BLACK ROCK CITY — One of the main advantages to being the middle of the fucking Nevada desert for Burning Man, the arts and counterculture festival held here this week, is that it's a lot easier to burn a whole lot of accelerant without incurring too much wrath from the local authorities. Of course, every single thing that is soaked with gasoline and set on fire out here has gone through a rigorous process to make sure that carbon-offset trees get planted up in Canada somewhere. This is a kind, gentle, carbon-negative hippiefest, after all. However, some attendees transcend the incineration of mere wood and plastic and build art pieces that really say something while they're warming up the planet.
In the case of Lucy Hosking's Satan's Calliope, that thing is "Earplugs Schmearplugs". The Calliope is an art car with a reclining fire organ mounted on the back. Each pipe is an individual pulse jet engine, each one shoots fire, and some of them are preloaded with titanium dioxide to produce some bright white sparkage. Hosking plays it like an old-school metal vixen, fondling one of those guitar-style keyboard things . Break out the marshmallows, let's go for a ride.