I recently saw Daft Punk play at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and beside the fact that the cheeky French duo’s light show blew my mind, i couldn’t help but notice the sea of glowing blue-hued screens of cellphone and digital cameras capturing that particular moment of the concert.
It increasingly feels like we as a culture are becoming more preoccupied with capturing a potentially “special” or “unique” moment on some sort of recording device in an age of YouTube and MySpace, where everyone is jostling to be noticed and recognized among the masses just to say “I was THERE!”
While I definitely like the concept of recording those special moments to relive again and again, there’s no arguing that a digital rendering simply cannot recreate the moment quite like being there and experiencing it.
In other words, enjoy Burning Man for what it is — Live and be in the moment!
Because there are so many different things going on at any given moment at Burning Man, every single person who attends will have their own unique experience unlike anyone else. And that’s what makes Burning Man so great! It’s all about what you make of it. If you’re an early morning riser, maybe you enjoy taking a stroll around the playa before ending up in Center Camp sipping a cup of hot coffee. Maybe you’re a latenight person interested in checking out some dance camps and getting your groove on till the break of dawn, then you sleep all day. Or maybe you’re the type that devotes a portion of each day to getting to know your neighbors, then go out in the evenings and look at the art.
Whatever you like to do, it’s important to remember to stay in the moment and let things just unspool naturally. Don’t try and attempt to maintain a regimented schedule (unless that’s what you’re into doing). Fly by the seat of your pants. Be spontaneous. You’ll be surprised at what kinds of things float your way.
It’s funny, despite having attended Burning Man for so many years, I recently realized I have relatively few photos documenting my experiences. Sure, there are a few things I wish i had photos of but then again, if i really want to find a photo of a piece of art i liked, i could simply scour photo sites like flickr or page through friends’ personal websites. But even if i do find a photo of what i’m looking for, it rarely, if ever, comes remotely close to the pictures i’ve saved in my mind. And nobody can take those away!
So stop worrying about documenting every little thing you see and do. Burning Man doesn’t work like that. It certainly shouldn’t be viewed through a lens or LCD viewing screen. Besides, you’re supposed to have those cameras tagged anyway!