What follows is a short photo essay of last night’s Early Burn. These photos and captions are from Todd “portaplaya” Gardiner, who will be working with some of the bloggers here during the event this year.
The Early Burn is a celebration of the accomplishments of the staff and volunteers. Many of the people out this early have been building the event for more than two weeks without a day off. and this short event allows each team to make an expression of their specific contribution and provides an evening of R&R before going into the last week before the event opens.
Small core teams of artists were formed by various larger groups. The projects are rather competitive and the results range from crass to classy. The next few photos show what these builders created in two day’s time, often from scrap materials.
Burning Man was built on freedom of expression, and participants shouldn’t have to worry that photos or videos of their on-playa activities might appear online (or elsewhere) without their permission.
Going way back (pre-2000), Burning Man has requested that participants intending to record video on playa sign a Personal Use Agreement (PUA) to protect participants’ privacy in Black Rock City. In fact, it was this policy that allowed us to stop Voyeur Video from broadcasting illicit videos they’d recorded of unwitting Burning Man participants in 2002.
Burning Man’s photo policy is spelled out in the online terms and conditions applicable to all tickets: any participant is free to disseminate photos for personal use only, and cannot use them for any other purpose without the written permission of Burning Man. The PUA simply provides another mechanism to make participants aware of the limitations on photo use, and the distribution of the PUA at Playa Info also assists in this process.
Of course, technology is evolving quickly. Back when video cameras were big and bulky and rare, we asked that each be tagged so people could identify the person taking their picture. Flash forward to 2012, and now just about everybody has a video camera on their person in the form of a smart phone or handheld video camera — so while collecting PUAs has become more logistically challenging, protecting the privacy of our participants is more important than ever. Read more »
At the 2011 Burn, a small group of talented video producers and friends got generous. As part of a public relations gift initiative, they undertook to produce video treatments of selected art projects. The idea was to give Burning Man artists the benefit of what Media Team members do well, and to give the artists new tools to promote their work, their teams and their dreams.
The videos on this blog have all been gifted to the artists, and are being simultaneously made available to you. They are an example of how unexpected generosity serves new friends in original ways, just as it serves art in new ways. These “Profiles in Dust” are a gift from the Burning Man Media Team to all artists and Burners, whether depicted in this collection of films or not.
We encourage you to share these videos with your friends, family, and others who are interested in Burning Man. It’s truly amazing what happens when talent and inspiration unite with the spirit of gifting.
We had a little outing to Los Angeles just after New Year’s, and we were down there in time for the Christmas tree burn on the beach last Sunday.
Zach Fromson organized the outing, and there were maybe a hundred or so people at the height of things. Zach and his crew had spent the weekend gathering trees; they had gone all over the Southland in a rented truck picking them up, and then they hauled them all to the beach.
When we showed up, we saw a big truck loaded with trees, so of course we walked over to help unload them. But the guy in the back of the truck looked at me kind of funny and asked, “Are you part of the family?” and I said, “uhhhh … Burning Man?” Then the guy said no, this was a private thing, a family thing, and “the other people are over there.”
The “other people” would be the Burners, of course. But it was a smaller group than you’d think for all of L.A., but although it’s a big, big place, the Burner community seems to be spread hither thither and yon.
We’ve gone viral! Teddy Saunder’s beautiful Dr. Seuss video is the first Burning Man media to truly catch fire. With 800,000 views in just over 3 days, it has been on BoingBoing, The Huffington Post, and the front page of Reddit.
It is gorgeous, well done, and makes Burning Man look AWESOME.
So…are we screwed?
With ticket fears rampant, will our community be able to handle the flood of virgins drawn in by a dust-free depiction of whimsy, smiles and sunshine?
I was asked directly in my podcast this week and share my rambling answer (plus my plan to sell tickets for $1,000,000) here:
**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **
What did you think about “Oh the Places They’ll Go?”
What do you think this surge of awareness means for the future of Burning Man?
Long-time Burner Philippe Glade has completed his new book “Black Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man“. This photographic encyclopedia contains 196 examples of the various forms of rugged, functional and temporary desert architecture to be found at Burning Man. Philippe has painstakingly documented these structures over the course of 14 years, from 1996 to 2010. Even if you’re not (but especially if you are) into architecture porn, this book will make a great addition to your Burning Man library.