Join 3,415 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


100 photos from the playa
January 8, 2006 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Burning Man 2005... 100 photos by Scott London. (note: some nudity. may not be safe for work.)
posted by crunchland (65 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
If you please, spare us the blasé attitudes about Burning Man. That the photos are well crafted and depict interesting and compelling subject matter should be enough.
posted by crunchland at 9:42 PM on January 8, 2006


Wow. Thanks, crunchland. These are some gorgeous, funny photos that remind me what I loved about my experience at Burning Man years ago. London's great at capturing the joy.
posted by mediareport at 9:54 PM on January 8, 2006


A guy I once knew made something interesting at one Burning Man. It was a telestereoscope -- a pair of periscopes that serve to make the baseline between your eyes huge and the rest of the world seem small.
posted by jfrancis at 9:58 PM on January 8, 2006


I'm not a huge fan of the cliche that fire spinning has often become, but #96 wins.
posted by loquacious at 10:00 PM on January 8, 2006


wow. I didn't even realize that's what that was. I thought they were, somehow, giant soap bubbles.
posted by crunchland at 10:01 PM on January 8, 2006


I'm tired; can we just take me derisive remarks as read and I'll go to bed?
posted by keswick at 10:06 PM on January 8, 2006


My burn was cut short in 2005 due to a mentally unstable campmate. Thank you for posting this, it was a lovely vicarious taste of what was missed.
posted by rhiannon at 10:06 PM on January 8, 2006


That guy truly knows how to compose a picture. Those are 100 wonderful shots.
posted by milnak at 10:06 PM on January 8, 2006


i don't understand burning man , maybe someone can explain it to me. but this and this were cool to look at.
posted by nola at 10:16 PM on January 8, 2006


oops
posted by nola at 10:17 PM on January 8, 2006


What the hell's the thing Mickey Rourke is holding?
posted by wsg at 10:18 PM on January 8, 2006


Same location, different annual event.
posted by neuron at 10:21 PM on January 8, 2006


Rhiannon, please share.
posted by redteam at 10:21 PM on January 8, 2006


Great link, crunchie, thanks! Loved this one.
posted by jonson at 10:23 PM on January 8, 2006


I'll admit I really am not sure what Burning Man is all about, but those were some excellent photos.

I'd really like to take home the sculpture depicted here.
posted by Meredith at 10:34 PM on January 8, 2006


Now, can I see the rest of the 1400 photos?

The Rocket show ought to be held at the same time as Burning Man, methinks.
Wicked./
posted by alicesshoe at 10:37 PM on January 8, 2006


Argh. Galleries where the nav moves annoy me. Is there a thumbnail index?
posted by Eideteker at 10:44 PM on January 8, 2006


Wow, this photographer is really drawn to the seriously furry, shiny, and tacky elements at Burning Man. Not everything's like that there.
posted by redteam at 10:45 PM on January 8, 2006


Wow. I've never been to Burning Man in Black Rock, but I was at the first one at Baker Beach here in San Francisco (and a few of the sculpture-burning events that preceded it). It's fascinating to see what it's become. Thanks.
posted by trip and a half at 11:32 PM on January 8, 2006


London does some great work capturing the joy that goes on out there. There's also lots and lots and lots and LOTS of other Burning Man photographic memories.

For those asking what it's all about, I wish I could tell you in less than 5000 words. Unfortunately, most people (myself included) end up telling stories that start with, "This one time, at Burning Man..."
posted by Revvy at 11:35 PM on January 8, 2006


Burning Man in a sentence:

Burning Man is a week long art festival and a gathering of tribes modeled on Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zone, and is focused on celebrating "gift culture", as well as an exercise in practicing immediatism - the de-mediation of art, artist, and audience - while embracing the temporary and transient nature of art and life itself, with philosophical and metaphysical overtones celebrating or worshipping the light of consciousness, creativity and even love with which we all burn.

Hence "Burning Man".

That, and/or getting totally sauced and saucer-eyed, and/or blowing shit up.
posted by loquacious at 11:48 PM on January 8, 2006


I suspect I would find many of those people annoying beyond endurance, but they make great photographic subjects.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:52 PM on January 8, 2006


Burning Man in a sentence:

Dude, it's a fucking week in the desert.
posted by Revvy at 12:07 AM on January 9, 2006


Redteam, it's a lot less glamorous than it sounds. I camped with a small unaffiliated group of 4 people this year - me, two friends I've camped with before, and one friend's new girlfriend. The gf was woefully unprepared for the harshness of living outside in a desert for a week and she flipped out pretty badly after a day or so. Hyperventilating, panic attacks, afraid she was going to die, etc. Our shade and sleeping domes were pretty battered in a windstorm, at which point her boyfriend, who drove the water & food van, announced he was leaving with her, and hence with the water and the food.

