Plug & Play/Turnkey Camping

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby chromatest » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:03 pm

Eric wrote:
chromatest wrote:How about we revoke all of the vendor passes?

Why the fuck does an event that has no vending have vendor passes in the first place?


Are you going to empty the Porta-Potties, wash them twice daily, and then truck the "waste" in a state-certified vehicle to a state-certified disposal site? That would be 900 Porta-Potties, twice a day, every day.

Are you going to bring the truck-loads of ice that get sold at the Artica's? You may not use it, but can you imagine what would happen to all the bars without it?

How about the wood for the Man, or the Temple, or the fireworks, or the steel used for armature...

There are a lot of reasons vendor passes exist. The event would cease if they were revoked- especially the Porta-Potties. No Pots, no event. Period.



Ahhh.. I'm sorry. I didn't realize that United Site Services were vending when they emptied the potties. Also, the man, temple, fireworks, ice, etc. is all burning man infrastructure and those people are not vending. If they are, I want to get in line to buy wood, fireworks, etc. The lines would probably less than Artica.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby stinkyfoot » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:12 pm

Eric wrote:Just in case anyone missed our story about this from the organizers view-point in the Weekly last year, you can find it here.


I read that article, it think it made some valid points about the positives of VIP camps. I had the thought that it's really impossible to extricate wealthy people from big art events, and why should you? Wealthy people and artists seem to be natural allies, at least they used to be before all this class segregation that we've been experiencing in the US. Wealthy people have been allowed to isolate themselves too much in the last 30 years and it's making them strange and it's making non-wealthy people even resent their showing up anymore.

First of all, if someone really wants to provide an excellent service at BRC, I don't see why that is anything worse than creating a theme camp or doing an art project. Secondly, if done well, it seems like a camp like this does take on the issue of acculturating the wealthy into the fabric of BRC. Everybody comes from somewhere and what works for one type of person as an intro to the Burning Man event doesn't necessarily work for another. The service that a good VIP camp provides is definitely valid as a form of cultural propagation.

So if good camps serve as a way to integrate their clients into the fabric of the event but bad camps just throw some RV's and some catering out onto the playa, could the org not recognize VIP camps as a project type distinct from art or theme camps but managed similarly, with good examples supported by the org and bad examples discouraged?
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Nipple » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:36 pm

Savannah wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:This thread is rapidly becoming an operetta.


*dies of consumption*


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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby ElmoSF » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:55 pm

Thanks for sharing. As a Virgin just last year, and a theme camp organizer this, I'm on a steep learning curve about the logistics and cultural choices we all make. The cognitive dissonance in that video seemed really apparent to me, and I think it's a little sad that the de facto Tourists jumping in to the "Plug & Play" camps are cheating themselves of the sort of experience I had. So much of the experience is about bending your own expectations to an entirely different culture, that I have a hard time imagining how one would really get anything from the event at such a surface level.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby knowmad » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:07 am

stinkyfoot wrote:
Eric wrote:Just in case anyone missed our story about this from the organizers view-point in the Weekly last year, you can find it here.


I read that article, it think it made some valid points about the positives of VIP camps. I had the thought that it's really impossible to extricate wealthy people from big art events, and why should you? Wealthy people and artists seem to be natural allies, at least they used to be before all this class segregation that we've been experiencing in the US. Wealthy people have been allowed to isolate themselves too much in the last 30 years and it's making them strange and it's making non-wealthy people even resent their showing up anymore.

First of all, if someone really wants to provide an excellent service at BRC, I don't see why that is anything worse than creating a theme camp or doing an art project. Secondly, if done well, it seems like a camp like this does take on the issue of acculturating the wealthy into the fabric of BRC. Everybody comes from somewhere and what works for one type of person as an intro to the Burning Man event doesn't necessarily work for another. The service that a good VIP camp provides is definitely valid as a form of cultural propagation.

So if good camps serve as a way to integrate their clients into the fabric of the event but bad camps just throw some RV's and some catering out onto the playa, could the org not recognize VIP camps as a project type distinct from art or theme camps but managed similarly, with good examples supported by the org and bad examples discouraged?


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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby trilobyte » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:32 am

Bob wrote:
trilobyte wrote:...I think that these camps should either not be located in the city proper (let them set up out by JOTS and other service providers), or placed only on the outermost streets...


With all due respect, some of us would like to keep the hinterlands to ourselves and our Paiute brothers.

Nothing I've read adequately defines "plug and play" problem camps in actionable terms that sufficiently differentiate them from staff camps, funded artist camps, or any camp that might have similar issues, real or imaginary.


Good point, Bob, you're absolutely right.

The real question to be asking is that, in this current climate of scarcity when active participants are not able to get the tickets they need and when camps that are providing experiences that are more in line with the core values of the event (and successfully acculturating both campmates and visitors), should these types of organizations and businesses get any support at all?
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby pink » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:50 am

No support. Watching the video made me more than slightly nauseous. I remember Playaschool on the esplanade. Why are these camps getting placed at all? Did/do they lie on their placement apps?

Burning man is not a resort and I dont go and contribute so that I can be a spectacle for a tourist to gawk at. It's just so wrong I have trouble finding the words for how wrong this is.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby percussivepaul » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:10 am

The whole point of theme camps, at least when it comes to official recognition and placement, is that they bring something to the city at large. Placement happens not for the benefit of the camp members, but for the citizens of the city who will be visiting the camp.

