So today is the day. The Man burns. After a week of burning bacchanalia the moment of madness arrives. Tomorrow people will start leaving, but tonight they party. Hard. On this night last year, I saw naked people running through the desert with wild eyes and wilder cries. Lost and found was much the same thing. We were all there. All together celebrating the Fire as it swallowed the Man and his surrounding desert thorns.
Burning Man started in 1986 when Larry David and his friend Jerry James built an 8ft tall man in San Francisco, carried him down to the beach and set him on fire. To find out more about the origins and history of Burning Man check this link here: http://www.burningman.com/whatisburningman/1986_1996/
I first heard about it in 1991 when Robin Cook and I (as the Mutoid Waste Co.) built Carhenge at Confest, a Hippie Festival on the NSW/Victorian border for the wildest New Years Eve I’ve ever had. But that is an entirely different story, which can wait for another time. Not long after we built Carhenge, I started hearing stories about Burning Man and resolved to go one day. It took 18 years, but I finally made it last year. I wish I’d gone in the 90’s when it was still small, but am still glad I went and I will definitely be going back again. I saw some great art, met some amazing people and made some friends who I suspect I will know for the rest of my life. They are out there in the desert tonight and my thoughts are with them.
Those of you who have taken to reading this blog (is there anybody out there?) know that generally I only post one picture. Today that changes as it’s impossible to show the true majesty of the Burn with only one picture. So here is a complete series of 12 images, from the initial fireworks to the final collapse.
And today I am listening to the single most appropriate song. The 1968 psychedelic classic ‘Fire’ by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown.