Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

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Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by markflip66 » Wed May 18, 2016 11:37 am

In 2013 I built a laser scepter that I brought to the playa and it was well received. It had some issues and didn't make it through the whole burn. Over the years I have improved on it (was on playa 2013, 2014, 2015) and I just unveiled the latest and greatest version at UnScruz in May 2016 and people were stoked!

Last year was the first year of the laser ban and I got harassed by some jackass with a REALLY bright flashlight claiming to be so "keeper of the cheese" for the "laser variance" is what he called it. He tried to discourage me from using it by trying to blind our entire art car with his mega flashlight. I invited him up on the car and after about 15 minutes of schooling him he walked away convinced that my design was safe...

Is there a way to get an official stamp from the org to permit this awesome piece of laser art that represents thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time and effort?

A bit about the project. It's a liquid cooled 5W 430nm (Blue) laser scepter that has arduino controlled motors spinning precision optics (2 of them) that create a laser umbrella effect that comes out of the top of the scepter. The top is over 6 feet tall and the actual output is shielded from burners eyes on the ground so there is no "hot spot". The real magic is when the beam hits the dust or a canopy (or fog or redwoods off playa) and you can see the various patterns that it makes in the sky...

Although technically handheld, it's >25 pounds (full of D cell batteries and hand machined from aluminum) and it cannot easily be whipped around like the annoying laser pointers that caused this mess in the first place... I feel the ban for laser pointers is totally appropriate but this is so much more. On top of that, I am always watching the output making sure is is safe.

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by LowePro » Wed May 18, 2016 12:37 pm

Contact the Art group and/or the mutant vehicle group.
artery@burningman.com

You're bound to get some blowback and a variety of opinions here on the forum.
http://burningman.org/event/black-rock- ... de/lasers/

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by maladroit » Wed May 18, 2016 6:37 pm

It's a 5 watt portable laser that is not securely mounted to always point into the sky. All you have to do is drop it and it'll be pointing at someone's eyes. And there are a lot of structures above 6 feet that people climb or ride on. Your Arduino could freeze up or the wires leading to the motor could fall off, and now it's just a solid 5W beam pointing in a particular direction. This power of laser can cause instant permanent damage. I think the laser ban DOES mean YOU! You're not special! I mean, you are special but your use of lasers is not special! OK it does sound pretty cool and I'd like to see it. But I think it poses a definite risk of getting you kicked off the playa.

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Eric » Wed May 18, 2016 7:32 pm

There's not really wiggle room with this:
Burning Man wrote:As of 2015, handheld lasers are not permitted at the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City. Mounted lasers are only permitted on art pieces, Mutant Vehicles and in theme camps if they comply with specific restrictions.
Full rules can be found here: Burning Man/ Handheld Lasers

Unless your laser is mounted, either on a vehicle, art piece, or in your camp, it is not permitted at all. Period.
Even if it is mounted, it is only permitted if it follows the regulations on the linked page above.

While it does sound like a cool piece, that's not enough to get it in the event, and it could be confiscated by law enforcement (at best) or you could be asked to leave the event (at worst). Unless you can find a way to make it fit the rules, leave it at home.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by mudpuppy000 » Thu May 19, 2016 5:42 am

You also have to worry about aircraft. Not sure if anyone flies at night around BRC but it could potentially blind pilots flying over the event if you're painting the sky with laser beams.

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by LowePro » Thu May 19, 2016 8:24 am

It sounds so cool, is there a way you can mount it to the art car and pass the requirements?

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by BBadger » Thu May 19, 2016 5:06 pm

That is definitely cool, and the playa is an awesome place for viewing lasers. However, that device would definitely be banned. The reason being that it is handheld and you could, for example, drop the laser and have the light hit someone in the eyes. Even if you account for this (with a gyro or something), you could be below someone else and a person above you could be blinded.

Lasers at the event, or elsewhere are not supposed to be human-accessible. Generally this means having a couple meters of distance between the audience and the beams at all times. A handheld or scepter-held laser can't guarantee this.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by some seeing eye » Thu May 19, 2016 8:23 pm

markflip66 wrote: It's a liquid cooled 5W 430nm (Blue) laser
Of course everyone is right, banned unless approved by the Artery.

