(This week, I’m truly honored to have spoken to two East Coast Burners that are truly larger than life. If you’ve partied in NYC in any significant fashion you’ve probably seen them out, dressed to the nines. They’re four time Burners with a unique perspective that we’d all do well to learn from. Diva PsychicStar (Patricia) repurposes furs & The Geniuz (Jeremiah) commands broadcasts. This is a deep dive folks, so turn on one of their favorite sets from playa, from White Ocean, Robot Heart, Pink Mammoth & Distrikt, while you read!)1. How was Burning Man 2015?! How did this all start for you two? Burning Man 2015 was challenging! It was our fourth Burn with each one being different and each one offering a new experience and takeaway. It takes a lot of money/effort to trek across the continent from New York to join the tens of thousands of Burners for an event culminating months of regional festivals and camp fundraisers. Our style is to mitigate as much of the dry, dusty Playa harshness as possible by bringing as many creature comforts and tried and true costumes as we can. We have always been RV campers, which gives us a leg up when it comes to daytime sleeping and shelter from the dust storms. Continue reading
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo
Burning Man’s 2016 art theme is inspired by the Italian Renaissance of the middle fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when an historic convergence of inspired artistry, technical innovation and enlightened patronage launched Europe out of the dark ages and into modernity. Our story will focus on the republic of Florence, for it was here, in a city-state of about the same size and population as Black Rock City, that humanist ideals, a rediscovery of science, and funding from a newly moneyed class of entrepreneurs fueled a revolutionary cultural movement that redefined Western civilization. Five centuries later, we will attempt to recreate this potent social alchemy by combining Burning Man art, maker culture and creative philanthropy to make Black Rock City the epicenter of a new renaissance.
…Florentine artist Leonardo da Vinci sketched what is perhaps the definitive icon of this era. Inspired by his study of the Roman architect Vitruvius, he mapped the ratios of the human body to produce the image of a man, his limbs outstretched to span a universal circle. This year’s Man will emulate the symbol of Vitruvian Man. As nearby bell towers toll the hours, we will invite participants to operate an elaborate system of human-powered gears and pulleys that will slowly rotate Burning Man a full 360 degrees on the vertical plane, as if it formed the axle and spokes of an enormous spinning wheel.
Read the full announcement at burningman.com
I love this theme, well done BMOrg! “Spin”, huh? Hmmm…
[Update 10/27/15 2:41pm]
How will the Burners spin The Man? I’m imagining something a little like this:
[Update 10/30/15 8:07am]
“Over many years, private donors, with a remarkable lack of fanfare, have quietly funded some of the most beloved artworks that have honored our city. We believe that what has long been private should be made more public.
In 2016 we will conduct a social experiment, inviting artists and patrons to settle around and activate a public plaza in the city. We will call on them to join together, pooling their resources to create a welcoming environment at the plaza’s center – a sheltered place where all our citizens may take their ease amid the amenities of high civilization. Thus we will establish common ground where participants can be united by their shared experience.”
A common ground where participants can be united by their shared experience? That used to be called Burning Man.
Many Burners have observed that this theme seems tailor made to encourage wealthy patrons to donate to the Burning Man Project before the annual Artumnal fundraiser on November 21.
I note that for the third year in a row, they are continuing with the “shopping mall at the Man base” idea, rather than the Regionals making effigies to burn. The emphasis is becoming much more on the highly controlled experiences of burning The Man and the Temple, than individual Burners getting to burn stuff themselves. The Temple is now being promoted by Oprah as a new kind of religious experience.
At first I thought “they called it Da Vinci not Leonardo, must be something to do with Da Vinci’s Demons” – knowing how much these Satanists love demons. This morning it occurred to me that there’s another connection to Helco, on its 20th anniversary. Larry’s mate, Burning Man co-founder Flash (aka “Papa Satan”) hosts a show on the Discovery Channel called Doing Da Vinci. A nice little promotional bump for him, who once boasted of early Burning Man “I’m the only one who made money every time” (he sold tacos, beer, hamburgers, and t-shirts).
[Update 10/30/15 8:36am]
I like this comment from VOBM:
Thanks to Peter Ruprecht of Ruprecht Studios for putting together another amazing stop-motion animation. Music by The Scumfrog. Peter created this from more than 22,000 still photographs that he took this year. He says:
“I left it full length so people can use it as a set they listen to by Scumfrog and have visual eye candy behind it”
Apparently the YouTube one works better on mobile:
[Update 10/25/15 11:43pm]
This video has got a lot of Likes and Shares on Facebook, but has drawn a small amount of criticism here and there. Some Burnier-Than-Thous complained that the people in it are too good looking and not dusty enough. I mean, really? That’s next on the Ban list, hot people? Well, according to burningman.com for the last few years they have been actively trying to get fewer celebrities to attend. That hasn’t really worked out very well, given The Simpsons, Katy Perry, Oprah and Dr Phil. So who could they want to ban next…?
The idea that the way to make Burning Man better is to promote uglier Burners sounds ludicrous to me. But some seem to feel very earnest about it.
