Temple Burn Protocol

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
PantyMechanix
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Post by PantyMechanix » Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:29 pm

I would have to say, that the Temple Burn has, in the past been always my most special mellow, heartwarming experence of the entire week. It's always been a winding down for me. This was the first year I have not been on an art cart to view it in all it's ( )... As a standing spectator, the experience was stressful. There were people getting frustrated, bike everywhere..."can I get by, all my group is up there" "know what man, there is no where to go". "but, but" I sat on my cowboys shoulders and got my view, but I did not feel what I have known and experienced in the past. Best out did himself this year, so fucking intricate, and I was amazed, but the feeling I got from the crowd was not the feeling I have felt at prior Temple Burns. Has it always been this way for walking/cycling spectators? Hostile can I say? I felt it. I just wanted to go home and go to bed instead of my normal traditions of the sunday evening. Not saying that things shouldn't change, but respect should always remain. I can go on, but I won't.

Hotspur
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Post by Hotspur » Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:40 pm

pachimichanga wrote:To Hotspur:
You totally miss the fucking point and are obviously incapabable of entering into this discussion at the level I'm trying to bring it to.
Since you're the one who has some bizzare notion of what the majority wants out of you, totally unconnected from reality, why don't you go shove that laser pointer up your ass?

Or just grow up, which I think I covered in my last post.

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PetsUntilEaten
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:33 am

Its seems to me that the distructive expectations that people place on New Years Eve, Christmas, and birthdays has been transfered to the Burns.

This is perhaps where a little knowledge is dangerous - so many people with their idea of how it should go. I will say it was great for me when it was new, hard when I expected the same thing to happen again, easier now that I let it be what it is.

(side note: though I do love & respect David Best's work & I don't really know him at all - I did have a burnier-than-thou talk with him while he was proposing no art cars & bike mass transit to myself & another tricycle rickshaw driver. He acted as if we didn't get his master plan even though we were manifesting his dream. I do think I'll be making offers to the temple crew to stop work with lure of beer & slogans like "imagined art is creavity and completed art is commodity" if only because the pranks need to continue & someone needs to take the piss with this guy.)

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Ranger Genius
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Post by Ranger Genius » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:03 am

First: Yay for pranks! (especially when perpetrated on those who take themselves too seriously).

Second: Once an artist makes his art public, it is no longer his art. It belongs to the interactions it creates and is created by. Everyone's experience of that artwork is the essence of it, especially with a temporary piece like the temple.

That being said, I did not go to the temple burn to interact with someone's laser pointer or discomobile. All the mutant vehicles and participants in my area were silent throughout the bulk of the burn, even those who had been rowdy during the wait for it. I for one appreciated that: they all realized that the experience of the burn was not improved by any additions they could make, and after a while when we had all had some time to absorb it, the aforementioned bagpiper played for us. There came a moment when we all were prepared to begin interacting with one another again, when the experience could benefit from talking, laughter, and even music from the mutant vehicles, and we all tacitly understood when that moment was. We can only stare at a damn structure not falling for so long. Thank you to everyone who was in the vicinity of 3:00 on the perimeter.
“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”

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Lydia Love
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Post by Lydia Love » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:27 am

David Best's temples are and *incredible* gift to the community. I am truely awed by what he's done.

BUT you cannot give a gift and then have expectations on how that gift will be received without being dissappointed.

Shit y'all, it's burning man. Ride the cocophony, surf the chaos and keep fucking hydrated. It's all you really can do.

By the way, I think that picture with the silouette of the one standing person against the flames and the stag horns off to the side is fucking stunning.
It's all about the squirrels.

pachimichanga
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Post by pachimichanga » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:44 am

"Since you're the one who has some bizzare notion of what the majority wants out of you, totally unconnected from reality, why don't you go shove that laser pointer up your ass?"

And there you have it -- the true colors of the "spiritual idealogue", no more liberal or flexible than a fucking Republican.