But 5 Watts or 5 milliWatts? There is a big difference.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Eric » Thu May 19, 2016 9:43 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Of course everyone is right, banned unless approved by the Artery.
Handheld lasers are banned period. No approval from Artery, no way around the rules. I don't know how that can be made any more clear.
Burning Man laser policy wrote:As a result, handheld lasers are no longer permitted at the Burning Man event. Do not bring them. Period. This policy is in line with nearly all major festivals and events in the United States and Europe.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by EspressoDude » Fri May 20, 2016 7:53 am

The organizers of event have been somewhat blind to the federal requirements for use of lasers for many years. Only when a volunteer was blinded did the org really deal with the issue. I have personally been 'illuminated by high power lasers and it is not a good feeling. you cannot get you eyes closed fast enough to protect them. An outright ban is the best solution to deal with them.

All lasers installed or used in the United States must have a Variance from the Federal Center for Devices and Radiologic Health.

I have seen only one laser project at the event that actually had this Variance submitted with their Art Project paperwork.

http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingPr ... 118907.htm

note that a laser light show is a laser product, as is the laser itself.

An outright ban is the best solution to deal with them.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Chowski » Fri May 20, 2016 8:57 am

If this helps you understand how lasers are being treated, one of our campers from Europe last year brought a "laser shower". He made a three-walls-enclosed room out of a 10x20 carport, lined the ceiling, walls and floor with black fabric, and installed a fog machine and maybe four or five of those cheap, dorm-room, ten-dollar stationary laser lights from Big Lots. Being in there was epic, and we made a ton of friends in that room. While we had heard about the "no handheld" lasers, we didn't think what we were doing would be covered by that. Someone in a uniform came by midweek to tell us we had to shut it down, so we covered the fourth wall with some more fabric, and stopped sharing it with the neighborhood. If they objected to our 10-watt lasers, there is no way your project is going to get off the ground. Sorry man.

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by some seeing eye » Fri May 20, 2016 2:59 pm

Chowski and Erik's posts are illuminating.

There is a written rule linked in Erik's post which is enforced by a large cascade, hundreds to thousands of individuals: LEO, BMORG-associated individuals, rangers and individual burners.

The written rule may even have upward entanglements in the permits which would be enforced by penalty clauses after the fact where no one wants to go.

Bottom line, if you have an approved laser effect, be sure to have some paperwork to show, and a BMORG person to contact hours of operation to call off the ______.


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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by markflip66 » Tue May 24, 2016 6:03 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
markflip66 wrote: It's a liquid cooled 5W 430nm (Blue) laser
Of course everyone is right, banned unless approved by the Artery.

But 5 Watts or 5 milliWatts? There is a big difference.
It is actually a 5watt laser but the output is slightly less due to loss from the optics...

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by markflip66 » Tue May 24, 2016 6:26 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Chowski and Erik's posts are illuminating.

There is a written rule linked in Erik's post which is enforced by a large cascade, hundreds to thousands of individuals: LEO, BMORG-associated individuals, rangers and individual burners.

The written rule may even have upward entanglements in the permits which would be enforced by penalty clauses after the fact where no one wants to go.

Bottom line, if you have an approved laser effect, be sure to have some paperwork to show, and a BMORG person to contact hours of operation to call off the ______.


I could be so snarky, but I won't.
I camped with the Rangers at tokyo my first 3 burns and the last of those 3 years (2013) was the year I unveiled the scepter. Crow, the head ranger is a good friend and all the rangers at tokyo saw it operate and I never got any grief for it. they all loved it.

I am still going to try the artery as like I mentioned, it was a ton of work and it is alive because of burningman. It was conceived and evolved into what it is today because of burningman. I would have never even envisioned such a project if it wasn't for the potentially lethal awesomeness of the playa. What ever happened to safety third?

For all the nay sayers, I knew there would be many, you really can't judge until you see it and I hope to run into you on the playa so you can see it. It's unfortunate that the irresponsible acts of a few turn into a "rule" that affects everyone. What's next, ban whiskey cause some idiot puked in someone's eye and blinded them...? Part of the allure of the playa for many is the danger, there is fire everywhere but if you ban that nobody would want to come back... Where the playa was our world where we could do what we want, it's slipping into the abyss of the default world, one rule at a time...

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue May 24, 2016 6:41 pm

I don't think anyone is saying it isn't super cool. I'm positive it is.
Whiskey is dangerous when someone driving an MV is drinking it, and that IS banned.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Bless » Tue May 24, 2016 7:30 pm

hmmm, I love whiskey...
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by markflip66 » Tue May 24, 2016 7:56 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:I don't think anyone is saying it isn't super cool. I'm positive it is.
Whiskey is dangerous when someone driving an MV is drinking it, and that IS banned.
But drinking it and puking in somebody's eye isn't...