Lots of big camps offer some form of plug and play service to their members in order to make things happen. Opulent Temple, for example, or all the org infrastructure camps. I don't have a problem with this because the financial contribution is used to create something huge for the city. I get uneasy when the contribution to the city is outweighed by the size and scale of the services for camp members, or when the portion of members 'plugging and playing' and not directly involved in the contribution to the city starts to become a large fraction of the camp. I have a big, big problem when the financial contribution to the camp is funding paid staff rather than a contribution to the city -- this is when the line has been crossed.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby guff » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:06 am

We've provided sort of Plug N Play for friends earlier, and I don't mind doing that as a gift. If I want to do a dear friend (or a perfect stranger, who just happened to show up) the gift of an amazing camp, I should not be judged for doing that.
However, charging for PnP I consider being the same thing as charging extra for reselling tickets. If Burning Man wants to be serious about "it's not ok to charge extra", then this should be strongly discouraged for other services too.

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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby chromatest » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:21 am

Heheh...
The first guy, Jon la Grace, "Theme Camp Organizer"...

A friend of mine on the bike club told me that this guy was trying to steal a whole slew of Yellow Bikes. They almost started a physical fight. Turns out that it was a misunderstanding or something... The misunderstanding was that Jon thought they were his bikes. How would somebody not know that they weren't his bikes, you may ask. Well, his clients were told to leave their (provided by the company) bikes in camp and they would be taken care of. MANY yellow bikes were left in camp, and Jon was so new to the event (and evidently his own business venture) that he had no idea that all of those yellow bikes weren't bikes that his company provided.

I don't know about you, but this isn't the sort of thing that I want to support at Burning Man.

Another way to look at what these camps are doing:

Volunteers build and work the entire city. DPW, Rangers, etc. put in uncountable hours making sure the event runs smoothly. These plug and play camps are then coming in and earning a profit off the work of us volunteers. How do you feel about that?
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:32 am

Let's not kid one another. Burning Man is a small business venture, $15-20M for the org, and subsidiary direct economics of ~$50-100M per year. Even as a nonprofit, it will have revenues, vendors, assets and employees.

The culture and "non-commerce" is simply a strategy to create a unique experience of value, however you want to measure it.

I'm not opposed to either the ploy or the play, though I don't benefit financially from either.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Trishntek » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:34 am

chromatest wrote:Heheh...
The first guy, Jon la Grace, "Theme Camp Organizer"...

A friend of mine on the bike club told me that this guy was trying to steal a whole slew of Yellow Bikes. They almost started a physical fight. Turns out that it was a misunderstanding or something... The misunderstanding was that Jon thought they were his bikes. How would somebody not know that they weren't his bikes, you may ask. Well, his clients were told to leave their (provided by the company) bikes in camp and they would be taken care of. MANY yellow bikes were left in camp, and Jon was so new to the event (and evidently his own business venture) that he had no idea that all of those yellow bikes weren't bikes that his company provided.

I don't know about you, but this isn't the sort of thing that I want to support at Burning Man.

Another way to look at what these camps are doing:

Volunteers build and work the entire city. DPW, Rangers, etc. put in uncountable hours making sure the event runs smoothly. These plug and play camps are then coming in and earning a profit off the work of us volunteers. How do you feel about that?

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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Headmaster Janus » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:48 am

Ah — my Dear Friends and Fellow Burners — it’s Headmaster Janus from Play)A(Skool aka Jon La Grace, one of the people on the Plug and Play video, reaching out to all of you and hoping to address some of the notions and ideas of what Plug and Play IS and IS NOT. I represent Play)A(Skool — a Plug and Play Camp. Hopefully some of you were able to come and participate in our Interactive heavy schedule last year that included daily talks, classes, demonstrations in our SkoolHouse as well as hosting the first-ever TEDxBlackRockCity at our camp — an incredible venue to share some of the great voices and incredible Ideas Worth Spreading from OUR wonderful community. Or perhaps you stumbled on our Sunday Graduation party with the amazing Lee Burridge spinning for 7 hours leading up to the Temple Burn? Hundreds of people were there and the moment was, for me, sublime — We had envisioned this very party while planning Play)A(Skool, and that vision was eclipsed by the true beauty of the moment. Our gifts to the Burning Man community not only included these incredible events, but we also shared 8 different art cars in our camp including Shaggadelica – the big furry bus, Shagillac, Christina (the 70ft boat), The Scorpion, BalanceVille, FishTank I and II, and others. One of our campers created the now viral video called, “Home” — which hopefully you’ve seen? Images of Burning Man that were featured in many global media outlets from a number of famous Burner photographers — yes — they too are from Play)A(Skool. As a Plug and Play camp, we eagerly invite each and every one of you as our gift to the community. And we are very proud of our Family and their work to help bridge the gap —

