Temple Burn Protocol

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
robotland
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Post by robotland » Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:57 am

Tricky wrote: 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. :
All works of art are messages of one kind or another; If you don't want a response, or fear that it won't be the one you want to hear, why make things at all? As soon as the artist finishes it and puts it "out there" his work is done. Mr. Best PROBABLY did NOT choreograph each individual lick of fire that consumed the temple, so CHANCE and OUTSIDE INFLUENCES were free to introduce themselves. If I had had a laser pointer during that burn and the intent to use it, I would have respectfully declined to do so had Best requested it within my earshot...but only out of courtesy to a fellow artist.
MAny years ago I was walking in downtown Ann Arbor with my girlfriend when we came across a large gathering of people. It turned out to be a "Take Back The Night" rally, and we listened with approval and enthusiasm to the speakers until the march began and then participated. It was a very enjoyable experience, and a cause which I support and believe in, and it all would have remained a happy memory if I hadn't been accused of being a RAPIST because I went on the march....Although it was not announced to the general masses, it was SUPPOSED to be an all-woman march....I was guilty of unwittingly violating their protocols, but felt as though I was being punished for expressing my support.
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HughMungus
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Post by HughMungus » Fri Apr 22, 2005 11:30 am

joya wrote:Who am I to "claim" space, or judge, or whatever. But, fuck, who the fuck were these girls who were so oblivious to others and respecting personal space.
Who are they to get into your personal space? Would you let someone come into your camp and setup their camp? Of course not. Same thing. I would have said something.

It would be great if everyone at Burning Man were of the same mind and respectful and kind. The truth is that some people are just stupid jerks who don't know how to act who need to be told what's up. They might even thank you for correcting their stupidity (I know I would).
It's what you make it.

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Post by Janka » Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:51 pm

Guys,

before I read this thread, I had no clue that the laser pointers were not considered appropriate by the temple artist(s). From where I sat, I heard no announcements of such things - not that I am sure if there were anyone pointing from close to us (we weren't, so you don't need to flame me), so maybe they were only given to people who were caught in the act.

We were way behind, at maybe around 2 o'clock. But from there, I think it is very possible that many of the pointers honestly thought they were adding to the show, and not adding to it flashy party stuff, but adding to the worship-with-light spirit, and that many of them probably did not hear the requests to stop. No, I am not a great fan of laser pointers myself, but really, if they spoiled your burn, and you think it was done by the pointing people on purpose, are you sure you are not a bit too burnier-than-thou about it?

Also, being a virgin, I did not know there was some official program to it. We heard songs, and the bagpiper, but we did not hear the spoken program, and we had no clue which parts of the music were "official" and which were something else. (Not that we cared.) Nevertheless, despite this lack of official guidance, I do not recognize the atmosphere and arguments described here. People around me who were asked to sit, did, people who were sushed made their voices lower, and I do also recognize the amazing spontaneous silence described by earlier posters (though I too was not certain if I remember it correctly, thanks). Oh, I think there was a couple of drunks around, but they seemed to think our part of the circle was too quiet and boring and went away. Or whatever.

Most importantly, for me there was reverence, and there was the sadness of leaving things behind, and the hope that remains. If I have understood correctly what it was supposed to do - it worked. I am sorry it did not work for everyone, but it did for many.

(The only thing that bothered me was the rangers or whatever who kept on bitching to people about having their toe about half-a-centimeter on the wrong side of the line. I know why they had to do this, but it still felt disruptive. I can't really put my finger on why it did. But it was a minor annoyance, and once the burn got really started it stopped, too.)

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citizenx
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Post by citizenx » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:37 am

On the night of the Temple burn, my group and I got there early and sat down. Other people moved in front of us, including one young man with a beard and walking stick who WOULD NOT sit down, no matter how nicely or rudely we asked him (he turned around and informed me that he was angry, which I guess in his eyes justified pissing off everyone behind him).

After a large number of other people started yelling at him, he went down on his knees but again WOULD NOT sit down all the way. It was a test of principle now! But that satisfied me, because even though I couldn't see past him, he made himself kneel on hard playa and stones for an hour and a half.

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Re: Pictures of "offenders"

Post by falk » Wed May 04, 2005 12:02 am

pachimichanga wrote:BTW, I'd just like to say that the McCarthyesque posting of temple burn "offenders" here is particularly pathetic.
I dunno; seems appropriate to me. Someone should go around the circle ten minutes before the burn, taking photos, and then they could be posted on a "hall of shame" web site after the event.

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Post by falk » Wed May 04, 2005 12:05 am

Tricky wrote: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.
Nonsense. It's trivial to establish a right action/wrong action protocol with respect to a specific piece of art: just ask the artist.

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Wed May 04, 2005 10:02 am

just ask the artist.
Most of the artisits.

Some of them can be real buttheads. Gets worse when they start believing their own hype.

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed May 04, 2005 10:58 am

Isotopia has 1000 posts.

Weeeeee!
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Post by lazyvegan » Thu May 05, 2005 3:01 am

geesh, i never realized there was so much 'laser-hate' on the playa....lazer's are way cool, so get over it peepz....

