Burning Man 2006 - Playa Art

Despite a disappointment when i arrived that i feared at first was apathy (something i find completely alien - especially at Burning Man), and then proved to be the Playa flu that was going around, there were some excellent art installations - cool enough to warrant the ticket price, the dust storms, the cost of gas, the heat, the 25 pounds of crab claws i had brought for Xian's birthday that went bad when the dry ice failed, and the fact that Justice basically had her keys stolen since last November and i only recovered them a week before heading off to the playa, & therefore didn't get permitted by the Department of Mutatnt Vehicles, not to mention a weird and as yet unexplained breakdown in communication with someone i had heretofor valued expressly *for* that gift ... sigh.

So i went looking for magic.

And found it, in the form of the Belgian Waffle Burn on Sunday. Ahem, the Belgian Waffle is actually titled "Uchronia" -- after a Belgian art movement centered on a world without the concept of time. I called it The Belgian Shredded Wheat.

My Favorite Rumour this year ... that the Belgian brought enought beer for EVERYONE on the playa to have one! 40,000 beers! Given that the ratio of microbreweries to Belgians is about 50% per capita, it was a rumour i believed in.... WAIT FOR IT .... it WAS!

from PyroBoy-with-Kitty-Ears:
"The Belgians sent a container of beer over from Belgium, but it was confiscated. They sent one of their team into Reno, alone, with $20,000 in cash and a van to buy more beer. One week after they sent the person, there was still no word from him."

For more information on the project, visit: http://www.uchronians.org

When it finally did start to burn, it was, after the Clocktower last year, the coolest burn i have ever seen. Well the first few Temple burns are in that class too. But the way the Belgian installation was lit from the top, and drpped down, and then collapsed in pieces and sections was thrilling. Oh, and finding little Justin somewhere in the crowd at the behest of the Rangers was a nice bit of performance art too. Damn... am i jaded? No, i think i am just exhausted and still picking playa buggers out. (Note to Self: The FKO's trip to Hawaii this year seems like a pretty good idea.)

Off the top of very tired, very dusty dreadlocked head, i gotta list some art things that made the trip out there worth it for me...

The Flaming Lotus Girls' "Serpent Mother" was incredible!~ i went back to see her over and over again.

The Neverwas Haul - the crew that brought you the clocktower last year - which seemed to be mostly Hauled by the KSW Steam Engine from NIMBY and Kinetic Steam Works (KSW),an amazing locoMOTIVated beastie! These two looked like they belonged together.

Michael Christian's I.T.= was done at last on Saturday, but it was accused of being a portal to another dimension, as loads of burners were seen going up into it ... but no one ever seemed to be coming out. Hmmm. People who had seen it only earlier in the week were blown away when they saw it finished.

The Burninator II - a straight line of triggered flame throwers that were spaced 25-30 feet or so apart 1/2 way across the center playa were awesome! Standing in the line of fire was pretty intense! Someone described it as being about to be hit by a train.

Wrybread's PhotoBoof - i never get tired of watching people discover the wonderful simplicity of this technolo=gy...and the immediate gratification of full color proof of their existence. And to think it was spawned from an earlier Wrybread engiNERD project of an ASS Scanner on a toilet seat! Wrybread is an evil genius....

Dr. MegaVolt rocked my world ... electrically speaking. I got this great Tesla illo from his site too.

The evolution of Dance Dance Immolation - the game you can dance to, while the operators TORCH the participants! while they play "I wanna take you to a GAY BAR" ... who? the pansies at Thunderdome? The set the pussies at my favorite Goth movie-extra-wanna-be camp built based on arguably the WORST of the Mad Max movies...but hey, their cars are cool and they do provide a kick ass place to pummel out your agro... "Two men enter. One man leaves." So why did they have to have a RINGER from DPW take up DDI's gauntlet when they challenged the Deathguilders to a SMACK DOWN - one round on the DDI dance floor and then a battle in the DOME. Yep, their champ was indeed a Genius Mall Rat Disco God ... nothing like the shoe-gaze-Goth-nod i had expected. The DPW welp, Sky, dropped to his KNEES in a full on Proximity Suit on the freaking floor to punchuate his act during his round! DDI was soundly trouned in their own field of play. The battle in the Dome is the issue - Reed had Sky whooped, and the independent judges agreed... but the Thunderdome judge declared Sky the victor. So why did the Thunderdome weenies have to call it Sky's win in the Dome Fight when Reed clearly had his goose cooked? Sheeesh... Greedy Goth Guppies.

Somewhere out on the playa i found a crazy interlocking set of steel cubes that could be spun independently. Easily. Although they were big! Well engineered.... and i have searched everywhere for something about it. Anyone?

The Alien Love Nest medallion for this year.

The 2 crane -based art cars - the daffodil -like Flower and a new Venus Flytrap (or is it an Oyster with TEETH ?)

A radio-controlled electric plane whose pilot was so skillful that he repeatedly sent it straight into the skies, and barrel-rolled it to just a dozen feet over my head before pulling out into a sweet arc.

I missed the new evolution of this Ping Pong Ball Light Cube, but Greeter Dan loved it.

A certain High Altitude Rocket Launcher who made things go BOOM very satisfyingly.

A very simple piece of fire art on an art car consisting of three hoses of flames that organically wrapped themselves around each other and then separated in an erotic snake dance of fire, propelled in their dance by the force of the gas.

The annual Camp Carp Black Sabbath Pancake Breakfast "RAMP OF DEATH" - completely dominated by Crucible Dan who flew his ATV-based copper moon art car right over it, landed in a wheelie, and then crashed to all fours amidst screams of cries of the worshipping throngs.... then thoroughly trounced by Zach's Steam Engine, then further ground to dust by a water truck driver with a sense of humour.

The haiku in Piss Clear. Here's another ...

Favorite Factoid::
The Jiffy Lube Camp being served with a Cease and Disist from Shell Oil, who own the Jiffy Lube chain and didn't exactly appreicate that a Google Search turned up the homoEroTECH of the famous and friendly glory-holery that is Jiffy Lub - no, now STIFFY LUBE !!

Favorite playa quote:
Bogman yelling from the front of Argyre's art car: "You can run but you'll only die tired!"