30 December 2010

The Best of Bootie 2010

Best Of Bootie 2010 by bootie

Some of you may remember Adrian Roberts as the one responsible for bringing Black Rock City's most popular alternative newspaper the PISS CLEAR to Burning Man from 1995 to 2007.

But as DJs Adrian and his partner in crime the Mysterious D (together aka A plus D) the two are also widely hailed as the duo that helped bring mashup and bootleg culture to America. Since 2005 they've been bringing Bootie BRC to the playa.

Just in time for your New Year's bash A Plus D have compiled and mixed "The Best Mashups of 2010" from DJs all over the globe and pureed them all together to form the best accumulation of 2010 audio. This mix includes Lady Gaga with Daft Punk, tossing in a few old school faves from Will Smith and Bob Marley.

Download here and enjoy!

28 December 2010

BURNcast.TV Home Videos: Putt Putt Playa, Burning Man 2007

This video is part two of a three part series of Burning Man 2007 videos from Hedy Sirico. I think it's a great testament to how much work goes on inside theme camps before they even get to Burning Man.

In this video we go behind the scenes as the Putt Putt Playa theme camp prepares for the event.  About 2/3's of the footage documents all the blood and sweat, spit and polish (not to mention elbow grease) it takes for the camp to make it happen.

Then they finally get to Black Rock City but not long after they get set-up, Putt Putt Playa gets totally pummeled by a nasty ass dust storm that completely obliterates their Thursday. If you've never endured one of these (or would like to relive the moments with the folks at Putt Putt Playa) you can see it all at around the 21:00 mark. But as any true burner, the Putt Putts prevail and make it through to see the double rainbow and enjoy another burn.

Note: This video file is over 25 minutes long and it's about 212 mb large. It was rendered for mobile devices and it's also the file that's available for download in iTunes. You can view a larger version that's 320 mb on Vimeo.

21 December 2010

BURNcast.TV Home Videos: WDYDWYD Burning Man 2007

We're going to wrap up the next few weeks of 2010 and roll into 2011 with a three part home video series of Burning Man 2007 from filmmaker Hedy Sirico.   Sirico submitted another series of great home videos last year that you might enjoy including "Burning Man 2008: The Amer-I-Can Dream".

Today we're proud to present episode #1, which is just simply entitled "WDYDWYD". Here burners were asked the simple question "Why do you do what you do?"

This video is over 20 minutes long and it's about 158 mb large. It is the mobile version (meaning it was rendered for smaller screens such as those of mobile devices) and it is also the version that's available for download via iTunes. You can view a a larger, higher quality version that's 238 mb on Vimeo.

14 December 2010

All Aboard the Airship Victoria

The Airship Victoria  is a steampunk dirigible and multi-year project conceived by Stacey Reineccius and designed by Trevor Tuttle.   Above is an old episode of BURNcast when the AV was still in its planning stages back in 2009.  

For Burning Man 2010 the AV was built on a matrix of seven 10 ft diameter balloons attached to a hand-made aluminum frame. Once airborne, the dirigible attempted to lift a 1 kilowatt Tesla coil above the ground. The coil and LED lighting system were controlled by a midi keyboard on the ground creating a music and light show unlike anything built before.

There's more videos plus photos of the Airship Victoria from this year's burn on their Facebook page and also on YouTube. Unfortunately, the admin has disallowed embedding and sharing otherwise I would have posted them here instead. So go on over and check'em out. They're gearing up for Burning Man 2011 and they're looking for volunteers. Tell'em I sent'cha!

07 December 2010

Burning Man 2010 ADD Montage by Baraka )'(

This video submission by Baraka who writes: "An internet Attention Deficit Disorder montage of my week at Burning man with seven other virgins. Sky diving and tons of ART ART ART!!!!"

30 November 2010

Texas to Black Rock - Burning Man 2010 )'(

A few weeks ago I got my video submissions along with their descriptions mixed up.  Sorry for the confusion!  In this video, as submitted by Lowe, six guys from East Texas travel half way across the country.

According to Lowe: "We hit a few bumps across the country to get there, but had the time of our lives. Made some great friends, thanks to Camp Titycaca for welcoming us with open arms. Till next year: peace."

23 November 2010

Self As City, City As Self (Lecture from Entheon Village @ Burning Man 2010)

Today's video is from Michael "aka Percival aka The Professor" Garfield who writes:
"As an evolutionary biologist and developmental psychologist by training, I typically gift Black Rock City by expounding on lofty philosophical topics pertinent to the year's art theme...like the construction of selfhood in relationship to the collective."

'I gave this lecture at Burning Man Festival's Entheon Village as part of their 2010 symposium on sustainability and community. Entheon's focus on visionary art and psychedelic conversation, and Burning Man's dedication to the city as collaborative creative play, made it obvious to me that the year's art theme, "Metropolis," called for a talk on the many ways that individual and collective are intertwined.."

'This is a whirlwind tour of concepts from evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, philosophy, architecture, and art that - taken together - point us toward a new understanding of the self as a multitude and our communities as living, sentient beings."

16 November 2010

Burning Man '09 Photo Montage )'(

Just when I think it's time to wrap up this season of BURNcast, in come several more video submissions (from readers like you!) to keep this blog going. This video comes from longtime BURNcast fan Psilly Psymon.

Psymon says, "Here is a little photo montage I did of Burning Man '09. I hope you enjoy it~!"

09 November 2010

Burning Man 2010 - Living in the City

This video is by David Fburn who wrote in to share the following:
Heya !!!
This my second burn and not the last !!! when i came last year , like many , i bring video cam and i realize with classic device you can't film and enjoy and interact with other that's why i bought a micro sport camcorder , and it's was almost perfect :))

I made my first rec on the playa and it's only when i came back in default world i have been able to see what i recorded ( and it's very special experiment because so many little things happens in the playa, you can't remember everything and when i watched 10days after BM i was like : "OMG, how could i forgot that , and that ... It's like my video memory of the many little moments i lived in the playa .
I didn't try to make a best of , it's more a virtual visit of 1% of burning man !

This is only my 3rd video montage , and i know there're many little thing to fix but i had hours and hours of video footage i made with my HATcamcorder, and i had to make a video clip .

The good thing with micro cam it's : you have both free hand and you can enjoy the event like everyone else . The Bad side : no visor or control screen , no zoom and wide angle !

My Hat was on the side , i try to correct the video angle but sometime i couldn't :( i'll fix that for next year .

Thanks for all , et vous me manquez beaucoup! can't wait to cyu @home next year .

