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Burned man

2007-08-30 22:13:02.665844+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

For those of you who were wondering, Scott Beale seems to have the complete rundown of the whole "burning man set on fire early" story. Whatever else you think about where the festival is going, I've been up there to help with cleanup, and spent a long time digging through the ashes of a large sculpture that was burned before the artist had finished preparing the sculpture to be burned. No matter the artistic statements and protestations of protecting life and limb and "who owns the man" discussions, Paul Addis and his real or imagined co-conspirators are assholes for having set up a potentially huge amount of work for cleanup.

Frankly I think he was also way the hell out of line on any other possible arguments, but that last point alone means that I'm pissed off that his bail has been covered, and I hope he spends some time incarcerated.

[ related topics: Burning Man Art & Culture Pyrotechnics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-09-01 20:57:10.182278+00 by: nkane

Heh... I was there and saw the premature burn. We were in camp at 7:45 & E watching the eclipse, and about 3AM at the peak of the eclipse I decided to go to bed. I just finished my baby wipe bath and was shoving in earplugs when people started running down the street yelling "The man is in fire!"

I just thought "Yeah, shut the fuck up, someone yells that every year"

Then some of the voices were coming from my camp mates, so I poked my head out of the truck and yelled to one of them asking if he was serious. A moment later pants and Tevas were on and we were peddling out to the man. The fire crews were already on it and a few minutes later the fire was out. A pretty good crowd had gathered at that point. We were discussing if it could be arson or just shorting neon. On the way back to camp we passed a circle of BLM, Sheriff, and BRC Ranger vehicles all lit up like Christmas trees. One of the officers in the circle was overheard saying "arrested for arson" and the were putting someone into a truck.

On one hand, yes, it was really fucked up. It doesn't matter if he had a crew keeping an eye out for people - it was really dangerous. And burning someone elses art, even if it is the man, is dickish. On the other hand I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner.

This was arson on federal land (and probably reckless endangerment and a few other things) and he (or whoever did it) should get nailed for it.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-09-04 00:35:34.225374+00 by: Nancy [edit history]

We were returning from deep playa when Mike saw the man on fire. (Camped, incidentally, on the 430 keyhole just one space back from the esplanade.) I didn't believe him, mostly due to my constant state of directional dysfunction. It was incredibly surreal. Definitely not a party atmosphere. People were standing around just sorta in shock. "Crazy" was the phrase I heard most. It seemed like a long time before the firetrucks showed up. Some fire balls fell off onto the (canvas?) canopy of the structure under the man -- you could see the holes that were burned through the rest of the week, as the structure itself didn't look like it'd been repaired. There were lots of conspiracy rumors and the rangers had t-shirts that said something about being twice born and twice burned..saw one just 2 days later on a ranger.

I was surprised it was 3am - I spent an amazingly timeless week and had no idea what time it was. We did hear a rumor (I have only skimmed some of the press articles) that the guy whippped off a trench coat, threw a torch/flame thrower sorta thing and then ran. When he realized he wasn't going to get away, he dropped and just begged to not be hurt. But that may be all fabrication...just the main rumor circulation the areas we visited in days after.

There was a bit of a twist to the usual picket parade Saturday night though - instead of 'save the man' it was 'save the man again'...

To change the topic a bit, this homo ouroboros is simply amazing - an interactive zoetrope that was nothing short of astounding. The picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. It was hands-down the talk of the playa..more so, I believe, than even the oil derrick burn (crude awakenings) and the early burn and the 'real' burn.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-09-04 15:22:20.435892+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yow, Nancy, that sculpture is awesome. I love too that apparently they'd at least tried to set up lenses such that you got the effect during the daytime.

We pedaled by the Sausalito Art Festival yesterday, took a look at some of the sculpture set up outside and the prices they were wanting for admission, and said "looks like a collection of the artists who couldn't cut it at Burning Man..."

Not ready to commit to going back, but we may have to find some good exhibits of work as people bring their stuff home from the playa.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-10-29 19:05:03.284832+00 by: Dan Lyke

Paul Addis arrested for planning to burn Grace Cathedral.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-10-30 00:04:29.801703+00 by: meuon

He's consistent. Gotta respect that.