Here we are!
Well, I don't know where you are, but we are at Burning Man. "Here" is a bit misleading since this temple was burned to the ground and removed without a trace seven years ago, and this city of (currently) ~80,000 actually moves a bit every year to lessen its impact on this ancient dry lake bed.
Perhaps what I should say is, we are home. When you arrive at this event that celebrates impermanence, in one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet where normally nothing lives, you're greeted with "Welcome home." If you've been, you probably understand.
This photo - taken with a Lomo Sprocket Rocket - is of the temple in 2011. The temple that year was very special for a number of reasons. We contributed to that temple, helping a friend who installed a Gamelatron (a mechanized Indonesian gong orchestra that he invented) inside. We spent much time there with other friends who came with their young children (one of whom was conceived at a previous Burning Man). It was the site of our friends' wedding celebration, and a photo of me performing for that turned out to be one of the my most cherished images.
That year in particular was very special as it was the first year of our theme camp, What Would Duct Tape Do?. It was also the first year we performed in the fire conclave with NYC Sparkworks - being invited into the Great Circle around the man to perform a fire show as the opening act to the burning of the man.
The last time we went was in 2016, and that year was incredibly special as well. The temple held some of my Dad's ashes, some of my friend's ashes, and some of David Bowie's ashes. We once again had the great honor of performing in conclave. And we got engaged there!
The stories of this year's burn are still being written, and tonight we will once again enter the Great Circle to perform a very special fire dance for the men. Yes, men plural. One is the effigy that we'll soon burn to the ground. The other is Larry Harvey, one of the founders of Burning Man, who passed away earlier this year.