And if someone have a video of the burn night and can share it for my night and day video, it would be awesome ( of course i'll put your name in credit and it's for no commercial use of course :)

Saturday night i was way to high and i enjoy the moment , i don't have a single pic or video of the all night ... i'm aslo interrest by the first explosion @7pm of friday night " Bleve"

David Fburn

Music : Space cowbow - Dj Trav [Seismic] - lovely disco
and Dj Elite Force - Burning man 2010 RIPEcast Mix - for the night preview .

02 November 2010

Go Vote!

Photo Jaime Carrero
Happy Tutu-Tuesday everybody. BURNcast will be dark this week but may resume next week at its usually scheduled blog postings.

Until then: go out there and VOTE!!!

29 October 2010

Friday's Burning Man Music Post! )'(

Elite Force - Burning Man 2010 RIPEcast Mix

First posted on 22 August 2010:

This week The Space Cowboys are pleased to bring you a very special Burning Man edition of The RIPEcast courtesy of Tech Funk pioneer and good friend, Elite Force [U&A Recordings]. Featuring several unreleased Elite Force "revamps", this masterful RIPEcast exclusive mix is the perfect tune-up for the Playa, Boys and Girls. Don't forget to add it to your list of things to pack for Black Rock City.

For a complete schedule of Elite Force Burning Man gigs, including his Friday night set at the Black Rock Hoedown on the Unimog inside The Temple of Flux, visit: http://www.uaarecs.com/burningman.htm

And for a free download of the Elite Force vs. Prodigy "Smack the Force Up" MP3 visit: http://t.opsp.in/K9lB

Track List
1. Intro - LSD
2. Seductive - Take Control (Tom Stephan Mix)
3. Djedjetronic - Bit This Thin
4. Chemical Brothers - Horse Power (re-fueled)
5. Proxy - Vibrate (Noob Mix)
6. Lee Coombs - Italo Disco (Maelstrom Mix)
7. Dom G - Work (DJ Dan & Mike Balance Mix)
8. Chasing Shadows - Amirah (Elite Force Revamp)
9. Elite Force & Various - Hangover Deep (Revamp)
10. Chems Vs Dyson - Swoon (Elite Force Revamp)
10b. Elite Force - Psychotrope Jams (extract)
11. Zodiac Cartel Vs Elite Force - Devil's Mashup
12. Felix Luker - Mechanical
13. Paul Chambers - Yeah Techno! (BeatauCue Mix)
14. Bitrok - Closest Strangers (Loops of Fury Mix)
15. JDS - Blackout (Elite Force Re-fix)
16. Felix da Housecat - Oops
17. Don Diablo - Who's Your Daddy (Black Noise Mix)
18. Ed Rush & Plaza da Funk - Keep Your Pacman (a Revamp)
19. MJ Cole - Sincere (Nero Vs Elite Force Revamp)
20. New Originals - 1979
21. Excision - Subsonic (Elite Force Revamp)
22. Elite Force & Bar 9 - Shaolin Style
23. Outro - Now Generation

Simon Shackleton’s Elite Force project began way back in 1996, debuting on his own newly founded Fused and Bruised label with a series of peerless 12s and remixes. After a successful five years, he put Fused and Bruised on the backburner to concentrate on production work, and following several years with Whole9Yards and Moonshine he became a mainstay recording artist for AdriftRecordings (formally known as Kingsize Records) before moving on to set up hisown hugely successful U&A imprint.

Often credited for being a lynchpin in the developing the tech-funk genre (an amalgamation of breaks, house, techno and electro) he has released a series of highly successful singles in the past few years, finding broad support from DJs and musicians across the board, including the likes of James Zabiela, Sasha, Crystal Method, Laurent Garnier and Fatboy Slim to name but five. In 2008 released a semi-retrospective double album’s worth of remixes and re-workings of a 12-year back catalogue, with over 25 mixes coming from such luminaries as Miles Dyson, Rogue Element, Deepgroove, Dylan Rhymes & Calvertron.

In addition to these solo singles, Meat Katie has been a regular collaborator with Elite Force, a relationship that had begun in 2003 with the massive-selling 'Toba', and that will see their creative relationship come to fruition in 2009 with the launch of their new joint project under the name ‘Dustbowl’, as well as a series of singles under the ‘Meat Katie & Elite Force’ banner.

As a remixer, Elite Force has always been in huge demand, with re-workings for the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Crystal Method, Jungle Brothers, Stereo MCs, UNKLE, Infusion, Rennie Pilgrem, Shiloh and Dylan Rhymes all contributing to his reputation as one of the most creative and effective remixers around.

Elite Force's music has also been the soundtrack to many a movie, with a huge list of impressive A-list credits to his name, including the likes of the Matrix, Charlie's Angels, Arlington Road, Mortal Kombat, Crow, The Bone Collector, The Jackyll, Spiderman 2 and his music has appeared on a wide array of TV shows, from CSI to Top Gear, from Football Focus to LA Doctors. He's also soundtracked a number of computer games, including no fewer than 5 FIFA games, several of the Wipeout series, The Matrix and Motorstorm 1, and he is currently writing some bespoke music for forthcoming games for Ferrari and Motorstorm2.

On the decks, Elite Force has been a prime mover since 1990 when he cut his teeth playing huge student nights and self-promoted acid house nights in the South West of England, before moving up to ....London.... and ultimately gravitating towards his tech-funk style, with which he now has a full diary of global bookings. He has become known as one of the top technicians on a circuit that has included massive shows in Belarus, Hungary, Australia, Italy, USA, Czech Republic, India, Turkey, Spain, Japan, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and China, amongst others, as well as numerous festival slots including Glastonbury, Coachella, Bloom, Wickerman, the Glade and more recently Burning Man.

He was also responsible for the hugely influential Strongarm Sessions webcasts which became something of an institution since their inception back in 2001, receiving as they did around 20,000 downloads per show, but now put on the backburner to concentrate on other projects, such as his own blog (Techfunkmanifesto) and his other musical projects, such as Dustbowl (with Meat Katie).

For more information on Elite Force visit: 

For more information on The Space Cowboys visit:

26 October 2010

So Connected... ?

Saint Hollywood style at Burning Man 2010!

22 October 2010

Friday's Burning Man Music Post! )'(

Burning Man Base Soundscape: Sounds From The Urban Innerground by Searchl1te

Today's particular music offering by Searchl1te is totally cool.  It's really not so much music as it is an aural taste of the sounds of Burning Man. It reminds me of an old episode of the BURNcast podcast entitled "Hope, Not Fear - A Podcard from Burning Man 2006".  Having cut my teeth on audio podcasts I prefer sound recordings from the playa if for the simple fact that the listener must use their imagination more so than watching videos of Burning Man and in so doing, enjoy nuances and remembrances of the event that are deeply personal.

Of these recordings, Searchl1te says:
"These are previews of the sound design that will be installed on the base of the Man at this year's Burning Man Festival.'

