What happens when build the most novel city you can imagine, invite your most adventurous friends, add the most novel art and technology you can create, and ingest the most novel substances known to man at the city’s apex?
I have no idea. I never know, even leading right up to it. I’ve realized the whole notion it’s even possible is the main reason I’ve tried to perpetuate the experience each year and maintained a consistent sense of wonder and anticipation.
It’s ironic we go to such unsustainable lengths to create a type of hyper-capitalist lifeboat we then send out into the desert to try to experiment with our default notions of immediacy, sustainability, and our economies. It’s even stranger Burning Man has become a template for a such spaces and is rapidly evolving outside itself despite being born out of the barren desert and surrounded by a culture eager to commoditize it.
It’s wrought with contradictions, but still a fantastic mirror for the reflection and emergence of new forms of consciousness and evolution within our fucked up society. That’s my view through the macroscope. There was plenty going on at the other end as well.
I worked too hard this year. I sacrificed too much time and energy to have as much time participating in the event as I have in the past. My work was successful, and First Camp had a great year despite being considerably larger, but I’ve already spent some considerable time mentally redefining my boundaries and articulate the changes I need to occur to be able to see myself continuing to work during the event.
Ree and I evolved our suits in Space Cops this year. They were awesome. I tested mine at Early Man and everyone loved it. The gate contraption I spent about thirty hours on pre-event to wrangle participants didn’t work out. It kept tipping over and probably would’ve killed someone. I was surprised how much it didn’t bother me when we put it down.
People were so funny and eager, it was complimented by our ability to actually talk to and interrogate them this year with microphones. We couldn’t project through the helmets alone last year and ended up more like mimes. There’s also something pervesely satisfying about pretending to be an intergalactic authority and commanding people around with a space laser and booty shorts.
Christina stayed for post and got a solid dose of actual DPW. Things wind down, but once everyone else is gone it goes back to the Wild Wild West. Trash Man and the Last Supper were definitely the overall highlight. I hadn’t been objectified like that all month and I’m certain the images of me in my dress, attacking the fire amidst a line of other screaming crazy people will be eternally seared into both our brains.
The trip home was just as dense. We traveled further than we anticipated or imagined. It was so wonderful to finally see where many of our friends and family actual live, and get a glimpse of their daily lives. We surprised Ree in Valdosta, saw my sister in Texas, and Chip in Tenesse.
The were aliens in Roswell, wizards at Harry Potter World, and soul food in New Orleans. I finally made it to the City Museum in St. Louis, MO, somehwere I’ve always wanted to visit. It was above and beyond the best children’s museum I’ve even heard of. It was so interactive and engaging, I had to resist the urge to ditch Christina and run as fast as I could through it. Words and pictures fail widely here, it’s incredibly dense and non-linear, a sort of creative gymnasium fabricated from recycled steel, sculptures and industrial machines. We met a burner from Burners without Borders while standing in line for the 10-story slide. I’d highly recommend it to anyone with kids or two working legs if you’re near the area.