1. plain and simple, if you are going to build a 'public' art piece, then expect the 'public' to apprieciate that art in their own damn way, not just 'your' damn way...it should make no difference to you if i want to cry, cum, or bang a drum when i see your art...they are all equally fantasic compliments...no one can tell 'anyone' how they 'should' react when lighting something on fire...it may be 'your art', but it's not 'your' event....it's 'our' event...isn't that common sense?

2. if people are blocking your view then stand up yourself...as much as you might hate it, it's a fucking party...so stand up, get a good vibe going, and deal with it...you don't own the playa, so bring an elevated art car/platform next year to sit on...

3. go somewhere else and build/burn it if you 'just so happened to forget' that 30,000 other people all fucked up in the desert were going to be attending along with you...uh...duh...well now you know...

4. i respect, adore, and honor every single piece of art on the playa, and i even contribute a little something myself,...but geesh, come on people.....if you don't like what burning man represents, and expect other people to apprieciate your public art only in the specific way you want them to, then perhaps it's just not the festival for you....
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joel the ornery
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a fool and his money are soon parted.

Post by joel the ornery » Thu May 05, 2005 7:13 am

lazer pointers are an example of misplaced priorities and another method of sucking the money out of your wallet for the initial purchase and replacement batteries.

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Post by lazyvegan » Thu May 05, 2005 6:15 pm

yeah kids, just say NO to lasers. don't let THIS happen to YOU!

Image

i'm bringing an extra 20 lasers this year to hand out. and no one will be sucking the money out of my pocket. i'll be buying them of my own free will just because they are really neat. so if you're not into art, fire, and bright, blinky things, then you might wanna consider finding something else to do that week...but i really do hope to see ya there...
Paradise is not a place..it's a state of mind..

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Re: a fool and his money are soon parted.

Post by spectabillis » Thu May 05, 2005 8:24 pm

joel the ornery wrote:lazer pointers are an example of misplaced priorities
Thank god for misplaced priorities and the people who fuel them

Personally, I dont like someone telling me how I should feel, especially in a California Uber Alles spirit.

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joel the ornery
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ain't life a bitch

Post by joel the ornery » Fri May 06, 2005 7:51 am

y'all can spend your funds any which way you prefer... and i'll watch bemusedly... and attempt not to interfere with your experience... while you trample all over mine and others with your laser pointers and blinky things.

personally, i find a skyful of blinky things to admire in the desert sky...

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Re: ain't life a bitch

Post by lazyvegan » Fri May 06, 2005 6:40 pm

joel the ornery wrote:i'll watch bemusedly... and attempt not to interfere with your experience... while you trample all over mine and others with your laser pointers and blinky things.
well i gotta say that i am TRUELY sorry that my blinky things might offend you and/or trample your experience. that sucks. seriously.

but this is burning man, and we will all reserve the right to bring/build/burn/blink and express ourselves how we like as long as we don't endanger others.

i mean, do i have the right to tell someone to put their clothes on because their naked body is messing with my experience? of course not. do i have the right to tell someone not to burn their art because i don't like the way the fire makes it blink? of course not.

and there must be like 20 gazillion blinky things on the playa. have you actually been to burning man? don't you realize that? and why would you return if that bugs you? we would all be stepping on rebar, getting hit by bikes, and trampling art if it weren't for them.

burning man, for many, is about embracing, harnessing, and diplaying what can be accomplished with technology whether you like it or not. otherwise it would just be a rainbow gathering. which are also great in their own way. i lived at one for two months.

and i do love enjoying those blinky stars too. and fortunatly, there is enough room on the playa for enjoying both. peace....
Paradise is not a place..it's a state of mind..

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joel the ornery
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Post by joel the ornery » Sat May 07, 2005 5:34 am

holy cow, was that an epiphany that just went by?

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Post by unjonharley » Sat May 07, 2005 9:42 am

No, That was Lazyweedeater's holy cow.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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joel the ornery
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for the record

Post by joel the ornery » Sun May 08, 2005 4:30 am

and for the record...
i have been to five burns...
worked preparing for two burns with DPW...
and the best times were with just the DPW crew and sky full of stars.

spectabillis
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Re: ain't life a bitch

Post by spectabillis » Sun May 08, 2005 5:50 pm

lazyvegan wrote: i mean, do i have the right to tell someone to put their clothes on because their naked body is messing with my experience?
I was just talking about something similar when someone told me they dont like nudity and makes them overly uncomfortable. At what point do others problems and thier dislikes become intrusive to the rest?

There have been many concessions already. The event has lost much of its appeal as things have become diluted to appeal and appease a larger audience. Is this necessary as the attendance grows and becomes more diverse in its dislikes and what is disallowed?

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dilution

Post by Anthony Bondi » Sun May 08, 2005 8:50 pm

In the fifth century BC, Euripedes expressed some opinions on this subject, in "The Bachae". That's a play I'd like to see presented to BRC newcomers, just to set a context for the conversations ahead for them.

