Theme for 2004

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Wind_Borne
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Theme for 2004

Post by Wind_Borne » Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:21 am

OK, I know everyone is just winding down from this year's burn. But I wanted to start talking about next year's theme because I believe a great theme brings out the greatest creativity.

For example, the Floating World theme of 2002 evoked a lot of wonderful oceanic, aquatic, ethereal and even whimsical images and sounds in the mind that found wonderful expression on the playa. That phrase, "The Floating World", is both concrete and secular (water, ships, the earth afloat in space) and spiritual (the sea of humanity, our souls floating in the mind of God). So by spanning the secular and spiritual, the Floating World theme provided artists with a firm base of tangible forms and images from which to build works that eventually moved our spirits.

The Beyond Belief theme, on the other hand, takes as a starting point that which is beyond human experience and travels out from there. This presents the artist with a big problem. How does one talk about stuff out there without a familiar starting point. I congratulate those who met this challenge. But I feel that the challenge discouraged many others. The Beyond Belief theme seemed daunting and hard to approach.

The most sublime works of art and literature have at their core the familiar experiences of the human condition, yet touch places in the spirit otherwise inaccessible.

So my hope is this... that we can discover a evocative theme that has a touch of whimsy, a bit of magic, and doesn't take itself too seriously.

What do you think?
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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Sat Nov 01, 2003 7:18 am

Adventure, whime and magic.
. Alice In Wounder Land.
.
Alice Through The Looking Glass.
.
The hand writen manuscript "was": Alice Under Ground.
.
*The dirty old writer had a thing for Alice. And a big thing for drugs.
.
Adventure, whine and magic
.
*Norton review.
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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Sat Nov 01, 2003 7:54 am

Adventure, whine and magic
Freudian slip? :)

Wind, while I disagree in thinking that a great theme brings out the greatest creativity, I do agree with your assesment of "Floating World" vs. "Beyond Belief." FW worked on so many levels: the whole ocean thing, the Oriental art allusions, hell, the first thing that spring to my mind when I heard it was Bespin's Cloud City from The Empiure Strikes Back. Becuase it worked on so many concrete and figurative levels, it allowed for a great variety of interpretation and therefore, IMO, more creativity. Beyond Belief, on the other hand, was so esoteric and figurative to begin with, hardly anyone I spoke with had any tangible inspiration when they heard about.
I also think it's best when the theme works on multiple levels; the more levels of interpretation, the more creativity it can inspire and the more directions it can go. I hope this year will see a return to the more concrete-optioned thmes of the past several years. But in the long run, the theme serves as directional inspiration for some and nothing more. With a theme or without a theme, with a good theme or a sucky one, people will still attend, people will still create. A number of suggestions have been bandied about, but only time will tell.

On a slightly totally offtopic note, I really liked the theme artwork on this year's ticket announcement but I never recieved mine in the mail and the several attempts I made to aquire one all failed. Does any one have any extras?

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30,000 men enter

Post by juliansnail » Sat Nov 01, 2003 10:00 am

I think in 96 it was "Hellco" year. That probably would have been a bit
much for what I like. The "Body" year was fun. I thought that
"beyond belief" was too open ended and mushy of a theme.

Some ideas for a theme that probably go too far...
- blood
- the destroyer
- louder then loud
- the human orgasm
- cute cute cute
- pretend you're larry
- in your dreams
- anti
- pull my finger
- beyond pain
- the american flag
- 30,000 men enter, 1 man leave

Some ideas that I could image working...
- birth & rebirth
- tomorrow land
- the land before time
- trading faces
- bizaro burning man
- war and peace

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Sat Nov 01, 2003 10:54 am

As a Lit. geek, I would like a theme that ties in to all the amazing people and worlds created in author's minds. A theme like this could get people anywhere they want to go: venal, exalted, noble, historic, modern, etc. The stories these characters reside in could provide a rich philosopical or psychological context to the costumes, theme and art of the event as well.

Personally, I would love to attend some "Shakespeare on the Playa" (please, no Midsummer's Night Dream though) and I would attend the burning of the Globe theater on Sunday. It would be amazing to be exposed to non-Western stories and characters too. How about pedalling over to the Russians Camp to have a drink with Gogol's Nose or a mad conversation with Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov? Shit, I would even go to Camp Langley to visit with Jack Ryan, or follow Trevanian and Shibumi up into the alps as well. With the new rules, Cujo would have to stay at home, but getting a ride on Christine would be fabulous!

In my mind a theme like this would be more than simply costuming fictions of the past. There is no reason not to put a fresh interpretation on something, or to combine and recombine stories and characters until you have something truly interesting and original. How about a game of Red Rover, -the Romantic Poets vs the Real Crime Authors? (Be gentle on poor, tubercular Shelley.)

I am not sure its interesting or feasible, but its an idea.
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antron
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Post by antron » Sat Nov 01, 2003 11:05 am

i like the idea.

i'd wear a dust jacket.

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Sat Nov 01, 2003 11:34 am

Don Muerto--

Totally digging your idea. But I don't think it will be appealing (in terms of enjoyment or knowledge) to the "non-literary" types out there. What about something more inclusive of the other art generes as well? The first thing that came to my mind was "Story." That's concrete enough for people to latch onto, encompasses the liteary aspect you thought up, but incudes not only other art forms, but history and even life itself.

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Story... Elaborate

Post by Wind_Borne » Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:51 pm

Could you elaborate on "Story." Do you mean the word as the theme? or the concept?

