Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding the building and creation of mutant vehicles in Black Rock City
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uncle sticky
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Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by uncle sticky » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:06 pm

Anybody have a sense of what the DMV will be looking for this year? I was thinking of converting my gas cart into a creepy ice cream truck. Fun, interactive, ice cream, pervy good times, but is it likely to be approved? It'll be fully mutated, but it'll also look mostly like another vehicle. It certainly won't look like a dragon, or a space ship, or giant flowers.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Chowski » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:35 pm

If I am hot enough to get on your art car, then you're denied. NEXT!

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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Ratty » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:50 pm

I was snooping your past threads because I couldn't 'connect' with you. I loved reading through this one. viewtopic.php?t=64034

Did you ever make an art car after that?
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:29 pm

I think that this whole 'curation' thing may well just be posturing. Last year the big deal was that the DMV was 'upping the bar' and that they were going to be far more selective in the application process and even returning vehicles would be held to the same standards.. Especially that it can't look like a 'normal' vehicle or be able to identify the base vehicle.

Despite all this I still saw several mutant vehicles in 2016 (many have been there for years like the Nautilus and Strip (Shit) Ship) that you could plain as day see the base vehicle. Maybe they only had night licenses... and yes, I know that if you got close enough the base vehicle was identifiable on the Bonerpillar but I did still have a few people that couldn't figure out that it was a bus...

So to answer your question: I have no fucking clue how it works.

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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by BBadger » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:14 pm

I think the rules were changed to weed out the shitty little "mutant vehicles" that were more like decorated personal transportation vehicles. Shitty MVs like golf carts with cardboard cut-outs that's supposed to be a "cloud" . Or a wheeled couch. Or all these dumb personal vehicles that don't really add very much or serve the public.

Even if your ice cream truck looks like... well... an ice cream truck, you can probably get brownie points for the fact that you're trying to make it interactive, maybe even serve actual ice cream, etc. not just drive the thing around because you don't want to use a bike.

Your vehicle should turn heads and not induce roll-eyes because it's so lame. It should be actually artistic and interesting, interactive and cool. Not some "cardboard box with wheels" bullshit.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by maladroit » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:34 am

I would like there to be an exemption for all wheeled couches. If they're not a death trap, approve it instantly. There can't be enough mobile couches on the playa.

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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by uncle sticky » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:41 pm

BBadger wrote:.... maybe even serve actual ice cream, etc. not just drive the thing around because you don't want to use a bike.
Yeah, should have mentioned that there's ice cream, and that we drive around and make people "earn" their treats. Last year we did a wagon and all had soda jerk outfits, so we wanted to up the game a little. Honestly, my bike is way easier, and I love riding it, but the addiction to biting off more than I can chew is strong.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by uncle sticky » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:45 pm

Ratty wrote:I was snooping your past threads because I couldn't 'connect' with you. I loved reading through this one. viewtopic.php?t=64034

Did you ever make an art car after that?
Yeah, three, I think. I did the raft car, and it was janky and dangerous and awesome. Then we did the magically snarky 8 ball, where we drove an 8 ball around and gave people shitty fortunes. Next year (2015) we did Frank the Octopus, which was the best, least janky yet. Angry looking black octopus on a treasure chest.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by uncle sticky » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:45 pm

Ratty wrote:I was snooping your past threads because I couldn't 'connect' with you. I loved reading through this one. viewtopic.php?t=64034

Did you ever make an art car after that?
Yeah, three, I think. I did the raft car, and it was janky and dangerous and awesome. Then we did the magically snarky 8 ball, where we drove an 8 ball around and gave people shitty fortunes. Next year (2015) we did Frank the Octopus, which was the best, least janky yet. Angry looking black octopus on a treasure chest.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Ratty » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:21 pm

Uncle, You're an old hat at this MV/art car stuff. Good luck this year.

Maladroit I have an affinity for couches too. They are very generous with their transporting others. It's a great way to travel and view various burns. I wish one was passing right now I'd hitch a ride to the supermarket.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by VgKing » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:56 am

Can we see some pictures?

