Party promoters Winkel & Balktick get inspired by Burning Man.
Wed Sep 2 2009
Every year around this time, thousands of artists, recreational-drug enthusiasts and Phish fans flock to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada for the countercultural fete known as Burning Man—a bastard love child spawned by Hunter S. Thompson, Bozo the Clown and Joan of Arc. But for Saturday 5, Winkel & Balktick (wandbnyc.com) planned a party-till-the-break-of-dawn event in a warehouse that will morph into a fantastical version of the Galapagos Islands. We found out how Stranded stacks up to “the playa.”
Burning Man: If you’ve been eating peyote for every meal, a desert tortoise taking a dump on your sleeping bag might rival the work of the Old Masters. This year’s theme is “the process we call evolution.”
Stranded: Winkel & Balktick are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Olek, a Brooklyn artist, describes her performance: “I crochet latex balloons and acrylic yarn camouflage sculptures that people can wear. It’s like being inside a specifically conditioned suit.” Lauren Larken, of climate-conscious bike crew Band of Bicycles (bandofbicycles.com), will demonstrate a hybrid bike-powered blender and spinner. (Translation: a stationary bike that makes drinks and art simultaneously.) It would be hard to miss the gold ensemble sported by Michael Dirt Saab of Modern Gypsies. And then there’s Fluff McFluffster: “He’s doing an installation called Camp Fluff,” says Winkel. “He’ll be bringing a bunch of tents, a firepit, marshmallows and himself in a bigfoot costume.” Oh, and don’t be startled by artist Hali Vik’s animatronic lizards.
Burning Man: There hasn’t been a rave camp since 1996. Where are we supposed to unleash our glow-stick nunchucks now?
Stranded: DJs Been Jammin’, Arrow Chrome, Reza, Zemi17 and D_Juice will share the turntables. D_Juice has some surprises in store: “Prepare for sound installations, art, theater, workshops and random acts of mayhem.” Also on the bill is A. Taylor Kuffner, co-creator of the Gamelatron, the world’s only fully roboticized gamelan orchestra. His contribution is a themed piece called Temple of Ephemeral Light Creatures on Gamelatron Island with video artist SeeJ.
The venue and tickets
Burning Man: There are no walls and hardly any rules in Black Rock City, a temporary community of 48,000 ($360 at the gate).
Stranded: A mere $15 in advance, or $20 at the door, will gain you entrance into a Sunset Park, Brooklyn, warehouse. (The exact location is revealed to attendees after they R.S.V.P. to TONY@wandbnyc.com.) “It has 15-foot ceilings and huge windows, some overlooking the Statue of Liberty,” says Winkel.
Burning Man: Whether you’re draped in purple velour (very desert chic), wearing red fishnets on your head or just walking around in your usual tinfoil hat, Burning Man’s dress code is black-tie optional.
Stranded: Kae Burke, cofounder of the House of Yes and the owner of Make Fun (makefunstudio.com), hosted a costume workshop at the end of August. “I’m looking forward to seeing all the beautiful people and art all together in one space,” she says. “When people dress up, they become living decorations.”
Stranded has no official connection to the big show in the desert.