San Francisco Institute of Possiblity

From the blog

Your First Chance to get CHEAP TICKETS to Camp Tipsy!!!

Camp Tipsy is all about showing up and making magical things out of re-purposed materials.

So in that spirit, this year we’re only offering the cheapest level tickets to Camp Tipsy 2018 to people who show up!

Come have dinner with us!  We’ll make food for you, provide entertainment, talk about how to make boats of out junk, and show some amazing photos and videos from last year!

Never been to Camp Tipsy?  Come out and see what it’s all about!

Love Camp Tipsy?  Bring all the friends who you think should be there!

Our Early Bird Ticket Supper Club is:

Wednesday, Oct. 11

7:30 – 10:30

At the San Francisco Institute of Possibility building: 3359 Cesar Chavez, San Francisco, CA 94110-460

These events are the only way to get the Early Bird tickets to Camp Tipsy!

In October, our musical headliner will be Daniel Fries the Flamenco player !

Get Tickets Here!

Join the Camp Tipsy Facebook Community here!


Out of the Ashes in Oakland

Out of the Ashes in Oakland, Bay Area Arts Organizations Vow to Enhance Venue Safety and Support Community and Underground Art Spaces

San Francisco, Dec 9th, 2016 – For many Bay Area artists, Oakland’s terrible fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse is a call to action.

“This should be a time for grieving, but artists are already being evicted,” said Courtney King, a Board Member of the San Francisco Institute of Possibility (SFIOP), an arts and education non-profit. “The very community most affected by the loss of life is now facing the loss of its homes and livelihoods. The damage to individual lives and the vitality of the Bay Area art scene is worsening every day, and we must act now.”

In the wake of this tragedy, many of the Bay Area’s artists, musicians, performers, and leading community arts organizations are determined to ensure that the loss of life is not compounded by a loss of culture.

“Underground art spaces are integral to the unique character and success of the Bay Area. They are not a problem to be solved — they are part of the solution to the Bay Area’s affordability crisis,” said Colin Fahrion, SFIOP Board Member. “Safety does not need to come at the price of access to the arts for all people. We can have both, and it begins with community outreach.”

Nonprofit arts organizations in Oakland and San Francisco are now beginning to coordinate outreach and response efforts, including the SFIOP.  The SFIOP board has also formed a partnership with We the Artists of the Bay Area (WABA), a group of talented individuals that has recently joined together in response to this tragedy to help protect the Bay Area’s vital art culture. WABA’s quick growth has been impressive and it is now on track to be the largest self-organized groups of artists in the Bay Area.

The SFIOP is developing partnerships with these organizations to share expertise and create a joint program to reach as much of the community as possible. The goals of this program are to:

  • Connect a network of experienced event managers and place makers to the community and underground art scene in the Bay Area.
  • Offer free, confidential consultations on the state of current venues with an emphasis on safety. The network will offer assistance on everything from managing exits to upgrading electrical wiring.
  • Offer free classes on safe venue development and effective event management.
  • Help educate local governments on the value of these spaces, and the housing problems artists face in the current economy.
  • Serve as liaisons between underground venues and local governments, where appropriate.
  • Encourage regulatory agencies and property owners to work with these all important creative spaces and foster their growth, rather than shut them down.

“The Bay Area has an extensive community of artists who have been running daring but safe events, in all kinds of spaces, for decades,” said Tyler Hanson, cofounder of WABA. “We lead the world in our collective expertise on these issues. This is a tradition to be proud of and a vital resource not to be overlooked. And that is why we are organizing an alliance, to be artistic voice for this community”

Cofounder of WABA, Will Chase agreed. “Working with local agencies, we can make immediate strides in safety while supporting the Bay Area’s diverse art scene. The answer starts with open communication, and a message to artists that their contributions to our communities are valued.”

For more information, contact

Benjamin Wachs
Board Member of the San Francisco Institute of Possibility
(415) 862-4273

The San Francisco Institute of Possibility is a Bay Area based 501(c)3 arts and education non-profit dedicated to creating a sustainable ecology of art: enabling new and established artists, fostering community and civic engagement through art, and perpetuating an inclusive artistic community that lives the art it produces. Since 2013, the SFIOP has produced large and small scale interactive art events in the Bay Area, involving hundreds of local artists.

