Wow! What just happened to me? I feel like I was put in a blender for a week and then poured out into a lopsided pint glass – but it was the most amazing experience of my life! We arrived at Black Rock City Desert on Tuesday, all clean and shiny. As soon as we got to the gate, the greeters made us get out of our car and roll around the ground to cover ourselves with dust. Goodbye clean hair! Ha! But it was easy to find our camp as the flags I designed for Dang Gang were flying high in the breeze and were a perfect landmark! We also had the best spot – right on the edge with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains…
The car looked absolutely incredible! There were thousands of art cars or “mutant vehicles” as they are referred to, but Dang Gang looked amazing in the day time and the night time!
And my cushions looked pretty spiffy as well if I do say so myself!
The detail that was put into this vehicle was like nothing I have ever seen! Every bit was decorated, lush & plush!
Me sitting with my cushions on the Dang Gang – hell yeah I’m proud!
We stayed in a yurt, which was quite cool and comfortable. In fact, surprisingly I was more cold than hot there.
During the day we rode bikes around and looked at all the amazing art & sculptures. On the left is one of Mars1 Molecule Sculptures, and on the right in the distance is Bliss Dance lady – not only was she beautiful and massive – but she breathed too! And the Turkey Bus in the middle reminded me of one of my fave books ever – Tom Robbins Skinny Legs and All. I thought about that book a lot when I was out there. I asked many people if they had read it but everyone said no. If you are a Burner – read it! Or even if you’re not. Little hint – about a redneck who welds a turkey bus and drives it across America…
The artwork was absolutely breath taking! This is Mike Garlington’s Totem of Confessions. It was like a 3D Diorama temple. So beautiful! Susan Sarandon helped build it. And it had Tim Leary’s ashes inside. It burned after the man. So gorgeous.
As was the Mazu Temple. What a sight to behold. You could go in and make a wish and get your fortune read. Gorgeous!!
My bandannas were a big hit on the playa! You def needed them to keep the dust out! I had a hard time with the dust actually. Got a bad sore throat and earache; and my cuticles looked like they had had knives dropped on them and then were put in solvents. Next time lots of coconut oil!
It was impossible to be glamourous out there with all the dust. But I did try! I didn’t wear a bra or makeup for a whole week, which was quite liberating!
Unfortch I wasn’t able to take as many pics as I wanted but my silk mumus were a big hit on the playa and I am happy to report, after a wash, they all came out perfectly! Some I even wore twice!
One thing I REALLY struggled with was the darkness. I am blind in my right eye and have problems at night in cities, but out there on the first night I just started falling everywhere. But luckily a very nice man named JP saw me falling and scooped me up and had my back the entire time. One night on my way to the bathroom I tripped over a tent stake and knocked someone’s tent down while they were sleeping! Oops! Sorry! Next time I will have lots of hats covered in flood lights so I’m not so clumsy!
Everyone was so nice too! In fact I was really taken aback by the outpouring of gratitude I received from my work. In normal life as a struggling artist, it’s so hard to get recognition for what you do, but out there I got it ten fold. In fact the day after we left I had a 2 hour cry just thinking about how nice everyone was to me.
But the best part was driving around at night! The car lit up, had an incredible DJ and sound system & pyrotechnics! So every few minutes there would be fireballs shooting up from the back! Of course there was a whole crew of people operating different departments to make it work and make sure we were all safe.
When I was little growing up in my small Bible belt town, my fave time of year was when the fair would come. Driving around the Dang Gang at night reminded me of my childhood – it was like the fair – but for INFINITY!!!
And the burn night was like no other experience I have ever had! I even danced! Something I have not done in years! It was a very special, magical night! I saw so many amazing sights and am so inspired now to create more! Before I left I ear marked so many things I wanted to do and see & honestly I didn’t see a tenth of them. But what I got from the experience was living in the present and being connected to the people in your camp. Sharing stories, gifts and your time; rather than running around trying to see every sight…
Once we were back in San Francisco we had a little decompression/ reunion party at my new friends amazing gallery Arttitud which was really nice. That was prob the best part of Burning Man for me – making new friends – friends for life! Thank you so much to Marmot King & The Dang Gang Crew, my bestie Kirsten, and my new friends Tatiana & Ted & JP! Big love to all of you & hopefully I’ll see you on the playa next year! oxo GD
There was one drag for me – I wasn’t able to properly project my animations :(. I worked my ass off making 3 vids especially for Burning Man, even paid someone to help me and bought the most expensive portable projector on earth!!! But unfortch, out on the playa with all the dust and mayhem and chaos, it was impossible to figure it out. All though I did get it going for a baby bit one night & projected it onto the playa and people danced around them… Here are the vids I made. Hopefully next year I can properly sort it out!