Posts in 2010

May 19th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Bliss Dance Has Emerged

Bliss Dance on Treasure Island photo: Sidney Erthal

Bliss Dance on Treasure Island photo: Sidney Erthal

Sometimes people ask me why I still volunteer for [BM] and the [BRAF] after more than 10 years, and I tell them, “Burning Man and the Black Rock Arts Foundation have changed my life”. They have brought breadth and depth to my life in ways I never imagined. I have come to love the gift of art, big art as it turns out. Who makes it, why they make it, where they make it and best of all, how they make it? Thus, one of the gifts in my life is that sometimes I get to meet art in its formation. I love the process. In late 2009 I ran into my friend Lloyd Taylor, (Our Lloyd died a few months ago, we love you Lloyd, Be Cool) and he said he was the production manager on a 40 foot statue with Marco Cochrane and the Bliss Dance Crew, and it was for Burning Man 2010. I was intrigued. And he invited us out for a visit. We met the artist and his crew and we met Bliss Dance.

Lloyd and his groupSo a few weeks later when I got a note from Lloyd that said “With the arms and left leg mostly complete, we start the left upper torso this week. Soon we will be attaching some mesh skin and testing lighting. So come visit us at Bliss Dance on Treasure Island, help if you can or just chill in the great space with killer views.” I was thrilled and had to see Bliss Dance as she changed and grew. So off we went. And guess what, I fell in love. She was amazing, even the prototype for the piece was stunning and she captured my imagination. 

Then a few week later we stopped by again and I could not help but blog that we could see Bliss Dance Emerging. Throughout the spring we would stop by, maybe take some cookies or burritos and see the progress. Spring turned into summer and it was Burning Man season. You know how that works at your house. You start connecting more with your campmates, getting excited to see what the art is going to look like and de-dust everything so you can take it to the Playa and get it dusty again.

I blogged from Burning Man 2010 and could not help but include Bliss Dance.

My huband, MonkeyBoy goes to Burning Man in very early August to help build Black Rock City, so I hang our with my friends and since we are art geeks, we packed our lunch, took food for the Crew and went to watch the Assembling of Bliss Dance .

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February 19th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Tales From The Playa

Syzygryd

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.

God knows how we found it, but isn’t that how all these stories start? We were wandering out near the Man on a clear night, the carnival was in full swing, and little loops of music bounced around from all directions. For a few minutes, we stood transfixed as a spinning steel globe cast white sparks of light in a whirling circle, projected on the dust.

Then, as if the Earth beneath us had simply switched one sculpture for another, we stood before a gyrating spire of boldly-colored lightbulbs, seemingly capable of casting any hue, creating the illusion of sending each wave of color up into the sky. People laid on their backs all the way around the base of the spire, their heads touching, their eyes breathing in the vivid display, their dusty boots splayed out around them.

The Earth moved again, and we began to hear some music.

Some rights reserved by mr. nightshade

Three glowing panels were arranged in a triangle around a twisted structure, which pulsed with sound and light and hissed with flammable gases. The beats and bleeps and bloops bumped in time with a sequence on the screens.

Someone danced animatedly at the panel closest to us, fiddling with the touchscreen grid and adding new, subtle elements to the song. Before too long, without me even having to scream “OH MY GOOD GOD, LET ME PLAY WITH IT!”, this Burner stepped aside, and the panel was mine. Read more »

November 22nd, 2010  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Epic Proportions

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.

Photo: ADLERPRODUCTIONS.COM

Burning Man is the best adult playground ever devised, a vast testing ground for one’s resourcefulness, imagination, and sense of adventure, managing to amuse 50,000 or so tech-addled, sleep-deprived, uncomfortable Moderns for up to a week or longer, while keeping them active, eating less, constantly testing their limits, morals, and comfort zones, and providing them with a social arrangement of managed freedom within limits acceptable to the paying participant.

It’s even more fun than college.

This was my sentiment on Thursday night of Burning Man 2010, as I sat by myself on the benches outside the Temple, aiming my dying headlamp into my little, red, dust-coated notebook. It was Metropolis, the biggest burn ever. In fact, it was my second biggest burn ever. The American Dream, 2008′s Thompsonian seizure of that mythological, materialistic nirvana for our own twisted purposes, was my first time.

When they first burnt the man on Baker Beach, I was negative one year old.

I think it’s safe to say that Burning Man has changed a few times since then.

Photo: Mischa Steiner

I would submit 2007 as the year Burning Man bloomed into its present incarnation. Veteran Burners had become increasingly fed up with what one participant called the “alterna-Disney” transformation of the festival, and The Green Man saw this come to a head in a… let’s call it a counterproductive way. Read more about it, if you like. My first burn was the year after that. Read more »

January 8th, 2010  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), News

Burning Man 2010 Art Grants

In case you didn’t know, every year, Burning Man awards grants to artists to fund artwork for the playa.  Yep, a portion of your ticket money goes directly to creating some of the amazing pieces of art that grace Black Rock City.  Not bad, ‘eh?  Right. So, thank you!

Our lovely and charming Grant Committee has sent us the following to relay to would-be submitters of grant proposals, and we thought it only right to pass it on to you.  They say:

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Burning Man grant committee is now accepting applications for the 2010 grant season. In an effort to make the process easier, we’ve created a new format — an editable PDF. It asks all the same questions and requires the same information as we have always wanted, but now in a simple form. You can learn more and access the new PDF here. This new format is the new, mandatory format for applying for a grant. The deadline for grant application si 11:59 pm February 1st. This is a hard deadline — no late submissions will be considered. You can read more about it here.

Also as part of this year’s grant season, Burning Man is soliciting applications for the plazas — the 3:00, 4:30, 7:30 and 9:00. We’ve set aside some funds from our grant budget to cover these locations. It’s a unique opportunity to create something interactive, something thought-provoking, and something fun in the neighborhoods of Black Rock City. There have been amazing pieces in the plazas from such award-winning artists as David Best and Charlie Smith, and the pieces have been as thought-provoking and whimsical as Black Rock City has ever seen … like Bruce Bender’s “Ketchup!” for instance.

Ketchup

Ketchup by Bruce Bender

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