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue May 24, 2016 8:56 pm

Now that's Safety Third.
Getting blinded by a laser is Safety Fourth or maybe Fifth.
Fifth... now we're back to whiskey again...
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by markflip66 » Tue May 24, 2016 9:08 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Now that's Safety Third.
Getting blinded by a laser is Safety Fourth or maybe Fifth.
Fifth... now we're back to whiskey again...
M mmmmm, whiskey :shock:

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by BBadger » Tue May 24, 2016 11:48 pm

markflip66 wrote:I camped with the Rangers at tokyo my first 3 burns and the last of those 3 years (2013) was the year I unveiled the scepter. Crow, the head ranger is a good friend and all the rangers at tokyo saw it operate and I never got any grief for it. they all loved it.
That's great dude. When was that? Like < 2015? There were years back then when drones weren't regulated either.

I used a badass laser back then too. I probably had the only high powered red laser, back when high powered blues and greens were popular. It lit up the Man. It shone itself on Wall Street. I remember shining it ABOVE Rangers' heads. They weren't afraid, and only asked to make sure it never dipped down to eye level. Of course, right? (I put it away shortly though, because it was attracting too much "oo can I try" attention that I didn't want responsibility for). I brought it at least twice. No negative incidents and still the rare red laser on the playa.

Yeah, that was all before someone was grievously injured by an asshole with a high-powered handheld laser. That dude was never found, probably because lasers at the time weren't rare. Now they're banned. It'll be easy to catch and pick out people who break the rules, and punish them.

Exceptions to that rule will make it harder to receive that kind of coverage.
I am still going to try the artery as like I mentioned, it was a ton of work and it is alive because of burningman. It was conceived and evolved into what it is today because of burningman. I would have never even envisioned such a project if it wasn't for the potentially lethal awesomeness of the playa. What ever happened to safety third?
They'll politely tell you that the ban on handheld lasers includes lasers built into costume items too. There won't be an exception.

Besides, what are they going to have you do while you're on the playa, and people approach you about having a laser? Show them your papers? No, that's not how it works.
For all the nay sayers, I knew there would be many, you really can't judge until you see it and I hope to run into you on the playa so you can see it.
It won't be there. Full Stop.
It's unfortunate that the irresponsible acts of a few turn into a "rule" that affects everyone. What's next, ban whiskey cause some idiot puked in someone's eye and blinded them...? Part of the allure of the playa for many is the danger, there is fire everywhere but if you ban that nobody would want to come back... Where the playa was our world where we could do what we want, it's slipping into the abyss of the default world, one rule at a time...
Blah blah blah, same ol' platitudes. :roll:

Really it comes down to the marked difference between self-induced danger, and being harmed by someone else's responsibility. If this isn't apparent to you, all the more reason to deny you your laser scepter at the event.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by markflip66 » Wed May 25, 2016 2:22 pm

BBadger,
Thanx for your detailed reply. I get it and your right, I got this reply from the artery;
If you’ve read this page (http://burningman.org/event/black-rock- ... de/lasers/), you know we now have a ban on all hand-held lasers at Burning Man.
I’m sorry that you’ve spent a bunch of money on your hand-held laser that’s now banned, but because of the acts of a few, everyone loses out sometimes.
If you have further laser questions, or wish you state why you feel you should be granted an exception to something that’s now both officially and societally enforced at Burning Man as unacceptable to our event, please contact lasers@burningman.org.
Alternately, if you wish to mount your laser above eye-level on an art project or theme camp, that could potentially be an option as well.
Thanks and good luck!
Brody
I figured it would be that way and the more I think about it, I really hate dealing with people with an opinion when I'm trying to have fun with my badass toy. It's a buzzkill. In the years it was on the playa I only had 2 incidents where people were kind of assholish about it but it wasn't until last year when there was the actual ban. I was able to convince one of them that they were full of shit but the other I had to tell to change the channel if he didn't like the program.

I guess I will have to retire this one to the flipsonian and just accept that rules "rule" us on the playa, just like in the default world. (I know I know, blah blah, but that does suck)

Time for a safety "fifth" of Whiskey (Thanx for that one Captain!)

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by LowePro » Wed May 25, 2016 2:34 pm

Mount it to something in your camp or MV, or friend's MV?
Surely it can't be too hard to build a stable structure of some kind (with a sleeve, or a clamp, or a mounting bracket??) that the sceptre can attach to, secure but removable, and still display your project on the playa.... I'll look for it out there!

