Posts in burning man

September 10th, 2009  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings

That Heavy Sunday Moon

El Dorado
I’m writing from Room 906 in an undisclosed Reno hotel casino, or as we like to call it, 9 o’clock and R. It took me 20 minutes to get to the truck and back because every dusty Black Rock City refugee stopped and wanted to talk about Exodus and whether theirs was good or not so good. You can spot Burner cars in Reno, the really, really dusty ones loaded with all manner of camping necessities; the ones that other Burners have traced images of the Burning Man through the playa dust onto the clean paint below.

Sunday was a great day as we tore down the Man Museum so that our long timers wouldn’t be stuck with all the loading on Monday and Tuesday. As we were taking apart the shade, two bikes collided on the Esplanade out front and we ran over to them. The two girls involved stood up and hugged each other. No one was hurt and they went on their merry way. Only in Black Rock City do you have a “Hit and Hug”.

Man Museum 2009 Exactlee and Crew

Man Museum 2009 Exactlee and Crew


Yes, there were intermittent dust storms Saturday and Sunday, but that didn’t slow us down. Sunday was a party to celebrate cleaning up after our last party, which was a celebration of the previous party and so on.

Then we began getting ready for the night’s festivities and THAT MOMENT came about, the time when….

… the dry-pulverizing desert sunshine suddenly disappears with a pop, as the sun dips behind the Granite Range to the west of 34, and that harsh white daytime baking spotlight on the playa is replaced with a breathtaking cool gentle sky of gorgeous uterine pinks and blues that enchants and makes everyone so beautiful; makes the colors come alive, then it all slides slowly into a purple gray slate sky, and Black Rock City suddenly comes alive.

Dinners and cocktail parties are in full force and the Esplanade is packed with those going to and fro, all fabulous. Photographers live for that brief moment and they save up their shots to get there and shoot the Art. In camps, lights shake off the day’s dirt and start their twinkle and costumery is suddenly warm as shadows play tricks on the eye. Daytime sculptures go to sleep and the night time Art comes into focus as El-wire cars passing light up and suddenly make sense and take shape and everything is transformed as we slowly slide into the night time world where planets and grand constellations rise and dance across the sky with much felicity above our temporary bacchanal.

Sunday night the Moon rose full and heavy up over 2:15 to the south east and as citizens beheld it, a great howl arose from all parts of the City, a primal howl that made you look to the sky and see what they saw and in turn, howl yourself, because it felt right and good after all the time out here in this magnificent City.

If only all cities howled when the large moon rose close to the ground all around.

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August 26th, 2009  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

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?
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August 20th, 2009  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Bio*tanical Garden

eyes_0911You won’t have seen ALL the art until you see Bio*tanical Garden by Rossella Scapini.  This is a view of the avant-garde in biological harvesting.

ears-cropped-2 This innovative greenhouse cultivates human organs and body parts in pots until they are ready to be trans-planted!  Bio*tanical Garden is one of the 2009 Honorarium Installations so check it out an be amazed!

photos: Roxmund

September 15th, 2008  |  Filed under Building BRC

Let’s do that again some time …

It’s like a memory now, isn’t it?

The dust is out of your hair and your clothes. You’ve been sleeping in your own bed again, and maybe you’ve been out to eat. And you’ve gone to the refrigerator in the middle of the night, and you’ve had whatever you damn well pleased, because you could.

And isn’t it sad?

I saw the full moon coming up the other night, and all I could think of was the LAST time it was full, and it was rising over the desert hills, and someone was saying on the radio, “Hey, you hippies, have you seen the moon?”

Everything was still ahead of us then — the light and the dust and the music and the art and the wonder.

I waited a week before getting the playa out of my car. It turns out that after all that time and all that wind and all that heat, I discovered on the long ride home that I really really loved the smell of the dust, and I wanted to hang onto it as long as possible. And when I washed the car, the last physical remnants of the experience would be washed away, too. And I wasn’t ready for that. Not at all.

I had thought, after more than three weeks out there, watching those amazing people build the city and install the art, that I’d be really ready to leave. But of course I wasn’t. When it came time to go, it turned out that I wanted to stay forever, or at least until I could help take the city down. Complete the cycle.

But I couldn’t stay, the default world was calling, and when I hit the road, it was a jolt.

I couldn’t believe what a rush people were in to get off the playa; granted, they wanted to beat the crush, but even late Saturday night, the exodus had begun. People were going fast, passing each other, not caring about kicking up the dust anymore. That brought me back to when I was a kid, in the back seat of the car as my parents left the church parking lot, and watching cars cut each other off, all the rudeness and impatience. And I thought, all that talk of love and peace inside the church, and look at you now. And I’ve always believed that those parking lot scenes were the beginning of my disaffection with organized religion.

