Posts in community

October 27th, 2010  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Regional Spotlight

If you Build It…

The ethos of the Burning Man community continues to spread far beyond the orange trash fence of Black Rock City. From coast to coast and out into the far reaches of cyberspace, Burners are creating the conditions for communal effort, radical self-expression, and public art.

Part 1: Asbury Park, New Jersey

"Momento Mori" in Asbury Park, NJ Photo by Marah Fellicce

Since back in the Spring, New Jersey Regional Contact Marah Fellicce has been participating in an interactive art piece she calls “Memento Mori.” On a vacant condo lot amidst the suburban sprawl of Asbury Park, New Jersey, Marah uses wood pilings as the base for large fabric wrappings. Marah says the pilings were drilled into the ground in 2005 on what was to be the site of a new complex but the pilings have remained unused as construction has yet to begin on the lot. The first pieces Marah created were a part of  “Sculptoure,” an annual outdoor urban sculpture exhibition presented by The Shore Institute for Contemporary Arts. The art work has continued to evolve since the May exhibition and has taken on a life of its own.

Superman, flamingos, and tikis, oh my! Photo by Ruby Re-Usable

Over the past several months, Marah has added elements to the football-sized art piece and has held space for others to participate in creating “Memento Mori.”  A local grafitti artist was inspired to contribute and painted bright tiki faces on many of the pilings. Reflecting the idea of constant change inherent in this temporary sculpture, passersby also rearrange rocks and leave contributions such as a prom dress with colored stencils, pink flamingos, a brightly colored Superman bust, and other found objects that become part of the artful display.The lot has become a place for locals to express themselves and the eclecticism of the project inspires conversations. A writer known online as “Wizard 343” from the website Weird New Jersey happened upon Marah’s work and, after talking with Marah, wrote a lovely article on the artwork, on Marah’s creative process and on how Marah relates her art to the Burning Man principles. For photos and a great story, visit http://tinyurl.com/marahnj.

September 2nd, 2010  |  Filed under Participate!

Peacetropolis!

Peacetropolis! ~ image by Ashanti Vivia - SentienZe MediA (Artist's Rendering)

On Thursday morning  these are the instructions to create the image above:

Meet @ the Man )’(  Thursday September 2nd @ 11 am.  We (Burners/art cars/buses) will extend in 4 directions to start.  Up to temple – down to center camp – down to 7:30 – down to 4:30.  Get ready for satellite flyby pix @ 11:41 am exactly!!!!! :D    Ắsḩḁŋṫi ૐ Ṽiṿiḁŋ

There is going to be a satellite photo taken of Burning Man on Thursday morning at 11:41 exactly, and this is Ashanti’s vision of creating a peace symbol for the photo.  We will let you know how it turns out!

February 23rd, 2010  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

Mardi Gras recap, NOLA 2010

So we always thought that Mardi Gras equaled Girls Gone Wild. Period.

We were so, so wrong.

We would get mad, working at the Burning Man festival, when others more wet behind the ears than our dusty cranky faction would say, “Yeah, Burning Man’s great! It reminds me of Mardi Gras!”

You don’t know what you’re talking about, our subconscious would scream. Have you any idea what it takes to live in a van for 2 months out of the year, in one of the harshest environments on Earth, laboring like a hard-time prisoner and eating nothing but Pabst Blue Ribbon and bacon? … Do you have any inkling as to the effort involved in building a fantastical city out of THIN AIR for FIFTY THOUSAND PEOPLE, and that we have to TEAR IT ALL BACK DOWN TO NOTHING?

(The subconscious, you see, can become quite the Bill Hicks-level righteous aggravationist when faced with 10-hour days under the hot sun in hangovery dust storms.)

But you know what? On Friday and Saturday nights? When we’ve built the city infrastructure and every-thousand ticketholders have come and added the bells and whistles and finally put down the tools to suit up in their finery and go out on the town and look at what other people have been working on all year in their spare time? It DOES remind us of Mardi Gras. Now that we’ve been to Mardi Gras as New Orleans residents, we get it.

dear Pan, please bless the proceedings and continue scaring the little children. And thank you for wearing pants. Amen

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February 6th, 2010  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

Mardi Gras (And Another Pre-Event Costume Frenzy)

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, like the Burning Dude, is impossible to explain during just one cafe conversation. Like the Burning Dude, too, a newcomer needs to remember EASY DOES IT: enjoy the first year, don’t be too ambitious, focus in on one or two aspects, and branch out from there. Mardi Gras is a lot to swallow, and us, we’ve only just begun to chew.

