Monthly Archives: September 2016

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LXIII: Achievement Unlocked: ‘Gone Fishing!’

When we last saw our intrepid heroes, they were teaming up with seahorses in order to search out the resting place of the Discofish. Today, we see what happens when they finally find it!

After hours of search, S spots the Discofish:

After hours of searching, S spots the Discofish!
After hours of searching, S spots the Discofish!

She hurries to investigate!:

She hurries to investigate!
She hurries to investigate!

And reaches her goal, the pole lodged in the maw of the Discofish! She then braces herself to perform that most dangerous of tasks:

She braces herself in the maw of the Discofish!
She braces herself in the maw of the Discofish!

The climb is tricky:

This climb is tricky...
This climb is tricky…

And success! She now has enough leverage to remove the pole. The Discofish croaks “Thank you.” “You must search out the cat lady, the vehicle with the horsepower, and Prometheus, before you can reach your ultimate goal.”:

Ta da! :D
Ta da! :D

So, our intrepid heroes continue on, finding the cat lady around a corner, trapped in an unfinished game of golf:

The Cat Lady, transfixed in an unfinished golf game.
The Cat Lady, transfixed in an unfinished golf game.

After freeing her, she tells them to look for the ‘truck with more horsepower than you expect’:

"How many horses does *your* truck have?"
“How many horses does *your* truck have?”

The little horsies sing out the chorus “Seek the Eagle upon the mount, where he feasts day by day…”:

This Metheus seems to have lost its amateur status.
This Metheus seems to have lost its amateur status.

Searching among the liver, our heroes find the final clue! It is at Ballyhoo!:

Delicious, delicious liver.
Delicious, delicious liver.

There, our heroes find their destination, where they will lead unsuspecting participants to their Waterloo!:

S reaches her ultimate destination!  (The world will never be safe again!)
S reaches her ultimate destination! (The world will never be safe again!)

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LXII: Wolves, Seahorses, and Ramps, Oh my!

When we last saw our intrepid crew, they had just rewarded themselves with Midnight Poutine, after a long night exploring graffiti and dancing on the Discofish!

We follow as S travels away from camp on a secret quest:

She finds a sandhorse friend!:

S finds a sandhorse friend!
S finds a sandhorse friend!

Swimming together through the sand, they pass by the Rangers, undetected:

Don't mess with the Rangers!
Don’t mess with the Rangers!

Potholes are very important for the sandhorse ecology:

An important commentary on priorities (including signposts).
An important commentary on priorities (including signposts).

The sandhorses have a wary relationship with the sandwolves:

S is startled by the emergence...Yet intrigued...
S is startled by the emergence…Yet intrigued…

But because of the urgency of their quest, they are granted passage on the Wolfmobile:

#wolfmobile
#wolfmobile

They gather information at the sign depot:

Somehow, this collection of signs seems to capture the essence of Burning Man.
Somehow, this collection of signs seems to capture the essence of Burning Man.

Take some time to meditate and draw together the information they have discovered:

There are many days where Camp Sensory Underload would be a welcome respite.
There are many days where Camp Sensory Underload would be a welcome respite.

And finally end up at their destination, ‘Full Fractal’!:

I prefer to read this as 'Full Fractal'.
I prefer to read this as ‘Full Fractal’.

The Fractal Beings tell them that they must first pass the Trial Of The Ramp. Only then can they divulge the location of the Discofish!:

Stay tuned for next time, when our intrepid heroes discover the home of the Discofish!

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LXI: Groovin’ Out on the Discofish!

When we last saw our intrepid heroes, they had just finished perusing all the graffiti in the maze-like structure at the base of the Man.

But then they saw something in the distance! The Discofish[1] again!

Quickly, they ran[2] towards it!

Climbing aboard, they were immediately swept up in the joy of being inside the Discofish[3]!:

A happy M on the Discofish!
A happy M on the Discofish!
S is beaming with glee on the Discofish!
S is beaming with glee on the Discofish!

While being inside the Discofish was fun, dancing outside in its gaping maw was even better!:

Groovin' out!
Groovin’ out!

Dance!
Dance!

Even the eyes of the Discofish danced:

The dancing eyes of the Discofish!
The dancing eyes of the Discofish!

