Skip to content

I, Robot

The 2018 Burning Man art theme was I, Robot. To quote some about the theme found on burningman.org, "This year’s art theme will focus on the many forms of artificial intelligence that permeate our lives; from the humble algorithm and its subroutines that sift us, sort us and surveil us, to automated forms of labor that supplant us. Are we entering a Golden Age that frees us all from mindless labor? Everything, it seems, depends on HMI, the Human-Machine Interface. In a world increasingly controlled by smart machines, who will be master and who will be the slave?"
So lot of robots on the playa.....here are some of them and the man.
The man was mainly blue, an electric blue and stood on a platform.....surrounding the man on the platform were 12 robots (robot effigies) of different kinds. The robot family.
"Robot effigies to stand vigil around the Man during the Event, then accompany it to fiery oblivion on Burn Night."





















"Robot Resurrection is towering 30 foot tall, human piloted, articulating sculpture made from reclaimed airplane parts and found objects. From the torso cockpit, the operator(s) manipulate the Robot’s motions and fire effects. This piece is a representation of we all have become… Robots. It is a wake-up call of how large these problems are. We have been controlled for too long. Robot Resurrection was born from what we as a society have discarded. Our hope is that this 28′ Robot will inspire reflection upon one’s self and be a reminder of the power we all hold. We hope it awakens some awareness of our situation and encourages some small change on a small scale that leads to big change in the massive system."
From burningman.org



Yellow tape around the man the day of the Burn which always is on a Saturday.





Beautiful and magical Black Rock City! ❤︎


Bike Problems

So a few days into the burn I got some bike problems, suddenly it became very strenuous to bike....I got exhausted after five minutes. So the following morning before my barista shift started I tried to get my bike fixed but the two first places I went to were not open yet. When I got to the welding shop which was the third stop I didn't have enough time to wait for them to fix my bike so I had to do it after my shift and that meant I would miss out on Foam Against The Machine which closed at 4:20 pm but fixing the bike was a priority. It is no fun to be without a bike on the playa. You need a bike, preferably a functioning bike.
So I went to Elliot's Naked Bike Repair and met Un Jon and a guy called Reverend and they helped me. It was the bearings and they fixed the problem in no time. SO NICE! Actually Elliot helped McKenzie with her bike a few days prior when it needed some adjustments and yes Elliot is naked....hence the name of the bike repair place.



This is me after my barista shift, sweaty and bothered after pedaling across the playa on a very reluctant bike. And that is Un Jon sitting next to me, he is 81 and lives in Salem Oregon. Some people you just bond with and I felt that we bonded. I went back the next day to visit him and took another pic with him. I hope to see him again next year.





Foam Against The Machine

Oh.....Foam Against The Machine....where do I even begin? I LOVE that place....and THANK YOU to all the wonderful and amazing people that make it a possibility at Burning Man!!! Thank You is not even close enough to express my gratitude for this place. So at Foam Against Machine you step inside a large tent structure where they play great music, people are dancing, majority of them are naked but it is not a sexual thing at all, it is a very organic and natural experience....one of the best times I have at Burning Man every time I go there.
Also beautiful murals were being painted by Alex and Allyson Grey inside the tent. Have you ever seen their art? If not, look it up it is beautiful.
You step into an enclosed shower area and there are people above you that hold large hoses, you get sprayed down with foam that you rub all over yourself and then you get hosed down with water. It is so refreshing and you get clean...I only rinsed off once in my RV this year, I kept nice and clean by visiting Foam Against The Machine. The camp changes name every year (one year it was reFOAMation) although the concept is the same. The people who put this on are political and conscious, they try to educate people and the message is always a positive one that I can fully relate to. Plus the camp memers are always genuinely happy and friendly....I feel deep happiness when I am there.
Dr. Bronner's soap is one of the funders for this camp. I went three times this year, I tried to go four but I had to cancel once to repair my bike. During my last foam a well known mycologist and author, Paul Stamets foamed too. Foam Against The Machine talks a lot about psychedelics and the healing they can provide.
This is a very popular place.....sometimes you stand in line for a while to get in but it is so worth it. You get a token that gains you entry.





My playa hair.....after two days on the playa I can't get a comb through it. I just leave it be, either down, in a braid or a bun. I spray water on it to add moisture and cover it up when I bike around. I waited three days after coming home before I finally had to wash it. Trying to keep Burning Man with me for as long as possible



And I met this girl, Annisa outside the Steam Bath. She asked me where I was from and it turned out she is Polish but lives in Los Angeles. We instantly bonded and spent some time together, she made me speak Polish with her as mush as possible. I really like her.



Steam Bath is also well worth a visit. Taking a sauna located in the middle of nowhere on a dry lake bed? Yes, at Burning Man it is possible. I was the only girl in the sauna at one point with seven naked guys. Two guys from Japan to my left and two from Switzerland to my right....and a few other across from me. Never once did I feel worried or bothered. Because it is so not about sex (contrary to what many that have never been to Burning Man seem to believe) it is about being a human together with other humans, sharing experiences.



There is a lot of more information online about Foam Against The Machine, also look up Alex and Allyson Grey and Paul Stamets. All so very interesting.


