Posts for category Technology


August 24th, 2011  |  Filed under Environment, Technology

Science at Burning Man from the Exploratorium

Exploratorium Science of the playa

Exploratorium Science of the playa

Our friends at the San Francisco Exploratorium have put together a fantastic set of videos that examine some of the more scientific aspects of the Black Rock Desert.

Exploratorium video on Alkali“What do you get when you send a crew from the Exploratorium to Burning Man? Geeks gone wild! Join us on the playa in Black Rock Desert and explore the science of pyrotechnics, flight, dust devils, rainbows, and more.”

Senior Exploratorium scientist, Paul Doherty, unlocks the mystery behind the corrosive dust that coats the Black Rock Desert, the science of dust devils and the properties of Fire in the desert.

Enjoy the challenges of flying over the Black Rock Desert with pilot Michael Marin and learn about zoology in extreme playa conditions with Alex Smith as he visits the MicroZoo.

Check out these videos and more at http://www.exploratorium.edu/tv/ and understand your temporary home just a little more next week.

August 12th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Technology

Art Tours and more

Home Sunrise photo by Ales Prikryl


The last of the Art Installation pages are up so come and read all about the amazing crop of ART you’ll be interacting with this year. We’ve got our Honorarium Art, The CORE (Circle of Regional Effigies), Art of Black Rock City and Cafe Art.

Once again Jim Tierney (Anarchist Jim) and Evonne Heyning and the whole Artery Team have put together individual Audio Art Tours for a wide variety of Installations. You can download a couple or get them all in a zip file. Bring them with you on your trips around the playa to really get some insight on these magnificent pieces.

Take a look and a listen and then YOU can be the one who, when you’re out there looking at this amazing thing before you with your friends, can say, “Well, that project was created by… and the artist says this and that….” for which your friends will no doubt be quite grateful and much spontaneous wonder and artistic appreciation will ensue.

Yes, it promises to be a great year once again. Enjoy it everyone!

February 11th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Technology

The Future of Art in Networked Times

Fountain is a 1917 work by Marcel Duchamp

Last week many of us turned in art proposals in hopes of financial support for our little, or in some cases huge, artistic desert visions. The value and beauty of many of these projects is not only their eventual physical manifestation; the highly collaborative nature of their conception and construction is equally important.

Historically, in the early parts of the twentieth century, collectives and collaborative art production were a feature of Dadaism, Surrealism and Constructivism. This spirit of collective art production was then revived in the 60s by the Fluxus, Conceptual, community-based, and feminist art movements.

‘The greatest legacy of the 1960s is the community based arts’ – Lucy Lippard

Turning to our current world of desert art making, how is this collaborative nature changing the current language/dialogue of art? And how is it doing so using the many web networking tools we have at our disposal? With the importance of the art making moving from ‘appearance’ to ‘conception’ and now to ‘society’  how is Burning Man participating in fundamentally changing values within art?

The Berlin-based KS12 collective is asking some similar questions about the fundamental nature of art in highly networked times in their “The Future of Art” – an immediated autodocumentary.  The film was shot, edited and shown at the Transmediale festival last week and supplemented by realtime photos from Flickr, videos from Vimeo, and questions via Quora. It was open to for anyone to submit to the process of production. The very tools of these highly networked times shaped the film; it was a production-as-process work.

The Future of Art from KS12 on Vimeo.

The questions they were investigating are very relevant to the Burning Man art making process:

What are the defining aesthetics of art in the networked era? How is mass collaboration changing notions of ownership in art? How does micropatronage change the way artists produce and distribute artwork?

These are some of the very questions that one ponders when making work with collaborative groups such as the Flux Foundation and Flaming Lotus Girls. Last year we saw many examples of the importance of networking tools. We saw the power of social networking as it challenged Paypal, and Kickstarter revolutionized the fundraising process for countless creative projects, making the concept of ‘micropatronage’ not only tangible but accessible and essential to successful work.

In what other ways do you see this networked era change and challenge our ideas of art and art making?

September 28th, 2010  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings, Technology

Solar SunFlowers at the Exploratorium Oct 7th

Sol System at the Exploratorium

Sol System at the Exploratorium

The Exploratorium will soon move to Piers 15 and 17 on the San Francisco Embarcadero.   They are in the process of creating and environmentally friendly new home and  solar power will be a part of their efforts.  Before the big move, they are featuring exhibits that help visitors explore ideas of energy  and  power use, and to kick it off,  the October 7th “After Dark: Sol Systems” will feature Solar SunFlowers.

