Posts by Will Chase

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 »

August 5th, 2013  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Participate!

Spencer Tunick Nude Art Installation at Burning Man 2013

Spencer Tunick group shot at Burning Man 2000 (photo by Richard Denat)

Spencer Tunick group shot at Burning Man 2000 (photo by Richard Denat)

World renowned photographer and 2013 honorarium art grant recipient Spencer Tunick (check out his awesome (NSFW) website) is doing a photo shoot of one of his amazing art installations on playa this year. Spencer tells us how to be part of this epic experience:

“Desert Spirits by Spencer Tunick
Date/Time(s): Friday, August 30th, 2013 5 a.m. – 7 a.m.
Contact Email: projects here: projects (at) spencertunick.com

We would like to invite you to POSE NUDE in a group photographic installation by artist Spencer Tunick. Spencer will choose men, women and any gender identity to be part of this unique installation. In order to be chosen we ask that you please send in a low resolution photograph of yourself. Participants will be selected based on photographs submitted to the email: projects here: projects (at) spencertunick.com

Please send the image sooner rather than later. Most installations by Spencer do not have limits to the number of people participating, nor do they require the submission of a photograph. However, for this art work for Burning Man, there is a cap on the number of people participating due to the specific concept of the work.

Mexico City 4 (Zócalo, MUCA/UNAM) 2007, by Spencer Tunick

Mexico City 4 (Zócalo, MUCA/UNAM) 2007, by Spencer Tunick

We are asking for a photograph because we want to have a wide range of body types and skin tonalities represented in the final work. Although everyone is unique, If you are not chosen, it is simply because we may have reached the amount of people with similar specific characteristics. We apologize in advance if you are not chosen for this particular idea but please do not let it deter you from posing in future works by Spencer where there are no number limits.

Chosen participants will be contacted by email prior to August 24th with: location and further instructions. Please only sign up if you are committed to participating and able to wake up before sunrise (or stay up all night). The work will take place before sunrise in order to utilize the pre-dawn light. You will be in position when the sun rises. You only will be nude for a short period of time. …we know it’s chilly…so you will not be nude until right before the sun rises over the horizon and as the sun hits your body. 5am is just the call time to get you registered. We need everyone to be on time. In exchange for taking part, you will receive by mail, a limited edition print of the art work. PARTICIPANTS ONLY.

Thank you!”

August 1st, 2013  |  Filed under News

2013 Health Department Permits for BRC Kitchens

Dust City Diner, 2011 (photo by Christina Jackson)

Dust City Diner, 2011 (photo by Christina Jackson)

In order to fight the threat of food-borne illness on the playa, the Nevada State Health Division (NSHD) has requirements for camps preparing food including the need of a health permit and an inspection. You must apply for and be permitted as a Temporary Food Establishment by the NSHD if:

* You wish to share, cook or serve food or non-alcoholic beverages to the general Burning Man population (gifting food).

* You will be cooking or serving food to large groups of more than 125* FELLOW CAMPERS of your theme camp on a consistent basis.

(If you have a communal kitchen shared by 125 or more campers, but meals are prepared individually, or in smaller quantities than for 125 persons, a permit is not required, however we highly recommend you research and review safe food handling practices, starting with the Nevada Division of Health information).

Here are the permit procedures and deadlines: Read more »

July 30th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, The Ten Principles

The Morris Hotel: The First Burner Hotel in the World

Jungle Jim in front of the Morris Hotel (YouTube screen capture)

Jungle Jim in front of the Morris Hotel (YouTube screen capture)

If you’d like to see Burning Man’s 10 Principles in action in the real world, just head down to 4th Street in Reno, and have a look at the Morris Hotel. Recently purchased by Jim Gibson (aka Jungle Jim on the playa), The Morris will be the first Burner hotel in the world.

Communal effort, radical inclusion, radical self-expression, gifting, civic responsibility, participation, leave no trace, immediacy — they’re all here in spades, and in a way that makes for an inspiring alchemy.

The hotel boasts 43 rooms, each of which will be designed and decorated by Burner artists. There’s a back lot for fire performers to practice and hone their craft. There are hopes of establishing a community garden to support the local homeless population. And of course, as happens with Burners, there are a slew of other ideas percolating. While the hotel is technically open right now (and will be hosting a small number of international Burning Man artists before this year’s Burn), Jim hopes to have it all spit-and-polished by the end of the year.

They have a long way to go, but Jim sure seems like the kind of guy — together with the incredible Reno community — to make it happen. Jim says he’s fallen in love with Reno and its artists, and we suspect that love will not go unrequited. We’re excited to see how this experiment unfolds.

Here’s a video from Ky Plaskon, where Jim talks about his vision for the Morris Hotel:

If you’d like to get involved, head over to the Morris Burner Hotel Project group on Facebook. We’ll post more as we hear about it.