Next year I may not bring a laser pointer since it apparently offends so many people and it is not my wish to upset those who may be grieving or otherwise be in an emotional state (though, as I have said, how the hell a little point of light has ANY effect on this process is beyond me). Likewise the argument that additional light modifies this work of art is somewhat valid, though would be more so if light itself played a large part in the sculpture's nature, which in the case of the temple it doesn't, or at least didn't this year.

On the other hand, I may just go ahead and bring the biggest, bestest laser pointer I can find just to get right up the asses of jerks like Hotspur. See, it's not really about the laser pointer (hell, it's the first and only time I've ever even used the damned thing). It's about having the freedom to do what I want without undue and unjustified interference and intimidation from sheep who want to co-opt an event that is for everyone and dictate their own petty ideals and prejudices.

Jesus, don't we get enough of that in the "real" world?

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Sobretta Franjipan
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Post by Sobretta Franjipan » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:48 am

(1) what is the protocol for the temple burn?
(2) why didn't everyone know this protocol? If respect for the event is as important as it seemed to the people on the bus, how can they make this widely known *before* the event?
(3) what was the right thing to do at that moment?
The protocol is to take mushrooms and start giggling when other people are suddenly sooooo somber and judgemental.

O.K. seriously (although that is my protocol)
1. & 2. There is an assumed protocol that people are supposed to know through ESP. It includes overseriousness, temporary loss of humor, and holier-than-thouness Giggling, respect, and enjoyment are not mutually exclusive. I have had tremendous respect for all of the temples, every time having intensely emotional moments. I've also cracked some jokes, saw some funny people, laughed out loud, and been very quiet. Why is this the one time during the burn that people suddenly want to police?
Who wants this widely known? "Behave this way or you cannot watch the temple burn!" Bah, humbug. Laughter is a very cathartic way of dealing with grief. You want guaranteed quiet-go to the outer gate.
3. You should have immediately ingested mushrooms and moved. If you or anyone else think they might have their experience "ruined by someone else" leave yourself the option to be able to move. Up front is not the end-all be-all and really is for amateurs.

Have a nice day!

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geekster
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Post by geekster » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:27 am

[quote="Sobretta Franjipan]

3. You should have immediately ingested mushrooms and moved.

[/quote]

Worked for me. But what helped set the mood was as I was walking out there, I was looking at the playa and noticed all the tire tracks from the bikes. I happened to realize that each track represented a brief moment in the lives of those that created them and how they crossed the paths of others that they would never see or know. Lives crossing, touching each other, unknown to them. For a moment, the playa itself became art. From that moment on, I think I was just soaking in the whole scene as it became a part of the temple art. I don't think I can separate the crowd from the temple because without the crowd, no matter how reverent or silly they are, the temple has no meaning. I don't want the crowd to be anything in particular except just to let it be what it is and to soak it in as a part of the whole. Maybe the people with the laser pointers just feel a need to be a momentary part of it. Yeah, it detracts a bit from the beauty but then again, its kindof like pigeon shit on a sculpture, maybe it is just unavoidable.
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Kathy O'Sunnyvale
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Art in public doesn't equal open source art

Post by Kathy O'Sunnyvale » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:29 pm

Because an art piece is public doesn't make it the public's art, unless the artist has invited that. Where the artist has asked for contributions, then do it. But graffiti, breaking bits off, burning parts early... its like a tone-deaf amplified kazooist at a concert: it just doesn't add anything.

Best had invited others to participate in his art, by helping him build it and by using it to honor the memories of the dead. Someone close to me had just died 7 days before the Temple burn. I spent time building a memorial at the temple, including a wooden plane as my relative had been a pilot. I carefully found a seat where I would have seen that plane burn. But someone in front of me insisted on standing up, even after I asked to be able to at least watch my tiny section burn.

Everyone around was sitting- several rows in front of that man, 15 rows behind him. Many-like me- were there to see a specific memorial. Had he given a reason- any reason- to be standing I could have understood. But he simply felt that arriving 5 minutes earlier than the rows behind gave him extra privilages. That a triangle of people behind were blocked: that seemed to mean nothing. I myself didn't stand up because then I'd be blocking a triangle behind me.

