Why is Playa art showing up in Lexus commercials?

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Why is Playa art showing up in Lexus commercials?

Postby throwingthunder » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:59 pm

I'm just curious... How did 'Uchronia' (the Belgian Waffle) end up in a television commercial for a new 2007 Lexus?

My belief - which may be misinformed - was that corporate sponsorship for artist's installations on the playa do not fit the Burning Man principles. Yet there, in a three minute commercial, is Uchronia on the playa and it's artists seemingly shilling for Lexus.

Has anyone else seen this commercial? Does it matter?
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Postby madmatt » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:40 pm

Yeah, WTF is up with that. Check this Lexus website - http://www.lexus.com/460degrees/

with "galleries" featuring the work of artists, including the guys who made Uchronia.

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Postby helitack » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:15 pm

It's all about the money, art too. Wonder if the ORG will take on a multi-national corp? I don't think there is anything that the ORG can do if the ARTIST gave permission and has a release and got paid. Welcome to the real world all default, all the time.
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Postby Eric » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:27 pm

Yeah, how dare artists make any money for their art.

How dare Muytaytor does For-Profit concerts outside of the city limits of BRC.

How dare David Best build temples anywhere else.

How dare creative people get paid for their imagination.


Artists on the playa give us wonderful, amazing art. They do it because they want to, not because they have to or are told to. If they also make pieces for sale, or if something they made for BRC is later used for pay in a commercial- more power to them.

I would have a problem if the commercial showes a Lexus in Uchronia at BRC, but showing Urchronia by itself, and then showing a Lexus (or, as in the image above, just showing it with another piece by the Uchronians)...*pfeh*. Not a problem. Admittedly, I haven't seen the commercial. If it fits the first sentence than I do have a slight problem with it, but only then.

Just think of it as a really big fundraiser, and imagine what this means they can make for our enjoyment on the playa next year!
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Postby BAS » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:40 pm

madmatt wrote:Yeah, WTF is up with that. Check this Lexus website - http://www.lexus.com/460degrees/

with "galleries" featuring the work of artists, including the guys who made Uchronia.

Laaaaammmmmmme! Booooooooo!

Image



That car looks fake...?!? :?


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Postby BigCock » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:44 pm

Eric wrote:Yeah, how dare artists make any money for their art.

That's not the point. The rules are that you can't shoot pictures at the burn and use them for commercials without permission from the org. Whoever shot this can be sued

Image

even if it was Mr. Quince. But that's ok. Just think of it as a big fund raiser ...
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Postby Eric » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:42 pm

BigCock wrote:The rules are that you can't shoot pictures at the burn and use them for commercials without permission from the org. Whoever shot this can be sued


hmmm.
Lets see.... Lexus is a division of Toyota, Toyota made 186 billion (with a "b") this year- 12 billion of that in profit, has a world-wide team of lawyers that could eat the BMCorps lawyers as a snack, and has been doing this sort of thing for decades...... don'cha think they know the rules of the little photography waiver all commercial photographers have to sign at Burning Man? I mean, come on- I just take photos for Piss Clear and I know the waiver, I can assure you they do too.

I would think that they have permission; are only running the commercial outside of the US so the waiver probably doesn't apply; or simply don't care because they know they can either beat it in court or tie it up so long is not worth it for the BMCorp to pursue it. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a lawsuit.

(oh, and this BMCorp you're so sure will sue is the same organization that let that Discovery Channel subsidiary film on site last year- don't think their values are the same as your own)

As helitack said- welcome to the default world.

edit: got the fiscal year wrong on Toyota's profits
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Postby BAS » Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:15 am

The car still looks fake (or has one heck of an alignment problem!).

