The “Spectators” Edition :: Issue #243, Rusty’s Electric Dreams

“Normal is an illusion. What’s normal for the spider, is chaos for the fly.”

— Morticia Addams

Rusty's Electric Dreams, an inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff

An inbox zine for positive deviants and the people who love them
Issue #243 :: The “Spectators” Edition :: 11:13:2019


Wow, who knew I’d have so many feels seeing the Burning Man exhibit at OMCA? It was really powerful to see something that I’m so familiar with — that’s so part of my DNA at this point — displayed in my local museum. The whole experience was oddly validating to all the choices I’ve ever made in my life.

Culture shock: A few weeks ago I spotted ads for the exhibit on the side of a passing bus. I  literally laughed out loud. It felt absurd to see something “Burning Man” related advertised on public transportation! Burning Man has never needed to be advertised. I mean, the organization doesn’t even have a marketing department — truly a grassroots movement! (I do get why the museum needs to get the word out though.)

So, I brought SJ with me. She’s 15 and, believe it or not, has never been to the event (though she’s been to the playa itself). Oh, I’ve asked her to come with me before, it just hasn’t interested her. But, after getting a taste of it in the safety of a museum space, her stance seemed to soften on it. We’ll see… Now I’m not sure *I’m* ready to bring my teenager out there 🙂

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man runs through February 16, 2020. If you go, don’t miss the big David Best temple outside. Bring a Sharpie to make your mark. 

Counterculture history FTW: And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the museum’s very special “Playa Pop-up” event happening at 2 p.m. this Sunday. It focuses on Desert Siteworks, the annual art solstice celebration that happened near Black Rock Springs from 1992 to 1994, just before Burning Man began each year. It’s a conversation between William Binzen, who was an early Burning Man organizer and the founder of Desert Siteworks, and our friend John Law, who you probably know co-founded Burning Man. Prime yourself for this free event by reading John’s blog post on it.

Rusty Blazenhoff
P.S. No zine next week — see you on the other side! 

As seen on the Internets

“Outside. Outside”: I’m a little obsessed with Stella, the puppo in the photo above. Her person, 26-year-old speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, is teaching her to communicate with those buttons. Each one is pre-recorded with a word. Stella’s favorite word seems to be “Outside.” Go figure!
:: Eichler, Likeler, potato, potato… 

:: “My Friend Mister Rogers

:: Frozen‘s “Let it Go” sung in Klingon

:: New Shalaco video: “Challenging your fears : A conversation with John Law

:: Interesting story about a couple who are mega-art-collectors

:: TED has made an app-based public speaking course

:: Recently discovered: Lou Reed’s mixtape to Andy Warhol

Real tarot deck that actually exists: yay!

Again Santa, I’ve been very very good: In the early 1970s, Salvador Dalí was commissioned to create a tarot deck for the James Bond film, Live and Let Die. The deal ultimately fell through but Dalí completed the deck anyway. It was released in 1984 as a limited art edition and has been off the market until now. Taschen is re-releasing the 78-card deck, along with its instruction booklet on November 15.

Featured Events


Alameda, CA
[12/14] SOLD OUT Mid-Century Supper Club Holiday Jubilee, with special guest Charles Phoenix

[12/21] The Menagerie Holiday Oddities Market at the Alameda Elks Lodge. 9 AM to 5 PM

Berkeley, CA
[12/6] That Really Happened? A night of True Stories at The Monkey House, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

[Until 1/5/2020] “Strange features diverse works from BAMPFA’s collection that invoke strangeness and resonate with the spirit of Surrealism”
[11/26] Exquisite Corpse Workshop at BAMPFA, 1 PM

Las Vegas, NV
[Until 2/15] Tim Burton’s Lost Vegas art exhibit at the Neon Museum

Los Angeles, CA
[12/7] Los Angeles SantaCon, 11 AM to 11 PM

[12/7] Season’s Screamings: Dark Holiday Pop-Up Market at Sweet Hollywood, 10 AM to 6 PM

[12/7] Los Angeles Krampus Run begins at the Alpine Village in Torrance. 6 PM to 7 PM, a free, all ages event; then at 9 PM, the 7th Annual Krampus Ball starts (tickets)

New York City

See what RED pal Oriana Leckert has picked as the must-go-to events in the Big Apple!

[Until 2/9] The Art of Rube Goldberg at Queens Museum

[5/2 to 11/1/2020] Yayoi Kusama will exhibit a “multisensory presentation” at the New York Botanical Garden in the new year!

Oakland, CA
[Now until 2/16] No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at OMCA, Tickets
**Full listings of all the exhibit’s events here.

[11/17] Playa Pop-up about Desert Siteworks, a conversation with William Binzen and John Law at OMCA, 12 PM to 4 PM, free and open to the public

[12/7] East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest at Omni Commons, 11 AM to 5 PM

Portland, OR
[5/16-5/17] The creators of the popular Exploding Kittens card game series are hosting Burning Cat, a new two-day game convention that ends in the burning of a giant effigy. Huh… that last part seems oddly familiar!  Tickets are $80 for a two-day pass, or $45 for a daily one. 

San Francisco, CA
[11/13] Super Shangri-La Show: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark 1973 & Trilogy of Terror 1975 at Balboa Theater, 7:30 PM to 10 PM

[11/14] San Francisco’s First and Only Rock’n’Roll Movie: CRIME 1978 documentary, then Live on stage The Legendary Stardust Cowboy followed by Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on the big screen at the Victoria Theatre, 7 PM to 10 PM

[12/1 to 12/15]  The 16th Annual Another Hole in the Head Film Festival 

[12/7] Vampires invade the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, “Don your gay apparel and FANGS,” 10 AM to 6 PM, Cow Palace, Tickets Thanks, Andy!

[12/10] Odd Salon SF: ODDMENTS VI at Public Works SF, 6:30 PM to 10 PM, Tickets

[Until 12/13] Seriously Weird: CCA Illustration Biennial Alumni & Faculty Exhibition at 161 Hubbell Street. Free and open to the public.

[12/14] SF Krampus run: Better Not Pout, “More wandering guerrilla theater than pub crawl,” 5:30 to 9 PM, starting at Tunnel Top

[12/31] We knew it was coming but no one could really be prepared for Beach Blanket Babylon closing. New Year’s Eve is the last night you’ll be able to see this San Francisco institution, the world’s longest running musical revue. 

[1/10, 1/11] 9th annual DAVID BOWIE Birthday Bash with THE FIRST CHURCH OF THE SACRED SILVERSEXUAL at the Boom Boom Room, The Chapel, 8 PM+

Various U.S. cities, and sometimes Canada
Atlas Obscura has an ongoing calendar of unique experiences.

[various dates] Immersive listings

Check out this calendar of design events from around the world.

Know about a cool, quirky, and/or indie event? Email me and I’ll share it with the class!

You may not know this about me but I love rubber stamps! So, last weekend at the flea market, I was thrilled to pick up a vintage Dial-a-Phrase teacher’s grading stamp for just five bucks. Look carefully at the art, it’s amusing. That “messy” monkey is tossing banana peels, har har. “Careless” is illustrated with a spilt inkwell — oops! That finger is beckoning the student which can’t be good. Yikes, the train is missing a car! Poor turtle is s·l·o·w…

The one shown isn’t my exact one, this photo came from Pinterest. 
I’m not quite ready to dirty mine up yet which is brand new in the box.

Rusty’s Electric Dreams is a (mostly) weekly inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff for positive deviants and the people who love them.

Described as, “One of the most inspiring, weird and off-kilter collections of curated kitschy ephemera for the big-brained.” People like it.

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