erynn: Gaelic merman image (bodhi's kermitflail!)
The city has been eerily quiet with most of its residents out on the playa around the Man. I was sitting up on top of Haiku and Divine's trailer because I didn't feel a desperate need to be shoulder to shoulder with 40,000 or so of my closest friends. After the past two weeks, the quiet was welcome, and I got a reasonable view of the festivities from the height that I wouldn't have been able to see from the midst of the crowd. And also? Chairs. I didn't have to stand for the whole two hours or so of the ceremony and the burn.

I'll be working a morning shift tomorrow, then packing up and getting ready for the Temple burn tomorrow night. First thing Monday, the camper gets folded into itself, we have breakfast, and we hit the road for Montana.

There will be a lot more photos soon.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (nicke's WRITY ICON)
Apparently the other night Burning Man had its first suicide. A man hung himself in a dome in one of the camps. I don't know whether people were drunk, stoned, or just not really paying attention but apparently the guy hung there for about two hours before people figured out it wasn't a performance art piece. All I can really say is thank the gods he didn't decide to do it with a gun. That was the worst of the insanity. )

Dust

Aug. 30th, 2007 04:22 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gull)
I hooked up with Gweth again today at her camp just before a dust storm hit. It's been whiteout conditions for a while now and will probably be very nasty for a few hours. One of the Black Rock City Rangers stopped by all the camps on the playa telling everyone that the dust was blowing in from as far away as Gerlach, and it would be quite a while.

Since we were sitting in the Friendly Fire bar (at Gweth's camp), and the music was far too loud, we waited for a little bit of a lull and made our way back to Gate Camp, where I showed her where I'm staying and got her into the back of the commissary to send out an email assuring Tagh and her friends that she's fine. After that we'll head back to our camper and sit for a bit until things calm down.

I have a ton of photos of the whiteout from Gweth's camp on the Esplanade and 3:00. I'll be showing a few once I've sorted through the lunar eclipse photos and the fire dancers from the other night.

There was another idiot stuck on the railroad tracks a night or two ago -- can't remeber if I talked about this yet. The railroad was notified by the train didn't stop (it was two hours after the notification) and even though the authorities were trying to get the car off the tracks, the train came clipping by at about 70mph and took out the entire front end. From an article I read in a BRC newsletter, one of the tires was found about 3/4 mile away from the crash site. This doesn't surprise me. There's not much to catch something that goes flying/rolling from a track accident out here.

The Man was raised again today. Gweth was out on the playa when the Man went up and says she saw the guy sliding down the top of the tent as the fire was starting. She says that the fire department was there so fast it wasn't even funny. And the festival goes with the flow.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (acicons extra meds)
This is Eddison Carter... err [livejournal.com profile] erynn999 coming to you live and direct from Burning Man: The Press Conference!

The conference is coinciding with lunch and mostly it's the emergency crews and DPW that are getting priority at the commissary, so it's noisy and they're still waiting for the BM reps to show so that the conference can start. Press is all tucked up at the front of the room by the speakers so the workers have room to eat.

And the reps have arrived and the conference has begun. They will definitely be rebuilding the Man within two days. An arson investigation is underway with one arrest, but no charges as yet and no motive. The structure and the art are not too damaged. Parts of the pavillion will be open soon but some will be closed for workers staging repairs. The structure of the Man is going to have to be substantially repaired. Fire units from Black Rock City emergency services responded immediately and and the fire was out within about twenty minutes. The Man hadn't been loaded with fuel and explosives so the damage was not nearly so bad as before. The neon artists will be restore the light as well -- they were there as it was burning saying they would relight the Man as soon as possible. They do intend to press charges to the fullest extent of the law if they find out who did it.

The plus side of this is that everyone will get to see the Man rebuilt and what all goes into it. That should be interesting to say the least. And they're wrapping the conference to get out of the way for the lunch crew.

This has been [livejournal.com profile] erynn999, live and direct!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (linen_tartaruga's tree of life)
I stayed up last night until totality. I didn't go out to the ritual as I actually spent much of the evening and into the night walking and I hurt too much to walk out to the temple for the ritual. I watched and attempted to photograph from the Black Hole, though I haven't looked at any of the pics yet -- I have no idea if even one of them turned out.

Walking the esplanade last night was surreal. So many of the mutant cars had the phosphorescent colors of deep-sea fish. It seemed a lot like a Tim Burton movie on acid at some points. I think I got some decent photos of fire spinners though I'll check that out later. I wish I was a better photographer, but I learn as I go along.

I went out to the pavillion under the Man last night and sat for a little while. The huge timbers that support him were visible -- Oregon doug firs. There are masks on most of the support posts, but I wasn't sure about the best way to attempt photos of them last night and I didn't want to use flash. They had environmental sounds going on, and people were leaning up against the central support post to meditate or sitting quietly on benches surrounding the support structure. Haiku, one of the guys from our camp, said this was the best one yet, and he loved the atmosphere under the Man. I feel so fortunate to be able to see something like this -- to participate not just in the festival atmosphere but in the social structure surrounding it. Seeing the workings of the festival from the inside and not just as someone with a ticket who wanders the area absorbing the atmosphere is similar to how I participate in most Pagan festivals. I think I may have been to a total of three or four festivals since 1984 where I didn't either volunteer or teach on some level, and usually both.

At the same time, I often find myself in the headspace of a distant observer. I sit on the sidelines and watch. I choose a cushion on the edge of the room. I don't talk a lot unless others speak to me. I feel a little more detached than I'd sometimes like and am not always sure how to surmount that and feel more immersed. I certainly do talk to people and have met many wonderful folks here, but my personal style tends not to engage unless approached and a people here tend to respect your space if you're being quiet.

In a little while I'll be going out to walk the esplanade and look at some of the art in the daylight. [livejournal.com profile] garzan said his walking stick has an attachment for camera or binocs on it so I will probably go grab that before I leave, to use as a monopod and I'm hoping that will improve my shaky hand issues.

I know that I haven't really talked a lot yet about individual art pieces or camps. I may or may not do so, but I'll try to get interesting pictures.

I just got told by someone that the Man was burned last night just as the eclipse hit its peak. It was arson, but the regularly scheduled burn will take place Saturday. Firefighters put the fire out and the pavillion under the Man is currently closed until it's determined to be safe, but wow. Several papers have photos up of the Man aflame. This means though that the green neon won't be lit this week during the night and the pics I got will be some of the few available. I know I heard a huge shout going up from the esplanade as I was going to bed, but I thought it was about the eclipse and so I didn't go out to see. Here's the report from Laughing Squid. Apparently the Man will be rebuilt during the week and the neon replaced. I'll be going out to get some pics of the burnt Man in a little bit, as I took the day off today because of the eclipse last night.

It sounds like they're about to have a news conference in the commissary on the other side of the canvas here in just a moment. I may be able to get y'all some on the spot reportage about the official statement about what happened.

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