Flush with success, our heroes checked in at the Carnival, saw some creepy flaming clown heads:

The spooky, creepy eyes of 'Go fly some flaming clown heads!'
The spooky, creepy eyes of ‘Go fly some flaming clown heads!’

Paused to let the Electronik Firebug pass by:

Then went for well-deserved Midnight Poutine[4]!:

What better way to end off a successful night than Midnight Poutine!
What better way to end off a successful night than Midnight Poutine!

[1]The Discofish is not just another art car. Each of the scales are individually addressable, the ‘car’ is totally autonomous, and can navigate and avoid obstacles automatically. Check it out!

[2]Biked.

[3]Discofish loves you!

[4]The best poutine in the world!

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LX: Graffiti at the Base of the Man, Part Three!

When we last saw our intrepid adventurers, they were investigating the ‘interesting’ keming present in the maze at the base of the Man. Today, we follow them as they enter a more disturbing part of the maze:

Important words to journey by.
Important words to journey by.
I'm not sure which is more disturbing: the writing or the words...
I’m not sure which is more disturbing: the writing or the words…
This was my favourite installation at the Ontario Science Centre 'A Question of Truth'.
This was my favourite installation at the Ontario Science Centre ‘A Question of Truth'[1].
Some directions.
Some directions.
First one to decode this message gets a prize!
First one to decode this message gets a prize!
:o
:o
The maze is at an end!  We have gazed up and beheld the Man!
The maze is at an end! We have gazed up and beheld the Man!
This was the most beautiful sound and visual installation, mixing paper with wood and organ music.  We wanted to stay here forever.
This was the most beautiful sound and visual installation, mixing paper with wood and organ music. We wanted to stay here forever.
The regional burns[2] were starting!  Time to get moving!
The regional burns[2] were starting! Time to get moving!

[1]Ontario Science Centre’s “A Question of Truth”, exploring subjectivity and other difficult topics far before it was customary to do so (IIRC, there was a large controversy over it, when it opened in the ’90s.)

[2]Saturday night was traditionally reserved for the Man burn, Sunday night for the Temple burn. Many people brought other installations to burn at the end of the festival, some of these were burned on Friday night. (In 2013, each or many of the regional Burns sent an installation to be burned on Friday night, hence it being known as the ‘regional burns’.)

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LIX: Graffiti at the Base of the Man, Part Two!

When last we saw our heroes, they were exploring the maze-like structure under the Man, analyzing its graffiti and cataloguing its denizens.

Today, we catch up with them in media res, as they are analyzing some interesting keming[1][2]:

Excellent keming.  Or perhaps they are trying to say something else.
Excellent keming. Or perhaps they are trying to say something else.
POOKIE
POOKIE

As you shall see soon, our heroes took this advice to heart:

pookie
pookie
Chaton.
Chaton.
Let petit mots du chaton.
Let petit mots du chaton.
S is ecstatic to be communing with the flying elephant!
S is ecstatic to be communing with the flying elephant!

Here we see S taking the ‘make wolves[3]’ advice to heart:

Uh. Oh.  She sees her target!  <rawring noises and screams>
Uh. Oh. She sees her target!
Apt advice for certain experiences with fire art.
Apt advice for certain experiences with fire art.

Playa dust has so many uses!:

The respectful graffiti artist uses playa dust.
The respectful graffiti artist uses playa dust.

[1]Keming as expressed by reddit, and the appropriately named ‘flickyeahkeming’ picture blog. (Each of these is regularly nsfw for words.)

[2]Bad ‘Kerning’.

[3]I suspect this may be more of a coyote. Twice as dangerous, but not in any of the ways that you expect!

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LVIII: Graffiti at the Base of the Man, Part One

When we last saw our intrepid adventurers, they were rapidly going in circles.

Today, we we follow them as night falls and they go adventuring to the base of the Man.

Traditionally, there is some sort of plaza and art installation around the base of the Man, and over the years, it has become more and more elaborate, generally based on the theme of the event. This year was no exception, with the theme of ‘carnival or mirrors’, there had been setup carnival-like installations all around the base of the man, complete with banners for some typical and not-so-typical carnival characters:

Professor Blammo!
Professor Blammo!

