Temple Burn Protocol

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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Tricky
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Post by Tricky » Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:53 pm

bradtem wrote: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.
Alot of the examples you're citing read more about your personal values about right and wrong than they do of some sort of objective RIGHT or WRONG.
My point is that it's near impossible to establish a right action/wrong action protocol with-in the context of the ongoing artistic (or not so) dialogue that seem to be a root cause for participation in Burningman.

Sure Blaring Industrial music may seem inappropiate to many and certianly could be considerd rude. However it could also be a profound statement on humanities inability to control and filter an experience in 3D space. or whatever...

Sure security would probably stop (or attempt to) the extinguishing of the temple by some random firetruck... but what if ther where extenuating circumstances? Some 12 year old was hiding inside... or again whatever...

The situation of someone writing on your display is certainly valid but is more akin to vandalism than lazer dots could be. So, in answer to the implied question; No I wouldn't dispute having the vandals kicks out. Along those lines, are you catagorizing the lazer pointers as Vandals and suggesting that it would be proper to round them up and kick them out?
slippery slope warning

So getting back to "appropiate" sure the creator(s) can indicate how the artwork should be interacted with, but unless the environment is as controlled as it would be in a museum the artist must except (for the sake of their own peace of mind at least) that those indications are not etched in stone. It would be like insisting that the temple be burned only on a clear night.

To clarify on your final point. I'm not suggesting that there can be No right or wrong way to appriecate/interact with the work of art. I saying that the determination of that right and wrong must as a matter of nessessity be made on an individual level. Otherwise how would we not risk slipping into a dogmatic set of right/wrong value systems.

i appologize if I'm seeming to be just contrary, I'm just more interested in expanding the nature of this dialogue beyond reactions to lazer dots ya'know.

:shock:

glam_daddy
The point you seem to be making reads more like an appeal to reaction against vandalism. Using the green lines to represent the lazer dots doesn't account for their movement through space and time. The image evokes more of an association with the temple being spraypainted (thus vandelized) than it does succeed in simulating an image of the temple with lazer points projected upon its surface.

It's a false "either or". Appriecating the lazer dots doesn't lead to an image like the one on the right.

As for which is "more moving" or "more Peaceful" or "represents the artists intent" I would have to select choice number 3:

Image

how can you dispute that this is the most Moving/Peaceful and representive of the artists' intent :wink:

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bradtem
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Post by bradtem » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:16 pm

It's not that complex. There doesn't have to be an objective definition of wrong to recognize a concensus wrong.

And you can objectively tell one thing -- is your "contribution" interfering with how other people interpret the art, particularly interfering with the channel between the artist and appreciator/participant. If you put on headphones and listen to your industrial soundtrack, it's easy to objectively say you are not interfering. If you blast it at 100db, it's easy to say you are.

How hard is this to figure out? Appreciate and interact with the art in your own way but don't destroy other people's opportunity to do so the way they want. Nobody is telling you how to interpret the art, they are telling you not to force yourself on others.

And this crap about how reminding people not to force themselves on others is a form of forcing yourself on others is just that -- crap. You can go down that slope forever.

It does not take rocket science to figure out that people come to the Temple burn to experience the work of David and the many people who work long and hard with him. The vast, vast majority of the people.

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KellY
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Post by KellY » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:23 pm

Actually, I thought Glam Daddy's pictures captured it pretty well. In any case, let me make the point again that the singer Marissa got on the sound system before the Burn started and announced that David Best and his crew asked that people please stop playing with the lasers on his structure. I know people heard, because the lasers did stop briefly, then started up again.

I know David Best isn't a dictator who gets to decree how people interact with his art, but it seems that between the many people who obviously wanted the lasers to stop, and a personal appeal from the Temple's creator, the laser people were being selfish jerks for not stopping.

I tend to think the reason people couldn't stop with the lasers is that they didn't have the discipline to simply LOOK at the Temple. Here you have this incredibly baroque, complex, magnificent structure that one could easily spend hours studying and understanding, and these people couldn't deal with it unless there were flashing lights. I'm guessing that in their minds, they agreed with the standing guy that was quoted a few posts back, who didn't think he was blocking anyone's view of anything worthwhile before the burn started.

