Uriels Journal

2010

Burning Man: Metropolis: The Life of Cities 8/30 – 9/6

Metropolis TicketHaving just returned from Burning Man, I am inspired to continue making art and hopefully show in other venues. I have 2 projects in the chamber now and am already starting to plan. Yes, already. Why? Because last year I waited til the last minute and ended up with a smaller project than what I wanted… but it was right.

I designed an art piece called Monotropolis which was an homage to Stanley Kubrick’s film from 1968 called 2001: A Space Odyssey.

For those who might be new to this page or found it by accident, I have a journal that is all about my Burning Man experiences. Odly enough, I am also managing several other resources as well and have found myself heavily devoted to Burning Man and the experiences of it.

…for other resources I am actively working meant to support Burners and Burner Communities online.

Trip Report

My Burning Man ticket 2010The trip there and back was a whole tale unto itself and is detailed in the Blog. We were there to help two older guys transport their art car for a free ride for myself and Nacie.

Last year I spent a lot of time analyzing this world I was still getting to know. Being that 2009 was my virgin year I had nothing to build any expectations on, so I ended up going without any.

Expectations

Hanging out at Black Rock SyndicateIf there is one rule from Burning Man and being on the playa is that if you go looking for something to get out of it, the playa will hand you the opposite. Even though I said I went last year without any expectations, one did reveal itself that came with me again this year; I wanted to meet a playa angel that would be my companion for the week.

I met no one in any type of romantic state at all. There were sexual encounters in the beginning the proved as empty and unfulfilled as anyone might expect.

There was this boy named Wolf, but he was looking for just sex.

My dreams continued to grow only because I wanted nothing more than to hold the hand of someone special during the burn on Saturday night; which would have been my ultimate. Alas, not.

The last Monday before departure, I was treated to a litany of insults and abuse from the playa fairy. It seemed that every direction I turned were happy, sexy men, who found romance on the playa. Some came with their boys and some met them at the beginning of the week. I was floored how many times on THAT day the playa told me to get over it and spat in my face.

People

Me and Gary going to TempleLast year I was very critical of people on playa in regards to their sexuality and identity. In fact, I wrote an article on QueerBurners and Tribe.Net (same article both places) that I got a lot of flack from.

I did less analyzing this time and more experiencing and found for the most part the people out there were still amazing.

Oh yes, there are a bunch of rude fuckers here and there. Some cow barking at me during the Nevada Burner photo, idiots riding bike in the dark with no lights, and a few more. But, overall. Freaking amazing.

The Art

The art on the playa is really important and while people keep hearing about the nudity, drugs and other behaviors there are some amazing pieces of art out there. I am floored by some of the pieces I saw.

"Syzygryd" Photographed by Kristopher HinesWhen I first heard about Bliss Dance and saw the renderings, all I could think of was ‘ho-hum’. I was not paying attention, but I was paying attention to Syzygryd. “Bliss Dance” was beyond breath-taking and a scene stealer. With that, the Syzygryd pieces warmed my heart when I looked at it.

My Monotropolis at Burning Man 2010Not to mention I brought my own piece to Burning Man that was dwarfed in comparison. However, it was huge in my eyes. If you read the story of my piece, called Monotropolis, you’ll see I got there on a bumpy road.

At one point on the way up I wondered what Burning Man was really really about… Is it the party or …Is it the art? Is it the ego of so many people and some of their funky or stupid ideas of creativity?

The art at Burning Man has it’s most meaningful and grande aesthetics, with the class and delivery of a concerto when I look at such pieces as Bliss Dance and Syzygryd for example. It is a soft ballad like many other pieces I saw. It is Glam Rock, it is a Spoken Poem; that are sometimes funny yet often sad. The art of Burning Man is a concert hall with many voices and it is wonderful.

Bliss Dance photographed by Jason Tang Bliss Dance photographed by Rich Murphy Bliss Dance photographed by Kurt Ritta

Queers

I was struck with the fact there are A LOT of gay camps and gay people on the playa. There were 2 distinct neighborhoods where many queers lived during those few days.

Gay Ghetto at Burning Man 3:00 and A, BNear 3:00 and A there was a section with a sign called the “Gay Ghetto”. While near 7:00 and D was something Comfort & Joy was calling the Gayborhood. Each were several blocks of gay camps, rainbow flags and all that went with it.

Remember this thing started in San Francisco, but the people that I met so far who started Burning Man are all very heterosexual; I assume (fuck you p.c. assholes who get offended by my assumption).

Neither here nor there, really. I enjoyed the most amazing nude yoga classes through the week and then a drawing workshop with images I will share as soon as I can.

Conclusion

Burning Man: Metropolis was 180 degrees different than last year for me because I did everything differently – except one thing. It was wholly inspiring and traumatic at the same time. I literally went through a very painful day on Sunday that bled into Monday before leaving.

I made some promises to myself that I will expand on in my personal journal as soon as I can.

Ultimately, before going, I was asking myself if Burning Man was really for me at all. I have been trying very hard to be MORE engrossed in Burning Man; literally asking Marian to work for her. I was trying to gain the respect of my community during a time when I did not think I had it.               ….I wanna go back. I wanna make more art. I wanna be free of my demons. I want to be a part of something so inspiring.

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