“Moving Europe” brings Burning Man art to Amsterdam

moving2Belgian filmmaker, photographer, and art-activist Jan Beddegenoodts brought his Moving Europe project to Amsterdam last week with a spectacular mobile gallery and interactive parade. Participants took to the streets of the old city carrying oversized prints of Burning Man art photos taken by Jan and fellow photographers Thomas Dorn, Sidney Erthal, Scott London, and Gaby Thijsse, accompanied by a brass band, dancers, fire spinners, and no small number of delighted Amsterdammers caught up in the spontaneous celebration.

moving6The event was an apt kickoff for the second annual Burning Man European Leadership Summit, a two-day event bringing together community leaders from twenty-five countries for an intensive weekend of knowledge-sharing, alliance-building, and cultural collaboration.

In the months ahead, Jan and his team will bring the Moving Europe experience to more cities including Riga, Athens, Lisbon, Berlin, and Reikjavic, 2015-02-06_Moving-Europe_136_∏photo-company.nl_-1024x582working with local artists and burners in each country to imbue the event with local flavor and make each parade a unique street party. The Moving Europe team is also compiling video footage for a documentary project, interviewing people of all ages but particularly children and the elderly about their impressions of the show and their dreams for the future.

Artist Update: Metamorphosis by Alex Thevenot

by Alex Thevenot
2013 Black Rock Arts Foundation Grantee

The Metamorphosis Projects Needs Some Helping Hands!

Alex Thevenot of the Metamorphosis Project are presenting an updated version of this crowd-pleasing, mind-boggling piece at two forthcoming events. They will be at OneSpark in Jacksonville, Florida from April 7-12, 2015, and at the Maker Faire Bay Area May 16-17, 2015. They are looking for two volunteers to help at those events. It will be fun! People love this project and the Metamorphosis team is a friendly and fun team to work with. Lend a hand!

To get in touch with Alex and his team, visit:


2013 Global Arts Grantee Metamorphosis at Maker Faire in 2013.
2013 Global Arts Grantee Metamorphosis at Maker Faire in 2013.

Artist Update: AfrikaBurn’s Metamorphosis

A Shout Out by Afrika Burn to the Global Burner Community

South Africa’s Afrika Burn 2015 would love for Burners worldwide to get involved in a very special transformational project. Project team members Verity Maud and Lauren Clifford-Holmes write us with a call for participation:

Metamorphosis: A temple for change

Metamorphosis is a temple of transformation being built for the AfrikaBurn 2015 event in South Africa. It is, however, much more than just an art project – it is a social project for change with a vision to facilitate mass metamorphosis at the Burn; within ourselves and within our home communities.

The temple will be built for and burned at AfrikaBurn, but the journey of Metamorphosis will live on through all those involved in making the art piece a reality and all those that reveled in it. Personal journeys of transformation will be shared with others, helping to teach and inspire through our website.

Artists' rendering of Metamorphosis, to be shared at AfrikaBurn 2015.
Artists’ rendering of Metamorphosis, to be shared at AfrikaBurn 2015.

Our first request to the global Burn community is that you share your stories of transformation on our website. These stories will be printed and incorporated into the structure of the temple and the most inspirational stories will be made into an e-book following the Burn and shared with all our contributors.

We also want to take the movement for change beyond the microcosm of the Burn by inspiring practical and real transformation in our home communities. To this end we are going to be upskilling workers from underprivileged communities by getting them involved in the building of Metamorphosis – the perfect opportunity to learn to work with carpentry tools and metal from some experienced builders. The vision is to empower underprivileged people, uplifting their self-esteem, their connection to life and their belief that they are important enough to dream big.

After the Burn we are revamping the incredibly dilapidated Home of Hope in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. The home is a place of safety for women rescued from prostitution and human trafficking. All our leftover funds, materials and energy will be going towards ensuring these women have a comfortable and safe environment to live in.

AfrikaBurn and The Temple

Our intention is that Metamorphosis will be the most powerful temple space South African Burners have ever experienced. We want it to be a space that helps centre participants in the culture of consciousness we value at the Burn. Last year was the biggest AfrikaBurn yet – it is beautiful to see the community growing! However, some of the essence of the Burn can be lost as we grow and find our feet. This year the temple will be in the centre of the playa – we believe here it can serve as a constant reminder of the best, most loving principals of the Burn.

The temple is made of eight butterfly wings and will stand at eight meters high. In numerology, eight signifies both building and destruction. Temples are places to do just that – places where we can destroy unhealthy patterns and build new ones. The wings symbolize freedom, flight, and metamorphosis. The wings are supported by four gateways, facing the cardinal points, which bear symbols of the four elements: wind, water, fire and air. From the center, a cut crystal chandelier will hang from a flower of life, casting prism rainbows around the space.

In addition to the temple being a quiet place for personal reflection, we are calling on artists, musicians, dancers and facilitators to use the space for conscious activity during the course of AfrikaBurn. We envision morning meditations, musical gatherings, weddings and other conscious ceremonies being held here.

The Metamorphosis project is being headed up by Verity Maud who has been involved with AfrikaBurn since it began. She runs an interior design business and works in the personal transformation arena by facilitating creativity workshops called The Artery, which encourages and enables people to connect deeply to their own creative life force.


