IDEA / NEED HELP - Playa Confessional

IDEA / NEED HELP - Playa Confessional

Postby talito » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:18 am

The idea I have goes back many years. It started when I was living in NYC, and used to go out to bars and public areas with a good friend, a recording device and a camera. We would talk to strangers (while getting drunk usually) and ask them to share stories with us. Any stories that they thought were interesting, unusual, funny, etc. We would record their stories to tape (this was pre-mp3) and take some photos (with their permission). We ended up with some incredible material, which we wanted to eventually post on a website for the public to enjoy.

I want to update and bring that concept to the playa as a confessional. The basic idea is that we build some kind of confessional booth, like you would find in a church, but a playafied version. Think sexy lighting, chill music, cool design, art, etc.
We place it out on the playa. Not sure what the ideal location would be.
Ideally I'd like burners to find the confessional, step inside, sit down, and share their stories. The funnier, stranger, sadder, crazier...the better.
What I'm still trying to figure out is...
1) How we capture their stories - audio, or video also? Most people i've spoken with about this think audio only for anonymity purposes.
2) What do we do with their stories - post online? broadcast somewhere on the playa? both?

Some related ideas I've been entertaining...
- Have a "playa priest" on the other side of the confessional wall...either real or automated recording of some kind. This might get too complicated logistically so leaning against it right now.
- Have a second confessional located in a different part of the playa, and the two could communicate with each other. Again, more complicated and would require two people to be in there at the same time.

So, I'm looking for the following collaborators:
- Brainstormers
- People who can help design the structure
- People who can help build the structure
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Rite of passage

Postby midnitefirelite » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:29 pm

I think this is a great idea and can be incorporated in the theme this year since going to your 1st confessional or first communion can be a rite of passage to many catholics. Maybe you could offer a communion wine and cracker. I would love to work a shift and hear some confessions.
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Postby brushfire on the playa » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:54 pm

This is a good idea and I can see some hilarious things happening when burners are asked to confess their "sins."
Audio would be cool, but you may also want to consider having pens and a guestbook of sorts to allow people to write down their stories for others to read as they just pass through. I think this may be the most effective way to allow other burners to get in on the hilarity of a playa confessional.
As far as location, definitely deep playa where not everyone will stumble upon it (like something along the esplanade or close to the man). I always love stumbling onto random art pieces in the middle of nothing while exploring the playa.

Good luck! :D
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Postby jkisha » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:30 pm

Yup, sounds like a good idea to me. I doubt that I'd be confessing, but would sure like to see the tape.

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Postby precious » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:32 pm

I built a confessional in 2009. However, it was satans confessional. The HelleVator....an elevator ride that takes you from the playa 12,122 miles down to hell and satans confessional. It requires a person to run it. It needs audio and video production work.
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Postby talito » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:43 am

No shit?!?! I didn't see that. Hmmm, so I'm totally unoriginal. Drats!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:29 pm

talito wrote:No shit?!?! I didn't see that. Hmmm, so I'm totally unoriginal. Drats!

There is nothing new under the sun. Don't strive for originality. Do it your way, and that should be enough difference. Unless that poor idea is so overdone, that's it's dried out and blowing away.
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Postby talito » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:01 pm

How about a toothpaste filled toilet bowl that heckles redheaded passersby with "your momma" jokes in Aramaic? Has that been done yet?
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Postby TomServo » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:07 pm

Who said the art at burning man was dying?! I love the idea. Make it both audio and video...depending on the confession. A thought...make it mobile. Place it between the temple and the man...the man and center camp. I would pay to see...or hear the results. I have some really funny stories...and some really tragic stories. I think it would be a great homage to all burners.
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Postby moonrise » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:22 pm

brushfire on the playa wrote:This is a good idea and I can see some hilarious things happening when burners are asked to confess their "sins."
Audio would be cool, but you may also want to consider having pens and a guestbook of sorts to allow people to write down their stories for others to read as they just pass through. I think this may be the most effective way to allow other burners to get in on the hilarity of a playa confessional.
As far as location, definitely deep playa where not everyone will stumble upon it (like something along the esplanade or close to the man). I always love stumbling onto random art pieces in the middle of nothing while exploring the playa.

Good luck! :D


Yea, audio and pen n paper....