Or maybe they were just like dogs pissing on a hydrant.
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Post by Simply Joel » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:30 pm

KellY wrote:Actually, I thought Glam Daddy's pictures captured it pretty well. In any case, let me make the point again that the singer Marissa got on the sound system before the Burn started and announced that David Best and his crew asked that people please stop playing with the lasers on his structure. I know people heard, because the lasers did stop briefly, then started up again.

I know David Best isn't a dictator who gets to decree how people interact with his art, but it seems that between the many people who obviously wanted the lasers to stop, and a personal appeal from the Temple's creator, the laser people were being selfish jerks for not stopping.

I tend to think the reason people couldn't stop with the lasers is that they didn't have the DISCIPLINE to simply LOOK at the Temple. Here you have this incredibly baroque, complex, magnificent structure that one could easily spend hours studying and understanding, and these people couldn't deal with it unless there were flashing lights. I'm guessing that in their minds, they agreed with the standing guy that was quoted a few posts back, who didn't think he was blocking anyone's view of anything worthwhile before the burn started.

Or maybe they were just like dogs pissing on a hydrant.
amended in bold to make my point

thank you

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Tricky
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Post by Tricky » Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:22 pm

bradtem
so far the dialogue's been enjoyably civil. There's no problem with disagreeing... However if it's going to degrade into patrinizing tones of "It's not that complex." & "How hard is this to figure out?" then the dialogue will be lost. I've assumed that, while you may disagree, you understand what I've written. So let's leave the ad hominem out shall we?

Yes it would be ideal for individuals to respect the request of the artist. Yes if would be ideal if appriecators of art maintained an ethic that kept them from "destroying" another's appriecation of that same art. In that we both agree. Getting back to my point, those views are still based on personal value systems and the nature of the burningman "experiment in community" demands an ongoing dialogue on how individual values translate into a broader set of communal values.

On a more mundane but perhaps as important note, this same dialogue is being held in relation to how individuals treat port-a-potties. Individually we (presumably) know they should be respected, but by the end of the week too many of them can still be found containing moop or having been vandalized by graphitti or stickers. Now please let's not confuse this tangent as me compairing the temple to port-a-potties. :shock:

It's just another illustration of the "weakest link" phonomena.

Touching on what you view as "crap."
And this crap about how reminding people not to force themselves on others is a form of forcing yourself on others is just that -- crap. You can go down that slope forever.
Seems to me there's a sort of leap being made here. Putting aside the obviously personal values in your dismisal, a dialogue must happen on level ground; nobody is "more entitled" than another durring said dialogue. This of course is only marginally related to what I pointed out as a slippery slope.
Are you catagorizing the lazer pointers as Vandals and suggesting that it would be proper to round them up and kick them out?
I'm also still curious if you have an answer to my other question:
how would we not risk slipping into a dogmatic set of right/wrong value systems.
Also, I agree that It does not take rocket science to figure out that people come to the Temple burn to experience the work of David and the many people who work long and hard with him. The vast, vast majority of the people. That plurality is still composed of individuals (everyone's a star at black rock city) who must take ethical and aesthetic responsibility for how they relate to art individually. With-in that context, there will not be an absolute right or wrong way to do so. Obviously some actions/reactions will be more widely accepted than others but the nature of our community must still assume a stance where each rational gets equal time. At least in my opinion... & we've all heard that bit about opinions everyone has one :roll:

dogs pissing on a hydrant:
This is something that happens all to often on the playa. I remember standing online at a solitary Port-a-pottie at the temple on Sunday morning. as it was a single port-a-pottie the line was moving slowly but the weather was nice, the company was enjoyable and my need for urinating was nowhere near emergency levels. Then along comes some guy dressed in shorts and a Canadian flag who rather than wait on line with the rest of us simply urinates on a corner of the port-a-pottie; I've seen my dog do this. Everyone on the line protested demanding that he behave in a civilized manor. His responce was "Burningman, the best party in the world."

Another example of our community being only as strong/sensable/civilized as our weakest/dumbest/most barbaric member. It's sad and I wish there was a means of changing that that didn't lead to Violence or Exile; methods much too readily used in our culture as it is.

