Posts for category Events/Happenings


October 14th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Events/Happenings

SF Gets Decompressed

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We went to San Francisco’s version of Decompression on Sunday, and the cool grey city of love was looking anything but cool and grey: sunshine and late-summer warmth carried the day.

Esprit Park was jammed, the drinks were cool and the outfits were fantastic. No, we weren’t in the desert, and no, Burning Man wasn’t still happening, but wherever and whenever you get to the people and things that make you happy, that’s a good thing. And Decompression is that good thing.

There were art cars and info booths, Black Rock Solar and BMIR, flames and glowies, and plenty of happy people. It’s funny: during the event you might tend to stick with your own kind; ravers are with ravers, artists are with artists, builders are with builders. But at Decompression we all kind of get thrown together along four long blocks in the Dogpatch, and you see all the disparate sides of Burning Man in a comparatively small space.

There was Larry his own self behind the yellow tape at the Friends of DPW area (and thank you Caitlin and Pinkie and Abbey and all the rest who gave their time and money and energy to create a safe landing place for the slightly shell-shocked folks who only last week got back from the desert after finishing up Playa Restoration).

There were sound stages all along the event area, and there were DJs and live music, and interestingly enough there were also spoken-word performances, which leads you to believe that the entertainment and scope of what happens at Decom continues to expand and evolve. Late in the night a young guy was telling the story of a recent breakup, and there was a good 60 people or so, sitting and listening and feeling a little more connected to the experiences we all share.

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There was Marian and Lady Bee and Will Chase and Lightning and other BM luminaries, and there was Plex and Deborah and dozens if not hundreds of other volunteers who make all this possible. It never ceases to amaze us how much is accomplished because of the kindness and generosity of and open-heartedness of the volunteers. None of this could happen without them, and we thank them sincerely, if inadequately, every chance we get. Thank you for getting up early, thank you for staying up late, thank you for working the whole time. Thank you.

We naturally gravitated around the DPW enclave, because it felt like home. We could watch the parade of people strolling by, the stilt-walkers and the sparkle ponies, the makers and artists, the veterans and the newbies.

You probably remember how challenging it was to readjust to the default world when you got back from the desert. But imagine if you had been out there since the beginning of August and just now returned to your other life. The desert cleanup is finished, but the BLM inspection hasn’t taken place yet because the government is at least partially shut down. And it’s unclear when that inspection will happen. But if history is any guide, and of course it is, there won’t be anything to worry about; the Resto crew went over the playa inch by inch so that we can truly say that Burning Man is a leave-no-trace event.

There were signs yesterday, though, that environmental mindfulness can get left behind in the desert. At the end of the night, as we walked out to Mariposa street, we couldn’t help but notice how much litter was on the ground. Sigh. And that’s why there was another team of volunteers on duty very early Monday morning, making sure that we could justifiably claim that Decompression, like Burning Man, is a leave-no-trace event. It just needs a little help.

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August 25th, 2013  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings, Preparation

I’ll be fine here, back home.

I’m SO excited to be taking this year off Burning Man.  I just wanted to let you all know.

At homeThe last month has been a bit of a drag, following online art project and theme camp arrangement discussions along with noticing random shopping Burners all a flutter in mad rushes at various building supply and thrift stores, picking through bins of clothes, pulling out the unseemly, ironic or costume re-purposeful stuff.  I see them there, hoarding Boy Scout shirts and tuxedo tops, grabbing odd hats, bridal getups, impossible shoes and other affluent refuse donated by a spoiled culture steeped in planned obsolescence.  I noticed them at scrap and big builder outlets buying pipes and steel, tarps and wood and screws to build something they have no business erecting anywhere without zoning permits.

Yea, I saw you buying up all the solar lights and goggles and dust abatement gear, filling your bags with anything that glows or blinks, anything that can entertain off the grid. I see you loading your almost-clean-of-playa-dust-after-a-year trucks all covered with BRC stickers. I know what you’re up to.

Ah,  to avoid the hassle of going to Burning Man!  Have a good time this year suckers.

I’ll be fine here, back home.

There’s plenty to do when skipping Burning Man.  I can log some extra hours at work and avoid this blog that’s brimming with stories and images of how fantastic things are on the playa. Some friends may get together to have drinks on Saturday night. I doubt we’ll webcast the Burn, or perhaps we will. We certainly won’t talk about Burning Man, no, not at all. We won’t tell stories of Burns past.

So tell me, what’s going on this week?

