More Carrot at Burning Man 2010: Our Plans

Late last night I submitted the theme camp application for the More Carrot camp at this year's Burning Man Festival. I wanted to share the heart of the application, where we are asked to describe our philosophy, goals and interactivity plans. We are an ambitious bunch this year and it was hard to fit all our ideas into the 5,000 characters (including spaces!) allowed.If you like the sound of the below please join our Facebook page.

Now it's a waiting game, theme camps will be announced in early May.

More Carrot 2010:

More Carrot was the name a group from Australia and the UK chose as a label for our projects at BM 08. The name refers to the nature of incentives: you can use a carrot or a stick. We endorse the carrot approach, providing encouragement and rewards for people to do their best. But we also believe strongly in the importance of eating your vegetables in the desert—not always an easy thing!

That first year we built a tower, ran 5 EL wire PacMan bikes around and organized a mobile prom. We were part of Deadly Muppet, a crew from San Francisco, who some Carrots had camped with in 04 and 06.

Last year More Carrot evolved into an independent camp within the Oasis 47 theme camp village. We built another tower and a hookah lounge with tapestries, cushions, and, of course, hookah. We also hosted strip glow bocce and glow table tennis and ran a Chinese restaurant (“The Dusty Prawn”) out on the playa in a dust storm. We dressed up for the Billion Bunny March (as carrots, naturally) and had a lot of fun.

For Burning Man 2010 More Carrot is taking the next step in our evolution: a stand-alone theme camp.

More Carrot is a diverse and passionate group of people from 4 countries on 3 continents. We planned our camp around two elements: Our name: More Carrot. And the theme: Metropolis: The Life of Cities. We talked about the kind of city we want to live in, and, specifically, given our name, the food culture of cities.

We realized what the Black Rock Metropolis needs: a farmer’s market!

Imagine: it’s 7 a.m. and you are wandering home from the outer playa or on your way to an early yoga class and wafting smells of grilling corn on the cob draw you over to a roadside stall bursting with a cornucopia of beautiful produce, including bananas, pineapples, melons, and (of course) carrots! You stroll up to the stall, where you receive juicy slices of chilled fruits and a citrus carrot cocktail, served by friendly people in farmers overalls.

Yes, at Burning Man 2010 we will host an early morning farmer’s market. We will source produce from markets in Reno and Sparks the weekend before Burning Man and have designed a cold-storage system which will ensure we have delicious fruit to gift all week. We are motivated by our belief that cities should promote the selling of local produce direct to the public—and that this should be true in our city, Black Rock City. We also know what an amazing gift fresh fruit is on the playa, especially later in the week, and how food facilitates connection and community.

The Black Rock Farmers Market will run from 7-9am Tue-Fri, functioning as both our primary gift to the citizens of BRC and as an art project. The early birds running the market will be in character and costume, hamming it up for citizens of BRC.

Our camp will be fun, accessible, relaxing and attractive, featuring a striking 20ft neon carrot (affixed to the front of our tower), carrot lanterns and a chill-out lounge in a modest geodesic dome, with rugs and cushions on the floor, flowing fabrics for walls, and DJs playing funky and relaxing music. Alongside will be our games area, featuring glow-in-the-dark bocce and table tennis, complemented by our main art project ping|pong – a large 2D array of 16x16 tricolour LEDs in ping pong balls, creating a 256 pixel array. ping|pong (inspired by the amazing Cubatron art by Mark Lottor) will serve as the score board for the table tennis and a screen for 2- and 4-player games of Pong. When not in use it will display spectacular light patterns.

Last year, true to our name, we turned up to the Billion Bunny March dressed as carrots. We were attempting to build a bridge to the bunny community but were instead discriminated against and refused service at the pre-party. This year we will provide an opportunity for carrots such as ourselves to participate in the brand-new Countless Carrots March! Countless Carrots will express the dignity and inherent worth of carrots in the face of hurtful, persistent bunny prejudice. All carrots will be invited to our camp for a pre-party, where we will serve drinks and provide sign-making equipment. Then we’ll head out to meet the bunnies on the playa.

Members of More Carrot will also be hosting several absurdist events, including playa cricket, Sock Wrestling championships (complete with announcers, theme tunes and shiny belts to be won), a surreal crew of inefficient road repairers, and back-by-popular demand the roving Dusty Prawn Restaurant, which serves the hungry and thirsty masses out on the playa.

Love, More Carrot xx

Join the More Carrot Facebook page.

Watch the video we made of our adventure at Burning Man 2009.