I knew what I was doing, I was going to Burning Man; but what I did not know was just how I’d assimilate and react to all the data, images, sounds, smells … what would become of my ex-asthmatic anxieties and the difficulties of living in this kind of environment: dust, dust, and more dust!!
In Black Rock City you’ll find all the good and all the evil of this world, the only thing that changes is how you take it in, because here the available tools of art and provocation operate differently … so why not the music too?
Whatever one may think, there is still a comfort zone in Black Rock City. It’s about attitude: it’s always with a given attitude that you do something to then obtain a determined result, break the routine, open up to something new, not appearance at all costs, just letting everything happen because it has to happen. Running the other way in a dark hostile but magical place like this with a voice that says, “I’m not afraid, I’m here now!” the same voice you hear when you’re sitting all alone in front of the pyramid of Cheope, its outline standing out majestically in the dark … far from comforting places.
I saw some friends collapse because, inevitably, if you let something get to you here that something will change you. I believe that these people will come away with a greater awareness. There is no magic to Burning Man: there are those who listen and those who continue to sit in their comfort zone, the same as those who from home point fingers with their two bit sarcasm.
The moment when the Man burns is certainly one of the most contemporary and modern tribal experiences I’ve ever witnessed, it’s like being at the centre of a big blockbuster; but where the characters are no longer Ben Hur or gladiators!
On the Monday 70,000 people left Black Rock City and on the ground there wasn’t even a crumb .. only the footprints of those who had been there, which the wind will take care to remove all traces of.
Thanks to everyone who made this experience so special. Thanks Jan, Anton, Amanda, Eduardo, Michelly, Tara, Chris, Reagan, Martinik, Susan, Rachel, Jonathan, Laura, Benjamin, Jason, Andrew, Ko, Behrouz, Eugenia, all the people with whom I had a conversation, and of course Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel! Danila, Rita and all my family.
My set at Robot Heart is dedicated to Pierluca Rossi, you too were in Black Rock City.
Art: IDENTITY AWARENESS UNION – Shane M. Pitzer
A 13′ tall steel question mark at a 10 degree slant and is held up by a 7′ human form. A female form embraces the human form. The idea is to evoke the question of how relationships and others affect our identity.