Some dysfunctions this year

Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby gaminwench » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:13 pm

hip scarf like bellydancers wear= coin MOOP everywhere...

the huge flower installation suffered from understaffing due to tickapocalypse... and fabrication of the flowers was more complicated than anticipated (duh!), causing most of the build team to be delayed in Reno for 6 days to complete.
The 3 folks on playa Wed before opening went as far as they could with the erection; the flowers arrived Sunday late... they were installed Monday and Tuesday, but never got the video component to complete...
(this installation was on my pottypath, so I got daily updates from the artists)

I loved this year, favorite of 12...
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:01 pm

First burn:

No excessive notice of LEOS. Some, but not excesive.

Extremely pissed off by excess of darkwads.

After looking for it all week, could not discern the clock lasers. Saw many lasers, but they seemed too random to be a clock.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby jkisha » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:24 pm

I think they had it motorized and on a timer later in the week, as it didn't seem to take any people participation to make it work.

boulderburner wrote:Not sure if you realized this, but the strobe lights on the paddling skeletons only fired when the wheel was spinning at a certain RPM (to make the illusion work correctly.) There were several times I was there that there were a bunch of people standing around waiting and watching while there were several ropes empty. It took quite a bit of pulling to get the wheel spinning at the right pace.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby BBadger » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:45 pm

I only saw the skeletons spin earlier in the week from a distance. Later in the week we'd check on it and it wouldn't be spinning. I guess next time I'll investigate the pieces closer to see if they need to be manually operated.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Cheyenne » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:14 am

The Peter Hudson 'Caron' wheel was working perfectly all week. I was crewing the Transmorphagon Art Car one eve and we took it out to Caron and I told everyone to get off and grab a rope - you work in pairs, heave-ho like a round of church bells and when the speed reaches 30mph, the strobe is activated - so it looks like an animated barge punter.

Easy peasy..

I was expecting a massively overbearing police presence, but the only ones we saw were when we danced for a couple of hours at OT on saturday night after man burn... I was very impressed with the politeness of the few cops we spoke to... and my trolleyed mate got a lift back from the perimeter fence by the sheriff when he passed out.... maybe it was because he is British :-s
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Sic Pup » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:02 pm

Cheyenne wrote:The Peter Hudson 'Caron' wheel was working perfectly all week. I was crewing the Transmorphagon Art Car one eve and we took it out to Caron and I told everyone to get off and grab a rope - you work in pairs, heave-ho like a round of church bells and when the speed reaches 30mph, the strobe is activated - so it looks like an animated barge punter.


I believe it's "Charon", the ferryman to Hades in Greek mythology, how's that for a RoP?. This was a highlight for me, just stunning when it hit it's stride. Too many attempted to get it going by shear force and strength when the mechanisim was designed to operate on the timing, rhythm and tension of those on opposing ends of the ropes, but once it got into motion it was truly magnificent. I loved the aspect of having to partiicpate in unison and conjunction with one another in order to trigger it. I was fortunate enough to be able to jump on and off the ropes to get views from both sides. Apart from the truly stunning illusion of Charon's labors, one side had a ring of birds around the rim that took flight, as a single bird, in the strobe and the other had hands reaching up into the boat. The result was surreal, a mechanical flashback, if you will. One of the top five installations for me along with Georgie, Aurora, note to future self (for concept, not sure what the official title is) and The Shame Project (which will remain embedded in my soul forever).

I saw nothing wrong and everything right with with Charon.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby kelizabeth » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 pm

BBadger wrote:I only saw the skeletons spin earlier in the week from a distance. Later in the week we'd check on it and it wouldn't be spinning. I guess next time I'll investigate the pieces closer to see if they need to be manually operated.


We came upon this piece when a large group of people were trying to get it going. I hopped on a rope and gave it a try, but the rope was all splintery and brittle, and I have soft little pansy hands so I said to hell with it. That group never did manage to get the strobe going so I didn't see it. Fun idea, though.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Sic Pup » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:48 pm

For those that missed it ("bird" side perspective):

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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby trilobyte » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:55 pm

As I think others mentioned, Charon was actually working all (or most of the) week, the strobes only actually go off if those heaving ho get the wheel spinning at a fast enough speed. Same is true with his previous human powered kinetic stroboscopes (swimmer, diver, homouroborous/monkey-snake, and tantalus), I think that of all his creations, this ran the best. Cheers to Peter and his entire crew, it was remarkable.