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by some seeing eye » Wed May 25, 2016 6:19 pm

markflip66 wrote:
I figured it would be that way and the more I think about it, I really hate dealing with people with an opinion when I'm trying to have fun with my badass toy. It's a buzzkill. In the years it was on the playa I only had 2 incidents where people were kind of assholish about it but it wasn't until last year when there was the actual ban. I was able to convince one of them that they were full of shit but the other I had to tell to change the channel if he didn't like the program.

I guess I will have to retire this one to the flipsonian and just accept that rules "rule" us on the playa, just like in the default world. (I know I know, blah blah, but that does suck)
Someone lost their eyesight because of irresponsible laser burners. As a result, the insurance carrier, and likely the BLM/LEO who don't want to be blinded either, are forcing BMORG to ban handheld lasers. This has all been discussed on ePlaya.

If you can't handle the frustration of not bringing your device, how are you equipped to handle all the frustrations at the event itself with life?

I think the politeness of the Artery response and that they have a specific team dealing with lasers, and likely very knowledgeable, is damn impressive!

5 Watts = :(
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by markflip66 » Thu May 26, 2016 5:10 pm

some seeing eye wrote: If you can't handle the frustration of not bringing your device, how are you equipped to handle all the frustrations at the event itself with life?
Blah Blah back at you on that one!

Actually I can deal with it, I had a new inspiration to deal with this that I think will satisfy all the people that do or do not care.

I am thinking of adding a "lamp shape" type of shield out of some opaque white plastic so the effect of the light show can be seen on the exterior of this shade but none of the laser light can exit the system. It will be less dramatic and much more local but still awesome and nobody could dispute the safety of such a device...

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by BBadger » Thu May 26, 2016 7:17 pm

I guess you can go ask the Artery if that is permissible; however, that is still a handheld, Class 4 laser that is a fire hazard. You could drop the thing, or the heat from the lasers could melt your plastic covering or some other accident.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Eric » Fri May 27, 2016 1:35 am

[/mod mode off, the following is personal opinion]
markflip66 wrote:I am thinking of adding a "lamp shape" type of shield out of some opaque white plastic so the effect of the light show can be seen on the exterior of this shade but none of the laser light can exit the system.
You & your arrogance are exactly why this rule now exists. Even though the Artery plainly told you the "ban is on ALL HAND-HELD LASERS" (emphasis mine), you go on planning to bring your "I'm above the rules" little toy anyway. The rule doesn't say "covered" or "uncovered" or limit the colors, sizes, styles, artistic merit ... it says:

NO HANDHELD LASERS.
PERIOD

I know you don't care at all that people have gotten permanent injuries from them, and that you don't care that you've been explicitly told "NO" numerous times. Hopefully you'll care more when it gets confiscated once you're there and you're facing the possibility of being evicted from the event, because nothing else seems to be getting through your entitled little head.

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Ratty » Fri May 27, 2016 11:06 am

If 'Mo's Minimartini is a placed camp they will undoubtedly be getting a visit. Don't be 'that guy'. Leave your cool toy at home and join the community. We won't notice that there's one less thing to look at. You'll have a better week if you don't have to face confrontation. Post some pictures here. We'll all tell you how cool it is and hug you at the Meet & Greet.

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by maladroit » Fri May 27, 2016 12:47 pm

Seriously, and as several have already said...it deserves to be on the playa, it sounds cool...just get some U-bolts and clamp that sucker to a structure and this all goes away.

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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by Eric » Sat May 28, 2016 3:06 pm

maladroit wrote:Seriously, and as several have already said...it deserves to be on the playa, it sounds cool...just get some U-bolts and clamp that sucker to a structure and get permission from the laser team and this all goes away.
fixed it.

Like maladroit said - figure out how to make it a piece of mounted art in your camp if you want it on the playa that badly.

You're complaining about all the new rules, but right now your actions are the very reason they exist. You are becoming the reason for the rules you hate. Think about it, and then revamp your idea so you're not "that guy". I even think the project sounds cool, but in it's current form it is completely and utterly not allowed at Burning Man. Period.
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Re: Can I have a laser art project permitted by the org to be on playa?

Post by maladroit » Sat May 28, 2016 6:02 pm

I'd like to point out that not only is it banned at Burning Man, it's probably illegal to use anywhere else too. It's a federal crime to aim a laser at or into the flight path of an aircraft. Consider than a 5 watt laser can travel several miles...better radio your local air traffic control tower to make sure no commercial or private flights are traveling over your location.

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