DUST & ILLUSIONS, A documentary. 30 YEARS OF BURNING MAN. 2012

Uploaded by madnomadfilms on 24.03.2011

One day I called a friend. It was the Solstice in 1986
and suggested that we go down to the beach
and burn a wooden man
The thing I liked was the raising of the figure
People together would pull on a rope and make this thing stand up
That was the important thing that brought people into the idea of Burning Man
Working together to perform a task
We had no money, very few resources
All we had
was a bad attitude and a lot of time on our hands
We did dangerous things like shooting and driving at 100mph across the playa
So we did a lot of crazy things
but overtime more and more people attended the event
and in 1996 there was an incident where someone hit a tent with a car
and there were multiple accidents
that happened that year
so we realized then, the event had grown too big to have unrestricted driving
Sure they had to stop the cars from driving fast, get rid of the weapons
I'm not a big gun guy myself
and a lot of other things necessary to have a city of 40,000 people
but they didn't have to micro-manage every angle of the organization
The problem we face, more typically, as organizers
have nothing to do with these community squabbles
We have to negotiate everything with the federal government
That's taken us into the halls of power, we've learnt about politics in the real world
We have to face the ever-present potential for lawsuits
We have to manage $8 million
What we got was 8 days in the harshest most unlivable climate in the Northern hemisphere
so that one guy could burn a little thing and control a miniscule little budget
That's our legacy!
You know what you're getting. Your $300 and...
and your $2000 on top of that are buying you a known commodity
We've not been commodified,
we've not been turned into a product,
we've not been absorbed into the system but in fact we are absorbing it
What a radical claim. We are absorbing it!
Now you could say these are the rantings of some kind of visionnary lunatic
I'm a very practical person. We run a city!
We run a real city
I'm not a hippie, I'm not talking about everyone loving everyone
I'm talking about everything it takes to live well together
When you interested in people and community and you go to Burning Man
You'll find that the most action is happening when people are collaborating on large scale artworks
The whole community aspect of Burning Man came out of the experience of making art together
Art broadly defined as...
this creative activity of re-imagining a society, doing its architecture, its urban planning...
the entire process of re-imagining that civic setting...
was the creative work that required cooperation
Overtime the festival itself has become much more predictable to me
it's very enjoyable, it's very wonderful, it's very interesting
there's ton of wonderful people to talk to and get to know
but the facts of the festival has gotten very predictable to me
so have the sort of drug-taking and dancing to the music and so on...
I've more and more become involved in making the artwork happen
and that's my choice, I would prefer that
You can only go to the same party so many times
For me doing the large scale artwork has become the drugs and the food and the adventure.
What people can't see, of course, is the movement beyond the event
Soon they'll see it in the newspapers and on television,
and when they see it on television they'll believe it's real