Where was the Art?

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theBrooke
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Where was the Art?

Post by theBrooke » Fri Sep 10, 2004 6:43 pm

Is it me or was there a lack of art this year? Maybe I just missed it? I pedaled and pedaled, and sadly only came across a few pieces (in comparison to years past). A good portion of them were not new, which is fine but WHERE WAS THE ART? I love my afternoon bike rides, full of discovery and awe... my rides were less climactic this year for SURE...

Did I just miss it? Am I just a hardened old-timer or was there really a lack of the good stuff?

Get back to me on that.

B.
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PetsUntilEaten
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:11 pm

During a brief conversation with Zack Coffin - his thoughts were that there was a dip in large scale works due to a lack of proposals & therefore funding. I think if you have a large scale work - or friends who are ready for the challenge - step up.

I also think that the artists I know get burnt & take a year or two off every so often. I think it'll be back on next year.

Lastly, I think David Best doesn't need anymore funding than he's getting already. I'm pretty sure (though not positive) he's doing it for less than he gets & he could get it done for the same or less - no problem. the temple doesn't need to be bigger if it takes anyway from other art grants. In fact maybe it should be smaller & share some money with other artists.

Anyone see that lovely tree out past the temple? Huge thing with rocks at the base, diftwood lanterns 5ft tall, and pinwheels all a buzz?

J.C.
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Post by J.C. » Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:01 pm

I too was highly disappointed in the lack of art on the playa this year. One disheartening thing is that I've heard stories of many artists out there who've been burned by the project in the past and who likely won't be returning any time soon because of it. If this is true, it's something that definitely has to change. With almost 500K in profit for the BMOrg after last year, there's got to be some room for some more commissions to happen.

greeterdan
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The Art

Post by greeterdan » Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:59 pm

Where was the art?

I heard that question more than any other this year.

It's true: there was much less big art. Other than the Temple and Jadu Beta, there wasn't really anything big this year.

But as I discovered after many a wander on the open playa - and even in the city itself, the magic in the art this year was in the little pieces. The ones you have to discover up close. You can't be told about them: You have to come upon them.

These pieces were everywhere. I loved them the most. My favorite piece of all was a lovely, wonderful, gorgeous, simple and stunning angel, called Poreia (I believe) at the corner of 6:30 and Earth. Hidden right on the corner.

Also...a field of colored solar lights somewhere in the open playa, many of which were actually nods to old Burning Man pieces, such as the plastic chapel, The Man and L2K and Jeremy Lutes' Lilly Pond.

Further...Rosanna Scimeca's (spelling, I'm sorry if wrong) - she of 2003's tiptop Chandelier/Cleavage in Space - Sirens in front of and on both sides of the Cafe.

Michael Christian's Celestial Body.

Observer/Observed in the open playa.

Cosmos in the 9:00 Plaza

Quentin (don't know last name)'s miniature village made out of tiny little playa mud bricks.

Nate Smith's fire vortex (art? Well, fire art)

The Flaming Lotus Girls' Seven Sisters! Come on! That rocked!

The Cubitron

And so many others.

The art was there. You just had to be willing to go out and find it.

Greeter Dan

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Re: Where was the Art?

Post by Guest » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:08 pm

theBrooke wrote:Is it me or was there a lack of art this year?
did you bring any? if not...um....it must really be a bummer that the spectating wasn't as fruitful as in years past.

youjustgogirl
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we need the ole' timers

Post by youjustgogirl » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:26 am

to the people that did put energy forth to create art...with their physical beings, or the art that was on the playa, or the art of their theme camp, or the art of the music they spun, or drummed, or the fire shows they practiced so hard for...i thank you. i've been reading e-playa for days now, just wanting to feel the burningman vibe some more and i'm kind of blown away by the "it wasn't good enough" messages. if i had worked for months on an art installation only to read these messages that it wasn't quite up to snuff, i'd be disheartened. personally it seems that part of the "problem" with burningman this year is expectations from years past. i appreciate that people even show up, that the thing even gigs every year, that the main vibe is what can i do to make the burn rock...not what can be done for me. i understand that every opinion counts and that it's not all bliss out there, but i can't help but want to shout, "COME ON FOLKS, HOW GREAT IS IT THAT WE EVEN GOT TO GO OUT THERE AND TRY." i applaud every effort out there, either big or small. i also hope the folks that have made burningman so grand all these years don't give up on it just because it's bigger now, it's got new problems to solve and it's changed a bit. we need your wisdom...we honor it. peace

