[This post is part of the 10 Principles blog series, an ongoing exploration of the history, philosophy and dynamics of Burning Man’s 10 Principles in Black Rock City and around the world. We welcome your voice in the conversation.]
There have been some recent losses in our community — suicides and accidents — that serve as stark reminders of the impermanence of it all. My heart goes to the friends and family impacted by these losses. For those of us connected through social networks, both personal and online, we are entering new territory. No generation has shared and mediated grief through digital space like we do, and no generation has been so removed from religion. In the spirit of continuing the exploration of how we talk about impermanence in a radical, creative culture, I’d like to share the following reflections. (more…)
This year the Burning Nerds are expanding the Annual Burning Nerds Party-Mixer!
ON PLAYA LOCATION: Playa Skool Dome (3:00 and Esplanade) DATE & TIME: Friday, August 30, 2013. 4-6pm (cocktails) but Nerding goes all day! WHAT: Enjoy a cocktail while we reflect on the big academic questions at our NEW location this year! There will be a whole bunch of Nerds just like YOU to meet and mingle over a cocktail (bottle donations AND mixers are welcome – we are making our own bar). RSVP: Please Join us and RSVP to academics here: academics (at) burningman.com
In addition to our annual cocktail party, we’ve added an Unconference for all the NERDS TO TALK THEIR HEADS OFF! All day Friday come enjoy talks, mini-lectures and activities for all academics, scholars and their fans! Here’s Friday’s schedule: (more…)
Burning Man 2012: Big letters spelling E-G-O on the playa horizon. Designed to burn. Conceived and produced by Laura Kimpton (of O-I-N-K and L-O-V-E fame), and built by Mike Garlington.
Mike’s take on EGO: he and his girlfriend poured hundreds of gypsum plaster casts of evocative objects found in life and at the dump. The objects de EGO were then spraypainted gold and rigged onto the wooden frames loaded with firewood. The objects were designed to survive the burn. Mike instructed participants to dig through the ashes after the fire to find symbols that survived. (more…)
Fertility for the Burning Nerds this year means more, More, and MORE! More workshops, symposiums, activities and parties! We even have a totem that you’ll see out and about (an abstract Ivory Tower thanks to Captain Goldstar) and a whole bunch of soap boxes for you (and us) to stand on. Check the back page of the What Where When guide for the full listing of nerdy activities!
Annual Burning Nerds Party-Mixer — ON PLAYA
LOCATION: Ashram Galactica (8:15 and Edelweiss)
DATE & TIME: Friday, August 31, 2012. 2:30-5:00 PM
WHAT: Enjoy a cocktail while we reflect on the big academic questions at the finest Hotel in Black Rock City.
Please Join us and RSVP to academics here: academics (at) burningman.com
RSVP FOR THE BURNING NERDS PARTY: academics here: academics (at) burningman.com
Did you know that Burning Man is the largest permitted event on Federal land? As such, we are required by law (the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA) to evaluate our impacts on the environment. The process is called an Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as the main steward of Federal Land, oversees it.
The EA Process
It took almost two years for the current EA to be researched and written. In December of 2010, we (together with BLM) asked our neighbors in Gerlach, Pershing County and Reno for their feedback, concerns and comments about the possibility of growing the Burning Man event. Our proposed action (the technical term for a proposal, in EA speak) requested approval for expanding the maximum population of BRC from 50,000 to 70,000 over a period of five years.
Along with a lot of support came some legitimate concerns. Using this feedback, the BLM, together with cooperating agencies including the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, decided to closely analyze five areas of impact of the Burning Man Event: Carbon Footprint, Economic Impact, Traffic, Light Pollution/Night Skies, and Sound Pollution.
Research and Mitigations
Once the research team (from Aspen Environmental Group in San Francisco) knew what areas to focus on, they began creating technical reports under the supervision of the BLM scientists in Denver and Washington, D.C. The researchers started crunching numbers and consulting Burning Man about what we already do to mitigate the impacts of the event (“mitigate” is EA speak for lessening).
