Posts in burning man project

December 18th, 2013  |  Filed under News

What’s Up With the Burning Man Project?

So, what’s the Burning Man Project been up to lately?

Wait … let’s step back a minute. What is the Burning Man Project? Short answer is it’s Burning Man’s non profit dedicated to spreading Burner principles and values worldwide – it’s taking the playa to the planet!

Burning Man Project received its 501c3 status as a charitable organization in May 2012, has been getting its administrative house in order and is starting to make things happen. We’re wading into deeper waters now, taking on projects on a variety of topics. We wanted to take a minute to highlight a few of the recent ones.

Event flyer

NYC Symposium

New York City Symposium on Burning Man, Technology, Religion and the Future

In November, the Burning Man Project joined Columbia University’s Department of Religion and Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life to present a free forum on Burning Man, technology, religion and the future, featuring panelists Larry Harvey (founder of Burning Man), John Perry Barlow (founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and Peter Hirshberg (disruptive cultures and technology expert). Dr. David Kittay of Columbia’s Department of Religion moderated a lively conversation about Burning Man as a philosophical movement, its history, and its predicted global applications.

More than 300 turned out for the two hour-long discussion and Q&A session.

We’re looking to offer traveling symposia like this in more cities around the world as part of the Project’s education programming. They’re an ideal way to share the wisdom of Burner values with the academic community and beyond.

Youth Educational Spaceship at Burning Man 2013 (photo by Sue Holland)

Youth Educational Spaceship at Burning Man 2013 (photo by Sue Holland)

Youth Education Spaceship (Y.E.S.) Project

Burning Man Project collaborated Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock City, The CrucibleExploratorium, and Maker Faire to work with Burner artist Dana Albany and kids from San Francisco’s Tenderloin and Hunters Point neighborhoods to build a 12′ diameter 10′ high space ship from repurposed and found objects.

Y.E.S. is a mobile spaceship classroom and collaborative art project that gave the kids experience creating and exhibiting their creation, which has gone on tour to Burning Man, the Exploratorium, Hunter’s Point Open Studios, and Maker Faire in San Mateo.

Downtown Project, working with Burning Man Project, helped bring Y.E.S. to Las Vegas, where it opened to the public at the Learning Village November 15, with a variety of family friendly programming including spaceship tours, mosaic workshops with recycled materials, wiring and interactive robotic demos. The spaceship has taken up temporary residence at Zappos headquarters.

The response has been fantastic and the Project is looking at similar programs in other cities.

The crowd at Distrikt, 2013 (photo by Jared Mechaber)

The crowd at Distrikt, 2013 (photo by Jared Mechaber)

Crowdfunding: Trends in the Sharing Economy

Earlier this month, Burning Man Project hosted a free panel discussion on trends in the sharing economy. Crowdfunding and the sharing economy reflect our principles of gifting, communal effort, civic responsibility and decommodification, and we brought together Kate Drane from Indiegogo, Daniel Miller from Fundrise, and Harry Pottash from Kiva to talk about the future of crowdfunding.

More than 50 people turned out to discuss the state of crowdfunding, the challenges they’ve faced, and new ideas on how this movement can be used to empower underprivileged projects through the democratization of fundraising.

Like What You See?

If these are the kinds of programming you find interesting and want to bring to your community, we can use your help with a donation to the Burning Man Project. We’ve got even more ambitious plans for 2014 and we need your help.

October 31st, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Event: “The Founders Speak: Burning Man, Technology, Religion & the Future”

Event flyer

Ooooh! Event flyer!

The Burning Man Project is proud to join Columbia University’s Department of Religion and Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life to present a forum on Burning Man, technology, religion and the future, featuring panelists Larry Harvey (founder of Burning Man), John Perry Barlow (founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and Peter Hirshberg (disruptive cultures and technology expert).

Dr. David Kittay of Columbia’s Department of Religion will moderate a lively conversation about Burning Man as a philosophical movement, its history, and its predicted global applications.

