Continuing with a Labor Day Weekend Notional Field Trip Extravaganza, it’s back to NIMBY. Yesterday, I published a post about a winter visit to NIMBY in East Oakland. Although NIMBY has got it going on every moment of the year, NIMBY king Michael Snook suggested that we come back closer to Burning Man
We went back in August. It was hot and a little dusty – it sizzled. Snook said, “Well, yeah I said come back,but – wait till next weekend. It’s really gonna be busy.” It felt a little like Endless Summer, where the dudes in search of the perfect wave arrive at a beach that has taken them days to get to and are told, “You guys really missed it.”
It might not have been really busy, but it was very different than it had been in the winter. Things were starting to get Burning Man Real.
The Mystic Flyer was in the house, getting ready.
The Mystic Flyer Art Bus with 8,000 LED light panels made its Burning Man debut in 2016. Burning Man artist Cyberius Rex (Timothy Johnson), a co-founder of Camp Mystic, provided the vision and leadership for the Flyer. This year is Phase III: “Phase III plans include a breathtaking illuminated head sculpture, fiber optic wings, & acquiring a DJ sound system, creating a dancescape for BRC citizens to be bathed in awe-inspiring art while dancing in the desert. Inside, our Time Travel Technology stations utilize binaural beats, sound FX, & voice guidance to “fly” your consciousness into new dimensions!”
This is the Air Pusher. Come Burning Man, It will look like this:
It is the creation of the Air Pusher Collective. Their more-or-less mission statement is “We celebrate love, art and music. This collective of visionaries believes in the power of community and creativity, of collaboration and inclusion, of fun and silliness.”
Five days into its maiden voyage, on April 15, 1912, the R.M.S. Titanic hit an iceberg and sank.
Actually – new evidence supports the theory that a fire in the ship’s hull started even before it departed Belfast for Southampton, burning unnoticed for three weeks at temperatures of 1000 degrees and weakening the ship’s metal hull. This would allow an iceberg to tear a hole in the ship which otherwise been impossible.
But let’s stick with the iceberg theory for the purposes of Burning Man. This Burning Man vehicle is named “Titanic’s End” – an iceberg.
Justin Kan (born in 1983), an Internet entrepreneur and investor, created Titanic’s End in 2014.
This is the Carmeleon. The pre-fabrication design:
The NIMBY website tells us this about its makers: “We are a group of engineers from the Bay Area – we like cars, music, LEDs, and fire. We figured that building a big chameleon would satisfy our urge to build things.”
In past years, starting in 2011, this was the Cuddle Shuttle. Love the tires! Love the reduplication!
This is what it looked like in past Burns. It featured blacklight and a glow-in-the-dark reflective paint job and sound system, When we visited NIMBY, its fate this year was not readily apparent. It is made by Tarek Salman, There was an effort to raise money for the 2017 Cuddle Shuttle. Work to be done included:
Transportation Logistics 1W Paris-Oakland: 27 custom-made LED light tubes- L 2.5 meters x ø 15 cm x 10.5 kg each
Vehicle Repairs: Transmission
Design & Construction: 2D, 3D, Technical Drawings & Construction Documents, Welding, Engineering Consulting,
Sound System: 10k watts of Danley sound
Near it in NIMBY is this –
This is the green elephant. Obviously.
This is Las Bombus. At NIMBY’s website we learn: “The Bombus Regius (Latin approximation for Royal Honeybee) is an alternate history steampunk airship with a touch of nautical flair. Our special take on a conveyance will add class comfort and wonder. Featuring a comfortable interior with seating, a spiral staircase to the top. An upper deck for viewing, featuring the main control station ( full of gauges and gizmos! ), a lounge, and lovely dirigible shaped shade structures.”
Here it is on the playa. It was built by the Covered in Bees Art Collective
Giant moths! Giant moths that throw flames and sparks!
