Sunday, August 24, 2008
So affinity how was your Burning Man??? Well it had it's moments, but overall it was too hot and toooooo dusty for a big, older British girl.....
Sitting at the Black Forest Bar on Sunday night before the event, with Nelda, MonkeyBoy, Moze, Hot Damn with eggchairsteve pouring us a drink. Just some of my favorite people in the world, just us, in the dark, we could see the playa starting to light up.
That Harley came and sat and had a drink at the Black Forest Bar while managing the GATE opening for midnight Sunday.
Getting up very early with my iphone and taking photos of the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF), Burners without Borders, the Regional Network and Black Rock Solar and blogging the photos on the BRAF blog, how fun is that, to be able to blog from the playa.
Moze's birthday dinner at ExactLee's camp. Once again some of my favorite people and fabulous food.
Our anniversary party, old and new friends, a long evening with people coming and going. During the anniversary party a group of singers, dressed in german costumes cames a sang us a song or two and only on the Playa moment if there ever was one.
My campmates, each and everyone brought something special to our camp.
The art car ride to view the art on Tuesday night, with the other BRAFateers, a special evening and Aaron and Ellen were fabulous hosts, probably the week's highlight.
Getting to meet Mountain Girl and some of the artist's I have been blogging about and the "Figment" promoter, and the great cocktail party for BRAF.
Helping people make words at the BRAF camp, loved how it looked and sure enough people loved making and taking words.
And the best of all, MonkeyBoy and Affinity's first ever Burning Man without a cross word, not even close to a fight...thanks for loving me MonkeyBoy.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I got an email from MonkeyBoy this am. He is doing great and I am getting reports that he does not look as frazzled as usual, I am thrilled.
I got a job offer last week and the company I work for has decided to match it so I am staying where I am but it has been pretty stressful, but now I am thrilled.
I have been procrastinating on packing, but got a lot done last night so now I am thrilled.
Found a skirt I had silkscreened with Burning Man on it 3 years ago and never worn. Lets hear for not buying new clothes...and I am thrilled.
We were invited to stay in the Black Forest Bar Theme Camp at Burning Man this year and I was a little concerned that we would not fit in and not do our share of the work but it is all looking like it is great and, guess what, now I am thrilled.
Last year at this time my volunteer job for Burning Man was no longer being a good fit, and now I get to blog for the Black Rock Arts Foundation, and now I am thrilled.
MonkeyBoy got to help build the Man this year, and the Man is going up, and now I am thrilled.
MonkeyBoy is working on the Center Camp Cafe, it is in great shape, almost done, bike racks are done, he is having a great time, and I am thrilled.
My car got broken into this weekend to steal 6 bottles of champagne but it is fixed, and I am thrilled.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
HONORARIA, THEME, PLAYA and even CAFE ART, it looks like we've got another year of YANKEE DOODLE DANDY ART that is out there to entertain, inspire and otherwise elucidate your Burning Man addled brains. Put down your shopping lists, faux fur, EL wire and camp agendas for a few moments here and I dare you to finish reading about the ART that hardworking creative people will be installing out there on that POST APOCALYPTIC landscape so you can have something to stand next to when you're getting your picture taken to show all your friends back in well .... AMERICA.
WHERE ELSE do so many people of different cultures and ideologies come together to build a HOME where they can share their potlatch, where all over you have a CORNUCOPIA unmatched in our planet's history with BBQs on sunny days and partying every night; where political parties accuse other political parties of using the POWER STRUCTURE for their own means at the expense of others, where we're always thinking that the GOOD OLD DAYS were the best days and those are far behind us, and that our FOUNDING FATHERS really knew what they were doing, but sometimes maybe we've lost our way.
