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 fucking idea. I never know, even leading right up to it. I realized this year the whole notion it’s even possible is the main reason I’ve tried to perpetuate the experience each year and been able to with a consistent sense of wonder and anticipation.
It’s ironic we go to such unsustainable ends to create a type of hyper-capitalist lifeboat we then send out into the desert and try to experiment with our default notions of immediacy, sustainability, and form new relationships with each other and our economies. It’s even stranger this has become a template for a space to contain such experiences and is rapidly evolving despite being born in most barren and inhospitable environment known to us. It’s still wrought with contradictions and becoming subtly commodified or used solely for escape and hedonism. It’s still the best mirror for reflection and emergence of new forms of cultural consciousness and evolution within our modern society.
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 part. It was a success, and First Camp had a great year despite being considerably larger, but I’ve already spent some considerable time redefining my boundaries and finding the best way to articulate the changes I think should occur and I need for myself to be able to continue working there.
The Space Cops were a blast. I tested them pre-event at Early Man and my coworkers loved it. The street-light gate contraption I spent about thirty hours on before hand didn’t pan out. I was surprised how much it didn’t bother me. People were so awestruck and receptive, and it was compounded by our ability to actually talk to and interrogate them this year. There’s something pervesly 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.