Duane Flatmo lives in Eureka California, a short 3 plus hours away from where I live and a million miles away in imagination. Wanting to create a new creature, he struggled with a concept that would live up to his fantastic El Pulpo Mechanico.
Rabid Transit was his answer. Like El Pulpo, Rabid Transit was created from items gathered at a local junk yard in Eureka. Note El Pulpo’s legs made out of abandoned barrels.
Never Was Haul comes as a Victorian home on wheels with a cow catcher on the front. (Cow catchers are what trains use to put on the front of their engines to remove cattle, moose and buffalo from the tracks.) Born in Berkeley as part of the steam punk art movement, Never Was Haul has been to Burning Man many times.
For sheer fun, I’d have to list the large vase mutant vehicle shown below as a top candidate. I was even more entertained when I discovered it changed colors at night.
Several trains have appeared at Burning Man. There has even been a caboose, the Dust Bus, which proudly claims it is part of the Nor Cal Black Rock Railroad..
Before trains, people got across the US in Conestoga wagons. The Oregon Trail passes through the Black Rock Desert not too far from Burning Man and would have seen many of these wagons carrying pioneers west, among them, my Great, Great Grandmother.
I’ll finish today’s post with four individual mutant vehicles:
NEXT POST: Peggy’s perspective on our hike on the PCT this past summer.
22 thoughts on “Rabid Transit, Never Was Haul, a Vast Vase and Other Mutant Vehicles… 11 Years of Burning Man”
Amazing! I can’t stop marveling at all these creations🙂
They are fun, Christie! More to come. –Curt
We need something like ‘Burning Man ‘ in Australia. We have enough space for it. I wonder what happens to all those creations afterwards. Do they get demolished?
Just sent the Australian Burning Man site to you, Gerard. Many of the mutant vehicles return to Burning Man several times. Some of them mutate into different, or at least modified mutants. –Curt
A good selection, I like the covered wagon but the octopus remains my favourite.
The covered wagon relates to your fascination with the Old West, I imagine Andrew. El Pulpo is simply out of this world. I think he was recycled into Rabid Transit in the morphing world of Burning Man. –Curt
I know I repeat myself, but the work at Burning Man is so ingenious! But, you just imagine seeing one of these in your neighbors driveway the rest of the year?! lol
Laughing. I suspect that might get the neighborhood a little excited… depending of course on the neighborhood. I don’t expect HOAs would have much of a sense of humor about it. –Curt
Rabid transit [snarf] You know I am going to borrow that term sometime. It just stuns me at how wildly creative people can be. We were in Tuscon a few weeks ago and ran into a Steam-punk convention. Holy-Moly, that was fun!
“Rabid transit [snarf] You know I am going to borrow that term sometime.” Seems like it would fit right in to some of your humor! And Steam Punk is just about as wild as it gets! –Curt
I should have expected Duane Flatmo to be part of this spectacle. I lived in Eureka for 7 years and always enjoyed his creations at the annual three-day Kinetic Sculpture Race, where mutant vehicles must be able to travel on pavement, sand, AND the bay waters. His art is instantly recognizeable to me and adorns the label of my favourite beer: Downtown Brown from Lost Coast Brewery.
Next time, I buy a bottle of Downtown Brown, I will have to check! 🙂 I’ve always thought it would be fun to attend the Kinetic Sculpture Race. Part of one of Flatmo’s entries to the race was incorporated into El Pulpo Mechanico. –Curt
The kinetic sculpture race is a riot, and so are the people of Eureka during the race. ALL the quirkiness comes out, which is something I imagine happens at Burning Man too.
I just have to make it there. It just seems like something interferes every year. This year as well. –Curt
I continue to be astounding by the creativity of those who build these structures. I wondered if there is ever an issue with all of the fire spewing from the vehicles?
There are very specific rules on the fire spewing, Sue. Burning Man has an expert go over the vehicles to do as much as it can to ensure safety. And yes, their is no limit to creativity, and wild imagination! –Curt
So cool!!! I love these creations and all the creativity they encompass. I think I like the Victorian house the best, but they’re all so ingenuous. I Need to go to Burning Man!!!
🙂 Never Was Haul is one of my all-time favorites, Juliann. And yes. Your should go to Burning Man. Photos can capture a lot, but there is no way replicate the actual experience of being there. –Curt
I am speechless when seeing all these! It was also great joy to see some “monsters” in the evening. Thank You sharing all these with us.
Have a good day!
It’s always fun to share Burning Man, Matti. –Curt
Love the phone especially, Curt … just like the red one I used to have in my bedroom! 😀
I would have loved to have had a red one, Annika. All of ours under the old AT&T days were black, if my memory serves me correctly. I’ve always felt that the red phone was one of the more creative of the mutant vehicles. It was guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of people who saw it. Even more so, us old timers. 🙂 –Curt