"Sounds From the Urban Innerground is a 24-hour sequence of recordings gathered by our team as we visited urban centers around the world.'

"The piece is structured in blocks of time that are archetypal in many urban environments: Early morning -> Morning transition -> Morning bustle -> Lunchtime shuffling -> Afternoon bustle -> Afternoon/Evening transition -> Dinnertime shuffling -> Nighttime revelry -> Overnight dreamscape.'

"We approached the project with the idea that the Man Base brings civic engagement into sharp relief. Like a visit to any central monument—from the Statue of Liberty to the Great Wall of China—people will be most connected to the event and its theme when they come to the Man. Generally, our environment will reinforce that experience by creating indelible memories of moments inspired by sounds and the feelings they conjure. Specifically...well...just visit the Man and hear for yourself."

19 October 2010

Burning Mensch!

Jelvis the Jewish Elvis entertains on the playa.

14 October 2010

Tarp Surfing Burning Man 2010

Looking for tasty waves and sweet swells but the waves are flat? No problem. If you've got a tarp, you can surf the playa any time.

12 October 2010

A Burning Man Timeline in Stick Figures by Surly Girl

Click on image to embiggen and be taken directly to Surly Girl's website.

10 October 2010

Today @ Noon in Los Angeles: Burning Dan's Memorial Potluck

Above is a playlist of memorial videos uploaded to YouTube since the passing of Burning Dan. If you would like your video to be included please contact me on YT.

Also, today at straight up noon is Burning Dan's Memorial Potluck in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, at Western and Los Feliz.

08 October 2010

Friday's Burning Man Music Post! )'(

stadenco live at Burning Man 2010 by stadenco

Stadenco recorded live after the burning of the man, Saturday 9/4/10, in the dome at Camp Aluminaughty.

07 October 2010

It's Been A Month Since Burning Man

It's been a month since Burning Man 2010 ended and BURNcast has been all-Burning-Man-all-the-time since we got back from Black Rock City, serving up fresh videos, music and more every day, twice -- sometimes thrice -- a day, five days a week.

And like all good things, this too must end.

Well, maybe just power down just a teensy bit.

Starting next week we'll be scaling back our blog posts to one or two times a week. Of course, depending on the community's (drink!) activity with posting to our Facebook fan page, you could also check in there from time to time to see what's happenin'.

But don't be sad! We're not stopping this train completely. We'd love to keep posting well into these next few months and we can't do it without you!

So if you've got music, videos, photos, essays -- anything to share that has to do with art, culture and community (drink!) of Burning Man -- then by all means submit your work here.

Oh, and just think: the Man burns in 330 days!

"My Epic Adventure in Black Rock City 2010" by ErzenDesign

Today's slide show comes to us from ErzenDesign who wrote in to say: "This was my 8th year in Black Rock City, and I was invited to be the photographer for the Fire Conclave group "Poi's in the Hood" on burn night. Being allowed into the great inner circle was such and honor to me, and since I had my camera gear, I figured I'd take pictures all week long. I'm a freelance photographer, and a long time burner. I feel that these images capture the vibe as well as tell the stories of the Epic Adventures in Black Rock City 2010. I mean starting off with a double rainbow was one hell of a good omen!"

Amazing New Video by 1ml Entitled "RIP BURNING DAN: in memoriam"

This stunning video portrait of Burning Dan was lensed and edited by 1ml.

Note: this video is featured in HD. If you have a slow connection it is really worth the wait.

06 October 2010

In Loving Memory: Burning Dan

The RenFaire and Burning Man communities have suffered a great loss when Daniel Gordon-Levitt aka "Burning Dan" passed away on Sunday, 3 October 2010 at 3:58 am on Monday, 4 October 2010.  The details as to his demise are sketchy however according to Teafaerie: "It was a tragic accident. I was with him when he passed, and he was not in pain or afraid." The featured video above is an edited clip from a longer episode of BURNcast TV  which posted last year.  In this excerpt, Curious Josh introduces Burning Dan.

----------- )'( -----------

UPDATE 6 OCT 2010: Earlier this evening Teafaerie posted on Burning Dan's Facebook wall the following statement: "The media has been reporting that dan [sic] died of a drug overdose. This is not true. It was a drug-related accident, but he was always smart enough to check dosage. There will be no further comment on this topic. Please help us to focus on his life and not on his death. Thank you for your respect."

----------- )'( -----------

I met Dan for the very first time back in 2002 when he was a guest at my themed birthday party entitled "Kings & Queens". He showed up all decked out in an awful, fugly brides-maid's gown, a huge pink wig, long white gloves, a bouquet of roses and a tiara. The sash he wore said "Prom Queen". He was absolutely spectacular! I was introduced to him on the dance floor and together we caused a scene to Abba's "Dancing Queen".

Yup. That was my introduction to Dan and it was epic!

After Burning Man this year, Dan posted an essay that he had co-written with Teafaerie on Facebook entitled "Dangerous Art". It was so wonderful, I asked him to share it on BURNcast and we were working on making him an admin to the BURNcast blog in order to contribute before his untimely death.  Below is their collaborative essay.

Dangerous Art
by Burning dan and The Teafaerie

"Come be reborn!"

I'm standing out on the Esplanade, watching two hot chicks working the crowd. Everybody at Burning Man is hot. It must be over 100 degrees out. These girls are also adorable though, and their fluorescent faux fur bikinis don't leave much to the imagination. I eye their installation warily. The hotties are wielding a pressurized tank of ice water, but in order to get hosed down I'd have to take off all of my clothes, climb up three stories of construction scaffolding, crawl out onto a big weblike hammock thing and wriggle face first down a long tight macrame tube. The guy who's stuck in there now forgot to remove his piercings and one of the girls climbs up on a ladder to help him out. She asks him what he wants his new playa name to be, but he demurs. Her partner solicits suggestions from the crowd. Someone shouts out "Puppycat!", and there is a general murmur of approval. Soon he's twisting and screaming in the icy spray, struggling gamely to free himself while the sweaty throng chants his new moniker and cheers him on. Eventually his head emerges from the bottom of the tube, and then the rest of him, rather suddenly. He hits the ground with a thud, but he's smiling. "Dangerous art right here in Black Rock City!" The scantily clad docent winks as she returns the nipple ring. "And you thought it was going out of style."

Dangerous art might be on the decline at Burning Man, but to suggest that it's passe is sort of a sacrilege. Sure there's a ban on firearms these days, and the Molotov cocktail throwing range has long since passed from memory into legend, but the back of every ticket still says "You voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury or death by attending," and the week long festival of community, creativity and excess still threatens to change its participants lives forever.

