Burning Man Festival, 2008
Looking over pictures of Dadara‘s Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia installation at Burning Man 2008, it is obvious that sacrifices of visual impact were made in order to bring it to Centraltrak, the UT-Dallas artists’ residency in Exposition Park. Missing was the exterior facade of a pink skull and crossbones. Also missing when I visited — the harassment that this comment on immigration had promised.
I arrived a few minutes before 5 p.m., the designated start time, to make the most of the light situation since I planned to film the installation. A “guard” dressed in fatigues stood by a station wagon emblazoned with Dreamyourtopia themes. He didn’t seem quite ready for me, yelled at me half-heartedly then let me through anyway. People are scared of video cameras. I learned this when I lived in a bad part of the city and would hold up my cellphone as if shooting video to keep from getting unwanted street attention. But I was at Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia hoping to be harassed, much in the spirit of the old Goff’s Hamburgers on Lovers Lane, where people would line up as much to be abused by Harvey Gough (long before Seinfeld‘s soup nazi) as to eat his fine burgers.
Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia was more a theatrical piece than visual art installation. I ran into a friend who had experienced the Burning Man version, and he said the guards were also too nice at the start of the festival, but by the end they were almost too brutal.
Anyone go through between 7 and 9 p.m.? I’m curious to know if things got saucier after dark.
It was fun and different, and I did finally get bullied near the end. Video tomorrow.