We got an email on Thursday evening while at Burning Man that our condo in Oakland had flooded, so I decided to come home a little early. The plumbers were able to fix it from the outside but the management company said that there was water in the outside hallway, and we found that fairly concerning. So I was up early on Friday morning, down the hill, a little clean-up and all is okay. But you know I am missing y’all, you know who you are.
I camp with The Mansonian Institute, and we always have an amazing mix of campers. This year we have a lot of crew from The Generator, because my camp leader, Joe Olivier, is on the Board of Directors. Many of them were involved in building Pier 2 and La Llorona in 2012. I immediately liked Fish, young enough to be my grandson and kind, smart and attentive. So when I discovered he was also a photographer I of course wanted to see his photos, and to share them with you. So from here at home, on my little porch, is a new photographer that I am sure you will be seeing again, Aleks Stirajs. The first Truth is Beauty shot is during the electrical storm during set up and it is my favorite.
We all have a story. Sometimes getting to Burning Man is difficult, connections missed, you see all those broken down trucks on the way that look like they have an entire theme camp wired on precariously and then the tiny Prius that looks like it could not hold enough clothes and water for the two people in the car, sitting at the I80 Smoke Shop in Wadsworth with their hood up. BUT…there is the amazing international crowd that you see at Savmart in Reno buying everything they need. They have come from Russia, and South Africa, and Saudi Arabia, and China and everywhere else. The 2012 Black Rock City Census indicates that 24% of us on the Playa last year, did not reside in the U.S. My husband and I have been the registrars for the Global Leadership Conference for the last six years so we know a lot of people that come across the world to be a part of the Burning Man community. I said all that to say, that since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I always feel like I should not complain about whatever little hardships happen along the way since I know so many Burners are coming from so far away and sometimes those trips are filled with mishaps. Read more »
The fabulous John Curley has been keeping you up to date on all the crews and artists getting the Black Rock Desert ready to Welcome you. You have probably read his post about the recent storms, and perhaps another on the way. My husband has been on the desert for a few weeks so I had been wondering about the damage, whether his trailer was anchored down, and how everyone who is building the city would be impacted by the weather. And then my friend Sidney Erthal sent me this amazing photo of BELIEVE.
The “V” in BELIEVE was tilted by the storm, but had the “E” next to it to lean on. But, as you can see, the “I” had fallen over, but there, in the morning after the storm, stood Truth is Beauty, standing taller than the “I”, just like she knew she needed to be there. Now that is a moment after a storm to make you smile.
I have been blogging about the work that comes out of Bliss Dance Studios for a long time. Two of my favorite posts, one about Bliss Dance getting ready for the Playa in 2010 is Assembling Bliss Dance and then when she went to Treasure Island, Bliss Dance Has Emerged. Well now I have the pleasure of telling you about Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane and his huge crew. Truth is Beauty is the second sculpture in the series, The Bliss Project, three monumental sculptures of a woman, Deja Solis, expressing her humanity. Truth is Beauty is about 55′ tall, constructed of welded steel rods and balls, covered in stainless steel mesh skin with interactive lighting effects. These sculptures are intended to demand a change in perspective, to be a catalyst for social change; to de-objectify women and inspire men and women to take action to end violence against women, thus allowing both women and men to live fully and thrive. Truth is Beauty is being installed at Burning Man 2013.
She will be lit with over 3,000 pixels are individually addressable and are enhanced with 3D printed light shades (below). The maquette that is surrounded by the head and torso is a scale model of the lighting plan.
I have been spending quite a bit of time out at the studios and I had a chance to see Ping, a lighting programmer actually working on the program that will light her up at Burning Man 2013
And for the first time in all of these years I actually contributed to the creation of Truth is Beauty by creating little pins out of wire to reach inside the mesh in smaller places on the sculpture, like her legs and arms. I really had a great time, it felt great to do more than write about such a spectacular piece of art. Wait until you see her lit up on the Playa. You will be amazed.
photos: Truth is Beauty and Ping by Jay R Houghton
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 »
Most of us are home and cleaning the playa dust from this year’s [BM]. My kitchen continues to smell like vinegar since my husband and I arrived home two weeks apart. But most of my friends are talking about missing the community and spectacle they experience at the Burning Man event. For some of them, like us, it has become a part of their lives. I know there are a lot of videos out there but I thought you might like to see “Burn Baby Burn”. It does have some enhancements so if you are a purist about the Burn this might not be the video for you, but I loved it:
Music: BRAPT, an underground Belgian artist
Animation: John Ferran (Dustfish)
Video: Mister WA or MisterWAvideo here: MisterWAvideo (at) gmail.com
When I arrived home and started to miss [BM] I saw this amazing video that I wanted to share with you.
And here is some information that Experimental Airlines wanted to share about the video:
The most huge thanks to my spotter and ground crew T.R. “Deluxe” – I could not have done it without you!
“Ready To Fly” by Clayton Joseph Scott, from his album “More Love”, gifted to me by the artist himself on the playa. Listening to this song on the way back to the default world I realized that the lyrics encompass the Burning Man experience quite perfectly. The flying reference also made it great for this video. Clayton has kindly allowed me to use his song. Read more »