This psychedelic Nyan Cat art car is headed to Burning Man to dole out 'toaster pastries' and 'phat beats'

Ok, this year's Burning Man is going to be great. First of all, there's going to be that 40-foot tall pink flamingo. Now I'm hearing that a 20-foot long, LED-lit mutant vehicle --based on Chris Torres' popular 2011 meme Nyan Cat-- will be roving around the desert. It's a project of the Astro Cats camp who plan to serve up "toaster pastries" (I guess they can't say "Pop-Tarts") and pump out "Nyan-Cat inspired dance music" as they drive the giant space-cat around the event.

The name of the vehicle? Nyan Car, of course.

The Astro Cats are currently crowdfunding Nyan Car on GoFundMe. One of the pledge rewards is for a "special 'toaster pastry'" that can only be redeemed on-playa.

Even if you're not a Burner, give their pitch video a watch, it's pretty spectacular. Read the rest

This Burning Man documentary traces its history from a bohemian gathering to a global movement

This 20-minute documentary is definitely worth a watch. It follows Burning Man's fascinating history from its "humble countercultural roots on San Francisco’s Baker Beach" to "the world-famous desert convergence it is today." If you've ever been to the big event in the Black Rock Desert, I guarantee it'll give you a greater appreciation and understanding of it.

The film, titled City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man, was created by Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada for its current exhibition of the same name.

Never-before-seen photographs, artifacts, journals, sketches, and notebooks reveal how this temporary experimental desert city came to be—and how it continues to evolve.

The show is open now until January 7, 2018 and boasts an impressive roster of speakers and events including talks with Burning Man co-founders Marian Goodell, Larry Harvey, Michael Mikel and Harley K. Dubois.

After the exhibit ends in Reno, it heads to Washington, D.C. to be housed at Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery for its "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man" show from March 30 through September 16, 2018.

photo by Stewart Harvey

Previously: Eat Fuck Kill, the legend of the playa's first meme Read the rest

China is selling "anti-pervert" flamethrowers that fit in a handbag

These sleek, diminutive flamethrowers cost between $13 and $30 and are for sale online. Any person who makes an untoward advance at a potential victim is likely to have second thoughts after experiencing the device's 3,300 degree Fahrenheit, 20-inch jet of flame. From The Telegraph:

[O]ne vendor boasted to local media how they can "scald or even disfigure an attacker.”

Another vendor told The Beijing Youth Daily they “can leave a permanent scar, but are a legal, non-lethal tool. Not a weapon.” Chinese police have warned that the devices are against the law, but they were still being sold on the Chinese Internet on Tuesday.

"Flames and the super high temperatures are enough to scare the bad guys away,” said one website, which added that the flames can last for 30 minutes. "At that crucial moment, you could also become an anti-terror SWAT,” said another.

Fortunately, bad people don't know about these.

Thanks, Matthew! Read the rest

Crowdfunding a visit from the 180,000lb Temple of Gravity at this year's Burning Man

Zach Coffin's amazing Temple of Gravity installations involve suspending enormous masses of stone and other heavy objects in exquisitely counterbalanced mechanisms that allow people to scramble over them, move them, swing them, and toss them around like playthings, moving tons of mass with pounds of force. Read the rest

A 40-foot tall pink flamingo is headed to Black Rock City

At last week's Burning Man Desert Arts Preview in San Francisco, I learned that artist Josh Zubkoff and his crew are bringing an enormous piece of hot pink pop kitsch to the playa this summer. Twenty times the size of a store-bought pink flamingo lawn ornament, his Phoenicopterus Rex will stand over Black Rock City at 40-feet tall!

Brigid Hughes, a witty cohort of the artist, described the installation to the event's audience. She said that Zubkoff designed the massive pink flamingo with four legs. instead of the traditional two, to give it additional stability. She quipped, "It's evolved!" (To get an feel for how huge this thing really is, 750 lbs. of steel are used per leg.)

Hughes said the installation will have a ladder so Black Rock citizens can go inside, and on top of, the iconic bird because, "Who doesn't want to ride a pink flamingo?"

The piece will be complete with a white picket fence and a fake green grass lawn (a repurposed high school football field).

Hughes closed out the presentation with, "If the playa is our home, then let us decorate the lawn," and, a beat later, "Shipping it is gonna be a thing."

I can't wait to see it. Read the rest

Kickstarting improvements to Maria Del Camino, a "flying" El Camino with a drilled-out portrait of Metropolis's Maria

My friend and Burning Man campmate Bruce Tomb built the greatest art car I've ever seen: Maria Del Camino, made from the body of a '59 El Camino perforated by thousands of hand-drilled holes, which form a pointillist portrait of Maria, the robot from Metropolis, on the hood; connected via a hydraulic arm to the tanklike body of an industrial grader. Read the rest

'Playa Elvis' sings 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' at Burning Man 2016

Playa Elvis sings Bridge Over Troubled Water, at Burning Man 2016. It's a magnificent thing.

Read the rest

The Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man

Scott London, a longtime burner and photographer (see his 2014 photo book, Burning Man: Art on Fire), produced an amazing set of portraits of art cars -- "mutant vehicles" -- from this year's event, including Maria Del Camino (previously), a flying El Camino/tank hybrid that lives in Liminal Labs, where I camp with its creator, the amazing Bruce Tomb. Read the rest

Burner Rumor: Some of David Bowie's ashes were in the Temple at Burning Man

Matt Mihaly shares the beautiful David Bowie tribute video compiled from footage Mihaly shot at Burning Man 2016. Read the rest

Timelapse of this year's Burning Man

I'm still recovering from this year's Burn, where I saw more amazing art, experienced incredible highs and some fantastic lows. Mark Day's 3:19 timelapse of this year's event captures the lion's share of the art and experiences that moved me. Read the rest

See you at Burning Man!

I'm about to switch off my email until September 5 and drive to Black Rock City for 10 days of incinerating the dude. Read the rest

Burning Man for rich spectators

Further Future is a desert festival created by wealthy Burning Man attendees who want to get rid of the festival's DIY/participatory ethic and replace it with a pampered weekend where poor people wait on them while they strut around the desert, "networking." Read the rest

Digitally animated photos from last year's Burning Man

Ari Fararooy writes, I digitally animated my photographs from the Burning Man festival to create a surreal illustration of my experiences. Read the rest

Help wanted: Burning Man's Chief Fed

The Bureau of Land Management has posted a job listing for a Burning Man project manager, salary $69,497 to $90,344, responsible for risk-management plans, environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, and special recreation permits for the event, which is held every year on the Black Rock Desert, a BLM territory near Reno, Nevada. Read the rest

Company that pampers rich people at Burning Man won't give up

"Festival Concierge Service" is a European company that advertises a pampered, all-inclusive Burning Man trip to wealthy people -- a major no-no at the festival. Despite being blacklisted, ejected and legally threatened by the Burning Man organization, they refuse to give up. Read the rest

Uninsured driver plows through gamer's living-room wall and creams him mid-Fallout 4

Ben Rose was in the middle of a game of Fallout 4 when an uninsured driver in the parking lot outside his Irving, TX apartment building hit the accelerator instead of the brakes and crashed straight through another apartment, then through his living room wall, straight into Rose, fracturing one of his vertebra and nearly severing one of his tendons. Read the rest

Black burners on race and Burning Man

Steven W Thrasher, a self-described "black burner" interviewed 20 burners of color on their experience at and motivations for attending Burning Man, where the population is 87% white and 1.3% black. Read the rest

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