GlamTech 2012: The Magician or The Lovers?

Photography by Will Tanksley
View all of Will’s GlamTech photos here!

GlamTech’s official subtheme was The Magician, but it should have been The Lovers. I wish I had a magic wand to make the venue bigger, the drinks cheaper, and the music bassier—instead I had hours of sweaty, pornjy, happy people hugging me and feeding me gummy bears, which made me quite forget about the other things. Until I tried to move. It took 45 minutes just to get from the door to the dance floor! That’s after the 30-minute-long line outside in the freezing cold. That’s before an at-capacity after-party. In all of these, hugging was both the reason why it took so long (“HI! Oh, HI! Oh, HI YOU! Ohh just one more, this is my friend! OMG HI!”) and the best way to enjoy yourself- to keep warm, to dance, even to move (“Oh, hi! Oh, I don’t know you, do I. Oh, I know the person behind you though! Hi!”). I’m lucky I’m a chill hippie and I like the love of 1,000 sweaty burners wedged in shoulder-to-shoulder.  GlamTech is getting too big for the Warsaw and House of Yes, but it’s tradition by now to square your shoulders, take a deep breath, and dive into the huge puddle of oozy-bouncy-pornjy-love that Disorient holds every year. We need it. It reminds you that Burning Man is coming. It reminds you how many friends you have. It reminds you why we hold our biggest party out in 6 square miles of the Nevada desert.

Other than the crush of beautiful burners, the other thing you noticed about GlamTech was the GLAM baby! It was beautiful! The main room DJ was surrounded by art, including an absolutely enormous projection screen that filled an entire side of the room. The puddle was overflowing with gorgeous pornj light, pornj art, and pornj people. The side room was lit by strings of ping-pong balls with colored lights inside—a great idea for cheap, portable, and pretty light. I loved watching dancers shake their shit in the beautiful back-lit screens on the balcony above the main floor—I’m so bored by the videos I see in bars of backlit dancers on repeat, but seeing it first-hand, in real time and with real girls, made me pay attention again. Gorgeous! Seriously, Disorient has more than its share of beautiful girls with excellent taste and great décor talent, and these combined to make sure GlamTech well lived up to its name.

As it’s time to go, and the lights turn on, we start finding each other and filtering out the door. Our bus is 3 blocks away, and our driver trots off to bring her around to pick up the pod of people who are too drunk or too cool to drive.

One of our original crew, who managed to disappear despite a broken knee, is found and carried back to the bus by one of the magical people manning disengage. Disorient is definitely the most organized crew I know, with many of the best people. At the uber-packed afterparty. TechGlam, all those people that worked the event, that slaved for months to bring you GlamTech, that made art and rooms and music—all those hardworking people are finally able to hang out and throw down. This is my favorite part of many parties—meeting the DOers. We danced and chatted and chilled all morning, and I got to hear what it’s really like to throw such a huge party. One thing they couldn’t stop talking about, though, was still about to happen. About half of the crowd was wearing boring black T-shirts that looked like the regular comfy shirt you bring to change into at an afterparty. But at 10am, as EZ Almighty ascended to the decks, a change literally swept through the crowd. Everyone turned their shirts right-side-out to reveal “I <3 EZ” in pinks and oranges with his signature crown. I scanned the dance floor as it became a sea of black and pornj.  With a new energy and excitement I hadn’t known these burners still had in them, EZ’s set was slammin, bass-heavy and boomalicious, and the dance floor threw down as hard as he did. Even the ceiling threw down, and a giant inflatable fell from its tethers, barely missing the DJ as it smacked a dancer in the face— he was knocked sprawling to the ground like he had just been K.O.’d by the bass. Instead of standing and watching the carnage, or dancing around the inflatable elephant in the room, the whole dance floor joined forces and made a chain to pass the sculpture back up and re-attach it at the top of the stage.

Photography by Will Tanksley
View all of Will’s TechGlam photos here!

I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty I was watching. An entire room of people from around the continent who had prepped and pulled off an incredible event, then went out of their way to create a special surprise in support of an artist and his music and they were the last people still dancing at their own party 12 hours later. They really showed exactly who makes these parties happen. It was 10am and I was still surrounded by flushed happy sweaty people, dancing their hearts out and riding the wave of music and joy… It was surreal. But at that time of the morning, there are no more spectators. Everyone was there to help create a shared environment of beauty and energy and love. And this is what GlamTech is about.

At the end of winter or beginning of spring, we start thinking about Burning Man again and what we’ll be doing this summer, shaking off our winter coats and donning our fuzzy neon burner ones. GlamTech is about dancing with old friends from last year and making new alliances in the puddle. It’s about reminding all of us why we do this insane and expensive tradition of Burning Man year after year, why we put up with the frustrations and pressure and huge amount of money. It’s because of the people next to us on the dance floor, bumping elbows and grinding to the booty-bumping bass and speaking love through our eyes because it’s too loud to talk. It’s for the people who get together to make 50 t-shirts to support a friend, or throw parties that we want to go to, or come from out of state to see us, or take your ideas to inspire others across the country. Something beautiful and creative happens at these events, a synergy that takes you beyond what you could create for yourself. It’s an environment that throws out your ideas of what is possible, it turns time inside out and makes dreams reality. Have you had that moment yet when you’re looking around a room entirely full of art and beats and dancing costumed bodies, and you wonder where in the hell you really are? Or the point in the night where you’ve been grooving for hours, and you ask out of habit what time it is, and no one can tell you—and you realize don’t actually care. Well, friend, now you know—that’s why they call it Disorient.


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