Most of the time the Black Rock Desert is, well, deserted. Way back in the Pleistocene the enormous Lake Lahontan covered much of Northwestern Nevada, but relentless climate change eventually dried it all up, leaving behind a desolate playa of whitish alkali salt flats. Nothing in nature is tenacious or foolhardy enough to call the hostile environment home, and humans use it only rarely. In fact, aside from occasional attempts to break the world land speed record and such, nothing much goes on out there.

Once a year, however, the playa shimmers like a mirage and transforms itself almost overnight into a sort of counterculture Brigadoon. On the week leading up to Labor Day, that most forsaken of wastelands becomes Black Rock City, the seventh largest community in Nevada. It's many things to many people, but even the most jaded of its critics agree that it's never boring. Burning Man is a social experiment, a networking opportunity, an outdoor art museum, a rite of passage, a great excuse to blow stuff up and the best damned party in the world. It's a confusing co-incidence of opposites to be sure: The land itself is entirely dead and yet the event positively teems with the essence of what it means to be alive. The constraints of camping in the desert make for a stark yet lush wholly human environment that is by turns austere and wildly hedonistic. Almost totally uncensored, the art itself is at once beautiful and irreverent, addressing both the sacred and the profane with the same frank and ironically self-aware panache. It is an exercise in radical self reliance and also an effective demonstration of our essential interdependence. It's an immersive experience, intended to shock the senses and stagger the mind. To compare it to any other festival would be specious. There is a truism amongst enthusiasts that Burning Man, like the psychedelic experience that informs a large subsection of it's culture, cannot be satisfactorily described to a non-initiate. That doesn't stop folks from going on and on about it about it, though, as many long suffering friends of devoted participants can attest. First year Burners are the worst. They sound exactly like zealous converts to some kinky new religion; except the only dogma seems to revolve around the decommodification of goods and services, radical self expression, total participation, low environmental impact, and the primacy of immediate experience.

Ever since 1986, when founder Larry Harvey first burned a wooden effigy on Baker Beach in San Fransisco, people have been asking what it all means. Larry himself has been intentionally vague on the topic. Like the homonymous event, the 70 foot tall sculpture of a man is not intended to mean anything in particular. What you take out of it depends on what you bring with you. The Burning of The Man, which occurs on Saturday night, is ritual for the sake of the ritual itself; signifying nothing and at the same time providing the framework around which to design and interpret one's own wholly personal experience. It's a ceremony perhaps uniquely appropriate to the largely cynical and secular citizenry of Black Rock City, many of whom would loosely define themselves as seekers after the human spirit but who are nevertheless keen to disassociate themselves from the vague fluffy newage (rhymes with sewage) that dominates the tone of many so-called "spiritual" events.

The old guard has been whining that Burning Man is dead for at least a decade. It used to be more chaotic and perhaps in a sense more free; a true temporary autonomous zone where road warrior types could toss back a few beers and bust out the old flame thrower without attracting the unwelcome attention of the local fuzz. Pot smokers didn't have to look over their shoulders in the bad old days. You could burn your art where it stood. You could bring the dog, drive fast and set off sketchy fireworks. You could leave a big mess behind you when you split. It was quite an experience, to be sure. You can find your camp easier now that there are well marked streets, though. The porta-potty situation has improved, and nobody gets run over by mutant vehicles in their sleep anymore. Still, there are those who complain that the event has been co-opted by artists (to say nothing of the masses of iPhone packing techno-hippies and blissed out candy ravers whom the hardcore survivalist types hold in only partially affected contempt). This year's art theme was Evolution, though, and even the crustiest of old-timers can see which way the wind is blowing when the dust is up. Nothing living stays the same. And who would want it any other way?

The environment can be pretty brutal, but that's part of the fun. On one level it's an ordeal ritual, intended to break participants down both physically and emotionally, leaving them more vulnerable to inspiration. The shared survival challenge is an unparalleled team building opportunity for camp mates and strangers alike. It can also test friendships and strain individual sanity. It challenges human endurance on a number of levels. Triple digit temperatures are common in the daytime, and it can get downright cold at night. A homogeneous desolation of superfine salty alkali powder that erodes whatever it touches, the playa itself is almost comically pernicious. It gets into absolutely everything. It sucks the moisture from exposed skin and twists hair into fantastic playa sculptures that are almost impossible to comb out. It rarely rains, but when the wind picks up it can raise whiteouts that limit visibility to a few feet, and it's not uncommon to see an improperly staked "tumbletent" roll by in a big playa storm. (Normal tent stakes aren't good enough as many campers find out the hard way. The standard method for keeping things from blowing away involves rebar pounded into the playa with a sledgehammer). Masks and goggles are de rigour, but they only do so much good. Walking or biking for miles every day takes its toll on the body, as does the chronic dehydration and sleep disruption that can occur when a Burner gets sloppy. Catchphrases like "piss clear" and "party like a pro" remind Black Rock citizens to take good care of their physical condition. Other popular slogans address mental health issues: "Don't sweat the petty things, just pet the sweaty things."

Black Rock has a right to call itself a City. Peaking at around 50,000 citizens, BRC boasts everything that a major metropolis needs to function. There is a working post office (with its own postmark!) where paper mail can be sent to address on the playa and exchanged with the world beyond. The freaks who work there are surly and they sometimes have to be bribed, but that's part of the art of course. There are theatres, schools, hospitals, and places of worship as well as entertainment establishments like bars, night clubs, bowling alleys and roller rinks. Extravagantly decorated art cars provide free public transportation. There is more than one daily newspaper, and several radio stations broadcast around the clock. The Department of Public Works keeps things running smoothly, as do the Black Rock Rangers: Burning Man's own internal volunteer participant police department. Rangers work with local law enforcement to solve problems, but they're not really cops and they're not out to bust participants. There is surprisingly little violence and not much crime to speak of except for the possession and consumption of scheduled substances. A typical call might involve a dispute between someone with ten foot tall speakers sitting directly on the rhythmically thumping playa and a sleepless sledgehammer wielding neighbor who has come to his wits end. When words fail to achieve a satisfactory resolution, Rangers have the authority to escort malefactors to the City's borders. Since nobody really wants to get kicked out of Burning Man, Rangers mostly get the respect and co-operation that they deserve.

