Don’t touch me there

Lexy on the left and Heather on the right congratulated ... Joe the Builder! ... on his Ladies Night heroics.
Lexy on the left and Helen on the right congratulated ... Joe the Builder!

So, it would seem like the men of the DPW here in Black Rock City look forward more than a little bit to dressing up like the inner babes that they are for Ladies Night.

Seriously, we are talking major strumpet activity.

It was a night of crossovers. All of the men HAD to be dressed as women in order to get into the party, but a lot of the women did the double cross and dressed as men.

It was the kind of night where you really had to be careful who you were grabbing, and where.

Elo in fishnets, Tennessee in a tight tank and oh my god Joe the Builder as the tranny you had no idea he could possibly be.

Easy Going was a beautiful bride, Logan was more than a little fetching, and there just was so much hot male/female action, you’d think this might not be the only day of the year these dudes break out the hot pants.

An all-star judging panel of Megs, Serra, Austin and Big Spoon  had a gargantuan task on their hands, going over all the entrants and awarding prizes in various categories. In the end, it was Joe the Builder who copped the Best Female award, and it was pretty much by acclimation. Apparently he knows how to build a feminine physique along with an electrical system and a Center Camp.



And a bunch more photos after the jump.


Culture Labs on the Playa

copy_of_2009_brc_culture-labs_map_3I just have one more thing to tell you about before I finish my packing, do the last of my cooking and get out on the road to that BIG thing in the desert.   Haven’t you always wanted to know more about the outreach groups of [BM]?  You hear they are placing art in China, and solar in Nevada, are creating community activists everywhere, and have events hosted locally as far away as Spain and as close as Silicon Valley.

I have a special place in my heart for the outreach groups, [BWB], [BRAF], [BRS] and The Regional Network, and have to admit a bias for the Black Rock Arts Foundation since I blog for them, but all of the outreach groups are out there creating our culture and making a difference the other 51 weeks of the year.

The Man is risen

look-whos-hereThe excitement is thicker than ever, people. The light is beautiful, the Man base … I’m not wanting to blow smoke here, but it’s pretty damn incomparable.

And now, the Man himself has taken his place in the middle of things, right where he belongs.

Can you feel it?

It’s all getting so close.

Vishnu’s Dream

Artist's Rendering
Artist’s Rendering

vishu-rope_lights-40vishnus-working-40Another little tidbit for you before we all leave for the Playa (although my sweetie has already been there 2 1/2 weeks helping to get ready for your arrival). Coincidently, my good friend Moze wrote about Vishnu’s Dream in his fabulous post Moze’s Top Ten ART PROJECTS And Then Some.  That was the same week I contacted Vishnu’s Dream to get some “in progress” photos from them. Coincidence or great art coming our way, you decide?

Safe landing and preparing for lift-off

Sean Orlando in the belly of the beast
Sean Orlando in the belly of the beast

Sean Orlando and the Raygun Gothic Rocketship had a safe landing in the desert early Monday morning. Two semis and an accompanying truck hauled the gleaming piece up from the Bay Area, and it was assembled in the beautiful light of the late afternoon.

It’s a massive thing, weighing close to 5,000 pounds, and there isn’t a more unlikely object to be found on the playa. The rocket is covered with a gleaming silver metal skin, which was stretched on an English wheel and pressed into place by hand.

rocket-ship-aug-24-2Sean of course is the man behind last year’s Steampunk Treehouse, which, incredibly, is NOT on display publicly right now. Sean says there’s an organization in Delaware that is negotiating rights to exhibit the piece, and he’s hopeful that the Rocket Ship will wind up on the Embarcadero in San Francisco after the burn.

It was amazing to watch the pieces come together for the first time yesterday. The ship had never been assembled before, and of course there was a fair amount of last-minute improvisation going on to get it upright on the playa. The crew watched arm in arm as a crane slowly raised the pieces into position.

There are three chambers to the rocket. One includes the living quarters, navigation and communications equipment. Another will feature an alien specimen lab and various alien life forms,  including a sculpture from Barbara that honors the memory of longtime Burner and artist Tom Kennedy. The piece references three of Kennedy’s art cars — Ripper the Shark, the Whale Car and the One-Eyed Wonder. (more…)

Route 447: America’s Solar Highway

Over the last couple years, Black Rock Solar has been busy sprinkling solar power arrays throughout northern Nevada.  In fact, they’ve been so busy, that Route 447 (from I-80 to Gerlach) now boasts the most (120kW) gifted solar power than any other route in the country.  It has thus been (unofficially) dubbed “America’s Solar Highway”.

And what’s particularly cool is that you can see them from the road.  So if you’re driving 447 on your way to the Burn, keep an eye out for these solar arrays (in order):

Wadsworth School solar array, on the right, just after you turn onto 447.
Solar array at the Natchez School in Wadsworth, on your right just after you turn onto 447.
Nixon Health Center solar array, on your left just as you enter the town of Nixon
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Medical Clinic solar array, on your left just as you enter the town of Nixon.
Solar array at the Gerlach School, on your left as you pass through Gerlach.
Solar array at the Gerlach School, on your left as you pass through Gerlach.

Black Rock Solar is paving the way to socially-conscious radical self-reliance (from fossil fuels) in the real world.  Watch for these solar arrays along your way to Burning Man, and enjoy a nice smile of satisfaction when you spot ’em.

Just another day at the office

Helen invaded the Oculus crew headquarters
Helen invaded the Oculus crew headquarters

Monday is a funny day to be out in the desert.

You can’t help but think of all the people who are beginning their work weeks, just like normal. … And although it’s true, this is a work week out here, too, with meetings and deadlines and responsibilities and all the rest of it, still, with all of that, we’re not kidding anybody. This is different. These are not the salt mines. This is not the cubicle. This isn’t even the corner office.

This is beautiful red sunlight at dawn. This is huge open skies and hot sun overhead. This is impossibly blue skies with perfect white puffy clouds. This is a whole bunch of people who have a common sense of purpose and are accomplishing something really special.

Boxes and boxes of decor were being unloaded
Boxes and boxes of decor were being unloaded

At the 7:30 meeting, Dave X had some advice for those planning to burn large objects out here at Burning Man. The key piece of advice is to not soak the object in gas. You might think that’s pretty basic advice, but apparently it’s a mistake that keeps happening. Soak it in gas and you  get a big “whoooosh” and then big big flames, and it’s usually not too happy. What you want to do is soak your show in DIESEL, and then use just a little gas to get things going.

There are some people earning high school diplomas out here on the playa. Victoria has gotten the state’s ok to award diplomas from … here it comes … Black Rock High School. It’s apparently all legit. I asked about the curriculum and the requirements and Victoria said, “If you can survive out here, you can survive in the world.” So if you haven’t got your high school diploma, this is a place you can earn one. (more…)

Pro Tip: The Go Bag

Before you leave for the playa, do your future-self a favor and pack a “go bag” of clean clothes for the slog home. I keep mine in the front seat of the car during the event. After everything has been torn down and packed away, before I step off the playa and into the car, I drop trou and change every item I’m wearing. The bag contains blissfully clean stuff that hasn’t been tossed around my tent with the dirty bits. It’s the only way to go for the long ride home: clean undies, dust-free sunglasses, unscathed flip-flops, a hat to hide my scary hair. Clean shorts and a T-shirt feel restrictive and straight but when I stop at a diner along I-80 I’m glad for the armor. You’ll still look crazy-dirty to the outside world — might as well not bring the funk too.

If you are flying home from Burning Man this advice is more of a mandate. Kisses!