Tomas Loewy is really into Burning Man. So much so that the Miami-based photographer has attended the infamous desert-fest for eight years and counting. He's also published a book devoted exclusively to its images. And next, he hopes, he'll bang out a full length, non-verbal feature film tribute -- with a
Kickstarter campaign footing the bill.
TaawaTaaqa: Radical Burning Desert is a visual essay of sorts, Lowry says: "An image-filled meditation on the elements of Burning Man, showcasing the spirit of life in the unique universe that is Burning Man and how this inspires the lives of burners and wanna-be-burners."
The film will include chapters, themes, and a musical score -- but no dialogue. It's all in the tradition of other experimental, non-verbal films such as Koyaanisqatsi, Baraka, and Samsara.
Described by its organizers as an event revolving around "radical self expression and self-reliance", Burning Man attracts adventurous souls of all kinds, like moths to, well, a flame. (See what we did there?)
Started back in 1986 when two dudes and their friends burned some effigies on a beach in San Francisco, the fest has since become a massive, 50,000 person pilgrimage in Black Rock City, Nevada. A study in survival, community, and art, the festival has evolved into its own niche culture of sorts -- with enthusiasts like Loewy leading the way.
In Loewy's words, the festival is an "art/life/positive self-experience adventure under harsh conditions of a high altitude desert with heat during the day, cold at night and fierce dust storms." He says it's an experience he doesn't want to "over-explain" - hence his interest in creating a visual tribute.
"I believe that 'visuals only' leave for a much more personal interpretation, as I've seen my photography book do. I can't even count the people who went to Burning Man after seeing my book and understanding the essence."
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Loewy and his team have been filming for this project for the past two years, and will continue at the 2012 gathering in just a few weeks. The visuals have been captured using REDs and Steadicams; not a cheap undertaking. Hence, the Kickstarter efforts. He's asking for $6,000 to fund the project, which covers staff costs, food and shelter, and equipment expenses, among other expenses.
His current campaign expires on August 12 at 11:59 p.m. EST, but Loewy says he may start another.
So if you're curious about life as a "burner," you might wanna chip in a few bucks so Loewy can finish his flick. Better to see and feel the experience before you start stocking up on desert camo and beef jerky. Burning Man isn't for everyone, after all.