Posts during March, 2014


March 28th, 2014  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Burning Man’s 8th Annual Global Leadership Conference

Global Leadership Conference!

Global Leadership Conference!

We’re hosting the 8th annual Burning Man Global Leadership Conference from April 3-6, and we’d like to invite YOU to follow along as we report out from the proceedings.

Over 300 Burning Man community leaders from around the world will gather in San Francisco to connect, share ideas and get inspired about spreading Burning Man values in their local communities — and we’ve assembled a crack team of reporters to keep you in the mix.

They’ll be covering the GLC here on the Burning Blog (tag: BMGLC14), and tweeting to @BurningManGLC … follow along there. We’ll also do our best to answer any questions you may have, too.

So yes, tune in!

March 28th, 2014  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Where I Healed

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
Photo: Dan Adams

Photo: Dan Adams


by Naomi Jedeikin Starr

I woke up Friday morning and felt a pull to get to the Temple.

As Jonny and I rode out to the playa the dust started swirling, not a full white out, but as we got closer to the temple the visibility decreased. You could see but not well, you could ride but with caution.

We kept going.

Then suddenly the dust settled, and there the temple was in all its mystical grandness, a pyramid of human emotion standing majestically before me. Read more »

March 24th, 2014  |  Filed under Afield in the World

Life Cube Burns in Downtown Las Vegas

Last Friday, the Life Cube burned in the middle of Las Vegas. The flames carried 35,000 wishes written by the public up into the heavens.

Artist Scott Cohen has built and destroyed The Life Cube Project on the playa for a few years running, and now he’s brought its message into the default world. Anyone who passed by the structure before the burn was able to write down their wishes, and Cohen also brought cards to local elementary schools. DaveX (Burning Man’s Fire Art Safety Team manager) said his favorite of the kids’ wishes was “I want a gold monster truck.” He and a few other veteran Burners were on hand to make sure the Life Cube burned safely — including the inimitable Flash Hopkins, who emceed the proceedings.

There’s a beautiful photo gallery in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and here’s a great piece about the burn on the local news:

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

March 21st, 2014  |  Filed under News, Photos/Videos/Media

Larry Harvey Interviewed on Charlie Rose [VIDEO]

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey appeared on the Charlie Rose show on March 20, 2014. He talked with Mr. Rose about the event’s origins, how and why it’s grown from humble beginnings into a worldwide cultural phenomenon, the ethos of this burgeoning community, and his vision for the future. It’s a great interview.

Here’s the video of the full interview:

March 20th, 2014  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

“Taking My Parents to Burning Man” Screening at BMHQ

Do not try this at home ...

Do not try this at home …

WHAT: “Taking My Parents to Burning Man” Screening plus Q&A with Filmmaker and Artist, Bryant Boesen
WHEN: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, 7:30pm – 10pm
WHERE: Burning Man HQ, 660 Alabama Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94110
RSVP: rsvp here: rsvp (at) burningman.com

Burning Man, known to many as a debaucherous arts event, isn’t your average family vacation destination. Meet Bry, artist, provocateur, son. Now meet Bry’s nearly-retired parents, Lilice and Charles. Immersed in Burning Man culture year round, inspired by the community, artistry, and frivolity, “Taking My Parents to Burning Man” is a parental coming-of-age story. Follow our three heroes as they depart Canada and set out to tame the vacant heart of the wild west.

Doors open at 7:30pm. The ninety minute film begins at 8pm and will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker, Bryant Boesen. Light appetizers and a wine and beer bar will be open during the first thirty minutes of the event.

Space is limited and all guests must RSVP to rsvp here: rsvp (at) burningman.com no later than Monday, March 31st, 2014.

To learn more and watch the trailer, check out the film’s website.

March 19th, 2014  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

Education is Everything: Better Behavior Through Learning

[This post is part of the 10 Principles blog series, an ongoing exploration of the history, philosophy and dynamics of Burning Man's 10 Principles in Black Rock City and around the world. We welcome your voice in the conversation.]