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Postby helitack » Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:34 am

Hypothetical but true:
If I have made or make myself, photographs of my art, which may be a static piece or a photograph of a model(with release), at BM, or anywhere else for that matter, with no identifiable people(no model releases), or in the case of a model(ie: a person), identifiable with a release, then I can sell those photographs to whomever I want and for whatever purpose, no matter what the ORG states in their rules.
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Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:38 am

When you have 40K people who are wealthy enough to pay $200+ for a week's event where you also have to provide ALL your own infrastructure, a company will look at that and try to suck them rich Americans (and Ferigners) into their web...

It's directed to all the people who were at BRC and remember Uchronia, and will see the ad, and buy their luxury cars. Welcome to the default world, and congratulations on becoming a rich American target audience. Makes ya feel good, no?

As to the use of Uchronia, if the owner of the art and the llc says they can use it, then they can. You know they paid someone(s) for that shot... If some corporation wanted to use my distinctive art and pay me a healthy chunka change to use it (or replicate it in a studio), you betcha I would think about it. Esp. for a high-cost piece like this one...


It's called being a successful artist. Or at least having your art pay for itself. Not many artists are so wealthy as to be able to do their art on their own dime. Especially big high cost art like Uchronia.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:33 am

Welcome to the world of paying bills.
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Postby blyslv » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:35 am

""oh, and this BMCorp you're so sure will sue is the same organization that let that Discovery Channel subsidiary film on site last year- don't think their values are the same as your own) ""

It's a for-profit corporation who's only true legal duty is to maximize value for their shareholders. If that is a problem for you, I suggest that you no longer give them your money. Their goal has become survival, so the cash keeps coming in and their survival and retirements are assured. If that means corporate sponsorship from some of the largest, most profitable corporations in the world, so be it.

At least we get to kick down in the desert one week out of the year!

Well so long as we pick up after ourselves. for free.

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Postby pinemom » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:45 am

I salute any artist who has found a way to make money at what they love and adore doing!...Isnt that what we all dreamed of when we were children, a JOB we loved!

I would love to be able to support my family on making my art! Nothing would give me a greater pleasure...(im working on it) But it doesnt cross refernce to my Burningman pressence.

My week in the desert is completely without commerce, idea's or action. the closest I come to commerce is having to buy ICE...cause my damn Dry ice melted!
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Postby joel the ornery » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:57 am

don't sit on it so much, young lady.
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Postby BigCock » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:08 am

What I'm hearing is:
- It's great for artists to make money
- BM llc doesn't have the legal werewithall or sufficient grounds to sue Lexus
- BM llc has already sold out and is already corporate sponsored
- This is what it takes to pay bills
- BM llc is legally obliged to make money

... and for these reasons, this from the Lexus ad is ok:
"Quinze’s most recent project was Uchronia at Burning Man 2006. Measuring almost 200-feet long and 50-feet tall, it was one of the most talked about structures in the festival’s history" which appears next to the picture of the green-lit structure with the lit up man in the background. I haven't seen the t.v. ad but am sure it's worse.

As pinemom suggests, keeping the BM experience non-commercial is of tremendous value. It's worth fighting for. All of the (cynical) reasons listed for conceding to Lexus have been in play since the beginning of the event but have been (for the most part) resisted. Why give in now?
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Postby geekster » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:00 am

1. I did not see any Lexus logos on Uchronia
2. I did not see Burning Man used exlplicitly in the ad

So there does not appear to be commercial use of Burning Man though a piece of art that was at Burning Man was used in the commercial. I don't have a problem with that. As long as the art isn't selling a product and the event isn't being used to sell a product, I don't care.

And if the Lexus folks manage to inject some cash into a project such as Uchronia that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to pull off, great. I wish more companies would inject that kind of cash into art projects. One thing Uchronia did that I think is very important was that it got more people off the esplanade and out into the deeper playa exposing more people to more art installations along the way. I am grateful the piece was produced and I don't see anything wrong with the commercial. It isn't commercializing Burning Man in any way that I can see. Would someone who wasn't at Burning Man and had never heard of Burning Man look at that commerial and know that the art was in any way connected to the event? I don't think so. And out of a global population of billions, only some 40,000 can attend the event by permit, which is an insignificant portion of the market. So it doesn't appear that Lexus is "using" burning man in any way. They sponsored a piece of art, they used that art in an ad, they didn't sell Lexus at BM and they didn't sell BM in their Lexus ad, looks like a great win/win situation for everyone involved.

