Ladies and Gents, Step Right Up to the Midway!

credit:  Vladimir Herrera
credit: Vladimir Herrera

This year, the Man will be surrounded by an interactive Carnival Midway, featuring booths created and staffed by 32 Regional groups and artists from the US as well as Taiwan, China, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Canada, Argentina, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Japan and Russia. There will also be two performance stages and other carnivalesque art installations, completing this hyper-immersive center of burner-style Carny madness.

What to expect? Games of chance, cabinets of wonder, costumed characters, sleight of hand, lion tamers, showgirls, showboys, jesters, bearded ladies, bizarre creatures, mad professors, mysticism and of course, clowns! Enter at your own risk!! And be prepared for soul-baring, self-reflection, silliness and schtick.

Since 2011, we have engaged our Regionals at the center of the event. Over a three year period, in our Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) Project, fifty Regional groups produced over seventy installations, placed around the Man. Each of the Regional groups involved worked intensely to create sculptures representing their regions, which were enjoyed by our greater community and burned. Last year we increased the Regional presence by engaging willing groups in the creation of the Souk, an interactive marketplace surrounding the Man, who stood on the ground, surrounded by an energetic round-the-clock pageant of interactivity and social engagement. The greater Burner community was able to engage directly with our Regional groups, as well as witness their creations.

This year we invite you to immerse yourselves in another collaborative environment, full of possibilities for creative self-expression and engagement with our Regionals. Identify your inner Carny, create your character and be part of this rich global stew.

Meet the Builders of CORE: The Big Fire

The work of the artists, more than 100 from around the world, has been completed. All 24 of the the projects in the Circle of Regional Effigies have been burned. While some of the members of these teams will return in the morning for Leave No Trace, their art has been featured as the centerpiece of a city-wide night of celebration.

Below are a set of the images from this night of conflagration and joy. We hope you enjoy them and remember that wherever your region is, it is a part of the Burning Man community.

As the participants arrive some feel the need to playfully express their sense of irony
As the participants arrive, some feel the need to playfully express their sense of irony

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Meet the Builders of CORE: Interacting with the art

Since Monday, Burning Man participants have been enjoying and interacting with the products of artistic labor from around the world. They’ve been animating fish, receiving gifts or just meeting the builders in the shade of their temporary art. You can even get brisket and margaritas at the Houston CORE structure while dancing to the music they are spinning.

At night the pieces glow with colored or animated light, showing participants a new face.

Day and night, morning and evening, the area where the CORE projects stand are buzzing with activity. Below are many images of the activity around the CORE projects, as well as photos of the completed artwork by these dedicated builders.

Jasmyne uses a handle to animate a fish sculpture on the New Orleans CORE piece
Jasmyne uses a handle to animate a fish sculpture on the New Orleans CORE piece
Zed and Yando hold a re-commitment ceremony at the Reno CORE piece
Zed and Yando hold a re-commitment ceremony at the Reno CORE piece
The multi-colored scale fish of the San Diego CORE piece climbs a gantry holding participants
The multi-colored scale fish of the San Diego CORE piece climbs a gantry holding participants
The Fibernachi-inspired spiral of the East Bay CORE piece is both a tower with a view and a shelter from the sun
The Fibernachi-inspired spiral of the East Bay CORE piece is both a tower with a view and a shelter from the sun

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Meet the builders of Midburn CORE: The Hand of Inspiration

Midburn CORE Team
Midburn CORE Team

There are many stories about how the regional Burning Man group in Israel started. Memory  recalls general details better than specifics, and points of view might not agree. But many feel these stories don’t collide, they coincide.

Sharon Avarham, the Artistic Director for Midburn, is happy to explain the basics of his involvement. While working at a summer camp in 2011 for Jewish children in the U.S. Midwest, he was invited to go to Burning Man at the end of the summer. Having missed the chance once before, he made every effort to rearrange his schedule and go. He and his friend Daniel joined the CRTT theme camp and found themselves at home. A random encounter with other Israelis inspired them all to keep in touch once back home.

Sharon Aravham holds a print out of their missing engineer who is back in Israel
Sharon Aravham holds a print out of their missing engineer who is back in Israel

They did more than keep in touch.  A Facebook page was created and grew as other Israeli Burners discovered it. A Burner’s night was started at a bar in Tel Aviv. Theme-based gatherings were held. At one point, Sharon says, those that had been trying for years to organize a Dead Sea burn event were in touch, but nothing manifested. The growing community was content to be part of each other’s lives and share the Burning man vibe. They were hungry for it in fact!

Then there was a birthday party. (more…)

Meet the Builders of CORE: Constructing on the playa

With about a week to go until the event begins, the playa activity starts to shift to artists and those that support them. Honorarium art gets an early start, large projects arrive and the CORE teams unload and finish the work they have been focused on for months.

Team work and safety are critical for proper placement of the first wall
Team work and safety are critical for proper placement of the first wall

Many of the CORE teams create a shade structure and a support camp near their site right from the start. Others dive into creating the basic structure of the project in the heat of the sun. Different techniques depend on how many crew are still expected, how massive the project is and how close that team’s theme camp housing is located to the project. (more…)

Meet the Builders of CORE: Preparing in Reno

24 teams of builders are converging on Nevada over the next week from around the world. Portland, Vancouver, Victoria, and Idaho are all loading up and driving south. New York, Washington D.C., Minnesota and others are lumbering down I-80, heading west. And around the world, teams are flying in their work crews and gathering locally to buy materials and pre-build their projects.

The Generator is vast and currently supports four CORE projects, four other Burning Man projects and various art cars
The Generator is vast and currently supports four CORE projects, four other Burning Man projects and various art cars

On Saturday at the The Generator in Reno/Sparks, there is a bustle of construction and chatter in foreign tongues.  Several teams are busy preparing to transport their work to the playa. The Generator is a free workspace in an industrial area that has high end tools and hammers, metal working and dance practice space. It is run by Burners and holds true to decommodification and community as part of their creed.

Currently, it is buzzing with crews from Hawai’i, Israel, Holland, France and other locations. (more…)

Meet the Builders of Portland CORE: Ludum et Refugium

People have lots of ideas about what Portland is like. Portland is weird and eclectic, some think, and the cable comedy Portlandia is partially a documentary (it’s not). I have met a lot of great people from Portland. Yes, some of them are weird. If you are familiar with the kilt-wearing, bag-pipe-playing, Darth-Vader-mask-wearing unicycle rider from the famous meme, I can assure you he has a real name and is a great guy to talk with.

But as far as Burners go we all like to think we are weird. And the team for the Portland region’s CORE project certainly self-identifies as such. They are bringing art that presents Portland’s soul to add to the circle at Burning Man.

Top row: James Dishongh, Pope Tart Second row:  deadletter, Magn0lia, Jackie, Mayem, Pi, Marklar, Catherine Third row: Lory Osterhuber, Jason Brulotte, Browse, Brend
Top row: James Dishongh, Pope Tart
Second row: deadletter, Magn0lia, Jackie, Mayem, Pi, Marklar, Catherine
Third row: Lory Osterhuber, Jason Brulotte, Browse, Brenda

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Synching Up Heartbeats on the Playa

Tune into BMIR 94.5 on Thursday at 10pm to participate
Tune into BMIR 94.5 on Thursday at 10pm to participate

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…)