Let me describe Play)A(Skool to you so perhaps it frames how our Plug and Play camp works. We are a NOT FOR PROFIT organization. Our books are open to anyone in our camp who requests to see them, as well as to the Burning Man Organization. Our financial model is simple: we look at what our needs are going to be for the year — power generation, water, dumping, providing shade structures for our lounge, kitchen, tenters, creating the SkoolHouse, Sound needs, Art provisions, etc.. — we take that number and divide it by the number of campers we have and that’s that! To me, that’s no different from when there were 8 of us at Hualapai Playa — we took the total cost of getting ourselves there and setting ourselves up and divided it by 8?? I’m not really sure how if we divide that number by 200 how all of the sudden we aren’t modeling the 10 principles? We had 1 person that volunteered his time to overseeing the camp operations and we allocated a ticket for that person. We also allocated tickets to an additional 4 people who volunteered as well. One person was licensed to drive the water truck. The other 3 who were licensed to build the SkoolHouse from pallet racks and operate the SkyTrak lift. We ended up taking a collection at the end from out campers as gratitude for these guys that took time from their full Burning Man experience and offered to pay them for their time and work. Additionally, we hired a team of people to come to the Playa to make sure our LNT plan was fulfilled. (Here’s the kicker — the team we actually DID pay — they failed the LNT plan and we ended up getting a red mark — so this year, we are eliminating even THAT component and instead we are asking a group of PlayaSkoolers to stay for an additional week to ensure our compliance.) Other than that, it was the 200 people in our camp that were told WELL in advance that they would be part of a cooking team and a moop team — that they would be responsible for their RV’s and costumes. For all this talk about the Entitled Plug and Players — I can’t tell you how FAR that is from the reality of PlayaSkool. That’s the ticket to PlayaSkool — it doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, MD, Ph’D, MBA, CFO, WTF — we are all equal on the Playa — anonymous — and you’re gonna be responsible for our camp. Period.

We at Playaskool ARE the servants — self-servants — self-reliant — giving — participating — and yes, Plug and Play.

7 of us form what we call the” Fakulty” — a group of volunteers who spend the entire year planning the camp. What an incredible journey it is for these people — the sacrifice becomes a test of many things: relationships, jobs, mental health. Last year our planning team were scattered all over the world: 2 in Cambodia, 2 in California, 1 in Canada, 1 in Colombia and 1 in London. We planned all year via Skype, WhatsApp, Free Conference Call and loads of emails. We never met in person — not once — until we were standing on the Playa in 2011. We didn’t pay anyone to do this job, we each volunteered our time and effort in the planning of the camp. To me, that smells like Self-Reliance. (And it sure felt like it — this will be year 13 for me and last year was one of the MOST demanding in my tenure at Black Rock City.) As a group of planners we dealt with Placement, Interactivity, Infrastructure, Kitchen Plans, MOOP, Layout, PR and Communication,etc.. Let’s face it — planning a camp of 200 takes a team of dedicated volunteers.

The other 193 people worked on art, decorating the camp, teaching classes, dj’ing, working on Art Cars, cooking, cleaning, setting up there little micro-camps within our group. In ALL my years at Burning Man, I honestly don’t find this ANY different than when I was a poor college student with a tent and a ticket. This year, I got to the Playa a week in advance of the start in my RV, set up my area, decorated, met others — not a speck of difference if I do that in a tent, yurt or RV. No one set this up for me or anyone else in our camp! And if they DO, it’s a fellow PlayaSkooler — not some paid person there to pamper and certainly not a “servant.” Setting up camp and breaking it down is still the FUN pain in the ass it has ALWAYS been — Yes, a vast majority of our campers camped in RV’s, many who already own their own vehicles. And yes, we provide an infrastructure for our campers. We had 2 bio-diesel generators and procured water from a local source (helping the local economy). I was pleased to see the the post regarding environmental impact — this is something we’ve actually spent some time researching and continue to study. We are not new to the Playa. MANY in our group are long-time Burners. So this conversation is not new to us — we constantly look to decrease the impact on the Playa as much as possible. The reality is, when we look at tents and yurts — providing power and water and restrooms and showers — there is as great an environmental impact as compared to RV’s, in fact there are more. Personally, I’ve done it all — tents, yurts, rv’s — for me, I want to provide a choice for people to choose what is comfortably right for them. This year, I’m going back to the tent to experiment with this idea. But that will take WAY more space than the RV because Ol’ Janus will build three sleeping tents, two dressing rooms, a very large hang out tent — all of which needs power and air condition. All of which I will do myself and with my fellow campers. All of which will have an environmental impact equal to if not outstripping that of my RV. But if the argument is about RV’s —- then we can easily switch that out and I personally will model what that means this year. Environmental impact? I think the jury is out on that one Kiddies.

Really — if you want a RADICAL self-reliant policy — then perhaps banning RV’s all-together is the solution? (Oh Janus! You didn’t!!)

We are a camp of 200 of the most incredible, giving, wonderful, dedicated Burners who come from all over the world for a week in the desert — to fill our creative well, to let go, to demonstrate a craft or realize a dream. For some it’s about building art and art cars and participating in conversations about how to bring these incredible gifts back to the default world. I’m proud of our Plug and Play camp and campers as I think we exemplify the creative spring and the fabric of Burning Man. I think we are a model community in many ways — and therefore really hope to continue the conversation about what Plug and Play means. The very image of Burning Man, the beautiful costumes and incredible art and one-of-a-kind experience — a great deal of those ARE Play)A(Skool, a Plug and Play camp. We are but one, there are others that are less self-reliant. But all things change in time and to just merely discount the value of this model would be dire. I was very pleased when Harley Dubois and Terry Schoop invited us to participate in this conversation because there are many different ways to do Plug and Play — but suffice to say — our model is NOT a Disneyland ride of tourists being whisked from place to place on the Playa like some sort of Falling Down the Rabbit Hole ride.

