BBC Radio 1’s Burning Man Experience

BBC's Bobby FrictionThe UK’s BBC Radio 1 got brave, and sent Bobby Friction, one of their on-air DJs, across the pond to attend Burning Man for the first time in 2009, and to record his experience along the way. It’s fun to ride along with Bobby as he’s transfixed and transformed by the playa, Black Rock City, and Burners, while learning what Burning Man is all about.

You can listen to his podcast here.  (Note: it contains language that might offend some listeners.)

Eat Your heART Out!

EYHO-logo-800px eat your heART out 60


Invites you to attend


Eat Your heART Out

supperclub sf, 657 Harrison Street San Francisco, CA
February 14, 11am to 3pm
All-ages; everyone is welcome! Tickets:
  • $75 adult ticket for meal only with cash bar (no reserved seating)
  • $25 Children between 5 and 11 years old
  • Kids under 5 free!
  • Benefactor tickets $150 (includes reserved seating in your name and bottomless mimosas/marys served at your bed)
  • Regular tickets $100 (includes brunch buffet and bottomless mimosas/marys at the bar; no reserved seating-beds seating first come first serve.
Treat yourself and those you love to a sumptuous Valentine’s Day brunch in bed, including fresh fruit, interactive omelet and sweet/savory crepe station, croissants, artisan breads, jam and marmalade, cold cuts, fresh brewed coffee imaginatively served by Ritual Coffee Roasters, and LOVE-ly surprises.
Enjoy Interactive art; soaring aerial heARTistry; interactive photography zone by PhotoBOOF!; music and live performances by: Diva Marisa Lenhardt, Bad Unkl Sista, Tamo (Angels of bAss, Space Cowboys), Michael Anthony & The Late Nite Sneaky, Secret Valentine, and others. While you’re at it make-yer-own Valentine in the DIY heART gallery and tell Cupid what to do with his arrow. All proceeds help bring interactive art to public places across the globe. So, go ahead! Eat your heART out! …and feed your soul.


artwork: jennybird

Time to Check Out the Black Rock Arts Foundation Blog

Sanlun Yishu in front of the Great Wall of China
Sanlun Yishu in front of the Great Wall of China

Have you checked out the [BRAF]’s BLOG recently?  It is filled with art from our grantees and events we would love to share with you.  Just in the last 10 days we have blogged about mobile interactive art in China, a [BM] and Black Rock Arts Foundation artist, Dan Das Mann, Cardboardia in Russia, and a fabulous Valentine’s Day event in San Francisco we would love to attend with you.

We keep you up to date on our Grants to Artists, Civic Arts and ScrapEden programs.

Did I hear you say you aren’t familiar with the Black Rock Arts Foundation?

The mission of the Black Rock Arts Foundation is to support and promote community-based interactive art and civic participation. For our purposes, interactive art means art that generates social participation. The process whereby this art is created, the means by which it is displayed and the character of the work itself should inspire immediate actions that connect people to one another in a larger communal context.”

So come on over and check us out!

Cardboardia exhibit in a museum in Russia
Cardboardia exhibit in a museum in Russia

“das mann of steel” in the news

Long time [BM] artist, Dan Das Mann is featured in the East Bay Express, check it out, Das Mann of Steel recently.

In addition to being Burning Man artists, Dan and Karen Cusolito’s Passage was part of [BRAF]’s Civic Art Program, which was installed at  Pier 14 as the first piece of temporary art in that space.

Congratulations Dan, it is always great to see art featured in the news!

Be sure and read Dan’s response to the article in the comments section, in which he credits his co-sculptor Karen Cusolito.

photo: Scott Beale\Laughing Squid Laughing Squid

Evolver Spores: Give It Up — Thurs Jan 21st, New Orleans and Burners without Borders present:

Evolver Spores: Give It Up

Thurs Jan 21st
Swan River Yoga Downtown
2130 Chartres St, in the Marigny

Debt-based currencies controlled by closed syndicates of private banks are not the only way that humans can make an economy. Many tribal cultures have organized themselves around an entirely different way of exchanging value: The gift. Where our financial system expertly moves resources from the many to the few, gift-based cultures like to share what they have – as writer Lewis Hyde noted, “The gift moves toward the empty place.” At a time when billions are enslaved by passionless work while inequity reaches new historic heights, we are seeing a postmodern revival of sharing and gifting, with examples ranging from the open source movement to the annual Burning Man festival.

In this Spore, we explore the abstract theory and practical dynamics of gifting, the challenges of implementing this innovative, yet archaic, way of getting what you want and wanting what you get. We invite fellow Evolvers to bring their precious gifts – whether it be witticisms or wood-carved totems to the Spore and spread them around. Local Spores can screen “Burn on the Bayou,” a mini-documentary chronicling Burners without Borders gifting efforts during seven months of relief work in the Katrina-battered Gulf Coast towns of Biloxi and Pearlington, MS. Since that time, BWB has grown into an international, grassroots organization whose projects are based on the principle of gifting.