He, like X% of the lazer weilders, either didn't have the prerequisite discipline or maintained a (perhaps very) different set of personal values. Whatever the case, sure they could be considered Selfish Jerks, or Vandals or ignorant or deaf. I'm not even suggesting an individual should refrane from choosing to view said individual as such. However, after the request's been made (by Mr. Best at the temple burn or the people online) what's to be done if that request is ignored?

Become offended? (Personal choice)
Move on? (personal Choice)
Exert/appeal to Authority? (slippery Slope)
Resort to Violence? (Slippery slope)

I certainly don't presume to have an absolute answer.
Should there be a reeducation camp for thise folks?

I witnessed a Ranger have someone climb into a burn platform to remove the trash (plastic bottles etc...) he had deposited there. That seemed a just responce to a selfish Jerk's actions.

This post is all over the place; a side effect of composing this responce while tending to other computer tasks.

In closing I'm bringing up port-a-potties and trash because I think that's a situation where ridgid protocals should be adhered to with potential consequences for those who don't.

I just don't see how implementing such protocals for art "appriecation" on the playa would ultimatley help our community in the long run.

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bradtem
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Post by bradtem » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:11 pm

I am sorry for the tone, it was directed not just at your arguments.

What I was suggesting has no slope to it, fortunately. If we are to have a judgement about what forms of "enhancement" make sense, there are only a few entities who could be the judge of that. I said the artist is the one that makes sense. If an artist invites you to write memorials on his work, that's great. If he doesn't, that should be respected. There is no slope that might be found in "community standards" or official rules.

Yes, as I have said, some artists might be to anal and repress the "enhancements" of others that actually have value. But what is the alternative? Most "enhancements" won't be that at all, unless you want to grant official artistic licences to those who can be trusted :-)

As noted, the lasers are a minor item. The artists of the Temple asked they not be shone, and that should have been enough. What I was critical of was those who said the artists had no particular business in trying to stop this, or in being insistent about it. Ejection for the pointer weilders? Not necessary, just take their pointer if it comes to that level of battle, which I can't imagine it should. Give it back at the gate.

However, pointers are minor. I mainly object tot he suggestion there can be no right or wrong here in terms of interfering with other people's enjoyment and involvement with the art. I think the rule is simple. Is what you are going to do going to ruin somebody else's chance to appreciate the art, particularly in a way the artist doesn't want? Then think really, really hard about doing it.

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Tricky
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COOL

Post by Tricky » Wed Sep 15, 2004 2:40 pm

In Principle I agree with most of what you're saying.

The creator SHOULD have final say in how one interacts/appriecates his art.

The population SHOULD respect that.

The Community on a whole would probably be better off if individuals adopted an ethic along the lines of what you're suggesting.
Is what you are going to do going to ruin somebody else's chance to appreciate the art (or the environment, port-a-potty, etc) , particularly in a way the artist doesn't want? Then think really, really hard about doing it.

It's still my belief that this stance must be reached by each individual in their own time on their own terms; if it's going to stick. didn't think this post was going to be all agreeance did you? :wink:

For me, the Slippery Slope comes when a set of generic non-contextual rules are applied to a situation such as the one (lazers on the Temple)we're discussing; from the Top down. Not as a request from the creator/artist or even fellow bystander, but as a matter of established Protocol (as in a museum). For each such Protocal established there is a potential loss of a spontanious freedom for radical expression. It's a very fne line that the BMorg must walk within this experiment-as-art-as-community.

We could perhaps break down perceptable differences in "community standards" as a reflection of the community,as it is; moop in the port-a-pottie, lazer dots on the temple. Verses "Community Standards" the ideals espoused and aspired to by members of that community; a moop free playa, a safe and respectiful environment for all. Maybe that's fodder for another thread entirely. 8)
Yes, as I have said, some artists might be to anal and repress the "enhancements" of others that actually have value. But what is the alternative? Most "enhancements" won't be that at all, unless you want to grant official artistic licences to those who can be trusted
I think this is where things get slippery. How does one filter worthy enhancements from unworthy ones? A similar situation can be seen with recent Mutant Vehicle dialogue. Who gets to deside what sort of vehicle enhances the population's experience on the playa? And by what criteria?
More fodder for another thread. 8)
The artists of the Temple asked they not be shone, and that should have been enough. What I was critical of was those who said the artists had no particular business in trying to stop this, or in being insistent about it.
Well yeah, that's somewhere in the range of Rude to Clueless. Still, as an artist who's spent years facilitating interactive art projects, I think any artist who's bringing a piece (especially one of such scale) to Black Rock City's playa, should be prepared to let go of any notions about how it should be appriecated/interacted with. As a matter of peace of mind. Again however, that's just my personal value system being expressed.

