Burning Man co-Founder and Chief Philosophical Officer (we love saying that, it just sounds so cool) Larry Harvey was invited to speak at the Long Now Foundation on October 20, 2014. Long Now, in case you didn’t know, focuses on long-term thinking and ideas, and hosts a wonderful seminar series on a wide range of topics.
Larry spoke on “Why the Man Keeps Burning”, and his talk was very germane to current events in the Burning Man community. Listen to Larry’s talk on the Long Now site.
As founder of Burning Man’s Community Services Department, she knows a thing or two about how festivals run, and how communities and culture develop through well-considered infrastructure, guidelines and support. Here’s her report on Boom, and the panel:
What a treat to be invited to Boom to sit on a panel with founders from other festivals. The grounds for their music event were idyllic, situated on the bank of a beautiful lake in the rural farm region of Portugal. The property was 30 minutes from the closest village, where attendees camp on tree-filled rolling hillsides for an entire week. They walk a short distance to the multiple stages playing all sorts of techno music, thoughtfully placed to avoid sound bleed from one stage to the next. Food and other vending were tastefully placed at the edges of the property, so that art and music took center stage.
The 42,000 people were remarkably polite and engaged. There were a lot of families present and children were fully integrated into the scene. The staff was chill and helpful and the founders I spoke with were buoyant and fun! Overall it was hard to tell that there were that many participants present because it was so calm and tranquil. And although there were major DJs present there was little cult-of-the-celebrity to be noticed. People were very engaged with the music, their friends and the lecture series that was held at their Liminal Village stage.
Our panel (Leading the Way of Global Transformation through the Arts) was on the final day of the festival, near the end of the day. It garnered the largest attendance that week, and people listened and asked questions of us all. Present were Diogo Ruivo of Boom, a lovely, humble and committed man; Eule, Fusion Festival director of production and Kulturkosmos Co-founder, full of passion about their edgy (bordering on anarchistic) festival; and myself representing Burning Man. All of us had spent years creating the processes and infrastructure to build our events. Boom and Fusion began in 1997, so Burning Man was the oldest and most developed event of the three, but the similarities in trajectory and growth were striking.
Burning Man was also the only event that creates the space for the participants to bring the content, where Fusion and Boom both provide the music that people come to hear, but the concerns with culture, future vision, and a need to create a solid foundation to build off of where very closely aligned.
Many questions were asked and most focused on community and growth toward a sustainable future. It was clear that Burning Man, with 10 years on the other events was a source of inspiration and learning for these festivals. The attention we have put on naming, describing and developing our philosophy and intentions globally was very evident. Our vision for outreach and sharing our learnings was greatly appreciated by the crowd. Diogo Ruivo of Boom described us as the parent they come to learn from which I took as a great compliment, but we all know that parents learn from their offspring as well. I look forward to pursuing the development of these relationships.
Oh how things have changed from the Rainpocalypse of Monday’s downpour, hail, and lightning strikes that shut down the city and kept gate closed for hours. Black Rock City is in full force with roaming dusty bands of painted and festooned citizens and with flowing flocks of decorated bikes ridden by enthusiastic, wide eyed merry makers. There are shiny newcomers all acclimated and fabulous, as well as those who’ve been out here a while and who are now relaxing and taking it in. Art has burned, parties have been thrown and like all cities, we’ve weathered this together and become closer. There are peals of laughter and general hilarity across the city, howls as the sun drops behind the granite range and the magic hours begin, sizzling grills smoking at all times of the day, be it bacon hour or the dinner cocktails time, with art cars of all types and sizes: cats, ships, dragons, camels, rolling slow, shimmering disco and techno as they slowly cruise and create temporary ambient environments prowling up and down the avenues of our city.
Our friends over at iBurn have released their Version 5.0.1 of iBurn for your enjoyment. Each year they gift this app to the community and it can come in handy when you’re out on the playa looking for art or trying to hook up with friend or try to beat “playa time” and actually make it to an event “on time”. It is self contained and doesn’t require 4G or internet to work.
iBurn has a map of Black Rock City featuring listed Art projects, Themecamps and Events with a filter ability to sort on types of events. It also has a favorites functionality where you can add your friends or favorite camps and Art. Full descriptions with other data like emails. locations, Home towns, etc are also available.
