Tis the season for the Burning Man Kickstarter campaigns. Shameless crowd sourcing by shameless Burners. How else could we make all the magic happen, though, without help from one another? Isn’t that the point?
So before your newsfeeds get too cluttered with Kickstarter videos and Indigogo links, let us present to you the H.G. Wheels Grime Machine. This massive art car is the brainchild of the Bumblers, native to the Burning Man Bumblepuss theme camp. This colorful group of misfits, adventurers, and creatives spawn from San Francisco, Boston, and Colorado and band together each year for the annual desert pilgrimage to Black Rock City.
Last year, the H.G. Wheels Grime Machine made its debut as a two-story time traveling device, with the goal of transporting you from wherever you currently are to wherever it is that you’d like to be. The behemoth that is the Grime Machine endlessly roamed the Playa during the day and night, scooping up its inhabitants from the bustling Esplanade and relocating them to the far corners of the Trash Fence and beyond. You may recall its knobs and dials gyrating and spinning, not knowing where it will take you next. It’s looming stature and color-changing LED chompers are both intimidating and inspiring.
BARmag caught up with the Grime Machine creator, Crazy Fart Box, for a quick interview about all things Bumble-related.
BARmag: Tell me a bit about yourself and how you first got involved with Burning Man.
Crazy Fart Box: I first started to hear lots of Burn buzz when I moved to San Francisco four years ago from Massachusetts. I had worked for dozens of music festivals producing video content and mistook Burning Man as another music fest. Needless to say, I arrived to my first Burn rather underprepared. By nightfall, I was transported to a world that I hadn’t known existed and immediately fell in love with the mutant vehicle aspect of the Burn. Since that time, I’ve become more and more involved in metal and wood work in the Bay Area. I run a communal art space in San Francisco called The Lighthouse.
BARmag: How many Burns have you been to, including regional and international Burns?
Crazy Fart Box: I’ve attended Burning Man for the past three glorious years.
BARmag: Why the H.G. Wheels Grime Machine? How did Bumblepuss come up with the idea behind it?
Crazy Fart Box: It’s no secret that the Bumblers of Camp Bumblepuss are time travel aficionados and require their time traveling to be done in style. It was quite magical to have so many artists working on the same project. The Grime Machine truly has a life of its own that has far out reached my initial concepts.
BARmag: You also have a smaller art car named Buffy. And then there is the actual Bumblepuss, of course. Tell me a bit about these projects.
Crazy Fart Box: Buffy and the Bumblepuss make up a terrific fluffy pair on the playa. Buffy is a small, but fierce, mutant vehicle, covered in purple fur and sporting a rusty saw blade for an eyeball. She’s equipped with two car buffers to provide Black Rock citizens with a Buffy-ing massage anywhere on the vast open playa. Our brave mascot, The Bumblepuss, is a twelve foot long fur bumble bee that you can crawl inside of. The inside, or the ‘puss’, is lined with pink fur and can accommodate up to six. After a nap in the Bumblepuss you can refresh yourself with wine that pours freely from the Bumblepuss’ mouth. If that’s not enough, it’s mounted on skis and is complete with a purple dildo stinger.
BARmag: Tell me a bit about your creative space in San Francisco, the Lighthouse.
Crazy Fart Box: Wahoo! The Lighthouse is a communal non-profit art warehouse in San Francisco. I founded the space three years ago after the inspiration from my first Burn. We have visual artists, musicians, welders, screen printers, woodworkers, and weirdos. There is alsoa dorm space for people traveling from out of town. I’m very proud of the energy that is always buzzing in the space and welcome folks to come on down and make a mess with us.
BARmag: What improvements and modifications do you have in store for the Grime Machine?
Crazy Fart Box: We’re in the process now of designing fire poofers for the second floor of the Grime Machine. The outside of this time traveling art car is going to be covered in stainless steel scales. NEW TIRES! NEWBRAKES! We’re going to put lots of love into the LEDs and get some fresh new light look going, as well.
BAR: What are you looking forward to the most from Burning Man 2014?
Crazy Fart Box: Two of my best friends got married this year and are honeymooning with us in Bumblepuss. They live in NYC and I know the open desert is exactly what they need. I’m so excited to have that time with them this year.
BARmag: What is your favorite Burning Man moment from past burns?
Crazy Fart Box: I brought my Dad out to this past year’s Burn and we walked over the Temple’s ashes as dawn. It was intense. I’m tearing up now just saying this. WOW.
BARmag: If you had to sum up the Bumblepuss theme camp in one word, what would it be?
Crazy Fart Box: BUMBLE!!!!!
BARmag: If you could time travel to any place at any time, where would YOU go?
Crazy Fart Box: I’d go to Mars three billion years ago before it cooled off completely and still had an atmosphere. I’d like to drive the Grime Machine on Mars for sure.