Friday, September 16, 2016

Burning Man 2016: Photos and Stories, Part 2 (of 3)

After getting my home life in order, I finally had a chance to explore out on the playa, which for me means the Man, the Temple, and any large art pieces I can see along the way. This was a fun day of biking and participating. The scene at the Man was astounding. A ring of guild rooms surrounded the central structure, housing regional Burning Man groups' projects and activities. There were many serious crafts being practiced, and burners lined up in their dozens to participate and take home a handmade souvenir.  

Posing at the Last Supper of Minnesotan comfort foods, including lefse, lutefisk, spam, jello salad, and tater tot casserole. Yum!

Architectural workshop involving shapes. Kewl!

All-wood designs in the unmistakable style of Greg Fleishman. No relation.

The delicate carving into the wood panels give the Fleishman's designs a soft comfortable feel. The carved wood seats of his chairs are as comfortable as any cushion.

Did you hear? The theme of Burning Man this year was Da Vinci's workshop.
What? You didn't know Burning Man had a theme every year? That's ok, I forgive you.
Yeah, usually the theme is rather general and may seem a bit tacked on. This year they really delved into it, and created a central plaza reminiscent of old Florence.

The lion symbol of the royal De Medici family of Florence, rendered in repurposed metal parts.
The Vitruvian "Man" in the background.

The man himself, made burner.

I forgot who this is, someone from mythology, no doubt.
View of the guild halls in the background.

A carnival game with air-shooters.

Here I am again, as Jesus, having enlisted a few apostles, random strangers who were standing around.
Eat of my flesh, y'all!


Artsy Craftsy

The Man was originally intended to spin vertically, powered by burners turning a slave wheel below.  Due to the technical difficulty, of the Man's head being too heavy and holding the whole thing upside down, the Man was fixed in an upright position, sans spinning.

My campmate, Craig poses by the lion. Prior to this, we both had been participating in a rousing drum circle. The first thing I encountered as I entered the Man Plaza, a circle of drummers including Craig and some of my friends from the drum circle in Laguna Beach.  But not many people were dancing! What the heck?  Well, I fixed that, bringing my trademark moves: the Tevya, the Lindy Hop, and of course, the Chicken.
Hard to tell, but my shorts are from Italy, a print based on Michelangelo's David.

Craig and I reflected in the lion's chrome sphere, representing the world.

And then it's just me in the sphere.

And now a shot showing more of the lion's foot. Ok, I get it. Enough with the sphere.

In the shade of the central Man structure, looking out at the bustling guild halls.
On the way to the Man from my camp, this lovely naturalistic bear sculpture raised a paw to be counted.

You can't just look at it from a distance. To get the full experience from Burning Man art, you have to approach, interact, touch and be a part of the art.
In the background, to the right of the bear, is the Fire Spire, which flames up spectacularly at night.

In this case, approaching the bear revealed that the texture of the fur was all made of pennies stuck into the bear's surface. It was smooth and inviting to the touch.  Just one of these amazing art experiences out in the middle of the playa has tremendous power to transform and inspire people.  Imagine a whole week of experiences like this.
And then there was this amazing tile-mosaic octopus.
...and about a million other amazing, transformative and unbelievable wonders out there. 

Part 3 of 3 coming soon.

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