Posts during January, 2014


January 20th, 2014  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

A few thoughts about “Caravansary”

Arrival of a Caravan Outside the City of Marrakesh (Edwin Lord Weeks)So … “caravansary,” huh?

Okay … a few thoughts.  Three, in fact.

 

1)  Yippie!

I have to admit that on a purely imaginative, aesthetic, level, this theme hits my sweet spot.  Fires my brain, inspires my fancy, in a manner that has nothing to do with rational appreciation.

I’m prepared to admit, if pressed, that there’s no accounting for taste, but I’m announcing my bias:  I can’t give a fair accounting of it because this theme makes me want to write a series of short stories about a fantasy-world bazaar loosely based on real-world Burning Man.

I’m not actually going to do that.  I’m probably not actually going to DO anything about the theme at all.  I’m much too lazy for that level of commitment.   I just “go to Burning Man” and see what happens.

But yeah, on an inspirational level?  Loving this.

 

2)  Potentially challenging to Burner culture

Read more »

January 18th, 2014  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

A Bite of Therapy

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
Photo: philippe glade

Photo: philippe glade


by Dr. Durck

On one of the last days of BM 2013 I went in the late afternoon like it was my habit as an older single to Center Camp and to look “what was up” and to get a cup of coffee.

Cup in hand I walk around in the crowd there, watch the people in the center of center camp doing their calisthenics, partner exercises, yoga moves and whatnot. I also notice people resting on pillows and blankets, dozing, sleeping, still others listening on the sofas to a performance on the stage which sees action 24/7 and there are, of course, lots of other activities, more than one can and would want to describe here.

And somewhere in the crowd I notice this beautiful Ca girl sitting on a small stool with a tiny round table in front of her offering “relationship advice” and “for singles too” is added in clumsy girlish handwriting. Read more »

January 14th, 2014  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Hug a DPW

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
Photo: Slona

Photo: Slona


by Jim Sweet

Working in the DPW auto shop is tough, the crew is on call 24-7 right up to the end of the event and through clean up. It can get more than a little hectic. We’re trying to keep all the DPW vehicles up and running and assist all the participants off the playa. I was having one of those days and running on fumes myself when I got a call to go out and assist yet another vehicle to get it started and off playa. I rolled up on this janky old RV in Kidsville sputtering and cranky from lack of sleep and was all ready to make everyone’s day even more miserable than it already was. When I rolled up and got out of the truck one of the kids came right up to me, gave me a great big hug and said “Thank You for helping us out.” and I hadn’t even pulled a tool out yet.

Well… All that cranky nastiness just seemed to melt away when that young man hugged me and thanked me, it made my day. I was able to get them on their way and the rest of my day was just that much better for having heard two simple words… Thank You

January 13th, 2014  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Wanna help John Law save some history?

They're not usually this colorful - that was an art thing. (Photo by Scott Beale)

They’re not usually this colorful – that was an art thing. (Photo by Scott Beale)

For decades Burning Man co-founder John Law has been one of a small band of pranksters bringing the historic Doggie Diner Heads to cacophony and counter-cultural events.  It may not have been at Burning Man, but it’s been a part of our scene for years.  I’ve seen them coming around the corner, parked on the streets – it’s magic.

Being John Law he’s done the work, logged the miles, paid for the gas, and everything else out of his own pocket, without asking for a thing.

But now, after all these years, the Doggie Diner Heads need repair, and restoring three vintage, 10-foot-tall, 300lb fiberglass and metal sculptures is a pretty big job.

If you’re interested in helping, check out the Doggie Diner restoration project Kickstarter page.

It’s a great cause, he’s offering some fairly astonishing rewards at the higher levels, and it will keep a delightful part of our San Francisco Bay Area weirdness going for another few decades.

Take a look.

ADDENDUM – I’ve just learned that the Doggie Diner Heads have been to Burning Man twice:  in 1993, and 1996.  Waaaaay before my time, but clearly a part of our history!

Caveat is the Volunteer Coordinator for Media Mecca at Burning Man is the former mascot of a fast food haggis franchise that never made it big outside a neighborhood in Glasgow.  His opinions are in no way statements of the Burning Man organization. Contact him at Caveat (at) Burningman.com

January 12th, 2014  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

The Story of Biscuit

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
Photo: Lanny Headrick

Photo: Lanny Headrick


by Margaret Jones

It started with an evening of work. It was early in the week and I had a beginning shift of watching a gigantic sphere spit fire with a best friend of a month. The benefit of this was that we had almost all night to explore the newly created city. Just a little virgin biscuit and a veteran heading out to see the center of our dusty universe: the man and the temple.

Compared to the other nights of burning man tonight was relatively free of distractions and we made short time to the base of the man. It was here that I lost my mind. We climbed the narrow and winding stairs. It was dizzying even without intoxicants. Luckily I gazed into the zoetrope closest to our bikes, otherwise I may have become entirely lost. Read more »

January 10th, 2014  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

The Jam at the Man

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
Photo: Bobby Pin

Photo: Bobby Pin


by Steve Andrews

It was Wednesday night of my first burn, and I was dancing amongst the treetops of a mobile tropical island. I can’t remember what time of the the night it was, nor did I care, having let go of any inclination to know the exact hour and minute the night before. There are only two tangible times on the playa – sunset and sunrise. Whatever happens between those events seems to blur from one to the next, yet the sun’s daily arrival and departure were already becoming ritualistic times to take a deep breath and smile.

So there I was, some time between sundown and sunup, deep into Wednesday night yet still rocking a Tuesday tutu having not slept a wink the night before. We were far out in deep playa – total darkness in three directions. To the west, a city skyline unlike anything else in this solar system Read more »

January 8th, 2014  |  Filed under News

Solving Burning Man’s Traffic Issues

Line of Cars, 2011 (photo by Peg Ortner)

Line of Cars, 2011 (photo by Peg Ortner)

Traffic is the greatest impediment to the growth and sustainability of Black Rock City. Burning Man is under pressure from the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Department of Transportation to reduce the number of cars entering the event. Highways 447 and 34 are at max capacity during the event and we’re being asked to pay for road damage caused by participant vehicles. Road travel represents 60% of the carbon emissions related to the event.

And the #1 challenge experienced by participants last year? Entry and Exodus.

Clearly, it’s critical we address the traffic issue — and we can only solve this problem by working together as a community. To that end, Burning Man is expanding existing programs and launching new ones to encourage participants to rideshare or take alternative transportation. These programs include:

Awareness
Our community has always policed itself — and changed its behavior when necessary — through awareness. That’s how we became the largest Leave No Trace event in the world, against seemingly impossible odds. Burning Man will continue pushing this information out into the community throughout the year so we can solve these issues together.

Burner Express
Burner Express exceeded all expectations during its inaugural run in 2013, accommodating 2,459 riders to and from San Francisco and Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and participant feedback about the experience was overwhelmingly positive. This year we will expand the service, increasing capacity to 5,000 riders. Tickets for Burner Express will go on sale in late February … keep an eye out for an announcement of exactly when. Read more »

January 8th, 2014  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Taking My Mom to Burning Man

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.

IMG_9934


by Aaron Neilson-Belman

A little over three-weeks ago I set out from Toronto, Canada in the Hippie Van with my friends Yana and Germaine as well as my Mother.

Over the past three weeks I have probably heard the exclamation, “You’re bringing your mother to Burning Man!?” at least a couple dozen times. Some inquirers were amazed my mother would want to come to Burning Man and others were amazed that I would want to bring her along. Read more »