When it’s handed to you on a platter

…you’re really obligated to take it and run. So it goes with this next idea. Well, just look at the photo I saw;

inspired

Its an album cover – of course! It also perfectly fits as an opposite and opposing force to the Cloudburst Artcar. Yes an umbrella that makes it rain on you. What an awesome costume! Probably also easier to make – though a huge pain in the ass to carry around – water ain’t light.

So nicely surreal.

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A piece of the puzzle may have just clinked into place. Yesterday I found out about an idyllic fruit farm in B.C. that’s run by an older couple that bring in seasonal help for the fruit harvest. I could harvest cherries for two to four weeks. A working vacation! In a lush valley of trees, mountains and lakes. There could be worse things.

Maybe I could even get into some trouble with the B.C. burners and make that beat poetry film I wanted to make with Shayne Avec I Grec. Not a bad month. That sounds like a contract to me, a contract of my own making. I don’t even know what month this is I’m looking at… looks like usually late July, early August – thanks Google.

Mind you that’s prime wedding video season, but who wants to shoot wedding videos all summer? Not I. Maybe a few.

But the virtual house tours seem like the way to go. I just want to wander around mansions in Westmount and get paid for it – I’ll admit it.

Oh, put up a screen in the living room. We’re ready for winter now.

Except maybe that beach party…

Gotta get on with Cirque du Boudoir for that one. Also feelin’ a real yearning for some circusy fun.

Back to the wonderful life. Bye bye Internetland.

Artist’s Log – Artdate: Today

Just started painting the table base I found on Notre Dame earlier this summer, after brushing and scraping the heck out of it. JoJo pointed out the hearts in the pattern and suggested red, and that’d be awesome, but. I have orange paint that I found on the street, and orange is cool, like red but less serious, more chill. Saftey man, safety.

So I painted it. I think its housepaint. No biggie. Sometimes I painted in big swaths, sometimes little strokes. Sometimes I globbed the pain on, other times I was more judicious. The paint was free. Fuck it. Time to play. Experiment. Just have fun. The end result really isn’t important because I didn’t spend a cent on it. I told myself as I worked – “Maybe I’ll have to strip it – cool. I’ve never stripped metal before, bring it on! I want to learn every different thing about this process. This doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but it might teach me to make one.”

Wow. Nice one baby.

Its exactly the perspective I need to have to achieve the things I want to achieve. And it happened when it started to rain and I thought – fuck it, I’m having fun. I’m staying outside and painting. Which works up to a point, and then you need to stop.

Be Comfotable, Give Back

Every year when I leave Burning Man I have a list in my head of things to do the next year to make my experience better. And every year I forgot 90% of those things by the time Burning Man swung around again. So, this year I’m going to put some of this stuff down on… well not paper. Paper is oldskool. Anyways…

These are things I wrote, miserable and grumpy, hot and tired in my tent Sunday before they opened the gates. One of my tent poles was snapped and the mesh in my tent only helped to granulate the dust into a near mist.

  • Be Comfortable: That means taking care of myself. Have good food, good footwear, chapstick, vinegar, moisturizer, a nice chair, a nice tent, etc. Nobody will take care of you but you, so do a good job of it.
  • Be Over-Prepared: Bring more than you think you’ll need. Then there’s no stress. Have backups, bring things that you *might* need. Remember that things will get lost, gifted away, broken, etc.
  • Make it Easy: Its hot, chances are good I’m not sleeping enough, if things aren’t easy they won’t get done. Workflows and spaces should be streamlined and simplified so that tasks require next to no effort.
  • Don’t be Cheap: This goes with being over-prepared. That tent or those shoes are no use if they break halfway through the week. Likewise, this is a vacation, buy the expensive wine, at least one.
  • Trust Your Gut – Even if it Means Conflict: If my brain says that this guy shouldn’t climb this tower, then I should say so. If my brain thinks that tarp is totally going to blow away and take our car shelter with it, I should say so.

Those are the big line items, and so many little things fit into them. For instance putting a big 2ft x 3ft poster of the playa map up in the kitchen with a whiteboard underneath to write down names and addresses would help everyone keep shit clear in their heads. Just simple design decisions like where to place things can make a HUGE difference.

Okay, I was going to write more but I have to pack for Boston. One more road trip adventure before this burn is truly over. Here we go again.