WHERE ELSE can you see FOSSIL FUELS BURNED with such great abandon, yet also have plenty of people who are innovators attempting to power their FANTASY LAND with alternatives? Where else do you have people trying to get in illegally, way out in the desert with the Border Patrol trying to keep them out, with PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD who have heard of us thinking, someday, they'd like to come here? Where else do you see such a cavalcade of IDEAS and see such a community of people who can weather the WORST OF STORMS and come together when they're needed for a common purpose to shine and show what they’re really made of?Yep, with all its problems, America isn't so bad.
This year Mr. HARVEY asked us to consider the Dystopian slide of the American Dream (with shades of Hope and Fear 05's "tarnished squalor of the Gilded Age") but to "leave narrow and exclusive ideologies at home" and to "carefully consider your immediate experience" as it relates to the possibility of "Freedom, opportunity, inventiveness (and) the power to transform one's self."
I'm not sure exactly WHAT THE FUCK that means, but I do know that living in America with all of its foolishness and all of its perks, has provided an environment of shared bonds and wealth that sustains all of us who attend this little Bacchanalian GREAT AMERICAN HOLIDAY that’s not your father’s labor day, unless of course your father comes to BURNING MAN, to the Temporary Autonomous Zone that just keeps rebuilding and tearing down, coming back to one of the most inhospitable places on the planet. It is TRUE, all is not good in our fine little country, for there is America the plundered, where Nationalism can be manipulated so that forces who don't give a fuck about our country can GLOM ONTO FEAR to fleece us like a flock of red white and blue sheep.
Freedom can disappear overnight, and that is usually how it disappears.BUT EXERCISING RADICAL SELF EXPRESSION, I believe is one way to thwart their malevolent intent, so really, this whole exercise in creating a community with values that are counter to the worst parts of America, but that are entirely in line with the best parts of our society, IS NECESSARY and when it’s all said and done, WE'RE JUST DOING OUR CIVIC DUTY.
But enough of that bullshit. What's the FUCKING ART looking like this year?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BIG PENIS ART
He had a hard year in ‘07 so It is quite possible that THE MAN will take the place of the BIGGEST PENIS this year, up on his INTERNATIONAL TOWER that will be locked down tighter than an Israeli Airport and that will be surrounded by Pavilion pieces like ELLIS ISLAND – BLACK ROCK CITY by Amy Shapiro and the TALKING VOTING BOOTH by Eric Griswold.
The latest Michael Christian joint with Auriah Milanes, Scottie Chapman and David Andres is called ELEVATION and is... "a fully climbable mountain constructed of winding tube steel ladders that elevate to a seated perch for one on its peak, at 54 feet." I fully expect the first person to reach the summit to be none other than our Veep DICK CHENEY who will SNARL, SWEAR and SWEAT for some time before he expires from dust and sun exposure and tumbles to the ground, to be rushed away by the Secret Service to an undisclosed bunker beneath the Re-animation Wing of the Reagan Presidential Library. Once he’s gone, the rest of us will be able to climb up there. Expect long lines.
BASURA SAGRADA is this year's big ass temple and it promises to be another huge throbbing structure on the playa made from all kinds of recyclable things. Rest assured, they will burn it all, so don't despair, fire and catharsis happens on Sunday I assume. From the description: "The temple is comprised of five main structures, with a group of outlying buildings growing towards a central nave clad in a series of spires that reach towards the sky." As always, it will be a place to grieve, a place to contemplate and a place to hear people screaming for other people who are standing to SIT THE FUCK DOWN on that most peaceful Sunday night when we're all contemplative and shit.
BABYLON - by Philip Raiser is an installation where you'll have your picture taken and then it'll be projected onto this 100 foot tower. This project kind of reminds me a little of 05’s Headspace by Matteo. It'll be interesting to see if ANYONE at Burning Man is so vain as to want to actually see themselves projected across the playa for all to gaze upon because we all know that Burners are generally kind of camera shy, but I wish them the best.
It figures that the FLAMING LOTUS GIRLS would have what looks to be one of the largest penis on the playa, and it looks like MUTOPIA isn’t going to disappoint. There is a SEED POD, there is a SWIRL, there is a PHILOSOPHY, and I’ve heard there are red white and blue colors involved somehow. And it looks to be larger than the SERPENT MOTHER, but I’m not sure of that. Count on this being a nightly destination.
