I just got back from a three-day re-visit to East Jesus. East Jesus is a "suburb" of Slab City. Charlie Russell is the mayor of East Jesus - population: 1. He is building a live-in found-object art installation there and has made a lot of progress since I last visited about a year and a half ago. It's about five or six times as big. The sculpture garden has been expanded and it's getting more interesting all the time. I wanted to take a bunch of pictures and post them on the web but, unfortunately, my camera's battery was totally dead and I didn't bring the charger with me. oops!
You can, however, see a 15-minute video I made of my earlier visit called Adventures in East Jesus. I plan to visit again sometime in the next two or three months and I will make sure my camera is charged up and ready to go.
Below is a quote from Rabelais that Charlie has on his East Jesus web page. It's indicative of the spirit and philosophy that has informed and driven zone trippers and anarchical thinkers for centuries.
"All their life was spent not in laws, statutes, or rules, but according to their own free will and pleasure. They rose out of their beds when they thought good; they did eat, drink, labour, sleep, when they had a mind to it and were disposed for it. None did awake them, none did offer to constrain them to eat, drink, nor to do any other thing; for so had Gargantua established it. In all their rule and strictest tie of their order there was but this one clause to be observed, Do What Thou Wilt; because men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is called honour. Those same men, when by base subjection and constraint they are brought under and kept down, turn aside from that noble disposition by which they formerly were inclined to virtue, to shake off and break that bond of servitude wherein they are so tyrannously enslaved; for it is agreeable with the nature of man to long after things forbidden and to desire what is denied us." -- François Rabelais,Gargantua and Pantagruel (16th C.)
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The "Be The Man" sculpture/structure is now just a tiny pile of ashes. The structure was assembled at Gateway Ranch on Friday in about four hours. it went very smoothly. Janabanana made a mask that people could put on when they climbed the tower. That way they could be The Man in Burning Man style.
The fire took a long time to catch hold. Thanks to Gary for tossing more fuel on the fire to get it going properly. In spite of the slow start I thought it burned beautifully. It's amazing how such a large structure could burn down into such a small pile of ashes. You could almost put all of it into a five gallon bucket.
See more photos of the whole process, from drawings to glowing embers.
The whole decompression weekend was a lot of fun. Lot's of dancing, laughing and hugging. We had a great time, even though it rained on Saturday afternoon. I am guessing about a hundred people attended.