Posts in 2009
Given that the Man KCrew draws its members from the wildly eclectic citizens and creators of Black Rock City it should come as no surprise that we too are a broadly diverse group of folks. For example our oldest builder is 62, our youngest only 24. Similarly (and perhaps despite its name) the Man Crew is by no means a boy’s club. Many women have helped create the Burning Man throughout the years. 2009 is no different, with five incredible women lending their unique skills and personalities to the task.
Black Rock Station, Nevada – June 27th, 2009
Yesterday, the DPW workshop stood empty, a nondescript metal quonset amidst the low, gravelly scrub that rings the Black Rock desert. Today the workshop is full.
Full of people. Full of movement. Full of sawdust.
Full of activity and creativity and – to keep things balanced – a little destruction.
Full of music from a dusty stereo, doggedly fighting its hopeless battle with The Carpenter’s Orchestra: the bass drone of belt sander and shop vac, the baritone buzz of table and chop saws, the three tenors, jigsaw, Sawzall and drill, and the 30,000 rpm soprano herself, the trim router, ever the diva.
Full of intention, the magickal force necessary to resurrect an icon from the ashes, so that it may once again take its place at the center of Black Rock City, our dear dusty Brigadoon.
Full of the elaborate dance of lore, luck and skill that gives birth to the Burning Man.
Man Build 2009 has begun.
As an artist who has been creating work to display at the dust fest for well over a decade, I am fascinated by the process of playa art making. You might not know this but it is truly a unique process which you will not find replicated in the Artworld (captial A artworld). My Black Rock City artmaking process has been something like this: initial inspiration happens; next, the evolution of the conceptual framework; followed by the process of translating that idea into a proposal (well, most of us do this; Michael Christian doodles on a napkin, but he’s charming and produces provocative work, so he is a special case); then comes the obsessive build, build, build time, and finally struggling with the complications of the desert to install your work. All of this is done within a six month time frame.
I have been curious how other BRC artists approach their work; what they are inspired by and how they face the challenges of building art on our desert platform. So to fulfill my own curiosity and to give you some insight, I am randomly interviewing a few of this year’s Honorarium artists for your reading pleasure.
Name: Rox Scapini
Project: Bio*Tanical Garden
Project website: http://roxmund.carbonmade.com/projects/2002380
Project Location: Berkeley, CA
Jess Hobbs: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What might be pertinent to know about the creator of “Bio*tanical Garden”?
Rox Scapini: I’m an artist and I have been making sculptures for 16 years. Sculpture is my favorite form of art because it gives me the possibility of bringing my imaginary world into reality. Sculpture for me is not about materials but physical presence in space. My style is figurative but not realistic, and my sculptures represent something that “might” exist in this world. I have a strong fascination of cyberpunk literature (HR Giger is the artist that most influenced me, indeed) and a cynical view of our world.
JH: Have you produced work for Burning Man before? If not, what work has affected you the most?
Check out the first fantastic page full of ART that will grace the playa this year … the Honorarium Art projects from the Bio*tanical Garden to Who Gave Birth with all manner of cool stuff in between.
From this small sample of all the 2009 art, it looks like we’re in for a great year. There are some large-scale fire projects in the mix including Chimera Sententia, Fire Of Fires (this year’s temple) and Flaming Lotus Girls’ Soma. Among this year’s exemplary batch are some sublime sculptures like Key Note and The Heron Project and some returning big pieces such as The Burninator Grid, FlameThrower Shooting Gallery and Towers of Shiva. Raygun Gothic Rocketship also looks very cool.
The first batch of projects to go up on the website always make me feel all giddy inside. They just do.
And yes … the twisted, somewhat diabolical minds who came up with Gee-Gnome! sorta frighten me.