In case you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, amongst other things, I went to Burning Man again, and wrote about it for Art Practical:
There’s something disheartening about returning from Burning Man to resume your practice as an art critic. The “First Thursday” back, if you’ve recovered in time to attend (which I did not this year), is underwhelming. It’s not because the art on display is worse or less radical than what you’ve seen in Black Rock City. Or because you won’t find any art that you can pee or have sex or take a nap on. Or because nothing will be set on fire. Or because everyone is wearing pants.
As pat as it might sound, it’s because you are different. You spend a week in a physically punishing, sensorially ravishing environment where to enjoy even non-interactive art—of which there is very little—necessitates surmounting a litany of discomforts and disorienting factors. You’re hot, lashed by corrosive alkaline dust, dehydrated, underslept, and off your tits. You haven’t checked email or Facebook in days. Your breakfast was likely champagne and Emergen-C.
In such harsh, isolated conditions, anything you can’t experience in the moment is no longer important. Every performance or art installation you witness represents a sublimation of the spoiled body’s nagging, an overcoming of the niggling mundanities that usually distract and disperse your attentions. When you stand in front of one of Black Rock City’s many art projects (or crawl under it, or sleep inside it, etc.), you feel you’ve earned your place there, like you’re able to take in more of it because there is less of you in the way. The low-pitched drone of everyday concerns—career, relationships, groceries—falls silent. (continue reading)
p.s. This year I debuted a dance piece I’ve been working on at The Crossroads Live Experience stage on the Playa. I was inspired by Maurice Bejart’s ballet version of Bolero and my ongoing studies in bellydance, and I was helped with the choreo by FatChanceBellyDance pro Marsha Poulin.