What they found was that Burning Man was already doing great work in these areas (hooray!) – but that there is always room for improvement. So, Chapter 6 of the EA is dedicated to additional steps we must take in order to grow the event successfully and sustainably. The “Cliff Notes” to Chapter 6 Mitigations are listed below.
Highlights of the Chapter 6 Mitigations:
PREVENTING OIL DRIPS: BLM will conduct Oil Drip Surveys to determine if hydrocarbons from cars are increasing on the playa. (There’s a simple way we can all prevent hydrocarbon drips: Put a drip pan or piece of cardboard under your vehicle! And secure it from the wind!)
PORTA-POTTY AWARENESS: BRC will create a webpage so that participants are aware of how dangerous it is to improperly dispose of human waste. (Want to know how you can prevent human health disasters? Empty RV Waste only at the RV DUMP!)
INBOUND/EXODUS TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS: BRC will continue to work with NDOT and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to create speed limits, signs, and flagging stations at key locations along the 447 and 34 routes, including Gerlach and Empire. (How can you help the traffic flow? Carpool! Plan for delays! Keep calm and drive safely! Prevent accidents!)
BRC will continue to clean up trash along the roads after the event and will provide increased education on the numerous locations where participants can properly dispose of waste. (How can you lessen the trash impact on our neighbors? Tie down your load! Dump your waste responsibly and only in designated locations!)
While these mitigations sound simple, being “mostly there” isn’t good enough. Even small acts of noncompliance – one sneaky RV dumping on the roadside here, one stray bag of trash tossed in a ditch there – can negatively impact the future of the entire event.
We need you! We’re asking for your help in spreading the word and teaching each other about these issues because we need to make sure the Black Rock Desert will welcome us back year after year. The only responsible approach to the increased interest in Burning Man is not to just grow the event, but to grow the event safely and sustainably. In order to ensure responsible and sustainable growth, we must all be prepared to comply with the mitigations outlined by the EA.
So let’s get creative: tell us how YOU will help spread the word about these important environmental issues!
Do you remember that moment when Burning Man changed your life? How do you participate in making Burning Man?
We’re looking for videos under six minutes, shot on or off playa, where you tell your story in the phenomenon called Burning Man. Just you and the camera, tell your story.
— Video must be under 6 minutes
— Video must be posted on Youtube, Vimeo, BlipTV, Flickr, or another free video hosting platform that allows embedding and linking. Please do NOT email actual video files – host them elsewhere and share the link instead.
— You must have permission/model release from any other featured individuals (besides you) to use their image in your piece. (NOTE: Please be aware of participant privacy, as you would for any public video shot at the event. If you shot video with a personal use registration tag it is okay to use that footage for this project, but if your friends or campmates are recognizable in the video, it’s policy — and really, good etiquette — for you to let them know you now plan to share the footage with a much wider audience than your own friends and family. If you can’t manage to contact recognizable individuals in your shots, use other footage instead).
— By posting and submitting your film/video for this Video Call, you agree to let Burning Man share (and possibly excerpt or remix) your work for “Burning Man related video projects”.
— All submissions must be sent to cameratales here: cameratales (at) burningman.com with a working URL link and a credit list by December 1, 2011.
— Content containing nudity, violence, copyrighted materials or illegal acts will not be considered.
Winning Submissions will be announced in 2012. We will celebrate on Playa and beyond!! Lights…camera…Action!
WANTED: Participant Videos on Playa Preparation and Participation! DEADLINE: JULY 15, 2011
Calling all filmmakers and benevolent Burners! We want YOUR video submissions to share as part of the 2nd Annual Burning Man Video Acculturation Series, designed to help new Burners prepare for their first playa experience!
The theme for 2011 is PREPARATION & PARTICIPATION! (more…)