Also there is always this awesome list of ideas that goes way back. It made the email rounds back in the day and I have no idea who originally wrote it but it’s always been one of my favorites, with such great ideas to experience Burning Man at home such as:

“Stack all your fans in one corner of the living room.
Put on your most fabulous outfit.
Turn the fans on full blast.
Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.”

Yea this week is going to ROCK.

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August 19th, 2013  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings

Black Rock City Art Tours are yours!

arttoursAs you’re preparing to hit the road to Black Rock City, take a moment to grab this year’s Audio Art Tours brought to you, as always by the ultra wonderful folks at the ARTery.

You can load up these mp3s and be the learned one in your group to give details of all the amazing art that’s in store for you this year when some one asks, “I wonder what THIS one is called?”

From the Bathroom Beacons to Neverwas Haul, we have it all.  And while you’re out there, I highly recommend  trying to get on one of the ARTery art tours that leave from the ARTery daily. Stop by on the Esplanade and reserve a space the day before since space is limited. They’re a whole hecka fun and a great way to spend an hour or two.

Guides: Jim Tierney, Evonne Heyning

Written by: Jim Tierney, Douglas Wolk (and the respective artists)

http://www.burningman.com/installations/13_art_tours.html

And here’s more about how great these tours are https://blog.burningman.com/2012/09/eventshappenings/next-year-take-an-art-tour/

August 13th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Burning Nerds Annual On-Playa Party Expands!

This year the Burning Nerds are expanding the Annual Burning Nerds Party-Mixer!

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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: Read more »

August 6th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings, Participate!, The CORE Project

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. Read more »

July 26th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Events/Happenings

“This Is Burning Man”

Brian Doherty, Larry Harvey and Michael Mikel at Z Space on Thursday night in San Francisco

Brian Doherty, Larry Harvey and Michael Mikel at Z Space on Thursday night in San Francisco.
(All photos by Erica Bartel)

Larry Harvey his own self got us in a desert mood the other night, talking about the beginnings of Burning Man even as we beat the playa out of our rugs and dodge all the Indiegogo campaigns and get ready to head out to Black Rock City again.

You probably know the story of how Burning Man began. Maybe you’ve read some magazine articles or a book or two. Ok, maybe you’ve only read a bunch of Facebook posts, but you know it all began when Larry was upset about breaking up with a girlfriend, so he burned a wooden effigy on Baker Beach to ease his troubled mind, and things took off from there.

Well, that’s not quite right, but that’s ok. An event that’s stretched its wings so far beyond the desert (twenty-three countries! fifty-five events!) is going to have some myth-making attached to it, and the bad-breakup-with-the-girlfriend story is one of them.

News came this week that the Bureau of Land Management has given the Burning Man organization official permission to hold the event for the next four years, with a maximum population of 68,000 wandering souls in 2013. That’s a big number; bigger than ever, and who could have envisioned that a spontaneous, just-for-the-hell of it Baker Beach bonfire in 1986 would grow into something that has changed the popular culture in unprecedented ways. And that’s not just hyperbole. Burning Man IS different – different than the Summer of Love, different than Woodstock, and way different than Altamont. It has endured, it has changed, and it continues to grow. And as the Burning Man Project pushes outward into the world, there has been an accompanying movement to pull back – a get-back-to-basics effort to remember the beginnings and try, as the Ten Principles do, to describe what happens out there, so that it might be replicated and extended.

So that’s what brought us to Z Space in San Francisco the other night. Harvey was there, and so was Michael Mikel, another of the founders, and Brian Doherty, the author of “This Is Burning Man,” really one of the best things you can read if you’d like to understand the underpinnings of the event. Harley DuBois, another one of the founders, said in her introduction to the evening that while she read the book, “I could almost smell the playa dust again.” Read more »

July 25th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Larry Harvey Speaks at the Commonwealth Club, July 31

Larry Harvey (photo by Jim Urquhart, c/o Reuters)

Larry Harvey (photo by Jim Urquhart, c/o Reuters)

On July 31st, INFORUM at the Commonwealth Club is hosting an amazing event that gives its attendees unique insight into the founding of Burning Man and inspiration for Black Rock City.

Burning Man: The Story Behind Black Rock City is a one-on-one interview with the founder of Burning Man, Larry Harvey, as he speaks on the effect Burning Man has had on society today, the inspirations for this year’s theme, Cargo Cult, how being headquartered in San Francisco has influenced the event, and plans for the non-profit Burning Man Project to extend Burning Man culture worldwide. The program will begin at 6:30pm, followed by a reception for audience members to mingle with Larry in attendance.

This is a great opportunity for Burners to learn more about Burning Man’s genesis as they prepare for the event itself!

Click for tickets and more info, and to RSVP on Facebook.

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.