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Tactical Ninja - Afterburn report - now with more fluoro fluff and LEDs!

Jan. 29th, 2014

10:11 am - Afterburn report - now with more fluoro fluff and LEDs!

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OK I think I'm properly back now. As in, back at work. Being inside a building still feels weird, and yesterday I did about 8 loads of washing. I have found that returning things back to normal after a burn as fast as possible works best to solve the cognitive dissonance that comes with shifting worlds.

Anyway, I have no hope of backscrolling to catch up, so if there's something happened that I should know can you link me to it please?


It was like a festival that I haven't been to for several years, that I enjoy for a reason (or three). It was hard to go anywhere without encountering multiple hugs. There was a strange experience in which I was recognised from the documentary by someone who had never been to a burn before. Gosh. O.o

Fact is, you can never write about a burn with any authenticity. I could talk about the giant Effigy that went up with all the fire you'd expect from something made entirely of manuka. I could talk about the 200 or so people who got their gear off to dance around it. I could talk about the way that NOS/Dance-a-Lot didn't like their structure, and how a big gust of wind obligingly laid waste to it (and many other camps) all in one go, so they got a chance to build something better from the carnage.

I could talk about watching a hobby horse race, riding the river rapids naked*, the dude who was building a spa for his chicken called Crazy. Seeing 5 people crammed into the Sensorium, staring like they'd never seen an LED before.


The sensorium in close up. Taken by friend and camp neighbour Dana.


My pleasure at seeing how much joy it brought to Dr Wheel to see his idea come to fruition. Playing on flyweight chains in the dome, floating on an airbed liferaft when it rained so hard our tent got almost submerged, meeting a pretty Irishman whose brother makes armour for fun, doing acrobalance on a horizontal dream catcher, naked barrel rolls, wearing a unicorn.

You know how it goes.

A quote from the documentary strikes me: "I came into this project looking for the revolution. I didn't find it. Or, rather, I realised that the burn is not the revolution. The burn exists in relation to society. It temporarily suspends society, but is not a model to replace society. It is what we need to survive the society we find ourselves in.

Crucially, what the burn provides is an environment in which we can have an authentic experience of ourselves. And, ultimately, authentically being ourselves is the revolution. Reconnected to ourselves at the burn, we go into the world anew, authentically ourselves, and make the world, and our lives in it, what we want them to be."

I couldn't say it better. For me, I went into the burn having no duties or theme camp to uphold for the first time ever, expecting that I'd utilise my extra time being sociable, meeting people, having conversations. rivet is someone who does that, someone I've always wished to emulate, who is seemingly effortlessly able to produce interaction and connection between people.

I'm not. And that's what I got from this burn - the understanding that I'm not Ms Sociability and I don't have to be. My gift is permission, and I give it by facilitating alter egos - or so it seems to me.

The biggest thrills I got this time round were based in seeing other people getting joy from the freedom of expression to be found in costume. On burn night, I counted 8 people other than myself wearing a costume item I'd made, having a fantastic time and looking fabulous. That is my gift, and when I think about it, the entire Dr Windy persona sprung out of playing dressups. As did the WDC, the Illuminati to an extent, and also the monsters.

Monsters?

Yes, monsters. Tangle and Dangle sprang into being after Spinfluence, when tieke had a brainwave about aerials-capable freaky fluoro monsters. Fast forward a few months and we have this:

Tangle


Dangle


Family shot


They hatched fully formed from the boot of a Kingswood, then ran away to join the circus but everyone kept treating them like people in monster suits so they left to get real jobs. They can’t type very well, so now they roam around festivals chasing hippies and performing feats of aerial mayhem. The wee one is called Mangle. They are not very good parents.

Photos of them are starting to appear all over the place now, so I figure putting these up won't be letting any cats out of any bags. This is probably the ultimate in alter-ego creation - pretty much anyone can fit them and be anonymous. I tried it - several people who know me very well IRL did not recognise me as Tangle. So far, I think Dr Wheel makes the best Tangle. Photos of that when permissions are sorted...

Anyway, they've taken on a life of their own, and you may be seeing more of them in the future.


Meanwhile, I think it's probably the most relaxing Kiwiburn I've been to. There was little drama, lots of love, plenty of, well, everything (we are Camp Everything after all), and I think for me it focused on deepening connections with people I already know rather than forming a whole bunch of new ones. And I'm ok with that.

Also, the Brainfart worked. I mean, worked properly, and well. I used it to help quite a few hippies find their clothes on burn night *ahem*, and met some new people while charging my battery (3 hours!). I know lots of people photographed it but I'd really like to see a video. If you see any photos or video of the Brainfart around on places like Facebook and such, could you yoink them for me please?

I still have my wristband on. Keep forgetting to remove it. Crap.

* not the best idea I've ever had, but fun just the same.