I have a confession. A handful of us stoically went to Center Camp to fill out the census form on Friday. Most of us had great difficulty filling the forms out (I had lost my glasses and sooo much more by then) it started a wave of people helping us, then getting forms for themselves and needing help with their own forms and all of us rewriting those odd questions.

I think it took well over two or three hours for our group to finish and the wave of others working on their forms was stilling going strong...

Someone got a stack of very unique census forms....at least they were all signed and turned in.
Audio will be a good idea for the pencil challenged :?
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Postby Skipper » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:25 pm

I really really dig this idea!

I say audio and mobile! set it up on an art car! that way you have tyo just bump into it and you never know where its going to be! also would be a plus for the priest on duty so they dont have to sit in a box in the middle of the playa ALL day !
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Postby BAS » Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:14 pm

talito wrote:No shit?!?! I didn't see that. Hmmm, so I'm totally unoriginal. Drats!


Don't let that stop you! It just means you need to put a little extra effort into the project. Anyway, I'll bet you get different confessions than "Satan's Confessional" did.

Oh, and I also think a "pen and paper" option is a good idea.
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Do things that have never been done."
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Postby talito » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:41 pm

Thanks for all the great feedback.

At this point I have more ideas than I know what to do with!
What I need most is a partner(s) who can design and help build the structure. I'm clueless when it comes to construction or design.
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Postby Bob » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:40 pm

Some people might be expecting the priest to confess to them.
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Postby ygmir » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:43 pm

Bob wrote:Some people might be expecting the priest to confess to them.


like a couch cares..........really, as long as some needs to sit, I'm sure you're happy.
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Postby joaniedark » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:43 pm

Sounds terribly neat. I'd be sure to think of something to confess.
If you wind up making it and still need people putting it together, I'm handy with hammers and nails?
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Postby goathead » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:58 am

the Bad Catholics do a "Grope the Pope" confessional.
they have a lot of fun with it.
Don't confess your TIRED OLD SINS TO US!!!!!!
go out and commit NEW ONES, and please bring back the Video.

:lol:
Ffwcio eich diwrnod
Jebem ti dan
Tpaxhnte ball aehb
Nasrat na vas den
Namaste, zkurvysynu

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Postby Aiee! It burns! » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:39 am

put them in a privite booth . give them a miccro phone to speak in to . then send the signal to a camp across the playa with loud speakers .
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Postby TomServo » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:29 pm

Aiee! It burns! wrote:put them in a privite booth . give them a miccro phone to speak in to . then send the signal to a camp across the playa with loud speakers .


reminds me of an art installation at center camp, a few years back. You would step into a box, bend over to the viewer, and see a live video of your ass being projected on a giant screen just outside centercamp.
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Postby BAS » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:43 pm

TomServo wrote:
Aiee! It burns! wrote:put them in a privite booth . give them a miccro phone to speak in to . then send the signal to a camp across the playa with loud speakers .


reminds me of an art installation at center camp, a few years back. You would step into a box, bend over to the viewer, and see a live video of your ass being projected on a giant screen just outside centercamp.


...so then you drop your pants and moon everyone! Right?
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Postby maryjaneinbrain » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:15 am

this is great!
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confessional idea

Postby Luap » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:14 pm

I think the confessional is a great idea, and yes it's been done before but, you can pimp it up and finally make it memorable, right? Do you remember the closet confessional in the movie, "Carrie?" That would be awesome...
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Postby d6 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:14 pm

hotshot the robot had a confessional booth last year @ 3:00 plaza. -
pretty simple set-up - 5 4x8's osb for the walls and center divider, anchored with 2x4 vertical and cross struts, and a 2x4 supported 1/2 thick plank for the bench. it was anchored with 4ft cement stakes that the 2x4's were drilled into so it wouldn't blow away.
some sides were painted, there was a neon sign and a woodcut of the bot on another.
there should always be some sort of confessional, and adding your dementia to it will draw 'em in.......
your witty rejoinder just flew over my head.....

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Confessional a comin!

Postby precious » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:16 pm

The HelleVator is coming. Not only does it go to hell...but its going to heaven too. Confess all and get plenty a penances from each entity.
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Postby Isotopia » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:09 pm

So, this confessional is gonna be a giant statue of... Oprah?
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