In This Edition of Turtle Head
Some art made by Turtle Burners during the 2021 level 3 lockdown.
Immediacy / 即時性
Disclaimer: Written during level 3 soft-lockdown in Taipei.
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience. (burningman.org)
The year of our chaos, 2021, has given us a new perspective on what *right now* means and how to navigate immediate shifts in social behaviors. In a time of social distancing and some form of lockdown, immediacy is an interesting principle. Many have a lot of time to do whatever they want without outside constraints. Others are so locked into a schedule that they barely have time to think outside of that schedule. Please be kind to yourself regardless of your situation and do not feel guilty about not being able to express ‘immediacy’ to the extent that you would like to.
At a burn, immediacy implies being present and doing a thing ‘right now’ and not ‘some other time’. However, we can go deeper with that and say that immediacy is to remove ourselves from the possible constraints of Default ‘civilization’ and simply be. For many burners, immediacy is most actively expressed by turning off their phone and leaving it in their tent so as not to be distracted by the Default World while at a Burn.
In the Default World, immediacy is harder due to the nature of personal constraints such as where you work and who you work with. Other constraints could also be a reliance on social media for entertainment and personal gratification. Take time for yourself to be in the *right now* and you might surprise yourself with what *right now* feels like.
混亂的 2021 年讓我們對「此刻、當下」有了新的詮釋、以及摸索出新的社群應對方式。在保持社交距離以及類封鎖時期，即時性顯得很有趣—— 很多人有充足的時間做任何他們想做的事、不受外界限制；有些人則被時間表綁住，以至於幾乎無法思考時間表之外的事。無論你的情況是哪一種，請盡量善待自己，別因為無法表達自己想要的「即時性」而感到內疚。
Virgin Voices / 處女之聲
I was invited to the burn by my partner. He shared with me videos, articles, his old photos taken when he was at Black Rock City years ago. To be perfectly honest, my first response after absorbing all the information laid in front of me was: “Sounds like a cult to me.”
“It’s not a cult.” He said, rolling his eyes. This is exactly what people would say when they’re in the cult though.
I participated–in my way. I wasn’t a very group-oriented person to begin with, and I didn’t try to be one at the burn. Most of the time, I stayed in the hammock village, and I walked around and watched and touched all the dogs I could find. It was fascinating how burners arrived and built the burn. The hammock village was literally built in a day.
I slowly started to understand why people told me it wasn’t just a party. Everyone took on responsibility, and the volunteering and gifting culture were pretty amazing to witness. Although I didn’t feel like I participated a lot in workshops and events, I had done translations and behind-the-scenes work at the art auction and before the event. I saw the work coming together right on the spot.
What I enjoyed the most about the experience was that no one forced me into anything. I was able to participate however I wanted and was told to just be myself, which I did. I contributed what I could, and I was a witness to the realization of a communal experience. Despite my innate skepticism and my aversion to the sense of belonging to groups, it was an inspiring chance to reset all the expectations and restrictions in the default world.
I guess I, too, will have to explain how it’s not a cult now?
我不是個熱愛參加團體活動的人，但我還是跟著參加了，用我自己的方式默默加入。在龜焱過程中，我沒有試著假裝自己是外向活潑的人，大部分的時候我都待在Hammack Village裡面，或是到處走來走去，跟別人的狗玩，觀察其他人在做什麼，看著參與者慢慢來到現場，把活動從無到有建立起來的過程非常有趣，Hammock Village也真的在一天內誕生了。
By Ray Hecht
Motherfucking Mac ‘n Cheese…
My first (and only) time on the playa was relatively short. For some reason, I was still brainwashed by capitalism into thinking that I should have some loyalty to my ‘job’, so I was at work for the first 3 days I should have been spending at home. My arrival at 2 am on a Wednesday night was met with a worn-out cheer from my friends and a camp of over 150 people who only wanted to meet me because “those other people looked so excited to see you.” 72 hours of party will definitely put a damper on any energy that starts the week off.
So, on Wednesday at dusk, when an old friend [Niko] just appears with a quick hello and demands what alterations I wanted, I was ready and willing. A few minor changes to reality, and he immediately asks me, “Now, if you could do anything, what would you do? If you could see anything, what would you see?” I’m like, uhhhhhhh. Again he asks, “Are you hungry? If you could eat anything right now, what would you eat?” “Ohhhh!” I answer, instantly, “Mac n Cheese!” He gives me a blank stare, then looks into the distance and asks himself, “It’s what…Wednesday? Yea…right, okay. Let’s go.” Seriously? And he takes off walking. I rush to catch up with him, I’m prepared for an adventure, where are we going? Are we actually getting mac n cheese? How far is it? Shouldn’t I grab my water? What the hell? Why are we only walking?! He only grunts vague answers, “soon, it’s not far, don’t worry, you’ll see.”