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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by gaminwench » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:29 pm

The image galleries on the main site are comprehensive and searchable. 8)
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:15 pm

Here's the deal... the situation with MV licenses is the same as with BM tickets.
There are only so many allowed by the BLM. The DMV isn't so much a judgement agency, it's more of a "permission engine". Licenses have to be issued, so says The Man and I don't mean Larry Harvey's Man. The DMV loves mutant vehicles and wants you to bring them and works hard way before and during the event to make it possible for you to bring them.
Faced with more applications than licenses to grant, some sort of selection process was forced to happen. The majority get approved. The ones that don't meet the criteria or are just too low-effort (the golf cart with fur and Christmas lights) are the ones almost everyone would agree are the ones to weed out.

About the ice cream... while that's awesome, a mutant vehicles' actions, such as serving food/drinks or picking up moop are not licensing considerations. It's the vehicle itself. That's the way it has to be. You could serve ice cream from a stock minivan... and everyone loves ice cream... but the DMV has to look at the vehicle.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by WileE13 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:47 am

maladroit wrote:I would like there to be an exemption for all wheeled couches. If they're not a death trap, approve it instantly. There can't be enough mobile couches on the playa.
Second that. I wish it was easier to bring a small, simple Art Car, for those of us without the means to build or transport a large one. Some of the most fun cars IMO are the small simple ones and they usually are just as good if not better than the large ones for giving rides, especially within the city.

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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Dr Helix » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:32 pm

WileE13 wrote:
maladroit wrote:I would like there to be an exemption for all wheeled couches. If they're not a death trap, approve it instantly. There can't be enough mobile couches on the playa.
Second that. I wish it was easier to bring a small, simple Art Car, for those of us without the means to build or transport a large one. Some of the most fun cars IMO are the small simple ones and they usually are just as good if not better than the large ones for giving rides, especially within the city.
I have brought a small MV to Burningman since 2009 and have never had a problem. It's really not the size, although BM likes the bigger ones because they can hold more people. Its that you HAVE to be interactive and create something that the vehicle DOES so that the DMV doesn't think you're just using it a personal conveyance. I have a semi truck and trailer built from a yamaha golf cart that I've used to give rides to playans both abled and disabled. One of my highlights last year was taking a paraplegic in a motorized chair to the trash fence, something he had always wanted to see. This year I've changed the game with a pop-out saloon that mimics an old country western bar from 1969 and will be populated with people giving interactions from that period. It's "Sleep No More" meets the Playa. My point is, whether it be big or small, interaction is the key to getting the DMV to approve you. Just like its supposed to be at BM.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:44 pm

I'm gonna argue that a little bit.
I believe it's more the vehicle itself, how "wow" it is, and how little it resembles a regular street vehicle and/or whatever it's built on, if applicable. Interaction is good but I wouldn't say it's the key element in getting a license.
A great, artistic vehicle that doesn't carry passengers will get a license sooner than a highly interactive one that looks lame.
I've seen many highly interactive but not mutant enough vehicles fail to make the cut. I've never seen a super-cool, ultra-wow one get denied because it didn't carry lots of people or serve ice cream.

There's nothing preventing anyone from bringing small, simple MVs but their own imagination and ability to build it.

I've always loved good mobile couches. The problem is that some people build big ugly motorized platforms and slap a couch on top. There's no magic there. If you're gonna build a motorized couch, put a little enginuity into it, hide the mechanical stuff, make it look like it's magic.

The stuff that gets weeded out is the really lame "cloud" car that's nothing but a golf cart with pillows and sheets over it, the cars that are clearly cars with visible stock bodywork showing, the dragon that's nothing but a golf cart with a piece of plywood bolted to the side with a drawing of a dragon on it... if you put a little effort into coming up with something cool and do a decent job of creating it, big or small, you'll be invited to bring it.
This is Black Rock City. It's designed to be a PEDESTRIAN city. If you want to drive, you have to step up and make your vehicle something other people want to see pass by, whether they ride it or not.
Don't expect a license for a Camry with the roof cut off and fur on it, just because it's interactive by giving rides or passing out beer. And don't then complain only the big expensive rigs get in. Sometimes big expensive ones don't make the cut either, if they look too much like a bus. I've seen it happen!
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by BBadger » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:17 pm

I'd like to see less of those MVs that look like those Indian decorated trucks. They just have a bunch of crap stapled on the sides, making it more like an art car and less an MV in my eyes.

