And they say it couldn’t be done!
This year’s Man base had such a tight timeframe to be completed, but we persevered even after losing many days to bad weather. With the enthusiasm of the new crew and the support of the community, we were able to open the Man Base to participants by midnight pn the opening night of the event. The undertaking of such a complex and large-scale design including the addition of the motor-driven Man rotation device — rotating it once every 50 seconds — really showcased the ingenuity, creativity and spirit that is brought forth in art making and building for enjoyment of Black Rock City. The level of in-house support that our Metal Shop provided for the Man Base this year was integral to the success of the feat.
In 2013, the Shade Team installed an unbelievable amount of shade: a total of 126 structures providing coverage of 85,568 square feet.
This year, with the introduction of a new power supplier, Aggreko, we were still able to produce more power than last year with a minimal number of adversities. The team once again accomplished the overwhelming task of laying miles of cable to power the city’s core.
Heavy Equipment and Transportation (HEaT)
2013 was a record-breaking year across the board for HEaT; everything was bigger, faster and more complex. The team grew to a whopping 48 crew members, and responsibilities were further divided to provide specific attention to each aspect of the operation. Individual growth and succession planning remained at the center of the group’s efforts towards departmental development. Overall, results were positive in relation to efficiency and quality of work performed in most requests for service.
Transportation from Black Rock Station to Black Rock City was complete within five days, despite a continued increase in the total number of buildings and shipping containers utilized for infrastructure support. The handling of privately owned storage containers also increased for the third straight year to a total of 82 units; the program started with 50 in 2010 and was up to nearly 70 by 2012.
As the event population climbs, so does the infrastructure needed to support growth. Heavy equipment has become essential to nearly every process involved in creating the landscape that we call Burning Man. 2013 brought additional demands to virtually every aspect of the production, and as a result the HEaT workload expanded for every job type offered. Improvements to process and refinements to the equipment inventory made it possible to handle the escalating demands with relatively few growing pains or budgetary impacts.
It was also another great year for art, including over 50 burns. The Man Pavilion pushed Burning Man to a new level for temporary artistic structures; it was an engineering feat that required extensive machinery support as well as specialized crane and rigging work. HEaT provided support to at least 41 honorarium art projects, 54 registered art projects and all 25 CORE projects. Included among these was the revolutionary Temple of Whollyness which was built using only interlocking wooden pins.
In our constant pursuit to be self-reliant we are using more of our in house talent and resources to meet and accomplish our own needs in BRC. In 2013 there was more interdepartmental collaboration both in regards to physical support and admonition.
Chris Neary and Joe Schwan