I couldn't move away (if you insisted on standing in front- didn't you see the crowds? Where would someone behind you move to?), and I couldn't have known that he wasn't going to ever sit down: at the arrival people were standing and sitting to get ready. Given that everyone else was sitting in that section, is was reasonable to assume he'd know it was a sitting section.

As for the laser lights- if you were that bored, why not ask your neighbors why they were there: learn their stories, learn their heartbreaks. If you're that easily distracted learn to knit. Kazoo at the concert.

And then there were the yahoos. I had an art piece up where on the last night someone tore open my lightbox to turn a sign upside down. Made it unreadable and broke some electronics inside so the lightbox won't be easily usable again. A loss of time and $50 (and that's real money to me) and for what? My art included a place where they could have written any message they wanted. "I can and did break your art" isn't a particularly clever message.

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Rich
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Post by Rich » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:33 pm

I was sitting in front of the Temple Bus at 6:00. Two goofs were vehement about continuing to stand. Going so far as to say that there was nothing to see yet.

That felt icky to me. Another fellow sat down, and we talked a bit. He said something about a bad knee making it harder to sit. He was pretty cool, he seemed concerned for me and for my experience. That helped nudge me to the right emotional place.

There was a lot of hostility out there, as people dealt with things in their own way. I felt that hostility, and I felt my own anger at the people blocking my view, and it got me thinking.

Why all this anger? What was it about the Temple that (for me at least) caused these 'real world' emotions to come out for the first time all week?

Two other notes: in front of the Temple Bus was a mad max art car with twin flame throwers. Someone from the Temple Bus asked if they could turn off the propane. A cowboy hatted tard with a beer in hand turned and said 'no.'

Later I clearly heard an announcement on the PA saying that the Temple Crew specifically was asking for the lasers to be turned off. It is of course easy to miss announcements, but that one came at a quiet point, and it sure seemed like people heard it. The laser pointers stopped, for a couple of seconds, then came back.

Whoever was shining the green laser that was visible on the 6 o'clock side would _probably_ have heard that announcement, and so, probably chose to disregard the request of the Temple Crew.

While we waited for the burn I had this image of David Best coming on the PA and saying 'you can all go home. We aren't going to burn it tonight because you are not worthy. We're going to burn it next week when you are all back at work.'

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PetsUntilEaten
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:00 pm

Rich wrote: Why all this anger? What was it about the Temple that (for me at least) caused these 'real world' emotions to come out for the first time all week?
Xmas-like exspectations? Why do families fight at Thanksgiving?
Rich wrote: While we waited for the burn I had this image of David Best coming on the PA and saying 'you can all go home. We aren't going to burn it tonight because you are not worthy. We're going to burn it next week when you are all back at work.'
That would have been great. Someone would have torched it the second he turned his back & that would be great too.

Embrace the chaos before it engulfs you.

Veronica
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Temple Burn-Behavior police

Post by Veronica » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:00 pm

Hola-This is Mojo from Camp Nubrane. Hey this was my first Temple Burn and my 4th BMan attendance. I really wondered while sitting staring at this brilliant architectural wonder if I would be taken up in emotional rapture over the burning of this grand piece of ellegance, or thrown into my own grieving. Sitting in the front row, much to my suprise, I felt only humor over the really bad music choices and the requests to not shine lazers at the temple spier. Freedom to express one's self? I mean I expected to next hear a megaphone announcing "Ladies and Gentlemen-you may now start burning your shoes." I found the behavior police to be hysterical and the temple burn to be spectacular. I doubt I will be attending another temple burn given the emotional police. Yes...there needs to be room for grieving...but GEEZ...Cole Porter? YARGH. David Best actually stopped to say, "It's not my fault". Did he pick the music? At any rate...I will respect those who want to make sure everyone is grieving by not attending in the future. Why does spiritual have to always involve telling others how to behave? I sob in your general direction.

