You Will Never be Able to Explain

Radical Self Expression

No Time for Spectating

Getting a better view of Tatooine

photo © Randal Alan Smith

There was so much I had planned to do, and a lot of it got done. I planned to always look sharp and to do a lot of photo documenting. Every costume on the planet, was packed, and a host of cameras. I wore about 3 costumes per day and shot 8 rolls of film.

I also planned to lead my own camp and was prepared to teach a variety of talents. Draping was one of these arts; sarees and other Indian clothes. But without a camp of my own, that never came together. The solar cooking was in my plan, and that still worked. Solar stew was made nearly every day. I also got to share kimchee that I made daily.

The electroluminescent wire got packed, though I didn't have time to make a costume for it. Like many Black Rock Citizens, I was knocked over by displays of EL wire in 98, like the neon horse and the dancing robots. At the time, we never imagined what that stuff costs. But this year it was as abundant as glow sticks and people just wrapped it around their bodies like glow sticks. It kinda cheapened it for me; took the mystery out of it. Plenty of people see it and assume it is a glow stick, but can't figure out how it blinks. Funny how we base our assumptions on what we know.

Flame Eaters

photo © Randal Alan Smith

This time I didn't connect so much with the ceremony of the Man and the Burn. I was more into the landscape, the people, the community. There were plenty of displays and camps listed on the e-playa that I had noted but only a few installations got my attention in 3-D. I wish I had seen the clocks. And I should have taken the audio tour of the... can only see so much. It's like expecting to see Disneyland in an hour.

But the people were at peak performance in the visual realm. My whole world has become more brilliant since then because I have learned to notice the color in everyday life. Despite the belief that the Burn is being taken over by spectating frat boys, I was still in a constant pool of stimulus. Art was all around, all the time.

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