What Constitutions Can do for Arts Organizations – a public dissertation defence


While many artists involved with the SFIOP already have their copies, the official release date for the forthcoming “Book of the UN” has been set for March 8, where a “dissertation defense” of the book’s thesis on art and culture will be held at the Booksmith in Berkeley.

Many of the theses in the book were initially tried and tested as art events in the San Francisco Bay Area, including SFIOP events such as Camp Tipsy, the All Worlds Fair, and especially The Fallen Cosmos, which has its own section in the book.  (And whose “Gifting Graphic” is displayed in the art above.)

You can stay tuned to this channel for more details about the dissertation defense and the book release, but in the interim it’s worth considering the fundamental thesis of the book, which proposes that arts organizations need to stop thinking in terms of organizational charts and start thinking in terms of citizenship:  arts organizations must develop constitutions, and think of themselves as constitutional cultures, in which rights, privileges, and responsibilities are made explicit rather than assumed.


Camp Tipsy At East Bay Maker Faire This Sunday!

It’s fun to build a boat! Even on dry land!

This Sunday we are going to be at East Bay Maker Faire as Camp Tipsy with a pile of junk asking any and all to help us build boat — even though we are on dry land!

Come Join Us!

East Bay Maker Faire
Sunday Oct 23rd 10 a.m.—5 p.m.
Park Day School + Studio One Arts Center
360 42nd Street. (@ Opal)
Temescal district, Oakland

Discount tickets!
15% off tickets. Go to and then plug the code TIPY

Photo Booth Photos From Descent Into Madness!

Decent into Madness was Magical!

If you missed the amazing Boschian parade of abominations you can relive some of the magic from that night by checking out the photos from the Garden of Earthly Delights Photo Booth!

Check out the Photo Booth photo gallery!

Thanks to SnapFiesta for setting up and taking the photos. Also thanks to everyone who marched in the Parade of Abominations and thanks to all the guests who came and took part. Some of you came dressed up in great outfits where it was hard to tell the performers from the audience which we loved. Also thanks to all of you who jumped at the chance to paintings from the walls at the end of the night!

Lee Van Laer’s Esoteric Analysis Gallery Tour!

Sign up for a Lee van Laer’s Esoteric Analysis Gallery Tour!

During the Decent into Madness event we have installed in the gallery Lee van Laer’s Esoteric Analysis: an in depth interpretation (of thousands of interpretations available on the painting) of Hieronymus Boschs’ iconic painting The Garden of Earthly Delights. The interpretation is so complex, you need a guide to take you through it and answer your questions!

Buy Tickets to Decent into Madness

Sign up for a Esoteric Analysis Gallery Tour!

Descent Into Madness – THERE WILL BE A PARADE!

What have we learned about the power of art to not only change individual lives, but serve as an organizing principle of organizations?

Descent Into Madness, an event produced by the San Francisco Institute of Possibility, will provide the answer to that question in two forms:

  1.  A book
  2.  A parade

This may be the first time in history that a parade will be used as a pedagogical technique to answer questions about the principles of social organizing … or honestly just about anything else.

But we’re doing it, with concepts taken from decades of collective experience in art and community organizing, along with costumes from the SFIOP’s epic “Fallen Cosmos” event.

You’ll learn everything you need to know, in parade form.

The event is free for anyone who contributed to the “Book of the UN” Kickstarter.  Otherwise it’s $20 at the door, and you get a free advance copy of The Book of the UN, written by SFIOP executive director Chicken John Rinaldi, and edited by SFIOP Board Chairman Benjamin Wachs.

Here’s the details:

  • WHEN:  Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, beginning at 8 p.m. and running late
  • WHERE:  111 Minna Gallery, in San Franciso
  • WHAT:  Expect a street fair, gallery tours, bizzare happening, the pre-release of a book that will change your life, and – oh yeah – A PARADE!  DID WE TELL YOU ABOUT THE PARADE?


If you didn’t contribute to the Book of the UN Kickstarter, then, get your tickets here!

Camp Tipsy 2016 Survey

Hello there,

Camp Tipsy 2016 was hands down the best Camp Tipsy yet. We were able to spend some time on aesthetics, and really design a beautiful camp. It was also better organized, safer, and more interesting than years previous. Having a full lake is great, too! Unfortunately, Camp Tipsy 2016 was not a financial success. If you would like to review our budget here, you can see h ow we spend our money. Read em and weep guys! We lost $8,000 of money calculated, plus tools, consumables, and other stuff not calculated.