BURN THE PLAN.

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sirseaweed
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happy to comply

Post by sirseaweed » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:57 pm

The lack of reverence at the temple burn is an indication of changes in the demographic of burners but with this particular burn it has a bit to do with the temple itself.

The temple was a construction zone almost every time that I visited it. In past years the temple has been up for days before the burn and quickly becomes a somber and spiritual place for those who visit. The opportunity to really experience that vibe was relatively brief and hence the same level of respect was not developed.

However, when we were asked to cease using the PA on the Exploratorium I was happy to comply once the person took the time to share a few words why it is not quite fitting.

Asking for some reverence is fine, demanding it is counter-effective.

Captain Chuck of the Exploratorium

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PetsUntilEaten
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:00 pm

Cross quoting because perhaps this falls under the "burnier-than-thou" - "love/live on the playa as it SHOULD be" rant. She has a point about sound. Although silence is perhaps best enjoyed with a small group of people when a crackdown wouldn't be necessary to create it.

windmistress wrote:Why do we cry at the Temple burn? I'll tell you why. We cry because for the FIRST time in seven days all 40,000 watt sound systems have been turned off. We cry because for the first time in seven days, we hear the real music of the Black Rock Desert. We cry GODDAMN it, because for the first time in a whole week we experience a moment of silence and togetherness SIMULTANEOUSLY.

We also cry because rows and rows of watchers are sitting down, holding hands and feeling the enormity of the heat being blasted upon their bodies. We cry too because over half of the city has gone, leaving only those who claim, "You've GOT to watch the Temple burn, it's SO spiritual," lingering about.

FUCK the Temple burn and it being spiritual. All of Burning Man is spiritual; there simply is no way to GET to the spirituality with massive sound systems interrupting the OPEN playa experience. Why not have a daily hour or two of silence, I ask? Perhaps just after dawn when the last of the all-night E users have FINALLY retired to bed?

Dear Burning Man Org, Piss Clear writers and seasoned Burners alike, do you really think that the Leave No Trace policy has ANYTHING to do with the land? If you do, you truly are THAT fried on shrooms. The Leave No Trace policy is effective because people don't want to LOOK BAD. These same folks could give a shit about the desert. Burning Man -- the festival -- doesn't give people a chance TO experience and honor the land, except for, of course, during the Temple burn when silence is haphazardly saluted.

Frankly, constant BASS does have a way of prostituting the entire festival.

Consider that we've already created a temporary -- and wholly artificial -- city in an inhospitable environment. Toss into the burn pile, Leave No Trace (or else you'll endure holy scolding). Heap this pretense onto the flames, "The Burning Man experience is SO sacred and spiritual." And mightily lug this line of crap onto the inferno, "It's all about survival!" (You mean, it's all about survival and the other 90% percent is about costume and shit you don't need on the playa.) Finally, soak it all down with a final playa muddied reality: Burning Man is about bass 24/7. FUCK you if you don't like it.

Sadly, what you end up with is a bunch of conflicting artificial metaphors that don't mean jackshit.

So, turn OFF the fucking bass at dawn twilight. If not, at least institute a MEANS for participants to experience the magic of the desert each day. GIVE us a reason better than looking bad to Leave No Trace. Allow us a moment to become ONE with the playa in a real sense, not a bastardized sense.

The Black Rock Mountains speak, but we cannot hear them speak. The wind on the playa whispers, but we cannot HEAR what it whispers. The playa dust itself has something magical to share with us. In a fleeting moment, I raised my hand and the mysterious soot spoke to me, "I am a dream yet begotten. To this beholder, I promise to..."

I COULDN'T hear the last fucking portion; the Space Cowboys booted up their mobile sound system and B-lined to my 11 o'clock position.

