Here's the interview it gives with David:
MAKING A TEMPLE: AN INTERVIEW WITH TEMPLE BUILDER DAVID BEST
(or ... David Best Takes a Break)
This year David Best will not be building a temple for Burning Man. In the following interview, David talks about what the Temple means to him.
Q. How long have you been doing the temple at Burning Man?
A. The temple's been going for 8 years, since 2000. I took off two years in 2005 and 2006 when Temple crew member Mark Grieve built itâ€¦ so the crew and I have done 6 temples.
Q. How long does it take to complete it?
A. It takes the crew approximately one year. As soon as temple is down we start on the next design - basically it starts as the temple is burning; Iâ€™m already thinking of next year's temple. Between January and the spring, I work with several key people designing the temple, gathering materials and working out structural details with an engineer. We develop prototypes for the modular parts of the temple that will be built during the summer. Early construction takes about three months of working with the crew pre-event, staging, and developing camaraderie and team organization. We build, for example, 100 lamps, and other modular parts for the structure. From January until the time I'm on the playa, I'm collecting materials. We work on site for several weeks; at this point all the pre-built parts are transported to the site, and, abiding by the ethos of Burning Man, we are as self-sufficient as we can be. We bring our own kitchen, our own tools and we handle all of our own transportation.
Q. What does the Temple mean to you? To the community?
A. Over the years, the temple has manifested the incredible relationship I have with the crew members and with Burning Man; we work very closely with the organization, and that would not be possible without the friendship and cooperation of the staff. It represents collaboration between many people. It has changed my life; it's given me the opportunity to do something with my art that very few artists get to do â€“ it's a very loving piece of work. All of the conflicts within the project mean nothing compared to the gesture of giving it to someone else â€“ a mother whose son has committed suicide, or a DPW member who has died .... The loving gesture that the piece becomes is the pay-off for all the inherent difficulties involved in making something like this, including putting up with me! What it means to me is being able to make a piece of art that offers a channel or a way of forgiving and closing a very sad, difficult thing in one's life.
Over the years we've watched our community grow, and we've watched the temple grow with it; the community has allotted that space to be a sacred space. They've reserved it as their own place to drop off their sadness, their losses and their dreams. It's a part of our civic culture.
Q. What's going on for you this year?
A. Myself and the temple crew are taking some time off to rest this year. The temple is a joy to do and I've loved it dearly, but I need to take a little time off from it.
Q. What would you say to whoever builds the temple this year?
A. I would say, "Pride goes before a fall." The Temple is not built to gratify any individual. It's a fine line to walk. To build a temple for a lot of people without involving one's ego is difficult â€“ it's not about self-gratification.
Okay, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, yeah?