Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Burning Man Photos 2010 - by night

Biking miles out into the Burning Man playa, we marveled at Cooldan's favorite onomatopoeia:
At night the desert dust turns into something else entirely.  Something topsy turvy full of lights and music and fire and unexpected surprises, installations, and festivities -- like a Thunderdome, Roller Skating Rink, 50's Diner, interactive art installations like this one---there was some sort of algorithm pattern you had to figure out to make the lights work their magic but it went over my bewigged head!

And my head was bewigged!  As night fell, I'd put on this horrible clip on fall (pictured) that got more and more dust filled and crusty as the week went on.  Then I became "Maybelline".
We hung out in the hollow of giant metal trees with rotating burning canopies.  Cooldan is laying there, oblivious to the entire world on the other side of that root!

What a world

Maybelline and Bam Bam also enjoy the comfort provided by the magnificent metal tree and dusty desert dirt.  Gorgeous!  Maybelline has a bit of a complex and the nastier that crusty clip on wig becomes, the more she fancies herself the most beautiful woman ever to grace the playa...
Remember this fine lady by day?

At night she lit up from within, and slowly changed colors.  Bam and Cooldan couldn't stop staring.   Maybelline fluffed her locks, "I don't see what all the fuss is about?"
This got me on a kick about how Maybelline is so gorgeous that women all over the playa (the 50 foot tall one included) were continually clasping at her hems, but somehow Maybelline, in each and every case, manages to be more stunning, talented, and young...than any of her competitors.
Found a house of mirrors.  Maybelline's favorite room!
After rolling around in the dirt all week, we discovered that Maybelline's gossamer threads were DRY CLEAN ONLY. Genius.

We came upon this wandering band, complete with tuba on fire, and it took us a while to recognize the tune they were playing - Lady Gaga's Bad Romance!
All the while, the most outrageous "mutant vehicles" are zooming across the vast expanse.  This intricately detailed praying mantis used to be a dump truck, and when it didn't have 40 people dancing on it's back, it got up on it's haunches and presided over the playa.
Baffled by its beauty, Paul paused to wonder about its intent: "What motivates someone to say I'm going to turn this truck into a gigantic Praying Mantis, he asked. "To impress a girl?"
We later saw a crane transformed into a gigantic pink flamingo.  The flamingo beak shot out fire, which just didn't feel right.  A raging flamingo?  That flamingo was definitely having an identity crisis.  Which value do you ascribe to a fire-breathing flamingo?

I don't know these people, but A for effort!
Lee returned from the "Million Bunny March" and he is just cute as a bunny isn't he?  In the dance suit he wore when he was a ballet dancer years ago.  (It still fits!) Apparently the bunny march was met and confronted by a legion of "carrots" protesting.  It got pretty physical, and then the Black Rock City animal control rushed in and started tagging all of the feral rabbits.  Damn, next time I'm bringing ears!
Hanging out with Bessie the bus and camp-mates before the night really begins.  Because night really never ends.  There's something comforting knowing that no matter what time you crawl into your sleeping bag, there is music and art cars still zooming around.  I've always had a problem with bed, it always feels like I'm accepting death.
And yet Burning Man embraces death.  I mean, there you are for one week --living, truly living, and then all that sound and beautiful fury is burned, gone without a trace.  Life and death. 

In the meantime, check out Paul's genuine matador costume!!
You can't really tell what is happening here, but this guy was making lightning!  He was zapping this woman (in a metal bed) with electricity he conducted from...(I should have finished physics, right?).  In any case, the woman seemed to love it.
Cooldan and Paul

Bumping Uglies?  This thing was moving far too quickly for what it was up to...you really couldn't look away. One girl ogling it, said to me "What twisted mind came up with this?  Hold on, my friends have to see this!"  It's kind of like that piece of food you taste in a foreign country and it's totally disgusting, but you're like "you've GOT to taste this!"
The Man.  Here he is just before the burn. 
When all of Black Rock City's residents come forth, almost in a procession, to watch the man burn.
But first there are fireworks!
After traveling the playa for a few hours, --stumbling upon many a wonder - we came back to find the remains of the burned man.  The coals were surrounded by several people in different states of mind, and then there were the nudists!  It was definitely warm enough by the fire!

The highlight of my time by the fire was the nude woman who was wandering around with a flashlight.  Someone asked her, "What are you looking for?" She replied, "My clothes" before adding, "Not that I'm going to put them on when I find them..."
The embers didn't provide enough light to capture this other nudist woman to the right of this photo who, whilst traipsing around the ring of the fire like a woodland nymph, came upon a nudist man.  They talked, they embraced; and there they were, making a primal connection butt-naked in the middle of the desert surrounded by hundreds and I could just imagine ten years down the road, some stranger asking, "So how did you two meet?"
Until next time...
The man burns in 347 days.


Tony said...

Amazing, eerie, spectacular night-time photos.
That Maybelline - what a babe! Did she skin that leopard herself?

Jesse Archer said...

Yes, Tony, she did. That Maybelline is very handy with a blade. Though she knows her place - and stays out of the kitchen.