--Windmistress
Also I should mention that while with Charlie Smiths Nuasts(sp?) /Fire Sculptures out on friday night, the Monkey Chant / Gamalon(sp?) were performing - a rave bus pulled up & I walked over & told them they could leave or turn their music off because of the current performance - they left immediately without argument. It's some work to deal with other people - if you want simple silence you may have better luck in a smaller setting.

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bradtem
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Levity is great

Post by bradtem » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:29 pm

Nobody can criticise my devotion to levity at Burning Man, and not taking stuff too seriously. After all, among my projects are the Save-the-Man protest, which brings a smile to many, though we pause it and sit on our signs for the actual burn. And I've done many other satires. But that doesn't mean there aren't art pieces which are better without it. If all of Burnign Man were taken seriously, we would be right to crash in and tell people not to take it so seriously. But it isn't, and the temple burn doesn't need comedic or musical modification yet, in my opionion at least.

In the past it's never been necessary to say this. They probably will feel the need to say it now, which is sad in a way. It was cool when it all just gelled. Cheering and screaming and yelling "burn the fucker" fits with the burn of the Man. As does the protest and the wild crowd.

It's funny. Back here in mundane society nobody would even debate about whether it's good to come and play your own boom box at somebody else's concert, or to stand up in the 5th row when all around you are sitting. Somebody putting a laser pointer on the stage during a serious play would be stomped on by the crowd. In the past we all knew the Temple burn was more like that -- that the participation came in climbing on the temple, or putting your own memorial in it, not adding your own light and music to the actual burning. Now, for some reason, we don't know this, not as a community any more. Why?

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Post by madmatt » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:57 pm

pachimichanga wrote:BTW, I'd just like to say that the McCarthyesque posting of temple burn "offenders" here is particularly pathetic.
I agree. Sunday night everyone is on edge, BM is almost over. We had a ranger in front of us who JUST WOULD NOT SHUT UP about how it was 10 minutes away. A (seated) couple in front started wisecracking loudly about the condescending tone and just pure interruption of this ranger needlessly narrating. My first timer friend then started wisecracking the couple.

I tried to explain to her that BM is the one place where you can't tell someone to stop their expression, even if it's a complaint. Just let them be. We had such an amazing time Sunday, there's no f'ing way some loudmouths could've diminished it.

Just let it be, get over it.

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playasnake
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Post by playasnake » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:59 pm

FYI... this is the thread that Pets cross quoted.

http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?p=79027

although the quotee has some valid points... she is also dead wrong on some other accounts...

i dislike getting called out like that.
e pluribus unimog

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:05 pm

Second: Once an artist makes his art public, it is no longer his art. It belongs to the interactions it creates and is created by. Everyone's experience of that artwork is the essence of it, especially with a temporary piece like the temple.
Big smooches.
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Post by Rian Jackson » Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:21 pm

I think there are a couple of things at issue here. One is the freedom we all wanna have to do whatever the fuck we want. The other is respect, which has been mentioned before.

As someone who experienced many losses this year, the temple burn could have been really important. Incidentally, the daylight trip i made there was much more impactful, and i even ended up leaving temple burn early. But if there had been people being obnoxiously disruptive in front of me, I think i'd have wanted them to stop.

Still, i wouldn't want it regulated. I don't want a bunch of frickin' rules about it. And I don't want everyone to feel the need to try to experience the same thing. But the temple burn is the highest concentration of people grieving in the city at any given time, i dare say. Those that are going to the temple with plans to make catharsis difficult for those several thousand who really need it might think otherwise.

it's just common fucking sense.

bring your laser pointer, whatever. but think a bit about whether that's where you really want to use it...

and let's hope that those whose planned experiences are disrupted can find another route to what they need without being overcome with anger.
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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:04 pm

Expectations that a large crowd will behave in a way some one person thinks is the correct way, especially when appx. 50% of the crowd has never been before, is always a recipe for disappointment. I feel for those that wanted a somber moment (count me in that group), but I found the lasers playful and interactive, and no more obnoxious than the kites (in fact, I found the kites to be MORE obnoxious than the pointers). Both were "additions" to the group art event that the Temple burn (and Man) are. What I found truly obnoxious and unacceptable was all the shouting back and forth for people to behave a certain way. I ended up leaving early and watching it from a distance.

