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poeticmotion

The Fleets of Burning Man: Nautical Art Cars (Image Heavy)

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I made a post like this last year, but all the pictures got stripped out with the new forum, so this is an expanded and redone version. :D

 

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So, Burning Man started yesterday, and sadly, for the second year in a row, I'm missing it due to work.  (I usually go every other year anyway because the logistics are a [edited]coming from the east coast). But I've been several years, and I help organize and run the southeastern regional burning man event. As some of you may know, two of the things Burning Man is famous for is large art installations and art cars. There is no driving around the city (Burning Man is not a festival, it's a temporary community...we build our city each year and then tear it down again) in normal cars. You can build an art car and drive it around, though, and people put literally hundreds of thousands of dollars into some of these vehicles.


I thought it'd be fun to share some photos of ship-based art and art cars during Burning Man in honor of the Black Rock event. Note: While I have seen and/or ridden all of these, some of these are personal photos and some are photos from others. I don't take a lot of pictures on-playa; too busy doing insane things. As Burning Man is held on a dry lakebed (known as the playa), nautical art cars are a common sight. 

As an aside, here's me and my girlfriend at Burning Man 2013. If we look a bit rough, keep in mind we'd been in the desert for eight days and while our camp had a shower, we only were allowed 90 seconds of water to shower every other day in our camp allotment (you have to haul in water and everything else; nothing is for sale at Burning Man. Radical self-reliance.) 

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Rum, Sodomy, And The Lash (my theme camp's art car)

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Spoiler

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^^ This is when we took it to a local event in the woods...obviously no trees at Burning Man)

I camp with the Funk Pirates at Burning Man, and our camp's art car is called "Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash." My friend Ryan built this himself, with some help from the rest of us. That's me in the top photo, in the middle with my shirt off, looking like a goofball. In the nighttime photo I'm up on the mast. 

I know a bit more about this than the other art cars there as it's one I've both worked on and driven. It is built on an old Toyota Corolla chassis. Ryan removed the body and custom-fabricated the pieces of the ship. It only goes 5-10 MPH...to get it from Atlanta to Black Rock City and back, we have to take the front and rear of the ship off, drive it onto a trailer, put the front and rear on the trailer, strap it all down, and spend three days each way towing it there. 

U.S.S. TittyHawk

Please don't send the mods after me, that's the actual name of the ship. A guy I know who's a drone pilot wanted an aircraft carrier for Burning Man. So he bought an old used school bus and he built one. Unfortunately, mechanical issues have kept her in drydock (i.e. his back yard) for the last couple of burns, but she was a lot of fun when she was out there. One of my all-time favorites. 
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More pics in the spoiler
 

Spoiler

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La Contessa

One of the five most famous Burning Man art cars, she sadly but ironically was destroyed in a fire in 2012 (and while many pieces of art are purposely burned each year, this was outside of Burning Man and not intended to happen.)

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The Monaco

Another one of the more ornate art cars. She's a beauty. 

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S.S. Christina

She's a yacht. On a dry lake. 

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Pier #2

This was an art installation in 2012. A pier and a 'shipwreck.' Fantastic level of detail; you could climb around inside and through the cabins below decks. They even had a ship's log telling the story of how the ship got wrecked hundreds of miles inland. 

 

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I have plenty more, so next post will be a random assortment of more nautical art cars. 

 

 

Edited by poeticmotion

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Awesome pics. I was a part of some of the earliest Burning Man events at Ocean Beach in San Francisco back in the 90s, and made it to Black Rock a few times before moving to the east coast - sadly it's been 8-9 years since I have been back.

BTW I fly the Burning Man flag on my ships, remember that WG had a BM-themed event last year!

 

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