As I look at the population of Burningman as a single organism, reigning in that small minority seems akin to trying to control the weather. There are just so many variables involved. It becomes near impossible to do this without sacraficing some of burningman's other cultural values; free radical expression, spontanious works of living art, etc.

Now that idea of a CAMP REEDUCATION... that could be interesting... :twisted:

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Post by glam_daddy » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:55 pm

Tricky -

maybe next time i will spend the 3 hours and make it an animated giff so you can get the feel of the green dots passage through time. Maybe I will use flash.

then again.... No....

Just making a point.
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Lmfao

Post by dj big E » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:58 pm

Lmfao fucking temple soundtrack lmao. I have a friend long time burner long time installation builder builds tactile art for purpose of interacting. Couple of times over the years i have said something to the effect of man some idiot's probly going to break that. He just smile's and say's something to the effect of i just build it they interact with it. He build's all of his project's out of his pocket no assistance from the org or anyone financially for that matter. I arrived on monday this year and by tuesday morning someone had managed to break off a part of his piece allready. I was bummed but he fixed it and just sat back and watched people play with it all week. And enjoyed himself. I can't believe any artist or any burner could let some laser pointers freak them out so bad. If it gets this much response I might just bring a large argon laser next year and sit back at camp and fuck with everyone lmao. Seem's to me in 2001- 2002 they're were lasers bouncing off the temple and the man everynight. Oh yeah those were artist approved. If you're not putting others in grave danger have at it. If i don't like it move. I enjoyed the temple burn on the fringe with the rest of the lurkers. Being that far away 100 yards are so i couldn't even see any laser pointers lmao. Fucking temple soundtrack bleck If it's that serious maybe dave should just light it up when him and his close friends are around sounds like a span of control problem.

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Post by Steven bradford » Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:51 am

I'd just push the standees and drunk loud fucks into the fire.

Which is likely why I didn't go to the temple burn this year. It has been my favorite in the past, but I could see where it would be going, and I'd rather have the intact good memories. and not have the jail time either.
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it's all about respect

Post by waltsnipe » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:00 am

Bradtem has the right idea......this isn't complicated. It's all about respect. Respct for the ocassion, respect for those around you, respect for the vibe, respect for the artist and his team, etc. This year's Temple burn was all about selfish behavior......people wrapped up in themselves and what they want. Like petulant children. All this theoretical talk misses the point, and is a red herring. Everyone knows that the Temple burn is meant to be different than the Man burning.....less a party, more a letting go (of our week together, of lost loved ones, etc.). In years past, as has been mentioned, people by and large "got it" and this whole discussion wasn't necessary.

This year's Temple burn, like much of this year in general unfortunately, was about the usual crowd behaviors that most of us come to the playa to get away from.....people pushing and shoving to get to the front minutes before the Temple burned, disrespecting those who had come earlier (we actually had a couple of yahoos push past us over and over again to make runs to their beer cooler, muttering "Security...Security" as they bashed into standing people and stepped on seated ones). General chucklehead behavior. Crowds at Burning Man are supposed to be a cut above those at headbanger shows in the cities we left in late August.......I thought it was appropriate when the wind shifted and rained burning embers down on the lot of us. We deserved it.

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dj big E
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lmao

Post by dj big E » Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:25 am

Sorry the way I let go of all the crap I've endured over the last year is by yelling and screaming and whooping it up as the temple and the man burn. Sorry just my idea of a religous experience.

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Tricky
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Post by Tricky » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:13 am

glam_daddy
If you're going to spend 3 hours creating an animated gif.... Don't please...

Here, I'll do it for you:
Image

Now perhaps we can examine why it is that the point you where attempting to make could be viewed as flawed when observed by someone who is not emotionally biased towards its intent... perhaps not.

di big E
I think there should be equal room for your views, actions and reactions towards playa art as well as that of altsnipe. Bradtem and others.

It just seems that we, as a community, have quite a ways to grow if we can't have these dialogues minus so many ruffled feathers.