This looks like an attempt to make something out of nothing. In other words, just stirring up shit. I don't see a thing wrong with it.

I would say that the sale of advertizing from the Burning Man episode of Malcom in the Middle was probably a more direct use of BM to make money but again, the total number of burners world wide is insignificant on the scale these advertizers are talking about.
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Postby spotman » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:34 am

HI!!!!

This is my first post.

After reading these comments I was finally prompted to register to share my thoughts.

I am in TOTAL agreement that everyone has bills to pay (including myself), and I absolutely believe that Burning Man has made a huge impact in my own life in that regard.

BM has helped me really find myself, and now when I am not on the playa, a lot of playa-like characteristics come thru in my attitude and work, which is great.

I think that that is one of the big pieces of the puzzle with BM. We all go out to the desert each year, dance around in the dust, learn some new tricks, and bring that back to our non-burner friends and hope that we all have a positive impact on the world.

BUT... (imho)

I think it is wrong to blatenly not follow the rules set forth by the Burning Man group.

It is not wrong to bring back pictures, memories, and even videos.

It is not wrong to learn things at BM, have that influence your life and your art, and hopefully make more money that way. The energy spreads, and it comes back around, letting those people that benefitted rock it EVEN HARDER at BM the next year.

What is NOT ok is learning some tricks at BM, photographing it, and then using it to make tons of money.

Don't you think they could find another way to build that or its equivalent in 2007 if (god forbid) without selling the media and story to lexus?

I think it is one thing to learn how to build "the waffle" and then go back and build another one for lexus and maybe even mention where the art technique was first displayed.

It is another thing to show it like this on the website:
Image

It's not that the artist went and built a similar installation for lexus, but they are really taking the pictures straight from the event and using it to sell cars. That is our fire. That is our energy.

If we don't put it out, then what is next? Apple? Starbucks? GMC? MTV?

You gotta choose your battles, but I think this is one that is worth fighting for.

And in closing, if someone does get the chance to deal with it, legally or not, I hope that they keep their cool and represent our community in a POSITIVE way.

Thank you for listening to my .02

see ya on the playa~

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Postby unjonharley » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:18 pm

Who said playa art is not for sale? Some arts are placed after being on the playa. I'm sure the creator is spiffed$$ well.

The only way I could make money with art is to repair it. So I spent a 25 year career repairing damaged art. Not having enough art to keep me in food. I had to teach myself to repair any item of value.
Wish some one would buy some of this crap I have.
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Postby blyslv » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:34 pm

"I think it is wrong to blatenly not follow the rules set forth by the Burning Man group. "

1. Tell that to the ORG, which hands out MOOP at the front gate, even though they ask others not to bring non-essential items to the playa in an effort to reduce moop. The ORG was handing out advertising from themselves and for themselves.

2. Given the anarchistic roots of the event this statment makes me feel all sad. On the inside.

I'm not a cynic, just a realistic and jaded human who is trying not to get hurt by the event he loves. One coping strategy is to not take it too seriously, the other is to note the internal contradictions inherent in the undertaking and to revel in them.
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Postby spectabillis » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:35 pm

spotman wrote:If we don't put it out, then what is next? Apple? Starbucks? GMC? MTV?

