Posts in art of burning man

January 18th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Workshop: Crowdsourcing & Fundraising for Art Projects

Want to build this? Get your fundraising engine in gear! Photo by Gabe Kirchheimer, 2007.

If you’re dreaming about creating a large art project — and don’t happen to be independently wealthy — you’re going to need to do some fundraising to make your dream a reality. And fundraising is an art as much as it is a science.

The Burning Man Project, as part of its ongoing workshop series leveraging and sharing the expertise in our community, recently offered a workshop on Crowdsourcing & Fundraising for Art Projects. The workshop was held at Burning Man’s San Francisco headquarters on December 13, 2012, and was led by Will Chase, who brings to the subject 10 years of experience in arts management, art curation, event production, art creation, and fundraising for art projects.

We invite you to listen to the audio recording of the workshop, and to download the accompanying PowerPoint presentation to follow along with as you listen.

If you’d like to propose a workshop topic for the Burning Man Project, learn more.

UPDATE: I recently came across this great post on crowdsourced fundraising for Burning Man art projects, very much worth a read.

January 3rd, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC, Culture (Art & Music), Participate!, Spirituality

Spirituality and Community: The Process and Intention of bringing a Temple to Black Rock City

photo by Portaplaya

Since the year 2000, there has been a Temple at Burning Man, and when we talk about the Temple, most people think of what started that year with David Best and Jack Haye, and became a long line of temples that have graced the playa. The Temple has evolved from what became a memorial to their friend into an “emotional nexus” of our community, where thousands make pilgrimage each year to remember those they have lost, to celebrate and affirm life, to heal and to forgive.

In 2012 I was fortunate to meet many of the people who are involved with building the Temple each year and to research what I came to believe are some of the essentials of understanding what the Temple at Burning Man has become. It is a place where our community goes to unburden itself and it is a representation of our maturity as a community as well as a natural manifestation of something sacred in the City of Black Rock.

photo by Portaplaya

Proposing to be the one who builds the Temple at Burning Man is serious stuff involving quite a bit of work within an existing structure of volunteers and other Temple minded folks to create something for the community.  One question that was raised over and over again as I spoke with people who have done this before was that you should not ask yourself  “WHAT am I doing this for?” but rather “WHO am I doing this for?”

For many Burners, the Temple is a vital place where those who build it possess a solemnity and a respect for that process. It is also a place for those who attend the event to use for grieving or celebration of life in an environment that is in contrast to a lot of the rollicking and outrageous things happening elsewhere on the playa that week in late summer.

photo by d’andre

Walking around the Temple at the middle of the week, I personally get overwhelmed by the amount of emotion that is focused like a beam in there. It is as if, from its inception each year, to all the planning and all the hands that build it, then when the event begins and it becomes “the largest collaborative art project” on the playa; that the energy of so many caring people turns whatever sublime Temple structure is built that year into something far greater than any art project.

Stopping to read the remembrances of so many loved friends, family and pets who have passed on, seeing the pictures of so many of them, pausing at the altars and shrines where people have lovingly placed tokens of their lost one’s lives, well, that can really get you right in your plexus where you feel that big sorrowful empathy wave. The Temple is a profound space where some of us who have lost loved ones can let them know that they are still loved and missed, but that it is all ok, they can pass and we can move on.

I’m a large, somewhat dim and oafish fellow, and I can only stay in there for so long before I have to walk away from it out onto the blankness of the playa with the Temple behind me, and breathe deeply so as to not betray the tough guy façade I live behind.

It is a heavy place.  If you’ve been there, you know what I mean.

photo by Steven Fritz

Regardless of who builds the Temple, it is always something spectacular and special. There are bona fides and expertise that are a prerequisite to building the Temple at Burning Man and I was privy to finding out what some of those were this year.

I’ve written an article about what I discovered after being on playa (and attending the Temple construction before leaving for Black Rock City) for the building of this year’s Temple of Juno. I was able to research and read some of the intellectuals who’ve written about the concept of the Temple, including Lee Gilmore, Sarah Pike and Larry Harvey; and I had the pleasure of speaking with some of the folks involved with building Temples through the years including David Best, Jessica Hobbs and Jack Haye. The article is on the Burning Man website and is titled, Spirituality and Community: The Process and Intention of bringing a Temple to Black Rock City.

Burning Man would like to have a conversation that explores what you feel about the Temple and to get your insights on it since it is really your Temple. Please read the article as it is meant as a starting point to stimulate discussion. Our community loves discussions and the Temple is something many of us have very strong feelings about. Feel free to read the article and post your thoughts here.

December 7th, 2012  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Leo Villareal & The Bay Lights: Flip the Switch!

The Bay Lights, artist’s rendering

Remember this? Well, the fundraising and permitting process was a success, and the project is moving forward!

That’s right, long-time Burner, Disorient founder and artist Leo Villareal is creating the world’s largest LED light installation on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Workers started attaching 25,000 white LED lights to the bridge in October. The installation is 1.8 miles in length and 500 feet high; the lights will be switched on early in March 2013 and will remain for at least two years.