We are relying on the donations and participation of our community to realise this dream. It is a mammoth undertaking to build a structure of this size, transport materials from our building base of Johannesburg to the Karoo, and construct it in the desert. You too can be part of sharing this gift with AfrikaBurn.

The Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa has given us a grant for this project, which is a huge vote of confidence! However we need to raise an additional R120 000 – around $12 000 – to make the project happen.

Please DONATE via our Indiegogo page. Please help spread the word by sharing our Facebook page.

Thank you… Here’s to our network of dreamers and doers and a culture of possibility!

Verity Maud and Lauren Clifford-Holmes

And thanks for that report out, AfrikaBurn!



Artist Update: Charlie Smith

Love Burns So Good…

Charlie Smith
2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006 Black Rock Arts Foundation Grantee
2003-2005, 2007, 2008, 2011-2014 Burning Man honoraria artist
1998, 2000, 2001, 2001 Additional Burning Man art projects

Charlie Smith, veteran burner, recipient of several Burning Man honoraria grants, producer of numerous projects both on and off the playa, and contributing artist and participant for many Regional events and other festivals, updates us on his latest endeavor to bring the Burning Man spirit of creative engagement into the world.

Based in Atlanta, Charlie Smith and his crew are showcasing four amazing interactive fire sculptures at the Love Burn on Valentines Day weekend. This is the second Love Burn produced in collaboration between Charlie Smith, Glen Grey and Prosperity Angel, and the South Florida Regional Burning Man Network. 2015 will be the event’s first year as an official Regional Burning Man event. (Congratulations, Love Burn!)

Smith sees the exhibition of these large scale interactive art pieces as a continued instigation and reinforcement of creativity in the regional Burning Man arts community in the South East and beyond.

Invitations to the event at historic Virginia Key, Florida are available to the public here.

Mr Nice Guy Hot Mama, one of the proposed works to be featured at Love Burn, 2015. Photo courtesty of Joe Moriarty
Mr Nice Guy Hot Mama, one of the proposed works to be featured at Love Burn, 2015. Photo courtesty of Joe Moriarty

Artist Update: Striking Roots by Nick Geurts

Striking Roots: The Tree of (Im)Permanence
by Nick Geurts
2014 Burning Man honoraria project

The Tree of (Im)Permanence, a 2014 Burning Man Honorarium Project, is a twenty-foot tall, stainless steel, interactive musical tree. The toy piano its base actuates strikers which play 25 stainless steel bell chimes that hang from the branches of the tree. The piece has been on display outdoors as a temporary installation at the Denver Performing Arts Complex in downtown Denver, Colorado, for the month of January, 2015. The artist is looking for new temporary installation opportunities in the Denver area until October 2015, when it will be permanently installed as a donation at the Shiloh House, a new foster care facility in Centennial, Colorado. Let artist Nick Geurts here: yetiroot (at) gmail.com know if you have any ideas!

Striking Roots: The Tree of (Im)Permanence by Nick Geurts, Denver Performing Arts Complex in downtown Denver, Colorado.
Striking Roots: The Tree of (Im)Permanence
by Nick Geurts, Denver Performing Arts Complex in downtown Denver, Colorado.

Artist Update: The Pool by Jen Lewin

The Pool
by Jen Lewin
2011 Black Rock Arts Foundation Grantee
2008, 2009, and 2014 Burning Man Honoraria project

Jen Lewin Lights Up Two More Cities!

The inexhaustible Jen Lewin reports The Pool will be touring and exhibiting at the Montreal En Lumiere festival February 19 to March 1, 2015 in Montreal, Canada, and at Canal Convergence February 26 to March 1, in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Yes, those happen at the same time. There are two Pools!)

More chances to play with The Pool are always a treat! Catch them if you can!

Black Rock Arts Foundation Grantee and Burning Man Honoraria project The Pool at SXSW, 2013.
Black Rock Arts Foundation Grantee and Burning Man Honoraria project The Pool at SXSW, 2013.


9-Year Old Julia Wolfe’s TEDx Talk about Burning Man

9-year old Julia Wolfe is a Burning Man veteran. You’ll want to take a moment out of your day to watch her wonderful talk at TEDxABQ in Albuquerque, New Mexico about her transformative experiences at Burning Man, and how she’s taken the lessons learned into her day-to-day life.

Julia contributes to the Children’s Hour weekly live radio show on Albuquerque’s KUNM public radio.

Bringing the 10 Principles Home: A Series on Burner Activists

Our annual rendezvous in the desert with 60,000 of our favorite people is a feast for the senses. It offers something — in fact, many, many things — for everyone. But what happens after the dust clears? How can our daily lives in the default world pay homage to our experience together in the desert?

The playa is obviously an inspiring place to explore people, activities, art, and experiences that may be scarce in the default world. Many, especially virgin Burners, may come to fetishize the playa, thinking it to be the only place we can embrace our most authentic selves.

But many Burners embody the Ten Principles on as well as off the playa. Given how many of our communities are concentrated in the west, I’ll focus this post on several inspired burners from places where you might be surprised to find our communities flexing in fascinating ways.

Like those working with Black Rock Solar and Burners Without Borders, a handful of Burners in the nation’s capital, and one in the Deep South, present moving illustrations of how our socio-cultural revolution in the dust can inform and inspire the default world. They practice the 10 Principles — and the various skills we build during our gatherings — to build conscious counterculture in the default world, and shift the latter in a more humane, peaceful, and sustainable direction. (more…)