Black Rock Solar and the Sunpower Foundation, together with Cynthia Washburn and Patrick Shearn and their  team at Poetic Kinetics, are creating two solar powered, kinetic sunflowers that will open gently in the morning as the sun rises, track the sunlight during the day, and close again each night. The multi-colored flowers will be 22 feet tall at their full height and will sense when people sit down at their bases, automatically leaning over to provide shade. The flowers will be outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and will draw people into their space with an unprecedented visual allure. The SunFlower project is believed to be the first of its kind anywhere, blending large-scale interactive art and cutting-edge technology in an immersive educational experience designed to change the way people think about renewable energy.

“After Dark: Sol Systems”

Thursday, October 7, 2010 through Sunday October 10th

Exploratorium
at the Palace of Fine Arts
3601 Lyon Street
San Francisco

Other participants include a bunch of  DIY electric cars, a small aquaponic company called Kijiji Grows (http://kijijigrows.com/)  and solar power sewer  Paul Nosa (http://pnosa.com/fr_website.cfm) who also participated in the Exploratorium’s August After Dark event, Nomadic Communities.   Hogg Island Oysters will be served while you find out about biology of  oyster and ecology of sustainable oyster farming. The night will also feature bamboo bikes and electric motorcycles as well as demos by staff scientists about electromagnetism and hydrogen.

For more information, visit their site at http://www.exploratorium.edu/afterdark/

Solar Sunflowers

Solar Sunflowers

Destinations
The Solar SunFlowers will be installed at schools, events, and festivals throughout the course of the year, at different locations across the country. The first installation will be at the Exploratorium where students and teachers will experience the SunFlowers first-hand: learning about renewable energy and technology, climate change, solar power, and green jobs. The SunFlowers will then be transported to destinations throughout California and the United States, where audiences from school kids to solar professionals and government officials will have the chance to interact with the SunFlowers.

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May 13th, 2010  |  Filed under Environment, Technology

Grassroots Mapping the Oil Spill in the Gulf Coast Region

Oil Spill Mapping in the Gulf Coast Region Photo: Stewart Long

Last week Andrew Johnstone of Burning Man Earth said:

This morning Stewart Long, who does all our hi res aerial stitching, flies out to Louisiana with equipment designed for BRC to provide imagery for the clean up efforts. I am again humbled that our efforts to record Black Rock City are applied to real world problems to make a tangible difference.

I knew that Burners around the world would want to know more about how Burners are taking it upon themselves to make a difference. Stewart says we can follow their mapping of the oil spill at Grassroots Mapping.  And here is Stewart’s report posted today:

One week into the grassroots mapping of the Gulf of Mexico crisis, the first local New Orleans team is now in place. Support coming in from regional agencies, fishermen, universities, various media: PBS: DIY Mappers.

February 10th, 2010  |  Filed under News, Technology

Burning Man Earth Technology Helps Haiti Relief

The Burning Man Earth team has created an iPhone Application to help rescue workers on the ground in Haiti as they help the country recover from the recent devastating earthquake.  Andrew Johnstone of the BME team wrote to Carmen Mauk of Burners Without Borders to tell her about it, as BWB teams are hard at work on the ground in Haiti.

The prospect of their future aspirations for this project depends on resources, volunteers, and money. If you’d like to help with forwarding this technology, email bmanearth (at) burningman (dot) com. Andrew writes:

“Hi Carmen,

Just to let you know that as soon as the Haiti quake hit, our main software developers for Burning Man Earth, Jeff Johnson and Mikel Maron, both got their sleeves rolled up and put together an interactive iPhone app with up-to-the-minute cartography for rescue workers on the ground. I am humbled that they are on our project and honored to call them friends.

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January 6th, 2010  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings, Technology

Resolution at the Exploratorium After Dark

Exploratorium After Dark

Exploratorium After Dark

Tomorrow the Exploratorium in San Francisco will be hosting their first Thursday of every month series called The Exploratorium After Dark. This month’s theme is “Resolution” as in New Year’s Resolutions, however this resolution will follow along a more scientific definition, that being the “ability of our sensory ability to resolve two (or more) things as distinct from one another.”