It's late Friday night and I'm cruising for adventure. Laid out like a gigantic clock with the Man at its center, the basic map of Black Rock City has become as familiar to veteran Burners as the smell of their favorite sunscreen. I spent most of the evening wandering around in the residential zone, checking out Theme Camps. The street closest to The Man is called the Esplanade and the rest of the streets are named according to the annual art theme. The first street behind the Esplanade begins with the letter A, the second one starts with B and so forth. This year they stretched from Adapt all the way back to Lineage. That means it's almost impossible to walk through the whole city in a week while still stopping to appreciate your most compelling finds. Even on a bike it would be a challenge. It's like a post apocalyptic Disneyland for adults. I know there's no way to see it all. Even if one were to grid off the playa and go about exploring it systematically, new stuff keeps getting built all week as more and more Burners show up. The Esplanade is reserved for highly interactive Theme Camps, but far more projects fall into that category than can fit on the front row, and almost every camp in town has some sort of art set up. One of the coolest things I saw this year was way the heck out at 3:30 and Jurassic.

Right now I'm heading for open playa, though. There is no camping in the half a mile or so between the Man and the Esplanade, and the blank canvas extends beyond the circular mandala of the City proper for quite a distance before you come to the orange trash fence that defines the edge of the world. The open playa is reserved for art installations, and due to a persistent perceptual illusion created by the flat featureless environment, most of them turn out to be much larger and farther away than they initially appear. Sometimes the best pieces are way out in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of meters away from anything else. The best way to find the cool stuff is by talking to people. When a work of art gets buzz on the playa, it gets seen no matter where it's placed. If somebody mentions your art to a neighbor it's kind of like getting a blue ribbon. There is so much great art out there that if you hear about a piece three times, it must be something extra special.

Burning Man art transcends traditional aesthetic canons and spans the full range of quality and style. Much of it demonstrates astonishing technical ingenuity, often using eco-friendly sun, wind and human power in novel and inspiring ways. The most talked about pieces tend to have a few things in common every year. They are simple, elegant, beautiful, interactive and fun. I've been to posh museums all over the world, but most of the art that has ever stopped me awestruck in my tracks has been found on the playa. Burning Man art is largely experiential; which is to say that it is intended to be explored rather than passively taken in. In fact a lot of it doesn't really do what the creators intended it to do unless there are people playing with or on it. It's art of which one is a part, drawing in observers and transforming them into participants in the evolving scene. Without realizing it I've been tacking in the general direction of the Wedge, which is an excellent example of the genre. An inclined plane several stories tall and as wide as a semi trailer, the Wedge is essentially a gigantic slide. (I've also seen giant swings, teeter-totters and merry-go-rounds over the years, re-enforcing the impression that Burning Man is the perfect playground for our collective inner child) There is no ladder but you can run up the side of the thing if you use the handrails. The part that you slide on is covered with AstroTurf, and as I approach the base a bunch of dust covered hooligans come whizzing down on a plastic toboggan, laughing as they smash through a ziggurat of stuffed black cubes. Up at the top perhaps a dozen happy silhouettes can be seen against the sky, which has perceptibly begun to lighten. A big tattooed guy in a pink utili-tutu makes it almost all the way down standing on his feet and the crowd cheers as he rolls to a stop amongst the piles of playafied pillows. "I love this town!" he exclaims, pumping his fist in the air before racing to the top again with a broken skateboard under one arm.

I want to play on the slide but as I'm about to begin the ascent I spot the Dogfish on the move and quickly plot an intercept course. The Dogfish is a roving tiki bar that I had ridden on a couple of days before, and I knew they'd have a lively scene going on. The Department of Mutant Vehicles sets a high standard these days, which means that if you want to drive around on the playa you have to have a car that is also a cool work of art. I've seen everything from full-fledged pirate ships built on top of buses to golf carts that look like fire breathing dragons. Climbing onto a moving art car takes practice, but some helpful souls extend their hands and soon I'm sitting on a bouncing barstool, sipping a margarita and marveling at the carnival fantastic still going off all around me in the predawn glow. I didn't pay for the margarita. I didn't even trade for it. Nobody sells T shirts or tacos at Burning Man. It's a gift economy, built on the principle that when thousands of people get together and start giving things away, everybody ends up getting something. Even advertising for off-playa commerce is considered extremely tacky, to the point that people take pains to cover corporate logos on rented vehicles. Sound is funny on the playa, and never more so than on a moving art car. We pass through the large scale sound art area, where several raves and dance clubs are thumping to different rhythms. I can also hear the mingling strains of rock, reggae and disco - and way off in the distance, someone playing the blues really really well on a tenor saxophone.

I thank the Dogfish crew for the drink and hop off at The Temple. A couple of fire spinners are working their magic and I stop to watch. Fire spinning wasn't born at Burning Man, but it grew up there, and it spawned the blossoming Flow Arts movement. Part sexy performance art and part something like Yoga, spinning fire both hones and displays the state of relaxed responsive focus known as flow. Dancing with fire is beautiful and dangerous at the same time, which makes it perfect for the playa. A handsome fellow in watermelon colored leather pants is spinning poi, which is to say that he's got a fireball on a chain in each hand and he's dancing with them, gracefully twirling the flaming orbs in hypnotic patterns that leave spiraling traces on my transfixed retinae. Tomorrow night there will be hundreds of fire spinners performing in the Great Circle as part of the extravagant pyrotechnics display that kicks off the Burning of The Man, but this guy is particularly good and when I sit down to watch he moves close enough that I can feel the heat, closing his eyes and slipping into a beatific trance as whirling death swirls around his graceful flowing form.

The most moving installation on the playa, The Temple is the size of a large four story house. This year, intricate carvings representing dozens of religions and philosophies filigree almost every available surface in a stunning display of dedication and craftsmanship. There's also a large Plexiglas tube in its central core with a fire tornado inside, which lights the whole installation from within like a magical lantern. It's ridiculously ornate, almost defiantly so when you consider that it's only intended to exist for a few days. Literally thousands of working hours must have gone into its construction, and it's obvious from just glancing at it that it was a labor of passionate love. Burning Man is a festival of ephemera, and nowhere is the transience more deeply felt than here. The Temple is covered in inscriptions all over, stretching up as high as a tall person can reach by standing up on someone else's shoulders. Hundreds of small altars have been erected there by participants, many commemorating the recently deceased. Some represent things that Burners want to let go. Others are inspirational. I find the spot where a picture of my maternal grandmother flutters amongst other people's ribbons, tickets, trinkets and magical trash; each tiny sacrifice telling a secret story of release and redemption. "Please liberate me from heroin" one sharpie scrawled petition implores. "I'm sorry about my abortion," another admits. Tears roll down my playa streaked face as I pour over the prayers of a culture on the edge. A battered teddy bear with the word "forever" emblazoned on its chest shares its penultimate sunrise with me on the second story balcony. Someone has written a poem there about old friends they just met. Below me, people are preparing for a wedding.

