Some Burners can’t understand why I would criticize the
giant Bank of America advertisement Burn Wall Street. Well, while all that has been going on, other Burners are also giving it hard to Ka, the creator of this amazing outfit. What’s wrong with you, Burners? We understand that Feathers Won’t Fly, but there’s a point where too many rules results in a not-what-it-could-have been party. I think we saw that this year with only about 30% as many art cars as usual.
What are the more important rules to follow? The 10 Principles? Leave No Trace, above all others? I can’t see where Ka violated any of them. The Survival Guide? I saw plenty of LEOs with firearms and ATV’s. Why are they allowed to break the rules? Because they have a permit. It would be better to have a “costume permit”, in case someone wanted to express themselves going as Big Bird, than to say “no one can ever go to Burning Man as Big Bird”.
There have to be exceptions made when people go to these lengths to express themselves. Ka’s outfits made it into Rolling Stone, fer crissakes!
What she has created here is truly art, and greatly adds to all our experience. Check out the other amazing art on Ka’s blog. She says “Not Accepting Shame At This Time” – and nor should she! Shame on the Burner-than-thou idiots who sent her nasty mail:
I received a very heated email shaming me for wearing feathers to the playa this year. I would like to address this for any others who may be concerned or have the same sentiments. I understand the issue of feather moop. I agree that feather boas and any loosely adhered crafts and costuming should be left at home. The feathers on my embodiment are tediously glued down so much that one rarely falls. I did drop two at burning man this year, and picked them both up with my toes and asked a friend to pocket them for me. I always ask my friends who accompany me to keep an eye out for any dropped feathers. On top of that, I pick up all moop, especially feathers, I see throughout the week, and always do an painfully tedious mooping session before leaving the playa. I know how some may see this embodiment as disrespectful to the rules, and I do every thing I can to compensate and to be responsible for myself, my own moop and the moop of others.
Some say I shouldn’t wear this art, the most profound work of art I have created, to Burning Man. It is funny, how in a place with not many rules, where the artist is supposed to be free.. that by dressing in my sacred form, I get shamed for being the “offensive” and “disrespectful” rule breaker. This feels completely contradictory to the many stories I hear from people who have witnessed this art on the playa, and how it transformed their experience into something healing and beautiful. Many have said to me that seeing this feathered angel was one of their favorite and most profound moments at Burning Man. Photos of this work have also been featured as the Burning Man photo on a European festival website, Paris Vogue in their Burning Man article last year, and now the Rolling Stone. For some reason, it sticks out to people enough to feature in prominent magazines, yet ultimately it is against the rules.
Ka, our advice to you is just ignore the criticism – like, er, water off a duck’s back. Burners will always complain about everything, you just have to learn to tune out the fools. They’re just doing their own form of radical self-expression, they think they’re being helpful and good when really if anyone listened to them, they’d wreck the party.
What I find even more interesting, and quite confusing, is that I received my Burning Man ticket from dancing in that feathered embodiment at the Burning Man Artumnal fundraiser with Seraphim, and we were asked to perform that very show at center camp. I am sorry that some people have chosen to experience so much offense from this offering of love, that I was asked to share on the playa.
Don’t be confused. Some people are just dicks. The real people love what you do, and very much want you to stay.
The bay area visionary art burning man community who are highly respected burning man artists, introduced me into this community. When I would ask about the no feather rule, I was told unanimously, “they’re really just talking about boas and cheaply made things that will fall apart… Your work is different…
Yours are glued down extremely well… Its so amazing.. You should definitely bring it.. Etc.”. I entered into the Burning man community surrounded by people who supported this art, encouraged me to bring it to the playa, and so I believed it was okay. After attending burning man several times, it became harder to take the rule seriously when every person I knew and half the people i saw wore feathers.. Lots of them. Most of these people were veteran burners for many years. Yes, true, I am a naughty rule breaker,and so are the many long time burners who came before me, and apparently I shouldn’t have listened to them or followed their example. Through the six years of attending BM, it became even more difficult to take the environmental issue of feathers, which turn to dust so quickly, seriously, when I found myself surrounded in toxic pollution on the playa.
I saw so many feathers at Burning Man this year. Like, I saw more feathers, than I saw people taking or smoking drugs (including coffee and cigarettes – but maybe not alcohol). There have always been a ton of feathers at Burning Man. This is a rule like “you may only drive at 65 on the I-80” or “don’t play Freebird at the Temple Burn”. It’s Burning Man, a giant Moopy festival in the middle of a wasteland…not the Presidential Inauguration or the Louvre.
True Burners would love to see your art. Look, we’ll ask them. I say come back next year with twice as many feathers! What, like a bird has never flown over the Playa in 130 million years?