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Burning Man Journal
All The News That's Fit To Burn: 1998 Winter Newsletter

The Nebulous Entity

Our theme this year is outer space, a subject peculiarly adapted to the vast open space of a playa. Our city will become a mirror of the celestial universe. Citizens of Black Rock City can also expect a visit from the Nebulous Entity, a quasi-creature from beyond our world. Viewed from above, the Entity will resemble a spiral nebula, such as our own Milky Way. Its visit will coincide with a penumbral eclipse of the moon which will occur at 2:14 a.m., late Saturday night before the day of the Burn. This performance is being organized by the Burning Man Project.

The following description is taken from the Nebulous Guide to Field Operations:
"Nebulan culture is entirely information-based. During the course of their evolution the Nebulans have genetically merged with a technology that is designed to gather information. The nebulous entity, therefore, represents a fusion of technology and organic form. One may think of it as a gigantic search engine. The Nebulans themselves are a part of this engine, and, as integrated members of a living machine, they share a hive mind."

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In general appearance the entity will resemble a fluorescent form of sea life. It undulates in all its motions and it glows. All performers will be costumed or painted with fluorescent elements. Like creatures of a coral reef, they will form a significant part of the entity's living architecture. At least six interactive performance stations will be located around the periphery of its mobile platform and these will be flanked by tentacles.

The entity's principle and most prominent tentacles will be borne overhead by tentacle bearers. These tentacles will extend o a distance of 40 to 50 feet. Lesser tentacles, consisting of shorter strands of linked performers, will also radiate outward from between each pair of greater tentacles. It will be their job to gather participants in, like the lapping cilia of a sea creature that is feeding.

Once participants are swept into this current, other groups of free-moving performers, their bodies bristling like sea urchins with luminous feelers, will take over, gently conveying them to a performance station. Here, stage-based performers will paint or stamp a secret fluorescent sign upon whatever part of their anatomy participants prefer. As soon as each person has been painted they will be gently drawn out again and flushed, like roe, back into the surrounding space.

The entity needs performers, set designers, costumers, mechanics, dancers, phosphorescence, mad scientists, and many other kinds of help and materials.

If you wish to become involved, please contact our artist coordinator, crimson(at)burningman(dot)com, or attend our monthly Beach Burn in San Francisco.