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dragonflyannie
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Re: we need the ole' timers

Post by dragonflyannie » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:34 am

youjustgogirl wrote:to the people that did put energy forth to create art...with their physical beings, or the art that was on the playa, or the art of their theme camp, or the art of the music they spun, or drummed, or the fire shows they practiced so hard for...i thank you. i've been reading e-playa for days now, just wanting to feel the burningman vibe some more and i'm kind of blown away by the "it wasn't good enough" messages. if i had worked for months on an art installation only to read these messages that it wasn't quite up to snuff, i'd be disheartened. personally it seems that part of the "problem" with burningman this year is expectations from years past. i appreciate that people even show up, that the thing even gigs every year, that the main vibe is what can i do to make the burn rock...not what can be done for me. i understand that every opinion counts and that it's not all bliss out there, but i can't help but want to shout, "COME ON FOLKS, HOW GREAT IS IT THAT WE EVEN GOT TO GO OUT THERE AND TRY." i applaud every effort out there, either big or small. i also hope the folks that have made burningman so grand all these years don't give up on it just because it's bigger now, it's got new problems to solve and it's changed a bit. we need your wisdom...we honor it. peace
CHEERS TO THAT!!!!!!!!!

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PetsUntilEaten
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:36 am

youjustgogirl -

Not to worry. I really do think that people are more apt to motivate express their anger than their joy. I think its probably a little unbalanced here. Heck, I had an amazing experience & though I'm chillin & enjoying my "come down time" I've been speaking up to to try to keep some balance.

A friend who's suffering the sophomore jinx has been looking for people to back up his negative feelings. This is too easy a path. And the trolls & anti-burningman people - well - they're here too.

Thanks for bringing us your thoughts, suggestions, and joy - and we'll be better for it in 2005.

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theBrooke
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Post by theBrooke » Sat Sep 11, 2004 12:49 pm

Allright I wasn't trying to be a negative nelly! I appreciate everyones work, I was just wondering if I was crazy that's all... seems I wasn't. And no I didn't bring any art. Did have one heck of a camp at 9:00 and Saturn, complete with a 10 ft tall paper mache skeleton, a mechanical bull and some dope tunes... maybe you stopped by Mechanical Bullshit Oasis Thursday night during our shindig? I'm not a "spectator", I contribute for sure... in my own way. Maybe you got one of my cds?

Again, not trying to circulate negative vibes here, I was simply curious...

Loved the installation in the 9:00 plaza, Cosmos... on the way to/from camp so I really explored it, beautiful.

Oh and the Space Masons little playa brick castles were awesome! Stumbled across them one night, and was delighted.

I agree there is too much negativity on the eplaya post burn, but appreciate the answers here.

B.
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ScottV
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Post by ScottV » Sat Sep 11, 2004 12:53 pm

The BRAFs condoning attitude probably has a lot to do with the lack of art this year. Many artist I know including myself have been turned downed for grants with nonsensical excuses. Then when we brought our big art anyway BOrgs attitude is that "that's just your way of participating".
There isn't even a meet&greet event for those with installations on the playa. We don't even know who each other are (mostly).
Heck I can participate from my camp without bringing 2000 lbs of sculpture to the playa - and I don't have to deal with the artery/BOrg and getting "permission" to participate.

The 22' tall sculpture I brought this year stayed in camp.

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Sensei
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Re: we need the ole' timers

