Temple Burn Protocol

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
spectabillis
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Post by spectabillis » Tue May 10, 2005 4:49 pm

Maybe people should be allowed to gang jump the man, tear him down, and parade off the dismembered parts - like goalposts at the end of a home-town win?

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Tue May 10, 2005 6:23 pm

The title of this tread is a contradiction in terms. I understand having a "protocal" for some things on the playa, like dont steal art(or anything for that matter), and LNT, but since when are we encouraging, let alone mandating, any kind of emotional response to someones art?
Gabe, I think what's happening is something that's been implied over the past few years. Sort of a collective consensus on appropriate behavior. I'll take a leap here and say that I can understand the sense of solemnity that the Temple burn engenders. A lot of people take a lot of time to invest their emotions, feeling, etc. in going to the place to weep, meditate, think, pray, whatever when they go to the piece throughout the week. Later, as everyone collects to see the pyre most go as a means to have closure with whatever stuff was brought up for them.

And I think that's great.

I guess my personal experiences have been that sitting quietly in rapt, navel contemplation doesn't work for all folks involved. And just because they elect not to play along doesn't diminish in any way whatever feelings they might have in *expressing themselves when the fire comes.

* Asshats screamin "Burn the fucker" being a very big, persoanl exception.

spectabillis
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Post by spectabillis » Tue May 10, 2005 7:49 pm

Isotopia wrote:Asshats screamin "Burn the fucker" being a very big, persoanl exception.
at least I didn't use a bullhorn

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Post by Janka » Wed May 11, 2005 1:24 am

So please do not think badly of the people who continued - they might not just have known what the artist wanted.
It sorta puts a big bug up my ass when when there's a perception - implied or otherwise - that an artist or creator of a piece would suggest appropriate behavior for an audience experiencing his/her piece. Actually, I believe it's the height of arrogance on so many levels.
In case anyone's still interested, let me clarify my take on this. In my opinion, the artist does have the right to ask people not to interfere with the piece of art - to please not paint on it, tear it down, burn it, touch it, play their own music to drown its sound effects, or whatever is appropriate for the piece in question. He is perfectly within his rights to ask people to stop doing something he does not want done to his work, and I feel that only morons would not respect him in that. (Doing the thing in the first place might not be moronic, though, but just a misunderstanding in how one can interact with the piece.)

What the artist (still in my opinion) cannot dictate is how people react to the art - if he wants to evoke feelings of joy and love, and people just do not get it and instead feel solemn and lonely around the piece, too bad. Then the artist cannot go around telling them to sing and hug each other (or, ok, he can, but no one is obliged to heed him, and I'd think him an arrogant bastard to even try).

The question here is whether pointing lasers at the temple before/during the burn falls in the first or the second category of "wrong" audience behaviour. Many people feel it is meddling with the piece, and are pissed off because pointers did not stop even when asked to by the artist. To them I wanted to say that maybe many of the pointers would have agreed, but they did not just hear the request.

(Whether or not I think laser pointers or making noise were meddling with the piece is not really relevant to the above, but in case you want to know, my take is this.

When I was there, I did not think the laser pointers were disruptive, or inappropriate interaction. Had I been pointing lasers at the thing, I would have stopped if I had heard the artist requesting it. So I guess I'd say first category for the lasers.

The piece worked for me about the way I assume was intended, and I think it did that for most people around me. For some not, but if people do not feel solemn around your piece of art meant to evoke feelings of solemnity, that's too bad. If you are unhappy with the proportion of the audience that got it, next time, try to invent something that helps more of them better experience what you want to express. I do not feel anyone's behaviour was disruptive for my experience, though. Some people stood around or talked or whatever; did not bother me where I was. I guess I'd put making noise around the burn to the second category in general, with certain hypothetical exceptions (like a huge amplification system spewing techno trying intentionally to turn it into a rave, maybe).)

spectabillis
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Post by spectabillis » Wed May 11, 2005 5:15 pm

Janka wrote:What the artist (still in my opinion) cannot dictate is how people react
[drift] Thats just about most things with people, including this board.[/drift]
if he wants to evoke feelings of joy and love, and people just do not get it and instead feel solemn and lonely around the piece, too bad.

