The act of declaring yourself an artist is a bold one.
You are saying, “I consciously alter my environment. I shape the world. I create.”
This is in direct opposition to our socialization.
We are expected to walk a well-worn path of consuming. Our role is to passively consume media, products, & ideas.
So many of our societal systems are designed for us to be passive. No ruler or corporation wants to deal with active decision makers.
Unfortunately, artists do not fit well in a society that prefers passivity. (side note: I would argue that “artists” are not a type of person, but simply the state that EVERY person gets to when they are actively living.)
So is there anywhere where the artist (or state of being an artist) is welcome and at home? Read more »
In 1998 I attended my first Burning Man.
For the next 5 years or so, I spent 11 months a year waiting, less-than-patiently, for the Burn.
Gradually I started to integrate Burning Man principles into my life and find pockets of Burning Man culture.
Now it feels like I am constantly preparing for (or cleaning up from) Burning Man-inspired brunches, festivals, or days at the beach.
In fact, last weekend I attended a festival deep in Baja Mexico called “Fuente Eterno.” (See video below) Now, it sells out in 5 minutes, so I am hesitant to hype it up. The odds are you will probably not be able to attend. But the point is there are LOTS of smaller events, regionals, and opportunities to gather with people who have been inspired by Radical Self Expression, Gifting, and the Burning Man Vibe.
Don’t know of one near you? Create it. Participants-only, baby.
I spoke with someone recently who said that after 3 years they, “had gotten all they could from Burning Man.” Sadly, they had failed to get the most important thing of all: It is about the GIVING not the GETTING. I return every year not to get my mind blown by the new Temple design (although that does happen each year), but because I want to enhance the experience for others. It is through Gifting to others’ lives, weeks, or moments that I receive more than I could ever “get” for myself.
Thanks to the growing number of large and small events worldwide, that process of gifting and receiving can go on year-round. There is a whole section of the Burning Man website for the Regional Network. Events large and small are growing (and being created) all over the world! Find one. Participate in one. Create one.
More and more people are seeing Burning Man – not as an event – but as a model for how to live: A model for how to interact with neighbors. A model for how to express yourself & encourage expression in others. And a model for how to Gift your talents to friends, your community, and the world.
Do you attend any large or small “Burner” gatherings? Please share your experiences in the comments!
(Video reflection from last weekend’s Fuente Eterno in Baja Mexico.)
‘Tis the holiday season, and dirt-rave-goers know that Buy Nothing Christmas is the best way to spend the winter solstice — giving mutual gifts of togetherness, experience, action, pay-it-forward-ism, and all that other fuzzy stuff which lasts forever and won’t be tossed aside and end up in a landfill.
Burners Without Borders is throwing its support behind the Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana. If you have been following the Oilpocalypse story at all, you’ll know that Kindra Arnesen is one of the most furious angels in this whole dealio, blowing lids off coverups and using every available microphone and rally to alert the American people that this thing is so far from over, it may not have even begun. Her own health issues are well-documented in the media too; the breaking news, however, is that her brother is in the hospital — after trying to tough out the Gulf Blue Plague like self-sufficient Cajuns are wont to do, he submitted to the need for IV fluids and critical care. Doctors on the Gulf Coast, see, they don’t want to treat patients who utter the words “oil spill” or “BP.” They don’t want to spend the rest of their lives testifying in court, lose their jobs, and/or end up getting Matt Simmonsed. Anyway.
Burning Man 2010 Desert Arts Preview – Annual Artist Lecture Series
Thursday, June 24, 2010
6:00pm-11pm; Talks begin at 7pm
Mission Rock Cafe
817 Terry a Francois Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94158-2209
The Cauldron by Kiki Pettit - photo Camera Girl 2004
ALL AGES welcome before 9pm
FREE! But if you wish to make a donation, any proceeds will support the
Black Rock Arts Foundation artist grant program. No host bar and food
service. Limited seating, so COME EARLY to ensure your seat and not miss any
This is our very popular annual artist lecture series, where you get a sneak
preview of some of notable art projects in progress right now for Burning
Man 2010. 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 for 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
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
participate in. Get involved and help make the art you wish to see in the
We don’t usually tell you about local events but we thought this was so new and exciting you had to know about it! A Black Rock Arts Foundation 2009 Grant Recipient, Live Debris 2009 is a series of international events sharing reuse traditions as a means of reducing stigmas around garbage, poverty and street culture. Live Debris has taken place in Beirut, Lebanon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and now Portland, Oregon.
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 Burning Man. 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!
In 2005, when I promised my friend Devin that I would to go to Burning Man, little did I know that I would soon be taken in by a community that would school me in the fine arts of friendship, performance, love and BACON. Up until I fell into the Burning Man community, I thought you needed a stage to perform. That’s not to say that this Lioness doesn’t love the limelight but over the course of the past few years, I’ve discovered that life is performance art and that the immediate moment is as good a time as any to act out your grandest gestures.