When we get there, there is a Recycling Camp at 6 o’clock and Center. And he just walks into the back. A few people seem apprehensive to let us pass. Most camps at the center have a space for everyone. Recycling is only for dropping your trash and then GTFO. People can’t just wander where they’re not supposed to be in a place like this. Niko just strolls in like he’s supposed to be there. We walk into a huge space surrounded by shipping containers, the ground is completely covered by rugs. A full roof and netting, it felt ‘inside’. In the very center of the room there is a tall guy serving people from 3 massive pots….full….of Mac n Cheese. I didn’t feel shock, more confusion. Like, how? We get in line and Niko starts explaining, “…this one is non-dairy, this one is gluten free, and this one is just basic, here, you want this one…” and he takes my cup and gives it to the guy, who give me a healthy scoop but starts eyeing us suspiciously. We stand there, eating silently, and this guy starts asking Niko who we are, and where we’re from, and do we know…Niko starts rambling off names, whosit and this lady’s friend Jennifer knows Steve….it has to be a lie, or something. My mind is still trying to catch up. “How the fuck did he know this was here? Oh shit, this guy is going to kick us out. Damn this is really good!!”
Suddenly Niko loudly exclaims, “OMG you know what’d go great with this?!” And he walks over to one of the 6 full sized fridges that are scattered around the room. And he comes back with 3 ginormous glass jars full to the brim with Sauerkraut. Now the server guy is obviously bothered, he’s not ready to let Niko just take shit that isn’t his. Until we all realize, it actually IS his. Niko is an experienced chef and he usually brings a ton of food to the burn. So, this year his friends, that, no shit?, run Recycling Camp, let him use some of their fridge space. Dude isn’t convinced yet and starts telling Niko to put it back, although you can see his wheels turning, “How did he even know it was there?” Niko ignores him, unscrewing lid after lid telling us all about the different flavors he made this year and what spices went into which as he throws a bunch into my cup. He turns to the dude with a huge smile and asks if he wants some. And the tension is finally broken and we all stand around groaning about how well the kraut and the mac n cheese go together. I ate like 3 cups full. Just staring at Niko with a thousand questions and he smiles wryly and asks me, “It’s good? Just what you wanted?”
It was really good Mac n Cheese, and I love sauerkraut.
主題營 / Theme Camps
Want to make your own theme camp? No problem! Let’s start with some FAQ.
Can I make a theme camp with just myself? Of course you can! You can make a theme camp with any number of people.
What kind of theme should I do? ANYTHING your heart desires. It can be something concrete like food, games, booze, coffee, ect. It can also be something a little more abstract such as storytelling, spirituality, or self care. You are only limited by your imagination.
What do I need to be aware of before starting? You need to know your limits. Make sure you have an idea on how you want your camp to look (decorations), function (schedule of activities), and how to organize your fellow campers if there is more than one of you. (transportation, food, camp equipment). And of course your budget. To ensure a fun and successful theme camp you need to plan ahead and don’t leave much up to chance.
It sounds like a lot of work but it is extremely rewarding to see people come to participate and enjoy the atmosphere, activities, and gifts that you helped to create. My favorite part about burning man is being able to change my environment whenever I feel like it.
If I want to relax, I will go to Sex Swing Apocalypse Retirement Community (hammock themed camp). If I want to get my drink on and socialize, I will head on over to the Tavern (bar themed camp). If I want to get spiritual or have a tarot reading, I will head over to Oracle (pagan themed camp).
Theme camps are a very important part of burning man and they create a variety of ideas, art, community, and experiences you will never forget.
在開始之前我需要注意什麼？ 你需要知道你的極限。確保你有對於營地外觀（裝飾）的想像、運作（活動時間表）的掌握、以及如何在多位營地成員的情況下順利組織與分工 （交通、食物、營地設備）。當然還有你的預算。為了確保這個主題營是有趣且成功的，務必要提前展開規劃，不要到時再說。
如果我想放鬆，我會去Sex Swing Apocalypse Retirement Community（吊床主題營）。 如果我想小酌和社交，我會到Tavern（酒吧主題營）。 如果我想探索靈性方面或請人為我解讀塔羅牌，我會前往甲骨文（異教主題營）。
關於服務 ~ Volunteering
Placement of the Camp
Organizing 150 people, art, public spaces, theme camps, dogs, two toddlers, and a cat is not something everyone wants to do. Sometimes the heroes wear capes, and sometimes the heroes wear an impressive D&D-style amount of gear.
Organizing the map is an ordeal that no one single person should be responsible for – not everyone is going to be happy with where they end up on the map. This year’s map was easy to put together until there were last minute add-ons that no one really accounted for until we all got onto the mountain. Communication of needs and acknowledging that the volunteer trying to help you with placement was also trying to keep EVERYONE happy was really appreciated. The job was not easy. However, we made it all work out and as stressful as placement can be for a single person, having a team to back up the single person helps so much.
Lessons learned: We burn together safely or we can’t burn at all. If you don’t like your placement – get involved with the placement team!
安排 150 人的紮營區域、整合藝術作品、公共空間、主題營區、狗、兩個蹣跚學步的孩子和一隻貓── 這不是每個人都想做的事情。有時英雄們披著斗篷，有時英雄們穿著「龍與地下城」風格、令人印象深刻的裝備。
就各自的需求積極溝通，以及能認知到志工們在安排地圖位置時其實也是為了大家的開心做最大的努力—— 以上的態度能讓人感激。這份工作並不容易，所幸最後一切都找到了合適的解決方式—— 一個人面對營地規劃會很有壓力，但有團隊作為後盾，就是很大的幫助。