Posts in collaboration

July 26th, 2012  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

A Month in the Life of a Big Art Project

It’s been four months since we started the designs for the FLUX Foundation’s latest piece, Zoa. And now, it is less than a month before it comes to life in the Black Rock Desert. Our many teams have been working collectively to create a monumental experience. When you go out to the desert and see these massive sculptures, it’s nearly impossible to fathom the work it took to get them there, in front of you, blowing your mind. We thought it was high time we shared our experience with you, to give you – A month in the life of a Big Art project.

Flux Foundation by Anthony Piscitella

It is at this point in the project the theme music from Chariots of Fire starts playing in my head in full rotation, (I apologize in advance for the earworm). In other words, we are gonna make it, but we are pushing ourselves to the finish line. And yes this happens every year!

Zoa concept drawing

The build out for Zoa is coming along brilliantly. Production in all areas of the project are well underway and the shop is a flurry of sawdust, grinding, welding, soldering and, most importantly, FUN! And, in the center of all the activity we are still madly raising the funds we need to finish building Zoa. 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 15th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings, Participate!

Temple of Transition: It’s Big and It’s Happening

This is Chris “Kiwi” Hankins, leader of the 2011 Temple crew, with a scale model of the Temple of Transition. Those of you who visited the Megatropolis installation in 2010 will recognize its colorful silhouette, which should give you a point of reference. Yes, that’s to scale.

Another point of reference: three times the height of Marco Cochrane's "Bliss Dance".

This year, a largely international Temple crew will construct a circle of six structures: five 58-foot-high outer temples, and a 120-foot-high inner temple. The temples will be connected with 60-foot-long walkways. The entire installation will have a diameter of 200 feet, and will be taller than the Man.

To build something on this scale, as Burners well know, you need an impassioned leader. Enter Kiwi, an experienced builder who’s been constructing the Man at Kiwiburn (New Zealand’s regional burn) for several years, and who has also lent a hand to build Black Rock City as part of the Department of Public Works.

Kiwi’s latest achievement is Megatropolis, which he and the International Arts Megacrew built last year.

“Before we were even finished building Megatropolis, I was already thinking ‘what are we gonna build next?’” Kiwi says. Later, as Megatropolis burned, a friend turned to him and asked, “What do you think?”

“I think I want to do the Temple,” Kiwi replied.

Read more »

May 17th, 2011  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

Colab Leadership

One of the themes of this year’s Regional Summit was “Collaborative Leadership.” A number of Burners submitted videos about the subject and a compilation video was shown at the live event. Here’s my complete (90 second) video reflecting on Collaborative Leadership and how it creates magic at Burning Man.

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 »

February 11th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Technology

The Future of Art in Networked Times

Fountain is a 1917 work by Marcel Duchamp

Last week many of us turned in art proposals in hopes of financial support for our little, or in some cases huge, artistic desert visions. The value and beauty of many of these projects is not only their eventual physical manifestation; the highly collaborative nature of their conception and construction is equally important.

Historically, in the early parts of the twentieth century, collectives and collaborative art production were a feature of Dadaism, Surrealism and Constructivism. This spirit of collective art production was then revived in the 60s by the Fluxus, Conceptual, community-based, and feminist art movements.

‘The greatest legacy of the 1960s is the community based arts’ – Lucy Lippard

Turning to our current world of desert art making, how is this collaborative nature changing the current language/dialogue of art? And how is it doing so using the many web networking tools we have at our disposal? With the importance of the art making moving from ‘appearance’ to ‘conception’ and now to ‘society’  how is Burning Man participating in fundamentally changing values within art?

The Berlin-based KS12 collective is asking some similar questions about the fundamental nature of art in highly networked times in their “The Future of Art” – an immediated autodocumentary.  The film was shot, edited and shown at the Transmediale festival last week and supplemented by realtime photos from Flickr, videos from Vimeo, and questions via Quora. It was open to for anyone to submit to the process of production. The very tools of these highly networked times shaped the film; it was a production-as-process work.

The Future of Art from KS12 on Vimeo.

The questions they were investigating are very relevant to the Burning Man art making process:

What are the defining aesthetics of art in the networked era? How is mass collaboration changing notions of ownership in art? How does micropatronage change the way artists produce and distribute artwork?

These are some of the very questions that one ponders when making work with collaborative groups such as the Flux Foundation and Flaming Lotus Girls. Last year we saw many examples of the importance of networking tools. We saw the power of social networking as it challenged Paypal, and Kickstarter revolutionized the fundraising process for countless creative projects, making the concept of ‘micropatronage’ not only tangible but accessible and essential to successful work.

In what other ways do you see this networked era change and challenge our ideas of art and art making?