pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I never end up taking any pictures at BurningMan, even of stuff I make. I talked a lot about the bike stuff I was building but got no photos of it assembled and in operation. However, here's a picture of it when I was still in prototype mode: The prow on the front was painted to match the purple and white of the bike and canopy and the fluoro orange tape went away once I finished making the fiberglass connectors for the rods.

I did this project very last minute and found out even more last minute that the port marked 'USB' on the board was in fact FTDI so I had to order another part and wait for that. Between that and writing ISR timer interrupts for PWM so it wouldn't burn up the triacs on the board, I ended up not having time to do the animation I'd planned to do. I burned all my time coding around the hardware limitations of the board. :P

Anyhow, last minute before we left for Burn, I grabbed a grayscale fractal image and threw it into my code as the inputs for the channels. That's the pattern that is displayed here:
It's interesting enough that you know it's not random but definitely not what I had in mind but you can see the varying levels of brightness accomplished with pulse width modulation and you can see all channels lighting at once without the magic blue smoke escaping. So... It was good enough for prototype.

Now that I've got some more time, I can go back and do proper animation for it although on the whole I'm not completely happy with it. It wasn't bright enough and didn't really have enough channels. I think though that I can redesign their board and control many many more channels of EL Wire (In the range of many hundreds) and solve the ground and PWM issues. I am going to do a slightly easier project first to make sure I know what I'm doing and then come back and finish this one. I'll post schematics and stuff as they happen.

Anyhow... That's it. Not very exciting, is it?
pasithea: Ragdoll and the very dark path (cavalier)
Well... The riser at least. We have the first step in place and the second one cut but not yet tamped down and positioned. First one is of course the hardest. I had to cut the asphalt of the road to match the face of the brick and then, since we're on a hill, the brick has to go below the level of the road at the high end so making that transition nice and easy was also a small challenge. The bright news is that things only get easier from here. Step 2 has less fiddly work and step 3 has almost none and the rest are all pretty identical until we get to the first landing.

In addition to the color, the new bricks are more or less all around better than the pink bricks. They're a consistent depth so I'm not repositioning the saw as often and they're thicker walled and denser. Makes them slower to cut but also means they'll take more abuse.

I'm still so excited about going to Burn that I can hardly think. I straightened all the stakes we use for our tent, mended my boots and coat and a couple other bits of clothing and I'm about half way done making a new cover for our car. Rest of the stuff I need to do is pretty easy. The only other big task is that I'd like to do a little retouch work on some of my airbrush paintings. So... Excited! Must.. not.. explode!

Thanks again to all the people helping me out at the last minute like this! In my head I always feel like I'm alone and that no one would spit on me if I were dying of thirst but.. I'm just going on a vacation and a bunch of people have just shown up out of nowhere and given me various forms of aid and support. I really really really appreciate it. One of the major things I'm hoping to work on by going to Burning Man this year is working on how I relate to people. Not having a lot of 'close' friends there with me will sort of force me to interact with people and work on learning to socialize better. So... Thank you, thank you thank you! *hugs*


Nov. 9th, 2009 07:20 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)

Originally uploaded by DigitalVG
Burning Life is over now and I didn't get to spend as much time there as I wanted but I did spend at least a couple of evenings flitting around talking with people and looking at artwork. I even met a few burners. Keen.

This is probably the most common appearance for Aura BTW. I really should have got some photos of Alexia too. Ohwell.

Burning Life is kind of weird in that it all feels like deep playa. There's nothing like the Espanade. Though for what it's worth, I'm really more of a deep playa sort anyhow.

One more photo behind cut )
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Saw this phrase again today and it still jars me, so I decided to comment on it. Default World is a term used at Burning Man (and in lots of other alternative spaces) to describe the world outside those spaces. It is the real/normal/mundane world.

Honestly, this concept really bugs me. The place you're in right now is probably not the default world. Most of us are living in a place that's quite a bit better. Certainly there are a lot of homophobes, racists, and selfish jerks in the mainstream world, but compare today with 50 or even 20 years ago, and the world we're living in right now is actually a pretty big improvement and despite the efforts of vested interests, it's only getting better.

