Too many registered art cars so not everyone 'll get license

Too many registered art cars so not everyone 'll get license

Postby oleg8888 » Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:56 pm

Just got this email from DMV.
Now I am in risk of not getting a lice for day or night or both.
...after spending 6 month building the car and investing quite some $$$ :(
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There has been a large increase in the number of registered Mutant
Vehicles this year as compared to prior years. Our event cannot afford
to have this many driving around the event at any given time. Therefore,
borderline vehicles run a greater risk of not being licensed this year.
In the past some under par Mutant Vehicles would sometimes slide
through. This is less likely to happen this year. Also, in order to
keep the number of vehicles driving around at any one time to a minimum,
fewer vehicles will be receiving both day and night licenses. That a
vehicle has received both day and night licenses in the past will not
guarantee that it will be licensed for both again.

Because BRC loves it's Mutant Vehicles, it is up to all of us to keep it
safe for us and the majority of the population who are walking or riding
their bikes. With more vehicles out there, it is even more important to
drive safely and responsibly, and to walk or ride your bike when possible.

Thank you all. I look forward to seeing you soon!
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Postby frenchblue1 » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:13 pm

bwaaaaaaaahhaaahahaaaaa.

come on, that did not come from the org
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:18 am

Yes, it did.
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Postby MikeVDS » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:50 am

If you fear that you might get a license, you probably should have worked harder on making your car fantastic.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:56 am

MikeVDS wrote:If you fear that you might get a license, you probably should have worked harder on making your car fantastic.


\/
aaa Mike
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Postby oleg8888 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:30 am

MikeVDS wrote:If you fear that you might get a license, you probably should have worked harder on making your car fantastic.


I put my heart , my love and my sowl in to this project and it's going to look great AND I AM GOING TO GET THESE LICENCES NO METTER WHAT IT TAKES :twisted: ....
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Postby MikeVDS » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:39 am

I put my heart , my love and my sowl in to this project and it's going to look great AND I AM GOING TO GET THESE LICENCES NO METTER WHAT IT TAKES Twisted Evil ....


If it shows then you should have nothing to worry about.
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Postby oleg8888 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:05 pm

MikeVDS wrote:If it shows then you should have nothing to worry about.


It sure does.
It may not look as fantastic as some other mutants I have seen out there, but I hope not to be judged by "comparisson" with others but as individual project
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Postby trilobyte » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:21 pm

I got that notice too and have quite frankly been freaking the fuck out. I can't blame them for issuing such a statement, but doing so this late in the game is nerve-wracking. Not sure what the squeeze factor is, IE how many people are going to be denied after spending $$ and hauling their vehicles out there.

I do realize, though, that there are a lot of art cars out there that barely qualify. A paint job on a road-ready car, no matter how awesome, is not very mutant. Regardless of my personal opinion, I'm not the one making the call.

I know I still have to make sure the vehicle is complete and safe and lit and all that, but the idea of having spent several thousand dollars and several months of my life forcing The Great Abyss to exist only to be denied a license.... is really unnerving.

Next year I'll have to do some kind of volunteer work with the DMV to try and help find a way to improve the process or something...

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Postby meyouseek » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:25 pm

It kinda sucks that mutant vehicles get judged at all. Any other (non-funded, non-theme) piece of art you bring out there isn't subject to aesthetic judgement. I'm willing to accept safety analysis of vehicles, fire art, etc. But to deny someone's exhibition of their art because it isn't "amazing" enough? First of all, that's a very subjective decision and second... I thought we were radically inclusive.

Nobody wants 10,000 cars and golf carts out there with nothing more than a non-traditional paintjob... but there's got to be a more fair way. I'm glad I brought my piece of shit art car to the burn a few years ago when we could get away with being less than amazing. At least it was big and obnoxious and brought joy and rides to the people.
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Postby trilobyte » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:35 pm

I agree with you on that principal, but in fairness to the DMV I understand that the number of mutant vehicles vs. the size of the event does become a safety issue at some point.

I just think that somewhere near the end of June (cutoff for DMV applications) they could have made that statement, or perhaps been a bit more careful in who they sent invitations to (the process is that if your application is accepted, they invite you to bring your vehicle to the event and be inspected at the DMV.

As freaked as I am, I'm going to remain the optimist and hope that everything will work out.

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Postby Valkyrie » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:17 pm

I can see limitations on licensing of road ready cars being imposed. I'm not sure what's the deal with things, but it seems like a "regular car" would have the same issues on the playa that it'd have in your neighborhood: acting as an insulator, dividing the community rather than a facilitator in bridging individuals in community that more open vehicle structures would accommodate.

On foot, a bicycle as well as motorcycle, I've had many conversations with people I didn't know. I cannot say the same about driving a car. Art is great, and it's fantastic that people transformed their vehicles into moving works for people to enjoy. But moving them doesn't improve their value, and when the streets are crowded, they become a burden on the community.

Of course, that's my 2 cents as a burner newbie, having never actually been to the playa before.

