the tragic beauty of neat stuff in the middle of nowhere with no one to appreciate it

one of my fave things is to find cool stuff in a seemingly abandoned place, like neat pieces of art in the desert, for example.

part of the magic for me is that there’s something really lonely and desolate about those situations. it’s so wonderful that someone went through a bunch of trouble to make something to share with other people, but it’s also terrifically sad that there’s no one to witness it.

another part of what i like about it is i just feel more comfortable and more able to really connect with a piece of art when it’s an intimate experience and i don’t have to share it with a bunch of slack-jawed putzes.

here’s a video from the first time i went to burning man with jenn. i think it was our first night there and we were heading back to camp late at night, probably around 3 am. as we got closer to camp, we saw less and less people out. then we came across this really neat fire flower art piece, just sitting there doing it’s thing in the dark of the middle of the night. i loved it. (so did jenn, you can hear her say “oh my god, that’s awesome” at the end of the video. funny thing is she doesn’t remember anything about this.)

another time at burning man, i came back to camp by myself in the middle of the night and found an old tv set up with some kind of old video game console and a few chairs. there was no one around, everything was dark and quiet except for the glow of the tv screen. it was really out of place but also really comforting, like walking into the living room of my childhood. plus i LOVE vintage video games, so even though i had been beat and was planning on going straight to bed, i instead sat down and started playing. that wound up being my favourite piece of art from the entire festival that year. there was plenty of more complex, crazy, extreme stuff but this old tv and video games set up with no one to appreciate it made me feel so nostalgic, comfortable, sad, and lonely. it was a really personal, poignant experience.

now that i think about it, both those examples take place at night and involve a comforting light, and there are a few other examples of comforting lights in quiet, desolate darkness that i also love — like xmas trees all lit up, and a tetris lamp that jenn got for me last xmas…



so maybe that’s also part of the reason why i like those art pieces so much. light in the darkness? maybe that’s something i enjoy? i never thought so but maybe it is. i wonder if it’s some sort of symbolism of hope and despair.

the things i learn about myself while babbling aimlessly on here.


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