I was just thinking that if the artist wants to evoke those feelings, then perhaps trying to do it through the expression of thier art? Since Best has another grant I wonder if he is going to try to take the lessons learned and apply it to that effect.

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Das Bus
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Post by Das Bus » Wed May 11, 2005 8:56 pm

"""In my opinion, the artist does have the right to ask people not to interfere with the piece of art - to please not paint on it, tear it down, burn it, touch it, play their own music to drown its sound effects, or whatever is appropriate for the piece in question."""

If there's not a fence around it, I'm gonna touch it. If there's a button, I'm gonna push it. : )
Medicated and Motivated!

spectabillis
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Post by spectabillis » Wed May 11, 2005 10:38 pm

Das Bus wrote: If there's a button, I'm gonna push it.
My art, a big red button that says, Dont Push This Button!

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Das Bus
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Post by Das Bus » Wed May 11, 2005 10:55 pm

spectabillis wrote:
Das Bus wrote: If there's a button, I'm gonna push it.
My art, a big red button that says, Dont Push This Button!
WhooHoo! I'm gonna push that Big Red Button with my boobs! YeeHaw!!!

<and you can't stop me, no matter whose body you use to get to the top!>
Medicated and Motivated!

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Post by Janka » Thu May 12, 2005 1:49 am

If there's not a fence around it, I'm gonna touch it. If there's a button, I'm gonna push it. : )
Sure, me too - until the artists comes along and tells me that is not appropriate, or unless he has posted a sign (separate from the piece of art, not as a part of it ;)) saying please do not touch. Missing my point, are you? :)

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Post by rasbaboo » Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:03 am

After reading most of this post, I'm reminded that yes , the event is awesome and problematic, but boy, we sure are taking ourselves a little too fucking seriously here. Let's not forget that the event is predominantly made up of a bunch of 1st World, white, wealthy, freaks (and I mean that in a GOOD way) , who throw one of the better parties on the planet, on par with Carnaval in Brasil and other traditions elsewhere. The event is as conscious as we all can be in a festival surrounding. If I were to put any higher hopes and ideals onto BM, I'd be let down. Do we really want a fucking funeral here people? Does Best have to do "the temple" every year? It is what it is and you are what you is (thanks Frank). Honestly, I was ambivalent about going this year, for various reasons, and this post cinched it for me. I'll see you all in 2007. Peace and enjoy!!!

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Post by MrMullen » Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:27 am

rasbaboo wrote:After reading most of this post, I'm reminded that yes , the event is awesome and problematic, but boy, we sure are taking ourselves a little too fucking seriously here. Let's not forget that the event is predominantly made up of a bunch of 1st World, white, wealthy, freaks (and I mean that in a GOOD way) , who throw one of the better parties on the planet, on par with Carnaval in Brasil and other traditions elsewhere. The event is as conscious as we all can be in a festival surrounding. If I were to put any higher hopes and ideals onto BM, I'd be let down. Do we really want a fucking funeral here people? Does Best have to do "the temple" every year? It is what it is and you are what you is (thanks Frank). Honestly, I was ambivalent about going this year, for various reasons, and this post cinched it for me. I'll see you all in 2007. Peace and enjoy!!!
I have to agree with this! Burners just take themselves waaaaayyy too seriously. Just have a good fucking time and if you don't like someone, just move away from them.
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volley36
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What, exactly, does "It's a temple" mean though?

Post by volley36 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:48 pm

It depends on your culture what temple means.

In the Jewish tradition, it means an artifice constructed to house the Ark.

In other contexts, it is a sacred place of reflective meditation. What temple
means really is only limited by the creativity of the people answering the question.

Who knows what it means? It doesn't matter if you don't know. All that matters is that you find meaning (or not) in it.

[quote="pachimichanga"]What, exactly, does "It's a temple" mean though? [/quote]

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s5
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Re: Temple Burn Protocol

Post by s5 » Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:16 pm

cenglewood wrote:My one negative experience at burning man was at the temple burn. My friends and I were standing just in front of the temple bus (we assume by its appearance), and they were understandably very emotionally involved in the burn. It became quickly clear to me that they had some very specific ideas about the reverence that was due to the event and that these were (unwritten ?) rules not known to everyone around us.
Interesting how relevant this thread is, even two years later.

