Thoughts on New DMV Art Car policies

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Thoughts on New DMV Art Car policies

Postby Gadget » Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:20 pm

Does anyone have any post-event thoughts on the new DMV Art Car policies?

Do you feel that the 2004 event was safer in regards to mutant vehicles? Does having more strict ArtCar rules, preregistration, an art car database, and an impound lot make the event better or worse?
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:53 am

I like the new rules and system. Overall I feel the event was safer for pedestrians. I only had to dodge bicycle riders this year...

The impound lot seemed to work, but I was surprised how empty it was and how many H.A.S.L.E. vehicles were still out there. I think more vehicles should have been impounded that were not. I was amazed at how many undecorated little motorbikes (not the standup type) there were, but I guess they were all under 50cc's and so were "exempt". Why was the "old lady in the shoe" art on the trailer impounded? Or was it a vehicle in disguise?

I liked the size/color/location of the new stickers. But I think the LEO and BLM rangers should have a car number as well (to help identify potentially bad officers). Any vehicle out there should be required to have an official sticker with a unique designator/ID# so that complaints can be linked to the offenders.

I saw MANY LEO's driving fast enough to raise dust, not going to any apparent emergency. Some of these were racing to chase down people on foot in the open Playa and obviously were in no threat of escaping (who apparently broke some minor law). Once I could have "accidently" jumped in front of one to become a speed bump, they were driving so fast and close to me - in fact I don't think they saw me as they were both looking the other way as they sped by (I was in a strange mood that night wrt LEO and just might have done it to prove a point and sue the government).

I only saw 1 staff car speeding this year, and it was far out on the Playa away from everyone.

All-in-all a much better year for me from the vehicle perspective.

Good job DMV!
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Postby kabuki » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:18 pm

On a selfish level I was a bit disappointed with how few party barges there seemed to be, and how unwelcoming they were in comparison to previous years. I remember in the past walking by and everyone on board attempting to entice you onto the vehicle, but not so much this year.

I was suprised at how many undecorated personal crafts I saw floating around this year. And I saw several random vehicles -- usually mini-SUVs -- driving out to the Man and the Temple. I also had the misfortune of seeing an "art car" completely mow-down a bicyclist one night. Can't blame it on lack of illumination, the guy was very lit up. Thankfully he appeared uninjured, though his bike suffered a completely warped frame. What was truely disturbing is that the vehicle just kept plodding along as if nothing happened, while a group of witnesses attempted to chase the driver down.



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Postby Dork » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:00 pm

I liked the size/color/location of the new stickers. But I think the LEO and BLM rangers should have a car number as well (to help identify potentially bad officers). Any vehicle out there should be required to have an official sticker with a unique designator/ID# so that complaints can be linked to the offenders.


Here here! I saw quite a few black SUVs roaming around. One I know was a LEO of some sort because I saw him flash his blue lights at someone. All cars should have a sticker or something to identify their purpose and provide a number to report if they act inappropriately.

There were also a few cars in particular that had day and night DMV stickers despite having almost no modification and no extra lighting whatsoever. I wonder who they slept with.

I had a lot of fun driving around giving people rides. I met a lot of people that I wouldn't have otherwise met, gave a couple of disabled folk rides long distances, and helped transport lots of stuff.

Most common gift offers from riders were alcohol and pot. Um, hello, I'm driving! A nice hug is more than sufficient.

The policies themselves didn't seem to change much from last year, what changed the most was the ruthless enforcement of the old rules. I thought that was a good thing. The application process itself needs some work, but that's happening already. There definitely seemed to be much less crap speeding down the roads this year. Except those damn two cycle stand up scooters. Those things are annoying.
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Postby Nosamk » Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:07 pm

Dork wrote:
Except those damn two cycle stand up scooters. Those things are annoying.


Damn skippy
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Gas Powered Scooters

Postby Gadget » Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:51 pm

Yeah... I'd be happy if all gas powered vehicles were made to live up to the Mutant Vehicle code. Those little scooters are terribly noisy and make no positive contribution to the event, except for the rider. I was out exploring art on in the deep playa one evening early in the week and one of those two stroke noise makers seemed to be following me around like a pesky little insect. It definitely took the tranquility out of the experience. I have no quams with the quiet electric scooters, though.

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Postby bradtem » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:14 am

While I also find the 2-stroke gas scooters to be annoying, it is a hard call to compare them with the electric scooters. Yes, the electric scooters are quieter on the Playa, but in all but the rarest cases they are being recharged by being plugged into a generator, and in many cases I have seen a generator on to do nothing but recharge an electric scooter, usually through the very slow chargers they come with that take many hours.

This is considerably less efficient and more polluting, though there is some credit for the fact the generator is usually 4-stroke and the gas scooters are 2-stroke. It makes noise in your neighbour's camp instead of on the street.

