The Great Temporary Autonomous Zone

Burning man 2009

The worlds most famous temporary autonomous zone is GO. Burning man is happening right now. And once again I am sitting at home, broke, missing it. It happens every year. Most of my friends go or have been at least once. (insert lame expression)

I’ve always felt “too old” for everything, since I was a kid! Too old at 22 for a tattoo, to old at 32 to run around naked in the desert for a few days… and now I’m over 40. F#$&!
Now I’m REALLY too old, right?

Wrong… (well, maybe for the running around naked part) that’s all bullshirt excuses.
Now I am DETERMINED to go. How can I miss this EVERY Year?!?!?!

… Next year?

Bruce Sterling writing for Wired (in 1996) describes it like this:

“The place feels like the afterlife. When you walk across it, you just drift over endless cracked whiteness, lifting your feet maybe a quarter inch from the surface. It’s all mobile; it’s all temporary. Twist the ignition key and drift with the wind.

Burning Man is an art gig by tradition. Over the longer term it’s evolved into something else; maybe something like a physical version of the Internet. The art here is like fan art. It’s very throwaway, very appropriative, very cut-and-paste. The camp is like a giant swap meet where no one sells stuff, but people trade postures, clip art, and attitude. People come here in clumps: performance people, drumming enthusiasts, site-specific sculptors, sailplane people, ravers, journalists, cops. I’m a journalist and a newbie, but even I can tell the pros from my fellow newbies. The veterans have brought their own pennants, bicycles, flashlights, and tiki torches, plus enough water for anything.”

And that was 13 years ago.

Cheers to all those celebrating in Black rock City.

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