Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Burning Man 2008 photos (by day)

I'm back!...following one of the most incredible weeks of my life.

Burning Man will make you realize again what an amazing thing it is to be alive.

Black Rock City is an actual city that appears one week and disappears without a trace the next. Its citizens are full of self-expression and devoid of judgment. I can honestly say that. It is also full of inspiring art and installations and because there is no money, everyone comes together and contributes something to this good of this world they create for one another.

The goal, I think, is to bring something of this experience back and share it with the real world.

Photos begin to tell the story, but one thing everyone at Burning Man says is that it is totally impossible to describe to those who haven't been. It's something you must go to. And when you go, you will get it.

I can't believe it took me this long to get there. But when I got there, when people find out it's your first time, they all say "Welcome Home."

We drove in during a dust-storm. Keep in mind, there are 50,000 plus people trying to get in and yet I never heard one honking horn. The crowded entry was all very civilized.

The "Playa" on which the city is set is an ancient sea bed. It's flat, 9 miles squared, and basically you eat its dust all day long. Yeah, kinda like Pompeii.
The whole idea of the festival is an exercise in community. This woman was a great example. She was on a box directing traffic (?!). At first I thought she had just dropped some great acid, but then started to move the heavy box to another intersection. We helped her move the box and after we did, she opened it and (surprise!) handed out dry-ice popsicles to those of us who helped her!
There are tons of things to do throughout the week. While my friends went for some sunrise chanting, and a lecture on Eckhardt Tolle's "A New Earth", I attended events such as the "Butthole Puppet Players" and their show the "American Ream". And then there was the "Teabaggers Ball" (below), where I naturally advanced to the finals.
This woman was wicked with the hula hoop! Wait until you see her on video. There were a ton of nude slip n sliders. There were judges at the end. And when I went they gave me a "2"!! Which really disturbed me because I knocked the wind out of myself when I jumped up instead of forward. Bam said I only got a 2 because I didn't go naked.
Many participants join big camps that put on shows, events, or host parties. The one below is the DEEP END, which is the place to go dancing during the day. The Viking was running around saying "Shot-Ski!" and pouring shots into the glasses on the ski. Anyone can have at it. Nobody gets left out. There is no VIP area, no guest list. Everyone is included in everything.
It often looks like Mad Max.
Me and Bam Bam relax poolside in an ingenious installation right in the middle of the playa.
At the Temple (ooking out toward the "man" which is burned at the end of the week. The colored cubes were a huge installation, where people could go up on platforms and play a giant game of Tetris.
This installation is larger than it looks. And you can climb all the way to the top (which of course I did several times) and sit in a throne that reads "ME" and overlooks the entire city. This shot was taken early in the morning, but most of the day and night this thing had people climbing all over it. With no net. One of my favorite things about Burning Man is that there are no rules, and plenty of opportunities to risk your life.
Here I'm climbing a fire ladder to the sky. Another great opportunity to kill yourself. Or just get another rush. With a great overview of Black Rock City. Me and the kids and our revolutionary outfits. The theme this year was "American Dream" so of course my star spangled heels were a hit on the playa. Behind us (on the right) is one of the incredible "Mutant Vehicles" which are the only vehicles allowed to drive in the city. This one was an At-At inspired 12,000 pound steel spider. The owner told us it's featured in this month's Popular Science magazine.
Little green man!
My posse. Everyone gives each other names in Fabulous Black Rock City! They called me "Maybelline" (thanks to my fascination with a Mae West wig--not pictured here). Below, from left to right are Maybelline, Kingpin, Bam Bam, Possum, and Mother.
Click here for pics from Burning Man by night. And see the vast playa turns into something unimaginably different altogether...


Steven said...

Who wears short shorts?

You do.

And, you wear them very well.

Tony said...

Whoa - Outstanding photos!
Mad Max is the right comparison - especially with the mutant vehicles and metal structures. Blows my mind thinking of the monumental effort that it took to put all that together.
And let's hear it for Maybelline, her star-spangeld heels, hot gold lame shorts and pulchritudinous posse.

Edina Monsoon said...

Mad Maxine.

Maybe she's born with it. Maybe she's got a sock in her pants.

You said...

Wow, it seems a lot gayer than I imagined! I always assumed it was a bunch of old Oregon cracked-out hippies trying to relive their youth. But don't worry, Jesse. You're not that old.

Anonymous said...

God burning man was so much fun. Thats me in the green.. haha I can't believe I found a pic of that so easily.