This is Babylon, the 10-story steel tower that was built in four days at the far edge of Black Rock City. I have complicated feelings about this piece. On the face of it, it’s so un-Burning Man. It’s a union job, no DPW crew involved, and … it’s STEEL. True, there are lots of different materials used for art pieces, but this one seems a very radical departure.
One thing seems sure, though. It’s going to be a hell of a place to party. Ten stories, plenty of space to hang out, great views, and videos of the people inside broadcast outside on the side of the structure. Pretty damn amazing.
Let’s look at it as a new piece of furniture; give it a couple of days to see where it fits in.
John Curley (that's me) has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 I spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. I loved it, and I've been doing it ever since.
I was a newspaper person in a previous life, and I spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle. At the time I left, in 2007, I was the deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since then, I've turned a passion for photography into a second career. I shoot for editorial, commercial and private clients. I've also taught a little bit, including two years at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and a year at San Francisco State University.
I live on the San Mateo coast, just south of San Francisco in California.