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Post by lemanczyk » Thu Sep 16, 2004 3:21 pm

Well put there, waltsnipe. But what about those 'playa nazis', who feel that thier view is righteous. Even though I'm respectful and would hope other would be too out there, I'd rather have the choas/chuckleheads than having people tell others how to act.

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Thanks

Post by waltsnipe » Thu Sep 16, 2004 4:14 pm

Well, I guess that raises the question of what is the best way for "community standards" to be expressed......We'd all yell at someone for throwing trash on the ground in front of us, right? Same for catching someone stealing. So whatabout behavior in crowds that is clearly out of bounds? While laserpointers on the Temple before the burn seem juvenile (to me, anyway), I don't know that it raises to the level of calling someone down for it. However, bulling through people to smash your way to the front is uncool anywhere, and people deserve to be given shit for it.....same for cruising up in an artcar to the Temple burn with music blasting full-volume....being an inconsiderate asshole is not a means of "expression."

If we have community standards at Burning Man (and I know we do, because that's why we're all talking about these things), then they need to be expressed by those who hold them to be important.

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KellY
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Re: Thanks

Post by KellY » Thu Sep 16, 2004 4:53 pm

waltsnipe wrote:....being an inconsiderate asshole is not a means of "expression."

If we have community standards at Burning Man (and I know we do, because that's why we're all talking about these things), then they need to be expressed by those who hold them to be important.
Hear, hear. Very nicely put. There comes a time when "tolerance for different standards of behaviour" = "being a doormat". Figuring out when that time is is the tricky part.

Also, I have to say Tricky that your animation doesn't capture what I saw vis-a-vis lasers on the structure at all, mainly because a) the lasers were much more random in their movement, which involuntarily atacts the eye more than a set pattern, and b) the lasers generally moved much faster, so that the effect was more like the lines on Glam Daddy's picture. Also, the structure wasn't nearly that brightly lit, so the lasers stood out much more - but since you were using G.D.'s photo I can't fault you for that.
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Tricky
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Post by Tricky » Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:34 pm

If we have community standards at Burning Man (and I know we do, because that's why we're all talking about these things), then they need to be expressed by those who hold them to be important.
Allright I think we should all start planing reeducation camp now!!!

KellY:
For the most part you're correct. Just making a point and seeking to do so in less than 10 minutes.

we could go into a whole discourse about an illustrative image and a representitive image. For all intensive purposes my gif was leaning (not completely successfully) towards illustrative, while Glam Daddy's image was much more representitive.
The interesting thing to note is that the representitive image requires the viewer to make up the difference between "reality" and its representation in their own mind. Itis thus that mental investment that causes viewers to respond to it in a more intimate maner, subconsciously forgiving that inherant difference the reality and its representation.
Meanwhile the illustrative image must mimic reality in its totality right on the surface view. Success in this immatation usually results ain acceptance of the illustration as reality (take for instance movies that one accepts as an actual set of moving experiences vs. animation which is fundamentally repesentitive) while failure is quickly dismissed as a sort of cheap fraud.

oppps looks like i've gone completely off topic and should say something about art appriecation protocal. maybe a handbook should be distributed? we could print them up at reeducation camp... little red ones. :wink:

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Post by Badger » Thu Sep 16, 2004 6:32 pm

If we have community standards at Burning Man (and I know we do, because that's why we're all talking about these things), then they need to be expressed by those who hold them to be important.
I think we're talking about a 'social contract.' Everyone seems to be dancing around the idea - including yours truly - but the fact is there IS one and implicit in going through the gate is the idea that you agree to abide by it.
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Post by waltsnipe » Fri Sep 17, 2004 8:46 am

That's true. What's more, the social contract SHOULD be the baseline of behavior off-playa, with the playa being the social experiment in being better than that for a week. Ideally, Burners then take that better behavior back home with them.

Unfortunately, this year, too many people didn't even hit the baseline. We've already discussed the disrespectful chucklehead factor. Also, I just read on a different thread that there were twice the number of sexual assault incidents dealt with by the on-playa crisis team this year compared to last year.

I stand by the idea that our "community standards" are known and need to be enforced by all burners on the playa. A lot of this "don't limit my experience" talk sounds a lot like smokescreens to avoid accountability for asshole behavior. I'm not buying it.