On the power grid, it's not as inefficient, or if a camp has a generator that is efficient and would be running all the time anyway it would be reasonably efficient, but none of these would be as efficient as say a 4-stroke scooter, some of which exist.

Of course I have felt the temptation of those scooters but by and large unless you are disabled, a bike makes a lot more sense.
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Re: Thoughts on New DMV Art Car policies

Postby Java » Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:30 am

Gadget wrote:Do you feel that the 2004 event was safer in regards to mutant vehicles?


No art car related deaths this year as far as I know - anyone know otherwise?
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Art Cars

Postby Wunder » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:04 am

I understand the need to look out for the safety of others, especially as the event grows in size. It's important to make sure the people who operate art cars are reminded of the safety issues before the vehicles are allowed to rome the Playa. We have a double decker art car and have been very fortunate that nobody has been injured. On a large art car you need several people in addition to the driver to keep people in check. As much as we would love to let everyone get crazy and do whatever they want, and are fairly lenient, if someone feels like doing acrobatics from the top of the car and fell 30' feet that would really suck.

On the other hand, I really missed all of the mutant vehicles. They really add to the overall atmosphere. It seems like many of them did not pass the original application process or may have not even applied. It would really be a bummer to loose the rogue spirit of the event.
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Postby Tricky » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:19 am

Personally it seemed as though these tighter restrictions resulted in alot more people blatently ignoring the rules.

Our camp busted our collective butts to create the safest possible mutant vehicle possible. While working on our comet (AkA Dune Worm) we were almost run over by a double decker party bus (with an upsidedown american flag) that turned a corner so fast it practicly tipped. It took us days to get our day & night licences do to several misscomunications with the DMV while I personally saw many undecorated scooters, ATVs and Golf carts. Of course there where the occasional Honda CRV, Hummer and other SUVs that where just cruising the playa as well.

This was all very disapointing to many of my campmates.

Not sure if a more agressive impounding of vehicles would have helped or not, but the art car scene (with a few exceptions) was tepid at best.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:54 pm

dragonfly Jafe wrote: Why was the "old lady in the shoe" art on the trailer impounded? Or was it a vehicle in disguise?
MrFishists guess is the lack of headlights.
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It was better this year.

Postby wolf » Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:33 pm

Personally, I thought the quality of the mutant vehicles was up this year. Dunno what to attribute it to, maybe the pre-registration requirement helped. I also felt like I saw fewer unlicensed vehicles driving around. Not none, but many fewer compared to the last couple of years.

Regarding the Hummer someone mentioned, I heard a hilarious story from a ranger about stopping a brand new H2 Hummer out on the playa, driven by a college kid. Sounded like they were new and clueless. Someone had screwed with them, and told them there was a gas station out on the playa somewhere.
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Postby Gothalot » Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:27 pm

I have to admit the few cars that I saw speeding were BMORG carts and cars. Shame on you to those that were speeding. Especially the Media Mecca Hottie I yealled at as she whizzed by. Please see me in my trailer next year for some Gothic spankings. :-P
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Postby jbelson » Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:55 pm

My biggest dissapointment was seeing a lot of "official" vehicles, sepecially golf cartss, undecorated. If there is going to be a permit process and a designs are going to be judged, than the org. needs to follow the guidlines as well.
I dont care how they decorate it, but do something. Lead by example.
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Postby fairydustbug » Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:15 pm

My 2 cents:
I was very sad to see such a reduction in mutant vehicles this year! i had to explain to all my newbie friends that there are usually 2-3 times as many! I was disappointed. I do understand the safety guidelines and restrictions, but those freaky-ass vehicles are part of what made BlackRockCity fun and beautiful.
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Postby Badger » Tue Sep 14, 2004 8:18 pm

My biggest dissapointment was seeing a lot of "official" vehicles, sepecially golf cartss, undecorated. If there is going to be a permit process and a designs are going to be judged, than the org. needs to follow the guidlines as well.
I dont care how they decorate it, but do something. Lead by example.


I think you'd be singing a different tune if you arrived early on the playa to get things up and running along with a few thousand other folks. Taking 4, 6, 8 hours of your available work time time just to decorate a fucking cart in the middle of the day when more pressing issues related to getting things going ready seems an incredible waste of time volunteered. You'll excuse me if I suggest there are better things to do with the time.
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Postby bradtem » Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:11 am

The point is that if you view Burning Man as a community with rules, then nobody should be above those rules, even if it means working harder to make this happen.
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Postby Gothalot » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:58 am

Ya if it WAS only a few days ahead of time, but it isnt. The BMORG is there year round. arrangements could be made to customize carts for the event. I really see no excuse as of yet but Im sure an org person will explain eventually. I have seen recient postings of a desire to customize the carts but so far there has been little in the way of implementation.


