New book: 'Built to Burn: Tales of the Desert Carnies of Burning Man'

Tony "Coyote" Perez is a helluva storyteller. Built to Burn: Tales of the Desert Carnies of Burning Man is his much-anticipated book about the "wild west" days of "that thing in the desert." It's available for pre-order (ebook now, paperback later). Notably, it's the first book that the Burning Man Project has ever published.

BUILT TO BURN tells the story of how Tony, a San Francisco blues musician, became Coyote, builder of Burning Man's legendary city in the desert, and how he came to lead a ragtag band of circus runaways, freaks and geeks that would become its Department of Public Works.

In 1996, Tony was making a decent living as a musician, but his creative juices had run dry: one night onstage, he realized he'd just played an entire sax solo while thinking about his laundry. So when a wild-at-heart friend invites him to something called "Burning Man," he grabs his backpack and hops in the car, unaware that the experience ahead will not only turn him inside out, but alter the course of his life.

An essential Burning Man origin story, BUILT TO BURN chronicles the wild uncertainty and creative chaos of the early days in the desert, when the event's future was under constant threat and the organizers were making everything up as they went along. It's a tale of struggle and survival, of friends made and friends lost, as Coyote and his misfit crew battle raging storms, crazed livestock, angry townsfolk and each other, locking horns with the real-life cowboys, Indians, outlaws and outcasts of Nevada's high desert frontier.

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'Black Lives Matter' spelled out on Black Rock Desert, near Burning Man site

Spotted this while flying over the High Desert this weekend. It’s just north of Black Rock City, home to Burning Man from BlackLivesMatter

While flying over Nevada's Black Rock Desert a week ago, Redditor Nick Howard captured this aerial footage of a giant "Black Lives Matter" mural in the dust.

One commenter on Reddit figured out its location — it's not far from where Burning Man's temporary Black Rock City can be found every summer (though, not this summer):

It’s due East of where the city usually is by a few miles. Just North of Pahsupp Mountain. Rough coordinates 11TLF 2198 2473

No word on who's behind the mural!

image pieced together from screengrabs via Nick Howard/Reddit Read the rest

"Larry: The Burning Man Story" premieres in three time zones over solstice weekend

The summer solstice is important to the Burning Man community, as its when the first Burning Man event happened on San Francisco's Baker some 34 years ago. For this year's anniversary, Larry: the Burning Man Story, a new film about its Stetson-wearing founder Larry Harvey, will premiere through three live online screenings held in three time zones (details below). A live Q&A session will follow each screening. Suggested donation is $10 and all proceeds will support Burning Man Project.

Produced by Profiles in Dust in collaboration with Burning Man Project, the new film Larry: A Burning Man Story chronicles the life and influence of Burning Man’s iconic founder, featuring never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with Larry’s friends, family and colleagues.

Premiere times:

Screening 1: Asia/Pacific Saturday, June 20 at 04:00 GMT (9PM PDT) 12:00 in Beijing (June 21) 13:00 in Tokyo (June 21) 14:00 in Sydney (June 21)

Screening 2: Europe/Mideast/Africa Sunday, June 21 at 16:00 GMT (9AM PDT) 17:00 in London 18:00 in Berlin 19:00 in Tel Aviv

Screening 3: The Americas Sunday, June 21 at 20:00 GMT (1PM PDT) 13:00 in San Francisco 16:00 in New York 17:00 in Rio de Janeiro

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New podcast: "Burning Man Live" offers stories from its community

Black Rock City is off this year, but Burning Man in the multiverse is on! Kindling is the Project's new portal for virtual Burning Man experiences, and one of them is a podcast. Burning Man Live is three episodes in:

Meet the people who make Burning Man happen, beyond the desert and out in the world. Artists, activists, and innovators. Builders and Burners, freaks and fools. Burning Man floats on a sea of stories, and the Burning Man LIVE podcast is a plucky little boat with a microphone.