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Pity the nation that won’t listen to your boys and girls
Cos the sweetest melody is the one we haven’t heard”

As always — I’m happy to engage in helpful conversation —-

In Love and Dust Kiddies —

Ol’ Janus
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Headmaster Janus » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:52 am

WILDLY UNTRUE . . . I'm very open to discussion about Plug and Play but NOT to baseless lies and rumors. Totally made me laugh though.


Trishntek wrote:
chromatest wrote:Heheh...
The first guy, Jon la Grace, "Theme Camp Organizer"...

A friend of mine on the bike club told me that this guy was trying to steal a whole slew of Yellow Bikes. They almost started a physical fight. Turns out that it was a misunderstanding or something... The misunderstanding was that Jon thought they were his bikes. How would somebody not know that they weren't his bikes, you may ask. Well, his clients were told to leave their (provided by the company) bikes in camp and they would be taken care of. MANY yellow bikes were left in camp, and Jon was so new to the event (and evidently his own business venture) that he had no idea that all of those yellow bikes weren't bikes that his company provided.

I don't know about you, but this isn't the sort of thing that I want to support at Burning Man.

Another way to look at what these camps are doing:

Volunteers build and work the entire city. DPW, Rangers, etc. put in uncountable hours making sure the event runs smoothly. These plug and play camps are then coming in and earning a profit off the work of us volunteers. How do you feel about that?

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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Trishntek » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:25 am

So you are telling us all 200 of your members drove their own RV's, constructed their own yurts, cooked their own food, dealt with their own garbage, hauled out their own grey water and trash, and paid someone else to MOOP?
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby PapaBear2120 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:37 am

Janus,
It's nice to hear your response and most of what you're saying certainly makes sense. I could pick apart some other sections, but will leave that to others. The one that made me react though was this:

Headmaster Janus wrote:This year, I’m going back to the tent to experiment with this idea. But that will take WAY more space than the RV because Ol’ Janus will build three sleeping tents, two dressing rooms, a very large hang out tent — all of which needs power and air condition. All of which I will do myself and with my fellow campers. All of which will have an environmental impact equal to if not outstripping that of my RV. But if the argument is about RV’s —- then we can easily switch that out and I personally will model what that means this year. Environmental impact? I think the jury is out on that one Kiddies.


Do you really NEED air conditioning? Can you figure out a way to power your pimp house without a generator?
I've never NEEDED, or used, air conditioning or a power line for my personal little pimp structure in the back of our theme camp.
Maybe you have a medical condition, I won't begrudge that; however, if there's really not a need, use a better phrase—for instance, I want to have air conditioning because I ______ (insert reason you can't handle the desert here).
I'm only an asshole on the Playa. Especially when you give me a megaphone.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby chromatest » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:18 am

You could be right Janus. I was just sharing what a close friend of mine who is a member of the team who cares for the Yellow Bikes told me. We were discussing the video at the start of this ePlaya discussion and he said "I know that guy." "He was the -redacted- who was going to take a bunch of our Yellow Bikes until we threatened to get the sheriff's department involved." My friend could be mistaken. I do believe him though, and even if it wasn't you personally, it was definitely one of these "Pay n Play" camps which was caught with the Yellow Bikes.

Headmaster Janus wrote:WILDLY UNTRUE . . . I'm very open to discussion about Plug and Play but NOT to baseless lies and rumors. Totally made me laugh though.


Trishntek wrote:
chromatest wrote:Heheh...
The first guy, Jon la Grace, "Theme Camp Organizer"...

A friend of mine on the bike club told me that this guy was trying to steal a whole slew of Yellow Bikes. They almost started a physical fight. Turns out that it was a misunderstanding or something... The misunderstanding was that Jon thought they were his bikes. How would somebody not know that they weren't his bikes, you may ask. Well, his clients were told to leave their (provided by the company) bikes in camp and they would be taken care of. MANY yellow bikes were left in camp, and Jon was so new to the event (and evidently his own business venture) that he had no idea that all of those yellow bikes weren't bikes that his company provided.

I don't know about you, but this isn't the sort of thing that I want to support at Burning Man.

Another way to look at what these camps are doing:

Volunteers build and work the entire city. DPW, Rangers, etc. put in uncountable hours making sure the event runs smoothly. These plug and play camps are then coming in and earning a profit off the work of us volunteers. How do you feel about that?