There are over seventeen Art and science installations demonstrating a myriad of optical and tactile phenomena, including Mark Lottor’s Cubatron that graced Black Rock City this past year. If you’ve seen the Cubatron from across the playa and attempted to place it somewhere within your field of vision as you moved towards it, you understand how this optical resolution thing can work.

Melissa Alexander who organizes “After Dark” regularly participates in Burning Man and told me that the Exploratorium has a history of showing works by local artists of all kinds and there are quite a few pieces they’ve shown that were first seen on playa. The artists’ work from Burning Man tends to resonate with the kinds of work the Exploratorium has supported historically. There are some interesting parallels between the Exploratorium and Burning Man. At one time the Exploratorium was one of the few places in San Francisco that supported the kinds of artists who tend to work interactively and with technology, and the people interested in the Art and exhibits featured there are typically participants who are from a diverse cross section of the population.

The event is tomorrow so get there early to get in. The exhibits typically run from 6:30 to 9:30 and this is a one day event. The Exploratorium is at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street San Francisco.

Resolution
Thursday, January 7, 2010
6:00–10:00 p.m.
Bar opens at 6:00 p.m.
http://exploratorium.edu/afterdark/

Sharpen your senses at Exploratorium After Dark.

From sharpness to saltiness, distinguishable differences are the basis of perception. Discover the role resolution plays in how we see, hear, taste, and feel, and how our minds synthesize sensations into an understanding of the world.

Play with perception through special exhibits, build a pinhole camera, or behold your tiny surroundings in the Tiltshift-o-scope. Experiment with illusions, monkey with magnification, and size up your taste buds with a supertaster test. Explore the exquisite optics of Yumito Awano’s drinking straw sculptures and see days slip by in Ken Murphy’s A History of the Sky. Throughout the evening, thousands of LEDs will light up Mark Lottor’s Cubatron with spectacularly dynamic patterns.

for more information go to http://exploratorium.edu/afterdark/

Hope to see you there!

August 7th, 2009  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Environment, Technology

What would power look like if it was art?

The Shipyard has been home, storage or workspace for many Burning Man installations; Kiki Petit’s Eugiera, Nates Smiths first Fire Vortex, Ryon Gesink’s Eye Arch and Fuck Machine, Jim Mason’s Stockpuppets v2 and ICP, Jake Lyall’s Riot wheel, Borg 2, Liam McNamara’s ClocktowerNeverwas Haul, Lepidodgera by Rachel Norman, Mike Thielvoldt, Lira Filippini, and Jake Haskell.  Currently, projects for this year’s Burning Man, FishBug and Gee-Gnome, are busily being completed.  Non-Burning Man projects abounded here as well: Girlmark’s Jonny Appleseed processor, Kristies Flyer by Liam Mcnamara, Matt Synder, Peter Luka, Shannon O’Hare and Kimric Smythe, Exxon Valdez Disaster, the Peef-O-Matic powertainer off-grid solar biodiesel 3 phase power system, Destroy the Universe 4 and 2, Dan Goldwater’s Monkeylectric Project, Osseus Labyrint’s Modern Promethius performance (developed here), Barbara Kruse’s Firebirdees built as part of Therm and the Escape From Berkeley (by any non-petroleum means necessary) road rally.

Egeria by Kiki Pettit photo by meuon

Egeria by Kiki Pettit photo by meuon

Clockworks by Liam McNamara and crew photo by Gabe Kirchheimer

Clockworks by Liam McNamara and crew photo by Gabe Kirchheimer

Eye Archway by Ryon Gesink Photo by Mike Woolson

Eye Archway by Ryon Gesink Photo by Mike Woolson

In the beginning of its life, The Shipyard confounded the logic of proper Berkeley Building Department etiquette, by falling in love with the flexibility and durability of the Shipping Container.  Unfortunately, in Berkeley’s eyes, the shipping containers the artists favored as architecture were not considered proper building material.  This innocent misunderstanding prompted the city to turn off power to the facility.  Berkeley being in the dark as to the renegade gang that occupied The Shipyard, did not realize the avalanche of creativity and power hacking they instigated by pulling the plug.  The artists, scientists, gearheads and junkyard enthusiasts, promptly started making their own power and ran the facility off grid for five years.

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