Steampunk meet the Burners.
The Man Burning- image by Aaron Logan
Steampunk communities and events are on the rise. As such it is only a matter of time until said Steampunks meet other activity driven groups such as the Burners.
Who the hell are the Burners? Ah. That’s a loaded question, so let’s get down to brass tacks.
Burners are people who attend:
1. Burning Man
2. Regional Burns (worldwide)
Responses frequently given after mentioning Burning Man is this:
Burning Man?! Isn’t that some crazy party in the desert that Malcolm in the Middle was at? Wait! Wasn’t that mentioned in a movie, where the dad kept taking his new wives to Burning Man and they were high as a kite? I didn’t think that was real!
Burning Man and all its regionals are very much real. Burning Man (the ‘main’ burn with upwards
Satellite Image of Burning Man
of 60,000 people in attendance) begins the week prior to Labor Day and ends on Labor Day Monday. It is considered an extreme festival, a survivalist camping heaven, artists haven, an epic party like you’ve never seen, etc, etc. It is a temporary city that goes up, and when all is said and done, the Burners take their trash and leave no trace after celebrating life and freedom of expression.
What IS Burning Man?
“Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind.” – BurningMan.com
Burns are where the masses go to take off the mask of day to day triviality and be who you really are. To wave your freak flag if you will. It also gathers some of the most talented visionaries. Burning Man funds most of the huge interactive art installations that come to the Burn.
It was only a matter of time for Steampunk artists and craftsmen to venture into the Burning
Neverwas Haul - Art Car
On a small scale the lauded Airship Isabella has ventured into the Burning community. The Isabella was actually conceived at the Texas Regional Burn Burning Flipside.
Gypsy Steam Circus, is a group currently being put together for the sole purpose of bringing Steampunk, Gypsy Fusion with a dash of Circus to the Burn. GSC will be gathering its ranks for the for Myschievia (a Regional in East Texas) over the Columbus Holiday.
I have been a Burner since 2009, I’ve made two fabulous Pilgrimages to Black Rock City (the name of the temporary city that goes up for one fabulous week). During 2011 I bowed out of BRC to visit two regional burns, Flipside and in a few short weeks I’ll be at Myschievia.
These two Burns are quite small compared to the massive size of Burning Man, but they are no less powerful.
You may have noticed O.M. Grey’s latest tweets and Facebook posts mentioned her Pilgrimage to Black Rock City and Burning Man this year. Steampunk is rapidly being integrated into other highly creative events and festivals.
It isn’t all about the art (when I say art I mean interactive Rubiks Cubes that are 4 stories high, that
can be turned by small hand held devices 20+ yards away, giant metal art pieces created for people to look at and climb on to see the view from the top). There is also an indescribable feeling that comes over you when you stand in the middle of the desert. For some it is a spiritual experience. Some come to the desert to find themselves, some to party, some to get away from reality, but when the Burn is over somehow Burning Man has become the reality. It is a special place where your true self is discovered. It can be messy and it can be beautiful. But every year when you are met at the Gates by the Greeters, the first thing they say is “Welcome Home” and you suddenly realize it IS home.
I am so excited seeing two of the things I love most come together. Burning Man and its subsequent regional Burns are not for everyone. But if you have a keen sense of adventure and an open mind Burning Man might become home for you too.
For more information about Burns please see the following links.