“La Fete Sauvage” (Handbill from 1993 LA Party)

It seems I have a predilection for the Solstice (I had the unveiling of Crossroads of Curiosity on the Summer Solstice of 2015, and presently I am preparing for the opening of the Institute of Crazyology on this upcoming solstice) .

This is a handbill I made almost 30 years ago while living in Los Angeles. Actually, I was a resident of the venue L.A.C.E. (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) which is still around, but now in Hollywood, and no longer providing live-work space as it did in those days. This show was organized by my neighbors Tim Hayes and Kevin Bourque (the latter went on to produce “Cirque Berzerk”, a Los Angeles based Circus) and featured my good friends, “The Imperial Butt Wizards”, who were one of the wilder acts on the LA scene at the time with raucous absurdist performances featuring pyrotechnics, costumery, and typically loads of stuffed animals that were sent flying around the room, exploded, set on fire, etc.

La Fete Sauvage also featured one of the all-time bad ideas: “Jell-O Pit”. Jell-O does not set and get firm if it isn’t refrigerated, and so a Jell-O pit is just a big syrupy sticky mess. Nothing enticing or erotic about it whatsoever. No one in their right mind wants to wallow sensually in a Jell-O pit. I had learned this the hard way a few years before when I tried the “Jell-O pit” idea at my “Circus of Mysteries” in 1989, and it was really a disaster that made a huge mess at the venue. I believe that I advised against the Jell-O pit for La Fete Sauvage, but the organizers went ahead with it anyway, and had me put it on the bill.

A kiddy pool was set up outside in front of the stage in the back lot where the bands were playing, and I recall that when the Butt Wizards played, an eccentric Japanese photographer who hung around back then (a nice and friendly person that spoke English poorly, took a lot of photos, and always wore flamboyant designer clothing that looked expensive) was seized with a sudden irrepressible frenzy. He jumped into the Jell-O pit and began to dance wildly, sloshing the sticky red liquid in all directions. Everyone in range was getting splashed with Jell-O including the band. No one was really expecting this to happen, but then again I’m not sure what anyone was actually expecting.

I can’t recollect much else about the show. I think there was a lot of fuss about the Jell-O pit and the Butt Wizards after the show. That’s all!

“Shrine of the Desiccated Rats” by LadyBee

“Shrine of the Desiccated Rats” by LadyBee (Christine Kirsten)

Burning Man Archivist and arts curator, Christine “LadyBee” Kirsten, will install her assemblage piece, “Shrine of the Dessicated Rats”, in the “Catacombs of Curiosity” (the network of odd and mysterious rooms lurking behind the Institute of Crazyology).

Peter Shaw “Sides of Barn” opening with Inaugural Ball

The Institute of Crazyology is very pleased to present new paintings by Peter Shaw. These will debut at the Crazyology Inaugural Ball on Sunday, June 20th.

MENDOCINO’/‘RedwoodDuff’2020-2021 environmental-painting series

The ‘MENDOCINO’/‘RedwoodDuff’2020-2021 environmental-painting series artworks are typically made outside and are made with paint on-paper and paint on-canvas utilizing the organic plant materials that comprise the natural ground-covering of the California Coastal Redwood Forest ie. redwood-duff.

Currently, Shaw is making 2-108”x114” on-canvas ‘MENDOCINO’2021 artworks; ‘LavenderMendocino’2021 and ‘BoogieMendocino’2021 as unique large-format environmental-paintings, on white/raw canvas.

Cathenge Installation in Progress

Over the weekend of June 5th and 6th we made a lot of progress on the Cathenge installation at the Institute of Crazyology. Graphic artist and “Emoji Jedi”, Yiying Lu, came by and took these photos showing the installation in progress.

The Institute has beautiful tiled floors arrayed in squares around the stately pillars of the old art deco Cadillac showroom. The atrium gallery has 6 squares formed of bricks and tile to match 6 Catoliths – divinely ordered it would seem. A just so story in architecture that dictated that we place each Cat Goddess in the center of her own square. Thanata, Erotica, Fortuna, Lyrata, Lunata, Solara – the names of the six Catoliths that comprise Cathenge. Each cat is paired off facing another, like Pharaonic statues at Karnak.

The above photos show the process of installation: First, the bases were moved into place using a gantry crane. Then the Catolith spines and the cats were placed on the bases. The next stages will

Lighting in Progress . . .

Arranging lighting for the Institute of Crazyology. Ron Halbert and Maitland figuring it out. That’s an Asmat tribal war shield on the wall. With the uplighting the relief in the carving really pops beautifully.

Ron Halbert experiments with LED uplight as Maitland considers the effect.

On Saturday we will move the cat bases into place and on Sunday we will stand the Catoliths on their bases.

We’re making solid progress at the Institute of Crazyology, and if you like what you see then please don’t hesitate to support the effort:


We’ve raised $600. so far, and we’re very grateful for the support.

Cathenge Trailer Load-In (5/22/21)

Cathenge moved from storage in Alameda at Astra Aerospace to the Institute on May 22nd. It was a big day! Below are some photos documenting the move:

Many thanks to Chris Kemp for keeping the trailer at Astra since 2019. Special thanks to Cheryl Edison for making it all possible to begin with!

Cathenge Load in Crew included:
Akshay Patel
Artur Pyrogovskyi
Barney the Theremin Wizard
Cheryl Edison
Helena Hahnbasket
Jose Van Ness
Liam McNamara
Mark Wurtzel
Samuel Cloud
Tom Breen

Thanks, Everybody!


Institute of Crazyology is a project initiated and led by David Normal.

Collaborators and Crew, Contributors and Supporters include:

Aaron Spaz
Akshay Patel
Andrew Spalding
April Lelia
Artur Pyrogovskyi
Barney the Theremin Wizard
Cheryl Edison
Chris Kemp
Deborah Sciales
Helena Hahnbasket
John Law
John Martinez
Jose Van Ness
Kal Muller
Kalman Muller
Kathryn and Lewis Shepherd
Liam McNamara
Lukas What What
Mark Wurtzel
Neil Martinson
Paul Koudounaris
Roger Mihalko
Samuel Cloud
Steve Mobia
Suci Li
Tom Price
Walter Funk
Yulia Pinkusevich

. . . I hope I haven’t left anyone out!!

Updated 3D Viz for Cathenge at Crazyology

These renders show Cathenge in its definite placement within the Institute. The hall is composed of 6 squares defined by the spacing of the pillars as well as the tile work. There are six cats to center naturally in these six squares.

The renders also show the deployment of the platform triangles into 3 separate two tiered triangular stages. Twelve of the 24 platform triangles made by Andrew Spalding were loaded into the Institute, and all that’s needed is to place them and put legs on them as seen here (and I think I have just enough 4x4s for the legs).