The same thing happened this year, and it will continue to happen indefinitely as long as people who want to force their spirituality on everyone else continue to attend Burning Man.

The first year of the temple was 2001, and the burn was amazing. Everyone was silent, not because someone told them to or shushed them rudely, but because everyone spontaneously decided to be silent as the temple burned. It seems to me that what happened spontaneously is now the protocol - something to be planned and expected, regardless of how the participants really feel - with everyone going through the motions as if they were in church.

Personally I hope the temple doesn't come back. It had a good run, but the entire temple experience has become an imitation of itself. It's time for something new.

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Zulegoona
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Post by Zulegoona » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:20 pm

This was my third burn, maybe I’m becoming jaded .

I love the who idea of the temple burn it is a great juxtaposition to the hedonist secular man burn. If you are uncomfortable with the spiritual nature of the whole temple experience no one is making you attend that burn . To may of us Burning Man isn’t just a big party it’s a chance to recharge our creativity and get back in touch with out spiritual side,.. pretty much the same thing in my book.

That said , I didn’t like the structure or the way it or the Man for that mater burned this year, the structures took to long to fall stealing the energy from the climax as people gave up and walked away.

The processional might have been interesting if you could see it but I doubt it even if you are creating ceremony just for the sake of ceremony there has to be some kind of point or meaning to it, and I was unable to discern any ,... but like I said I couldn’t see it with out light. Sitting there readjusting to try to bring feeling back into my legs the delays and poor attempt at meaningless meaning became just irritating. I also became irritated that the numbers of privileged people in the inner circle seemed so large, ok maybe it was just envy for the ability to sit or stand, lay down and roll around with a lover, whatever because they had the space to enjoy them selves,.... having a privileged or entitled group seems to be kind of anti-Burning Man to me, but life just aint fair even at Burning Man.

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HughMungus
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Post by HughMungus » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:34 pm

This was my first year to actually attend the temple burn. I thought it was really, really, really quiet (especially when you compare it to how normally noisy the playa is the rest of the time).

By the way, anyone hear me yell, "I love you!" towards the end? Hearing "I love you" back was what moved me. Thanks!
It's what you make it.

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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:48 pm

I went into the crowd at the front of the Temple. I quickly decided that this was not where I wanted to watch the burn, so I made a U-turn and went off to the side, where the Pagoda of Light used to be (and was at the time reduced to embers).

Maybe it's just my mellow, but I sighed and resigned myself to having the Temple yin experience ran over by other peoples' yang dogma. I was surprised at the silence during the burn itself and accepted it gladly. I watched the Man's Burn the night before from the Temple; there was a small live band performing ambient music that I thought went very well with the Temple's zeitgeist and was actually a good counterpoint to the craziness only a quarter mile away. They played Don McLean's "Vincent" ("Starry, starry night") while the Man burned. Quite a poignant Temple moment there.

s5, I'm sorry you think of the Temple Burn experience as people forcing their spirituality on you. I think most people who like the quiet of the Temple burn are expressing frustration here at getting their experience run over, kind of like in '97 when the media were trampling and pushing people aside to get film of events, art, performances, etc. That was documented and resulted in the principle of "Take no action that interferes with another's experience." Which in these latter years seems to be getting pushed aside and ignored, unfortunately...
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s5
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Post by s5 » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:13 pm

diane o'thirst wrote:I think most people who like the quiet of the Temple burn are expressing frustration here at getting their experience run over,
I get why they're frustrated, but how does it help to be shouted at to sit down and shut up? Really, it's ridiculous and naive to complain about noise at Burning Man - that's why they tell you to bring earplugs.

And like I said, I thought the silence during the temple burn in 2001 was beautiful. But it was beautiful because it was spontaneous, and shared by everyone at the burn, with no pretense or artificial enforcement by some anonymous self-appointed authority. Subsequent temple burns have lacked that, probably because the event wasn't powerful enough on its own terms. So they've had to jazz it up with omming and the "SHHH!!" police.
kind of like in '97 when the media were trampling and pushing people aside to get film of events, art, performances, etc.
Sure I remember all of that, but now the people who are trampling over everyone else are the stern new agers, who think that their spiritual experience is so important that they can guilt anyone who comes to Burning Man for other reasons.

