Interlude Docs

Doc 018: Cary Loren

Interlude Docs

In the summer of 1973, I stayed with artist Jack Smith for a few weeks in New York City. I returned to Ann Arbor and started a live theater, film and sound project in 1974, inspired by Smith’s work and vision. These midnight performances included noise music, actors, stage props, costumes, and often turned into filming events in front of a live audience. The flyers were small (2″x3″) and run off on a type of heat-based copier. These would go up on telephone poles and handed out in the streets to generate interest. The audience that came would often wind up as actors.  

During the spring or summer of ’74, I met Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley at the Hill Street theater and we soon began meeting in the basement of their commune known as God’s Oasis to practice music. My girlfriend Niagara joined us in the winter of ’74 and Shaw named the group Destroy All Monsters a few weeks before our first live performance at an Ann Arbor comic book distribution center on New Year’s Eve.  

Cary Loren is a filmmaker, musician, photographer and founding member of the Destroy All Monsters collective. He lives in Detroit and is the proprietor of The Book Beat, a visual arts bookstore.