This event is free and open to the public. Reserve your seat here.

The Founders Speak
Tuesday Nov. 19th
7-9pm
Altschul Auditorium (directions)
Columbia University
New York, NY

Much of our use of tech these days is disembodied, and some of it is alienating. Both tech and Burning Man have deeply religious aspects involving sacred spaces (virtual and playa), and his his class, Dr. Kittay looks at whether the 10 Principles could have a corrective effect on the disembodied and alienating tendencies of technology. Additionally, many of the leaders of the tech movement are Burners, so there’s a sociological as well as theoretical and practical aspect to the intersection of Burning Man and technology.

Larry Harvey is the Founder and Executive Director of the Burning Man Project and Chairman of the Board of the Black Rock Arts Foundation. He co-chairs Burning Man’s Art Department, scripts and co-curates the annual art theme, and collaborates with artists in creating aspects of the art theme and the design of Black Rock City. Larry is also a political planner. He supervises the organization’s lobbying efforts and regularly attends meetings with state, county and federal agencies. As a spokesperson for Burning Man, Larry is frequently interviewed and has lectured at Harvard, the Commonwealth Club of California, the Walker Art Center, and the Oxford Union.

John Perry Barlow is a former Wyoming rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist. He graduated in 1969 with High Honors in comparative religion from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. More recently, he co-founded and still co-chairs the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He was the first to apply the term Cyberspace to the “place” it presently describes. He has written for a diversity of publications, including Communications of the ACM, Mondo 2000, The New York Times, and Time. He has been on the masthead of Wired Magazine since it was founded. His piece on the future of copyright, “The Economy of Ideas” is taught in many law schools and his “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” is posted on thousands of web sites. In 1997, he was a Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and has been, since 1998, as a Berkman Fellow at the Harvard Law School. He works actively with several consulting groups, including Diamond Technology Partners, Vanguard, and Global Business Network. In June 1999, FutureBanker Magazine named him “One of the 25 Most Influential People in Financial Services”. He writes, speaks, and consults on a broad variety of subjects, particularly digital economy.

Peter Hirshberg is a marketing specialist at the epicenter of emerging technology, who has spent a quarter of a century charting the reverberations of all things high tech in culture and in business. Hirshberg first helped bring Apple into the online services arena, then acted as strategic adviser to Microsoft, AOL and NBC. Along the way, he was CEO of Gloss.com and Elemental Software. He’s built a deep understanding of the fundamentals of content production and consumption – and how they’ve changed, both online and off. Hirshberg is a trustee of the Computer History Museum and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He serves on the advisory board of Technorati and keeps up a lively blog on disruptive culture.

October 24th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Event: “Collaborative Creativity, Collaborative Spaces”

Philly Mid-Atlantic CORE Team and their creation "Stella Octangula", 2012 (photo by Terry Pratt)

Philly Mid-Atlantic CORE Team and their creation “Stella Octangula”, 2012 (photo by Terry Pratt)

Join us for an evening of discussion and knowledge-sharing about radical collaboration! Burning Man Project presents:

Collaborative Creativity, Collaborative Spaces
Thursday, November 14
7:00 – 9:00 pm
@ Burning Man Project
660 Alabama Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco (NOTE: New location!)

Description:

Effective collaboration is critical to manifesting the large-scale installations and experiences that have become the hallmark of Burning Man culture. And it’s just as critical to have access to the kind of physical spaces that are conducive to these collaborative efforts.

Please join us for an evening of discussion about the ins and outs, ups and downs of creative collaborations and the places in which they happen. You’ll hear from artists and place-makers about what works, what doesn’t, best practices, and potential pitfalls.

Featured presenters:

Jess Hobbs, Artist, Flux Foundation
Mike Zuckerman, Place Maker, [freespace]
Tomas McCabe, Executive Director, Black Rock Arts Foundation
Moderated by $teven Raspa, Arts Advocate & Community Events Producer, Burning Man

Information and Tickets:

For more information and tickets, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/8866274265.

