Damn, I just hate when that happens. I hate when some sick poseur geezer company who makes SUV's for orthodontists or whatever totally rips off and corrupts the free, utopian, non-commercial, creative spirit of youth--of the future, even. As if cool were simply something you could buy, or order up by the square foot. As if you could capture the real spirit and meaning of a place like Burning Man in a Beverly Hills storefront. That's not what it's all about, man. We go to the playa to get AWAY from our parents' Lexuses.
Look what Lexus has done, shamelessly copying the indescribable, ephemeral beauty and power of the Uchronia Project, and turning it into the backdrop for the launch of their new flagship model, the LS 460 sedan.
Forget the ethics of such a blatant act; I want to know logistics. How did Lexus's agency even have mobilize in time to steal the work of a such a globally visionary and idealistic artist when it only landed at Black Rock City a few weeks ago? It's as if--what's that, you say? It's the same guy?
Well. Hate the playa, not the fame, I guess.
Uchronyism on greg.org:
9/04: to think, there was a day--just one, but still--when it was just about the architecture
9/13: Uchronian partisans and Burning Man roast me for criticizing the Uchronspolitation
9/16:Branding Man [speaks for itself]
10/15: The King of Uchronia meets the Queen of Belgium
Update: There's a debate raging among burners on tribe.net over whether artist burners should be taking money from corporate sponsors for their work. The answer is obvious: yes, if they want to, but it's also irrelevant here. The Uchronia project was completely self-funded at BM [i.e., they didn't get any art grants from BM itself like other projects], and its workers were paid, not volunteers.
What I suspected at the time has, I believe, been proved true now: Uchronia was built as part of an extensive marketing and promotional campaign which used Burning Man as a backdrop and platform to be leveraged externally after the fact. I originally thought it was just a self-promotion scheme for Arne Quinze and his firm, but I think the fully realized Uchronian Lexus Gallery appearing just weeks after BM shows who the real client was.
More evidence: one of the many burners who emailed me a month ago defending the Uchronians shared some of Quinze's own explanations of his artistic bona fides, "[He said] he's been selected to be the artist of the year at the upcoming Basel-Miami Art Fair." Now I may not know Black Rock City, but I do know Basel, and Basel-Miami, and let me tell you, every single attendee there thinks he is "____ of the year."
But according to Lexus's gallery touring schedule, their 2-wk/city tour puts them in Miami right around the opening of ABMB. And while he was at BM, Quinze was already planning on taking MB by storm with his unstoppable new marketing technique.