I’ve written here about The Burning Man festival/event/thing before, but here’s a really nice 17 minute video by Jen Friedberg that does a good job of showing how difficult it is to explain the appeal of the place:
There are quite a few interview pieces in the film, which give some nice background to individuals’ Burning Man stories and experiences, but for me I think it’s just seeing some of the art pieces moving that really makes the video capture some of the feel of it… whatever it is!
Once again, I think I’m failing to put the pull of that desert into words, but I think the three person mobile ferris wheel at the start of the video probably does a good job of summrising it, as does the naked guy dancing with two umbrellas 14min 30secs in. His little section, with slightly off-rails interview, summarises some of the contradiction about the event too: you want to go and do things by and about yourself, but half the time you also want to constantly be recording things to show others who aren’t there. It’s sometimes tricky to get the balance right between taking part there and then and taking it home outside of your memories.
If you’ve got the time, it’s a nice little film.
I remember the first time I ever saw anything from the Burning Man. It was some sort of global new-culture documentary show and there was a small section of a man dancing in the desert as the sun came up. I think he was naked, it was pretty clear he’d been dancing a long time, and I suspect that there wasn’t any music outside of his head. I couldn’t tell you why that left such a powerful impression on me, but I wanted to be there.