I suppose I could have stayed and camp-surfed the remainder of the week but that seemed like a really bad idea without at least having enough water to avoid dehydration.
posted by rhiannon at 12:07 AM on January 9, 2006


it's a lot less glamorous than it sounds

For some. For others, the unpredicatble balance between positive and harsh experiences *is* the glamour.
posted by mediareport at 12:21 AM on January 9, 2006


If you please, spare us the blasé attitudes about Burning Man.

But that's the best thing about all Burning Man posts....

Oh well, I'll just hate on the photos instead. Technically competent, but the kind of slick, glossy reportage that I personally find of little interest -- particularly given the subject matter of the boho-bourgoisie at play.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:35 AM on January 9, 2006


Dude, it's a fucking week in the desert.

A week in the desert fucking and getting sauced, yes. You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by loquacious at 12:35 AM on January 9, 2006


I have reached an age and a level of self-consciousness sufficient to let me know that, if I ever attended Burning Man, I would have an absolutely miserable time. I'm just not cut out for it, and that makes me sad.

What's up with this guy's anatomy? He looks like an action figure.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:08 AM on January 9, 2006


So I guess all the women (and most of the men) at burning man who take off their shirts are super-hot? No flab evident in those photos.
posted by miss tea at 5:08 AM on January 9, 2006


Hey, it is the cover of the new Pink Floyd CD.
posted by eriko at 5:14 AM on January 9, 2006


Nothing beats Glastonbury.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:51 AM on January 9, 2006


I really like the giant boat in the desert. I don't like how the guy put an ass in a thong on his front page, but never delivered the complete photograph. Does that make me pathetic?
posted by fungible at 6:08 AM on January 9, 2006


Wsg: it's a tegu lizard.
posted by spasm at 6:47 AM on January 9, 2006


Actually, miss tea, when I was there in 04, my campmate and I were treated to a neighboring camp's 70+ year old nudists with hoola hoops. I'm ok, but my partner is still bothered by the event.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 6:55 AM on January 9, 2006


Apparently, Burning Man has a lot to do with boobies and fire.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:59 AM on January 9, 2006


Beautiful.
Thanks, crunchland.
posted by bru at 7:56 AM on January 9, 2006


Apparently, Burning Man has a lot to do with boobies and fire.

If someone had explained that to me years ago I'da gone.
posted by phearlez at 8:38 AM on January 9, 2006


...and london's site spirals nosefirst into the dead bandwidth sea.
posted by quonsar at 8:59 AM on January 9, 2006


yeah, sara, that's what I imagined. lots of old flabby folks. i was being a little facetious...
posted by miss tea at 9:09 AM on January 9, 2006


"If someone had explained that to me years ago I'da gone."

Just be prepared to shell out nearly $300 for a ticket.

Hrm. Sorry, I just don't find anything Burning Man related to be "Best of the Web" at all.
posted by drstein at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2006


this is a dead link for me
posted by marvin at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2006


BTW, the link is down now anyway. MeFi'd over the bandwidth limit.
posted by drstein at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2006


coralized link.
posted by crunchland at 9:36 AM on January 9, 2006


7,000 tickets go on sale Jan 18 for $185 then 7,000 for $200 then 6,000 for $225 then it's $250. Right before the event it's $280. Not quite $300, drstein.

Maybe it's not "Best of the Web" but more "Best of the Life". Very few people who actually go to the event and say "well, that sucked". There's enough out there for even the most cynical bastard to enjoy.
posted by redteam at 9:54 AM on January 9, 2006


As a bit of perspective, Burning Man doesn't cost much more than the admission fees for SXSW.
posted by crunchland at 9:57 AM on January 9, 2006


The best thing about these photos is you don't have to smell the subjects.

Patchouliefilter.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2006


Image hosted by Photobucket.com
posted by keswick at 10:04 AM on January 9, 2006


a neighboring camp's 70+ year old nudists with hoola hoops

Brings a smile to my face, actually; I think it's kind of sweet. My wife and I should be 70+ year old nudists with hoola hoops at Burning Man someday.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:13 PM on January 9, 2006


"7,000 tickets go on sale Jan 18 for $185 then 7,000 for $200 then 6,000 for $225 then it's $250. Right before the event it's $280. Not quite $300, drstein.

Maybe it's not "Best of the Web" but more "Best of the Life""

Right, it's not quite $300. I know that. Even those cheap tickets (which nobody seems to get) are still pretty fucking expensive. Then there's the money that you'll spend on gas, food, supplies, etc.