Badger wrote:
My biggest dissapointment was seeing a lot of "official" vehicles, sepecially golf cartss, undecorated. If there is going to be a permit process and a designs are going to be judged, than the org. needs to follow the guidlines as well.
I dont care how they decorate it, but do something. Lead by example.


I think you'd be singing a different tune if you arrived early on the playa to get things up and running along with a few thousand other folks. Taking 4, 6, 8 hours of your available work time time just to decorate a fucking cart in the middle of the day when more pressing issues related to getting things going ready seems an incredible waste of time volunteered. You'll excuse me if I suggest there are better things to do with the time.
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Postby Isotopia » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:23 am

The BMORG is there year round. arrangements could be made to customize carts for the event. I really see no excuse as of yet but Im sure an org person will explain eventually.


I look forward to hearing of you stepping up to the plate for such a project.
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Postby Gothalot » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:28 am

Hell yes, I'd be happy to participate. I have commitments with BRG, and Spikes Vampire Bar but Id be happy to put in some time as Im sure others would. What about you?
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Postby Isotopia » Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:26 am

What about you?


I have my own year round volunteer work I do for the event. That, and your idea is not anything I'm particularly interested in being a part of. Not to be snarky but the point is that if you and others see a need to be filled regarding a particular issue or complaint then stepping up to the plate is the best way to see the problem remedied.
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Postby Gothalot » Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:38 am

Snarky? You ? Never!

Everything starts as an idea or a complaint as it were. You can not fault people for voicing themselves on the issue. First comes the idea or complaint of issue, then comes an action - hopefully. So yes there is a need and maybe enough people will sort it out. I think if there is anyone out there that knows what part of the BMORG is in charge of allocation of all vehicles belonging to the ORG THEY should speak up and advise. Maybe enough people can gather to NUMBER and DECORATE/Customise the golf carts and BMORG vehicles. This will curb some of the speeding about by making them identifiable and answerable to the public.

Isotopia wrote:
What about you?


I have my own year round volunteer work I do for the event. That, and your idea is not anything I'm particularly interested in being a part of. Not to be snarky but the point is that if you and others see a need to be filled regarding a particular issue or complaint then stepping up to the plate is the best way to see the problem remedied.
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Postby fairydustbug » Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:17 am

A lot of the BMORG vehicles are used to lug around lumber/metal/other large unwieldy construction materials before AND during the event. It would suck to spend time "mutating" one of these vehicles only to have your carefully designed artwork torn up by an errant piece of construction material. I'm not speaking for ALL of these vehicles, but just something to keep in mind.
I would like to see official vehicles marked in SOME way (horns on the top, big BRC letters?!). I harassed one driver of a black SUV about driving out to the temple burn only to disscover that it was some sort of "official" person.
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Postby Chai Guy » Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:43 pm

My Take:

Yes, I would say that things were better this in re: to Mutant Vehicles. There appeared to me to be less reckless driving, and less Non-mutant or half assed Mutant vehicles roaming the playa.

That said I wasn't incredibly impressed with most of the Mutant Vehicles I did see (Capt. Goddamnit's beautiful boat and the "Drive-In" car are notable exceptions).

There were still many vehicles that I felt did not meet the "Radically altered" criteria, my guess on these vehicles however is that they were most likely "renegade" mutant vehicles that did not bother getting licensed and somehow escaped (temporarily?) being noticed. One such example was pick-up truck covered in long sheets of textiles with a couch mounted on top of it's roof rack. A lot of motorcycles also seemed to fit in this category (i.e. a little fun fur and cow skull tied to the handlebars).

Probably the worst violation continues to be the speed limit, does anyone realize how s l o w 5 miles per hours is? I rarely saw any vehicle driving 5mph, the average seemed to be about 15-20.

Finally in response to the Staff Vehicles:

My biggest disappointment was seeing a lot of "official" vehicles, especially golf carts, undecorated. If there is going to be a permit process and a designs are going to be judged, than the org. needs to follow the guidelines as well. I don’t care how they decorate it, but do something. Lead by example.


Well, you see they're Burning Man LLC, they don't care, they don't have to care, they make the rules, they don't have to follow them. Remember they spend the weeks and months leading up the event preparing for the event and don't have time for trivial matters like "Art" (unlike you, who are obviously unemployed and has all the time and money in the world to bring your art to the desert).

Now I'm not trying to say that every DPW truck or Forklift/Cherrypicker or Ranger vehicle should be decorated to the standard of "Mutant Vehicle" or even that those "work" and "emergency" vehicles need to be decorated at all, but it would be nice if :

A. All official vehicles carried some kind of easily identifiable marking declaring them as such.

and

B. Official vehicles used primarily for "attending meetings" were decorated to the same standards as "Mutant Vehicles" and followed the same speed limits.
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Postby Dork » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:10 pm

I could care less if the staff vehicles are radically altered. The point has been made in other places that many of these vehicles are rented or personal property of staff and volunteers.

