Living Outside the Law

You’d think that a person with the name “John Law” would always follow the rules. You’d be wrong. This John Law has spent much of his adult life getting into, onto, over, under, and around places he wasn’t supposed to be, in the name of exploration and guerrilla art. Law was a founding member of a group called the Suicide Club – and later the Cacophony Society – whose street theater and daring acts were aimed at upending the social order as well as conquering personal fears. An example of their civil disobedience was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge in the middle of the night – on the suspension wires. “Anything the government does to protect me from myself, I consider tyranny,” Law says. Some ideas Law helped originate caught on and have become commonplace. Ever hear of Burning Man? How about SantaCon? Law was among the founders of both events. He abandoned those efforts as soon as they took steps toward mainstream acceptance, looking for the next creative frontier. His latest? Detroit, a largely abandoned industrial wasteland that’s a veritable playground for the likes of Law. In terms of the artistic community, “It feels like San Francisco did around 1987,” says Law, who has a new book of short stories called The Space Between. Tonight Law is interviewed as part of a roving event called Media Ecology Soul Salon – MESS. Film clips of Law’s uncivil acts are included. Be there to learn about San Francisco’s creative past – as well as its future.
Fri., Oct. 22, 8:30 p.m., 2010

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