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Everyone asks me 'What is Burning Man?' I've been to it, and I'm still not sure. The best description I can come up with is that it's an an 8000 person performance art piece in which everyone participates. One way or another.

I arrived on Friday after working a full day at a studio and driving all night. After being up for about 28 hours straight, I went to sleep as soon as I and my driving partner could get a tarp thrown up to hide under.

Saturday arrived nice and cool. Unfortunately, this was because there was a bit of a storm blowing in. It was a little dusty with the occasional splash of an errant raindrop, and the light was rather grim for photography. I set out at around 10AM to see what the place looked like by day. After making it to the north side of the camp, the real storm came in. At times I couldn't see more than 30 feet, and even that was hard because the dust was so thick, I had to look at things briefly, take a bearing, and proceed on with my eyes shut. Next year, I think some full goggles might be in order. By the time I got back to camp, all my equipment was a light brown. It began to rain as dusk fell. Not much rain, but enough to make thick, clayey mud cling to everything. I decided to stay in camp and keep the equipment under cover as I didn't want the dust to get wet and drain into the cameras. I missed a lot apparently. Japhet's report details all the interesting things I foolishly missed out on, as well as being a really enjoyable read on his whole trip.

Sunday dawned a little better. The sky looked better. I hid in camp most of the morning, waiting for the mud to dry. It was bad enough trying to keep my feet down to adobe slippers, instead of adobe shoes. I decided to wait it out and listen to reports of what had happened the night before. I also went through all my equipment, deciding how to handle the evening's festivities. That's when I found out the 6x7 wasn't going to be a part of my repertoire. It wouldn't fire. Great. Half my equipment unavailable to me. Well, the 35mm stuff fires faster anyways.

Dusk. Everyone in camp gets into their respective outfits for the evening. A few people go into the centercamp and scope out a few interesting places. I hang around to help Lindz paint his face and we finally get moving as the light becomes prime. I get a few frames off as we walk out to the Man itself. I get some photos Lindz in front of the Post Office, and am passed by the Cult of the Living Skull. We get Lindz to pose for a few photos in front of the One Tree too, and proceed out to the playa, finding the rest of our group and allowing me to set up just in time for the festivities to start. See page 2 for the rest of the report.

Suggestions for Things to Bring.
Suggestions for Photography.

An interesting piece of art. An unfinished rocket.
A plywood rocket. Set adrift in the vast reaches of the playa.
A rocket scooter.
A scooter modified for full interstellar travel. Perhaps a space suit should be considered?
A rocking... what? Giraffe?
An interesting piece. I wonder what it was before it reached the playa? Was it really a giant rocking giraffe? Whatever it was, this lady was really enjoying herself.
A sail car with an interesting addition.
An interesting hood ornament, does this mean it's a one horse car?
rocking out to the cacophonionus clangor of beaten metal.
Rocking out to the cachophonious clangor of piles of metal being beaten by angry young men.
A comment on our President.
Another unhappy voter commenting on the whole matter. Place your votes here!
Tugrik. Our esteemed leader.
Tugrik. Our esteemed ringleader. Thanks for all the Cyalumes Tug!
Laser wars!
Lindz attempts to outpower another laser owner. Bring a bigger one next year Lindz!

Explosions and Fire: The Burning


Other Burning Pages:


The official Burning Man homepage!
Tugrik's page
The Fruit of the Lumen

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Email: Matthew

All images and designs are 1996-2000 Matthew Kiwala & Magic Ink.