Some fanciful pictures of the animals they might see:

M&S stare directly into the tiger with butterfly wings.  Notice the cutouts where people have put pictures of faces.
M&S stare directly into the tiger with butterfly wings. Notice the cutouts where people have put pictures of faces.

A strange sound/visual installation, with a projector, semi-floating heads, and some sort of almost musical instrument:

"So, what do you guys think?"  "I vote we keep making strange noises until they leave, befuddled."  "Befuddled?  Why not A-fuddled?"
“So, what do you guys think?” “I vote we keep making strange noises until they leave, befuddled.” “Befuddled? Why not A-fuddled?”
The players of the strange instrument looked upon the strange faces with concern.
The players of the strange instrument looked upon the strange faces with concern.
I think this was casting pictures, but that might just be projection.
I think this was casting pictures, but that might just be projection.

Covering the maze-like structure around the Man was yard upon yard of graffiti[1]. This graffiti was sometimes sublime, sometimes random. Here, we see the semi-common statement “Fuck your Burn”. The post that I think most succinctly sums it up is thus:


Don’t like billionaires coming to your party? Fuck yer burn. Air conditioned RVs ruining BM? Fuck yer burn. Hate raver bros? Fuck yer Burn. Annoyed by Hippy Drum Circles? Fuck yer Burn. Listen you fucks, radical inclusion is for YOU not them. You can’t make someone else be inclusive, you have to be.

I spent my first burn manning our small bar in the suburbs trying to make people comfortable and happy. I spent my first burn in wide eyed wonderment at all of the cool shit that people built. I spent my first burn eating grilled cheese and listening to cool bands. I spent my first burn getting my beard massaged by a very nice gentleman not wearing much. I spent my first burn at classes and seminars. I volunteered at the post office. I had a popsicle that someone made for me out of maple syrup. I helped a ridiculously trashed person get out of the heat and to the safety of rampart.

I met more awesome people and and had a better time than I have ever in my life. My stuff got destroyed by dust and rain, but we worked together to make it a great week.

Other people ruining Burning Man for you? That’s your problem. Hey but after all, it was always better next year.

The phrase ‘Fuck yer Burn’ is an expression of some of the self-reliant ethos common at the Burn. To my understanding, people will do things that you don’t like that don’t directly affect you, and you might be bothered, irritated, angered, etc. by these things. The self-reliant ethos as expressed here suggests that your time and effort might be best spent looking inside yourself, seeing why you’re reacting this way, and figuring out how you can change your immediate environment to better enjoy yourself. Perhaps best summed up as “radical inclusion is for YOU not them. You can’t make someone else be inclusive, you have to be.”

"An eloquent statement from a differently civilized time."
“An eloquent statement from a differently civilized time.”

On to the sublime:

One of the more confused graffiti artists.
One of the more confused graffiti artists.

And confusing #spacebetweenmeaning:

Now I'm confused.
Now I’m confused.

This also seems to be a common (and wrong) suggestion:

I'm not sure what 'worky advice' is, but I'm guessing it's non-optimal.
I’m not sure what ‘worky advice’ is, but I’m guessing it’s non-optimal.

Next time, the graffiti gets even weirder!

[1]An artist friend of mine once mentioned that you can really tell the undercurrents and character of a place by looking at its graffiti. It is the things that people want to say, but feel they are prevented from saying aloud or in respectable circles. When graffiti is punished harshly, this is all amplified.

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LVII: Poling and Other Circular Adventures!

When we last saw our adventurers, they were taking a break amongst the gifting ways of Sesame Street, and playing in hoopy ways. Today, we follow them as they play with a found pole and experience other circular adventures!

*smiles* "Let's go for a spin!"*smiles* "Let's go for a spin!"
*smiles* “Let’s go for a spin!”
"Wait, are you taking pictures of this?"
“Wait, are you taking pictures of this?”
"Why are you doing this?"
“Why are you doing this?”
"This makes even less sense than you usually do!"
“This makes even less sense than you usually do!”
"Really?"
“Really?”
"Well, let's make the best of it.  Pretend I just biked out of the TARDIS."
“Well, let’s make the best of it. Pretend I just biked out of the TARDIS.”
"Okay, I have an even better idea!"
“Okay, I have an even better idea!”
"Playa dust makes poles *really* slippery!"
“Playa dust makes poles *really* slippery!”
"I seem to be experiencing a case of sideways.  Please send counterclockwise rotations!"
“I seem to be experiencing a case of sideways. Please send counterclockwise rotations!”
"How do I look?" "You look like a cat.  Same as last time you asked."
“How do I look?” “You look like a cat. Same as last time you asked.”