Phreddiva
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Re: Instruction sheet

Post by Phreddiva » Mon May 09, 2005 7:40 pm

pachimichanga wrote: I'm curious, however. Have the actual creators of the temples expressed particular upset over certain types of behavior? Have they said explicitly they don't want laser pointers shined on it? THAT would get my ear, rather than the presumptive enforcement of the Self-Righteous Brothers.
I know I'm very late arriving to the party here but...
I'm the singer for the temple burns.
I was sitting next to David Best immediately prior to the burn this year. He didn't know, either, why it took so long to burn after I sang. I watched him get more & more frustrated as people shone laser pointers on the temple. I still had the mic & he asked me to announce into it (into the space cowboy's mog, huge amplification system) asking people to please stop. So if there's a question about what the temple creators wanted, that's the answer.

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Post by Phreddiva » Mon May 09, 2005 7:50 pm

KellY wrote:
Veronica wrote: David Best actually stopped to say, "It's not my fault". Did he pick the music?
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.
Thanks, Kelly. I do a bunch of different songs for sound check - not sure, Cole Porter may have been among them. But for the actual burn performances, I do specific, chosen pieces, a choice of mine, and sometimes one of David's.

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Post by Phreddiva » Mon May 09, 2005 7:50 pm

KellY wrote:
Veronica wrote: David Best actually stopped to say, "It's not my fault". Did he pick the music?
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.
Thanks, Kelly. I do a bunch of different songs for sound check - not sure, Cole Porter may have been among them. But for the actual burn performances, I do specific, chosen pieces, a choice of mine, and sometimes one of David's.

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Mon May 09, 2005 8:10 pm

In the fifth century BC, Euripedes expressed some opinions on this subject, in "The Bachae".
Last year I had some drunk raver run into me on a bike and tear my coveralls with his bike hub. Hnded him my sewing kit "Motherfucker, Euripedes pants then Eumenides pants."

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Post by Janka » Tue May 10, 2005 1:58 am

Phreddiva, thanks for the clarification. Unfortunately, at least where we sat and I assume to lot of other places, you could not hear the announcement. So please do not think badly of the people who continued - they might not just have known what the artist wanted. Maybe next time pass the message along the circle mouth-to-mouth, too? (And remember to mention in that that it is the artist that requests this, not just some general burnier-than-though laser-point hater. :))

I wonder if the pointers would have been such a cause of frustration, if the burn would have proceeded faster, though.

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Re: Instruction sheet

Post by spectabillis » Tue May 10, 2005 6:10 am

Phreddiva wrote: I watched him get more & more frustrated as people shone laser pointers on the temple. I still had the mic & he asked me to announce into it (into the space cowboy's mog, huge amplification system) asking people to please stop. So if there's a question about what the temple creators wanted, that's the answer.
Do you happen to know how Best feels about the different reactions of people, post event?

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Tue May 10, 2005 8:19 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.

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Post by lazyvegan » Tue May 10, 2005 9:13 am

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.
how dare you!?

i for one, as an 'arteest', have my rules. and anyone coming to brc this year with the 'expectation' of viewing my art is expected to follow them.

1. i expect all sun, dust and wind to adhere to a 420-foot perimiter around my art this year. such disturbances will not be tolorated.

2. playa-noise/light/fire shall be kept to a minumum, i expect nothing short of 'complete' silence and utter-awe from all immediate viewers.

3. all glowsticks, el-wire, blinkies, vibrators, flamethrowers, and laserpointers, whether on your bike, car, or person, shall be surrendered to security before viewing my art.

4. all female viewers shall be scantily-clad and loose.

5. all male viewers shall wear clothes and bring me drugs. (preferebly ketamine)

anything less will 'not' be tolorated, and i will scream it 'really' loud for all to hear..."YOU'RE VIEWING MY ART WRONG!!!!"

ANYONE caught violating my rules will be ground up and fed to the dpw clean-up crew.

that is all.

(except for that the temple is one of my favorite pieces every year, hands down, no question about it) :)
Paradise is not a place..it's a state of mind..

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Tue May 10, 2005 9:21 am

Image

FWIW, both the laser & the clown-face temple that year were both (heavily) funded art.

Not sure whether that affects protocol...
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Post by robotland » Tue May 10, 2005 12:50 pm

If there was ever a place where Austerity and Solemnity could be mandated, I'd think BRC wasn't it. Being a sculptor myself, and having met Mr. Best briefly, I can understand why he had a solifuge in his bonnet about the lasers..... but on the other hand, everyone ELSE was just SPECTATING.....the laser people were PARTICIPATING.
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Post by angelgabe » Tue May 10, 2005 4:16 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? Frankly, if a piece of art doesn't move people a particular way, do ya think maybe its the artists problem if they have expectations? Artists always want to instill a particular emotion with their art, but rarely do. In reality, everybody reacts differently, as they should. I guess I'm glad I've missed the temple burn the last few years. I was there for the first one, when it made scense to feel a little somber, as a big accident happened right before it. But frankly, if someone told me to act a certain way at the temple burn last year, I would have totally ingnored them. Or told them to piss off.

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