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conceptual respect

Post by Anthony Bondi » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:48 am

This wouldn't be a piece of mine, but I'd be interested in seeing how it would work as someone else's project: An arbitrary acre of playa marked as a quiet zone such that a person in the center of the acre would hear a minimum of sound. The interactive element of the piece would lie with the perimeter guardians of the piece and their efforts to explain to visitors that the visitors' presence (with devices producing sound) is the heart of the piece. Will visitors maintain the piece with self-enforced silence, or break the conceptual artwork through the addition of sound to the silent acre? A lot of the conceptual elements of the temple would be present without the dogma attached to questions about how to show respect for others' pain.

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Re: conceptual respect

Post by geekster » Fri Sep 17, 2004 3:27 pm

Anthony Bondi wrote:This wouldn't be a piece of mine, but I'd be interested in seeing how it would work as someone else's project: An arbitrary acre of playa marked as a quiet zone

They had that ... take any radial to Sedna ... and keep going until you come to Oort Cloud.
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Rich
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Post by Rich » Fri Sep 17, 2004 3:34 pm

I don't know that I care about the silent aspect, but one acre marked off would be cool. We use this language of space and distance. 'a mile, an acre, a quarter acre, a large house, a small house, a large room, a small room'

So mark off various common sizes...
Here is one acre.
Here is a quarter acre-a typical suburban lot
Here is 3000 sq feet-a fairly large home
Here is 1100 sq feet-a fairly small home or large apartment...

etc.

It would require signs, marker poles and warning tape, a bit of light, and a couple of hours to install. Anyone want to do this with me?

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dj big E
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Nekt year i am gifting

Post by dj big E » Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:24 pm

Gifting laser pointers seems like only option lmfao. I didn't bitch to anyone about lighting the leigh side of the structure for a more controlled burn did I. lmao. Laser pointer anyone. Who gives a fuc be glad these laser pointers were'nt being pointed by sniper's. One last rant was dave pissed about people taking pieces of the temple. As his crew was breaking up the temple from the ends to put the wood in the middle. People were riding off with pieces this seems way more fucd up to me. Wood is to burn dammit not to be carted back to town wtf.

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Post by Ranger Genius » Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:40 pm

dj big e wrote:Gifting laser pointers seems like only option lmfao. I didn't bitch to anyone about lighting the leigh side of the structure for a more controlled burn did I. lmao. Laser pointer anyone. Who gives a fuc be glad these laser pointers were'nt being pointed by sniper's.
How eloquently stated. Could anyone possibly argue with that?

I think any point on this issue that I would have made has already been made, on both sides. I only wish to point out to Tricky that perhaps he should go and look up "Slippery Slope." He may be surprised to find that it actually denotes the logical fallacy which he himself committed during each of the arguments to which he made reference to it. How convenient of him to label all of his erroneous thoughts for us. If we all added in parentheses the fallacies we were committing when making arguments, I think the world would be a much better place, would it not? Here's an example of how it would look.
maybe a handbook should be distributed? we could print them up at reeducation camp... little red ones. (Non-Sequitur: Straw Man.)
“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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retropsycho
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Rowdy behavior at the Temple burn

Post by retropsycho » Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:03 am

Of course David tells this so much better...

A fellow was at the Temple one year, clearly very emotional. David greeted him. He told David that at the previous year's Temple burn, the folks around him were upset when he broke the reverent pre-burn silence around him and shouted "BURN THE FUCKER DOWN!!!" When David asked why he shouted, the guy told him that his father had taken his own life shortly before Burning Man that year. David told the guy to absolutely shout it again this year, and if anyone complains, he could tell 'em David said it was okay.
I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone . . . there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

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Post by geekster » Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:15 am

Awesome story, RP. I think the temple burns have been different things for different people and so it isn't at all unexpected that there be a wide range of reactions and behaviors from people. This years burn was for me a release of guilt over my father's death from cancer that I felt I could have prevented if I had recognized some things he had been complaining about in time. I had decided several years ago to "clense" myself of that at a temple burn but had never been able to go the whole week and my fiends suggested I not go for just the weekend, said it would likely give me the wrong impression of BRC as a newbie ... the place seemed to have a powerful impact on them, so I took their word for it.