I wish that they'd call it what it is - a $100+ (happy now?) amusement park. It's not a 'counterculture event' at all. I've been in the event, and I think it sucked. Vastly overrated by a bunch of people that can come up with nothing more than "It's all about the experience." Let's not even get into how commercial it's actually becoming.
No thanks.
"Best of the Life?" My ass. But, to each his own, I guess.
posted by drstein at 1:10 PM on January 9, 2006


This Man, it burns? Seems like a good place to get sand in one's vagina.
posted by fixedgear at 1:36 PM on January 9, 2006


Right, it's not quite $300. I know that. Even those cheap tickets (which nobody seems to get) are still pretty fucking expensive. Then there's the money that you'll spend on gas, food, supplies, etc.

I wish that they'd call it what it is - a $100+ (happy now?) amusement park.


I got two of those $185 tickets last year. For comparison, a week-long admission ticket to Disneyland is how much? Burning Man is about the same price as going on any vacation, once food, shelter, and travel are incorporated.

And since when do you get to build your own amusement park? Was Disneyland built by people you can actually talk to? Burning Man is what you make it. Apparently, you made it unpleasant.
posted by Revvy at 1:53 PM on January 9, 2006


In defense of BM, much of that ticketprice goes to getting the location and cleaning it up. A week of crazy people doing crazy things, or a week of pretentious people doing stupid things... either way, $185 seems like a pretty good deal to me, especially with regards to the boobies and the fire.

The big problem I have with BM (on a personal level) is that everyone is, in a sense, supposed to be a participant, not an observer. But as a photographer, that's all I'd be doing. Stumbling from one group of crazies to the next and documenting it.

Decent photos overall. When I look at shots like this I tend to think that one of these people is thinking to themselves "This is SO stupid... why am I doing this?"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:39 PM on January 9, 2006


I always thought Burning Man was free. So much for just showing up to check it out.
posted by Eideteker at 4:51 PM on January 9, 2006


Let's not even get into how commercial it's actually becoming.

Um, no. Let's definitely get into that. Because it's against the rules to buy, sell, or advertise anything at Burning Man, and when I was there two years ago, that rule was in full effect. Has something changed that you know of?
posted by bingo at 5:14 PM on January 9, 2006


I guess when I posted this, I secretly knew that even if I explicitly implored people to resist the predictable Burning Man bashing, they'd be unable to control themselves. I guess I was just hoping I'd be wrong.
posted by crunchland at 6:08 PM on January 9, 2006


it's the just the man keepin' you down, brah.
posted by keswick at 6:16 PM on January 9, 2006


Thanks for linking to the lovely photos, crunchland. The link worked for me, and one of the shots beautifully captured some friends of mine.
posted by equipoise at 6:17 PM on January 9, 2006


"Um, no. Let's definitely get into that. Because it's against the rules to buy, sell, or advertise anything at Burning Man, and when I was there two years ago, that rule was in full effect. Has something changed that you know of?

Generally I've found that trying to debate anything about Burning Man with Burners is a total waste of my time. They're quite rabid and will go to great lengths to rationalize their drug fueled 'experience.'

It's against the rules for *participants* to buy/sell/advertise anything there. Unless, of course, you're buying coffee at the Burning Man coffee shop, buying ice, taking one of the paid shuttle busses into Gerlach/Empire to buy more stuff, or you're buying t-shirts, DVDs, Calendars, or other marketing swag off of marketplace.burningman.com. Yup, it's so non commercial. Did you buy a hoodie on the way out? Gotta love those rules! Did you know that if you take a photo there, the Black Rock City LLC retains legal rights to it? Take a look at the photography agreement. Noticed the straight up media *control* that they have?
jwz has a similar view.

Face it, not everyone is happy about Burning Man. Thanks to the event and its rabid lawyers, other smaller events have been pushed out of the desert area. (Burnin' Bush was forced to cancel because of the BLM. They couldn't hold the event because if they did, Burning Man folks would whine about how *they* are treated, permit fees, etc.)
What's happened is that the LLC simply has more money and more lawyers.

But, you're more than welcome to go ahead and participate in the event. Have a blast. I won't be there, and I know you couldn't care any less. I'm just sick of seeing confuzzled nearly-homeless 'artists' saying crap like 'you wouldn't understand.. it's all about 'the experience.'