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Post by jayt » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:56 pm

ok, i realize i'm wearing my baggage on my sleeve when i say this, but . . .

being a hardcore introvert, i'm used to having reverent and private moments amidst a bunch noisy and obnoxious yahoos. That's every single day for me. i didn't expect any aspect of burning man to be any different, and it wasn't. so i still had a beautiful experience -- at the temple burn and everywhere else.

i've had to learn over the years that i'm never going get the rest of the world to respect my needs for solitude and quiet, so i've found ways to carve out my own private space in the midst the world's cacophany. it seems to me that jerks are everywhere, even at burningman, and there are only two ways to ensure that their hooting and hollering doesn't crash its way into your sacred pyshic spaces: 1) close the event (whatever it is -- burningman or a just a get-together) to outsiders and/or personally screen everyone who wants to come; or 2) learn to ignore them. some people will never respect anything, no matter what the rules say and no matter how many people try to pressure or shame them into it.

anyway, that said, i'll step down off of my self-righteous soapbox and say that i'm also very sorry for those who had their temple burn experiences ruined. that really, really sucks because it's such a unique moment. i hope the next one (if there is one for you) is everything this one wasn't.

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Post by KellY » Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:39 pm

Veronica wrote: David Best actually stopped to say, "It's not my fault". Did he pick the music?
Argh. What he said was: "It's not your fault." The Temples came in to being as memorials, after David Best's artistic collaborator was killed in a motorcycle accident a couple of months before the event in 2001. Best first considered not going to the playa at all, but built the Temple of Tears ( also called the Mausoleum) instead, inviting other Burners who had lost people to add their own stories, names, whatever to the structure. Since then, every Temple has largely been about mourning and loss, regardless of the title of the Temple any particular year. David Best goes around the perimeter of the circle telling people "It's not your fault" every year- it may sound cheesy, but I know it's meant a lot to many people.

As for the music, the songs Marissa sang were specifically chosen because of their connections to Burners David Best knew who had died in the last year.
Veronica wrote: I will respect those who want to make sure everyone is grieving by not attending in the future.
Thank you. If you're not into the vibe, the nicest thing you can do is please stay the hell away.

As for laser pointers, did it occur to anyone how distracting it was for those of us trying to admire the structure itself? Best's Temples are always gorgeous works of art, and as it's been pointed out this one wasn't completed until late - the time before the burn was the first chance I had to really spend time there. Imagine trying to study a painting and having people play with lasers all over it at the same time and you'll get the idea how annoying it was.

More later. Back to work.
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

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lemanczyk
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temple burn

Post by lemanczyk » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:44 pm

I'm just disappointed about all the people yelling at others, this is and for now is the most moving & incredible piece of art on the playa. See my earlier post about the standing guy.
But now this discussion has opened a whole other can of worms for me about do's & don'ts at the temple.
My most rememberable moments at Burningman include the interactions that spontaneously happen out on the playa. Who remembers the Termporal Decomposition aka Ice Sphere in '97? One of my favorite moments was on Sunday Late Night when the Veg-O-Matic was drilling and shooting its flame thrower at the Ice Sphere. And someone on a megaphone yelling "Kill the snow cone!!" Fucking Insane!!!
Now days, I'm the guy in the back enjoying the moment while out at the temple. But please don't yell at other burners for not acting accordingly. In my opinion, you are just as guilty for ruining the art as the other people. Now play nice.