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DIY Catface N95 mask cover, whiskers and all

Anyone who's ever gone to Burning Man is undoubtedly already familiar with the N95 mask, the particle filters that also protect from inhaling playa dust. And Burners are also familiar with "radical self expression." So, it comes as no surprise that the happy mutants over at Burner-friendly Grassy Knoll Industries have taken it upon themselves to make an otherwise plain-looking mask better — by turning it into a "Catface." Whiskers and all. They describe it as "Quarantine Couture." Even if you have no plans to "cattify" a mask, you should go read the instructions because parts of it are pretty funny. Cats not your thing? There are other fun mask ideas in their "Social Distancing Can Be Fun" Facebook page. Read the rest

How to reengineer our systems to address climate change's refugee crisis and create new, high-density cities on demand

Vinay Gupta (previously) is a polymath engineer/inventor, whose Buckminster Fuller-inspired "hexayurts" can be found all over Burning Man (and my novel Walkaway). Read the rest

There's a car horn that roars like Godzilla

One of you out there needs your vehicle ("car, truck, van, boat, RV, motorcycle, ATV, golf cart or any 12 volt supplied power source") to roar like Godzilla, I just know it. So, you're welcome.

The Godzilla Roar Car Horn is available from Boom Blasters ($39.99-$59.99).

Thanks, Maggie!

Godzilla image via The Wrap Read the rest

Burning Man is hiring an HR coordinator

The job listing for a vacancy in Burning Man's HR department is pretty anodyne, until you get to this: "Some of the work will be in outside weather conditions and will be exposed to fumes or airborne particles as well as possible extremes in temperature." "Possible" is really underselling it, to be honest. Read the rest

A stunning 4K art tour of Burning Man 2019

Wow, my pal Shalaco (previously) really hit it out of the park with this ultra-high-definition video tour of (some of) Burning Man 2019's art. I didn't go this year, but this made me feel like I was there. Watch it in full screen, at the highest resolution possible to really get the full effect.

I traveled over 200 miles exploring Burning Man art, and I still didn't see it all. Here's a taste of what was out there.

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Orchestra plays "Bohemian Rhapsody" at Burning Man

On Tuesday of Burn week, a ragtag group of musically-minded Burners played a (truly) moving rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," positioned in front of the massive art installation called "The Folly." Photographer Evan Halleck was there, capturing the performance on video from the sidelines.

These performers are both amateur and pro musicians who are part of the Black Rock Philharmonic. There's no audition process to join this orchestra, applicants just have to fill out a form and be prepared to perform (mostly) classical music concerts at Burning Man. Rehearsals happen on the playa, as do the concerts. This year, they played four concerts on four different days at three different locations.

Here is what they played at those concerts:

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DJ pretends to arrive to Burning Man on a Popeyes jet

Diplo? More like Dipsh*t.

DJ Diplo, a.k.a. Thomas Wesley, was en route to Burning Man when this photo of him shilling fast-food fried chicken was shot:

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Popeye’s heard I wanted to try their sandwich so they sent me some in a jet.... Wendy’s your move.

A post shared by Thomas Wesley (@diplo) on Aug 31, 2019 at 4:12pm PDT

For the stunt, Broke-Ass Stuart has awarded him "2019 Burning Man Douchebag of the Year":

Burning Man is a great place for art, community, music, gifting, hedonism, self-expression, self-discovery, and self-reliance. Founded by a community who wanted an environment “unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising”, which is why we are awarding the Burning Man Douche Bag of the Year to DJ Diplo, for using the festival for corporate advertising! Diplo & Popeyes’ chicken teamed up this year to use Burning Man to market fast food...

Diplo, is famous for dubstep, sexist tweets, and now for being a FuckJerry sized corporate douche. Popeye’s posed Diplo in front of a giant Popeye’s billboard, in the form of a jet, so that he could pretend he and the billboard were actually at Burning Man, and use the photo-op as an instagram marketing opportunity. He wrote, “Popeyes heard I wanted to try their sandwich so they sent me some in a jet... Wendy’s your move.” What he should have written was, “Here I am, pretending to be at Burning Man, and selling out to a corporation, sick right?