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LVI: Sesame Street Gifting and Blatant Acts of Hoopery!

When we last saw our heroes, they were shaving ice and experiencing exhilarating slides. Today, we follow them as they take a short break for playa food, and then engage in rampant acts of hoopery!

Sesame Street: The gift that keeps on giving[1]!
Sesame Street: The gift that keeps on giving[1]!
This was so tasty I had to to take a picture.  Seriously.  Stop reading this and go out and try it.
This was so tasty I had to to take a picture. Seriously. Stop reading this and go out and try it.
Comrade Cookie is good enough for me.
Comrade Cookie is good enough for me.
All aboard the only spaceship built using only sign language!
All aboard the only spaceship built using only sign language!
"I'm not sure if this is how you're supposed to use that hoop..."
“I’m not sure if this is how you’re supposed to use that hoop…”
"I can use it however I want!  Wheeeee!"
“I can use it however I want! Wheeeee!”
"See!  I got the badge and everything!"
“See! I got the badge and everything!”
"Wait, let me get my phone out, too."
“Wait, let me get my phone out, too.”
"Ha ha ha!"
“Ha ha ha!”

[1]#burningmangifteconomy

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LV: Day 6 Begins with Shaved Ice?

When we last saw our intrepid heroes, they had just finished off day 5 with a Disco Fish sighting!

Today, we follow them as they begin to explore day 6!

Overnight, the anagrammists were at it again!
Overnight, the anagrammists were at it again!
Is it still trolling if no-one can figure out if you're being ironic?
Is it still trolling if no-one can figure out if you’re being ironic?
S shaves some ice for the Contraptionists' sno-cones!
S shaves some ice for the Contraptionists’ sno-cones!
"Stride of the Valkyrie"
“Stride of the Valkyrie”
This is perhaps my favourite of these, with the newly invented emoji.
This is perhaps my favourite of these, with the newly invented emoji.

Are you my Gummy Bear?:

Ashlands dweller, or Vault Dweller?  Only Bethesda knows for sure.
Ashlands dweller, or Vault Dweller? Only Bethesda knows for sure.
We are spookyhappy!
We are spookyhappy!
"Yeah!"
“Yeah!”
This terrific(read: terrifying) slide ended in the nice domed structure full of lounging pillows to the right.
This terrific(read: terrifying) slide ended in the nice domed structure full of lounging pillows to the right.

Burning Man 2015 in Pictures LIV: Day 5 Ends with a Disco Fish Sighting and FaIRE Hockey!

When we last saw our intrepid adventurers, they were frantically debugging the Mirror Blaze electronics in the dark, atop a lifeguard stand.

Luckily, they made it through, and were able to enjoy the rest of the day. Here is that story:

First, they saw the DiscoFish in the distance! They decided the next night, they would seek it out, hook, or by crook!:

A Discofish sighting!  This must portend colourful things!
A Discofish sighting! This must portend colourful things!

Part of running the Mirror Blaze was persuading people to enter via the exit gate. This was the sign next to that gate, giving an important take on consent and gates[1]:

An important take on consent and barriers to entry.
An important take on consent and barriers to entry.

In the meantime, Fire Tetris was aflame and tetrising:

Fire Tetris flares up!
Fire Tetris flares up!

The Faerie Dragon was eating fire, or whatever it did:

"I am the Faerie Dragon!  I will set this structure on fire and then eat it!"
“I am the Faerie Dragon! I will set this structure on fire and then eat it!”

and FaIRE Hockey continued to be fun:

FaIRE Hockey never gets old.
FaIRE Hockey never gets old.

On the way back to camp, after a successful night, our heroes saw that the anagrammists had struck again:

The anagrammists strike again!
The anagrammists strike again!

Stay tuned next time, for exciting adventures of the Third last day of Burning Man (Friday)!

[1]Not necessarily related.