As for the over-abundance of dubstep, I felt it too. An art car whizzing by at one point playing a dodgy dubbed up remix of John Denver about summed it up. There was some really good dubstep out there, though for me it seemed to be hard to find amidst a sea of wobbly mediocrity. The issue, IMO, has more to do with the ready abundance of cheap DJ tools (mixers, decks, and software). It enables damned near anyone to "be a DJ" as it were, but as it turns out there's a fuckload more to it than having some decks (or a laptop) and a downloaded Beatport chart. There's an awful lot to be said for finding those diamonds in the rough, and then playing just the right tracks in just the right order. Just like in every other year I've been to Burning Man, if I didn't like what I was hearing I just kept moving along. In no time I found great sounds and performances.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby plumblove » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:13 pm

I'm conflicted on how to respond to the original post comment. Part of me thinks your comment was kind of bitchy. I'm guessing you probably have never brought any art to the Playa. Burning Man is a cruel mistress. It seems so far away in December when you're planning your art project. Even in June when construction is 'halfway done' it seems as if there's plenty of time left. Then in August you're spending 16 hour days trying to get your project done so you can share it with the attendees of BM. You arrive on the Playa, exhausted,up to a week before and work day and night to get your project finished. Thwarted by weather and remoteness. The best laid plans are put to the test. At some point you either decide you're going to spend all of the event working on your project or decide it's good enough and go get some sleep. It's really fucking hard. Whether you bail or soldier on, you're beating yourself up the whole time.
Did you enjoy your burn?
Did it occur to you to offer to help at any of these unfinished projects?
The other part of me agrees with you that walking up to an unfinished piece of art on Thursday can bring you down a little. But you have to think of the time and effort that got the piece of art that far.

BTW I worked on the Trojan Horse as one of the core builders. There were 6-8 of us. We arrived a week early and worked every day 12-22 hours a day until well after the event started. We managed to hit most of our deadlines. What did you bring to the Playa?
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Super Evil Brian » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:59 pm

There was some huge bust or police activity at Monticello one night. Lots of lights and LEO moving quickly.

I saw a bunch of people climbing on the tree. They had to climb over the fence and "no climbing" signs to get to it. As far as I know, the tree was fragile and climbing damaged parts of it.

I noticed a theme with the dark wads. The very unlit ones rode their bikes on the left side of the "streets," while the lighted people rode mostly on the right. I had to dodge people I couldn't see riding toward me.

The temperature seemed awesome, but I'm also coming from horrible Texas.

I crossed paths with a few people who were shit, but they were the VAST minority.

I ate like a king in the commissary, had access to a "secret" stash of porta-shits and knew where the wifi was -- all because I volunteered at Media Mecca. The people I met through there from all over the world were beyond awesome. Just about all of the burners I met were equally awesome.

This was my first burn and it was insane in the best possible way. I did have one big problem: I didn't realize how difficult it would be to leave. I was a wreck the first night in a motel room. The shower didn't even matter. It was so dark and quiet and lonely. That was rough (and it still is.)

I was in awe over the scale of ... everything. The engineering, mechanics, passion, creativity and elbow grease it must have taken to build this crazy shit is insane. The octopus was made from stuff the builder found on the roadside in Mexico.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:35 am

Some cans of Spam and a few gallons of water. So what's your point? Looks like you need to fall off your high horse after you build it next time.. :wink:

plumblove wrote:
BTW I worked on the Trojan Horse as one of the core builders. There were 6-8 of us. We arrived a week early and worked every day 12-22 hours a day until well after the event started. We managed to hit most of our deadlines. What did you bring to the Playa?
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Enderfish » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:57 am

I think his point was just that no one *intends* to have their art not work properly on the playa. Unforeseen factors come in to play and for one reason or another it didn't get completed, or like in a few of the cases, people at the event actually break it. I'm sure since he worked on a big project he can empathize with the artists that didn't get their project completed in time, or had it messed up after it was there, and to see someone complaining about non-working projects could be frustrating especially if the person complaining hadn't worked on any projects.

I certainly don't think you need to contribute anything more than yourself to be a "good" burner, but I will say it would be a far different experience without all the art people bring. For me, if a certain installation wasn't working (giant face, elevator to hell, zipline for the ones I personally encountered) I just thought "oh well it would have been cool" and rode on to the next awesome installation.

On topic, I guess the only thing that even slightly irked me (its hard to get upset out there) was, like many people have said, the darkwads. It made riding my bike at night slightly stressful and I really feel it not only endangers the darkwad, but any biker that might crash into them as well. I did have a wonderfully powerful bike light that made it a lot easier until it mysteriously disappeared on Friday :( But all in all my family and I had an amazing time with no real complaints or problems. Now we're just waiting for them to announce next year's theme so we can start brainstorming :D
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Zhust » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:45 am

I missed this year and had my share of failure to boot (by the way: it's not as fun as it seems).

