Count Me! Count Me!

Don’t be surprised if a group of lab coat-clad scientists descends upon your vehicle as you approach the Greeters station this year. You might just be one of the lucky ones selected by the Census Samplers! These eager burning nerds are keen to include you in a scientific probability sample of Black Rock City’s population. They’re gathering data to get a more accurate picture of who is attending Burning Man this year. Aren’t you curious to know?

Last year 42% of the people who participated in the Black Rock City Census considered themselves artists, and an additional 35% considered themselves artists sometimes (read prior stats from the Census). Do these numbers seem high to you? Low? We don’t know if the people who voluntarily filled out the Census were truly representative of the citizens of BRC. (more…)

Regional Networking at Nowhere!

Playground (DPW Lead, San Francisco), Robert Atkins (Singapore Regional Contact), Yours truly (Megs, Regional Network Manager) and Snowstorm (UK Regional Contact)

Over 200 Regional Contacts worldwide and an extensive network of Community Leaders host Meet n Greets, art events, Burner Town Halls, hands-on community projects, CORE (Circle of Regional Effigy) builds and put forth a host of other efforts and events to keep our global community tight knit and Burners’ social calendars filled to the brim. After having transformational experiences at Burning Man and Regional events like Nowhere 2012, Burners throughout the world return home to the default world longing for ways to stay connected in between their sojourns to Burner events. Burning Man’s maintenance and nurturing of the Burning Man Regional Network is our answer to this widespread community need. I was drawn to Nowhere this year, a dynamic and creative gathering of over 1,100 Burners outside of Zaragoza, Spain because I knew it would be a rallying point for Burning Man’s European Regional Contacts and Nowhere’s own leadership network of what they term Cultural Attaches. I wanted to have a chance to chat with our Regional leaders face to face and also to create opportunities for them to meet one another. To this end, I hosted two meet ups—a Celebration at our camp, No Rules, and a more formal meeting of the minds at Nowhere’s No Info Center. (more…)

Dispatch from the Middle of Nowhere!

Dearest Burners,
I wrote this post from Nowhere last week and, being that I was in the Middle of Nowhere, you’re receiving it NOW. Enjoy! More coming!

Megs here. I’m writing you from the land of wind, dust and mountains outside of Zaragoza, Spain. After spending an unforgettable weekend at Lithuania’s Degantis Jonas (and, yes!, I promise to write a detailed account of my experiences there), I’m at Nowhere (http://www.goingnowhere.org/), a Burning Man Regional event where Burners are gathering from all over the world to build a beautiful city. Nowhere started nine years ago as a gathering in the desert in Spain (at that time, the moniker “Nowhere” was yet to be born) and has, over the years, grown into a thriving event with a highly developed infrastructure, twenty-four registered theme camps, and art and performance artists from across the globe.

Welcome to Nowhere! Minx of Media Mecca at Nowhere’s bright gates.
See the flags flapping? Wind! Wind!

We arrived at dusk last night after our San Francisco crew and our Lithuanian friends, Goku and Lleva, traveled in true Burning Man fashion with a van packed full of food, tent, water jugs, playa finery and all of the supplies we’d need to survive for ten days in the desert. The event officially opens on Tuesday but Nowhere crewmembers have been working out here for weeks getting the desert site ready to absorb the impact of the estimated 1,000 participants that will venture through the rocky canyons, down twisty and seemingly abandoned roads to make their way through Nowhere’s gleaming red gates. We’re here to help build the city. (more…)

More Burning Man 2012 Tickets Becoming Available

On June 12 we announced that the BLM awarded Black Rock City LLC a one-year permit to hold Burning Man on the Black Rock Desert in 2012. We’re happy to report that in response to growing interest in the event, we were able to work with the BLM to increase the maximum population of Black Rock City to 60,900 participants in 2012.

Shiny Happy People, 2006. Photo by Jared Mechaber

Counter to misleading media coverage of this announcement, this does not mean that there will be 10,000 additional tickets available. In preparing for this year’s event we were working with a peak population of 58,000. Through the pre-sale last December, the main sale in February, the low-income ticket program, and the Directed Ticket Distribution process, we have officially allocated 57,000 tickets.

