Mutoid Waste Company was founded in the early 1980s by Joe Rush and Robin Cooke in London, England, collaborating with Alan P Scott and Joshua Bowler. Mutoids were best known for their recycled art installations at Glastonbury Festival.
In the 1980s, they organized illegal free parties in London, influenced initially by psychedelic rock and dub reggae, but then embracing the burgeoning acid house movement, thanks to the influence of Mad Max and Judge Dredd comics. A group known for creating giant welded sculptures out of waste materials and customizing broken down cars, the group also painted large murals in disused buildings where they held parties that were described as “part street theatre, part art show, and part traveling circus” in the 1986 LWT documentary South of Watford.
The group fled the country during police raids on their King’s Cross warehouse in 1989. They moved to Berlin, Germany, where they became famous for constructing giant sculptures out of old machinery and car parts, including ‘Käferman,’ a vast human figure with a Volkswagen Beetle for a chest, offering the Bird Of Peace statue overlooking the Berlin Wall and the regime of East Germany. They collected scrap military vehicles, including a Russian MiG-21 fighter aircraft which followed them wherever they went, and a pink tank known as “the Pink Panzer.”