October 24th, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Event: “The Gift: From Economy to Cosmology”

The Gift

The Gift

Join us for a lively discussion about the power and dynamics of gifting!
Burning Man Project presents:

The Gift: From Economy to Cosmology
Monday, October 28
6:00 – 9:30 pm
@ The Sunflower Center
1435 North McDowell Blvd. Suite 100, Petaluma, CA

Description:

The gift and sharing economy is becoming an important component of our culture. The economic consequences of this movement are profound, signaling a transition to a new economic era. Beyond economy, this movement toward gift is part of an even bigger shift in our conception of self, nature, and cosmos.

Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein

This exciting and inspiring evening will feature a presentation from Charles Eisenstein, followed by a panel with special guest gifting artists David Best and Joshua Coffy, moderated by Julia Bystrova of Transition’s Heart and Soul outreach. We will have a lively discussion!

The evening will benefit the work of Transition US and Burning Man Project. These nonprofit organizations are doing real work in the world to educate and build community in the spirit of a more sustainable and just society. Because this is a fundraiser, we will be inviting your gifting. There is no set cost to attend though we do ask a contribution based your value received. Donations to both organizations are fully tax deductible.

Organic wine and Lydia’s healthy fare will be available for purchase. Come early to enjoy and connect!

For entry cost info or to reserve your spot please click here.

Your donation will reserve your space, and will be divided equally between the two organizations. You may attend and choose to make a donation of any amount at the door, if there is still space available.

Featured presenters:

Charles Eisenstein, author, “Sacred Economics”
David Best, artist
Joshua Coffy, artist
Moderated by Julia Bystrova, Transition’s Heart and Soul

Information and Tickets:

For more information and tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/477809.

May 2nd, 2013  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Burning Man Project Hosts FREE Day of ‘Maker’ Workshops

Looking for a different way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend? Join Burning Man Project for Cinco De Make-O, a free day of maker workshops on Saturday, May 4th from 1 – 3 p.m. here at Burning Man headquarters in San Francisco.

(Photo by Candice Nyando)

Want to learn how to create your own solar power system? Or make musical instruments with found objects? Or both? We got you covered.

At 1:00pm, Small Scale Solar 101 will present an overview of small and portable solar technology, including solar terminology, how it can be used for art, tricks to limit power usage and more. It will be followed by Small Scale Solar 102 at 2:00pm with a hands-on opportunity to put a small system together. These workshops will be led by Chaz Pelling.

(Photo by Waldemar Horwat)

At 1:30pm, you’ve got two instrument-making workshops to choose from. In the first one, “Making Music with Found Objects”, Lydia of the musical group GamelanX will guide participants in creating musical instruments out of found objects (participants should bring discarded metal objects such as cans, pipes, car parts, kitchen utensils, etc.). The second workshop will be led by members of the Exploratorium’s “Explorables” group, demonstrating how to make several easy instruments out of drinking straws — all materials will be provided for this one. Both workshops conclude at 2:45pm, when everyone will convene for a music jam!

Please RSVP for the workshop(s) you would like to attend.

Burning Man Project is part of a network of non-profit and volunteer groups working to grow the Burning Man cultural movement by circulating the Burning Man ethos globally. For more information on Burning Man Project, please visit their website.

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.

December 3rd, 2012  |  Filed under Afield in the World

Getting Dusty With Sandy

The line between light and dark. The anatomy of a New York City blackout.

At the end of October, a San Francisco-based group from the Burning Man Project traveled to New York City. We had planned four days of meetings with the thriving Burner community, and were eager to engage with new friends. What we hadn’t planned on was engaging with Hurricane Sandy. Which is how our intrepid crew from San Francisco found ourselves discovering unexpected playa lessons on a very urban landscape.

The Burning Man Project nonprofit seeks to extend the Burning Man ethos beyond the desert, and New Yorkers have some good ideas about how to do that. We had made plans to meet with regional contacts, to see Board Member Leo Villareal’s newest art installation, to host a participant discussion about the Project, and to attend a local theme-camp-inspired Halloween party.