Here’s what I remember being surprised by the most during my first visit to Black Rock City, in 1998: No garbage cans.

I had come utterly unprepared, and had little idea what going to Burning Man meant. Traveling separately from my only other friend who was going, I grabbed a spot on the Green Tortoise, packed a couple of bags, and made my way to the playa.

Danger Ranger, Burning Man Cultural Ambassador, 2013 (photo by Mark Hammon)

Danger Ranger, Burning Man Cultural Ambassador, 2013 (photo by Mark Hammon)

Even today, I frequently recall wandering the Esplanade during Burning Man 1998, a wad of garbage in my hand, and simply not grokking why there was no place to throw my trash. Having failed to read the Survival Guide, that just didn’t make any sense to me. Not that I was the kind of person to blithely toss crap on the ground, but I had no idea what to do. Eventually, I found a nook in some wooden structure crammed with others’ refuse, and jammed mine in alongside.

That was more than 15 years ago. But just a few weeks ago, I was walking through my local farmer’s market with some trash in my hand and no obvious place to put it. I spotted a cigarette butt in a small bin underneath the leg of a merchant’s Easy-Up, and mistakenly thought I was in luck. The merchant was not amused, harshly letting me know the bin was no garbage can: it was a weight holding down the Easy-Up. Read more »

March 19th, 2014  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

Why The 10 Principles Will Never Help You Win Your Argument About Burning Man With The Shirt Cocking DJ You Hate So Much

[This post is part of the 10 Principles blog series, an ongoing exploration of the history, philosophy and dynamics of Burning Man's 10 Principles in Black Rock City and around the world. We welcome your voice in the conversation.]

Worst.  DJ.  Ever.  I hate him so much!

Worst. DJ. Ever. I hate him so much!

Someone recently told me that he knew his camp had become an important part of Burning Man culture after someone accused them of ruining it.

I laughed for a solid 10 minutes.  It’s that funny because it’s that true.  For every person who is active in Burning Man culture, there’s a Burner convinced that person is selling it out.

Is this a “teachable moment” – or are we just assholes?

Anthropologists and historians remind us that “culture” is not a monolithic thing – it always contains cross-currents and subcultures and family feuds.  There is no single “American Culture,” or “Christianity” or “Hollywood” – there are only currents, united to a greater or lesser degree by a common history, sensibility, or project.

There’s no reason Burning Man should be different, and even a casual glance at the playa revels that under the blinking lights we are a community diverse enough to be divided.  Not so much by race or creed, but by whether we like dub-step, whether we know our enneagram score, and whether we want to prank the world or save it. Read more »

March 4th, 2014  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

Radical Inclusion: That’s So Gay?

[This post is part of the 10 Principles blog series, an ongoing exploration of the history, philosophy and dynamics of Burning Man's 10 Principles in Black Rock City and around the world. We welcome your voice in the conversation.]

Photo by Steph Goralnick

Big Words by Laura Kimpton, Burning Man 2011. Photo by Steph Goralnick.

Of all the Ten Principles, I think the one most of us struggle with at one point or another is Radical Inclusion. Usually, that’s because it is in near-direct opposition to Burning Man’s North Star, the ideal that brought most of our bedraggled, bedazzled butts to the Black Rock in the first place: Radical Self-Expression.

Usually, when I think about Radical Inclusion, I think about the way we judge other Burners for doing it wrong in various ways: Too much oontz oontz or a preponderance of yarn dreads…wearing cargo shorts instead of hot pants…watching the event through the window of an RV…marching around screaming CHIIIRRRRRRRP when other people are trying to sleep. There are a million ways to do Burning Man, and just about any way you choose to do it, somebody’s going to have a problem with it.

But recently, my perception of the Radical Inclusion debate shifted, when I realized that we as a community might have an inclusion problem on a much more basic level.

Read more »