We will have Summer Burkes as a presenter. She is a longtime worker for the Burning Man festival outside Reno, Nevada, moved to New Orleans on April Fool’s Day of last year. Anyone who toils in the hot sun for three months at a time — staying in a van / tent / trailer in a landscape so harsh it harbors no living things — to help build and strike a temporary city of 60,000 people … learns a peculiar skill set, to say the least. Inspired by her crowd’s “Do Stuff” philosophy, and interested in seeing how the things she learned at That Place In The Desert could translate into the real world, Summer chose to migrate back home to the South to see what was up in the Lower Ninth Ward and how she could help. Currently, she has started working with Burners Without Borders and the Lower Ninth Ward Village to initiate a program called “Where’s Your Neighbor?”… and they need volunteers!

Be there or be L-7.

Burning Man 2010 Art Grants

In case you didn’t know, every year, Burning Man awards grants to artists to fund artwork for the playa.  Yep, a portion of your ticket money goes directly to creating some of the amazing pieces of art that grace Black Rock City.  Not bad, ‘eh?  Right. So, thank you!

Our lovely and charming Grant Committee has sent us the following to relay to would-be submitters of grant proposals, and we thought it only right to pass it on to you.  They say:

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Burning Man grant committee is now accepting applications for the 2010 grant season. In an effort to make the process easier, we’ve created a new format — an editable PDF. It asks all the same questions and requires the same information as we have always wanted, but now in a simple form. You can learn more and access the new PDF here. This new format is the new, mandatory format for applying for a grant. The deadline for grant application si 11:59 pm February 1st. This is a hard deadline — no late submissions will be considered. You can read more about it here.

Also as part of this year’s grant season, Burning Man is soliciting applications for the plazas — the 3:00, 4:30, 7:30 and 9:00. We’ve set aside some funds from our grant budget to cover these locations. It’s a unique opportunity to create something interactive, something thought-provoking, and something fun in the neighborhoods of Black Rock City. There have been amazing pieces in the plazas from such award-winning artists as David Best and Charlie Smith, and the pieces have been as thought-provoking and whimsical as Black Rock City has ever seen … like Bruce Bender’s “Ketchup!” for instance.

Ketchup by Bruce Bender


Resolution at the Exploratorium After Dark

Exploratorium After Dark
Exploratorium After Dark

Tomorrow the Exploratorium in San Francisco will be hosting their first Thursday of every month series called The Exploratorium After Dark. This month’s theme is “Resolution” as in New Year’s Resolutions, however this resolution will follow along a more scientific definition, that being the “ability of our sensory ability to resolve two (or more) things as distinct from one another.”

There are over seventeen Art and science installations demonstrating a myriad of optical and tactile phenomena, including Mark Lottor’s Cubatron that graced Black Rock City this past year. If you’ve seen the Cubatron from across the playa and attempted to place it somewhere within your field of vision as you moved towards it, you understand how this optical resolution thing can work.

Melissa Alexander who organizes “After Dark” regularly participates in Burning Man and told me that the Exploratorium has a history of showing works by local artists of all kinds and there are quite a few pieces they’ve shown that were first seen on playa. The artists’ work from Burning Man tends to resonate with the kinds of work the Exploratorium has supported historically. There are some interesting parallels between the Exploratorium and Burning Man. At one time the Exploratorium was one of the few places in San Francisco that supported the kinds of artists who tend to work interactively and with technology, and the people interested in the Art and exhibits featured there are typically participants who are from a diverse cross section of the population.

The event is tomorrow so get there early to get in. The exhibits typically run from 6:30 to 9:30 and this is a one day event. The Exploratorium is at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street San Francisco.

Thursday, January 7, 2010
6:00–10:00 p.m.
Bar opens at 6:00 p.m.

Sharpen your senses at Exploratorium After Dark.

From sharpness to saltiness, distinguishable differences are the basis of perception. Discover the role resolution plays in how we see, hear, taste, and feel, and how our minds synthesize sensations into an understanding of the world.

Play with perception through special exhibits, build a pinhole camera, or behold your tiny surroundings in the Tiltshift-o-scope. Experiment with illusions, monkey with magnification, and size up your taste buds with a supertaster test. Explore the exquisite optics of Yumito Awano’s drinking straw sculptures and see days slip by in Ken Murphy’s A History of the Sky. Throughout the evening, thousands of LEDs will light up Mark Lottor’s Cubatron with spectacularly dynamic patterns.

for more information go to

Hope to see you there!