Burning Man and its like are not alternate realities, they're closer to the future of this reality. Dare to dream of that. Dream of a world where people express, create, and share with one another because it's fun and just makes you feel pretty awesome. Better yet, don't just dream, do! It's really really easy to bring chunks of Burning Man into your day-to-day reality. Bake some cookies and share them at work. When you're walking somewhere, take the time to tell a stranger that they look awesome or smile and greet people as you're going somewhere. Create Alternate Reality Games and implement them around your town. Pick up some trash and put it in a bin. If you really want to mess with the 'default world', grab some friends and put on a random performance in a park or on a street corner or organize a flashmob.

If your world is a default world, it's as much your fault as those around you. Customize your world. Make it something better than it is. Believe in the power of your dreams and work hard to make them real. We who can go to Burn are privileged. Many people can't make it but that doesn't mean they aren't desperate for a taste. You can probably remember a time in your life when you dreamed of something more but didn't know how to reach for it. Take what you found at Burn and make it into gifts for them and yourself. There is no reason to live in a 'default' world.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Only a month until Burn! ^_^
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Burning Man was awesome! I had a fantastic time this year. :)

It was very windy and dusty this year. A lot worse than last year, but our little art tent withstood it pretty well. Its design worked as hoped, keeping us cool during the day and warm at night as well as keeping out the majority of the dust. We ended up talking about the design of it to a lot of people and showing them how it worked.

Stacey's power management system for our solar array also worked great. Our lights came on at dusk and stayed on all night and we always had plenty of power to spare.

The boxes/camp seats were solid and got a lot of use and kept us fairly tidy and organized.

The first coat I made the week before BM ended up being a good fit for a friend and she really seemed to enjoy it (especially since it kept tending towards rather cold at night) The coat I made for myself also ended up being pretty darned awesome and several chilly nights I went around nearly naked with my great coat thrown over panties and stockings. A comfortable and awesome-looking coat really changed how I felt about being out at night compared with last year. .. Actually, I took a lot of stuff I had made over the past year and had many different flamboyant costumes and it was rather fun. :)

Oh! And, happily, my solar oven performed rather well. There are a few things I could do to improve it. Notably, the counterbalance system was a pain to set up when loading up the oven, but other than that, it performed really well. Making my own hot meals at BM was a nice switch from last year when I lived mostly on granola. :)

My bike was also fun, though it was a little underwhelming compared to many of the bikes there. Plus, on the way up, our roof rack had a malfunction and we lost Stacey's bike so we didn't get to ride around together as much as we'd have liked and I ended up not riding my bike as much. Also, we had a problem with the SpokePov upload tools so I didn't have anything on my wheel but the default patterns.

This year I made a lot more effort to go out and interact with other people. I spent some time with friends and some time off wandering alone. I played flute for a lot of people and joined in several different jam sessions and went to a lot of different events. I even got up the nerve to make my way over to camp Beaverton for a lesbian social mixer (and ended up getting tagged by the monkey and kissed by a few different women. O_O; ) Met lots of really cool people and got lots of great ideas for future art and performance projects.

There was so much incredible and amazing art that I can't even begin to try to quantify it all. Best I can do is touch on a few of the highlights. The temple was incredible, the Raygun Gothic Rocket ship was amazing, the miniature ruins made of clay made from the Playa itself were really really neat. The alien eggs, the giant watch and zoetropes made from the insides of its gears. The trees that had focused microphones and changed colors reacting to sound, and on and on and on and on. It just didn't stop!

There were also some really really amazing vehicles this year. At one point, a chunk of New Orleans drove past my camp. Seriously. A bunch of people sitting in front of a little cafe with a live jazz band playing. The people were dining and dressed in period clothing because it was a performance as well as a vehicle. (There were lots of performance pieces this year, see [ profile] gentle_gamer's report for more about this) but I confess that probably my favorite piece of art at Burning Man this year was the Neverwas Haul. Photos just don't do this thing justice. It's a 3-story tall victorian era steampunk house vehicle. It's richly detailed inside and out. It is utterly fantastic.

Anyhow. All in all, I summarize my experience as A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Will do again.

And now I'm going to go work on some cleaning and unpacking and art while I'm still energized. :) I feel a need to do something more spectacular for next year. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Well. The 3rd and hardest panel of my Burning Man tent is complete. Took about 25hrs of nonstop work but I think it was worth it. This is the one that will be facing the living room area and will probably be the one looked at the most so it had to be a bit more than the others.