I'm also betting on another installation, ALTERED STATE, by Kate Raudenbush to be not so much just a big penis up there, but a BIG INFLUENCE. I kick myself for missing the Belgian Waffle, aka Message Out of the Future as the NEXT BIG THING in ‘06, so I'm putting some chips on Raudenbush. She's doing a "symbol of the United States Capitol" that "becomes a mirage of mythical creatures fabricated of elaborately carved white steel. Each cut is rendered in the archetypal graphic style of Pacific Northwest Coast Indian imagery." It looks big, not HUGE big, but BIG nonetheless.
MUTOID WASTE CO... SPAGHETTI WEST TEN is a MOBILE piece that is an "animatronic fire-breathing metal horse" that pulls a covered wagon, "one-third Little House On The Prairie and two-thirds Horseman Of The Apocalypse" All Hail the Anarchist Robo-Demigods. I miss Draaka and Contessa. Bring on the MUTOID WASTE.
KETCHUP by Bruce Bender, is a 31’ tall bottle of Ketchup in the 4:30 Plaza. While not one of the biggest penis structures, it is American as all get out.
My bet for LANDMARK THAT PEOPLE USE TO NAVIGATE disappearing and causing countless people who have lost it, THE MAN and most of the other large lit up structures on Sunday to get lost and to stumble somewhere far from where they *thought* they were headed is the LIGHTHOUSE by Pippin A.E. Wigglesworth-Weider. The project is a "wooden framework standing eleven meters tall. On top it emits a friendly revolving light" and "may be seen as a reference for navigation". For us Americans who never moved over to the Metric system in the 70s when we had a chance and could have stopped measuring temperature by the heat in a chicken's underarm, 11 meters is 36.09 feet.
ILLUSION by Benson Trent reminds me of 04's Jadu Beta by Saul Melman but with big balls instead of piled plastic things with little dusty chill spaces inside. It is the space of several football fields and it lights up at night so it will be unavoidable.
And FINALLY something as obvious and bound to happen eventually, as say, someone climbing up and setting THE MAN on fire prematurely, comes WELCOME TO FABULOUS BLACK ROCK CITY by Steve Roper. My bet for one of the most photographed art pieces on the playa this year, it is the newest epic piece to someday live in Las Vegas' Neon Boneyard, or perhaps it will replace that Jetson's Signage that was just removed this year from behind the BMHQ in San Francisco, over by 280.
So we move onto RANDOM ART PROJECTS that stand out after several readings. I don’t have the FLAMETHROWER SHOOTING GALLERY here because it is in the FIRE FIRE section, but it and the following are a few of my favorites....
CHECKPOINT DREAMYOURTOPIA by DADARA. As he has for years at Burning Man, DADARA presents a his surreal take on the theme that touches on the whimsical and beautiful, yet that carries a message. It is a truly interactive piece that is a “border control checkpoint, where one can enter the world of his/her own dreams" I highly recommend this one.
POOL by Jen Lewin. I don't know if this will be this year's CUBATRON or LIGHT HARPS or not, but it is a light sculpture and I really enjoy big colorful lights doing interesting shit at night on the playa when things are getting weirder and weirder by the moment. They calm me.
GARDEN AND GROTTO OF MANIFEST DESTINY by Randy Polumbo brings to mind Jeremy Lutes Lily Pond in 2002 with sex toys and is, a "flower field comprised of bizarre satellite-shaped blossoms" that are "techno-organic LED illuminated flowers with solar panel petals and stamens are made of softly glowing sex toys". I hope this pans out because it sounds delightful.
STOP DON'T GO DON'T STOP by Thomas Fjallstam is a traffic light intersection. I just want to go sit there for a moment and watch the lights change without having to see cars passing along.