I don't remember feeling any anger at all when they played with the laser pointers or when I heard yelling and bickering. They were having their experiance and I sat quietly at the edge of the circle having mine. I guess I was just lucky enough to be in a spot where I COULD have mine the way I wanted it. I heard some whispers around the area about this year and got the feeling that if I didn't go this time, I might not get the chance to do what I needed to do in the future, so I went.

I am saddened not by the behavior of others, but by the fact that it seems that some were unable to have the experiance they needed to have and that they may never get another chance.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

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retropsycho
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next year's Temple

Post by retropsycho » Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:33 am

There are heirs to David's legacy waiting in the wings. One of them was introduced to the Temple crew this year, and he has already been building small scale memorial Temples at Burning Man.

Then there's David's do-it-yourself plan for '05 with multiple burn platforms on the esplanade with Temple materials at hand . . . Larry likes this idea.

Well, everything changes in time, and eventually, time will tell.
I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone . . . there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

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Re: next year's Temple

Post by geekster » Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:55 am

retropsycho wrote:Then there's David's do-it-yourself plan for '05 with multiple burn platforms on the esplanade with Temple materials at hand . . . Larry likes this idea.

Well, everything changes in time, and eventually, time will tell.
Yes, this is exactly what I have been hearing from other sources as well. Good. I think we might be able to get a nice burn venue for the Virgin art this way. And yes, things change. That is generally a good thing. I think that if too much stayed the same from year to year, the old timers would get bored quicker so having drastinc changes from time to time probably goes a long way to keeping the experiance fresh. It is nice that they decide to mutate things from time to time. Still, David's temples were grand and I feel a certain gratitude for the experiance.

To quote from The Mutaytor: Mutaytion ... because evolution takes too long.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:59 pm

Again David has said that this is his last year doing the temple burn. It takes him over six months, perhaps nine. When I spoke to him, he was burnt out and very tense without humor. Yes its sad, but a break of a year or several would do him well and come to BM just to enjoy it.

Then again, what's he going to do anyway!

Perhaps a smaller project would help him.

A II Z

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ravenluv
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Real Reverance

Post by ravenluv » Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:06 am

First BM, 2002: I instinctively believed that the temple burn would have a more reverant flavor than the man burn. It did.

Next temple burn, 2004, wherein everything I'm going to relate can be witnessed on the video I shot.

We were at 6:00, maybe ten rows from the front. Concerning the lasers, they may not have been as distracting if people hadn't been complaining about them. We also had the Drunk Chick nearby who was annoying the hell out of some guy. He spoke out against her, just like the anti-laser and down-in-front people were speaking out. What came of this? Sometimes hilarious commentary and a rare opportunity to see a diverse crowd of people interacting with each other rather than, as with concerts and sporting events, focusing nearly all of their attention on the event.

Two distractions closer to my location:

Distraction 1: A group of guys behind us broke out into a spontaneous singing of 'Lean on Me'. A man came from the temple area and into the crowd. He stopped right next to me and yelled at the guys to quit singing. It was David. It was only time I've seen or heard him. I saw his point, but thought the singing was an effort at promoting harmony. The guys quit singing immediately, which led me to believe they were trying to add harmony to the event, rather than merely acting up.

Distraction 2: A man stood up in the front row, just to my left, and played his flute. It was wonderful. He stopped just before the planned events started happening. No one told him to shut up or sit down.

And then, a moment of what I'd call REAL reverance...

During the temple burn a most amazing silence took hold. If I were to rely on my memory I would eventually doubt my memory. But I have a tape which assures me it happened. That tape shows thousands of people standing around the fire being so quiet that the only sound heard is the crackling of the fire. I've never experienced anything like it. Even on tape it seems rather amazing. No one told them to do this. No one was screaming for everyone to shut up. It JUST HAPPENED.

That silence lasted for what I consider to be an impressive amount of time. Somewhere in the distance, a bag pipe started playing, which added to the solemnity of the silence while opening the door for us to begin being the loud chatty humans we generally are.

That, to me, was as real as reverance can get. Whereas it is impressive to stand with thousands of people as they are LED into a moment of silence, it was both baffling and utterly imspiring to be with them as they did it spontaneously.

Granted, things may not have been so quiet elsewhere in that great circle that night, but from where I stood it was the most amazing group silence I've ever witnessed. And no one told them to do it!

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