Center Camp Coffee Shop Barista

So I volunteered this year (again) as a Center Camp coffee shop barista.....it is so much fun! This year I did four shifts and a shift is four hours so about 16 hours, you always stay a little longer. You gets tips and I am going to donate my Burning Man barista income to a local spay and neuter fund. My last shift which was the last Sunday was the most fun because I had a super fun co barista next to me. The shift before my last which was on a Thursday was the worst cause my cashier sucked and so did my runner.....they were just two annoying girls that had zero clue. When you do the barista thing you get divided up into "teams", one cashier that takes the orders and the money, one barista, one runner that gets the non espresso drinks plus there are other people that take the dirty spoons and give you clean ones, empty the bins with the coffee grounds, fill up the coolers with milk and milk alternatives (almond and soy), get you clean rags to clean your machine with etc. If the cashier sucks then I get thrown off.....some people have no clue, in real life and at Burning Man. Oh well. But yes....doing the barista thing at Center Camp is a lot of fun to me. It is supposedly the busiest coffee shop in the world for that week but I think it was much busier last year. Perhaps because you can find other places to get free coffee at Burning Man, the drinks at Center Camp coffee shop are not free and the prices went up since last year and more people come in RV's which means they can make their own morning drinks. Of course you can make your own coffee if you sleep in a tent too but in an RV it is easier....cause you have a stove inside already. But I like Center Camp in general I go there every day whether I volunteer there or not, there is art everywhere and stages where people perform and talk.....it is a great place to start your day with a tasty latte or end your night with a hot chocolate or chai.







The blend of beans created for Burning Man.



Orgy Dome

I think I spent at least half of my time at Burning Man inside the Orgy Dome in a naked haze.....no not really actually. But I did want a picture with the Orgy Dome sign so I took McKenzie to it. And she donated some baby wipes to them because that is what they needed. As you can see, the Orgy Dome also offered some educational workshops, you never know what you might learn at Burning Man.









No Orgy Dome for me....I actually DID go inside once a few years ago because I wanted to see what was going on in there, just to look definitely not participate and I think I lasted about 30 seconds in there before I started laughing so hard that I had to leave. It's not for me....but I think it is a great option for the people that want to enjoy themselves in there.

Dust

The first couple of days there were some dust storms. In fact I heard that they shut down entry into Burning Man for several hours on Monday because of dust storms. I dragged McKenzie through the dust on our bikes, glad that she got experience it. I got my bandanas on, covering my face and hair. Dusty eyelashes and brows....breathing in the playa and loving it.



Limited visibility in Center Camp.



Checking out what Black Rock City has to offer this year in "What Where When".



Once the first dust storms ceased it was actually great weather the rest of the week....the playa was smooth and easy to bike on. I am ready for the day ahead....



This was the year that Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man passed away. I never met him (that I know of) but I am forever grateful to him for Burning Man. A truly amazing adventure that really can't be described in words - it has to be experienced - Thank You Larry.



Arrived

The gates to Burning Man 2018 opened at 12:01 am on Sunday August 26. We got there at 12:44 am (yeay I finally arrived in good time) and got to camp at 3:07 am, so not bad at all with waiting in line to get in. A lot of people were already settled in. People get early arrival passes to set up camps and others are there weeks in advance to build stuff, after all Black Rock City is basically a fully functioning city that supports around 70 000 people living there for the duration of the event. Putting on Burning Man is a huge undertaking.
A pic from the line.



This year I went with a girl that had never been to Burning Man before (a burgin!), McKenzie. As soon as we got the bikes out and a few things taken care of I took her out on the playa so she could see some stuff. And learn how to get around and find her way home to camp. The full moon was out and it was calm and clear - I felt happy to have arrived.
Center Camp and the moon.





We didn't stay up for that long, we were probably in bed by 5 am. A whole week at Burning Man was ahead of me, I knew that time was going to fly by. It always does. I was signed up for 16 hours of volunteer "work" (fun) as a barista at Center Camp and I was also going to DJ at Planet Earth this year.....check back tomorrow for more of my Burning Man 2018 experience.

Got Out

I got out from the playa and Burning Man.....I got back home yesterday early evening. I have a lot of pictures to go through....even my Mom asked me when my Burning Man pics will be up and I told her that it will be a while. I need sleep, a bath, I have stuff to take care of, do and unpack and wash because I am now back in the default world now. What is the "default world"? It is, according to Burning Man community, "the rest of the world that is not Black Rock City during the Burning Man event". To learn more Burning Man glossary check this out
burningman.org/culture/glossary
I still have my Burning Man hair though....I might keep it a fe more days. So give me a while and the Burning Man 2018 pics will be up! :-D
As always it is over way too fast.



My new necklace and my Burning Man manicure.



And when I checked my email last night, my phone was set to airplane mode for the whole duration of my burn, I saw this beautiful poem that a friend wrote to me.
How sweet! Thank You! I appreciate YOU!

I hope your adventure is all good vibe.
Amongst all the desert souls in your tribe.
I wish your soul soar high with excellent lift.
Your love, and your passion, is your gift.