For nearly a full year now, an international crew of artists, craftspeople, designers, builders, engineers (and at least one poet) have been working nonstop to create a temple for Mazu, Goddess of the Empty Sea — a piece you’ll soon be able to experience and interact with on playa. What’s more, they’ve turned this project into a new arts collective that could keep them working on similar projects for years to come.
Photographer Aleksey Bochkovsky has documented many a workday with this crew. Here’s a look at what they’re doing, and more about what makes Mazu’s temple, and its crew, unique. All photos by Aleksey.
“We’re raising the bar for craftsmanship, detail and interactivity,” says project leader Nathan Parker, who previously worked for several years as an electrician for the Black Rock City Department of Public Works.
“Most of the art that people create to be burned has a temporary feel,” he continues.
“We want this to feel real and permanent. We want people to say, ‘Why are you going to burn that? Don’t burn that!’”
But it will burn. The Mazu temple’s laser-cut panels; its hand-painted, sanded, stained woodwork; its arching 40-foot-high lotus flower will all go away. In the process, they’ll reveal the underlying steel structure: a self-standing sculpture that will one day be installed permanently in a public space. (more…)
Reno artist David Boyer’s 2014 Burning Man kinetic wind sculpture Getting Your Bearings is now on display in Napa, California as part of the Napa ARTwalk public art program. This work is one of fourteen that will be on loan to the City of Napa for a period of two years. The work is #13 on the ARTwalk tour and is located next to the Napa River Inn just off the Riverfront walkway. For more information visit Napa ARTwalk.
David first shared work in Black Rock City in 2007 — a kinetic tree sculpture in the “Mangrove” surrounding the Man as part of the Green Man art theme. Burning Man Art’s Civic Arts program then funded a recreation of the Mangrove in Reno, Nevada. Aside from his many public art projects, he’s brought work out to the playa every year since.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of his creative process, as well as a hypnotic and beautiful portrait of Getting Your Bearings in this video clip:
Thank you, David, for your tireless contributions to BRC and to public art!
24 teams of builders are converging on Nevada over the next week from around the world. Portland, Vancouver, Victoria, and Idaho are all loading up and driving south. New York, Washington D.C., Minnesota and others are lumbering down I-80, heading west. And around the world, teams are flying in their work crews and gathering locally to buy materials and pre-build their projects.
On Saturday at the The Generator in Reno/Sparks, there is a bustle of construction and chatter in foreign tongues. Several teams are busy preparing to transport their work to the playa. The Generator is a free workspace in an industrial area that has high end tools and hammers, metal working and dance practice space. It is run by Burners and holds true to decommodification and community as part of their creed.
Currently, it is buzzing with crews from Hawai’i, Israel, Holland, France and other locations. (more…)
If you’d like to see Burning Man’s 10 Principles in action in the real world, just head down to 4th Street in Reno, and have a look at the Morris Hotel. Recently purchased by Jim Gibson (aka Jungle Jim on the playa), The Morris will be the first Burner hotel in the world.
Communal effort, radical inclusion, radical self-expression, gifting, civic responsibility, participation, leave no trace, immediacy — they’re all here in spades, and in a way that makes for an inspiring alchemy.
The hotel boasts 43 rooms, each of which will be designed and decorated by Burner artists. There’s a back lot for fire performers to practice and hone their craft. There are hopes of establishing a community garden to support the local homeless population. And of course, as happens with Burners, there are a slew of other ideas percolating. While the hotel is technically open right now (and will be hosting a small number of international Burning Man artists before this year’s Burn), Jim hopes to have it all spit-and-polished by the end of the year.
They have a long way to go, but Jim sure seems like the kind of guy — together with the incredible Reno community — to make it happen. Jim says he’s fallen in love with Reno and its artists, and we suspect that love will not go unrequited. We’re excited to see how this experiment unfolds.
Here’s a video from Ky Plaskon, where Jim talks about his vision for the Morris Hotel:
[This post was written by long-time Reno resident and Burner Nathan Aaron Heller, who works closely with Northern Nevada businesses on behalf of Burning Man.]
On your way to and from Burning Man, whether you are traveling by auto, air or both, you will make your way through Black Rock City’s neighboring communities.
And while you’re there, most of you will spend money on supplies (of course, the seasoned among you know that doing so saves money and hassle). Did you know that your impact on local economies is HUGE? In fact, Burning Man estimates that in 2011 participants spent over $15 million in Northern Nevada, a region especially hard-hit by the ongoing recession. Many local businesses will tell you that Burning Man season is even bigger than Christmas. Pretty amazing, really.
The Burning Man experience has inspired many of us to take a serious look at our financial choices and relationships, including the effects of our economic decisions, directing our money towards resources and businesses that align with our values. By doing so, we invest in social capital. And because of Burning Man’s influence, many local businesses are giving additional attention to social capital and how it impacts the way they do business. (more…)
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. (more…)
Fire and music create a gathering for hundreds of participants each Tuesday and Wednesday night in July as part of Artown. Over 1,000 people gathered at the corner of Sierra Street and Island Ave for the opening of the temporary interactive art installation and performance venue. Hundreds of adults and children have enjoyed the unique experience of controlling a pulsing tower of flame effects while DJ’s spin dance music for the performers and public alike. (more…)
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.
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?”