Leo was inspired to create programmed light installations by his experiences at Burning Man in the mid-90′s, wandering in the darkness without any points of reference. The New York Times just published an article about Leo and the Bay Lights which includes the story of Leo’s Burning Man roots … here’s an excerpt:

“Like most of the crazier ideas that come out of San Francisco these days, the Bay Lights owes its genesis to Burning Man, the end-of-summer bacchanal on the Black Rock Desert playa where overworked Silicon Valleyites and underworked counterculturalists gather to stay up all night, party and cross-pollinate. Davis is a longtime regular at the festival and says that for him it conveys “a sense of spectacle, a sense of wonder and awe, a sense of generosity and shared experience. But he was growing frustrated with the annual ritual and becoming aware of a fundamental disconnect between the magic on the playa and the drudgery of daily life. How could he bring the beauty he saw every year at Burning Man back home?”

The project’s website, www.thebaylights.org, features a video animation of the project as it will appear in action. You can sign up on the Community page to receive bi-weekly updates on the project, including info on public events.

For those of you on Facebook, please like The Bay Lights page, and check it for updates.

August 17th, 2012  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Spirituality

The Convergence Ritual of Welcoming

A few weeks ago Charlie Smith, who is based in Atlanta, came to California to do a little fundraising, have a workshop to teach a little welding and other skills while building community and working on his 2012 Burning Man Honorarium Installation,“Timing is Everything – The 24×7 Time-Star”. We stopped by to take a few photos since we have know Charlie for years, and MonkeyBoy got to weld a little and I sat down and did a little filing.

We had a great time. Charlie’s cousin, Mary Gilbert, lives in San Francisco and helped put the weekend together. Read more »

July 3rd, 2012  |  Filed under News, Technology

Spark: Facilitating Collaborative Connections

Burning Man is pleased to announce the launch of Spark!

Spark is an online application designed to facilitate connections among Burners, fostering collaborative efforts related to theme camps, art installations, mutant vehicles and other Burning Man–related projects. Spark provides a secure, centralized place for people to post listings to seek or offer resources and skill sets to make projects a reality.

So let’s say you can’t possibly pull off your project without a carpenter, electrician, sword-swallower, welder, dancer, aerialist, fire performer, painter, hooper, dude with a truck, seamstress, zebra trainer, project manager, or a 6’5″ woman who juggles flaming chainsaws. Pop a listing onto Spark seeking what you seek!

Or let’s say you’re any one (or more) of those things and you want to offer your skills to a worthy project. Pop a listing onto Spark offering what you have to offer!

But keep this in mind: Spark is not intended to be a commercial connection engine — it’s about collaborations. If you’re offering commercial services, please do that elsewhere. If you’re looking to promote your fundraiser, Spark is not the place for it … use our Support a Project page for that. Take a look at our Spark community guidelines for more information.

We hope you find this to be a useful tool in sparking your ultimate Burning Man experience. Now, click the link and … go forth and collaborate!

http://spark.burningman.com

June 18th, 2012  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Burning Man Desert Arts Preview 2012 – June 21

Burning Man 2012 Desert Arts Preview – Annual Artist Lecture Series

Thursday, June 21, 2012
6:30pm-10pm (program begins at 7pm)
Location: The International Art Museum of America
1025 Market St between 6th & 7th St, SF 94103 (click for map)

FREE admission!
…But if you wish to make a donation, proceeds will support the Black Rock Arts Foundation artist grant program and the Burning Man Project
Limited seating for 100, so COME EARLY to ensure your seat and not miss anything!

Portal of Evolution by Bryan Tedrick. Photo by Oly Rivas.

This is our very popular annual artist lecture series, where you get a sneak preview of some of the many notable art projects in progress right now for Burning Man 2012. You’ll hear directly from artists who are creating revolutionary works of art, often in radically collaborative ways. Some have been doing work on the playa many years and will be sharing humorous war stories associated with creating art under extreme conditions. This is also a great opportunity to learn how YOU can get involved and support these and other artists and projects.

If you can’t make it, look up their projects at the link below and directly contact these and other artists/projects you feel inspired to help and work with. Get involved and help make the art you wish to see in the world! Read more »

June 12th, 2012  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), News

Update: Leo Villareal Lighting Up the Bay Bridge

A ways back, we let you know about an exciting project by artist Leo Villareal called “The Bay Lights” — a monumental light art sculpture proposed for the San Francisco Bay Bridge celebrating its 75th Diamond Anniversary.

The plan is for Leo and his team to secure arrays of 25,000 energy-efficient white LED lights to the vertical cables of the west span of the bridge, and create elaborate computer-controlled light animations to delight visitors and locals alike for two years. It’s going to be pretty amazing.

Well, here we are with a progress update. Permits are at-the-ready, there’s deep cultural and community support swirling, and more than $5.2m in private funds have been committed so far. $1.8m more is needed by July 1st to make the project happen. There’s also a major matching grant in place, so every donated dollar equals two.

If you’re so inclined, join the community of folks supporting The Bay Lights, as we’d all love to see this epic undertaking of artist, maker and Burner happen.

Here’s a video of the artist’s rendering of the project:

 

May 1st, 2012  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), News

Burning Man 2012 Honorarium Art Projects Announced

The Temple of Juno, by David Best

This year, a record 349 applicants submitted grant proposals seeking almost $5 million in total funding. The grant committee did the difficult work to winnow down this list to 47 projects, awarding more than $700,000 – the most ever, and a $100,000 increase over last year. This year’s list of artists includes many returning artists, as well as some new blood. We’re also very excited to announce that David Best — Burning Man’s original Temple builder — will return after a three-year hiatus to build the Temple of Juno this year.

Thank you to all who submitted grant proposals, and congratulations to this year’s honorarium artists … we’re very excited by this year’s artistic offering. Here’s the full list of the honorarium art projects for 2012: Read more »