ZSUZSU: THE CRYBABY DRAMA QUEEN by Mister Jellyfish. There is a BUZZ about this already. I have no idea what to expect, but “She refuses to come out but demands your attention and gifts. ZsuZsu blames you for her discomfort and inconvenience. She also hates heat, dust, loud music, art and "Heepies". ZsuZsu's Spiteful Tower is a replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, erected in front of her trailer and festooned with red lights-- a bar graph "mood meter" to indicate her current state of angst. Participants are invited to push buttons that communicate different messages to ZsuZsu through her intercom in an attempt to influence her feelings. When ZsuZsu's mood reaches its peak, the door opens and her robotic body leans out for a surprise tres magnifique!”This Year’s FINE ART mention goes to the SHRINE OF FORTUNA by Art Farm, a “mixed-media painting and altar installation” that features “an eight foot by twelve foot portrait of a beautiful woman, representing Fortuna, the goddess of fortune and fate.” You will understand when you see the tattooed altar where every idea dripped down and made a mark. We’re fortunate to have her grace our playa.
NATIVE AMERICANA ART The reality of the people who lived on this continent for EONS before EUROPE EMPTIED OUT THEIR PRISONS and chased all their religious fanatics to the “NEW WORLD” is well represented this year and includes:
AMERICAN NIGHTMARE by Damian Phoenix. I’m intrigued by the "ancient spirit that has roamed these lands since the dawn of time; the old Aztec priests used to call upon it during their sacrificial rituals. It is the god with no name - the watcher - and it has seen the destruction and reconstruction of the United States.” This is no Playa Chicken. Sounds most righteous, yo.
AMERICAN DREAM CATCHER, as cliché as that sounds, is "similar to a traditional Native American dream catcher but in a semi-collapsed state. It represents how the pressures of attaining the American Dream have taxed and burdened our entire earth." There will be monitors embedded in this project perhaps in 05 "Bed in your Head" style.
OTHER PROJECTS IN THE SAME VEIN INCLUDE: NATIVE AMERICAN TEMPLE by Ronald Cincinnati that "embodies a convergence of history, architecture and spirituality at a crossroads where indigenous cultures confront the American Dream." OUR RELATIONS by Sharon Strong Armstrong is "a prayer spoken by Native American people acknowledging the web of life that connects all beings; an installation of masks, embodying the spirit of that prayer, envisioning a world where we honor the earth as our home." TRASH FENCE by Bob Noxious -- A large American Indian tipi is adorned with every nation's flag. And SELF EVIDENCE by Robert Bengtson, et al is a sculpture of 12 figures tattooed with the constitution that lead into a tipi.
Raudenbush's ALTERED STATE also includes Pacific Coast American imagery and I appreciate the hell out of the SNARK in this one: RESERVATION by Kim Chee that "represents Black Rock Desert land repatriation for territory stolen by the US Government years ago - a superb example of the gift economy in action!"
FIRE FIRE FIRE!!!
I've mentioned the FLAMING LOTUS GIRLS project MUTOPIA, and there is so much there you should check it out yourself at mutopia.wordpress.com/
Everything I know about BURNING PROPANE and enjoying it without second guessing myself, I learned at Burning Man and that’s why, of all the FLAMING ART PROJECTS this year, my favorite as written is the FLAMETHROWER SHOOTING GALLERY by Matisse Enzer, a shooting gallery "county fair-style" that encourages radical self expression by "encouraging participants to ..play with fire and shoot things"
Fuck yea. Nuff said.
Close to MY HEART is a project named PYROCARDIUM by False Profit Labs that is 15' tall and has a stethoscope participants can use to make flames that dance with their heart beat. Sounds warm. Sounds worth checking out.
CIRQUE de FLAMBE PYRO CIRCUS is having what they say is their last show on the playa after 10 years. This is the org that includes Wally Glen’s Pyro Boy among other notables and they were spinning fire before it became the craze. Hell, they started the craze. If you've never attended one, this is your last chance on the PLAYA. "One show only will be held on Wednesday, August 27th at 10 PM out in front of the Cirque de Flambé camp.
