culture jamming center camp

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culture jamming center camp

Postby III » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:23 pm

the cafe is the one place at burning man where one of its most basic (and elsewhere rigidly enforced) tenets is violated: no commercial vending. furthermore, the result of that violation cascades into other breakdowns, for example the need for trashcans undermines the ideology of self reliance.

it is a beacon of what many people go to burning man to escape, and it's planted right smack dab in the middle of everything.

this is not a debate about whether it should or should not be - those lines have been drawn and people have entrenched themselves behind them.

it is, however, a target rife with potential for culture jammers and cacophonists of all stripes.

lets hear your ideas.

(er, disclaimer: um, these postings are entirely, ah, a gedankenspiel and not intended to be erm, put into actual practice. yeah.)
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Postby III » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:24 pm

(from the "make burning man free" thread)

just print out a couple hundred fancy looking coupons for "free chai or latte at the center camp cafe, good wednesday afternoon only" and spend all day tuesday handing them out at the man and other high traffic places.
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Postby Ivy » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:25 pm

So, um...

how 'bout that tip liberation squad? I've got money on those guys this year... heh heh heh
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Postby rogue agent » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:39 pm

Personally I'd like to see some kind of action against the trash cans, but I'm not sure exactly what.

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Postby Wind_Borne » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:57 pm

What I like about Center Camp is the chance to relax with a coffee and watch people. It has almost become a regular, just before sunrise thing with me: go to Center Camp, have a coffee, relax, and then head back to my camp and bed.

I think Center Camp does provide a place of refuge for the less-prepared or intentionally unprepared. On Thursday night of 2000 it certainly provided a somewhat dry place for many tentless folks to crash. And that was cool.

III's question about the coffee for cash makes me think about alternatives...

Could it just be given away? After all a person can drink only so much coffee; and the cost could be covered by the ticket price. Of course right now the coffee sales is a revenue source, not a sink. Would it be fair to non-coffee drinkers to have higher ticket prices? Aren't those tickets pricey enough already?

What if I opened a coffee camp. How could I make it work without going broke. How could I staff it? I could take donations of beans and milk. And I could ask those who know how to make espresso to donate some time.
Perhaps I could bootstrap it by providing the tent, the refrigerators, a few grinders and espresso machines. Then I would find a few people who want to draw shots and chat with strangers. Finally I would invite people to come for coffee, bring some beans or milk, make coffee for others, or all three. Would it work? [/list]
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Postby Chai Guy » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:03 pm

In addition to the Free Chai Revolution, I'm also planning a
"BUY NOTHING DAY" at Burning Man

Center Camp Cafe- Because some people can't go 7 days without commerce.

What if I opened a coffee camp. How could I make it work without going broke. How could I staff it? I could take donations of beans and milk. And I could ask those who know how to make espresso to donate some time.
Perhaps I could bootstrap it by providing the tent, the refrigerators, a few grinders and espresso machines. Then I would find a few people who want to draw shots and chat with strangers. Finally I would invite people to come for coffee, bring some beans or milk, make coffee for others, or all three. Would it work?



Yes it will, and some of us are already planning it, PM me and we can talk more about it if you like. Thanks- Chai
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Postby Badger » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:06 pm

On Thursday night of 2000 it certainly provided a somewhat dry place for many tentless folks to crash. And that was cool.


Unless you're one of the folks who has to go about rousting these people out because they've determined that it's OK to set up camp IN the Center Camp tent for the entirety of the event because they've arrived clueless about the concept of self-reliance all the while pissing and moaning that the Rangers are ruining their experience.

Don't get me wrong. That year as I remember it, there were a number of folks who sought refuge because in Center Camp because their shelters weren't up to par as far as weathering a good rain. Hell, I'd have probably done the same thing but the element of cluelessness unfortunately makes things a pain in the ass.
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Postby Wind_Borne » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:06 pm

OK, How abou Espresso Commandos

We roam the playa and BRC streets with our incognito mutant espresso cart, stopping at our whim to pull shots of whatever the hell we feel like making and handing them out to whoever happens by. Then we move off into the night to look for another target location.
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Postby Badger » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:10 pm

Oh and checking for work permits, hair nets, wash stations, accounting of personal income using appropriate fed tax forms, etc. while looking/acting semi-officious might work. Fine 'em on the spot. Confiscate the fine from the tip jars and well, hell...I'm not sure what you'd do with the $.
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Postby III » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:12 pm

>Espresso Commandos

i spent some time this spring working on the mobile frame for the urbis orbis cafe: it would be a cafe as artcar capable of comfortably seating a dozen or two people. to, the instigator behind the thing, has several years of experience running a stationary cafe at burning man, and generally brings out several 50lb bags of self roasted beans to run the thing. the only donations he takes are for water.

unfortunately, due to complications with his newborne child, he was not able to make it out there this year. but if you want a mobile cafe, (and have aplace to store it) i might be able to hook you up.
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Postby Wind_Borne » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:26 pm

That sounds interesting, III. I'd like to see this vehicle. Please tell me more.

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Postby stuart » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:58 pm

would it be ill thought of if, instead of packing out my trash, I just put it in the center camp trash barrels? Get a different person from camp to go over there once a day with a big black trash bag full of, well, trash? This could really save me a lot of trouble on the return trip.

Another thought, although I hate them, why not a 24/7 staffed row row row your boat done in 3 parts on bullhorns right near the starbucks? If you got say, 300 volunteers and each person comitted to a couple of 1 hour shifts. I guess you would have to shuttle batteries in as well.
<side note, how funny, as I type this the JRS drops in my mailbox>
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Postby Wind_Borne » Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:26 pm

I'm assuming a fair amount of sarcasm in that last post.

