Posts by Will Chase

July 17th, 2013  |  Filed under News

Burner Express Offers Bus Service to and from Black Rock City

No, not this bus. (Photo by Brian Erzen, 2010)

No, not this bus. (Photo by Brian Erzen, 2010)

In an effort to reduce traffic and limit the environmental impact of our event, Burning Man organizers are offering the Burner Express bus service with pickups in San Francisco and the Reno airport to Black Rock City and back. This service offers early arrival, speedier entrance, ticket pick up, reserved camping and quicker departures.

Burner Express is ideal for participants flying into the event and for Burners involved in art projects and theme camps having their gear hauled in by campmates. Tickets start at $60 one way from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and $95 one way from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Additional charges apply for extra luggage or for a stop at a grocery store in Reno. Departures begin from both locations Saturday, August 24 and return trips begin Friday, August 30.

Not this one either. (Photo by Scott Kentros, 2010)

Not this one either. (Photo by Scott Kentros, 2010)

Large motor coach buses will take Burners to Gerlach, where they will hop on smaller buses for the ride into Black Rock City. There will be a “bus only” lane to sidestep traffic backups at Gate and Greeters, and bus passengers will have their own Will Call station for speedier ticket pick up. (Please note: ONLY Burner Express and Green Tortoise buses are permitted in the bus lane.)

Once inside BRC, bus riders have the option of camping in a reserved camping section on the 6 o’clock access road or taking shuttles out to 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock along G Street.

For more information, see the FAQ on our Burner Express page.

To purchase tickets, visit the Burner Express website.

July 9th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

BRC Drone Summit for Droners & UAV Operators

Bzzzzzzzz! (photo via Wired UK)

Bzzzzzzzz! (photo via Wired UK)

You may have noticed a proliferation of drones (those zippy little helicopter gizmos) humming around the skies of Black Rock City in recent years … or you’ve enjoyed the amazing photos and video footage they’ve shot over our fair city. Well, now that there’s so many of them, let’s make sure we’re all droning safely and in a coordinated way to avoid any mishaps, shall we? Right.

So … are you a drone or UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) operator? Or are you thinking about becoming one? Are you planning to bring one (or several) to Black Rock City? Will you be using a camera mounted on a UAV to take images in BRC? Are you looking to connect with drone operators for a playa project? Are you just interested in learning more about those flying things?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are invited to join us for the first ever Black Rock City Drone Summit. This will be an opportunity to share information about your projects and to help make Black Rock City an innovative, educational and fun Drone Zone.

WHEN: July 17th, 2013 @ 6:30PM
WHERE: BMHQ and via web-conference
RSVP: http://goo.gl/k5Z4x

Can’t make it? Please send a summary of your project and ideas to dronesummit here: dronesummit (at) burningman.com and we’ll get you connected to summit notes and future discussions.

June 10th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings, Photos/Videos/Media

Larry Harvey Speaks at LeWeb Conference

Larry Harvey in conversation with Loic Le Meur at LeWeb 2013

Larry Harvey in conversation with Loic Le Meur at LeWeb 2013

Burning Man Co-Founder Larry Harvey was invited to speak at the LeWeb conference in London on the topic of the Sharing Economy. While he was there, he had the opportunity to interview with a few different news outlets, and each conversation bubbled up interesting ideas and thoughts about Burning Man as a gift economy, the tech culture’s relationship to Burning Man, and what that all means in terms of societal potential. We’ve collected them for you here.

Here’s video of Larry’s full talk at LeWeb, in conversation with LeWeb organizer Loic Le Meur.

TechCrunch‘s Mike Butcher interviewed Larry together with Grateful Dead lyricist, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) founder (and Burner) John Perry Barlow.

Larry also sat down with Bloomberg TV to talk about the spark that created the Burning Man Festival, followed by an interview on Bloomberg Radio.

Finally, Julian Blake of Tech City Insider interviewed Larry on the subject of how Burners and technology come together.

June 5th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

BurnerHack at FreeSpace SF

Cool logo, BurnerHack.