You gotta choose your battles, but I think this is one that is worth fighting for.


welcome spots.

it does not take much to ruin the corporate marketing hyjack attempts of things oriented around burningman. there is a history with cacaphony, but i doubt many of the whiners in this topic were ever motivated to do anything other than that - i sincerely doubt they even know what that group was about.

but it doesnt take much effort to complain to the PR groups with lexus and the backlash of microsoft's launch of the xbox is a good example. i later found out there were quite a few people who complained to them, enough to re-think their strategy and avoid things that give them bad PR, especailly when launching a new product.
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Postby BigCock » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:37 pm

Right on, spotman.
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feelin the love

Postby haze » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:47 pm

hey there burners,

like spotman, i am new to this whole thing. i had an amazing journey at BM this year and learned much about life and love.

i must admit, it is a little hard for me to see all this tension and heated words here in the eplaya. yes...it is cool to disagree and even passionately disagree-BM also taught me that it is ok to be who you are 100%. but if our emotions and feelings about each other (and the "normies") can change so quickly, maybe we weren't changed at all.

so we have the realists..."welcome to the default world"
and we have the idealists..."this is worth fighting for"

what was ghandi? what was jesus? what is larry?

and if you think it is irrelevant that i bring them up...why does every single one of you know who i'm talking about? because they changed this world...they were dreamers AND doers.

yeah...i know my post might get some negative feedback..."dirty hippie, self-righteous blah blah blah", but i just wanted to gently and joyfully remind you all about that lesson we learned on the playa...freedom, love, respect.

this isn't about lexus or the waffle. our response (here in this forum and with the belgians) will tell the world what we're about.

i agree with spotman...
my thoughts and blessings go out to those who are dealing with this on a legal level-

playa blessings to all,
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Postby Toolmaker » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:17 pm

I say use it.

Make a parody ad for PissClear in 07.

Buy a junked Lexus for DPW to smash up.

Don't buy Lexus or Toyota.

Don't let pals drive Lexus or Toyota.

Send hate mail to the artist whose name is in the ad! :)

Send SPAM email to the artist whose name is in the ad! :)

Send SPAM to yourself!! :)

Than EAT some SPAM!

Than.. relieve yourself.

Than submit a pic to ratemypoo.com

Than if you havent forgotten about the Lexus ad..


EAT MORE SPAM!!
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Postby BigCock » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:21 pm

Welcome to eplaya Haze. So where do you stand on this issue?
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Re: feelin the love

Postby Rob the Wop » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:23 pm

haze wrote:what was ghandi? what was jesus? what is larry?


OK, this is just too damn funny. You're seriously putting The Hatted One in the same catagory as Jesus and Ghandi.

My brain hurts just trying to think of a proper response.

Personally, I hope BMORG starts using up the credit they are getting from these deals. High end corporate sponsership can help bring down the ticket price to the levels of years past. Plus why would beer gardens be so bad? Cold beer on tap? Why the hell not? We already get Starbucks and Gatorade (though not called as such) from center camp and Jack Rabbit speaks was already used to promote a Carribean Cruise.

We could use the cash from Lexus to hire full time commercial artists to properly pimp out the event.

Why are you frowning? Don't you want professional artists to get commisioned? And why the hell are you making art when better folks can do it for you?
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Postby Desert Duck » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:51 pm

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Get me one o dem dere lexiiii, 'n we'll see what we can do to it in a weekend. Hehehehe.




Image



Image


Image
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Postby Dork » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:52 pm

There's a lot of assumptions being made here. Does anyone know anything other than what was posted on the Lexus website? What did the artist get for this ad? Did BMORG actually grant permission for Lexus to use those pictures and if so how much money did they get?

Is the commercial posted anywhere we can see it?
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Postby geekster » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:57 pm

It was widely known before and during the event that the Uchronia people had gotten large corporate sponsorship for the project. At the time everyone was "oh, cool!".
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Postby BigCock » Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:22 pm

exits quickly holding beak. sound of vomiting heard from bathroom
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Postby robbidobbs » Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:37 pm

So we're the target audience. Cool.
At least Lexus is promoting BM art instead of promoting the idea that BM is only about sex & drugs.
Has anyone asked the Belgians how much they made on the rights?
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