From the New Introduction:
Join the Party
This is the record of the AAAZ, the Antarctic Astral Autonomous Zone, that occurred on the night of August 31st – September 1st, 1987.
Hakim Bey is the author of Temporary Autonomous Zone. It’s a cultural milestone for a wide variety of subversives from anarchists, occultists, vandal artists, and freaky festival people. The main idea of TAZ was to create exactly what it sounds like TAZ is about: creating places that serve as alternative realities to the prevailing system of control. Specific times and spaces designated to let chaos free, and allow psychological and social mechanisms to self regulate and mutate beyond the confines of so-called consensus reality.
The focus is on having individuals find and establish meaning on their own terms. Creating a TAZ requires face to face interaction and dialog, in a sense, creating an art form which is impossible to ever fully record or understand. In the void where stagnancy and boredom once ruled, wild fantasies called real life take root. The elusive genuine article, with no possible televised reenactments.
Before TAZ’s thought virus would reach the anti-capitalists and the rave scene as it did in the 90′s, many of the people who recognized the value of Bey’s work were few and far apart. Mail order culture was the primary mode of communication with the underground for many people in the 80′s. The postal world seen within the pages of High Weirdness by Mail by Ivan Stang has now mostly migrated to cyberspace, where many of these fringe cultures have exploded into bonafide phenomenas. In the meantime, the mutants who were plugged into the paper trail of fresh ideas were yearning for an opportunity to encounter a TAZ. This meant finding a ‘Zone’ which was totally unexpected.
It was decided to meet astrally or in dreams, at a specific sacred space in Antarctica. Bey sent invites out to his network, and arranged for everyone who participated to send him their experiences, which he would then compile and send back out. What you end up with is an compilation of rare works by an all-star cast of individuals who comprised the occulture before there was a word for it. In this instance, the media created here facilitated a syncing up of communal experiences, and was an essential component of the AAAZ, yet not the AAAZ in itself.
The objective reality of astral projection is inconsequential to the AAAZ. What is of importance is the narrative, lives encouraged to be lived mythically, drawing those lives together in the process. Then again, for those who do entertain astral experiences as accepted facets of reality, the AAAZ was most likely one of the earliest documented records of shared lucid dreams and consciousness. It is historically important for occultists, and personally fulfilling for those who got to participate in it.
The AAAZ is a window into the past, where long distance communications were laced with art and magic, and the viability of a tangible occult community was seemingly infinitesimal. This book provided my endeavors with a deeper sense of purpose to what I have been developing with esoZone, and PDXocculture, an open group in Portland, OR for individuals with esoteric interests. It was as if my magic was supplemented by ancient spells spoke at the AAAZ, spells that were finally close to reaching total fruition. “Find the Others”, Leary’s famous phrase, has become irrelevant. More people are networked than ever before, and they are well on their way to having an alternative reality subsume the toxic aeon preceding it.
This is a rare work that has only been previously released to the original participants. It is provided in its first reprinting to the participants of esoZone as a bonus gift, and as a memetic primer. Be sure to look out for works by Coil, Shirley Maclaine, James Koehnline, Ivan Stang, Feral Faun (aka Apio), Reverand Crowbar (aka Susan Poe), Trevor Blake, and of course Hakim Bey. All notables to be sure, but I can think of someone more important.
This is where you come in.
The coincidences you are experiencing as part of esoZone ARE REAL.
All the doorways of the venue have been transmuted into portals.
They lead twenty years into the past from Portland [Land of Portals] to the Antarctican AAAZ.
As you navigate the space of esoZone, you may notice dimensional leakage.
It is no accident and a very special effect. Have fun with it.
Interact with entities and your awareness of the past and present places, slipstreaming into the future.
Tell your friends.
If you are up for it, during the exact 20 year anniversary of the AAAZ, on the night of Aug. 31st, take an astral voyage. Bring your memory back to esoZone, and the experiences you had within it, and use the doorway Portals to the AAAZ of 87. The rest of this book should prep you for the journey.
This time, there will be no zine compiling the experiences. Take advantage of our Aeon. Post about your adventures online wherever you normally post, and if you do not have a space for that, start an account on Irreality.net. Your words will find their proper destination, and be part of a grand chain of events that leads to something currently inconceivable, twenty more years down the line.
New Alamut, Portal Palace