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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby jcliff » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:42 am

I've never met anybody from a "pay to play" camp, so it's hard for me to judge whether they have a right to be there. For me, all the imagining, research, planning, organizing, etc. sustains me for those long default world months. I can't believe anyone would want to miss that part of the experience. The thing that burns me (no pun intended!) is how these camps get allotted such huge areas of prime real estate?! BMorg better be very careful of how far it entends itself to facilitate these PnP camps. I'd hate to see two classes of Burners evolve.....those that create Black Rock City and those that visit it.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Headmaster Janus » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:54 am

Yes and No. We had daily MOOP crews made up from our camp volunteers. Every person who participates in Play)A(Skool is fully aware that we are volunteer based and each member must fulfill that obligation. In fact, everyone was assigned a day to Moop and a day to Cook. We had a volunteer MOOP leader who also had overall responsibility for our LNT plan. This is required in the Placement Questionnaire process. But knowing that once the vast majority of our campers leave the Playa and that the Playa Restoration Team inspects the Playa one-week after Burning Man ends, we know a lot can happen out there. And it did!! We opted to hire a team and coordinator to inspect the Playa on Friday after the burn to ensure our compliance. For us, with our collective resources, this is a way to honor the LNT policy, the Burning Man Organization and our fellow Burners: to do whatever it takes to preserve the Playa. Personally, I drove back from Lake Tahoe to Black Rock City as well. (Which was really great to see the Playa again, post-exodus.) At the time, the Playa and our camp area looked great. In fact, I took photos and we were pleased. But a storm came up on Friday and Saturday which blew wood chips from a burn cauldron across our space as well as others on the Esplanade. There were other problems that existed as well that we couldn't have known about as well and I've personally met with Dark Angel at the Burning Man HQ and . Nonetheless, we got red marked. So this year, we have reworked our volunteer plan to have a team of Skoolers who will be there post-burn for LNT compliance and a representative who will join the Playa Restoration Team as a volunteer.

It's funny reading these posts because we are debating Radical Self-Reliance and Commodification but seemingly at the expense of Radical Inclusion. There seems to be a negative bias because people can afford RV's or are at a different place in life economically. I'm happy for them. Let me just state for the record here --- we are a diverse group of people, economically as well. The Fakulty, including myself, are Volunteers --- we GIVE our time and effort. For example, I'm not being paid to take part in a conversation about Plug and Play. I choose to spend my time on an issue I find important when on the one hand Plug and Play is being totted as posing an existential threat to Burning Man and on the other hand I believe that we are one of the largest contributors at Burning Man and our programming and art ARE the creative fabric that people come to participate with.

Here's an interesting fact about the Fakulty for Play)A(Skool --- we also PAY our share of the camp costs too! Yes --- when we divide up the costs of sharing resources and design our programming, even our volunteers pay a fee. And I'm sort of surprised at people mocking fees because outside of a few people who just show up with a ticket and nothing else, everyone spends money and resources in some way to take part in Burning Man. Well, at least in my 12 adventures to Burning Man, I know I have. I won't speak for everyone. But yeah, even with sharing, I still have $$$ that comes out of my pocket. Gas, ticket, costumes, food, water. Come on --- you all know that's true. Period.

I think the bias is based NOT on radical self reliance, but instead on economics.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:00 pm

I don't have a problem of what it is you do or how you do it. Hell, it's about the same model that most theme camps follow.

I think the biggest problem I - and a number of other burners - have with the entire "plug - n - play idea is that it diminishes and eventually destroys the spirit of do-ocracy and involvement, and breeds in a sense of spectatorism and entitlement.

You've done the burn for 13 years, so you certainly remember the old days, when the campers had to all show up, build a camp, moop the thing, etc, etc,etc... It promoted the 10 principles because it was demanded of everyone to take this self responsibility from start to end. The PnP (or at least the way we're being sold it) is a group will set up a camp, those who pay the group a chunk of change (regardless of profit or non-) show up, get to essentially spectate on the labor and whatnot the rest of us do, then walk away as if it were a flogging trip to Disneyland or something. Profit or non, it still takes an unfair advantahge of is who buiild and stock and maintain our camps, and has turned TTITD from a gathering and art festival to a bloody amusement park for the elite, built on the backs (and out of the savinggs) of the little people, who will see no return from this to their infra.

I can see the attraction for someone who is wealthy enough to drop, say, 10 large on a week vacation unlike any other - look at the sites, drink the free booze, ride the cool art cars, and hey, someone else will cook and clean and do all the "untoward" things I'd rather pay someone to do than sully my hands doing. Then you also get those who think, "Hey, I paid for my experience, everything here in Burningland is a gift, so I'll just take this thing of yours... because it's part of my ticket"...(you read my rant above, I trust).

Would I walk into your camp and appropriate your cool glass chandelier or your crystal candlesticks on the tables because I thought it was cool, and it's a gifting economy? Hell no. And to be fair, most of the P&P burners I have met do have a decent set of morals and integrity... but there is this awful thing happening that, well, hey, if I paid someone for my "Burningland" experience vacation, and I wanted something, my booking agent will cover things with the "management" as if I was in some tourist hotel or something...

I think that's it. By doing, and condoning, PnP camps, you are, sadly and in fact, commodifying the burn. Until this phenomenon, it took money AND sweat AND work AND all kinds of sacrifice by ALL members to pull off a camp (regardless if they were a soap opera actor or a janitor at Booger King or a commodities broker or a civil servant), and in those circumstances, the gifting economy takes root, e.g.: I don't know you, but I know you busted your tush just as I did to get here and do TTITD, so it all balances... Without that, I take a handfull of money, buy my way in, and then I get to do this fun vacation experience... part of the camp experience I paid for is crafts and arts and some of the silly stuff like mooping, but come Sunday Night, we're outta here, and I aon't gotta worry about my ass, my returning to BRC, or my camp's rep. Because I PAID for that PRIVILEGE.

