Eyes of SWILD

  Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, Nevada - Labor Day 2002

Burning Man in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Labor Day. 29,879 souls. Tents, RVs, and sleeping bags. And incredible works of art, everywhere.

As you bike around the playa desert, tiny specks on the horizon grow to four story buildings - like the Temple of Joy above.

Sculptures are strewn throughout the actual camp and over the desert. Just inspiring. Of the five days I was there, I always bumped into new art, daily.

Here's Paul practicing juggling his flame stick (unlit). So who goes to Burning Man, a counterculture event held in the middle of the desert in Nevada?

29,879 people do. Your next door neighbor and their kids; Earth citizens from over 40 countries. Old and young alike.

A fabric animal spirit? A political statement to the Maoist-extremists incursions in western Nepal? Or perhaps someone's incredible imagination manifesting itself as a work of art flapping in the cooling breeze for everyone to admire and behold.

Simple yet spectacular. And just seemingly deposited in the desert. You can also see the 'two moaning naked women' artwork in the distance.

Look at the detail. Someone spent a long time making this prior to Burning Man. At their own costs. But for all to share and enjoy.

Money can't buy you love or freedom. All it gets in Burning Man is coffee, lemonade, or water. Nothing else is for sale. Money is useless. You have to give, swap, or better share.

Share what? Perhaps your time to help a camp. Perhaps you can paint someone's face with fluorescent paint.

And don't forget to bring zany costumes. You are your costume. Think of yourself as a free soul at Burning Man. If you were truly free, who would you really come as?

And bring a bike. The desert is big. Your car or RV cannot be used once you arrive. But art cars do traipse across the playa and give rides. Remember, they don't take money. And not everyone can get on.

You should have heard the moaning! Exquisite. And so melodic. This captured its fair share of oglers.

Do you realize that this 'playa fish' has room for two? The driver and his passenger. A fish taxi. It swam all day long. A great art car with attitude.

Inferno. What a guy. In the middle of the desert one night, 60 feet high twisting infernos of flame spiral into the desert night sky. Wow! And what a noise.

This guy spirals the rising flames until they become 'spinning Hell'. And scorching hot for everyone watching

Flame stick and burning ball jugglers came out every night. In fact, the night time was always the best. The light shows were very SWILD.

And then others things came out at night as well. I just love his hair. Remember, what's your costume going to be?

Is this a costume? So who or what is he? Hey, you are who you are. Relax and get over it. It's your life - so live it.

OK. I'm going to call this Octopussy like the James Bond film thing that comes out of the ocean. And at night, imagine it lit up with different colors.

This artist adds her finishing touches to the half submerged unicorn - dragon - serpent - mermaid sculpture.

Here's my small camp set up amongst other camps and friends.

Hang out at the zillions of open parties. Share some food with new friends over a BBQ. Or hang out in Center Camp, in the shade and breeze, with a superb cup of espresso.

Toilets are provided (clean ones too). $3 cups of excellent coffee and lemonade. After that you are on your own. Bring food, water, costumes, bikes and lots of love to share with the new friends you make.

Yes there is dust. Sometimes lots if it. So bring goggles if a dust storm picks up. And when the water spraying trucks drives by, run after it!

If you do, make sure your costume doesn't run or disintegrate Some people were amazing.

Great body art. Who painted it? Someone who loves to paint and wants to share. If you are an artisan, Burning Man is for you.

Still wandering what Burning Man is about? It's about you. And who you are inside. Or want to be but have always been afraid to find.

eEvil! Yes, that's how you spell it. From Orange County. Brought his friends. And got painted silvery-green at Burning Man. Yeah, baby!

SWILD camp's tikki torches light the thanka-like black light fluorescent backdrop for the firestick jugglers.

Jiffy Lube, a nightclub, has a great animated sculpture.

Again,bring a costume. It's amazing what you can think of.

And the night shows. They all glow. Flash. Ripple. Oh my! Wow! Dusk at 7:30pm. Dance music starts to roll across the desert floor. And everyone comes out into the cool night to play.

The colors are just amazing. All moving. Shimmering on the desert horizon, Zipping by as you pedal furiously across the hard-baked desert floor after a glowing art car that floats over the playa.

And new colored-things every night. Gone the next. Always changing. Always amazing. And so breath- taking. Burning Man inspires. Bring your friends. But don't wait for them.

Burning Man is open to all. Everyone welcome. All citizens of Earth. All races, creeds, religions, and sexual orientation. Please leave your prejudice at home.

On the Saturday of Labor Weekend, 'Burning Man' is set alight. It really burns fast. By next morning it's just a 5 inch high, black pile of ash.

This couple, on stilts, were playing Diddgeradoos. A Cirque-du-Soleil type performance but you are the center of attention.

Imagine a life where you aren't sitting in the audience watching. You are the one having fun. Because everyone wants to share what they have with you.

Xander protected 30,000 Burning Man attendees from 200 foot high twisting dirt devils that eat RVs. He'd cycle in 20th gear, as fast as he could, anticlockwaise into the base of the devil and snuff them out. He also got some free flying lessons.

Benjamin getting ready to head out on his mission of truth and love.

The Temple of Joy burns tonight. Truth will be revealed for all.


John has difficulty getting his motorized surfboard going. How else is going to surf to nirvana tonight.

He's decided to fly there instead and asks everyone if he'll be able to take off. Fly, baby, fly!

Perhaps you like fire. And shooting 50 foot flames into the night sky. Or spitting it out from the mouth of a 70 foot long metal dragon that zooms through the night playa.

On Sunday, Labor Day, The Temple of Joy is burned. A towering inferno erupts. Created and destroyed. A circle of life.

Heat devils form as the fire twists hundreds of feet into the night sky. Spinning hot-dust devils twist uncontrollable into the playa.

See you at Burning Man 2003.