Comments:

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From:rivet
Date:January 28th, 2014 09:24 pm (UTC)
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"Meanwhile, I think it's probably the most relaxing Kiwiburn I've been to. There was little drama, lots of love, plenty of, well, everything (we are Camp Everything after all), and I think for me it focused on deepening connections with people I already know rather than forming a whole bunch of new ones. And I'm ok with that."

Just exactly this. Thank you <3
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From:tatjna
Date:January 28th, 2014 09:25 pm (UTC)
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Gatherings where we get you are the best kind!

<3
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 28th, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
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I've never really been tempted by the idea of Burning Man, but you've got me oddly tempted by the Kiwi version...

Nothing particularly new here, but there were some pictures of sheep a few posts ago :-)
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From:tatjna
Date:January 28th, 2014 10:19 pm (UTC)
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The kiwi version has a river. And moderate temperatures. And about 60,000 fewer people, which makes it quite nice.
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 28th, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
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Oh that does sound rather better! I'm pretty convinced being near water makes all sorts of things better, although I'm not certain 60,000 fewer people would make an appreciable difference to my uncomfortableness in crowds. Still, even hanging on the sidelines, I bet it would be a lot of fun!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 28th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
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There were still moments when we were able to get the swimming hole to ourselves, which was really nice. And our camp was away from the main area, under some trees, so we were able to escape. This is something I've never managed at Burning Man, and I think that aspect is one of the things that keeps some people away.

I love events full of like minded people, but I like to be able to get away from them too. 5 days is a long time to be in a high-energy environment with no respite.
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From:mr_orgue
Date:January 28th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
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great writeup! Billy keeps telling me I need to go to a burn. I hope before too long I can get along.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 28th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
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I think you should. From what I know of you (mostly from comments on Happy's blog), there will definitely be something there to suit you. It's a fantastic mashing together of hippie/geek/cyber cultures, and tends to attract people who like to exercise their imagination while scaring away people who can't get their shit together. Which makes things much nicer.
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From:pythia
Date:January 29th, 2014 12:42 am (UTC)
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Can you make a sparkly monster called Spangle? :P
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From:tatjna
Date:January 29th, 2014 12:59 am (UTC)
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Hahaha now I might have to!
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From:tieke
Date:January 29th, 2014 02:20 am (UTC)
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This should be done!

Also, one called Jangle, with bells on
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From:tatjna
Date:January 29th, 2014 02:21 am (UTC)
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And Wangle, with..

.. oh wait.
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From:fbhjr
Date:January 29th, 2014 01:29 am (UTC)
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Way cool monsters!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 29th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)
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Thanks! ;-) They have been, and continue to be, lots of fun.
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From:alphamatrix
Date:January 29th, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
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There's a brainfart photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80568331@N04/12168793324/in/set-72157640193170035

This whole set of photos is quite stunning.
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From:pombagira
Date:January 29th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
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yeah they are excellent photos :D
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From:tatjna
Date:January 29th, 2014 02:37 am (UTC)
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They are indeed! At some point I need to talk to a bunch of people about permissions.
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From:dreadbeard
Date:January 29th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
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That quote is not from the doco per se but my directors comment after making it, and sort of meditating creatively on what the burn is for a couple of years, and is some kind of distillation of what I got from it... so yeah, glad it resonates. :)

Also, you know Morgue? Jez knows Morgue? Wellington just shrank again!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 29th, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
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And, as it turns out you still know everybody! ;-)

And I really like that evaluation of burns. It manages to sidestep the cynicism that most people bring to the realisation that burner culture isn't a viable alternative to the mundane.
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From:meathiel
Date:January 29th, 2014 06:31 am (UTC)
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So if it's 60.000 less than the original Burning Man ... How many people are there at Kiwiburn? Just curious ... as I can't stand large crowds. WGT with 20.000 allover town is big enough for me, thank you!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 29th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
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This year, just under 1,000 tickets were sold. So by world standards it's tiny, but it's still pretty lively! ;-)
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From:danjite
Date:January 29th, 2014 08:15 am (UTC)
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Here. Reading. Contemplating.

Just so's you know.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 29th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
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;-)
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From:laughingmagpie
Date:January 29th, 2014 03:42 pm (UTC)
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My gift is permission

This really struck me. What a fine gift to bring!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 29th, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
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I didn't realise it until someone pointed it out, but yeah, it makes me happy to know that I have something to offer that's cool. ;-)
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From:Will Marshall
Date:January 30th, 2014 02:37 am (UTC)
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<3 !
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From:tatjna
Date:January 30th, 2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
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<3 back at you.

I missed you.
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From:fuvenusrs
Date:February 1st, 2014 09:48 am (UTC)
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Have I told you lately that I love you?
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From:tatjna
Date:February 2nd, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)

You have now!

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You have now! ;-)

<3
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From:adam_0oo
Date:February 1st, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
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Haha, tremendous and wonderful!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 2nd, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
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A++ would burn again.
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