Posts in temple

September 25th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

Restoration Honors the Temple of Whollyness

Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! I’m here in Gerlach with 120 members of your DPW Playa Restoration home team. They are preparing to enter the damp, sticky and frigid playa — armed only with MOOP sticks, shovels and magnet rakes — to eradicate the final traces of Burning Man 2013.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 8.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 8.

The season is skidding to a close as we dodge rainstorms and near-freezing temperatures; we may even get a little snow this evening. Summer is officially a dusty memory, but still the MOOP lines march on.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 8.

As many of you have remarked, the line sweeps are covering a lot of ground this year, and in record time. On Day 4, 45 city blocks disappeared under the moopers’ feet. And yes, the Playa Restoration All-Star team is one hell of a crew — but the line sweeps’ pace ultimately depends on YOU, and how well Black Rock City practices Leaving No Trace. When the city blocks are green and MOOP-free, the Resto line sweepers move at a fast clip. And this year, we’ve encountered a whole lot of green blocks.

In fact, we’re seeing green this year in all sorts of places. So while Playa Restoration continues marching through the city grid, let’s take a moment and turn our eyes elsewhere: far out in the deep playa, where the Temple of Whollyness once stood.

Photo by Curious Josh / curiousjosh.com

Photo by Curious Josh / curiousjosh.com

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May 7th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

The Temple for Christchurch

Temple for Christchurch conceptual rendering

A temple is being built in Christchurch, New Zealand, commemorating the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that devastated that city in February 2011, killing 185 people.

Inspired by the ritual of Burning Man’s temples, and a recipient of a 2012 Black Rock Arts Foundation grant, the Temple for Christchurch will serve as a sacred space where people can leave mementos and write on its walls before witnessing its eventual burning. The intention is to help residents of Christchurch reflect upon and come to terms with the aftermath of the disaster.

Architectural mapping of Richter scale waveforms

Artist Hippathy Valentine designed the Temple as an architectural interpretation of the Richter scale waveforms that were created by the earthquake itself — and it symbolically stands 6.3 meters in height at its peak. Fittingly, it’s being constructed on one of the many empty demolition sites that now are common in Christchurch. Its modular design allows the structure to be taken apart and reconstructed in the New Zealand countryside, where it will be burned.

Watch this video clip by 3 News New Zealand to learn more about the Temple for Christchurch. If you’d like to donate to the project, click here.

March 28th, 2013  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

The Temple of Whollyness

The Temple of Whollyness has been revealed. It’s a massive pyramidal complex made entirely of interlocking puzzle pieces of wood, without any metal hardware. This kind of construction looks and feels organic, like something naturally produced by intelligent life forms — because, of course, it is.

It’ll also go up like the Fourth of July. Read more »

February 20th, 2013  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Temple of Gracelessness

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.


by MetaKim

In the middle of the afternoon on the middle day of my Burn, I was sitting in the middle of a bench in the temple, working through the problem of my fairly happy life. After many years of struggle, my life had recently started to straighten itself out. My projects were bearing fruit. I had my health. I had found love.

Problem was, could I trust it? For the sake of myself and the people I loved, I was going to have to own this good life, take action, build on it. It was no longer right for me to hide and hope, to expect the worst, to stay small and safe. But as soon as I got to the threshold of believing that everything could really be okay, I’d start thinking about my family. All their hopes and suffering and directives and defeats, the small kindnesses they could never dare to depend on. My martyred mom, my angry, exploited dad, my alcoholic brother, all the suffering I’d grown up with, all the suffering my parents had grown up with, on and on, far-flung ancestors and recently deceased relatives. How could I depend on my hard-won happiness when they never even had half of it?

I called it survivor guilt, and I knew I was going to let go of it. I didn’t know how that was going to happen, exactly, but I brought along a red marker in hopes of writing whatever needed to be written on the wall of the temple, so that days later I could watch it burn. Read more »

January 3rd, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC, Culture (Art & Music), Participate!, Spirituality

Spirituality and Community: The Process and Intention of bringing a Temple to Black Rock City

photo by Portaplaya

Since the year 2000, there has been a Temple at Burning Man, and when we talk about the Temple, most people think of what started that year with David Best and Jack Haye, and became a long line of temples that have graced the playa. The Temple has evolved from what became a memorial to their friend into an “emotional nexus” of our community, where thousands make pilgrimage each year to remember those they have lost, to celebrate and affirm life, to heal and to forgive.

In 2012 I was fortunate to meet many of the people who are involved with building the Temple each year and to research what I came to believe are some of the essentials of understanding what the Temple at Burning Man has become. It is a place where our community goes to unburden itself and it is a representation of our maturity as a community as well as a natural manifestation of something sacred in the City of Black Rock.

photo by Portaplaya

Proposing to be the one who builds the Temple at Burning Man is serious stuff involving quite a bit of work within an existing structure of volunteers and other Temple minded folks to create something for the community.  One question that was raised over and over again as I spoke with people who have done this before was that you should not ask yourself  “WHAT am I doing this for?” but rather “WHO am I doing this for?”

For many Burners, the Temple is a vital place where those who build it possess a solemnity and a respect for that process. It is also a place for those who attend the event to use for grieving or celebration of life in an environment that is in contrast to a lot of the rollicking and outrageous things happening elsewhere on the playa that week in late summer.

photo by d’andre

Walking around the Temple at the middle of the week, I personally get overwhelmed by the amount of emotion that is focused like a beam in there. It is as if, from its inception each year, to all the planning and all the hands that build it, then when the event begins and it becomes “the largest collaborative art project” on the playa; that the energy of so many caring people turns whatever sublime Temple structure is built that year into something far greater than any art project.