For a good history of Mardi Gras: read here. Zulu parade: Here. And Mardi Gras Indians: Here and here.

(Mardi Gras Indians = feather envy)

Someone asked yesterday what we going to wear for our first Mardi Gras as New Orleans residents. “Do we NEED a costume?” Yes!, they said. Ohhhhh crap. Another lesson learned quickly: This is the high holy holiday in New Orleans, and even if thou art just walking down the street, thou shalt style thyself accordingly.

We are not the kind of people to show up un-costumed to a costumed event. In fact, quite the opposite. A friend offered to loan us her costumes from last year … but that just didn’t … feel … right. For our kind, costumes must be hand-crafted, filled with the spirit, and wearable post-event — not store-bought, forgotten about, and donated to the community center along with the bridesmaid’s dress and the fondue set. Our threads won’t be anything fancy — but they’ll be ours. Even at this late date, we’ll get it done.

Preparation for the fete is the spell we cast; costume, the pre-battle warpaint. As we make black-and-gold streamers for the Saints Superbowl game-day party at the Village, we wish on the Saints to win. As we cobble together the effluvia found during our Year One in NOLA, in hopes of crafting a costume that doesn’t suck … our fabric, our spirit, our memories, our treasures ground-scored and laid aside for occasions just such as this, and for that one other burning dude in August … we reflect and ponder and plan for the future. Certainly, many folks in New Orleans — especially the Mardi Gras Indians — are doing the same.

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January 6th, 2010  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings, Technology

Resolution at the Exploratorium After Dark

Exploratorium After Dark

Exploratorium After Dark

Tomorrow the Exploratorium in San Francisco will be hosting their first Thursday of every month series called The Exploratorium After Dark. This month’s theme is “Resolution” as in New Year’s Resolutions, however this resolution will follow along a more scientific definition, that being the “ability of our sensory ability to resolve two (or more) things as distinct from one another.”

There are over seventeen Art and science installations demonstrating a myriad of optical and tactile phenomena, including Mark Lottor’s Cubatron that graced Black Rock City this past year. If you’ve seen the Cubatron from across the playa and attempted to place it somewhere within your field of vision as you moved towards it, you understand how this optical resolution thing can work.

Melissa Alexander who organizes “After Dark” regularly participates in Burning Man and told me that the Exploratorium has a history of showing works by local artists of all kinds and there are quite a few pieces they’ve shown that were first seen on playa. The artists’ work from Burning Man tends to resonate with the kinds of work the Exploratorium has supported historically. There are some interesting parallels between the Exploratorium and Burning Man. At one time the Exploratorium was one of the few places in San Francisco that supported the kinds of artists who tend to work interactively and with technology, and the people interested in the Art and exhibits featured there are typically participants who are from a diverse cross section of the population.

The event is tomorrow so get there early to get in. The exhibits typically run from 6:30 to 9:30 and this is a one day event. The Exploratorium is at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street San Francisco.

Resolution
Thursday, January 7, 2010
6:00–10:00 p.m.
Bar opens at 6:00 p.m.
http://exploratorium.edu/afterdark/

Sharpen your senses at Exploratorium After Dark.

From sharpness to saltiness, distinguishable differences are the basis of perception. Discover the role resolution plays in how we see, hear, taste, and feel, and how our minds synthesize sensations into an understanding of the world.

Play with perception through special exhibits, build a pinhole camera, or behold your tiny surroundings in the Tiltshift-o-scope. Experiment with illusions, monkey with magnification, and size up your taste buds with a supertaster test. Explore the exquisite optics of Yumito Awano’s drinking straw sculptures and see days slip by in Ken Murphy’s A History of the Sky. Throughout the evening, thousands of LEDs will light up Mark Lottor’s Cubatron with spectacularly dynamic patterns.

for more information go to http://exploratorium.edu/afterdark/

Hope to see you there!

September 5th, 2009  |  Filed under Playa Tips

Who are you camping with?