But that’s another story, and that wasn’t the feeling that stayed with me as I hit the road to Gerlach, and then past Empire, and then into the darkest hours on Indian land. Because there was too much to remember, and too much to look forward to. Read more »

August 24th, 2008  |  Filed under Building BRC

poppy field

Gary Miller of Philadelphia has installed Papover Rubrum Gigaxiticum (the big red poppy) field. Those are solar-powered garden lights in the center, surrounded by cut and riveted aluminum, on PVC pipes that sway in the wind. Can’t wait to see it glowing in the darkness.

August 23rd, 2008  |  Filed under Building BRC

final prep

We watched the Man watch the sun go down

We watched the Man watch the sun go down

Are you packed?

Were you up all night? Have you wrapped up the loose ends? Have you finally decided what will just have to wait until you get back? I know, I know, no way. But just get your mind around it: You’re going to be away for a week, and I promise, the the minute you hit Gerlach the rest of your life is going to seem like it’s a long way away, I guarantee it. It’ll be ok.

Things are going to slow down and become more simple. Your customary items of conversation — the conventions, that new iPhone cover, they’re all going to fall away and you won’t miss them. In their place will come concerns about the basics: food, water, shelter. Oh, and love, friendship and fun. The basics. It’s what’s really important, and it’s pretty much what happens here. Things become more fundamental, and it gets a little easier to live in your true self. You’ll be less connected to the world, but more connected to people.

The Man actually has a heart, too. And a lot of the people who worked on him sign their names to it.

The Man actually has a heart, too. And a lot of the people who worked on him sign their names to it.

Sorry. I might have gotten carried away there for a second. It’s happened a couple of times now. I was out at the Temple yesterday, and ran into Shrine, the artist behind it, and I mumbled something about the “feeling” of the Temple emerging, that quiet, contemplative mood that will only get deeper when people start to bring out their own mementos, and you’ll look at the pictures and read the stories and your heart will ache. But I think there was just too much happening for Shrine, too much still to happen, for that feeling to have taken hold for him.

Speaking of the Temple, the major structures seem pretty squared away, and now all the amazing decorative pieces are being welded and attached. But I did hear that there was a bit of a problem with the second level, something about “wobbling,” which you’d have to view as a negative. This is an unconfirmed report, but this is a blog, so I’m going to take that liberty for now. And the only reason I do it is because I also heard that after some thought about keeping the second level off limits (not really a good option), an engineer arrived and figured out the way to make it all rock solid. So off we go.

The opening is really pressing down upon the city. Read more »

August 19th, 2008  |  Filed under Building BRC

If you see a fork in the road, take it

If you've made it this far, you're almost Home.

If you've made it this far, you're almost Home.

August 19th, 2008  |  Filed under Building BRC

out and about


Monday, Aug. 18.

The wind arrived last night, and it didn’t stop all night, or all the next day. And with it came the dust.

It’s been curious to be so relatively windstorm-free for what, 11 days? (counting the off-playa hiatus). Every other time I’ve come out here, there’s always been a whiteout as I was arriving. The first time, I’ve got to tell you, it was pretty unsettling. But it was also one of those moments you don’t ever forget; you don’t forget who you were with, or what you were wearing, or what music was playing, or exactly how you felt.

So coming in and out of Gate road now that the wind is here puts the community imperative on you. Yes, you want to get where you’re going. And you probably want to get there faster than 5 miles an hour. But if you do, you kick up the dust. And the wind carries the dust across the whole camp. So you don’t go faster than 5 miles an hour, and if you DO see someone going faster, you give them the palms up sign out the window, or you hear them get scolded on the radio.

(A little word about the radio. The radio is the only way of communicating out here, other than talking face to face. There are no phones; don’t be silly. So there’s no texting, either, can you imagine? And no IM. But there are radios. Quite a few of them. And there are trunks and channels to route all the conversations. I’ve been on DPW Site channel 4 until today. It’s a great channel. Busy. Important. Vital to the building of the city. But I switched over to Media Mecca today, because that’s more where I belong, really. So goodbye to HazMatt and Playground and Reyposado and Sleep Dep and Big Stick and dozens and dozens of other voices, and hello to Meow Meow and Action Girl and Kid Hack and all the new crew. Nice to be here!)

Every day things happen and you can’t keep up. They put the triangular top of the obelisk up on the Man base today, and I wasn’t there. Last night, they dropped the spiral staircase in the middle of the Temple, and I wasn’t there. Crap. … It’s just like the event week, really. You check out the What Where When booklet and mark it all up with the great things you’re going to do — oh yeah, I DO want frozen eclairs and champagne at 3:30 on Wednesday. Elk dinner? Yes please. Oh, and I really want to go down to that camp where they’re making the cool necklaces.

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