If there are any of you out there who would like to help us get closer to breaking even, you can go to our shopify store and either get a t-shirt or a hoodie. If your pockets are deep and your heart is big and you’d like to atone for all of those awful things you’ve done, you can give us a straight up donation by paypal to or write a check and pop it in the mail to 3359 Cesar Chavez, SF CA 94110.

Also to consider: the RV park in Ladoga in which we store “The Pile” changed ownership this last year. The new owner had some specific ideas on how he wanted our pile contained. Long story short, it cost around $12,000 in materials and shipping containers and labor… but the good news is that delicate stuff is now out of the weather and we have secure storage for equipment, tools, etc. Adding this to the deficit of ticket sales gives us a total negative balance of -$20,081.


So a lot of people don’t realize that Camp Tipsy is thrown by three people. It’s just me, Jimmy, and Peter. Anne-Marie is our cat-herding admin, and we had a couple helpers for clean-up this year, but otherwise the three of us were there for 23 days with no days off– everyday was at least a 12 hour day, some of them were 20 hour days. We love it. But moving forward, we have to have more fiduciary responsible and we need more help, whether it is paid help or volunteers. It’s just too abusive on our bodies to continue with this model. Please review the budget and feel free to open up a dialogue if there’s anything in there that you think is egregious or underdeveloped.


We are already planning Camp Tipsy 2017 and want to make it as golden as it can be– would you mind filling out our quick survey? 8 questions, one page- it’ll take 2 minutes!


Camp Tipsy 2016 went off without an argument, an injury, and the forklift didn’t break once. So congratulations to all of us. Good show!


I see Camp Tipsy as a possibility engine. It’s a device that uses Chaos to manufacture magic moments that change the world. You can’t buy that.  You can’t buy magic moments.  But you can buy a t-shirt, make a donation, help us break even, you can help us create a small place in the world where everyone has a chance to build the world’s best terrible boats out of garbage with their friends and families.  Tell me that’s not the best offer you’re going to get all week…



chicken john

Descent Into Madness Parade

Be part of the Parade! Call to Artists & Doers

Okay, who wants to be in a parade?! We will dress you, feed you, get you drunk (and give you a book!) and you will be in such good company! We need 200 (or so) people to make our Descent into Madness parade come alive. We have more than half of the people we need, but we want to make this an epic spectacle and a great night for the people that come!

Book of the Un release party
Oct 1st 8pm (parade at 10, make up at 8:30!)
111 Minna gallery (we are doing a street closure on Minna betwixt 2nd and New Montgomery)
$20 admission … plus you get a book! (of course free to people in the show)

The whole night is an exploration of an interpretation of Bosh’s iconic painting The Garden of Earthly Delights as was presented in the Fallen Cosmos. If you came to the Fallen Cosmos, and would like to don your pink and blue outfit, now is the time!!!

Chicken John is releasing the long awaited volume 2 of his Book of the Is/Book of the Un series, and since the Un has a chapter on the Fallen Cosmos, we wanted to play with that idea one more time. We asked a few people and everyone we asked was super down. So we thought about it- we’ve got the whole street- what should we do with it? A Parade! So Johna is back to making costumes and there are racks and racks of them. We still have all the props and the gallery show that will hang on the walls of the gallery. We just need YOU!

Write us back and pick a day that you can come to our SF warehouse (in the bayview right off 101) for a fitting. or

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to other kindred spirits!

If you can’t be in the show, please save the date and still join us in celebrating on a beautiful October evening!

The Lake Is Beautiful! You Should See It!

The Lake! The Sky! You have to come see it!

If you were in any small way on the fence about coming to Camp Tipsy this year, do it!!! Come! It’s shaping up to an amazing year already! The Teeter Totter is already in the water and the Shop is already set up. But most of all the lake is just stunning with so many great camp sites (with tree shade even) right on the water!

It’s not too late to get a ticket and come. Come tomorrow or come on Wednesday or Thursday when most people show or hell even Friday, whatever just come. You won’t regret it!

Yay Boats!

Buy A Ticket

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