Like I said - OUR CAMP welcomes people who are similar to P&P tourists (It's hard to call them "burners") except we do things different - by joining us, you're not a tourist, you're a functioning and vital part of our camp. We don't plan activities for you to do while at camp, we expect you to carry your weight so WE ALL can pull off our camp. We will expect you to moop and cook and clean and interrogate prisoners and maybe pull a kantina shift, and stay behind to moop for a day or 2 after Labor day, and help drop domes and tents and all of what it REALLY takes to do our camp.

We don't provide the "comforts of home", because it's NOT home, it's the bloody Black Rock Desert. We don't do little service oriented tasks to make it "easy" on you, because it woud be fair to neither you nor us. If you want our camp to provide something, be it Lights or AC for the common gathering rooms or movies for the Theater or whatever... then YOU have to help US pull that thing off... not by throwing money at it, (or actually "just" money, as all of us throw money at this thing), but by being a PART of us.

And if you succeed in doing this, you get a reward. I'm not talking our annual gee-gaw, be it a pendant or challenge coin or patch or whatever - or maybe even one of our high awards (Order of Fries Mit Dat, Legion of Doom, etc.) - you get to say "I was a part of a pretty famous and cool theme camp, and I was THERE, and by god, we had f,n FUN". Better - you become FAMILY to us - something you can't "buy" your way into, anywhere. And you KNOW what being a burner REALLY is - something you pick up just like any of us.

OK, off todays soapbox... but I think you get the idea. (And if you really want to find out about becoming one of us, drop our folk a line at KampApokiliptika@gamil.com - you might find your doom awaits!)

bb
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby trilobyte » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:16 pm

@Headmaster Janus - thank you for taking the time to respond and add some clarification. Soeaking for myself, I don't have a problem with the use of RVs (while it's not how I choose to camp, many great burners camp in RVs), but I do have a problem with the idea of paid staffers and hired cleanup crews. but regardless of who's doing the work (hired crew, other campmates on some sort of MOOP team, or everybody in the camp working together) the work needs to be done and the bottom line is that you guys failed to leave no trace. It kind of demonstrates one of the pitfalls of plug-and-play camping that everybody just walks away assuming that it's taken care of by some other form of staff or hireling. While you dressed it up nicely you still have members of the camp that were essentially paid labor, through gifted tickets to begin with and then (whether planned or just spontaneously at the end) you collectively opted to give them wage dividends. That seems to be a really highly unusual thing to do if the work was really being divided equally amongst everybody in the camp. That's great that you have art cars and some community involvement, but I don't think that excuses the planned radical reliance on others or commodification. And it makes things even more unsettling when you hear stories of vehicles that routinely denied people rides throughout the week becaue of private parties and events.

While not as blatantly out of line with the core values as commerce camps (bike haulage/food service camps, etc) and package tour camps, it's a very gray area. I'm glad this conversation is being had, as the event grows i's definitely something that shuld be given some thought.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby pink » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:17 pm

Janus: if everyone in your camp builds and contributes, then for whom is it Plug & Play?

I mean, if you take the concept to the extreme, I could say that for all members of our camp that showed up from Monday and left at Exodus or before had the Plug & Play experience- hey the shade structure & camp were all set up already! But I don't consider that plug & play; if it were, anyone camping with a camp that had early entrance passes for any reason would be considered plug & play.

And finally, don't be such a whiny little prick about your a/c. If you just can't tolerate the heat, build a yurt with a swamp cooler. Research stuff that works at keeping you cool without using a generator. Hint, there's a forum on this board addressing this very issue.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Trishntek » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:23 pm

SWooN @ BBS

Headmaster Janus wrote:
You need to vet your facts before you start spreading rumors that I LIE and
STEAL. Wow. How un-BurningMan of you --- Really.

What, pray tell did I write that is untrue?
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby cosmicgiggle » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:29 pm

Headmaster Janus wrote:Ah — my Dear Friends and Fellow Burners — it’s Headmaster Janus from Play)A(Skool aka Jon La Grace...One of our campers created the now viral video called, “Home” — which hopefully you’ve seen?

As always — I’m happy to engage in helpful conversation —-

In Love and Dust Kiddies —

Ol’ Janus


This bums me out soooooooooooo much. So you convinced yourself of your importance to the playa (with all your art cars and dj's and TED blah blah blah) and yet you "hire" people to clean up after yourself? (and they fail too!) Now I learn that the "viral" video mainly responsible for the sudden HUGE influx of people wanting to come to this years burn which in turn lead to the lottery snafu which in turn lead to *many* long time camps NOT being able to attend this year is connected to your (MEGA PnP)camp?!?!?! :shock:

Do you realize the numerous ways in which you and your PnP camp have negatively affected the event? That you and your 199 friends have altered the character and expectations of what 50,000 hold true and dear to their hearts? Perhaps rather than rationalize all your choices and how you really had great intentions in mind, you can open your eyes and see how you are affecting the community at large. Do you really think that telling your group that they are responsible for "RV's and costumes" is participating in the overall community?

I am sorry Janus but to me that is the *literal* meaning of entitlement. You speak as if you are doing us all a favor because you planned for the event or that you want sympathy because it was difficult. Why do you assume that it is different for you? We all go through the same thing each year! WE ALL PLAN. WE ALL WORK ON ART, DECORATE, DJ, ETC. Hearing you talk about "choosing what is comfortably right and how many tents you need to be comfortable, power, air conditioning, etc" is enough to know that you clearly missing the point of the event. You admit that out of the 200 only 7 actually plan the camp. Why? It seems to me successful camps or groups are scenarios where everyone contributes and participates. Everyone helps period.