Anyway, here is a response from the artist:
…its sad to see yet another comment disparaging the “art” being created about experiences on the playa…i believe i have an opinion about this piece that merits attention..since this is the video I created. … i am going to use that liberty and write …well until i feel i have written enough of a response to yet ANOTHER unfounded statement by righteous people…
Lets get a few things cleared up here…as far as the video goes…THERE IS FAR MORE TIME TO EVERYTHING OTHER THAN PEOPLE POSING THAN ANYTHING ELSE….but now that you have attacked me by attacking what i have made i feel inclined to respond…AS a photographer that is known for taking photos at Burning Man, my work and my motives have been challenged and scrutinized many times over the years. Any negativity I have received over the years was continually due to the “type of woman or man” I would display in my photographs.
I have been accused of only photographing beautiful people. That all had to come to an end as I started to make my “Playa Gift Photo Shoots” for anyone to come and be photographed more publicly known.
I have gone out of my way to “give back” and give ANYONE the ability to come and be photographed under studio lights on the playa in the hopes that they take home a treasured memory that captures them in a nicer light than their cell phones will allow.
I have also NEVER said no to anyone who has asked for a photo and asked for my email other than RUDE people.
Beautiful girls or boys are NOT the problem. Uneducated, uninspired, lazy, entitled, conformist and mean people are the problem. To tell anyone to mind their behavior at burning man because it might be misconstrued since they are pretty is LUDICROUS. The only thing we have to curb are MEAN, shallow, entitled attitudes but some times worse…RIGHTEOUS ATTITUDES.
And the BEST thing we can do is inspire those people to become better people. Maybe teach one of these “wallflowers” YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT that they can create art, that it is liberating to be inspired. I feel much more sorry for the “wallflower” that doesn’t “Get” burning man than the “average looking” person that gets it and is sharing in the playa magic.
Human Beauty has been idolized since the DAWN of man. Were the greeks and romans wrong to sculpt the way they did. Should Michael angelo have made the david look fat? Should the venus demilo be regarded as an affront on our Burning Man Culture because its proportioned in an aesthetically pleasing manner?
I think everyone should stop worrying SOOOO MUCH about the people around them and focus on their own shortcomings and work on those.
WE ALL HAVE them.
The righteous judgment should be sidelined and if critique is to be made, make it specifically on the issue, NOT on the generalizations that lump people into groups like “the beautiful people” or the “ugly people”
Make the groups something that can be representative of your interactions with them. The nice people, the inclusive people, the inquisitive people, the shallow people, the mean people, the entitled people.
AND THEN DO YOUR BEST TO HELP THOSE LATTER TRY AND GET IT!
Oh yeah one other thing pretty much everyone I photographed close up. Is a personal friend. And I know and see them off of the playa. So you are right it’s not representative of the playa. It’s MY experience on the playa with my real friends. And honestly you DONT know them to judge them. And quite frankly you shouldn’t judge at all. But you have already passed judgement of this piece as having to conform into some form of a documentary. For you to be ok with it this video HAS to include some arbitrary group of strangers Iso that includes some arbitrary 98% For you to deem it worthy of existing. Guess what. It’s not a documentary. It never was. It was simply my burn experience through my camera. No one asked you to like it And as a matter of fact you are welcome to hate it. Hate it because it sucks. Hate it because the photos are terrible. Hate it because you hate my point of view. But please spare me the tired argument that it’s not authentic or real because it doesn’t include he people YOU want to see in it and only your concept is authentic. And the saddest thing of all is if all you saw are hot girls.
You missed the best parts of the video. Which are the sunsets. For your own piece of mind. Here is what I wrote about those and what they mean to me:
I am often asked what my favorite part of burning man is. I try and explain to people, that, while it is an amazing party, my favorite times have been during the blessings the universe has sent me while completely ALONE on the playa.
There have been several moments now over the years when i have felt a bolt of electricity curse through my body, knock the wind out of me, and reduce me to my knees shuddering pools of tears.
Bringing me to the realization that i am in the presence of UNIVERSAL LOVE, GOD, ENERGY, HUMANITY, NOTHING, EVERYTHING, you take your pick, BUT, there is something out there definitely palpable and communicating with us.
I am a photographer and every year i find myself in a situation where i look at what is happening in front of me and via nature, not our LEDs or music or sounds or parties or friends, but nature’s simple beauty knocking me over and bringing me to tears.
While i sat looking at the sky, it was all i could do but lift my camera through the tears i shed for the beauty that was presented to me and snap a few shots. I looked around during this sunset expecting to see ALL of burning manas professionals out there with tripods getting FAR better representations of GOD painting the skies for us, and once again i found my self COMPLETELY ALONE. OFF of the 10 o’clock side at the trash fence.
This was on wednesday at the end of the dust storms, and it was me and one jester looking like completely naked german woman maybe of 60 years. She was jumping up and down in circles thanking the heavens laughing hysterically and drawing a circle in the ground which she sat in and kissed the playa. While she looked completely out of her mind, she looked at me ran up and wiped the tears of of my face, so i realized that there was really no difference between laughter and crying. Both opposite ends of the spectrum on a circle touching each other.
We both sat there in complete silence in her circle and i kissed the playa with her, reminded that the universe provides FAR more than we can create by ourselves. For there is no BY OUR SELVES. we are within the universe and the universe is with us. Neither exists without the other. This photo is dedicated the the stange german woman who helped me raise my camera and shoot some of my favorite photos of the burn. Here are two…ill post more as i get to them and give them the love and attention they deserve
Thank you wherever and whoever you are!