Burning Man Madness

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.

A giant pier and shipwreck were constructed in so much detail and intricacy that standing on it yo could feel the waves. Around it a water was projected onto the desert floor.

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!

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5 thoughts on “Burning Man Madness

  1. Jakob

    “I much appreciate the spamming! keep it coming!”
    CHALLENGE … considered. Naw, who am I fucking with, Challenge accepted.

    So you don’t like relaxing pseudo-oriental Music, yes? http://youtu.be/cDLgFsyH8fs So, you wouldn’t like this song? Or this: http://youtu.be/XlochG9Urho ???
    (I’d really wish I’d had the nerve to make them auto-start and auto-repeat, but I can’t be bothered at the moment…)

    The Octopus rocks! I want one. Imagine driving to work (or whatever you may constitute for it) with it. “Hi Chef. BUUURN” 😀

    I want to see the Fire Tornadoes! *fires up the google-fu to search for “Mad chick runs towards fire tornado at BM12″* Gonna comment on that comment if I find something, ha! Gettin all meta up in this…

    Waiting for the Lake Tahoe Update, in the meantime, have an otter! http://carinbondar.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/seaotter2.jpg

    – Jakob

    Português (You gotta have to train your skills for Cape Verde :P)

    Eh, não se gosta a música relaxada pseudo-oriental? v.c. não gostaria esta canção? Ou esta ?
    (desejo que eu tenho vontade de fazer os links arrancar e repetir autonómo, mas eu sou preguiçoso demais.)

    Quero o Polvo! imagina chegar ao trabalho (ou que v.c. constituiria por isso) com ele! “Oi chefe! ARDE!” 😀

    quero ver tornados de fogo! *arranca o google-fu para porcurar “garota louca corre na tornado de fogo ao Burning Man 12″* Vou a commentar se encontro alguma coisa, hua! 😀

    espero por a atualização do Lake Tahoe Festival. Entretando, aí uma lontra!

    – Jakob

    • actually what was in that cafe was way way worse. Maybe mostly percieved because now i have had a refreshing sleep and am not just zombie-ing around. Zombies hate that shit!
      That octopus was so unbelievably cool! As Ive told a lot of people: I would marry that octopus. Who has a boyfriend that shoots 5 m high flames? … also the 8 arms thing totally has some kinky potential 😛

      • Jakob

        “also the 8 arms thing totally has some kinky potential :P”
        D: http://kinleycain.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/shocked_cat.jpg
        I refrain from discussing this any further, but I guess I could try to imagine how someone would see fire spitting arms the size of your standard human as being kinky or hot… maybe on a purely entropic level.

        I actually managed to find a video of the fire tornados! Enjoy to the sound of Michael Jackson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLL_MBbrQi0 … also found a vid of the octopus and the pier and other stuff. I have already started making plans for next year …

        Besides, Irfan makes awesome music. Deal with it.


        Português (there is no escape :D)

        Me abstenho de discutir este, mas acho que podria tentar de imaginar como alguem podria achar que os braços que cuspir o fogo e têm o tamanho dum homem são gostoso ou quente… talvez num sentido entropico.

        De fato, consegui de encontrar um video dos tornados do fogo. Gosta com a musica de Michael jackson: *linky* … ademais encontrei um video do Polvo e o píer e as outras coisas. Eu comecei de fazer os planos pelo ano seguinte…

        Além disso, Irfan faz musica fantástica. “Lidar com ele”


  2. You can always translate the entire blog into portuguese… that way any portuguese people that stumble by may actually have any inkling what your talking about. No hurry, up to now I havent gotten any views from portugal or south america.
    I could technically translate it into french and german but to be completely honest I just cant be asked to do it. Doing it once already takes time 0o

    • Jakob

      “You can always translate the entire blog into portuguese…”

      Out of spite… no more marvellous portuguese…

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