Thrust into the eye of the storm, we found ourselves without power or water, unable to leave the City and largely unable to communicate back to California. Fortunately, we also found ourselves witnessing Burners helping each other through, conducting meetings by candlelight, respecting the resilience of New Yorkers, and affirming the importance of shawarma.

Continue reading for an account of our big learning Big Apple adventure … Read more »

August 9th, 2011  |  Filed under News

Introducing The Burning Man Project

Greetings Burning Man Community,

We’re thrilled to announce the August 5th launch of the non-profit Burning Man Project, an exciting new venture in the ever-evolving history of the Burning Man cultural experiment.

Fiscally sponsored by the Black Rock Arts Foundation, the primary purpose of The Burning Man Project is to uphold and manifest the values described in the Ten Principles of Burning Man. In this sense, “Burning Man” is understood not as an event, but a way of life lived consistently with the Ten Principles. The Burning Man Project will provide infrastructural tools and frameworks that allow people to apply the Ten Principles in many communities and spheres of endeavor. It will include projects in these program areas: Arts, Civic Involvement, Culture, Education and Social Enterprise.

A little background …

People often assume that the Burning Man event already IS a non-profit, since that’s what one would logically think given our philosophical bent, but in fact it’s run by Black Rock City LLC, formed in 1997, after the highly-chaotic 1996 event clearly illustrated the need for an organization for the growing phenomenon of Burning Man. At the time, a Limited Liability Corporation made the most sense; the Burning Man event was a wild and wooly encampment of 8,000 people, and the organizers needed a way to legally organize that event’s management and to inure themselves from personal liability. But running the event as a private corporation didn’t always mesh well with the philosophy of the Burning Man experiment; it was, however, the right tool for the job at the time.

Flash forward 15 years, however, and that structure has begun to appear somewhat obsolete. The Burning Man event itself has grown into a massive, fully-functioning metropolis, to be sure; more uniquely, though, it now comprises a global year-round Regional Network, as well as several spin-off endeavors (the Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock Solar and Burners Without Borders). These efforts have emerged spontaneously, supported in various ways by the Burning Man organization, each organically evolving to propagate the Burning Man cultural ethos throughout the world in tangible ways.

Stable in our footing, and eager to take the grand Burning Man experiment to the next level, it was time to bring the Burning Man culture back around to its philosophical roots, better aligning the organizational structure with our values. So, we are proud to announce the creation of the Burning Man Project, a non-profit organization designed to affect the world by applying the Ten Principles to a variety of multidisciplinary programs and projects.

As a non-profit entity, the Project will be afforded new opportunities for partnerships, affiliate relationships and fundraising activities that will allow it to multiply and magnify the growth of Burning Man culture, while ensuring that its philosophical center remains intact.

So, what does this mean for the Burning Man event itself? For now, while this new non-profit finds its bearings, the annual Burning Man event will be conducted under the auspices of Black Rock City LLC. In time, once the new organization has its footing, the Burning Man event itself will become part of that non-profit Burning Man Project.

The Burning Man event will continue to be the primary touchstone for our far-flung diaspora — a unique opportunity for people to gather and connect, to inspire and be inspired. But, as the spokes of the wheel grow, we fully expect (and encourage) the center of gravity to move towards the outer ring of an expanding sphere of influence, creating ever-stronger centrifugal forces, the effects of which we can only begin to imagine. We have long supported the emergence of new ideas and initiatives out of this grand experiment of Burning Man. It is the goal of The Project to increase their momentum.

Of course, Burning Man culture is all about participation … and we welcome and encourage YOU our community to do what you do so well: join in this new adventure, lend your skills, talents and creativity to the effort, just as you do in Black Rock City. We invite discussion about what you think the Burning Man Project could do (we welcome you to start in the comments below). Where it goes from here is largely up to you. We hope that you’re as excited as we are about the future and what it will bring.