Le Attrata at the Playa. We learn online “The innovative fire sculpture is comprised of three stainless steel moths with 12-foot wingspans, set atop 18-foot high spires. Fitted with turbine-driven blast furnaces, the moths flame, spark, pop, and whine, as three human operators “play” them like instruments. Two thousand programmed LEDs embedded in the sculpture glow and shift, casting the figures in kaleidoscopic light.”
The artists behind Le Attrata are the Therm collective, a leader since 1998 in Oakland’s metal and fire art movement. Margaret Long and Orion Federicks led this project. They describe the installation: “Have you ever wondered if people would flock to flame-throwing moths the same way moths flock to flame? Le Attrata is an attempt to answer these questions in the form of a stunning 20ft tall, illuminated, fire sculpture. Three moths, each powered by their own jet engine spewing fire, perch atop crystal towers. Each one creates its own beautifully terrifying song reminiscent of a sci-fi action movie, and wrapped in a futuristic, glowing sculpture that doubles as an ethereal gathering place.”
The moths evoke for me “The Lesson of the Moth” by Don Marquis, an Archy and Mehitabel poem.
i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires
why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense
plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves
and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself
Quite a poem, no? When I was a boy, my family gathered in our living room and listened to comedy records on Sunday afternoons, with cocktails and shrimp (not me!) and Fritos.
One record that we listened to was Archie and Mehitabel, voiced by Carol Channing and Eddie Bracken. It was Bracken who read this poem. Bullseye!
A moveable Tiki bar. Tiki! Don’t get me started.
Last up for the Burning Man-bound:
NIMBY tells us that this vehicle’s maker, Colin Creveling, is a “crafty clown with the flair of an escape artist.
He is a Chicago-based circus performer specializing in unicycle, stilt-walking, tight-wire, and juggling.
There was plenty at NIMBY that wasn’t headed for Burning Man.
This is Clody Clates’ “Pipe Dreams,” a PVC pipe sculpture/fountain. It was made for a corporate client and is now back home at NIMBY. But – LATE BREAKING NEWS. It might have been heading for Burning Man. We’ve got a team of investigators on this.
Coppersmith/metal worker Ken Griswa has his work space next to Clave’s.
Not going to Burning Man this year, but there’s always next year:
Maria Del Camino won’t make it to Burning Man this year.
She is the product of Bruce Tomb. She has her own website. She is made from a 1959 El Camino, a lifetime love of Tomb’s, placed on a excavator frame with Komatsu treads and custom-made hydraulics. Tomb thought that if there was a car that could fly, it would be the El Camino. Maria can rise nine feet and hold nine people. Tomb can operate her remotely with an iPhone.
She was first seen at Burning Man in 2010. Here she is flying in the past. A rat bastard of a machine shop screwed things up this year and she won’t be ready for Burning Man 2017. She will be back though, and with an electric power plant of her own.
This is a preliminary drawing by Clody Clates for a large installation that went to Oregon for the Total Eclipse Gathering. This is a temporary name change for the Symbiosis Gathering, which “creates space for the timeless moment, the heroic journey and curates and experience intended to facilitate profound inspiration through the fusion of aesthetics, sound and interactive co-creation amidst natural splendour that bursts with vibrance and vitality.” I hope to find photos of the finished product.
This is an LED sphere. Snook told us a fair amount about it. Our note-taker for the day failed miserably on this. They will not be used again.
A last category from our summer visit to NIMBY – signs. I am all about signs. These are but a sample of the signs at NIMBY:
When I showed the post to my friend, he bristled at the small hippie figure with the peace sign. He said nothing, but I knew that it was a sore point.
He had just gotten a photo in the mail.
A far-flung Quirky Berkeley follower named Sal had read that my friend’s brother called him Odin when they were kids. Sal sent this photo of an Odin figurine that he keeps on his desk. My friend had had enough figurines for the day.
He was all for going to NIMBY next week to see the installations as they came back from Nevada. He suggested we cruise the street formerly known as East 14th Street and check on the multi-culti signage and stores and people and then drive down to Amelia Street and scope out NIMBY. That is possible.
What does my friend think of this second sizzling-summer NIMBY post?
One of the best posts ever, these are our people, Maximum quirky.