I wonder if they'll come up with a showplace (other than the impound lot!) where people who are denied permits can display their vehicles (that they never particularly intended to make part of their camp) that get denied licenses, as an art installation. It would be a salve on the wound of those who put real work into it, not to mention a major embarrassment to those who didn't and a way to keep tabs on them to be sure nobody tried to "bend" the rules.
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Postby MikeVDS » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:49 pm

I personally LOVE the big old crappy looking ones. I hope people this year take this as a warning and choose to not drive excessively so that we don't have to worry about this in the future.
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Postby scootert » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:01 pm

What Trilo said.

The process is not optimal, where people are invited to invest time and money (and build great hopes), then to be subjected to being crushed by a DMV volunteer based on their subjective view of what is cool (and safe, of course, which I agree is mandatory).

What I would suggest would be that if a license is initially denied after on-playa inspection, that it would automatically trigger a review by a panel of tree DMV staffers. Yes, they'd probably be reluctant to overrule the first decision, but they might, and the appeals process would at least make the denied feel better.

Speaking of feeling better, I was discussing this with friends yesterday and we had a similar idea to what Valkryie suggested: Give the denied cars a one time pass for one night/time frame to all go out and park in a group and have a stationary party. Called it the Crushed Cars party, or some such. Kind of a wake for "dead" cars.

Another thing I've considered is that the DMV process is such a "black box". I would advocate for more openness. Publish on the web site some info about how many applications, how many invitations and how many approved and denied on playa. Every art car is photographed by the DMV, even if it is denied (I think). So, publish the photos! They would be fun to see, if nothing else. I think they may be choosing not to do that because it opens the door to "why was this approved, but not this?". I think that question is sometimes valid, and some cars end up getting approved and others, that were better (in the subjective view of someone, me, the majority of Burners, whatever), get denied.

Another question: In my default world life, I spend a fair amount of time quantifying aspects of our business so we can make good decisions based on the data. So I'd be interested to know the data on how many injuries resulted from art car activities. Are we clamping down because of actual safety issues and incidents, or just the fear of it? And congestion? That is not an issue at all to me. I think only a very small minority of Burners would feel like the art cars are a problem. Most would say "the more the merrier", I think.

I don't know the forum to advocate for such ideas/changes within DMV and BMORG. And I'm reluctant to raise any issues that might be perceived as complaints, because of fear it might cause some predjudice against my project within the DMV. (Like Trilo, I'm quaking in my boots at the moment, even though I'm confident and optimistic.) That fear is probably completely unfounded and the DMV Hotties are probably great folks (they're Burners, after all!), but it gets back to the fact that some playa person, who is at that moment an authority figure, gets to make a big decision based mostly on their whim/mood/subjective opinion. I would hope that anyone in the position of approving or denying art cars, has participated in at least one art car project of their own.

If any DMV Hotties are reading, thanks for considering this thread, for doing what you do, and for being as liberal as possible in granting licenses.

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Postby scootert » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:15 pm

D'oh!

I meant "three" DMV staffers, not "tree". But chance are there's some tree ones too, for all I know.

We're almost there...
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Postby Dork » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:59 pm

Getting denied on-playa has always been a threat. Many people do the majority of the cosmetic stuff after the application deadline, so the application only contains the creator's vision of what they want the car to be. Limitations in time, skill, and resources mean the cars often wind up looking much different from the proposal. The DMV probably got word from a higher-up within the org or from the BLM that there were too many cars registered and that they would have to be as strict with the inspections. The letter seemed designed to get people to take a hard look at what they were planning to bring. They may realize it sucked and leave it home, or it may push them to put in a little more final hour effort to get it to look better.

I seem to recall pressures from BLM to put a hard limit on the number of cars driving during the event, which so far the org has been successful in resisting. If the car population keeps increasing that might happen some day which would be a whole new cluster fuck. Or, maybe they did just lose the battle.
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Postby Valkyrie » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:30 pm

Well, who sees opening the door up to the question of "why did this get approved and that not?" as anything bad? It keeps the judges accountable and gives people an idea of how hard they'll need to work to put stuff together. It happens in juried art shows all the time. Although I'm mildly amused to think that the DMV would be running a juried art show.

One of the things I've been dying to see is what sort of variety there is in art cars on the playa. One burner has showed me his in person and I've seen photographs of some of the more flamboyant ones, but I really don't have a sense for what's out there, and I wish I did.

I'm also sure that anyone who's trying to get together an art car has been to the playa and seen the variety. I think it'd be nice to have something to refer back to for inspiration and to help push you when you're ready to give up and say "well, that's good enough". It'd probably also be helpful in recruiting non-burner artists to help with the project.
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Postby scootert » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:54 pm

Thanks for the additional info about the BLM angle, Dork. I hadn't realized that was a factor - I thought the impetus for reduction was from within BMORG (and maybe some of it is). I think you're right about what they hoped the message would accomplish.

Valkryie - I think we envy you as a first timer. The cars are astounding and to me, pretty much the best thing about Burning Man. (Besides all the other things that are the best thing.) Have a great burn and I'd love to give you a ride. If you see an Asian teahouse with a color changing roof and chameleons on the beams, that's me. I guess I am optimistic for getting the approval.