I like the Temple Burn even more than the Burning of The Man. When the Man burns, it's all fireworks and frenetic energy with most of 50,000 people freaking out with excitement and screaming their heads off like Beatlemania. It's kind of the big build-up to the blow out party and the City is ready to pop. There's so much big fire surrounded by so much potentially-mob-like chaos that I sometimes feel poised between a panic attack and an orgasm. When the Temple Burns the mood is reflective, silent and reverent. People cry and hug strangers. Burning Man is pretty much over at that point and it's time for folks to wrap up their vision quests and start pulling up the rebar. There is a strong sense of having shared something profound amongst the whole supertribe. We've survived a week in the desert together. We've made new friends and gotten exited about new ideas. We've gotten hot and high and tired and frustrated and silly together. We've inspired one another to be good art. Some of us have even been reborn.

Soon the sun will drive most of us under cover. I decide to walk back to my camp before it gets too hot to fall asleep. A young man in a playafied business suit rides by on a fuzzy bike, playing a blue guitar. His hands are occupied with the instrument and bicycle seems to be steering itself. "Happy new day!" he calls out to me as he passes. I try to shout my agreement, but he has already disappeared into the haze, like characters do in a poorly rendered computer game. It makes me think about how virtual this all feels. It's perfect for people who grew up using massively multiplayer online games as a social outlet, because at Burning Man you can present yourself as your avatar. You can be a warrior princess if you want to, or a superhero, and the community will play along and support you recreating yourself. You can be who you've always wanted to be, and do what you've always dreamed about. Burning Man is not put on by some corporation for our consumption, it's made by Burners for Burners. It's alive. It evolves. It's whatever we make it. It's a trial answer to the question "what would people do if they could do anything that they want?" I'm encouraged to report that when most people are given almost total freedom, they tend to create beauty and make people happy.

I remember watching movies about the 60s when I was a kid and thinking that I'd missed all the good stuff. It seemed to me like there had been one great spasm of explosive freedom before I was born, and then it all slipped back to business as usual. Now ever increasing change has taken business as usual off the menu, but most people still feel like spectators. Unsure of how to turn the juggernaut of history, many of us bury our heads in the silicon confetti rendering ourselves too numb even to despair. Burning Man illustrates that we can do anything we put our minds to. Burning Man creates a context in which we feel free and inspired to be the change we want to see in the world. Burning Man makes me feel that this is the most exciting possible time to be alive and the best part is just beginning. Burning Man is the epicenter of a true cultural revolution that turns spectators into participants in the art of life, and there is nothing more dangerous and beautiful than that.

Teafaerie's column on Erowid.org 

Burning dan's Burning Man photo gallery

05 October 2010

The MEGATROPOLIS Burn at Burning Man 2010

MEGATROPOLIS was an art project for Burning Man 2010 headed up by Chris "Kiwi" Hankins  and  Otto Von Danger. It was described as "a loose interpretation of the city skyline, ironically built in one of the least inhabited places in the entire world."

A total of five large buildings comprised the MEGATROPOLIS project including the Transamerica Pyramid, an iconic smokestack, an apartment building and the mega mall. A tower in the city's center was the largest building yet and featured a scissor-lift-cum-elevator that went up four stories.

The MEGATROPOLIS project burned on Friday and this video was submitted by Fburn from Paris, France who writes "My point of view of Megatropolis burn at Burning Man 2010 shot with an old Panasonic DMC-FZ18 (the Canon didn't survived the playa dust!) C U next year on the playa!"

04 October 2010

"Living Working Burning Man" - Panorama Photography by Bradley Milton

As part of Bradley Milton's participation at Burning Man, he produces a series of panoramic photographs entitled "Living Working Burning Man”. This slide show from 2010 provides an introduction to the project but you really ought to go and check them out in higher res here.

Of his work, Milton writes:
"There are so many photos that show the incredible public beauty and vitality of Burning Man. (Over 10,400,000 if you believe Google.) There are far fewer that capture the efforts of the thousands of volunteers and participants who make Black Rock City the event that it is. There are fewer still that capture both the environment and the activity of Black Rock City: the tents, domes, yurts, RVs, trailers and other structures and the burners that live, work and play in them.

'In 2010, the theme Metropolis: The Life of Cities begged for that effort and its result to be recognized, and so as an act of participation, I chose to photograph as many of the outstanding camps as I could, and to photograph them “in the round” – broad panoramas capturing all of the activity in a space, as well as the space itself, all in an instant. The resulting portfolio document begins to document the effort put forward by these campers and the incredible environments they create."

01 October 2010

Friday's Burning Man Music Post!

From Dave Decibel, this fun mash-up collection was put together for your road trip or the voyage to Black Rock City and back. This collection includes:
  1. Intro - Billy "Fatback" Cornelius as Lt. Horatio Caine & Dave Decibel as Officer
  2. The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
  3. The Who Vs Bay City Rollers Vs The Doors - Saturday Night Fool at the Soul Kitchen
  4. DJ Zebra - I'm a Fireman
  5. DJ Fox - Come See About Down
  6. DJ Schmolli - No Good Cockeyed Tiger
  7. The Temptations Vs Deadmau5 - Papa Was a Ghost
  8. Lazyellow - Blah Blah Blah Chillin Romance
  9. Roxy Cottontail, Larry Tee & Afrojack Vs Major Lazer - Let's Make Nasty Vs Pon De Floor
  10. Major Lazer Vs Harold Faltermeyer - Pon De Foley (Ludachrist Remix)
  11. Faroff - You Ring Me Round (Like a Telephone)
  12. DJ Zebra - Roxanne Should Be Dancing
  13. The White Panda - Pop Bottles Baby
  14. DJ M.I.F. - Smack My Hotstepper Up
  15. Kanye West Ft Twista - Overnight Celebrity (Dave Wrangler Remix)
  16. Go Home Productions - Temptaion of the Police
  17. Mashup-Germany - Imagine One Day (So Far Away)
  18. Massive Attack Vs Mariah Carey - Heat My Body
  19. Clockwork - Office Musik
  20. DJ BootOX pres Blaze Music - California Skank
  21. S-Tone - Prolly Know Me from the Ran
  22. Go Home Productions - Rock In Black
  23. Mashup-Germany Hit and Drop All the Single Ladies
  24. DJ Zebra - Come Closer
  25. DJ Schmolli - Rude Boy Resort
  26. DJ Morgoth - Stylo It's No Good
  27. CJR Mix - You've Got the Sweet Harmony
  28. Lady Gaga Vs Ace of Base Vs Kalomira - The Return of Alejandro
  29. G3RSt - Dub of Fire
  30. Westside Connection Vs Holy Fuck - Bow Down to Latin America (Dave Wrangler Remix)
  31. Fissunix - Whole Lotta Sex Machine
  32. Black Eyed Peas Vs Jim Croce - That's Not the Way I'm Feeling
Thanks to all the Mashup producers out there keeping us entertained and consistently producing quality fun in the realm of Bastard Pop! 

