What do you get when you cross a giant, flaming duck with a chocolate factory and a smiling tyrant? A bird, a plane…and my recent visit to Russia.
A few weeks back, I traveled to Moscow to participate in an academic Urban Routines conference at Strelka Institute. The invitation was a fortunate one as it also gave me the opportunity to visit the thriving Moscow Burner community and to meet a fascinating and fun loving Black Rock Arts Foundation grant recipient.
My first day in Moscow, I wandered, sleep-deprived but excited, over a set of small bridges to find myself on an island in the Moscow River that houses the Krasny Oktyabr or “Red October,” chocolate factory, built in the 19th century. The factory complex is now the home of art galleries, cafes, and Strelka Institute. (more…)
The Global Burning Man Network is alive and thriving in Europe. Through gatherings and participatory projects, the community is coming together in truly amazing ways and we have a few exciting initiatives to spotlight: Barcelona’s Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) inspired project for Nowhere, Burning Night in Paris, Burning Burg in Germany, Latvia’s first annual regional burn, and Burning Man’s First Annual European Leadership Summit, which happened in February in Berlin.
Barcelona is Burning…
Barcelona is on fire! This past weekend, the Barcelona Burning Bash took place in Southern Catalonia and the Barcelona Burners and their international pals spent time making plans for an exciting community initiative. In the spirit of the CORE projects that brought together regional groups from 2011-2013 at Burning Man, the Barcelona Burner community is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to bring a large-scale, interactive art installation to this year’s Nowhere regional event in Spain, an annual happening that brings together over 1,000 Burners from across the world. The design of the art piece, called “COR Pur Trencat Bategant” (“Pure Broken Beating Hear” in Catalan), is based on the concept of deconstruction as a challenging process for traditional assumptions of certainty, identity and truth. Local artists, designers, techies and creators are teaming up to express the intersection of Burning Man culture with the spirit of Catalonia. The hope is that this year’s project at Nowhere will inspire other groups from across Europe to bring effigies to Nowhere and other regional events.The Barcelona team is now raising money to finalize their powerful vision.
Meanwhile, earlier this month in Germany…
In early May, 30 beloved Burners turned the castle in Lutter, a quaint German village, into a sparkling den of happiness. “Small and beautiful” best describes the cozy annual Burning Burg event. Participants enjoyed a delightful weekend filled with creative workshops, inspirational conversations and colorful activities such as the film screening of Ulrike Peichert’s documentary You Can’t Unburn The Fire. Participants were also able to gain valuable information to help them prepare for Nowhere and Burning Man 2014. Despite the poor weather outside, the spirit within the castle was phenomenal. Castle inhabitants and people from nearby villages also joined in on the festivities on Saturday evening and made the weekend unforgettable.
And we can never forget Paris…
In April, the Burning Man community in France hosted Burning Night in Paris. Nearly 1,300 participants filled the rooms of La Machine Du Moulin Rouge with color and magic. Over 20 DJs and a wide variety of acts performed on 3 stages until the wee hours of the morning, providing the sonic backdrop to a night filled with workshops, interactive machinery, performance and joy. April’s event marked the 13th installment of a truly amazing Burning Night event series that started off with 50 attendees in 2006. Stay tuned as we will soon announce a new team of French Regional Contacts that will help nurture the Burner community across the country.
Our Latvian rock stars…
Between June 21st and 24th our dear rock stars from Latvia are hosting their first regional burn: Degošais Jānis: Uguns Rituāls (Burning John: Ritual of Fire). The event takes place on an industrial hemp farm and coincides with Latvia’s biggest national holiday, Jāņi (pronounced yah-nyee). According to the tradition, on the night of Jāņi, a bonfire must be kept burning from sunset to sunrise. The farther the light from the fire reaches, the farther the sacredness and protection of this magical night reaches too. The night involves a variety of mystic, colorful and extremely inclusive events that bring the joy and fun of a wonderful and healthy new year to all participants. The theme is TRADITIONS, where the traditions and culture of Burning Man will blend with the traditions and culture of Latvia.
Berlin heats up…
We also thought you’d enjoy seeing this fun video that Profiles in Dust crew member Jan Beddegenoodts created to celebrate Burning Man’s first annual European Leadership Summit which took place in Berlin February 7-9, 2014. The weekend-long gathering brought together over 100 Regional Contacts and community leaders from over 30 countries. The Berlin Burners hosted the myriad Summit guests in grand style and put together Burning Bar, a night-long celebration that took place in an old silent movie theater. We can’t wait to see what the Berlin Burners do next! A Burner meetup is planned for this weekend at C-Base, an amazing space station that hosted our Summit kick-off mixer. Yay, Berlin!