Post by Sensei » Sat Sep 11, 2004 1:25 pm

dragonflyannie wrote:
youjustgogirl wrote:to the people that did put energy forth to create art...with their physical beings, or the art that was on the playa, or the art of their theme camp, or the art of the music they spun, or drummed, or the fire shows they practiced so hard for...i thank you. i've been reading e-playa for days now, just wanting to feel the burningman vibe some more and i'm kind of blown away by the "it wasn't good enough" messages. if i had worked for months on an art installation only to read these messages that it wasn't quite up to snuff, i'd be disheartened. personally it seems that part of the "problem" with burningman this year is expectations from years past. i appreciate that people even show up, that the thing even gigs every year, that the main vibe is what can i do to make the burn rock...not what can be done for me. i understand that every opinion counts and that it's not all bliss out there, but i can't help but want to shout, "COME ON FOLKS, HOW GREAT IS IT THAT WE EVEN GOT TO GO OUT THERE AND TRY." i applaud every effort out there, either big or small. i also hope the folks that have made burningman so grand all these years don't give up on it just because it's bigger now, it's got new problems to solve and it's changed a bit. we need your wisdom...we honor it. peace
CHEERS TO THAT!!!!!!!!!
Ok, Dragonflyannie spotted this one first, but I'm gonna go ahead and make Youjustgogirl's post the official "Post of the Day". No, really. I have that power.

I'm guilty of suffering (and now recovering from) a big-time sophmore jinx this year, which was strange because it was my 5th year. I have no explanation for it; things just happened differently for me than previous years. Or I perceived them differently. Hell, I don't know what the f*#@ it was, but I left Thursday night. Which I now find unbelievable, but there it is...

It was with great relief that I read the post-burn negativism of others. Seriously. When other folks (with roughly the same number of years of experience) started describing the same blahs that I felt, I stopped feeling like such a schmuck.

To paraphrase Billy Crystal's character at the end of City Slickers, 'I'm not gonna do anything different, I'm just gonna do it better'. That's the plan, anyway.

Once more, the "Post of the Day" goes to Youjustgogirl.

simran
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my first installation

Post by simran » Sat Sep 11, 2004 2:15 pm

This was my first year doing a playa installation, out of six years total. Doing the installation pretty much dominated my time and energy, so I had very little time and/or energy to see other things. Not to mention that it pretty much dominated several months prior to the event (yay for layoffs!)

I learned a lot about installing stuff in/for heavy weather, and would do a lot of things differently -- e.g. lugging huge battery packs back to get charged (meaning I had to drive a lot on the playa in a nondescript suv) really sucked. I found myself rather tired at night, and didn't go out often, though I had to be at my piece a lot to nurse the electronics along in their struggle to move electrons on the playa.

All that said, in the end, doing an installation really made my trip-- definitely one of my best years ever. I had a fabulous sense of triumph just from getting it to work. And I think a few people even saw it and liked it (at least when the system was running).

so now, just in case you're wondering, it was a nondescript white hut-like thing just off the 9:00 promenade between the man & the portapotties. (structurally, it was an icosahedron with an igloo-tunnel entrance covered with sails). You go through a cloth tunnelthing and ended up in a cloth room with foam floor with stuffed animals strewn about. When it wasn't running it was just a little chill room. When it worked, music was swirling around on a spherical sound system, and every so often it would choose a constellation, figure out where it was inthe sky, and then speak its myth to you from that part of the sky (that is, when I had the star math working).

It was way more complex than I had realized, and I'm really happy (surprised, even) that I had it working as much as it did. Someone asked me how I managed to drum up the commitment to do such a complex piece. The only answer I could believe in at the time was: I really didn't know it would take this much.

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Ishkabibel
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Less art camps more art cars

Post by Ishkabibel » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:50 am

This was my sixth out of seven years,
There seemed to be a lot of virgins this years.
Which means a lot of old timers did not return,
Rabbi Dali Rick and I met a lot of them and explained
not to take to seriously, what is said or happens, its all in fun, mostly
I saw the light bulb go off in a few virgins heads,
completely changing there experience,
but i digress, i wanted to say that i thought folks were
creating bigger, more extream Art Cars, rather than theam Camps
My observation last year 03, was that it seemed like rush hour on the 405 freeway out on the playa.
It seemed a lil better with the restrictions from DMV.
Aas far as virgins go.. we need new blood, They will return and build
some fantastic art I am sure!
PARADOX: contrariety, misfit, absurdity,
inexpectation, ridiculousness!

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MrGod
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more art but different

Post by MrGod » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:25 pm

My initial impression was that there was less art this year but, after further examination, I realized that there was a lot of art. There were a lot of pieces this year that were experiential installations involving sound, light, or intellectual concept that had a minimal visual impact.

For example, there was a set of about 6 or 8 chairs out in the deep playa with stereo speakers attached to each chair playing some ambient spacy music. It was a very pleasant and expansive experience to sit in one of the chairs. From a distance, though, it did not look like much.

