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For this year's burning man, we planned to arrive earlier and camp with Oregon Country Fair. We had camped with them last year and I wanted a place on the frontage street for my 24' wall of panoramic photos.
I've explained what Burning Man is and my impressions of it in the essays for 1998 and 1999, so I won't repeat that here, but rather say what was different.
Of course my real photographic goal is the Panoramas. So be sure to check out the 2000 Panoramas, the 1999 Panoramas and the 1998 Pano.
This year we planned to arrive earlier (though still got there a day late!) and build a 24 foot wall for panoramic photos. We also planned to build a suit of electroluminescent wire to match the neon layout of the Man himself, thus creating a walking version of the Man. This project wasn't done by the time we left, so we spent a lot of time finishing it on the Playa, which I don't recommend.
Sorry -- at least for now the photos are not particularly arranged. They are mostly set up one directory per roll of film. Shots are on Superia 100 unless otherwise noted.
I can't say my impressions changed a lot this year. The event continues to grow, and as it grows it gains more rules and less anarchy.
Some people think that's terrible, but I wonder if people would really want the same thing every year. However, I will say that for the bad changes (including things like the Health Dept. rules shutting down the great Tuna Guys for giving out free tuna without a permit) there should be a balance of good changes -- new experiments, new experiences.
The art is of course mostly different, but some things have now become traditions, like the arrangment of the city and some of the famous art projects. I understand that, because if you work hard on something you want to show it off more than once.
So as Burning Man grows, it should be shaken as well as expanded.
This year was cold again. As much as we whine about the heat when it's hot, the cold can be worse. For one it makes people do less low-clothing body decoration, and moods are somewhat different.
We also had a killer dust storm on Thursday that took visibility to perhaps a couple of feet and destroyed several camps. Though I didn't shed too many tears for the domed rave-camp that was next to our camp and not out with the Large-Scale-Sound-Art group as it should have been. My own Photo-Wall was bent by the storm, and I needed to have 5 guys come and lean against it during the storm to keep it up while I strengthened and guyed it.
This year's burn also went off early -- I didn't even see the start of it -- and perhaps that will be a new tradition. For two years now they haven't been able to do the ceremony around the burn. Not that many people notice, as the burn remains spectacular.
There was a lot of el-wire, and there will be more in the future. I think a greater percentage of people were decorating themselves this year, which is great. (Though some are stupid enough to bike or walk at night without some light on them.)
Note: The company which scanned these rolls, Dale Labs, had a defect in their scanner which resulted in a white strip along the side or bottom of many of these photos. At some point I may go in and hand-crop these out, but for now they are still present in some.