The Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) is taking form before our eyes out here in dusty Black Rock City! Now in its second year, CORE is a massive collaborative art installation comprised of 34 effigies created by Burning Man Regional groups from around the world. The majority of CORE project leads will arrive tomorrow but a few groups have already started building their art out here in our desert home. This afternoon, Squishelle, our resident CORE Cheerleader and one of our Vancouver Regional Contacts, and I hopped in her blue VW van, Peacock, to greet the groups and see how the projects were coming along.
We first laid our eyes on Stella Octangula, the MiAtlantic/Philadelphia project. When we first arrived, they were staging they their second geometric shape to be connected to the first one that they’d perfectly laid into the playa. Eventually, it will form a giant star tetrahedron, which is a symbol of divine essence and beauty. The crew members were warm, friendly, and offered us a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (yum! My favorite!) and we talked Jersey and Garden State Parkway exits. During the CORE Art Walk on Tuesday afternoon, the Stella crew will host a workshop about how to created divine geometric forms through the art of origami. They will also be having a ritual dance performance that embodies the archetypal dualities between fire and air at 5pm on Tuesday. (more…)
Burners sometime muse, “What if Burning Man were year round” but would you *really* want to be living in Black Rock City year round? There’s tons of dust and you form an uncomfortable intimate bond with our blue friends the Porta Potties. There’s Exodus (assuming you ever left the playa to resupply) and there’s the heat in the summer and frozen bone chilling wind in the winter I am told.
No Pilgrim, when the event is over, it’s probably best to go home to return again someday.
Ouroboros, the Austin CORE project photo by Alvaro Barrios
And once home, all cheeky and clean in your post Burn warm fuzzy stupor, you can always hang at regional events. The Regionals have grown in leaps and bounds and starting last year we even celebrated them specifically in our Circle of Regional Effigies, or the CORE that are wooden sculptures representing the identities of each Regional that participates.
This year the Circle of Regional Effigies consists of 24 effigies in a 600 foot ring around the Man with an additional two circles of five effigies each. Last year’s Burn had 23 Regionals representing.
From what I’ve heard, the idea of putting Effigies around the Man to represent regional communities was first discussed in advance of the 25th anniversary of Burning Man. A perfect storm of the community growing larger and Regionals becoming more and more defined, hit at the same time Mr. L. Harvey was working on the Rites of Passage theme. With the anniversary and the Rites theme, a sense of forward movement, where the event is the epicenter of our culture but the Regionals really carry forth the flame out into the world congealed. This all dovetailed nicely with this year’s Fertility 2.0 theme. I suspect there is some kind of method to this madness.
There’s an amazing amount of new art on the Playa this year, and one of the biggest reasons is the presence of 24 effigies set up by the CORE project, the association of Burning Man Regional groups from around the world.
For the first time, the Regionals will stage their own burn, on Thursday night, when all 24 of the projects will go up in flames in a giant ring around the Man.
It’s a sign of the growing significance of the Regionals. As the main Burning Man event continues to push the size limits of the playa, the importance of having Regional events climbs.
“There are many people in the Regionals who’ve never even been to Burning Man,” Action Girl was saying at a gathering in the Center Cafe on Tuesday. “But they still feel a part of the community now.”
The Regional organizations began 13 years ago, so you could say that their big burn project this year could be called their Burn Mitzvah, it was noted at the gathering.
Among the many effigies on the playa this year are Lucky Lady Lucy, the creation of the Las Vegas group. The funding for the project was grass-roots, as evidenced by the garage sale held by Dr. Gooey to help raise money. The effigy from the South Bay group is made up of a crossed stairway of laptops rising out of an orchard. Very fitting for the Silicon Valley.
One of the largest and most ornate effigies is OuroBouros, from the very large and very active Austin group.
“There’s no reason the fire hose of creativity has to be aimed at the desert,” Action Girl said at the meeting. “And the purpose is not just to throw big parties. It’s about civic engagement.”
WE GO TO Burning Man for many things, COMMUNITY, EXPRESSION, MUSIC, CAMPING, UNICORNS and FRIED BUTTER ON A STICK, but for those of you who truly come out for the ART, this is a banner year. We have 300+ registered installations in 2011. There are 93 FIRE PROJECTS, up from 71 last year. We have what will be the LARGEST PROJECT EVER TO GRACE THE PLAYA and we have some new TRADITIONS.
Let me tell you a little about it.
This year our FEARLESS LEADER, the REVOLUTIONARY ANTHROPOLOGIST EXTRAORDINAIRE, Mr. Larry von Harvey has decreed the MEME THEME RITES OF PASSAGE. I’m tickled as a playa mantis in a cup of dew about this year’s ART that’s being built on the TABULA RASA of the empty playa floor at this VERY MOMENT. You lucky CITIZENS will be welcomed to a Playa that is full to overflowing with monumental, whimsical, technically spectacular and stunning ART, much of which will burn with the intensity of so many who have worked all year round to GIFT it to you.
Creating ART to take out to Burning Man is very much a RITE OF PASSAGE. All our ARTISTS will be in their LIMINAL STATE and full of joy in that playa apparition situation just in between the SEPARATION of months of working their asses off and fundraising and the eventual REINCORPORATION of disassembling or immolating the ARTISTIC FRUIT OF THEIR LOINS REALIZED. They’ve really outdone themselves this year so you’re in for a TREAT.
We also have a HUGE crop of NEW TO THE PLAYA ARTISTS making art and doing everything from a zip line to an upside down tree. Welcome and enjoy. This event will change you my friends.
My dear friend Mr. Steve who also is involved with the ART SCENE, and I were discussing the fact that there is INDEED something GROUNDBREAKING IN A WAY that the existence of Burning Man facillitates. It is something we see very much of this time of year. In our SOCIETY OF SPECTACLE PEOPLE WITH MANY DIFFERENT SKILL SETS AND POINTS of view are working COLLABORATIVELY on COLLOSAL projects, the SCOPE and VISION of which is BECOMING GREATER and MORE SOPHISTICATED each year.. It isn’t so much that this hasn’t happened before, but just as the SCALE of our event is growing, the SCALE of this approach to MAKING ART is GAINING MOMENTUM and is specifically happening at this moment, with those of us who are part of this whole BURNING MAN thing. We are ALL indeed a bunch who are rich in spirit, experience and art who are building something new.
Speaking of all the people who work their asses off to MAKE the ART, this year once again ANARCHIST JIM and EVONNE HEYNING have put together their AUDIO TOURS which are just so entirely cool to have in your AUDIO TALKIN’ DEVICE as you’re walking around encountering ART and as a BONUS this year Jim, Patti Glenn and Reena Shah put together a PDF DOCUMENT that is OVERFLOWING with information, photographs and stories from the artists themselves. And it has a MAP. Seriously. A MAP with the ART PLACED ON IT. I love these people in the ARTery and I’m lucky enough to have worked with them since 2003 because they are some of the BEST PEOPLE I’ve ever met. I get to read every project every year as I build the INSTALLATION PAGES. So if you’re truly INTERESTED IN ART, well let me give you something to get your motor running and I’m PLEASED TO GIVE YOU this year’s