Do you truly believe that your camp is doing it properly? That your "comfortable campers" are really getting what the burn is all about having others do work for them? That after 13 years of attending, this is what makes sense to you?

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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Trishntek » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:56 pm

Here's an interesting fact about the Fakulty for Play)A(Skool --- we also PAY our share of the camp costs too! Yes --- when we divide up the costs of sharing resources and design our programming, even our volunteers pay a fee. And I'm sort of surprised at people mocking fees because outside of a few people who just show up with a ticket and nothing else, everyone spends money and resources in some way to take part in Burning Man. Well, at least in my 12 adventures to Burning Man, I know I have. I won't speak for everyone. But yeah, even with sharing, I still have $$$ that comes out of my pocket. Gas, ticket, costumes, food, water. Come on --- you all know that's true. Period.


GASPPP!!!! No way! You mean your Fakulty actually has to pay their share? OMG!
I'm sorry this is getting more ridiculous than I can handle
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Headmaster Janus » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:22 pm

@cosmisgiggle
Yes, after 13 years of camping and watching Burning Man evolve, this is what makes sense to me. It would be great if we were 200 people all located in San Francisco but the reality is we are globally dispersed and, in fact, very few are in SF or anywhere near so planning is complex ESPECIALLY post camp, therefore our LNT plan continues to evolve to reflect our commitment. Like I said earlier, our Fakulty consisted of 7 people with only one person in the general vicinity of SF: me. Other than that, I'm pretty pleased we were able to do everything we did without ever meeting in person once. I'm not trying to convince anyone of our importance because I believe that we are ALL important in the grand scheme of this and we are all equal on the Playa. I don't come from the world of entitled --- I mean to be quite honest --- I come from the other side of the equation. (UGH, if you ONLY knew!) But our group of campers are mostly long-term Burners --- this is their HOME too. And they are wonderful and committed to the 10 Principles. Some evolve over time. Don't hate, but rather seek to understand.

We didn't hire anyone to clean up after us, we did the job ourselves every day. We DID hire a team of what we thought were experts in preserving the Playa, as we see this as an on-going, critical issues to ensure the longevity of the event. I'm sort of surprised that people are opposed to this because we consider it a gift from our camp above and beyond our volunteer responsibilities. But yes we rode the wrong horse with that choice, they totally messed up and we were called in the BMHQ in November 2011 by both Harley Dubois and Dark Angel to specifically talk about what happened, what went wrong and how we can change that going forward. We continue to be engaged in conversations about Playa Preservation and Restoration. Can you say the same thing? Are you personally or is your camp a part of the Playa Restoration Team? We are.

So I'm willing to volunteer to go back out to the Playa and serve on the Restoration Team --- WHO IS WITH ME?! WHO out there is willing take MORE time off of work POST burn and spend 3 days scouring the Playa with me? Cosmisgiggle, put up and join me. Lots of words and finger pointing, but the Headmaster is about ACTION. Show me YOUR commitment and THEN compare us.

Speaking of HOME --- what if the person who made the video was pitched in a tent in deep playa? Would they be spared the blame for the ticket debacle? hahaha --- Come on Cosmicgiggle, you can't blame the P&P camps for this. What about the people who post pictures on social media sites? Did you post pictures on yours? Aren't you responsible to some degree for promoting the amazingness of Burning Man? Be honest. I think you are really stretching to put the blame here where it doesn't belong. Research Google or any other media outlet and you will find an ever increasing interest in Burning Man. Read what Andie Grace or Will Chase have written: it's no surprise that the event sold out. I don't think that's the P&P camps fault. You're stretching here.

"WE ALL PLAN, WE ALL WORK ON ART, DECORATE, DJ, ETC." - Yep, we do. And I appreciate that aspect of Burning Man so very much. Thank you for doing what you do. Thanks to ALL who make it what it is.

If you believe that our camp of "comfortable campers" have all the work being done for them --- then I would welcome you to become more familiar with who we are. Every person in Play)A(Skool this year worked HARD for their camp and I'm proud of them for it. We spent our resources on people that were experts and required to fulfill our obligation to the companies and people who entrusted us with their equipment. I would love to say that we have volunteers who are licensed to drive water trucks and fork lifts and SkyTrak lifts and the various equipment that helps us build art and conserve resources, but unfortunately we did not. Perhaps that scenario will change in the future as we evolve.

@Pink and others regarding my air-conditioning. :-)

One of the beautiful parts of Burning Man for me is the build. I love it. I enjoy seeing how people decide to battle the elements of the Playa and the incredibly creative ideas that have sprung from this battle, such as the Hexayurt Project of which I support 110%. That being said, when I'm on the Playa, I like to spend time to create a space I find most comfortable for my needs. Because I spend my time at night exploring, I generally sleep during the hot day. I've tried a variety of ways to deal with the heat and I've found what works best for me. It's my own choice of radical self-reliance. I build it, create it, invite people to participate in it --- geez --- I can't tell you how many people have crashed in my space or used it as a permanent hang out! (It was even the Green Room for TEDx!) Now believe me --- if a team of SUPER RIDICULOUSLY HOT MEN want to come and fan me or mist me while I sleep to keep me cool --- BRING IT ON!!! Ol' Janus is GAME. :wink: :lol: But if I choose to pitch a tent complex and run a generator to power it and cool it and that's my form of relying on myself to create my comfort zone, then gosh --- I see no harm or foul. Yes, I could perhaps look at solar solutions and I'm happy to explore that option as well. But for now I own a generator and lights and decor. I don't own a solar grid, but hope to someday. Does someone want to gift me a solar system to model how it would work? I'm happy to explore that option as well but have NO money to personally invest in something different than what I currently have.

