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.

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.

(more…)

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!

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.

(more…)