But, hey, someone could open Trash Camp: Fill our dumpster and we'll drive it away for you (first come first serve). That would be a contribution to the community in the BM spirit.
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Postby Don Muerto » Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:40 pm

Wind_Borne wrote:That would be a contribution to the community in the BM spirit.


Contribution, yes. In the BM spirit...not so sure...
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Postby Ivy » Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:44 pm

IMO, I'm tired of talking about the cafe and I'm ready to start doing.

There are a lot of sub-factions out there who are interested in doing something along these lines. I suggest we start hooking up, maybe exchange some ideas?
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Postby Don Muerto » Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:46 pm

*lowering voice*

Um...is this the best place to be planning guerilla action against the Center Camp Cafe?
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Postby Wind_Borne » Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:48 pm

continuing my last thought...

Self-sufficiency is certainly a lofty BM goal.

So are specialty offerings. Every dance place, chill spot, or art work is an act of specialization. Like capitalists, burners often follow the creed "find a need, then fill it"; but accept community appreciation as their reward instead of money.
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Postby Chai Guy » Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:56 pm

Hey Ivy,

Here is the thread about a center camp alternative:

viewtopic.php?t=1120&highlight=
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Postby Wind_Borne » Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:09 pm

Totally off topic

In the time it took me to reply to another burners email I received half a dozen spams for viagra and penis enlargement. If alien anthropoligists are reading our email they must be convinced that our species is in danger of failing to procreate due to inadequate anatomy! Hmmm, maybe they know something I don't. Maybe I'm one of the last functional males. Maybe I should get busy to save the race!
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Postby III » Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:15 pm

>best place to be planning guerilla action

probably not. but it's a great place to engage in psyops...
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Postby Don Muerto » Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:21 pm

III wrote:probably not. but it's a great place to engage in psyops...


I like your ATTITUDE, marine!
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Postby Ivy » Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:35 pm

Hey, Chai Guy,
Thanks for the link. I try to keep up w/all the goings on here but I missed that somewhere.
My post was more along the lines of people in other places (besides the eplaya) that are coming up with ideas along similar lines. Maybe I can refer them to that thread.
The point about discussing guerilla action openly here is valid, though. But the deviant part of me finds it so much more appealing to do so.
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Postby SED » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:25 pm

Jeezus, if you can't get a free cuppa jo at BurningMan you're either stupid or not trying. On the other hand, it was great o be able to get a simple cup of tea exactly when I needed it and to know how to find it.

Center Camp serves it's purpose. Why not concentrate on making art and give up on making difficulty. Whoever said BM had to fully consistent unto itself, anyway?
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Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:35 pm

I'll be there next year. Culture jamming is what turns my crank. Count me in on any pranks, ifins you want. We could always steal Starbucks employee's apparel, get some clipboards, and take surveys in center camp asking people how we could improve their Starbucks experience.
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Postby Badger » Sat Nov 08, 2003 5:14 am

Oh yeahhhhhh.

BIG gorilla (guerilla?) hit here in SF not long ago was 16 Starbucks stores slapped with fake-o reposession papers/new lease paperwork plastered across each entry door - just in time for the Mobday morn caffeine fix downtown.

Time for the Black Spot stickers to start sprouting like spores what with the holidays and all just around the corner...
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Postby Ivy » Sat Nov 08, 2003 7:17 am

I would never "steal," but I could probably call up some old favors and "liberate" some Star*ucks stuff.

Center Camp serves it's purpose. Why not concentrate on making art and give up on making difficulty. Whoever said BM had to fully consistent unto itself, anyway?


I tyought this paragraph had some interesting points.

1. I do believe center camp serves a purpose. I don't believe the cafe does. YMMV, see also "rehased discussion," "corn chunks," etc.

2. Who says we are not making art? And who says making art is not as or more difficult than any center camp-elated "schemes?"

3. No one ever said BM had to be consistent. No one ever said humans were consistent. it's likely part of our nature to be hypocrites. In all honestly, i probably wouldn't have nearly so much of a problem or a problem at all with vending coffee etc. if the phrase "no commerce" wasn't shouted quite so loudly all the time.

BM itself is a week of culture jamming--why shouldn't ideas on how to do so in its "main" area be acceptible?
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Postby PJ » Sat Nov 08, 2003 9:12 am

If my understanding of the genesis of the Center Camp Cafe is correct, coffee sales exist for one reason only: Larry likes coffee.

But you never see Larry without a cigarette--he goes through more of them than cups of coffee. So why don't they sell cigarettes too?
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Postby Don Muerto » Sat Nov 08, 2003 9:13 am

I like French Toast. Can we get French Toast?
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Postby Blenderhead » Sat Nov 08, 2003 9:22 am

off-topic:

I came into work this morning and was going to post a 10,000-word rant in the Fuck thread about how pissed off I am at certain persons and powers and unjust bullshit in this world and how hopeless it seems sometimes to put up a fight anymore.


Then I read this thread. Thanks everyone.
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Postby Blenderhead » Sat Nov 08, 2003 9:43 am

Wind_Borne wrote:OK, How abou Espresso Commandos

We roam the playa and BRC streets with our incognito mutant espresso cart, stopping at our whim to pull shots of whatever the hell we feel like making and handing them out to whoever happens by. Then we move off into the night to look for another target location.


heh... a group of us are working on a similair concept, but with a massage table on wheels.
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