Have an awesome weekend y'all!  For those of you in Los Angeles, come find BURNcast at Los Angeles Deeeeecommmmmm tomorrow!








30 September 2010

Burning Man 2010...What you dont see....

While BURNcast is devoted to the art, culture and community of Burning Man, I feel it's important -- and only fair -- to give voice to the people of Nevada who live in the area of Black Rock City the other 51 weeks of the year.

This video submission doesn't paint a very pretty picture of Burning Man. It was shot by citizen journalist and YouTuber who goes by the handle desertlovernv as she describes the moop and trash she discovers on a five minute walk-about less than two weeks after the event.

desertlovernv writes:
"This event is supposed to be a "Leave No Trace" event. Pack it in, pack it out. However, this video shows you how little is actually packed out and what still remains. This video was shot on September 19th, thirteen days after the event, and numerous dust storms later. There was no-one else in this area of the playa, not even the supposed clean up team that is supposed to be picking up all the remnants of the event."
Metric, a long-time burner, volunteer of DPW, resident of Gerlach, and the Executive Director of the Friends of Black Rock/High Rock responded by leaving a comment that said:
"Nice. You made a film of areas set aside for detailed cleaning, looks like the Man Base and probably someone's art work burn site based on the pile of decomposed granite that's there. The CD with the pink thing? That's a marker to identify someone's art work, and so that the cleanup crew knows whose stuff they are cleaning. The day you filmed is a full 3 weeks before the end of clean-up activities. Nice work, super sleuth. Take your false indignation and shove it, poser."
Still, desertlovernv insists:
"Why does it take six weeks to clean up a "Leave No Trace Event?"
Obviously both people in this story care about the Black Rock Desert and the impact the Burning Man festival has on its fragile ecosystem.

Hopefully desertlovernv's concerns can be addressed respectfully and without any further insults or name calling and moreover, that she will return in three more weeks to document clean-up and come away with a brighter report.

UPDATE 19 DECEMBER 2010 -  Metric has kindly shown us the new link to the updated video that desertlovernv  uploaded a few days ago and here it is below:

desertlovernv writes:
"This film was taken on an iPhone on September 19th 2010 in the Black Rock Desert where the Burning Man event is held. This video was posted approximately two months ago but was removed by the maker because they received threats of physical harm from the members of the Department of Public Works (DPW) and other Burners.

It has become increasingly clear that the organizers of Burning Man do not care about the playa, and there is some question as to the BLM's commitment to our public lands, therefor this video lives again, to show the dirty side of Burning Man."
If desertlovernv has been receiving threats of violence this is a really serious matter. I hope that she is reporting them to the proper authorities as well as putting the Black Rock City LLC on notice. I mean, it would be TRAGIC if she ended up like Karen Silkwood. Just sayin'.

29 September 2010

Halp! BURNcast's Website Crashes My Browser!

Today on the BURNcast Facebook fan page I received a comment from Alex (remember him? he can be heard in the BURNcast audio podcast episode number 83 entitled "The Green Shoes Installation") who said "Your website crashes my browser and doesn't load properly. Dunno if I'm the only one but it's worth checking out."

Checking out indeed.  Below are two solutions. The first one is if you're viewing BURNcast on a Mac using Safari. The second one is if you're viewing this site with FireFox (either PC or Mac).

I'm going to start by saying because BURNcast is a video blog, it relies heavily on Flash. I'm not going to get into why Flash is evil here.  But I will say that much like rule #34: if there's a crash, it's because of Flash. Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to Web pages.

I can testify to this because I had the same issue in viewing BURNcast in Safari. Crash! Crash! Crash!  And worse: I sometimes would even have a kernel panic.

For Safari Users

When I asked Lecter about this, he told me to install ClickToFlash.

ClickToFlash is awesome. It resolved my issues immediately. It blocks all Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that enable you to view the content when you click on it.

With ClickToFlash, Flash won't load until specifically requested. This means your CPU usage will stay at normal levels when browsing the web, surfing will be snappy, battery life will improve, your laptop won't get as hot, and your fan won't kick in as frequently.

My most favorite feature of ClickToFlash is when you do click on a video in YouTube it will most likely play back in the high quality QuickTime format, not Flash, depending on its original encoding. And that alone makes viewing a video in ClickToFlash much nicer to view!

It's because YouTube also offers H.264 videos, which are used when viewing YouTube on the iPhone. With ClickToFlash, you get access to those same, higher quality videos.

For FireFox, Chrome and Flock Users

According to my stats, most of you folks are on a PC and along with that, theeeee number one browser used by my audience is Firefox. So here again is another workaround solution: Flashblock!

Flashblock does the same thing as ClickToFlash. Flashblock version 1.5.13 is designed to work only with Firefox 1.5 and newer, Netscape Navigator 9 and with Flock. You can even get Flashblock for Chrome.

For other browsers such as Seamonkey 2.0, and Netscape 9,  go here.

For older browsers such as Firefox 1.0.7, Mozilla Suite 1.7, Seamonkey 1.x, and Netscape 7/8,  go here.

And if you're trying to view BURNcast in IE, I really have to ask: WHY???

Venice Beach -> Black Rock City: Burning Man 2010

From veniceBeachhobo: Our Burning Man Metropolis adventures. Much love to everyone who has gone or will go! Special thanks to mastahnick...your video inspired me to make my own.

28 September 2010

Happy Tu-tu Tuesday! Don't Stop Believing, Playa Style @ Burning Man 2010

Another epic video from Mastahnick who writes: "Can't stop believing how every minute on the playa is sooo unpredictable. First you're watching someone getting reborn as they fall through a life-size rebirthing tube (hilarious!), and next thing you know it... you're singing and dancing along to GLEE songs! Awesome!"

27 September 2010

Burning Man 2010 from Benjamin Taft )'(

This beautifully lensed video from Burning Man 2010 was shot with a GoPro HD camera. This totally beats my Flip HD and at a very comparable price.

Burning Man 2010 from Benjamin Taft on Vimeo.
Editing: Benjamin Taft
Video by Benjamin Taft and Adam Bognar

26 September 2010

24 September 2010

Friday's Burning Man Music Post

Wrapping up this week's blog postings is some music from Burning Man 2010. These tracks are from ConRit Live at MalMart featuring J Naykid and Dr. Bud Green by JNaykid

If you're a deejay and you've got embedable tracks recorded from this year's burn please share it!

Have a great weekend!

Burning Man 2010 - Destination Unknown

This series of videos is from railaybay aka Michael Murphy.  It's from "Destination Unknown" which is a series of travel videos he's been working on for the last two years.
  • The first featured video is also the first in his Burning Man 2010 series.
  • The second one, entitled "A Ride on the Playa - Burning Man 2010" is a bike ride. 
  • The third and final video is called "Camp Shit Beer" which is also the name of his camp.