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Post by farfromhome » Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:52 am

The first year I attended BM I stood at 3:00 on the Esplanade and watched him go down... The Temple, I watched from about a quarter mile away, playa-side. I wanted the experience to be mine, so I made sure that happened. There are 35,000 people at Bunrning Man... I defy anybody to walk into a town of the same size and not find a single ass-hat. Roll with it. One year the music from the camp next to us was so loud that earplugs didn't work. I wandered around, made friends and ended up falling asleep at their camp for a few hours. When I went back to my camp, the music was still painful, but after a few dozen people and myself complained to the Rangers, it was turned down to a manageable level. If I want to be a dickhead to counter someone's boorish behaviour, I will - but Burning Man is supposed to instill something different in people. Maybe the dipshit in the camp next to us was some accountant with a miserable life for 51 weeks a year and the insanely loud music was keeping him from walking to office after office pumping shotgun rounds into people. I go to relax and live and let live... Oh! You want to be a dipshit - great - mental note, you are a dipshit... now on with MY RIDE...

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dragon55
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Post by dragon55 » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:39 pm

The past two years I never got to see the temple burn. =( Next year will be a different story. I'm excited!! I'll make sure I will be up FRONT with or without the noises.... It's all about being there and experiencing the moment is what counts for me!! ;)

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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:25 pm

Why don't you volunteer to be a Temple Guardian? Three whole hours in the Temple, watching over it and those within.
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Post by Kinetic IV » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:42 pm

This year except for a one time bike ride shooting past the temple perimeter I avoided the temple entirely. And in fact I almost missed it that time...when I first arrived on the playa and was scouting around I mistook the "cathedral" for the temple.

After seeing David Best's magnificent structures in prior years the "temple" I saw this year was...I can't find the words, maybe anti-climactic comes to mind? I don't want to slight the people that poured so much into this year's works but what I saw was not compelling enough to get me to stop.

I heard that David might be back next year and I admit I hope he does. There was some bitching about his attitude and approach to building the damn things but there's no mistaking what he built and how majestic it was.

I also have to say one other thing about this year's temple...while David's work is spectacular I also felt it was in danger of becoming the focal burn of the event, even surpassing the burning of the man due to size and the sheer spectacle. Seeing a smaller temple burn put the Man burn back into it's proper perspective for me. Although when it comes to the burns themselves...once Uchronia got going I've never seen a fire like that before. I was sitting back at least a mile from it and I swear you could feel the thermal energy radiating off it. That was an incredible burn.
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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:31 pm

I loved how this year's Temple framed the matchstick cavern behind it. It was almost like a planet rising behind Angkor Wat.

It could be argued that the quiet, introspective zeitgeist of the Temple and its burning is the flipside factor to the Man and his burn. The time to scream, fly the colours and go wild is on Saturday night, when the Man burns. Sunday night and the Temple Burn can be used as the tideline between the craziness of the Burning Man festival, with the energy building up toward Saturday, and getting ready to go back to Defaultia; a kind of stepping down, mental/emotional preparation for the return and a resultant internalization of what happened to you that week. What you learnt, who you interacted with, how to make next year's Burn better; what worked, what didn't, and how to fix it if it's the latter. What wowed you and why. What bummed you and why.

A few minutes of quiet introspection harms none.
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herpy hancock
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your all the same

Post by herpy hancock » Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:17 pm

as the assholes in camp reality - your fear of god and obedience to the ritualistic weeks end christiantiy has so successfully bonded onto your brain is showing through - boooo on the burners who need silence to express emotion - shh - quiet! - sit down - the preacher is talking - god is talking shhh..


what happened folks??


we used to have such progessive forward thoughts -

why are we losing it...
In Yo Face!

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KellY
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Post by KellY » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:11 pm

Why are you so afraid of silence, Herpy?
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

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HughMungus
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Post by HughMungus » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:32 pm

farfromhome wrote:The first year I attended BM I stood at 3:00 on the Esplanade and watched him go down... The Temple, I watched from about a quarter mile away, playa-side. I wanted the experience to be mine, so I made sure that happened.
I love being near the back, too. I love looking around and seeing tens of thousands of people who also "GET IT". Without everybody else there, it'd just be me watching some shit burning in the middle of fucking nowhere.
It's what you make it.

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