It’s clear that Burner culture is thriving across Europe. To get involved in your local regional community and to find out what’s happening, visit regionals.burningman.com.
More than 100 European regional contacts, community leaders and regional event leads gathered in Berlin with Burning Man staff Feb. 7-9 for the inaugural Burning Man European Leadership Summit.
Through three days of presentations, group discussions and networking, participants and staff gained a deeper understanding of the broad range of community initiatives and visions of the future shared by Burners from countries across the continent. Burning Man staff led seminars covering event production and the evolving role of regional contacts. Participants also shared experiences on the unique nature of leadership in a collaborative culture and across multiple languages. (more…)
On Thursday, August 29th at 10pm YOU will have the opportunity to participate in the world’s largest synchronized heartbeat, which will take place in our dusty Black Rock City home. BMIR Radio (94.5FM) will broadcast a bass-laden heartbeat and art cars and camps across the playa will tune in for five minutes. By listening, your heartbeat will tune to the beat on the radio, and, by extension, the population of Black Rock City.
The goal of this experiment and playa dream of Playa Heartbeat project organizers Sonia Aggarwal and Jordan MacHardy is to get every single heart on the playa beating in sync. And, there’s a science behind it. “When a human heart is surrounded by rhythmic low frequencies of the right meter, it aligns with the beat,” says Aggarwal. Aggarwal says that the initial inspiration for the project came to the duo when they were walking around the playa in 2012 and imagining Black Rock City as a giant organism, which made them wonder what that organism’s heartbeat might sound like. (more…)
Come one, come all to the fabulous TOUR de CORE in Black Rock City!
The 3rd Annual Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) is comprised of wooden sculptures created by Burning Man Regional groups from around the world! This year’s configuration consists of four circles of six effigies placed around the base of the Man that will burn together on Thursday night to create the world’s largest intentional simultaneous Burn!
Kicking off the first night on playa, the TOUR de CORE will be the prime time to venture out to see the different CORE projects and to meet the creators to see what they have to share on their outstanding projects! Art cars will be on hand as hosts, to celebrate CORE, to entertain folks and to shuttle you around the circles. (more…)
Tomorrow, Burners Without Borders invites you to join their tele-salon and select their next grant recipient! Their new Walk the Walk Grant program seeks to fund innovative community projects within the Burning Man Global Network.
Four finalists will each have 10 minutes to pitch their project during the call. How does the project embody the 10 Principles, creatively address local challenges and produce direct actions and collaboration? Join the tele-salon and find out tomorrow. (more…)
The Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) is taking form before our eyes out here in dusty Black Rock City! Now in its second year, CORE is a massive collaborative art installation comprised of 34 effigies created by Burning Man Regional groups from around the world. The majority of CORE project leads will arrive tomorrow but a few groups have already started building their art out here in our desert home. This afternoon, Squishelle, our resident CORE Cheerleader and one of our Vancouver Regional Contacts, and I hopped in her blue VW van, Peacock, to greet the groups and see how the projects were coming along.
We first laid our eyes on Stella Octangula, the MiAtlantic/Philadelphia project. When we first arrived, they were staging they their second geometric shape to be connected to the first one that they’d perfectly laid into the playa. Eventually, it will form a giant star tetrahedron, which is a symbol of divine essence and beauty. The crew members were warm, friendly, and offered us a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (yum! My favorite!) and we talked Jersey and Garden State Parkway exits. During the CORE Art Walk on Tuesday afternoon, the Stella crew will host a workshop about how to created divine geometric forms through the art of origami. They will also be having a ritual dance performance that embodies the archetypal dualities between fire and air at 5pm on Tuesday. (more…)
Like our annual event in Black Rock City, Nowhere 2012 is truly a global gathering. Now in its 9th year, Nowhere is one of the largest Burning Man Regional events and drew over 1,100 participants this past week to the desert plains outside of Zaragoza, Spain. Over the past nine years, Nowhere has served as a nexus for the Regional groups throughout the world who keep the ethos of Burning Man alive year-round. For these international Burners, making the trip aboard to the U.S. for Burning Man is a major undertaking and it can often be quite challenging to gather the supplies and materials needed to build a theme camp or a large-scale art project. Most of the participants do make the annual journey to BRC but often join up with other U.S.-based camps and artists. Nowhere is their chance to go BIG in their creation of their theme camp homes at Nowhere and to do so in their own unique cultural style. (more…)