As part of the annual Participation Fair, $teven Ra$pa and Brody Scotland presented a Burning Man Newbie Orientation to an over-capacity crowd of over 150 people crammed cheek-to-jowl into our Burning Man World Headquarters, and an additional 150+ people online.
There are groups in other areas who will be doing newbie orientations in the coming months … get in touch with your local Burning Man group to see if there’s one near you. Don’t know if there’s a group near you? Check out the Regionals pages for more info.
No need to wait three months to dive into the art of Burning Man! Burning Man Regional Groups in more than 120 regions spanning over 20 countries are developing ways to engage local communities around the creative spirit, year-round.
Firefly Arts Collective lights up Somerville Open Studios (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)
Earlier this month, Firefly Arts Collective – who organize the official New England Burning Man regional event Firefly – took part in Somerville Open Studios, one of the largest weekend-long open studio events in the United States.
Home to many Firefly artists and a growing arts community, Somerville is located just north of Boston. Read more »
Larry Page at the Google I/O Conference (Photo Credit: James Martin/CNET)
In his keynote speech at this week’s Google I/O developers conference, Google CEO (and long-time Burner) Larry Page suggested the world would benefit from a temporary (if not permanent?) autonomous zone free of social rules where people can experiment with new technologies and innovations, free of the restrictions inherent in attempting to deploy them broadly in the normal world. Essentially, a technology-specific Burning Man.
“We don’t want our world to change too fast. But maybe we could set apart a piece of the world … I like going to Burning Man, for example. An environment where people can try new things. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society. What’s the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.”
Suffice to say, we couldn’t agree more.
Here’s more coverage on the talk from Silicon Beat and CNN, and his full speech can be seen here.
“The more digital we get,” he said, “the more ritual we need.”
I jumped those words. My heart pounded. “Yeah!” I remember thinking, with an exclamation point and everything. I wrote it down in my notebook and put a little star next to it – my shorthand for “this is worth a whole article on its own.”
Larry Harvey has been talking about just this kind of thing for years. He even insisted that the following line be inserted in to Burning Man’s charter: the organization places “embodied ritual before symbolism.”
Which is awesome, to the extent it makes any sense at all.
But getting excited by something like that is a lot easier than explaining what it means, or why it’s true.
So obviously I might not be 100 percent on board with this concept that so excites me.
I stand by what I wrote in that post. But I also think Conley has hit on something vitally important, that needs to be explored – and that Burning Man may be the most advanced form of that “something important” we have. Read more »
A couple amazing videos came across our radar recently. They’re amazing in and of themselves, but also as an exercise in contrasts … and a vivid reminder that every Big Thing started small.
One is a Super 8 video shot by Bob G at the first Burning Man to take place on the Black Rock Desert in 1990 (he added the soundtrack in 2000 as an effort to juxtapose what Burning Man was to where it’s evolved). The other is a beautiful high-definition time lapse video of Burning Man 2011 called “The Fertile Desert” by filmmaker Roy Two Thousand.
Never doubt the power of a spark to ignite a flame that will burn the world.
We have been out and about the last couple of weeks visiting some big art that is going to Burning Man this year. First we stopped by to see how Truth is Beauty is progressing. Marco Cochrane, the sculptor, says:
Truth is Beauty is intended to be a catalyst for social change; to de-objectify women and express the basic truth of femininity, a truth that is dangerous for individual women to express. They are a reminder of what we gain when we value women. My hope is to inspire men and women to take action to end violence against women, thus allowing both women and men to live fully and thrive.
Standing 55 feet tall and weighing 7,000 pounds Truth is Beauty will be constructed using:
• 25,000 feet of steel rod and pipe;
• 6,500 steel ball connection points;
• 2000 square feet of stainless steel mesh; and
• 55,000 single welds.
One thousand five hundred (1,500) individual multi-colored LED lights will be distributed throughout her body. These lights will be controlled by a custom iPad application to create a spectacular light show that will enhance and expand the visual experience.
If you would like to contribute to Truth is Beauty their Indiegogo campaign is HERE.
Scott London for Rolling Stone
While we were on Treasure Island, I spoke to Katy Boynton, the sculptor of Heartfullness. Heartfullness was at Burning Man 2012 for the first time. It is a 12 by 15 foot steel sculpture of a heart that has been broken and pieced back together, damaged and pieces may be missing, but this weathered heart is stronger and infinitely more interesting. Katy told us they were going to do some small scale testing for adding fire to her piece for the Playa this year, and we got to watch. Gotta love fire! Read more »
A temple is being built in Christchurch, New Zealand, commemorating the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that devastated that city in February 2011, killing 185 people.
Inspired by the ritual of Burning Man’s temples, and a recipient of a 2012 Black Rock Arts Foundation grant, the Temple for Christchurch will serve as a sacred space where people can leave mementos and write on its walls before witnessing its eventual burning. The intention is to help residents of Christchurch reflect upon and come to terms with the aftermath of the disaster.
Architectural mapping of Richter scale waveforms
Artist Hippathy Valentine designed the Temple as an architectural interpretation of the Richter scale waveforms that were created by the earthquake itself — and it symbolically stands 6.3 meters in height at its peak. Fittingly, it’s being constructed on one of the many empty demolition sites that now are common in Christchurch. Its modular design allows the structure to be taken apart and reconstructed in the New Zealand countryside, where it will be burned.
Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
by Kenny Reff
So here I am, spending another evening attempting to write a novel. My daughter is upstairs packing for college, I’m recently divorced, and about to be kid-less for the first time in 18 years. Wow.
While doing research for the novel, I come across a web page telling me Burning Man is happening in two weeks. It’s something I’ve heard about for years, but being 50+ and on the East Coast, I don’t know anyone else who’d ever gone.
Could I do it? In just two weeks? Of course not.
I stare at the week of August 27, but unbelievably, it is clear. The event had been sold out for months, but a ticket on eBay was coming due in 20 minutes. I placed the bid and won. And forty minutes later I have round-trip frequent flier tickets for free. It seems like I was meant to do this. Landing frequent flier tickets 12 days out? You know that just doesn’t happen.
But the real challenge I face is how to get all my shit to camp. Read more »