The folks over there are not affiliated with Burning Man and they gift this useful piece of technology for you. If you’re up for it, go check them out on the web at http://www.iburnapp.com/
The information in iBurn is locked until you reach Black Rock City.
BOOM is sold out, but if you’ll be attending, check it out! Here are the details:
Event: BOOM Festival 2014 Where: Idanha-A-Nova Lake, Portugal When: 8/4 – 8/11 Symposium: Saturday 8/9 from 5-7pm
Panel:BOOM, Fusion, Burning Man Panelists: Diogo Ruivo / BOOM Festival & Good Mood Co-Founder, Eule / Fusion Festival Director of Production & Kulturkosmos Co-Founder, and Harley Dubois / Burning Man Co-Founder & City Mgr of BRC Moderator: Chris Dekker / Founder of Earthdance and Uplift Festival
Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF), Burning Man Project and the City of Fernley will unveil three art pieces in Main Street Park on Thursday August 7, including Desert Tortoise, a new, permanent piece by local artist Pan Pantoja using mosaics created by local students and community members.
The opening reception is from 6-8 p.m. at the park at 610 Main Street in Fernley and will include live music, speakers and arts activities for children and adults.
The park and artwork are the latest effort by BRAF and Burning Man Project as part of their Big Art For Small Towns program, funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
“Several thousand participants pass through Fernley each year on their way to Burning Man and we felt compelled to share the cultural and economic benefits with the surrounding communities,” said BRAF Executive Director Tomas McCabe. “We’re tremendously grateful for the community’s enthusiastic participation and contributions to the project, without which it couldn’t have happened.”(more…)
With the Bay Lights as a glittering backdrop, the Flaming Lotus Girls have installed their beautiful and interactive 2009 sculpture, “Soma”, at Pier 14.
San Francisco has been showcasing art at Pier 14 for a while now and Soma is the third art piece to have debuted in Black Rock City that will now grace this breathtaking corner of the City. The piece was installed over the last two weeks and has already become the toast of San Francisco.
The sculpture is 60 ft long, dendrite to dendrite “depicting two communicating neurons connected by an axon bridge. A soma is the cell body of a neuron, with branching dendrites projecting away at different angles, and an axon which conducts the nerve signal electrochemically to its neighboring cell.”
Soma is the combined work of over 100 Flaming Lotus Girls volunteers and the fire that glowed on the playa has been replaced with 97 LED lights that mix wonderfully with Leo Villareal’s Bay Lights behind them.
… represents the communication between two neurons: She transforms the neuronal flow of electricity that forms the foundation of consciousness from a molecular to a monumental scale.
Built of stainless steel and LEDs, SOMA leads us to ask fundamental questions about human thought and neurological transmission. What is consciousness? What is communication? How does our physical and cultural environment shape us? What makes us human? Soma invites us to explore individual, collective and cosmic consciousness, the ego, and the hidden potential within us all for a more connected future.
The first comment we heard on Sunday morning after Precompression was:
That was the best party I have ever been to. It was gorgeous, there was lots of room and everybody was friendly and having a great time.
This year we did something a little different. This event was held at one of our community’s best-loved art making spaces, NIMBY, to support local arts and artists! It was a multi-environment, indoor-outdoor, grease-monkey-to-glam, big art, downhome throwdown of artistically epic proportions! Burning Man and Burners—from old school to new—congregated at NIMBY.
There were Mutant Vehicles and art being created for
Burning Man 2014 like The Alien Siege Machine and The Kraken. There was live glassworking by NIMBY artists, Maria Del Camino, Opulent Temple, Sugar Cubes, Alex Nolan’s Throw Bot, Grahmahs House, and about a gazillion more Bay Area artist groups showcasing their work and joining forces in support of this memorable night. There were places to gather, various dance floors, multiple live performance stages, and a great diversity of attendees.
In addition to all of that art and music and community, there was even a place to have your face painted. Gotta love all of that.
You can see more of Michael Fox’s photos of Precompression HERE.