in 1994. He joined John Law and Judy when they returned to Burning Man a few months later. When he built a larger Lingum and designed the ritual performance around it, took his place as the premier creator at Burning Man.

Site 1

Black Rock Hot Springs, Black Rock Desert, Nevada, photo by William Binzen
- 1992


Tales of San Francisco Cacophony Society : Desert Site Works
Taking place in the Black Rock Desert over the Summer Solstice for four years running, William Binzen conceived, crafted and implemented Desert Siteworks with 15-25 participating artists, as a philosophy of collaborative art as life. "These early Desert Siteworks sessions pioneered the “Intentional Community” philosophy that informs and inspires the best components and participants of the Burning Man Festival to this day." Tales from the Cacophony Society.

San Francisco Cacophony Society ‘Rough Draft’ & Suicide Club Newsletters (1986-2001)
Cacophony Society Redux

Sadly Pepe Ozan passed in 2013. He blazed amazing international trail of art and cultural feats that will influence millions of lives around the world. His sculptures are scattered around the globe and his films are screened to audieneces all over the world. Much will be said about this wonderously free spirit who believed that anything is possible and proved it.
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