All I care about is:
1) Mark them very clearly on all sides with a unique identification number.
2) Make sure they're only used when required by the job being done.
3) Take away peoples' driving privileges if they're caught speeding, no matter who they are. If Larry himself breaks the rules, he has to find someone else to drive him from then on.

Also.. I would like to see pictures taken of all cars that attempt to get a license and a record kept of who did the approving/disapproving. I don't recall anyone taking a picture of my car when I got my license. This data could be used to make it clearer the extent of modifications required (for future builders and DMV hotties themselves) and to hopefully prevent people getting or not getting licenses because of who they are or aren't sleeping with. Not that any of that is happening...
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Postby jbelson » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:56 pm

Badger wrote:
My biggest dissapointment was seeing a lot of "official" vehicles, sepecially golf cartss, undecorated. If there is going to be a permit process and a designs are going to be judged, than the org. needs to follow the guidlines as well.
I dont care how they decorate it, but do something. Lead by example.


I think you'd be singing a different tune if you arrived early on the playa to get things up and running along with a few thousand other folks. Taking 4, 6, 8 hours of your available work time time just to decorate a fucking cart in the middle of the day when more pressing issues related to getting things going ready seems an incredible waste of time volunteered. You'll excuse me if I suggest there are better things to do with the time.


Nope. They set the policy, they should abide by it as well. They have a visual impact as much as my ford explorer. They know they'll be out there, riding around. They plan on it all year. I know they got shit to do, but so does everyone else. I work 55 hour weeks before I go home and get ready to go out there. Thats your guys' job. Just cause they're involved with the ORG. doesn't put them on a plateau.
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Postby Wendor » Wed Sep 15, 2004 3:16 pm

Dork wrote:Also.. I would like to see pictures taken of all cars that attempt to get a license and a record kept of who did the approving/disapproving. I don't recall anyone taking a picture of my car when I got my license. This data could be used to make it clearer the extent of modifications required (for future builders and DMV hotties themselves) and to hopefully prevent people getting or not getting licenses because of who they are or aren't sleeping with. Not that any of that is happening...

Your wish is our command.....because while you may not have noticed it happening, *EVERY* vehicle that was brough to the DMV for inspection in 2004 was photographed and those photographs are stored in the mutant vehicle database along with the rest on the information, including who the hotties were that inspected the vehicle.
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Postby Wendor » Wed Sep 15, 2004 3:27 pm

Gothalot wrote:Maybe enough people can gather to NUMBER and DECORATE/Customise the golf carts and BMORG vehicles. This will curb some of the speeding about by making them identifiable and answerable to the public.

Not sure if you realized this or not, but all of the staff vehicles got individually numbered staff licenses on them, just like the mutant vehicle licenses. So they were just as "identifiable and answerable to the public" as the mutant vehicles were. If you had an issue with ANY vehicle (mutant or staff) all you needed was the license number off of it. Beyond that I don't see how decorating them would make them any more identifiable or answerable....the whole reason for the license numbers/stickers is that physical descriptions aren't good enough. You may not realize just how many almost identical vehicles there are each year.
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Postby Dork » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:00 pm

*EVERY* vehicle that was brough to the DMV for inspection in 2004 was photographed and those photographs are stored in the mutant vehicle database along with the rest on the information


Really? Any plans to put this online?

all of the staff vehicles got individually numbered staff licenses on them


What did they look like? I still think they should be BIG and on all sides of the vehicle. I recall seeing little stickers on the doors of some cars, if those had numbers they were probably pretty small. Was there something else on the back I wasn't seeing?
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Postby Gothalot » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:05 pm

Come on! Have you tried reading anything on those carts but the busted look on their faces as they whiz by trying to appear as if they havent done anything wrong. Numbers were NOT that easy to read and needed to be at least 12 inches high printed front side and back in order to have seen a number. Lets stop defending the Org here and get real, they broke their own rules and nothing changes that fact and those that did know who they are.

Wendor wrote:
Gothalot wrote:Maybe enough people can gather to NUMBER and DECORATE/Customise the golf carts and BMORG vehicles. This will curb some of the speeding about by making them identifiable and answerable to the public.

Not sure if you realized this or not, but all of the staff vehicles got individually numbered staff licenses on them, just like the mutant vehicle licenses. So they were just as "identifiable and answerable to the public" as the mutant vehicles were. If you had an issue with ANY vehicle (mutant or staff) all you needed was the license number off of it. Beyond that I don't see how decorating them would make them any more identifiable or answerable....the whole reason for the license numbers/stickers is that physical descriptions aren't good enough. You may not realize just how many almost identical vehicles there are each year.
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