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dj big E
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They put the art out theyre

Post by dj big E » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:55 pm

Then it's up to you to interpet it the way you want. If you want to yell and scream and go nuts then by all means do it. Piss on protocol as long as you aren't infringing on others safety do wtf you wan't. Dave best creations are great but in this burner's view they are best on fire!!!!!!!!!
As soon as you let everyone dictate you're bm experience you might as well just stay home in you're box. The protocol is interact and if that means yelling fuck you well hey you're interacting. LMAO only thing i am crying about is the lack of fire. And i am currently working on some kind of flame shooter or something . Thank goodness for the lotus girls fire and danger yippee. DJ BIG "E"

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Post by geekster » Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:58 am

If it doesn't get too stupid in future years ... I might want for my ashes to be placed in a wooden container and placed in a temple. Maybe I will choose to have a memorial stone be placed in a really nice place for people to visit ... maybe Hawaii or Alaska or the Altai mountains or something so if my kids want to visit "me" they will have to go someplace really cool to do it ... but I think as it stands at this point, having my ashes dispersed by the wind in the pyre of the temple burn might suit me.

Has anyone ever done that before? Is it legal? Should one treat the temple burn as they would a funeral? If it was MY personal funeral burn, I would rather you party your collective asses off but treat the temple with some respect. Be somber until it falls, then let all hell break loose.

stupid random thoughts.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

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Tricky
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Post by Tricky » Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:12 pm

I thought those lazer points where a wonderful precurser to the millions of floating embers that drifted into the sky as the temple burned. It was like excited potential unleashed.

So thanks to any of you lazer pointer players out there who took the risk... it certainly enhanced MY experience of the temple burn.

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Post by bradtem » Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:31 pm

I'm sure some people liked the laser pointers, but that's not the issue. The question is, when is it right to modify somebody else's art in a way that affects other's experience of it.

I'm not saying that isn't sometimes appropriate. In fact, sometimes it is encouraged. The Temple folks encourage the leaving of memorials and it creates a moving vision when you visit the temple before it burns. But surely sometimes it is also inappropriate -- and thus appropriate to tell people who are doing so to stop.

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Post by Tricky » Tue Sep 14, 2004 4:50 pm

Who desides what's appropiate and what's not?

who desides what's art and what's not?

the very nature of burningman calls into dialogue what art is... in static form as well as.. er Radical Self expression.

Sure one can have a negative responce to art and should be free to voice it. In that same light should one not alos be free to express their experience of art (in this case the temple) in a means that may well be based upon thier own athetic values? Such as contributing a pin-point of lazer light?

There really can't be a right or wrong in such a situation. It's more like a spectrum of actions and reactions intersecting a curve of personal values. If the "art" is to be preserved as the creator intended it then there are Museums for that. On the Playa art is an experience and subject as much to the whims of any individual (for better or worse) as much as it's subject to the weather.

Of course there are those whims that could better serve the community by being discourage (setting the temple on fire on friday night while people are still in it). I just don't see the presence of lazer pointer play as being one of them.
If someone's offend by their appearance then for them at that moment that's a part of their experience of that art, at that moment. Any value judgement at that point is more of a personal choice. With 30,000 plus people in one place at one time (more or less) the choices of some dozen lazer pointer wielders (weither one considers it good or bad) is more akin (at least to me) to mischevious weather.

As for telling someone to "stop;" that files neatly into "free expression". Feel free to do so, but don't be too shocked if you're ignored.

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Post by bradtem » Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:01 pm

Sorry, I have to say I feel it's ludicrous to suggest there is no right or wrong here. If somebody came in with a mega-sound-system and blared industrial music over top of the Temple soundtrack, I would be hard pressed to see how that wouldn't be wrong. If somebody came in with a fire truck and extinguished the temple, I also don't see much ambiguity, and the security would stop them. I had somebody come up and try to write on my photographs at the decompression. Had they not run away, do you dispute it would have been proper to eject them from the event?

The only party I can nominate to decide what's appropriate in terms of additional participation would be the artist. No, that's not perfect, but that's the only reasonable one.

Could the artist get very anal and repress legitimate artistic addition to his or her work? Sure. I would much rather see the risk of that then say there can't be a right and wrong in such a situation.

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Post by glam_daddy » Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:14 pm

which of the two images below is more moving. which is more peacefull, which represents the artists intent?

Image

just making a point.....
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