Oh, again --- if there is a team of SUPER RIDICULOUSLY HOT MEN that want to come and fan me --- Yay! :-)

Let's keep the conversation going --- it's really good. I think what's important here is that there are different models for Plug and Play and the evolution of sharing resources is about connecting with your community.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby zerzura » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:29 pm

Headmaster Janus wrote:Hopefully some of you were able to come and participate in our Interactive heavy schedule last year that included daily talks, classes, demonstrations in our SkoolHouse as well as hosting the first-ever TEDxBlackRockCity at our camp — an incredible venue to share some of the great voices and incredible Ideas Worth Spreading from OUR wonderful community. Or perhaps you stumbled on our Sunday Graduation party with the amazing Lee Burridge spinning for 7 hours leading up to the Temple Burn? Hundreds of people were there and the moment was, for me, sublime — We had envisioned this very party while planning Play)A(Skool, and that vision was eclipsed by the true beauty of the moment. Our gifts to the Burning Man community not only included these incredible events, but we also shared 8 different art cars in our camp including Shaggadelica – the big furry bus, Shagillac, Christina (the 70ft boat), The Scorpion, BalanceVille, FishTank I and II, and others. One of our campers created the now viral video called, “Home” — which hopefully you’ve seen? Images of Burning Man that were featured in many global media outlets from a number of famous Burner photographers — yes — they too are from Play)A(Skool. As a Plug and Play camp, we eagerly invite each and every one of you as our gift to the community. And we are very proud of our Family and their work to help bridge the gap —



Ah, now I know which camp it is that everyone is talking about -- Playaskool. They invited the Serpent Twins mutant vehicles over to be in part of the TED talk (about our lighting systems), but when we showed up, they said they just wanted to take some video footage of us by ourselves, and then following Christina when she pulled out. They kept saying how these were big LA filmmakers -- like I could care less as I work in that industry. I realize now was for their "Home" video shoot, we thought it was for TED which I like. So we had driven all the way across the playa to make it easier for them to shoot some video for their pet project. We said we had to leave because we had to get our crew together for our night gig (showing off the Serpents -- it was sort of our job) and we needed to eat. "Oh we'll feed you", they said. Then Christina unceremoniously left. We'd been sitting around for quite a while now, and they had offered us neither a plan nor any pleasantries. After another bit we told them we really had to leave because it was getting late and we hadn't eaten. We were told to stick around as they would feed us from their commissary. When we went to get food, we were told there was no food for us, only for the real campers (!). I said I'm out of here and we left in disgust, and no one ever contacted us to give us any footage of the Serpents either even though we gave them all our information. Did I mention we missed the CORE burn because of all this silliness?

Some of those "art cars" (should be mutant vehicles) could be said to be "plug n play as well as they were built for clients...

I really don't care if wealthy people have a camp and entertainment set up for them, if they have RVs, a chef, etc. I do sort of have a problem with them being placed on the Esplanade. And if most of these camps tend to treat others at Burning Man like their paid entertainers (as I feel we were treated), they might be in for an awful surprise when the old school Cacophony group isn't as polite as we were.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby zerzura » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:30 pm

Headmaster Janus wrote:@cosmisgiggle
We didn't hire anyone to clean up after us, we did the job ourselves every day. We DID hire a team of what we thought were experts in preserving the Playa, as we see this as an on-going, critical issues to ensure the longevity of the event. I'm sort of surprised that people are opposed to this because we consider it a gift from our camp above and beyond our volunteer responsibilities. But yes we rode the wrong horse with that choice, they totally messed up and we were called in the BMHQ in November 2011 by both Harley Dubois and Dark Angel to specifically talk about what happened, what went wrong and how we can change that going forward. We continue to be engaged in conversations about Playa Preservation and Restoration. Can you say the same thing? Are you personally or is your camp a part of the Playa Restoration Team? We are.


Sound like you are part of the Playa Restoration team because you got called into the principal's office, not because it something you volunteered to do.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Headmaster Janus » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:41 pm

@zerzura --- Not completely, but somewhat true. As we are made aware of different opportunities, we take part in them. For instance, being asked to participate in the Plug and Play conversation. I've always known of the Playa Restoration Team, the Rangers, and other important volunteer teams and the vital role they play. We are thrilled to be a part of the solution.
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Re: Plug & Play Camping

Postby Nipple » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:46 pm

zerzura wrote:Some of those "art cars" (should be mutant vehicles) could be said to be "plug n play as well as they were built for clients...


The Scorpion Janus mentioned (not the one you've seen pictures of with the preying mantis), was made by (the ironically named) Paid 2 Play Kre8ions out of Las Vegas. Our camp spent some time with the two guys that were out there as hired crew. Super nice guys.
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