Then I thought how odd it was that so much stuff didn't work if, as I understand it, the Playa was as bikeable as it has ever been, and the weather was pleasant and cooperative. But really, it's all in the planning. Thinking of successful projects I've done, the Playa conditions played almost no role, yet unsuccessful projects were completely exacerbated by terrible weather.

Whenever I'd come across broken art, I just found it kind of sad. I knew someone had poured some (or all) of their heart into it, and it's flapping in the wind, half covered by a dune of caustic dust. I sometimes would try to see what it was supposed to do and see if I could get it closer to that, but usually it was beyond repair.

Every year I go out with high hopes of helping to fix someone else's stuff, but I never seem to have the right parts around to do it. The best was in 2006 when I helped Kate Raudenbush's team debug the lights on "Duel Nature". Most of the time, though the person making the project is really smart and know what they're doing (in the case of Duel Nature, the electronics designer had not arrived on-playa yet), so their undoing is always some impossible-to-fix thing that I can't help with.

That gets me to thinking, though: can I conceive broken art? I mean, what would a project look like that's supposed to work, but that requires some additional help to make it happen? I see it as kind of an anonymous gift from one maker to another — and that as a maker, I derive joy from making things work, so fixing art makes me happy as much as seeing a project get completed ... win/win.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Corvus » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:06 pm

Eric wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:- The amount of LEO/law presence was a FRACTION of what it was last year, and I'm not the only one by far that commented on this. Everyone I talked to was like wow.. this year is pretty mellow! Last year there were sheriffs on quads driving everywhere down all streets at all hours.. flashing lights all over the playa.. everything. I saw busts happening left and right. This year felt like it was about 20% of last year.


Gotta agree. We were all talking about how mellow the LEO's were keeping it this year; however, some of the new BR Ranger recruits really need some training- we were calling them the Black Rock Mall Cops by the end of the week. The old time Rangers know their shit & are a welcome presence, the new ones need to learn that they're Burners first, "authority" about 5th.

As a first year ranger, I'm disappointed to hear that. Were there any specific interactions you can relate, or was it just a general "coppish" attitude?

Re: the Tunnel of Questionable Enlightenment It was kinda incomplete because the artist ran out of money; the LED strips went up on him. He had a last-minute fund raiser and was able to add about twenty more arches, but was still short of the 120 or so he wanted.

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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Eric » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:38 pm

Corvus wrote:As a first year ranger, I'm disappointed to hear that. Were there any specific interactions you can relate, or was it just a general "coppish" attitude?


More of a general "coppish" attitude, and swaggering in pairs down the Esplanade like they wanted to write people tickets for something (our bar was right on Esplanade). Not behavior I've seen from the Rangers before- like I said, it was noticeable enough to people in our camp that they were being called the Black Rock Mall Cops by Friday. This is not a good thing.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby jkisha » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:43 pm

I can tell you a story or two; but don't want it to sound like sour grapes, so I'll refrain.

Eric wrote:
Corvus wrote:As a first year ranger, I'm disappointed to hear that. Were there any specific interactions you can relate, or was it just a general "coppish" attitude?


More of a general "coppish" attitude, and swaggering in pairs down the Esplanade like they wanted to write people tickets for something (our bar was right on Esplanade). Not behavior I've seen from the Rangers before- like I said, it was noticeable enough to people in our camp that they were being called the Black Rock Mall Cops by Friday. This is not a good thing.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby Snow » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:58 pm

So the art that you thought was broken you just weren't initiated enough to figure out how to work HAHA that's precious. Bitch bitch moan whine. Why didn't you work harder for my burn? cry bitch moan Why didn't someone pull on Charon's ropes for me? whine bitch moan....What art did you make BBadger? What type of music did YOU play?
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby kelizabeth » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:47 pm

Eric wrote:it was noticeable enough to people in our camp that they were being called the Black Rock Mall Cops by Friday.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby marck » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:31 pm

BBadger wrote: I was able to listen to some fantastic live music sung by some Persian folk with a sitar who caught a ride on our MV.


Are you sure it wasn't a setar, there is a big difference. The ethnical difference being that a setar is Persian and a sitar is Hindi. A setar looks like a thin necked lute, where the sitar is larger, heavier, and much more complicated.
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Re: Some dysfunctions this year

Postby graidawg » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:21 pm

Sic Pup wrote:For those that missed it ("bird" side perspective):




thanks for this i went to see it and saw it work - it was a true unexpected pleasure me and mdf had a good chat about what it meant to us. its nice to see a video of it in action again.
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