When I was about 16, I had a personal religious quest. I wasn’t raised in any religion, and suddenly found myself full of questions. I took a broad approach in looking at different religious ideologies, and read prolifically on a variety of different philosophies and approaches.
I ended up someplace much more delinquent. At that time, Denver was home to a large, underground industrial music and art scene. Folded into the mix was neo pagan occult movement. I was a pretty angry teenager, so this all appealed to me.
Denver was one of the largest hubs in the world for Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, a very cryptic and deviant collective that centered around Psychic TV. For the most part I found the whole TOPY thing a bit silly, but I did like Psychic TV. The real draw for me from this whole scene, however, was a band from San Diego that was somehow connected to this whole scene, Crash Worship.
Seeing this band perform was something else, completely indescribable. They performed frequently in Denver for a few years, though the local government tried to ban them, accusing them of Satanic practice.
Their concerts were trance dances, full of primitive drumming and industrial sound collages, usually staged in the abandon outskirts of Denver. And anything was possible in their shows. Nudity was pretty common, and one of their performances in Denver even ended in an orgy (I wasn’t at that one). I do remember being at one show that began with the audience being sprayed down with wine, and a bonfire built out of discarded television sets.
So in going back to Denver to make photographs, I looked to record this history too, to find some evidence of it on the streets today.