Whether you can twiddle it, tweak it or twirl it, Burning Man art oftentimes requires the viewer to somehow complete the piece through their engagement with it. With interactive art, the viewer becomes an active part of the experience, rather than a passive observer. They become a participant.
And an awesome corollary to this is the unexpected combinatorial whimsy that spontaneously happens in what is essentially a community of 50,000+ performance artists spending a week in a giant dusty idea factory. Here’s a place where you’ve got fish, and you’ve got fishermen. You’ve got maids, and you’ve got dirty people. You’ve got folks running around in animal costumes, and you’ve got Animal Control officers. You’ve got platforms, and you’ve got performers. And you’ve got an appreciative audience that might just get involved, given the opportunity.
This, of course, makes for a fabulous melting pot to brew up those magic playa moments … those serendipitous vignettes you stumble across and find yourself uttering “Oh my God … only at Burning Man” before chuckling, shaking your head, and smiling as you head off to the next adventure. Yes, if Burning Man offers us one thing, it’s the permission to rediscover our inner child … to be spontaneous, and PLAY.
So here you go … here’s a quick collection of some great ones that were caught on film. If you know of others, pop a link to them in the comments, and tell us the story!
La Contessa vs. The Whale (2003)
A classic dance/confrontation between the (late, great) Spanish galleon La Contessa and (the late, great) Dan Kennedy’s Whale.
Lion Attacks Zebra (2011)
The stuff that goes down on the Serengeti, only not quite what you’ll see on National Geographic.
Regatta at the Pier (2011)
Build a full-fledged pier on the playa, and you can expect a regatta of all the boat and aquatic mutant vehicles to break out.
Gypsy Queen Catches a Fish (2011)
The Gypsy Queen trawler goes on playa fishing expeditions … here’s how they catch their prey.
Black Rock City Animal Control vs. Bunny Car (2008)
You just can’t beat BRCAC … especially when they’re wrangling a pack of rogue bunnies.