A Promise

The pilgrimage, the lines, the coolers with fast melting ice.
Expectations, shedding the layers …the layers …the layers.

Am I here yet? The hours drift by. Camps are erect, RV generators hum, the layers become, become glowing with anticipation.

Night falls… with music, glow sticks, and bikes …ah how I loved riding the playa at night.

…dust, neon, lack of sleep …art-cars and sunrise bars. We come from afar …to light up the night sky, strut our flame, and awaken who we are!

We Are! We Are! …all here blossoming, flowing, nurturing our creativity …a part, a scene, a piece of what seems …to be, to be, the whole of everything.

The man burns… We chant with excitement. Whooping and hollering. We cannot be bothered… not by the default… not by me or you… not by the layers. Here it is all new, new but familiar. The music starts, the night is young …we begin our dance ’til the rise of the sun.

The temple burns–we are solemn, we sit, we wait, we hold our breath. …hello …good-bye …to those no longer by our side. The flames rise, they slow, we stand in honor at the ashes on the playa floor. We wander a bit, but not before leaving something… a wish token perhaps, a loved one’s ashes, a promise for next year… Yes! A promise!

by OnnaMove

Death by 1000 cuts

Ah the sweet afterglow of Burning Man. It truly was wonderful being out there with all the Art and our Friends and the Freedom of Expression and the ADVERTISEMENTS.

Good use of your truck side

Ads? Do you even notice them? Yes dear fellow citizens, I know it is shocking, just shocking that any for profit entity would attempt to stealth their name with viral marketing or otherwise sinister attempts at promotion into our fair event, but it is there. Now I do not speak for the ORG so this is all entirely my own blather, but I go to Black Rock City to escape the constant barrage of companies doing what Mr. LH mentioned so eloquently in 1998…they do these demographic studies, and they find out what people think they want, and then in a kind of séance they summon up before you the Ghost of Your Own Desire and they sell it to you.


And what qualifies as corporate infiltration? Artists have logos. Big sound camps have logos. What if all the company does is give away a service like say, the people with the Bird Logo who Tweet? Their camp on Rod’s Road had their logo proudly emblazoned on their bus all week. Sure, Tweeting from the playa is a great way to let the world know what’s going on out there and the people with the Bird Logo who Tweet have been coming for a few years. And don’t get me wrong, I love them and all. Their ability to bring people together to overthrow oppressive regimes, to expose human rights abuses, to let me know when @Sn00ki is “gettin crazy w my bitch” and to organize all manner of Santas and Zombies for pub crawls is unmatched.

But that logo just kind of bugged me.

the people with the Bird Logo who Tweet banner

We don’t sell things out there, except ice and coffee and evidently that helps the local schools or something. We are a GIFT economy, not the V Festival. This isn’t Shakedown Street, this is Burning Man. And while those things have their place, we are intentionally different in Black Rock City.


See there are these 10 Principles and number three is this:

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.


The Demon’s Face

He had the best burn ever

The playa was rough and even with my flashlight it was too dark to see the bumps in front of my wheels.  Every jolt was a surprise, and instead of relaxing into the ride it made me stare at the ground even harder, as though I could pierce the darkness by concentrating. 

That’s how I almost missed the flaming altar, and the cluster of people around it.  I nearly biked right into them.  They were whispering to each other and nearly missed me too: one of a million near collisions that happen at Burning Man every day, averted at the last minute as I veered off to the east and hit my breaks, coming to a bumpy stop. 

I turned and shone my flashlight on their backs.  There were maybe seven people huddled around an altar with a small flame, and behind them were three large towers.  Maybe climbable.  Either they’d appeared out of nowhere, or I had. 

I love the deep playa.  I love it when something appears there, like a dream.  I was going deeper tonight.  All the way in.  But first … I wanted to see what I’d nearly knocked over, concentrating on the darkness so much I’d missed the light. (more…)

In Dust We Trust

“Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten.”
— Neil Gaiman

We love to hate the dust. It gets into everything, it sticks to anything. What it touches is marked for the remainder of it’s  significantly shortened lifespan. I believe we ingest a lot more of it than we imagine. Fighting it — believe me, I’ve tried — is useless.

But I find that when I quit fighting and embrace the dust, and I mean truly become one with it and of it and in it, it becomes almost impossible to become actually dirty. And my camera gets a magical Shield of Immunity against playa, and so I go out and shoot what the dust reveals.

Hawaii CORE project

Dusty Couple


and that’s a wrap

Many people rose with the sun to greet the day at the Temple

Yesterday was our last day on the playa, and we tried to make the most of it. Up with the sun, down with the moon, and everything in between.

It’s a funny year for us, because leaving before the Man burns is a little like foreplay without the … well, you know, no need to get graphic. But maybe it’s a little like what many of you are feeling in this sold-out year; you wanted to be here for the good times, but for whatever reason you couldn’t make it. So we’re feeling kinship with you, even though we’ve been here for a month, watching the city grow and being with the people who make it happen.

But off we go, and the big final act for us was the CORE burn, where 22 effigies built by Regional networks from around the world went up in one big little Burn.

The Regional burns surrounded the Man

It was a giant collaborative effort among the Regionals to have a greater presence and visibility on the playa. It added significantly to the sense that there was more major art, and more quality art, on the playa this year.


Hello From Burning Man

photo: Logan Mirto

Just a little note to say hello from Burning Man.  We miss you if you are not here.  Thinking of you.  As always there is a lot going on here. BIG art, lots of community and as always heat and dust, although it cooled off a little yesterday which makes me very happy.

And a little shout out to the Dust City Diner, we hear it is their last year on the Playa, and they are making the rounds to ensure all of their volunteers and people who have helped support them all these years are getting by to say farewell to them.

Photo by MonkeyBoy

And here is a small shot of the Man before he burns tomorrow night.