The quintessential "personal" mutant vehicle in my mind is the Chatterbox. It's a compact, easily recognizable, well lit up, and just overall well-executed. The MV is fully mutated and doesn't show anything of the base car other than the steering wheel. Sure, the MV only seats two and isn't interactive, but it draws looks, smiles and adds to the overall zaniness of the event.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Dr Helix » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:13 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:I'm gonna argue that a little bit.
I believe it's more the vehicle itself, how "wow" it is, and how little it resembles a regular street vehicle and/or whatever it's built on, if applicable. Interaction is good but I wouldn't say it's the key element in getting a license.
A great, artistic vehicle that doesn't carry passengers will get a license sooner than a highly interactive one that looks lame.
I've seen many highly interactive but not mutant enough vehicles fail to make the cut. I've never seen a super-cool, ultra-wow one get denied because it didn't carry lots of people or serve ice cream.

There's nothing preventing anyone from bringing small, simple MVs but their own imagination and ability to build it.

I've always loved good mobile couches. The problem is that some people build big ugly motorized platforms and slap a couch on top. There's no magic there. If you're gonna build a motorized couch, put a little enginuity into it, hide the mechanical stuff, make it look like it's magic.

The stuff that gets weeded out is the really lame "cloud" car that's nothing but a golf cart with pillows and sheets over it, the cars that are clearly cars with visible stock bodywork showing, the dragon that's nothing but a golf cart with a piece of plywood bolted to the side with a drawing of a dragon on it... if you put a little effort into coming up with something cool and do a decent job of creating it, big or small, you'll be invited to bring it.
This is Black Rock City. It's designed to be a PEDESTRIAN city. If you want to drive, you have to step up and make your vehicle something other people want to see pass by, whether they ride it or not.
Don't expect a license for a Camry with the roof cut off and fur on it, just because it's interactive by giving rides or passing out beer. And don't then complain only the big expensive rigs get in. Sometimes big expensive ones don't make the cut either, if they look too much like a bus. I've seen it happen!
I agree with all this except for one thing; A small MV (Golf cart) is always going to be judged on whether it's a personal conveyance. I've seen all manner of small ones, many beautifully outfitted and yet I believe there is a built in bias that says, " you only did it so you could drive around the playa." BM is pretty adamant about ALL MV's having some sort of purpose beyond just looking good, and I think this especially applies to little ones. That's why I strongly encourage small MV's to have an interactive element in it, even if it's just the ability to take on passengers. I truly believe it makes a difference and with limited licenses to go around you should be looking for every edge you can.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by uncle sticky » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:28 am

" I have a semi truck and trailer built from a yamaha golf cart "
That one is really nicely done. Great work.

The ice cream was an idea to add an interactive feature to a vehicle that doesn't offer much space for passengers. My vehicles have almost always been more something to look at, since they're usually small. I always shoot for something that will make people smile. The most interactive vehicle we built was the 8 ball, and that was mostly just me sitting inside a very hot enclosure being snarky.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:05 pm

Originality is good too.
Don't just make a goddam truck on a golf cart or put wheels on some old fucking boat. That's lame.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Dr Helix » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:32 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Originality is good too.
Don't just make a goddam truck on a golf cart or put wheels on some old fucking boat. That's lame.
Exactly. I don't know how those guys get that shit on the playa each year. Must be grandfathered in or something.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by uncle sticky » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:05 pm

One step up from stapling ties to a car. :twisted:
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:58 pm

Oh come on you guys are making this sound way more difficult than it really is.

One school bus + a couple sheets of plywood and some cattle bones = Art Car.


See? It's easy!