There were many pieces like this on the playa. Another one was a "box" up on a wooden stand that you could get inside. From the outside this piece was entirely unremarkable. But get inside the box and it was really nice - kind of like being in a space capsule.

For those who would like to see more spectacular visual art on the playa, come up with an idea and make it happen. With or without a grant from BMORG, it is a fulfilling experience to create a piece to share with the BMan community. I brought Cosmos (in the 9:00 Plaza) this year. It was a bit of work but totally worth it!

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Post by bullD » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:16 pm

There has always been brilliant, funny, depressing, wowing, etc etc art and performance in town, and it's fukin wonderful! What we should work towards (I will be) is more RANDOM PLAYA ART. Does not matter if it is big or small. Hell, just discovering a glowstick in the middle of the playa only to see that it has a message attached to it which in turn is attached to a stake in the ground is fukin brilliant. It doesn't take much, just make sure nobody can hurt themselves on what you bring. That is unless bloody appendages constitutes art in your mind, he he he :lol:

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Post by newdawn » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:32 pm

i also hope the folks that have made burningman so grand all these years don't give up on it just because it's bigger now, it's got new problems to solve and it's changed a bit. we need your wisdom...we honor it. peace
Yes, it's got new problems to solve. That does not equate to negativity. I for one am not giving up on BM, and am brainstorming with others on how to change things in little ways, or even big ways.

It's not about expectations from years past. It's about loving something so much that you want to improve upon it when it falls down a bit.

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Post by StonedHeart-BleedingBrain » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:36 pm

Its still what you make of it, in the words of Les Claypool "It's just a matter of opinion."

What's better than the desert firery red, the desert firery red again and again and again, the beings not there one particular year send there energy and will return again.
"I can see what's haunting me, sleeping shadows of the dark, sin sin witb no remark, sin sin with no remark."- 47PhantomHymns

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ScottV
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Post by ScottV » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:20 pm

Large art does take a whole lot of time and energy.

Last year's ton-o-sculpture took more time and money than I care to think about. The BOrg mandated constant monitoring the *dangerous* propane lanterns was unexpected but just shifted my schedule to be from afternoon to sunrise.

I took it easy this year and only brought one large sculpture to Gigsville, fabricated the frame and helped skin the Pan Galactic Federation colonization scout ship (TIG welding aluminum at camp Skynyrd), and handed out small art in the form of mathematical algorithms that look like seashells. The ability to just *be there* and not think about maintaining a big piece on the playa was a release.

In the process I'm remotivated. Next year I'm bringing big deep art.
Wonder what the theme will be - they should announce it at the temple burn to give more time for thought and better art.

Last years theme made it easy for playa art - this year not.
"beyond belief" implied shrines, temples, prayer wheels, mandalas, corporate belief, consumerism, etc. - "the vault of heaven" is harder to sculpt, implies really big scale on the astrological/astronomical level. rockets and spacecraft became art cars. people became beautiful aliens. Small installations about really *big* ideas weren't "fun".

just ramblin'

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:19 pm

Next year I'd like to see more.... troubling art.

Art you want to keep your distance from.

Art that makes you wary.

Art that dares you on different levels.

Art that resonates with the 'R' comples of your cerebrum.

Art that hasn't been 'approved' and needs no 'permission.'
Desert dogs drink deep.

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bullD
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Post by bullD » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:33 pm

Badger wrote:Next year I'd like to see more.... troubling art.

Art you want to keep your distance from.

Art that makes you wary.

Art that dares you on different levels.

Art that resonates with the 'R' comples of your cerebrum.

Art that hasn't been 'approved' and needs no 'permission.'
ehhh, WORD!!!

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Post by thinkcooper » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:36 pm

Badger wrote:Next year I'd like to see more.... troubling art.

Art you want to keep your distance from.

Art that makes you wary.

Art that dares you on different levels.

Art that resonates with the 'R' comples of your cerebrum.

Art that hasn't been 'approved' and needs no 'permission.'
I second that!

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PetsUntilEaten
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:08 pm

Badger wrote:Next year I'd like to see more.... troubling art.
Would you settle for just trouble?

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:26 am

Would you settle for just trouble?
Nah, that along with my ticket is the first thing I pack each year.
Desert dogs drink deep.

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