Story...
- Fables and Faerie Tales
- Graphic Novels
- Tell me a Story
- Once Upon a Time
- It was a Dark and Stormy Night

Just free associating here.
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-- George Washington

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:17 pm

All of the above and more. That's what i like about it. Shit, it was the first thing that came to my head, it's not like I've had time to elaborate. It's not like BMOrg is gonna pick it up anyway.

My thoughts were more along the lines of "every person has a story to tell, very life is a story, three sides to every story" type thing.

I *like* the fact that it encompasses all the aspects that DM mentioned, all the aspects you mentioned, and all the aspects I mentioned, plus I'm sure a lot more that haven't been mentioned yet.

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:53 pm

Spot-on Ivy!

I think a theme of "Stories" is actually what I was aiming at without having the ability to articulate it.
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Post by unjonharley » Sat Nov 01, 2003 2:01 pm

Or, (in a word) Movie
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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Sat Nov 01, 2003 4:27 pm

Or, (in a word) Movie
The book was better! :)

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antron
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Post by antron » Sat Nov 01, 2003 4:29 pm

i liked the play.

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Post by DE FACTO » Sat Nov 01, 2003 4:31 pm

The encyclopedia was too long.
even though...........

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Wind_Borne
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Post by Wind_Borne » Sun Nov 02, 2003 10:19 am

I like these ideas.

How does BMOrg pick the theme?
Who gets input?
Are those people reading this?
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

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Post by Ivy » Sun Nov 02, 2003 10:22 am

Larry Harvey pulls it out of his ass. :)

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Wind_Borne
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Post by Wind_Borne » Sun Nov 02, 2003 10:33 am

There's an image.

Or maybe a theme.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

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Post by ramen » Sun Nov 02, 2003 12:07 pm

Ivy wrote:Larry Harvey pulls it out of his ass. :)
Maybe he and PJ should have a cow-tipping party.
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Kinetic II

Post by Kinetic II » Sun Nov 02, 2003 12:51 pm

Screw the damn theme. If they have something cool like "The Floating World" where people can get into it, great. If not, it's radical self-expression time, and the theme can take a flying fuck.

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Post by DE FACTO » Sun Nov 02, 2003 12:53 pm

ramen wrote:
Ivy wrote:Larry Harvey pulls it out of his ass. :)
Maybe he and PJ should have a cow-tipping party.
we need to start getting some pics of this stuff.
even though...........

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Post by Wind_Borne » Sun Nov 02, 2003 1:35 pm

Kinetic II has a good point.

I realize that if I felt a certain artistic lack on the playa this year it was partly my fault: I did not build anything myself. Oh sure, I was busy all year with my work... blah blah blah. But bottom line I did not get a piece together for the playa. In that way I let myself and the rest of the burners down. Mea Culpa.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
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III
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Post by III » Sun Nov 02, 2003 3:51 pm

> How does BMOrg pick the theme?

picking the theme is larry's personal creative contribution to the event.

> Who gets input?

anyone who talks to larry, indirectly. directly? no one. you're much more likely to get somewhere if you mention that you've been thinking about trees over a beer with him, than if you accidentally let the word "theme" slip into your conversation.

> Are those people reading this?

maybe. don't expect them to take any of the ideas here seriously.
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Post by unjonharley » Sun Nov 02, 2003 4:01 pm

So we all sit waiting for Larry to clear his passage? I could recomend a tea.
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Post by DE FACTO » Sun Nov 02, 2003 4:04 pm

unjonharley wrote:So we all sit waiting for Larry to clear his passage? I could recomend a tea.
at larry's age may i suggest prunes.
even though...........

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Post by Rob the Wop » Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:36 am

My vote:

Titties and beer.

That'll make the frat boys happy.
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Post by jbelson » Mon Nov 03, 2003 9:40 am

The idea I'd like to see is microcosm, sort of an everything small is big type thing. I think visually it would be fascinating. I also think there are other directions to take this too, as in grandizing that which is insignifigant, petty, or whatever.
I like the stroy idea, too. Although my though would be to make it more of a print idea to not only incorporate the story aspect, but allow for inspiration to come in from other forms of reading; News, magazine, pictures, comics, inks.
I think what is important in a theme is 1 word. That one thing that you can grasp onto and jump off of.
The beyond belief theme didn't really hit for me until I got home. I looked at it as what is unbelieveable, as opposed to a spiritual thing.
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Post by Booker » Mon Nov 03, 2003 10:54 am

>>picking the theme is larry's personal creative contribution to the event.

Well, picking it and drafting the statement (to pick a nit). He seems to place a lot of importance on that text and to put a lot of effort into it.

A Stories theme, you say. How INteresting! Why print though? Printed matter on the playa = moop at some level. And we're all more familiar with print than verbal communication, no?

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Post by J » Mon Nov 03, 2003 2:28 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:My vote:

Titties and beer.
Does this mean the theme is Frank Zappa?
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Post by madmatt » Mon Nov 03, 2003 2:55 pm

I said it last year I'll say it again. Regardless of what the so-called theme is, the real every year is sex, drugs and rock n roll.

Or is it, blow your mind?

Or is it fuck the theme?

Or is it 30,000 themes? (pick this one pick this one)

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Post by BlueBirdPoof » Mon Nov 03, 2003 3:12 pm

Don Muerto wrote: How about pedalling over to the Russians Camp to have a drink with Gogol's Nose.
Somehow, except for the fact that poor Nicholai was completely freaked out by reality, his sexuality, morality and everything else the St. Petersburg Tales really evoke the playa for me (or to be honest, vice versa.) Thanks for letting me know it's not too much of a stretch. (How would we do a troika art car?)

I missed The Abyss this year. And I think that it would have fit into the theme very well.

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