Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Burningman: The Art Cars

Things are CRAZY out on the playa. There are art cars -- ranging from the simple and unassuming to the monstrous and mind-blowing. Some art cars, like this strange pirate cabin, are ramshackle contraptions held together mostly by wire and glue; were the speed limit at Black Rock City more than 5 miles per hour, these clunkers would surely shred themselves in no time. I'd recommend riding in that crane-mounted chair; it was quite relaxing. Then there are the massive-mobile-party cars, or MMP's as I like to call them. Traditionally loaded with roughly 5,000,000 watts of sound blasting equipment, a massive dance floor, and a full open bar, MMP's are literally capable of "rocking the party that rocks the party." Here we have the infamous Rubber Ducky MMP. Rumored to have cost more than $300,000 to engineer and fabricate, the Rubber Ducky is a true monument to the Burningman Spirit. It's bigger than an ocean-liner, it blasts techno music louder than all of Brussels, and it has a fire-breathing mohawk. How much cooler can you get? Not much.
Another category of art car is the true mutant. These vehicles bear no resemblance to normal cars, and share only a shred of their DNA. Below we have the gorgeous crab-walker-thingy, which took over three years to engineer and hand-weld, and yet is still incapable of turning on its own (seriously -- to turn it the driver had to lower a massive lazy-Susan from the vehicle's belly, hop out of the cockpit, and manually turn the hunk of steel to a new heading).

Next is the "big'ol'crusher-hand of death" -- one of my favorites.
First you go sit on the couch, and put your hand in the sensor-laden glove.
Then the crusher-hand did whatever your hand did. If you wanted to squeeze the car to a pulp, all you had to do was squeeze. If you wanted to lift the car and drop it, all you had to do was lift and drop. So simple. So fucking cool.
Then of course we have the Mad Max inspired vehicles, seen here in the midst of a massive dust storm [note: I didn't even capture the best Mad Max vehicles, some of which were remarkably faithful to the movie].

And naturally the crazy animal cars, this one being an angler fish.
To be honest, this sampling of art cars doesn't even scratch the surface. There were hundreds and hundreds of these things, and almost all of them lived up to the same standards of creativity, innovation, and absurdity that you see here. Yowzers.


LAV said...

so cool. I must admit I'm jealous.

Anonymous said...

So awesome.

Anonymous said...

and yet they all dropped their jaws, and their tears flowed freely when you showed them your creation. of creativity? maybe. but not primarily. only secondary to the pursuit of perfect efficiency:

see you tomorrow.