Cool logo, BurnerHack.

Burners will be gathering at FreeSpace — a 14,000 sq ft warehouse in San Francisco’s SOMA district hosting a month-long pop-up community center focused on hacking the civic experience – this weekend for BurnerHack. BurnerHack is an opportunity to learn, share and teach a wide variety of skills to help one prepare for the playa (or wherever you want to take them!).

The offerings include such things as hacking arduino software, working with LEDs, making costumes, soldering el-wire, building shelters, Mutant Vehicle modifications and more. Take a look at the full listing of projects so far, and add yours into the mix on the BurnerHack website.

Burning Blogger Jon Mitchell will be attending and will report on both BurnerHack and the FreeSpace concept for us after the weekend. If you plan to attend, and would like to hook up with him while you’re there, ping him on Twitter at @ablaze.

FreeSpace is located at 1131 Mission Street, San Francisco.

May 28th, 2013  |  Filed under Technology, The Ten Principles

Stanford Lecture: Burning Man at Google

In a lecture at Stanford University on January 14, 2011, Fred Turner (Associate Professor of Communication) discussed his opinions on the social phenomenon of Burning Man and how he thinks the ideals of the festival apply to the marketplace that is evolving in our society, specifically in the Silicon Valley.

It’s a fascinating talk, filled with interesting insights … watch for yourself, and share your thoughts in the comments below:

 

May 17th, 2013  |  Filed under News

Google CEO Larry Page Wants a Tech Burning Man

Larry Page at the Google I/O Conference (Photo Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Larry Page at the Google I/O Conference (Photo Credit: James Martin/CNET)

In his keynote speech at this week’s Google I/O developers conference, Google CEO (and long-time Burner) Larry Page suggested the world would benefit from a temporary (if not permanent?) autonomous zone free of social rules where people can experiment with new technologies and innovations, free of the restrictions inherent in attempting to deploy them broadly in the normal world. Essentially, a technology-specific Burning Man.

As reported by TechCrunch, Mr. Page says:

“We don’t want our world to change too fast. But maybe we could set apart a piece of the world … I like going to Burning Man, for example. An environment where people can try new things. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society. What’s the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.”

Suffice to say, we couldn’t agree more.

Here’s more coverage on the talk from Silicon Beat and CNN, and his full speech can be seen here.

May 13th, 2013  |  Filed under Photos/Videos/Media

Never Doubt the Power of a Spark

A couple amazing videos came across our radar recently. They’re amazing in and of themselves, but also as an exercise in contrasts … and a vivid reminder that every Big Thing started small.

One is a Super 8 video shot by Bob G at the first Burning Man to take place on the Black Rock Desert in 1990 (he added the soundtrack in 2000 as an effort to juxtapose what Burning Man was to where it’s evolved). The other is a beautiful high-definition time lapse video of Burning Man 2011 called “The Fertile Desert” by filmmaker Roy Two Thousand.

Never doubt the power of a spark to ignite a flame that will burn the world.

 

May 7th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

The Temple for Christchurch

Temple for Christchurch conceptual rendering

A temple is being built in Christchurch, New Zealand, commemorating the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that devastated that city in February 2011, killing 185 people.

Inspired by the ritual of Burning Man’s temples, and a recipient of a 2012 Black Rock Arts Foundation grant, the Temple for Christchurch will serve as a sacred space where people can leave mementos and write on its walls before witnessing its eventual burning. The intention is to help residents of Christchurch reflect upon and come to terms with the aftermath of the disaster.

Architectural mapping of Richter scale waveforms

Artist Hippathy Valentine designed the Temple as an architectural interpretation of the Richter scale waveforms that were created by the earthquake itself — and it symbolically stands 6.3 meters in height at its peak. Fittingly, it’s being constructed on one of the many empty demolition sites that now are common in Christchurch. Its modular design allows the structure to be taken apart and reconstructed in the New Zealand countryside, where it will be burned.

Watch this video clip by 3 News New Zealand to learn more about the Temple for Christchurch. If you’d like to donate to the project, click here.