Hello out there, MOOP maniacs! Today, we’re giving the intrepid Playa Restoration team a little respite from their work restoring the Black Rock Desert. Instead, let’s turn our attention to another group that goes above and beyond the call of duty to make Burning Man an amazing experience: mutant vehicle owners.
Posts in art cars
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! Read more »
When Burning Man first moved to the Black Rock Desert in 1990, there was hardly any structure and certainly no roads like we know today. In fact, there were so few people on playa that driving wasn’t an issue. When our population grew to several thousand people all congregated together, though, driving became more dangerous. In 1996, there were a number of vehicle vs person accidents, including one with an intoxicated driver running over two occupied tents. Serious injuries resulted, and an already questionable situation was pushed over the edge. It became clear that free-for-all driving wasn’t compatible with a primarily bike- and pedestrian-oriented city. The city was also ready for some more organization that made driving less workable, and less needed.
“Art cars” had been a part of the Black Rock City (BRC) culture since the early years on the playa, and no one wanted to see that go away, even if most driving would. So starting in 1997 only art cars were allowed to drive the streets of BRC. At first, you could drive if you were driving an art car, and if you were driving something else, you were asked to stop. After a couple years of this, it became apparent that a little more organization and planning was needed, and the Department of Mutant Vehicles (DMV), then a part of the Rangers organization, was formed.
Tuesday night someone climbed up on top of the Thunderdome and hung a Hot Topic sign over their sign. Brilliant. If you know who Deathguild is, you’ll appreciate the prank. At first we thought the Billion Bunnies may have done it, but “Hot Topic” wasn’t misspelled and none of the letters were backwards, so it probably wasn’t them.
We’re in full swing here in the magnificent potlatch of Black Rock City. The intermittent dust storms seem to have settled and everything is playa tested and approved. Please keep your head and arms inside your vehicle at all times. Evidently, every odd numbered street is one way, so please observe all traffic signs and comply with requests from officials. If you are pulled over for post gate inspection, please co-operate with your friendly inspectors. They’re pulling people over with much flourish to their carport of flashing lights and cones, then giving them tamales.
Also, don’t be surprised if you are the proud recipient of the Black Rock City award. Rumor has it that all over our fair City, the Animal Control are waiting for someone to go into one of the Porta Potties, then while they’re in there, they lay out a red carpet and they’re all dressed fabulous and carrying trophies. When the unsuspecting citizen opens the Porta door, they are greeted with a group of showgirls presenting trophies to them and paparazzi. It is quite the scene.
A few other things that more than likely are not true, but everyone seems to be talking about them:
The theme next year is 2012. Burning Man is always ahead of the Zeitgeist.
There are Monkey Pox and Unicorn Flu moving through Black Rock City. You obviously get Monkey Pox from kissing monkeys, but Unicorn Flu, contrary to popular belief, does not come from dust, it comes from dust masks.
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