I chose this photo because it is multiple images of the theme camps that surrounded us in 2003, those are our stars, Bollywood was across the street, Eye of Gawd next door, etc., etc., etc

I chose this photo because it is multiple images of the theme camps that surrounded us in 2003, those are our stars, Bollywood was across the street, Eye of Gawd next door, etc., etc., etc

I am home in San Francisco this afternoon, because for my 10th year I did “Burning Man Light”.  Three days, four nights, but as always eye opening, hot, dusty, joyful, difficult, ya’know.  But in just these few days I once again found my campmates facinating.  We camped for several years with beings who bring peace as well as art to the Playa, and then a couple of years with the Bunnies, one year a staff camp and last year a bar camp filled with long time Burners, but where we were far and away the oldest people in the group.

I always find the “Who ARE my campmates?” interesting!  This year we had a gaggle of newbies some of them software celebrities, crew from the the explOratorium, a rising international artist, a former art curator, a Playa luminary who is also a cartoon director and producer, our camp leader is a mechanical engineer and we have Gate and Artica staff as well as our own DPW Manager, and bringing up the rear, Moze and me, your bloggers.

So how does it come to be that there is this symbiosis of geeks, writers, artists, and engineers?  Some of whom never stop working on the camp and some of whom barely contribute unless there is a request.   I am sure that your camp also has some breadth and depth of engagement with [BM].  Is there a type of person you can categorize as a Burner or those that you know would hate Burning Man and yet they end up coming to the Event and loving it?

So when you arrive home and are dreaming of Burning Man tell me a story of a campmate that in some way surprised you, or you did not expect to like and now adore, or about that “thing” that seems to happen, that camps get to a certain size and morph into some other entity, or how you could not imagine camping with anyone else.  The camping with other people can be a huge part of Burning Man and I would love to hear more about it from you!

photo: Pete Slingland

July 20th, 2009  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Adaptations – Public art in San Francisco

The [BRAF] is proud to support the Hayes Valley Art Coalition in the installation of another public artwork on Patricia’s Green. This site-specific work ‘Adaptations’ by Mark Baugh-Sasaki will be constructed of welded steel and the limbs of trees trimmed and/or fallen in Golden Gate Park.

Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, CA, was the location of the Black Rock Arts Foundation’s first Civic Arts project, the Hayes Valley Temple in 2005. The Temple quickly became a beloved centerpiece of the neighborhood and drew people together and connected the community in a new and interactive way.

Since 2005, the Hayes Valley Art Coalition has continued to curate and install temporary artworks on Patricia’s Green.

Please join us for the opening reception for this wonderful new public work!

Friday, July 24, 2009
6:00pm
Patricia’s Green
Octavia at Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

artists rendering: Andrew Klein

July 16th, 2009  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings

Green Dimensions

bandshellparkcycle-cropeed

We would like to give a shout out to the The Bandshell and the PARKcycle. There is an opening reception tonight at Fort Mason as part of Green Dimensions: An Exhibit Celebrating Bay Area Artists and Reclaimed Art Materials (until August 16); Pipeline : Art, Surfing, and the Ocean Environment at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery (until August 28); the PARKcycle, an art project consisting of a 10-foot x 4-foot planted garden, mounted onto the front of three bicycles, planted by the San Francisco Community Garden, until September 18; and the Bandshell, all free to the public.

Reception
July 16, Thursday
5:30-7:30pm
FREE
(RSVP required for reception) – call (415) 345-7561
Fort Mason, San Francisco, Bldg D

Fort Mason asks “Since when does Fort Mason Center have an outdoor performance space?” The outdoor Bandshell — created from salvaged car hoods, recycled circuit boards, and reclaimed wood — is located on central campus. The Bandshell hosts improv, musical and circus performances, readings and meetings, lunch space, and impromptu public performances. If you are interested in reserving a time in the Bandshell: contact here: contact (at) fortmason.org

The Bandshell, previously known as the Panhandle Bandshell was part of the [BRAF]‘s Civic Arts Program, and the PARKcycle was a recipient of a grant through the Black Rock Arts Foundation’s Grants-to-Artists program.  We are proud to have supported this public art that is continuing to promote art, community and civic participation.

PARKcycle photo: Photo: Sasha Wizansky
Bandshell photo: Melissa Alexander