To each his own. *shrug*
posted by drstein at 9:02 PM on January 9, 2006


But on a related note, the quality of the photos is excellent. I think the colours in the sunset/sunrise shots is fantastic.
posted by drstein at 9:12 PM on January 9, 2006


Generally I've found that trying to debate anything about Burning Man with Burners is a total waste of my let's nottime. They're quite rabid and will go to great lengths to rationalize their drug fueled 'experience.'

I'm not a 'burner.' I attended one time, and I'm not motivated to rationalize anything.

Unless, of course, you're buying coffee at the Burning Man coffee shop, buying ice, taking one of the paid shuttle busses into Gerlach/Empire to buy more stuff, or you're buying t-shirts, DVDs, Calendars, or other marketing swag off of marketplace.burningman.com. Yup, it's so non commercial.

That's a ridiculous conflation of unrelated things. Yes, there is one cental place where you can buy coffee and ice from the organization itself. Yes, there is transportation available to get out of the desert, and it isn't free. Those two things put together hardly make the event 'commercial, let alone deserving of a comment like 'let's not even get into how commercial it's actually becoming.' Your pointing out that it's possible to buy stuff from the organization's website is a non-sequitir. The website it not the event, and the organization is not agressively advertising anything. When you say "it's against the rules for *participants* to buy/sell/advertise anything there," you make it sound as if there are salespeople walking around, hawking their wares for the profit of Steve Harvey. It ain't so. Yes, coffee and ice is for sale at one location in the entire massive camp. That's it. Hoodies? No idea what you're talking about.

Take a look at the photography agreement. Noticed the straight up media *control* that they have?

Yes, and I think that's great; how strange that you would bring that up in the same breath as talking about how 'commercial' the event has gotten. The point of those rules is to prevent exploitative photography, (e.g. 'Girls Gone Wild: Burning Man!' which was actually something that the Girls Gone Wild people wanted to do).

Face it, not everyone is happy about Burning Man.

Um...that's okay. I just had a problem with your calling it commercial. You don't have to be 'happy with it.'

I'm just sick of seeing confuzzled nearly-homeless 'artists' saying crap like 'you wouldn't understand.. it's all about 'the experience.' To each his own. *shrug*

Ask any mefite who has met me how much I resemble a confuzzled nearly-homeless artist. And most burners I know (not me) are, relative to most other people, rolling in money. That's how they can afford to create those massive art projects (for free), haul them out to the desert, and put them on display (for the benefit of strangers who don't pay them).
posted by bingo at 6:08 AM on January 10, 2006


... late to the party, but just wanted to say [this is good]
posted by madamjujujive at 10:05 AM on January 10, 2006


"The website it not the event, and the organization is not agressively advertising anything"

Aside from the links on the home page, that is. the website isn't the event, but they do try to tie it into the 'community' quite a bit.

If you've only gone once, how would you really know about how things *have* changed over the years? Unless you're relying on hearsay, you wouldn't. I've been going up to that area for many years now, and we've seen the changes. You have not.

"The point of those rules is to prevent exploitative photography"

It also prevents an of the artists from making a profit of of their art too.

"Um...that's okay. I just had a problem with your calling it commercial."

That's fine. Keep following your Black Rock City, LLC leaders blindly. You do know that Harvey wants to franchise it out, right?

This isn't the place to have a debate about Burning Man, though. So, Happy Burn!

*waves*
posted by drstein at 11:58 AM on January 10, 2006


If you've only gone once, how would you really know about how things *have* changed over the years? Unless you're relying on hearsay, you wouldn't. I've been going up to that area for many years now, and we've seen the changes. You have not.

If you're talking about how commercial it's become, and I have been recently and didn't think it was commercial at all, then I am in a position to say that your statement is wrong, even if you've been going to it from year one.

It also prevents an of the artists from making a profit of of their art too.

Yes, that's right. In other words, it's anti-commercialism. The whole point is for the artists to not make a profit from their art.


That's fine. Keep following your Black Rock City, LLC leaders blindly. You do know that Harvey wants to franchise it out, right?


Haven't been back in two years; hardly following blindly. Hadn't heard that about Harvey, but "Steve Harvey" and "franchise" on google doesn't turn up anything relevant that I can see.


This isn't the place to have a debate about Burning Man, though. So, Happy Burn!


Yes it is; this is the place to have a debate about anything.


*waves*


*flips you off*

p.s. learn how to use italics
posted by bingo at 1:30 PM on January 10, 2006


Yeah. If that doesn't convince him, nothing will.
posted by crunchland at 1:31 PM on January 10, 2006


Sorry you had such a bad time at Burning Man, drstein.
posted by redteam at 2:10 AM on January 12, 2006


« Older What is the cost of the war on Iraq?...  |  What makes a prank great... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments