Posts by Will Chase

November 11th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

“Like 4 Real”: DADARA Speaks at TEDx Amsterdam

"Like 4 Real" at Burning Man 2013 (photo by Yomi Ayeni)

“Like 4 Real” at Burning Man 2013 (photo by Yomi Ayeni)

Did you see the “Like 4 Real” art piece at Burning Man 2013? Did you hate it? Did you discount it as a publicity (or some such) stunt by Facebook, or a group of overly-enthusiastic Burners from Silicon Valley? You’re not alone. Turns out that was a common misconception.

DADARA (aka Daniel Rozenberg), the Amsterdam-based artist who has created over a half-dozen thought-provoking art pieces for Burning Man over the years, recently spoke in front of 1,200 people at the Royal Concert Hall for TEDx Amsterdam about Like 4 Real, his most recent offering.

It’s a wonderful talk (not to mention an interactive and participatory experience) about the principle of Immediacy, wherein DADARA provides insight into this provocative piece, including the socio-technical conditions that inspired it, the Likefesto, and the experience of displaying the sculpture at Burning Man.

Enjoy … and we encourage you to participate in the Like meditation at the end. Of course, if you’re so inclined, you’re welcome to “like” the Like 4 Real Facebook page. For real.

October 24th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

“The Artumnal Gathering: Metamorphosis” – A BRAF Benefit

Artumnal Gathering: Metamorphosis

Artumnal Gathering: Metamorphosis

The Black Rock Arts Foundation presents…

The Artumnal Gathering: Metamorphosis
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Dinner 6:00 p.m., Main Event 9:45 p.m.

The Bently Reserve
400 Sansome St.
San Francisco, CA 94111

For the last twelve years, BRAF has enjoyed the privilege of working with artists who are breaking the mold of public art, and who prioritize community benefit and involvement in their work. We believe in their vision and are honored to offer them our support.

BRAF is nearing a pivotal moment in our evolution. We recognize that there are more avenues of growth to be explored, more communities in need of art, and more connections and collaborations to be nurtured.

Now is the perfect time to recognize our community’s extraordinary artists! Join us in celebration of our past work and collaborators, and support BRAF’s future initiatives!

BRAF’s seventh annual gala event includes epicurean delights, sophisticated libations, tantalizing treats, wondrous pleasures, captivating featured and roaming live performances, DJ’s, original artwork by BRAF’s favorite artists, dancing, raffle, gallery art sale, live and silent auction featuring exclusive experiences and items, and abundant expressions of creativity!

This event sells out! Buy tickets today!

All tickets are 21 and over. Black Rock Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit. A portion of your ticket price is tax-deductible.

Buy tickets here!

Please feel free to contact us for more information by emailing artumnal here: artumnal (at) blackrockarts.org.

October 15th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, News

Black Rock Solar Honored for Selflessness

Black Rock Solar

Black Rock Solar

Well now … Burning Man’s spin-off non-profit Black Rock Solar is being recognized for their great work and good deeds over the years!

Solar Power World Newsletter has announced that Black Rock Solar has been awarded the Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund Award — honoring BRS’s selflessness in solar advocacy, installations and education work. BRS Executive Director Paddy McCully will accept the award at the Solar Power World Top 250 Gala in Chicago, during the Solar Power International conference.

Here’s the story from SPWN:

By popular acclamation, Black Rock Solar, a Reno, Nev.-based solar non-profit installer, will be awarded the Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund Award.

The Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund will recognize the non-profit at the Solar Power World Top Contractors Gala on Oct. 21 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago for its selfless solar advocacy, installations and education work.

Black Rock Solar began as a volunteer crew installing a 30-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array at the Burning Man festival in 2007. That fall, the array was donated to the nearby town of Gerlach, Nev., and Black Rock Solar began its mission of building low-cost solar for organizations and communities who can use it the most.

Since 2007, Black Rock Solar has installed more than three megawatts of solar power for tribes, non-profits and schools in Nevada. Many of its systems have been built at zero cost to its clients.

The BDR Fund is a project of The Solar Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to expanding access to solar energy and broadening solar energy education in our nation’s K-12 schools. Named for Brian Robertson, a young entrepreneur and solar pioneer who died in a plane crash in December 2011, the award was created to honor Brian’s legacy and recognize the often overlooked work of community-oriented organizations and companies in the world of solar.

“Black Rock and others who have demonstrated their dedication to solar philanthropy make us proud to be part of this industry, and it is important that their generosity be publicly acknowledged,” said BDR Fund Board Member Jigar Shah.

Grid Alternatives and Solar Liberty also competed for the award.

The Top Solar Contractors Gala, taking place during Solar Power International 2013, is the culminating ceremony celebrating the publication’s 2013 Top 250 Solar Contractors rankings. The event will bring together more than 80 companies and 300 installation professionals.

UPDATE: Here’s a nice recap of the gala.

October 10th, 2013  |  Filed under News

Your New Nobel Laureate in Chemistry is a Burner

Go figure. The most recent winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry is a Burner.

Helix thing.

Helix thing.

Congratulations to Michael Levitt, professor of structural biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work back in the 1970′s “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.” According to the Stanford News, “Levitt’s work focuses on theoretical, computer-aided analysis of protein, DNA and RNA molecules responsible for life at its most fundamental level. Delineating the precise molecular structures of biological molecules is a necessary first step in understanding how they work and in designing drugs to alter their function.”

(Admittedly, we only understand this at a barely-survived-10th-grade-chemistry level at best … there was something about cool-looking spirally things.)

Michael and Rina and their sculpture "Unity" at Burning Man 2013. (Photo c/o "Soloride" on Reddit)

Michael and Rina and their sculpture “Unity” at Burning Man 2013. (Photo c/o “Soloride” on Reddit)

It’s notable that the Prize is related to work that the 66-year old Levitt did back when he was just 20 years of age. Most of us likely boast no greater achievement at 20 than moving out of our parents’ house. Or back in, as the case may be. So we’re thinking this guy really had his sh*t together.

But anyway, the reason you care about any of this (if you’re not a die-hard chemist or Nobeliphile, a word we made up) is that Levitt and his wife Rina are Burners. According to the article, “[h]e and his wife together designed a two-dimensional wire sculpture for the 2013 Burning Man festival in Nevada. Rina, the artist, designed the piece, called Unity. Levitt, of course, used a computer to calculate the exact shape and dimensions the single long wire outline should assume.”

And that? Is pretty cool. We love our people.

September 30th, 2013  |  Filed under News

Burning Man Epiphany Makes for Better Pizza

Pizza.

Pizza.

The Dallas Observer reports on a local man who went to Burning Man, had an epiphany (as you do), and took it back home with him in a very real way.

Influenced by his years of attending the Burning Man event, Dallas pizza shop owner Frank Nuccio decided to make some changes to his business’s (My Family’s Pizza, formerly Pizza by Marco) pizza-making process.

“The dough will use water only from a reverse osmosis system being installed this month. I’m removing all toxins such as chlorine and fluoride from all the water used in the restaurant,” Frank said. Not only that, he’s also stopped selling any products that contain aspartame — including soda — instead opting for a soda brand made with pure cane sugar (which tastes a helluva lot better, frankly).

We like to say that being a Burner is a way of being, a lens through which we perceive our relationship to the world, and it’s up to each of us to make change happen on a local as well as global level … as we do. And a pizza joint is as good a place to start as any, right? Right.

Nice job, Frank. Next time we’re in Dallas, we’ll be sure to stop in for a slice.

So tell us, how have YOU manifested your Burner ideals in your day-to-day life?

September 20th, 2013  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

3 Things

Photo by Paul Duane, 2013.

Photo by Paul Duane, 2013.

Here’s a sweet story for you.

At Burning Man this year, first-time Burner Paul Duane decided to pose this question to Burners he encountered:

“Imagine that I handed you a microphone; when you speak into it, the whole world can understand and hear you at the same time.  You can make 3 statements. What would you say?”

People wrote down their answers, and he took their pictures. Here’s what happened.

OK so wait. That’s not the cool part. The cool part is that an elementary school teacher in North Carolina saw his “3 Things” photo essay, and decided to have her students do it too. And she posted their photos.

Paul said, “I was excited to see my Burning Man experience make it clear into the classroom of some kids on the other side of the country …”

We’d most definitely have to agree.

September 13th, 2013  |  Filed under News

Burning Man Featured on PBS NewsHour

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 5.37.04 pm

See? See?

We’re very excited that the PBS NewsHour will be airing a fantastic KQED report tonight on the culture and artwork that emerged at this year’s Burning Man event, and the impact they off playa, year-round.

The piece features a number of Burning Man artists you may recognize, such as the Flaming Lotus Girls, as well as an interview with Tomas McCabe, Executive Director of the Black Rock Arts Foundation.

Check your local listings, and tune in!

Once it’s available, we’ll update this post with the archived video of the segment.

August 21st, 2013  |  Filed under News, Participate!

Black Rock City Census 2013 – Moving Online!

census_logoThis comes from our intrepid Black Rock City Census team.

The only thing constant is change …

Over time, the data gathering methods of the Census have progressed from an exclusively paper survey that was distributed on playa and required manual input of responses to the combination of a paper survey, a random sampling of Burners and online surveys. In 2013, the Census team will be gathering data via a random sampling at the Gate during ingress and exodus and a post-event online survey.

The Census is online …

The Census will be available online on Tuesday after the Burn (September 3, 2013) at http://census.burningman.com. We would love to receive your responses and welcome your input. The online Census fosters the immediacy principle of Burning Man and enables BRC citizens to access the Census independently of their preferences in terms of Burning Man experiences. It also allows the Census to be more eco-conscious by reducing the need for printed forms. Further, eliminating the paper form means removing the need for data entry and drastically reducing the data errors due to manual entry. Read more »