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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:00 am

Yeah right, then you end up with junk like this
Image
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Shoeshine » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:44 pm

Dr Helix wrote: I agree with all this except for one thing; A small MV (Golf cart) is always going to be judged on whether it's a personal conveyance. I've seen all manner of small ones, many beautifully outfitted and yet I believe there is a built in bias that says, " you only did it so you could drive around the playa." BM is pretty adamant about ALL MV's having some sort of purpose beyond just looking good,
Just my $.02

I built a small MV (and I emphasize "built" rather than bought and decorated) whose sole purpose was to look interesting. It couldn't transport a bunch of folk. It didn't have much interactive other than lots of people stopping and checking it out and talking construction, mechanics, and art. ... and I could get it there on a cheapo harbor freight 4x8 trailer. Spent maybe a grand on it, though countless hours of fabrication, scrounging material and pulling my hair out. Made out of plywood, tube steel and a craigslist riding lawn mower.

Got nothing but love from the DMV despite my panic attacks and 11th hour push to even get the thing to work.

It had a solid theme, it had interesting effects (the legs walked to give the illusion that the mechanical animals were pulling the thing). It fit all the non-negotiable criteria (safe-ish, well lit up, headlights/tail lights etc...) It was fun.

I think, rather, the bar to exceed is an artistic one. How damn cool is it?
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Ratty » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:15 am

Its great. I would have loved to see it
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by AntiM » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:45 am

I loved this one from Beyond Belief:
godcar.jpg
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Aurelia » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:35 am

:mrgreen:
I want to ride!

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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:01 am

AntiM, yes, that's definitely one of the all-time greats!!
Shoeshine's chariot is one of the best examples of a modest size, modest budget, big imagination MV on the playa.
It does exactly what an MV is supposed to do: it makes anyone who sees it go by happy. If it's got "Wow! That's so cool!" whether you ride on it or not, it's a winner.

A great MV doesn't require a bus and a Kickstarter. Just great execution like that chariot. Hats off Shoeshine, that's a REAL mutant vehicle.
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Re: Curated art cars, what are they looking for?

Post by BRCDMV » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:03 pm

All,

Chef Juke from the Burning Man DMV Council here. I have a few thoughts and a question for everyone.

First, we continually updating our website to try to make it as clear as we can both what the criteria is, and how we decide. Often the feedback that I see on public forums like this seems to indicate folks think that it's just a small group of members of BMORG deciding, mainly focused on large, expensive vehicles. In reality, everyone in the DMV is a volunteer, including the DMV Council). Some are Mutant Vehicle owners, some are longtime burners (like myself - 23 years) some are newbies. Each review session has a group of 25 volunteers review the applications and come to a consensus as to how well each vehicle meets the criteria. This applies to vehicles large and small, expensive and pretty inexpensive. We do want to get a mix and the truth is, we usually do. A majority of the vehicles we license seat 10 people or less, over 1/3 seat 4 or less. Between 1/3-1/2 of the vehicles have a golf cart base.

What I'd ask is....what kind of information about how we pick would be the most useful to MV builders?

Our website does have a lot of info, explaining what the criteria is and the process we go through is. We also have links to the FAQ and our Mutant Vehicle Workshop notes.

Take a look and tell us what's missing? Should there be more info? Different info?

http://burningman.org/event/art-perform ... -vehicles/

Also, if you have a question for or about the DMV and how it works (including the one that started this thread "What is the DMV looking for?", if you can't find the answer on our website, please feel free to email us at dmv@burningman.org. We answer emails all year round (well, with the exception of one particular week in the year) and really do want to help folks understand what we're looking for.

And one last point about "curation". This term and it's use comes from the fact that we changed our process a bit last year. Previously, we tried to only gauge against the Mutant Vehicle criteria. But in the last few years, we found that more Mutant Vehicles met the base criteria than we can invite, so we had to update our approach to how we picked the vehicles to invite. We looked at making the criteria more strict, but that would have started to exclude many vehicles that we felt were great vehicles and should be included....the answer we came up with was to basically use a little discernment and focus on the vehicles that better met/exceeded the base criteria. So, we now go through the applications in a few rounds, picking the 'better' vehicles in each round, until we reach our limit.

So while in the past years we had stated that we weren't trying to 'judge people's art', now we are doing that a little bit.

So, hopefully, that answers a few of the questions posted earlier in this thread....and please, if you have any ideas on how the DMV can better communicate this, or if you have questions about any of the above feel free to resond in the thread or email us directly at DMV @burningman.org

Cheers,


Chef Juke, DMV Council

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