Burning Man Tent: Space Panel

link to larger version on Deviant Art

Since there's a lot of UV in our living room lights for Burning Man, this panel is also blacklight reactive. Lots of little lights on the buildings and the planet glows and things like that.

To do this, I used a mix of creatix UV airbrush paints (which are AWESOME) and Michael's Tulip glow-in-the-dark fabric paints which SUCK! Those things are really really sticky, it's like trying to use glue. Kept jamming up my brush. Luckily, someone had just brought me a bottle of 190 everclear from out of state and I was able to thin them out with that enough to paint with them, though I still had to break down my brush every couple hours and clean it.

I'm really sort of enjoying doing big airbrushing projects like this. Physical media is really fun and there's something just really exciting/overwhelming about doing a piece this big. That planet is about a meter wide, not counting the ring. Standing next to the painting is just sort of 'wow'.

Though if I ever do big pieces like this again, I should find some way to get a set of templates made for quick masking. Like some large french curves, circle and square templates but the positives and negatives. I just cut the ones I used for this out of paper and butter bowl lids but that took time and some of them were a bit rough.

Come to think of it, I'd probably also buy all airbrush paints. I've been thinning out my heavy-body liquitex paints with airbrush medium, flow-aid, water, and everclear to make them paint. It's a LOT cheaper than using airbrush paints but is occasionally a bit of a hassle.

Heh. While I was painting this thing, I watched pretty-much every sci-fi movie in the house. Holy crap I'd forgotten how annoying Jarjar Binks was and how crappy The Phantom Menace was in general. I thought maybe I was just oversensitive to him when the movie came out because I'd had some high expectations about Star Wars or something, but no. He's just really really really annoying. Also, watching TPM back to back with Star Wars, Empire, Blade Runner, and a bunch of other good films... CG still just really isn't completely there yet. Models and matte paintings still look a lot better than CG images IMO.

Anyhow. Work!
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I sure do work a lot to have fun. Heh.

Spent most of my free time the past few days doing art projects of various sorts.

The apartment managers cut down the bush in front of our living room window last week and I was rather upset about it and it looked ugly, but Stacey and I already had a project we were doing in the yard to make it look nicer so we redesigned slightly and (thanks to a small bonus at work and some good lumber carelessly thrown in the dumpsters) were able to make things look rather nice. So that's groovy.

I all but finished putting together my solar oven and gave it a better test. Appears I can heat things to about 2.1x air temperature. At 78 degrees outside, I was getting 165 in my dutch oven. Low temp on a crock pot is between 165 and 176. High is between 180 and 200. I'll easily surpass those in the 115 air temp at Burning Man. So now my plan is to make several meals between now and then cooked in my dutch oven in my regular oven at 170 and practice making some good meals.

Saturday, Stacey and I swapped our car battery for a large marine battery to use as the storage for our power system at Burning Man this year. Would have been easy but the battery was a fair bit larger and required buying some new cables and re-routing a few things. Everything is back together and running now though. :)

Finally, of course, I continued to work on the forest panel of our tent... And work and work and work and work. I think I'll be done in another day or two. One can hope at least. Also, a big fat raspberry to Michael's and Aaron Brothers. I ran out of airbrush medium yesterday at about 5PM. Made a mad dash on my bicycle to Michaels (nearest store) and they were out, so I bombed to Aaron Brothers and they don't even carry it. I was skeptical I could make it to University Art (several miles away) before they closed at 5:30. *sigh* I wish there were a decent art supply store closer to my house.

And that's my exciting weekend. weeeeee
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I didn't remember to take a camera last weekend to take photos of my tie-dyed tent but it's just as well because it is a work in progress. The tie-dyed parts were meant as a backdrop for me to put the rest of my art over and as a fallback position in case I got sick of the project and abandoned it.

Well. Looks like I'm going ahead with it. this evening I pinned up a 10ft wide (at the narrow part!) 6ft tall panel of my tent and got crazy with the airbrush.

Burning Man Tent - Ocean Panel by ~dv-girl on deviantART

Also, since he's what inspired me and I haven't posted any photos of him (and he was conveniently out and wandering around the kitchen tonight for no explicable reason) Here's Signpost Squid that I built for Burning Man last year. He was supposed to have a dry erase board and let people leave notes but I never got around to it. He ended up being a good landmark for people anyhow though.

This year, he'll have the water panel as his backdrop. :)

Burning Man - Signpost Squid by ~dv-girl on deviantART

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