23 September 2010

WWGN at Burning Man 2010

This story brought to you from the World Wide Good News network.

As Seen on CNN: Record crowds get dirty at 'Burning Man' 2010

As a blogger, I'm always fascinated with how mainstream media tells the Burning Man story from the outside looking in.  This clip is from CNN.

This clip is from Fox News. Fair and balanced!

No...seriously! What???

Stay tuned. Coming up on the six o'clock news comes a report from WWGN!

Look up in the sky (again)! Skydiving videos from Burning Man 2010!

In this playlist of three totally kick ass videos you'll get to experience skydiving -- however vicariously and vicerally -- at Burning Man 2010!
  • The first video is mine.  I took it at Tony and Laura's wedding near the Temple of Flux on the Giant Cock Car.  Before the ceremony I looked up and saw several skydivers making their way down.
  • The second video is from the folks at Burning Sky camp set to an awesome track "Sometimes I Get a Good Feeling". If anybody knows who mixed this, please give me a shout. The last shot in this video is the money shot in a dust storm.  It's pretty epic!
  • The third video was shot on 2 September 2 at 11:41am -- just minutes before the GeoEye satellite made its pass over Black Rock City. The video takes you through the entirely dizzying five minute jump from the plane. What's cool is that you can see the "peace" sign that was being created around the Man (and the "palm tree" if you know where to look) as the skydiver makes his descent.
Please note: HD is available for the final two videos in full screen mode.

22 September 2010

Burning Man 2010 Metropolis

From inkandmask: "This is a video montage of my virgin burn. Definitely the most intense experience of my life. I miss it already."

2 Bonus Videos for Hump Day from Burning Man 2010

For your lunchtime fix: two Burning Man 2010 videos with extra phat bass! Can I get some bacon with that?

Burning Man 2010 - Montage Music Video from SteveSF123

21 September 2010

BURNcast.TV #63 - Decompressing with Ricky Vegas

Ricky Vegas is a longtime listener of BURNcast who for years my campmates would tell me "You have a fan that came by and he is hot!"

True that, folks, as you can see.

One day early last year Ricky wrote me fan letter and now here we are: decompressing over lunch in Los Angeles as he makes his way back to Arizona.

In this video Ricky talks about his experiences of 2010, his gift to the citizens of Black Rock City, and offers some advice to both the jaded and veteran burner.

Embedded photos courtesy of Shutterslut.

2 Bonus Videos for Tu-tu-Tuesday from Burning Man 2009

I guess I'm into moody/ambient/downtempo Burning Man music videos today. Here's a couple of extra bonus videos to get you through Tu-tu-Tuesday. Can you imagine what Hump Day will be like? :)

These videos from 1MoreLife were shot in 2009. But you almost can't tell in the first one entitled "Angel Dust". If I could give out an award for videos this one would score well in "Best Use of Playa".

Burning Man 2010 in 3D

Click image above to be directed to 3D gallery
Harold Baize has 15 years of stereoscopic photographs from Burning Man and he's just posted images from 2010 on his website.

Baize also posted some brief words to go along with each year of photos and 2010 is no different.

Having attended Burning Man since 1996, he's seen the event grow from less than 8,000 attendees (at a ticket cost of only $35) to well over 50K this year (at a ticket cost of $360).

From his first year in 1996 when the theme was "Inferno" he writes:

In 1996 the theme was a descent into hell and it was like watching a live representation of Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights painting. Pepe’s operas always start late. While waiting I was moved by the warmth of the crowd. A young girl came by giving away hand decorated glow-in-the-dark stickers. It felt much like the spirit of the 60’s counter culture had been mutated into a 1990’s mentality. Hard edged yet spontaneous, honest, and with a strong sense of regard for the well being of others. The open sharing, creativity, and the dramatic landscape of the Black Rock desert dry lake bed combined to make our first Burning Man a very moving experience. We immediately started talking about next year.

1996 was the last year of true anarchy at Burning Man. Camping out at the edge was a little scary. Cars would fly by on the flat playa at very high speed. It was a little hard to get to sleep between the fear of being run over, and the constant thump of rave camps. One man died when, after drinking, he drove his motorcycle into a pickup truck. Two more people were seriously injured when a drunk driver ran over their tent. Things would have to change, there would have to be some rules.

About this past year when the theme was "Metropolis" he writes:

One of the reasons some Yonder [Baize's camp] people decided to quit Burning Man is that they prefer the freedom of the old days. No rules. You take responsibility for yourself. In 1998 I joined a group of people, mostly Yonder and Cultural Workers Union, who meet out in the middle Black Rock desert and recreate the feel of the Burning Man of old. No city. No rules. NO MAN. I suggested the name "Noman". A lot of the Yonder people don't like giving it a name because that makes it an "event" like Burning Man. I don't care. It provides the sense of freedom and connection with the desert that you can no longer get at Burning Man...

Larry Harvey has suggested that Burning Man is an experiment in spontaneous culture. It is a grand undertaking that is constantly evolving. To me the people at Burning Man represent a cross section of bohemian spirits that spans at least three generations, all expressing their uniqueness, but united by the freedom and acceptance of their free expression, and the act of sharing their creations. The biggest problem facing Burning Man is not the bureaucracy, or theft and vandalism; it is the people who act like yahoos and spectators. Yahoos are the drunken and irresponsible people who act like frat boys and don’t respect other people or the fragile desert environment. They don't understand that to make such an event work everyone must respect and help everyone else. Spectators are the lazy people who just come to ogle the naked women (or men) and don’t contribute to the event. If Burning Man can change the yahoos and spectators, and get them to really understand the event, then Burning Man will continue to be an important cultural phenomenon.

On to Burning Man 2011! The theme is "Rites of Passage." Could be a great year.

Need Red/Blue 3D glasses? Get a pair free here. Important: Java based viewer for galleries starting with 2006. Requires Java run time enabled. Google Chrome users need to install Java run time from this site. Please read viewing format information for older galleries Use the drop-down menu in the Java applet viewer to change viewing method.

Mastahnick's "My Playa Adventure - Burning Man 2010 Part One"

I love-love-love-love-love-love-looooooooooove videos from Mastahnick of Dilated Peoples Camp.  So much so that I'm bumping his latest offering up to the top of Tu-tu-Tuesday's blog postings and superseding my own video interview coming up later today!

I've embedded this video to play in HD so click on it, let it load -- get yourself a cuppajoe if your connection is slow -- and come on back to watch the magic unfold. This is only part one of his camp's Burning Man adventure and all I can say is "Part 2? MASTAHNICK BRING IT!"
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