Burning Man 2013

This was my first Burning Man. I was never really into it and that’s maybe because I don’t really fit with a lot of what Burning Man is about (drinking, sex with strangers, loud 24/7 house music….) and on top of that I feel uncomfortable in big crowds (the attendance this year reached the maximum of 68,000 people authorized by the county permit on Friday Morning). But luckily for me, this is not what Burning Man is all about, well not only anyway.

It all started earlier this year when my husband got the tickets to go. I had to have a reason to be there and my hobby being art photography, I started looking at the art displayed at Burning Man. There, I was convinced that there will be something for me there to be amazed by. And I could not be further away from the truth. We applied for a media pass (so you guys can see our pictures) and our project was to photograph the art structures during the blue hour. So I looked up ahead of the art that was registered to get an idea of what we could do in such a limited time (we mostly had 5 sessions since we could not spend the whole week there and that place is huge with hundreds of art displays, some in constant movement).

Amazed was I. Astounded.

There were a few displays that I decided I had to take pictures off, some I found, some I never saw. The one thing I read about before hand and I did not expect anything close to what it really is are the mutant vehicles. People are incredibly creative and ingenious. They were a lot of pirate boats. I mean full scale. Driving around the playa with people dancing on them. There was a disco skull with a hat. There was a shark, a really big one. A yellow duck, like the one you have in the bath but the size of 2 trucks, and towing his egg (the size of a car). A lot of these mutant vehicles were throwing fire, like that giant octopus. There were just too many to list.

On top of that there’s the people. Gifting. Since nothing is for sale over there (except for cubed ice and coffee), every camp, but also every body has something to give  to you, not expecting anything in exchange but your gratitude (that’s not to say that some people do not trade, but not the ones we met anyway). For example, as you ride your bike, there is this camp you pass by that will send you a mist of water, cooling you down. There’s this cafe in the French Quarter that will offer you food and coffee as long as you take the time to sit down (well in some rooms you had to spank somebody too :-). There this tea house (Full Circle) that will brew 10 different teas for you to try. There’s this guy that just decided it was too hot and comes up to you with the spray bottle and cool you down. Or you’ll grab a freezer pop that guy is distributing as you ride by. There are pancakes cooking everywhere. There are hot dogs stands. Bars. Nightclubs. Day clubs. Fake palm trees. All made possible by people volunteering their time and supplies.

Not enough time to see it all, even less to get the right picture with the right light. Unfortunately for you, I saw more than what my pictures will ever show you.

Well, there’s always next year.