I’m awake and I have a Robin Hood hat on. What more do you want? I have somehow managed to complete, well one of my 5-list tasks without even leaving the house today so whoopie for that.

There is a vague scent of natural gas in the kitchen ever since I cooked up some bacon. I’m not sure whether or not this should be a cause for concern. I could leave a note for my roommates not to light any matches or lighters, but that seems like jumping the gun.

So I’m heading out for my daily… what did I call it? Paces. What the fuck does that mean? Well it sounds more meditative and sophisticated than walk, and as came up in conversation today words are like magic so choose yours wisely. I just try to use them in unusual contexts and coax out those that don’t get used enough. Shed some pixie dust when you take them out of the ‘ol box right? Exactly. Its the only damn thing I’m good at, but when you realise how much you can do with ’em, well, words are pretty damned cool. Which is just a lazy way of saying fantabularistic. You all got that right? See. Magic.

Well the breeze is calling through my open window, along with the honeybee drone of a hedge trimmer somewhere.

Off to Boston tonight so not much time, a quick walk, some inhaling of paint fumes, hasty packing of whatever will fit my frame and we’re off. Hours of driving, like a video game but with a declining gas gauge instead of a mounting scorecard. Alas. Off to paces.

Idea Man

That’s me, Idea Man. At Burning Man I was once called an instigator and another time told “You always have great ideas.” Now I’m starting to learn how to implement them, part of which is just editing. I have too many ideas and it takes deciding which ones to flesh out and actually go after to get anywhere. So… I thought I’d do an idea dump for next year’s Burn for which I’m already geysering schemes.

  1. Shoot my Dust to Dust documentary on the building and dismantling of Black Rock City. I wasn’t planning on doing this for a couple more years, but the 2010 theme of The Metropolis is just about as perfect as they come for this project. I’d like to do it big, but I’m going to have to be adaptable and do whatever ends up being possible. It may well mean two or more months in the desert. I’m okay with that. Why? Because DPW chicks are hot. You ladies know who you are. Raaaaawr!
  2. Cloudburst art car. Probably not a 2010 project. It doesn’t particularly fit the theme and its going to take a lot of friggin’ work, which is why its worth starting to think about now even if its a ways off. The idea? Similar to the Hope and Fear flowers by the Do Lab only instead of turning cranes into giant flowers turning a crane platform into a giant floating cloud capable of dumping rain on participants and throwing lightning bolts at night. So yeah, like I said, lots of money and work, but totally possible and totally cool.
  3. BRC manholes. Pretty simple. Create and install manholes in BRC. Designing covers would be fun and putting things underneath them could make for fun surprises. Again kind of hard though, forging metal and all. Heavy shit too. Fits the theme though.
  4. An urban exploration exhibit. Ideally I’d like to create a drain simulator, but I think that’s hella ambitious. Instead it’d be much easier to throw up some big backlit urbex photographs, maybe some videos on old TVs and some writeups and reflections on the unseen and abandoned city. I think this one could be fun, combining two of my favourite things – definitely not a solo project.
  5. Rampage. Just like the video game of ages past. Build a city out of say foam and let people rampage through it wreaking massive urban destruction. Fun.

So yeah, there’s a few, and I just found out about the theme a couple of days ago. God help me as the year goes on and my brain churns more and more.

Lightness

Light as a feather – that’s how I feel. Light and loose. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so relaxed.

This year’s Burn was an affirmation, of… well just about everything. The human spirit, the desert, love, compassion, intuition, energy, direction, brilliance… I could go on forever. So brilliant a manifestation of the human spirit its hard to even think about anything else. I am a creatre dedicated to play.

Coming back to work hasn’t even dampened my spirits. How could it when so much is right in the world? How could it when I’m soon to strike out on my own, powered by the wings of my own genius (the mythical interpretation of the word, not the Einstein sense, though perhaps that as well).

I can do anything, be anything, desire anything and recieve anything. Its all there to be had and more importantly to give. The gifts, the giving, so much of it. Who’d ever have thought that giving out poutine, a heart attack in a bowl would be such a profound and fulfilling experience? Certainly not I.

There will be stories and photographs, but for right now I’m just relaxed and content. Light as a cloud and ready for whatever is meant to be.