The DPW’s Flaming Trebuchet at Burning Man 2015 was a Resto art piece which showed off our cleanup abilities. 6:37 was the time — that’s six minutes and thirty-seven seconds to clean up a flaming piano that’s been launched from a two-story slingshot and tossed splashing onto the ground like a fiery dirt clod.
The crew launched the trebuchet twice; both times, flaming piano cleanup took under seven minutes, leaving no trace.
We’ve all sort of grown up into semi-adults here together in Black Rock City. Many of us are decade-plus veterans of this sideshow. The DPW, much like Burning Man itself, usually takes its fresh managers from the herd.
Sure, especially now that the Org has become a non-profit, a few outside specialists have come on board, but as for the majority, a bunch of outsiders made this Burning Man thing and we’re going to keep running it until we individually graduate or collectively pass into the next level of the video game of life.
Here’s our family album from this year. Some crewmembers weren’t present during picture day but we love them the same as the pictured ones. Most photos in this post are by D.A. the Dark Angel, who has been the boss of Resto for seventeen years.
As Burning Man expands its infrastructure to where things function, uh, functionally most of the time, many new roles and positions have been created — both within the Org and within DPW and Resto specifically. It seems to us if the corporate world’s power structures take on a pyramid shape, the Burning Man Org structure would be more of hatbox.
“There are opportunities for advancement,” DPW bosses are frequently heard to say, “so watch the roles you want to be in.”
When it becomes time to lead, who else is going to lead but you, a hometown hero of Black Rock City, who has been watching and learning and showing up to crew all these years? That’s what’s happening with the DPW now. Everyone’s pushing up to make a bigger tree with bigger branches and bigger roots.
The DPW lost three much-beloved line sweep bosses in one year — Boo Yaa, Weldboy, and Stabby, who graduated to real-world obligations and adventures. The challenge for D.A. was picking three new All-Stars and one returning line boss to be 2016‘s leaders: Jedi, Bastard, Toad, and Starchild.
Jedi works Sign Shop install for Burning Man. She was a Resto scribe and now she’s a line boss. John Bastard from DPW Power crew moved from Special Forces to bossing lines during Resto. Toad, T$A Commissary manager during the show, also became a line boss this year. Starchild, the only returning line boss, leads the crew who builds First Camp and surrounding infrastructure. System-wide, DPW space monkeys are stepping up to fly.
Our Scribes: Muppet is from Burning Man’s Placement crew, and it’s only her second year doing Resto — and she literally did the Burning Man map this year. As in, she’s the one who designed it, so that’s a nice liaison between the DPW and Placement departments. The other three scribes are Your Sister from DPW Purchasing and Receiving, Art Art Art! who’s moved up to DPW Shade Manager this year, and Kimba who moved up to DPW Man Base Manager. They all worked as a data-collection unit during Resto.
Then there are our Oscillators: Stinger (DA’s field assistant and formerly Center Camp Cafe rigger for six years), F’n Andy (Spires crew), Le Wrench (Arctica construction), and Flip (Housing), all multi-year DPW hardheads who can kill a coned hot spot like riding a bike.
“Resto’s the only time we can all be on the same page, instead of doing different jobs,” Stinger says. “We work with the most wonderful people. That’s the real appeal about this gig.”
Resto crew would also like to give a special shout-out to the DPW Rangers and Emergency Services medics, who watch over us all day and night. We’ve been here a while (since end of July, some of us earlier) and we can get to feeling crusty or exhausted — but there’s support there, always, because of the Rangers and ESD. Part of the reason the new DPW is so much kinder and gentler is because when we need an Adult, we now have access to the safety nets of quiet tailgunning, conflict resolution, and medical attention at all times. Cheers to them.
DAY SEVEN AND EIGHT
“Looks like the end time is comin’,” Starchild said during shoreline morning meeting, “so get ready for re-entry. Start thinking about your stuff. Get at your trash, recycling, packing.” Winter is upon us, and it’s exit strategy time.
On Day Seven, your Line Sweeps went from 5:30 to 4:00 between C and G, as well as mobilizing for a second trip back over center camp, a rave zone, and some spots where dunes had blown around. Knowing the city grid was always the most dense, Resto was excited to have time to be able to line sweep over problem areas again.
As far as the MOOP map goes, all y’all panicking because you got a non-green score, please know that even part of the DPW Ghetto (our home quarters) is red. Which is annoying to all of us, especially since we know what we’re doing and how to make a green spot on the map better than anyone else.
What happened? We’re not sure yet. All that dust blew off and uncovered old MOOP, probably. See, even veterans of the MOOP wars can fail.
What’s the lesson, over and over again? Weather happens fast, so we all have got to learn to clean everything as we go, immediately, all the time. Better yet, never let it hit the ground. That’s the ultimate goal here, for every citizen of BRC.
Day Eight, Resto split into four groups and hit the final block between G and H. There’s no reason we saved that block for last, FYI — our line sweep formations are four blocks long, that’s all, so they first swept the city in four-block swaths. (The area between Esplanade and A is the size of two blocks.)
Line sweeps then hit the inner ring between Esplanade and the Man, and also the Esplanade itself. What a sight that was: One huge line of over 100 black-clad dustbags MOOPing around the inner ring like a clock — everyone Resto could muster. Delineators were set at the radial streets (10, 9:30 etc) so the buses and fluffers knew how to guide the line sweeps forward with their vehicles.
In their adventures, Special Forces found a lot of tough pulls — including much rebar, some of it two feet long. There were also a couple special items: a five-foot grounding rod stuck below the earth, and a nine-foot copper pipe in the ground, three feet above and six feet below. Those were difficult to get out.
Bruka literally did a back somersault on Day Eight while pulling out a piece of rebar from the ground. He says he stuck the landing perfectly, but Duck Hunt says he got a 7.8. He even cut his hand on it. Bleeding for you, Burners.
[LINE SWEEPS – Portraits from the MOOP fields]
And now, the MOOP maps you’ve been waiting for:
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