Joseph Pred, founder of Burning Man’s Emergency Services Department and longstanding Emergency Services Manager, moved on this year after 17 years of exemplary service. During his tenure, he surrounded himself with people who are now ready and able to step in and take on this critical role. The Playa Emergency Services Department (ESD) will continue to provide its renowned world class service to the citizens of Black Rock City, working under the leadership of Kate Gonnella, Ben Thompson and Red Grasso. Read more »
Posts in fire
The April 2013 issue of Butane-Propane News (BPN) (dubbed “The New York Times of the LPG industry”) has a great article by John Needham about flame effects artist Eric Smith, Burning Man Fire Art Safety Team (FAST) Manager DaveX, and this little shindig out in the desert called Burning Man. You might have heard of it?
If you saw the beautiful 48′-tall tower of insane flame effects known as “Spire of Fire” either on playa in 2010, in downtown Reno, New York, Las Vegas or elsewhere, then you know Eric’s work (together with Steve Atkins). And if you’ve ever seen fire (e.g. if you had your eyes open) in Black Rock City then you know DaveX’s handiwork … yep, he’s the one who makes it possible for us to burn safely out there.
These guys are not only involved with flame effects and fire safety in Black Rock City, they also travel the country (and beyond) conducting workshops for would-be fire artists, teaching them how to build and use flame effects safely, thus ensuring that more fire artists are being born all the time and people are finding creative outlets for their inner fire bug. Which? Is great, by our standard.
Reno is blowin’ up. Living here right now is highly exciting, despite the recession that just won’t die. We may not be rich, but we Reno dwellers have great art at our fingertips and Burning Man culture up the wazoo. Who needs money when you’ve got art and fire?
For years now, the City of Reno has been working with BRAF to exhibit Black Rock City’s best artworks. This month, the Spire of Fire is in place and will be lighting up every Tuesday night as part of Artown, Reno’s month-long art festival. Read more »
[Editor's Note: For those of you unfamiliar with him, Reverend Billy is a New York-based performance artist whose work speaks to the heart of Burning Man's principles of decommodification and radical self-expression. He was a Burning Man honorarium artist in 2003, where he performed in front of the Man as part of that year's "Beyond Belief" art theme. Enjoy!]
Reverend Billy’s brilliantly bombastic, boldly brief Earthalujah sermons — now available as a podcast! Watch more episodes and subscribe at revbilly.com/podcast
Sometimes people come up to me and ask “The Church of Earthalujah…what is that? Is it a political rally? Is it a real church? Is it a comedy sketch? What is it?!”
Question: Is consumerism, is consumption, is consuming too much killing us right now? Yes it is. In the Church of Earthalujah we are definitely fighting consumerism. And that starts with the flags, the banners of consumerism are labels. There’s a label on every product, Amen! So, let’s not label anything. Let’s get beyond labels – that’s the devil!
We have an Earth crisis right now that we can’t label. In the old days it seems like there used to be people who would run down to the village common and shout “there’s an emergency here!” The traditional town crier. Someone should be shouting “Hey! The atmosphere! Too much heat! Extinction! Everything’s dying! Do something!” Where’s that person now? There seems to be a giant hush from the governments, celebrities, corporations, religions, armies – all the people who are supposed to be leading us. There’s a hush because they don’t have the right labels. But they look around them and they see what we all see: fires, floods, tsunamis, quakes, typhoons, tornadoes…Yes! That is the town crier! That is the force that is so powerful it’s chasing the God-forsaken celebrities off the front page of the newspaper. And that is the Earth itself getting our attention, and killing some of us.
In the Church of Earthalujah we regard these events as expressions, as words, as communications from a living being. The Earth is talking to us not just through these tragedies but every time we love each other, the Earth is whispering in our ear. When we walk out across a field on a beautiful day the Earth is alive.
Lets continue to live here. Let us ask the Earth to teach us to save the Earth and save ourselves. Amen.
Just more manifestions that I needed to be sure you have seen! I am thinking of all of you that did not get to come for whatever reason, those who thought they did not want to come and then regretted not coming, those who were there and are missing it already and those who are still there for the party. And we are always thinking of all of you who will be there long past our departure getting it ready so we can come again, thank you.
