The Floating World Burning Man festival

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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Here's something that might fit the bill for some of our more extreme steamship fanatics. The Burning Man festival is scheduled for August 26, 2002 through September 2, 2002, in Black Rock, Nevada. It's advertised as an "experiment in radical self-expression" -- here's a case in point, the so-called "Red Guy":
http://images.burnin gman.com/index.cgi?i mage=263
It's in its seventeenth year, and originated in San Francisco. They call themselves a "temporary art community." The theme this year ("A Floating World") has to do with Black Rock being a "coastal city" and participants being ships. They will burn a huge wooden lighthouse with a human wooden figure, at the end of it. If you want more information go to http://www.burningma n.com
I suppose some members could go there and pretend they were the Titanic. Personally, I don't think that I'll make it.
 

Jan C. Nielsen

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Dec 12, 1999
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The "Burning Man" conceptualization of art form, in part, resembles "myth-making." It's found in the telling and re-telling of a story, any story, by multitudes of people. They say:

"As students of myth and folklore are well aware, the polished literary creations which represent to us the classic canon of mythology derive from fertile oral traditions of story-telling. Such material evolves within social settings by a telling and re-telling which accretes complexity, and hundreds of variant strains may thus be generated. In their confluence, these narratives dynamically embody the entire range of experience within a cultural milieu. Myth-making is a social art form that depends on an informal and collective process-- and the intensely interactive world produced at Burning Man may rightly be said to evoke this phenomenon."

It seems to me that this myth-making is an art form that this site engenders, as well. The "telling and re-telling" of the 1912 disaster in hundreds of variant forms is the stuff of myths.

It is not necessary to go to the Nevada desert for this, or to participate in an intense fiery and explosive inferno, to experience a catharsis. The feeling brought about by this art form flows from the "telling and re-telling."

Although we repeatedly strive for "accuracy" in the Titanic story, much of what we say on this site is probably not accurate. It is purely speculative. The point is that "accuracy," in the long run, doesn't matter. Eventually, Captain Smith rescuing the baby, John Jacob Astor smashed by the funnel, and other tales will finally be incorporated within the mythology surrounding the "accurate" story, in centuries to come. In my view, it is this mythology that will linger beyond the time of this civilization, and into the next.

So, I think that the "Burning Man" concept may be a bit misguided. It doesn't evoke the "phenomenon" at all. The creation of art doesn't need such things, as big wooden embers aflame. Frankly, it appears that the "Burning Man" is an orgy for the artists, and not a crucible for creativity. It lacks the soul of a real story. Without basically a real story, accurate or not, the mytholody does not have any genesis. We are the mythmakers, we are the artists . . . and also, we are the unknown. It has always been the aim of art, to conceal the artist.

Finally, it is my view that there can never be any such thing as a "community of art." What the "Burning Man" people are really referring to is a "community of artists." A community of people may create art, but the real notion of "community" in art is in the form of the work of art itself.
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray,
You'll never know dear how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you in my arms,
When I awoke dear, I was mistaken,
And I hung my head and cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray,
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.

I'll always love you, and make you happy,
If you will only, say the same,
But if you leave me to love another,
You'll regret it all some day,

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray,
You'll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.

You told me once, dear, you really loved me
And no one else, dear, could come between,
But now you left me and love another,
You have shattered all my dreams.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy, when skies are gray,
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.


--- Gene Autry
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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Well, today I'm so weary, today I'm so blue,
Sad, broken-hearted, and it's all because of you,
Life was so sweet dear, life was a song,
Now, you've gone and left me, oh where do I belong.

And it's all for the love of a dear little girl,
All for the love that set your heart in a whirl,
I'm a man who'd give his life, and the joys of this world,
All, for the love, of a girl.

And it's all for the love, of a dear little girl,
All for the love that set your heart in a whirl,
I'm a man who'd give his life, and the joys of this world,
All, for the love, of a girl.


--- Johnny Horton
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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Skip a rope, skip a rope,
Oh, listen to the children while they play,
Now ain't it kinda funny what the children say?
Skip a rope.

Daddy hates mommy, mommy hates dad,
Last night you should'a heard the fight they had,
Gave little sister another bad dream,
She woke us all up with a terrible scream,
Skip a rope, skip a rope,

Ah, listen to the children while they play,
Now ain't it kinda funny what the children say,
Skip a rope.

Cheat on your taxes, don't be a fool,
What was that they said about the Golden Rule,
Well never mind rules just play to win,
Hate your neighbor for the shade of his skin,
Skip a rope, skip a rope,

Oh, listen to the children while they play,
Now ain't it kinda funny what the children say.
Skip a rope.

Stab em' in the back that's the name of the game,
And daddy and mommy are the ones to blame,
Skip a rope, skip a rope.

Just listen to your children while they play,
It's really not very funny what the children say,
Skip a rope, skip a rope, skip a rope . . .


--- Henson Cargill
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
1,002
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I'm a rolling stone, all alone and lost,
For a life of sin, I have paid the cost,
When I pass by, all the people say,
He's just another guy, on the Lost Highway.

I was just a lad, nearly twenty-two,
Neither good nor bad, just kid like you,
And now I'm lost, too late to pray,
For to pay the cost, on the Lost Highway.

Now boys don't start, to runnin' around,
On this road of sin, are you sorrow bound,
Take my advice, or you'll curse the day,
You started rollin' down, that Lost Highway.


--- Hank Williams, Sr.
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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It's surprising how many parallels there are between the Titanic disaster and the art developed at the "Burning Man." For example, this sculpture of the "Playa Swimmers" looks like the Titanic's swimmers:

http://images.burnin gman.com/index.cgi?i mage=1385

The "Playa Swimmers" is the type of art that I think should be appearing on this site -- more so than drawings of ocean liners. I'm fed up with drawing of ships. It's time to portray the disaster experience, in form. Can such a horrifying disaster be portrayed in sculpture? I think that "Playa Swimmers" provides somewhat of a new avenue (or direction) to the art of the Titanic disaster. Take heed . . .
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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At "Burning Man" (this San Francisco Chronicle article says) "clothes are optional." Wow!!! That's a bit much ... even for me. Why is it that some people have to "get naked" in order to become artistic? Never mind, I don't want to know.

Burning Man festival sues to stop sale of nudity video

Friday, July 5, 2002


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(07-05) 04:42 PDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) --

The Burning Man festival, an annual celebration of art and self-expression in the Nevada desert, is suing a video company for allegedly filming naked women at the festival surreptitiously and selling the videos.

Festival sponsors filed suit Monday in federal court in San Francisco, accusing Voyeur Video Inc. of ignoring rules printed on each ticket that prohibit commercial use of photos from the festival without organizers' consent.

The suit also accuses the company of trespassing, invading the women's privacy and violating Burning Man's trademark. It seeks damages and an injunction against further sale or display of the pictures.

Clothes are optional for participants at Burning Man, which started in 1986 and is held each Labor Day weekend on a dry lake bed in the Black Rock Desert, about 120 miles north of Reno, Nev.

The psychedelic festival combines wilderness camping and an eclectic mix of art and music in a 5-square-mile encampment. It culminates with the burning of a 40-foot wooden statue.

A hearing on the proposed injunction was scheduled for Aug. 16, two weeks before this year's festival.
 
Mar 28, 2002
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Just saw a travel programme called 'Pilot Guides', with Justine Shapiro (Lonely Planet) visiting the above festival, must have been last year. It looked like Glastonbury without the mud.

Cheers,

Boz