And now that we have a permit that allows for a maximum population of 60,900, it leaves us with a little bit of breathing room and a welcome opportunity to get more tickets out into our community, while thwarting scalpers who hope to capitalize off of the popularity of our event (to the detriment of our participants). (more…)

Burn Wall Street: An Update from Otto Von Danger

Burn Wall Street 2012

I was fortunate enough to receive an update from Otto Von Danger on the progress of his large scale installation for this year’s Burning Man: Burn Wall Street.

Otto’s been part of the Burning Man landscape for quite a while now, first as part of the Man Crew, building the Man and Man base and then branching out to work on other projects such as the yearly return of his Frog Bat , Burning Man 2010’s Megatropolis and his Hippie/Raver Powered Lawn Chair. If you know him, you know he is driven to create large tangible things with a sense of humor and his work is not only interactive but he enjoys blowing it up before he burns it much to the delight of all.

Burn Wall Street is his most ambitious project to date and he told me,  “I’ve always been political, but this is my first art with a political meaning” and his aim is simple. Burn Wall Street is a fiercely “non-partisan to the core” installation that touches on everything from the Bill of Rights and Voter turnout to what Otto says are the two main goals of his piece:

Get Money Out of Politics and Regulate Wall Street.

Otto explains this as only he can,

 Both left and right, the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement, they’re always fighting about these wedge issues, but Burn Wall Street wants them to put that BS down for a minute, put away your Bibles and Manifestos, and come together to accomplish two things. We need to TAKE THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS and make it an even process with a constitutional amendment so the courts can’t come back and fuck us, and then we have to actually REGULATE WALL STREET. If they can put a kid in prison for selling drugs, they should be able to put a banker who steals millions of dollars in jail… really in prison, where they can introduce him to his new life partner Bubba. No more slaps on the wrist. These people are robbing your grandmother and my grandmother and everyone’s kids and walking scot free.

Once that’s taken care of, right and left can go back to bickering over their wedge issues, but this needs to be done now.

Mike Matel paints the Bill of Rights

The press loves tension between the Right and the Left.  Mr. Von Danger says, “There is both left and right at Black Rock City but Burning Man supersedes that kind of shit. It is the perfect place for a project like this.”  He was interviewed by NPR at KUNR this week and you can hear the interview here.

In keeping with the idea of coming together, Burn Wall Street is trying to get speakers from all sides of our politics to speak at the 9 am keynote speeches throughout the week including Sharron Angle to give the Tea Party point of view, Ron Paul to deliver his Libertarian thoughts and Reverend Billy to discuss Occupy Wall Street.

(more…)

The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace: Junk and Your Trunk

When is a bus not a bus? Photo BY-NC-ND Chris Dunphy.

It’s getting to be that time! With Burning Man getting closer and closer every day, your thoughts are probably starting to turn to the important things: Costumes! Art! Tents, shade structures, bikes, headlamps, rebar, libations and oh yes, sustenance.

It’s a lot of STUFF to pack for just one week, especially when you have to pack it all out again. But you’ll figure out a way to have it all in Black Rock City — with a little help from The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace! (more…)

Spark: Facilitating Collaborative Connections

Burning Man is pleased to announce the launch of Spark!

Spark is an online application designed to facilitate connections among Burners, fostering collaborative efforts related to theme camps, art installations, mutant vehicles and other Burning Man–related projects. Spark provides a secure, centralized place for people to post listings to seek or offer resources and skill sets to make projects a reality.

So let’s say you can’t possibly pull off your project without a carpenter, electrician, sword-swallower, welder, dancer, aerialist, fire performer, painter, hooper, dude with a truck, seamstress, zebra trainer, project manager, or a 6’5″ woman who juggles flaming chainsaws. Pop a listing onto Spark seeking what you seek!

Or let’s say you’re any one (or more) of those things and you want to offer your skills to a worthy project. Pop a listing onto Spark offering what you have to offer!

But keep this in mind: Spark is not intended to be a commercial connection engine — it’s about collaborations. If you’re offering commercial services, please do that elsewhere. If you’re looking to promote your fundraiser, Spark is not the place for it … use our Support a Project page for that. Take a look at our Spark community guidelines for more information.

We hope you find this to be a useful tool in sparking your ultimate Burning Man experience. Now, click the link and … go forth and collaborate!

http://spark.burningman.com