"The LAST CIRQUE de FLAMBE goes into that DARK FLAMING NIGHT in the same year as another time honored Burning Man institution as SPIKE'S FUNERAL PYRE sends their VAMPIRE BAR into FIERY OBLIVION as a fantastic towering shrine to the “infernal wickedness and a tribute to all those depraved souls who found joyous and infinitely sinful love within its malevolent and unholy confines” A DARK WAVE GOODBYE to one of the coolest dance camps on the playa. EVER.
PSWARM by the Dept. of Spontaneous Combustion are a bunch of machines that " include 15' long, 9' tall 2-rider behemoths weighing over 1,000 lbs each and geared to walking speed. Each features a propane fire effect capable of 40 ft plumes of fire" and they roam in the playa in a pack. A forty foot fireball is something that will get your attention.
THANKS MOZE, You rock as always!
photo mr. nightshade
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The work was hot and dry and dusty and hard, but at the end of the day, there was an awful lot to show for it. ….
There were actually about five miles of fence to show for it. And the rest of the fence was going to be finished on Saturday. That’ll be NINE miles of fence built in two days!
If you haven’t heard already, the Burning Man footprint is a lot larger this year. In the past several years, the circumference of the perimeter fence was six miles. But now, as a crowd in excess of 40,000 is expected, everything has been pushed out — the Esplanade, the area around center camp, and the fence. So everyone will have more room, but it also means that everything is further apart. So you might want to make sure there’s air in your bike tires, because you’re definitely going to need it.
The fence build is an amazing thing to behold. Everyone meets for a 6 am breakfast at Bruno’s, and Logan gives the rundown for the day: “Who wants to pound some fence??!!” he yells, and there are whoops and hollers throughout the room.
And he’s not kidding when he says “pound.” All of the metal stakes that are driven into the hard-baked playa are pounded by hand. Burning Man LLC could no doubt rent a pole-pounder, but the DPW crew won’t hear of it. Getting out there at the crack of dawn and smashing those stakes into the ground by hand is a point of pride. You crank the music, splash yourself with sunblock, tape up your hands and put on your gloves and get to pounding.
A big semi loaded with stakes makes its way around the playa, with a crew in the back tossing stakes to the ground. Then the pounders come along and do their thing. Then another crew follows, and they tie three levels of string between the stakes. Finally, another crew comes up and attaches the familiar orange mesh fence. And they do it hour after hour in the hot baking sun.
From Burning Blog
for more http://blog.burningman.com/index.php
photo John Curley
Thursday, August 7, 2008
They are rocking out there!!
There was a little rain and lightening outside Gerlach yesterday and the lightening started a little fire. A plane flew over and dumped some fire retardant and then some firefighters showed up and finished putting the fire out....
Okay, sounds like it a foretaste of Burn night to me.
You know, this year, we're also doing a collaborative group photo shoot (which we'll pool later and also exhibit surrounding Center Camp next year). I actually just posted it on the Flickr Blog as a Flickr-member shoot.Would you be willing to FlickrMail your flickr contacts who might be going to BM to see if they wanted to join the collaboration?Examples of past photos & more info: wdydwyd.com/bmshoot Flickr-member meetup link: upcoming.yahoo.com/event/860133 (just posted the Flickr/Upcoming event, so only 4 people have signed up, but I have 45 photogs that have registered through a poll)Best,Fidget (aka Tony)
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
So on the Ranch MonkeyBoy has been retrofitting bike racks, getting them ready to surround the cafe. He has pulled all the bike racks out of the containers to see which ones need repairing.
Then on Sunday, Gerlach put on a picnic
So fence builders are wandering into town, a few more every day. And tomorrow is FENCE...all hands on deck, everybody helps and then on the weekend the crew moves to the Playa.
I have not heard much about conditions on the Playa, but if I do I will let you know.....
Friday, August 1, 2008