As you can tell, I had a great time at [BM] I loved the weather, thanks for that big party in the desert!
[MachineGun Lily (aka Lily Rasel) works on Burning Man's Government Relations, Legal Affairs and External Relations Teams, and (because Burners are nothing if not versatile) lays out the Black Rock City plan in CAD. An accomplished fire performer, she publishes Kindle Magazine, and will attend UC Berkeley's Boalt Law School in the Fall of 2010. This post is part of the Metropol Blog Series.]
With the ability to control and harness its energy, both physical and spiritual, humans see fire differently than the rest of the animal kingdom. We do not run away from it, but often gravitate towards and congregate around it. We use it as a tool, and some of us like to use it as a toy. We see it as both dangerous and comforting, painful and powerful. But what is it that draws us to flames like moths to a lantern? What is it that makes us, as Burners, surround ourselves with it, play with it, and revere it as we do in Black Rock City?
The truth is, humans have had a close relationship with fire for many hundreds of thousands of years, over a million years by the count of some scientists. Some even speculate that harnessing fire and using it to cook food may have been key to our evolution. Not only were we able to eat a wider variety of foods made softer and safer after cooking and potentially gain more rich protein from cooked meat, we had more time to spend together as people, preparing meals and eating them around the warm fire.
As our earlier selves sat around the protective flames in the dark night, we began to share ideas, stories, and art. We drew on caves and invented language to communicate the burning complex ideas trapped in our brains, all while enjoying the warmth of what we once feared and fled from like the rest of the animal kingdom. We began to ritualize the use of fire, like the forests around us, in cycles of life, death, and rebirth. Fire is a primal element of our nature as humans, and perhaps that is one of the reasons it is so celebrated in Black Rock City.
It has been said that the culmination of evolution is procreation.
I say it is the process of working your ass off for months in your grimy, stinking sweltering warehouse, breathing the pulverized metal of so many grinders or the pine diaper stink of wet sawdust and every day burning, bashing, smashing, or otherwise breaking your body upon the wheel with a precarious group of batshit crazy artist friends to build something you know will be the GREATEST ART PROJECT EVER to hit the playa.
I say it is spending the last of your paltry paychecks or foraging dumpsters or crawling all over junk yards for supplies and that MISSING LINK to bring your ART TO LIFE and it is the toil and exhaustion of back breaking work, as you are covered with grime, stressed out and sweaty, wondering if you’re going to finish the thing in time, then, when it looks like you won’t pull it off, actually “finishing” and then loading up and driving out to the godforsaken desert to work another week in the dust and the heat that would kill any sane HOMINID.
It really is about SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST and the playa will devour you alive if you lose your focus, but if you’re lucky to finish building your masterpiece sometime around when the floodgates open and Black Rock City fills up with the ART CURIOUS who are searching for YOUR ART TO BLOW THEIR MINDS, you will be able to sit back and watch with wonder what you have wrought and realize…
IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.. . and what’ll we do next year…
Those of you who DARE to IGNORE THE OBVIOUS RIDICULOUSNESS of even trying to make ART in BLACK ROCK CITY are truly EVOLVED.
This year we jump aboard the merry ship HMS LARRY HARVEY to sail to Lake Lahontan where OUR FEARLESS LEADER has decreed that in 2009 our dry lake bed will become the GALAPAGOS of ART, and this year’s EVOLUTION THEME just tickles my PHENOTYPE so much I’m hoping to catch some HOT ALLELE on ALLELE action as we all swim to the bone dry end of the GENE POOL.
Now, I am just a lowly blogger, and not a member of the mighty ORG, so getting your LINKAGE all DISEQUILLIBRIUMED over perceived COMPETITIVE EXCLUSION is futile. I don’t know much about ART, but I know what catches my eye, and let me tell you, we have 160+ projects this year, many of them DANGEROUS, but if CONTROL OF FIRE is a turning point in HUMAN EVOLUTION, I’d say we’re pretty evolved in Black Rock City, if you catch my GENETIC DRIFT.
So, if you can put down your faux fur leg warmers, fairy wings, EL wire, body glitter and ThemeCamp planning maps for a few minutes, I give to you …
MOZE’S TOP TEN ART PROJECTS AND THEN SOME