Peace and Cars!
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Postby K-mom » Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:45 pm

Athens, Greece used to have an innovative solution to traffic congestion in downtown - not sure if its still in use - but basically the days of the week alternated allowing license plates starting with even or odd numbers into the city. So effectively you could only drive into the city every other day. As its been said though, this is surely too late in the game to implement.
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Postby Steven bradford » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:55 pm

That's not a bad idea.

We're dealing with this. Even if you have a vehicle like ours that's gone many times before, you're not guaranteed a license to drive around again. What was passable before, isn't now. And frankly there are too may people simply trying to get permission for something that's intended to transport them around, not make a statement, or as a gift to the community.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:19 pm

Any word on handicapped vehicles?
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Postby Nokturnal » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:38 pm

K-mom wrote:Athens, Greece used to have an innovative solution to traffic congestion in downtown - not sure if its still in use - but basically the days of the week alternated allowing license plates starting with even or odd numbers into the city. So effectively you could only drive into the city every other day. As its been said though, this is surely too late in the game to implement.


That's a really great idea.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:41 am

\/
some burners have seen the hand writing on the wall.. they have gone to peddle power.. with some great art work..

i tryed to suggest limiting party bardges to the number of 06.. rolling taverans should be rethought and limited..

there are many questionable disability rides on the city streets.. like a pare of 15000$ atv. that are designed for rough mountion hunting.. or a party bardge with ant tillies disabled tag (and no ant tillie)..

i would like to believe the letter was aimed at the type that are just trying to slide through..
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Postby Archantael » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:58 am

I'd like to see the party barges get reduced in number too. Usually in my experiences they fail to fulfill their requirement to be public transport, instead it becomes the defacto clique shuttle for the week.

I'm also hopeful this year's green theme has lingering effects and that people will try to build art cars that no longer rely on the typical gasoline engine as it's primary drive. Now if that gas engine was running alternators and generators while mixed with some solar panels and used electric motors as the primary drive...

I know one thing...when I leave the event this year and settle into a new space in Camp Reality I'm hoping to have a shop space where I can build something for next year. And I want it to be primarily electric driven.
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Postby Valkyrie » Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:01 pm

scootert wrote:If you see an Asian teahouse with a color changing roof and chameleons on the beams, that's me. I guess I am optimistic for getting the approval.


Geeze, I can't even imagine that. Is it top heavy? What colors does the roof change amongst?

unjonharley wrote:i tryed to suggest limiting party bardges to the number of 06.. rolling taverans should be rethought and limited.


Yeah, I've wondered about these vehicles. It really sounds more like promotion of their event-on-wheels than any functional use of the streets You know "get more people to look at meeee! But you can't come up here 'cause there's not room because we are carrying around partiers who are there just 'cause enjoy our company, not people going from one place to another and get off. Oh, and you get to share our music, although we're at your camp, not the other way around." Maybe I'm missing something?
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Postby Steven bradford » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:24 pm

Yes you are missing something. The point of the art cars is not supposed to be playa transport, OR functional use of the the streets. They ARE "Look at me!" vehicles. If you want something to get around on, take your bike.
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Postby Valkyrie » Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:16 pm

Hrm. Fascinating form/function conflict there. What is the increased aesthetic value of mobility?

I have to admit that I was hoping to hitch rides on said art cars due to the fact that I have an injury and currently can't ride a bike. This certainly flavors my judgment in one regard.

Then there's the "green man" theme. Is running a large mobile party green? Going from nowhere to nowhere for the sake of being seen...

Why ride around in the desert if you want to be seen? Why not in the heart of a major city? Certainly more people. Open the art up for a wider audience. Less contention for attention, too.

Since it's BLM not the city that is limiting, how does this address the form/function dichotomy? And why does BLM care about the number of vehicles on the street anyway? Ecological impact? Other functional concerns?
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Postby Steven bradford » Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:43 pm

What is the increased aesthetic value of stasis?

At any rate, our vehicle won't make it back for it's sixth year. After numerous improvements, both to the engine (7 to 15 mpg!) and the aesthetics, and function, the engine block cracked 2 hours out of town today. That's the end for that one.
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Postby Valkyrie » Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:03 pm

I can think of a couple of increased aesthetic values of stasis. (or decreased value in motion)

- I have more time to view/contemplate/examine/be moved by the great work of art that is your vehicle if it's not moving away from me.

- I have little care for the ode de exhaust that is an inevitable part of your vehicle's presentation when moving.

- Sound presentations have to compete with the internal combustion engine in a constant war between noise and sound that subsumes the clarity of your overall presentation.

These last two are where the electric cars and human power really shine.
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Postby scootert » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:30 am

So sorry to hear about your engine block, Steven. Geez, that's gotta hurt. At least it had a few years of outrageous fun...

I don't mind the party buses, personally. In terms of driving around to be seen, that's the whole point in a way. Everyone at Burning Man is trying to add to the spectacle of it all, and the art cars and the costumed people in them are part of that.

Have a great, GREAT Burn!

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