Internet Cafe in San Francisco with some of the most annoying music Ive heard in a long time. Cheesy vocal harmonics torturing my ears. I suppose Ive just never really gotten the hang of relaxing to pseudo-oriental meditation music without feeling remotely aggressive.
It feels like quite a while that Ive been out of civilization and its been incredibly intense! Burning Man just blew all expectations I might have had about it straight out of the water. I don’t even know how to begin to describe it. First of all, yes its a festival in a desert… including all the issues that come with that: dust storms, alkaline dust eating your feet and lips (nom!), hot days and freezing nights and so on.
To say what its all about is harder. I expect every one of the 60 thousand people had a completely different experience of it. Best description I can come up with is that its an absolutely huge (about the size of Tempelhofer Feld) playground with masses of interactive art, random sculptures, LED lights, Flame throwers, and participating people.
An insignificant looking dome structure standing all by itself housed an incredible LED display that reacted to the sound around it. You could just lay there for hours yelling random things at it. One guy kept calling and singing his brothers name. It would interest me to know what exactly he was on!
One of my all-time favorite pieces was an art car with a 4-5m high movable octopus made of recycled cans. Each arm had an individually controlled flame thrower integrated. Wherever it went, a giant party followed, and it was visible from anywhere on the middle field called the Playa.
This inner circle of sculptures and artwork was surrounded by thousands of theme camps where you could go to do anything from eating ice cream, over playing giant Jenga or Legos, to making T-shirts or coins, and other more obscure activities. There was a surprising amount of spanking booths!
Getting lost is basically the first prerequisite to adventuring around at Burning Man. Wherever you go there are friendly people to meet, things to do and to see…Between floating around all day and spinning fire most of the nights, sleep seemed to loose its sense of urgency- at least until my body started showing serious signs of serious exertion around the 6th day. But even then I didn’t want to miss a moment.
The night the man burned to was a little windy. Windy enough for there to be little fire tornadoes that blew towards the audience. That was my side. But instead of fleeing along with most of the crowd a guy and me ran straight towards it, pelted by flying glowing pieces of wood. We stopped where the first row had been and enjoyed the show. I don’t think Iv e ever seen anything burn to the ground. Its quite an interesting sight!
I can honestly say I saw only a tiny portion of things that were there but even that tiny portion completely overwhelmed me. It was just so unlike anything Ive ever experienced before, its very hard to describe satisfactorily.
Thanks to all the people that spend so much time making it happen and thanks to all the amazing people I met there, those that I already knew and those that I know now!
Wow… long post. Hope I’m not pushing my luck here! After Burning Man I headed to the Lake Tahoe flow arts festival. Photos will follow as soon as I get them sorted out!
PS: I much appreciate the spamming! keep it coming!