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Listen to Tycho's Burning Man sunrise DJ set, the 2019 version

EDM whiz Tycho has once again gifted his Burning Man sunrise DJ set by posting it for us to listen to on SoundCloud.

Happy to present this year's sunrise set, live from the Dusty Rhino in Black Rock City on Thursday, August 29th, 2019. Thank you all for taking the time to share in this moment, it's truly a highlight for me to spend this morning with you each year ? Big thanks and love to the Dusty Rhino crew...

2019 tracks:

Van Halen - 1984 Boards of Canada - Alpha and Omega Tycho - Japan (Instrumental) Muddy Monk & Jimmy Whoo - Divine Bakradze - Quiet Loop Karol XVII & MB Valence - Aqua Tycho - Easy Tigerskin - This Place Is Empty Without You Octavian - Lightning (Ross from Friends Remix) Bonobo - Linked Kiasmos - Drawn Tycho - Into The Woods Letherette - After Dawn Four Tet - Evening Side (Oneohtrix Point Never Edit) You Man - Birdcage Icarus - October Photay - Illusion Of Seclusion <<>> Westerman - Roads Tourist - Elixir Bicep - Opal (Four Tet Remix) Maribou State - Turnmills Tycho - Jetty B. Traits NorthShore Tycho - Pink & Blue (Instrumental) Chrome Sparks - The Meaning of Love Tycho - Weather

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A post shared by Tycho / Scott Hansen (@tychomusic) on Aug 23, 2019 at 7:58pm PDT

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‪Happy to present this year's sunrise DJ set live from the Dusty Rhino in Black Rock City, Thursday, August 29th, 2019 🌞 Thank you all for taking the time to share in this moment, it's truly a highlight for me to spend this morning with you each year 🙏‬ ‪Listen at link in profile 🔊

A post shared by Tycho / Scott Hansen (@tychomusic) on Sep 2, 2019 at 7:36am PDT

screenshot via @Tychomusic

Tycho's 2018 DJ set

(Kottke) Read the rest

Not going to Burning Man this year? Here's how you can keep the FOMO at bay

Normally at this time, I'd already be in Black Rock City. But I left on such a high note last year that I decided to take a year off. Still, I've been feeling tinges of FOMO and have been looking for ways to feel part of this year's Burn somehow. I thought some of you might be in the same boat (Mutant Vehicle?), so I'll share what I've been doing to stave off the FOMO from the comfort of my own home. Read the rest

Where to catch me at Burning Man!

This is my last day at my desk until Labor Day: tomorrow, we're driving to Burning Man to get our annual dirtrave fix! If you're heading to the playa, here's three places and times you can find me: Read the rest

Coming to Burning Man? Join our "Assassination Army" game!

This year for Burning Man, my lovely campmates and I at Liminal Labs are running a big, playa-wide squirt-gun game called Assassination Army: come and get a gifted squirter from us (or bring your own!), don a brightly colored wristband, undergo our rigorous strategy-and-tactics training, and then go and soak other players out in the world, collecting trophies when you zap 'em! Read the rest

Watch Christian TV news show 700 Club's report on Burning Man (1996)

I've never been to Burning Man but this 700 Club report from 1996 really sells that year's festival theme of "The Inferno!" From the blog of Oliver Bonin, director of the Burning Man documentary Dust & Illusions:

In 1996 a group under the name “The Sentinel Group” goes to Burning Man, right during the year themed as “HELL” [sic]. After gathering hours of footage during the event, they went to the TV show “The 700 Club” hosted by the wealthy, supposedly christian, Pat Robertson, one of those extremists that you can find only in America, preaching the bible and making millions at the same time.

I found this incredible excerpt of the 700 Club during my search for archival footage about Burning Man.

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The BLM's Burning Man environmental impact statement is terrible, calls for drug searches, dumpsters, and a 19,000,000lb concrete wall

The Burning Man event is seeking a renewal of its 10-year permit to use the federally owned Black Rock Desert site managed by the Bureau of Land Management; the BLM has responded with a bizarre, overreaching Environmental Impact Statement that ignores the lavishly documented record of Burning Man's excellent safety and stewardship record. Read the rest

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