Stopping to read the remembrances of so many loved friends, family and pets who have passed on, seeing the pictures of so many of them, pausing at the altars and shrines where people have lovingly placed tokens of their lost one’s lives, well, that can really get you right in your plexus where you feel that big sorrowful empathy wave. The Temple is a profound space where some of us who have lost loved ones can let them know that they are still loved and missed, but that it is all ok, they can pass and we can move on.

I’m a large, somewhat dim and oafish fellow, and I can only stay in there for so long before I have to walk away from it out onto the blankness of the playa with the Temple behind me, and breathe deeply so as to not betray the tough guy façade I live behind.

It is a heavy place.  If you’ve been there, you know what I mean.

photo by Steven Fritz

Regardless of who builds the Temple, it is always something spectacular and special. There are bona fides and expertise that are a prerequisite to building the Temple at Burning Man and I was privy to finding out what some of those were this year.

I’ve written an article about what I discovered after being on playa (and attending the Temple construction before leaving for Black Rock City) for the building of this year’s Temple of Juno. I was able to research and read some of the intellectuals who’ve written about the concept of the Temple, including Lee Gilmore, Sarah Pike and Larry Harvey; and I had the pleasure of speaking with some of the folks involved with building Temples through the years including David Best, Jessica Hobbs and Jack Haye. The article is on the Burning Man website and is titled, Spirituality and Community: The Process and Intention of bringing a Temple to Black Rock City.

Burning Man would like to have a conversation that explores what you feel about the Temple and to get your insights on it since it is really your Temple. Please read the article as it is meant as a starting point to stimulate discussion. Our community loves discussions and the Temple is something many of us have very strong feelings about. Feel free to read the article and post your thoughts here.

December 7th, 2012  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

An Evening with David Best at the Nevada Museum of Art

The Black Rock Design Institute Presents “An Evening With David Best”
Thursday, December 13, at 6pm
Nevada Museum of Art
180 West Liberty Street
Reno, NV

Temple of Juno by David Best and The Temple Crew, 2012

Internationally acclaimed sculptor and architect David Best has created seven temples for Black Rock City, including the first “Temple of the Mind” in 2000, and the “Temple of Juno” in 2012. With inspiring scale and intricacy, David’s architecturally and psychologically significant structures are striking on the vast Black Rock Desert canvas. More importantly, David’s designs serve as a monumental community touchstone for Black Rock Citizens, and for the lives they have touched, culminating in a serenely beautiful burn. As many testify, David often gives spontaneous, deeply insightful, and emotionally moving talks about the intent, meaning, and experiences of the Temples. This lecture will be a wonderful opportunity to hear David’s deeper insights and broader outlooks on these phenomenal works.

Temple of Juno, 2012

Kerry Rohrmeier, cultural geography researcher and urban planner, will also be giving an introductory presentation on “Welcome to Black Rock City”. In studying Black Rock City through varied cultural, geographic, and historical lenses, Kerry will share some emerging lessons for participants in the creation of our yearly ephemerapolis.

Museum doors open for the evening at 5pm with refreshments and socializing. Lecture begins at 6pm. Tickets are now available here.

Black Rock Design Institute, the host for the evening, is a not-for-profit 501c3 comprised of Reno-area designers dedicated to improving our urban environment. More on the Black Rock Design Institute can be found here.

(Content generously provided by Nathan Aaron Heller and Kerry Rohrmeier.)

October 15th, 2012  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

24 Hours At The Temple Of Juno

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.

My friend Sarah and I just published a story called 24 Hours At The Temple Of Juno.

Guess what it’s about.

To get you hot and bothered, here’s a little excerpt:

Jon:

Sarah and I are coming to you live at high noon from the Temple courtyard, our first position in this 24-hour mission. We’re not concerned with the precise time. Burning Man time is obvious. It’s day. Then it will be evening, then night, then sunrise, then morning, then day, and then we can leave. No problem.

Sarah:

We enter the Temple, setting down our stuff. Our mission hasn’t sunk in yet. When was the last time you spent 24 hours in a single location?

I’ve spent part of every day here so far, including a volunteer shift as a Temple Guardian. I thought four hours was a long time to spend here, surrounded by the intense emotions of the place. When I got back, people asked me, “How was your shift?” I told them, “Imagine spending four hours at the Temple. It was intense.”

This time, I expected to feel my usual reactions to the Temple: pain, loss, joy, hope, and every emotion in between. But I feel almost nothing. “This is the only time I’ve felt like it’s just a building,” I tell Jon.

Yeah. That’s what we thought then. Wanna see what happens next?

It’s available from TempleStories.com as an illustrated text and a SoundCloud podcast. You can listen along, or you can download the audio and listen at your leisure. You’ll want to listen; it includes some sounds of Home.

Our deepest thanks to those of you who responded to our call for submissions. We included three of your contributions in our story. And this is just the beginning. Now that our first Temple story is live, we will collect more of them and share them on the Temple Stories blog. We encourage you to submit your stories to us at blog.templestories.com/submit.

Remember, it’s not just about the Temple at Burning Man. It’s about temples everywhere. Wherever you find a sacred spot in your community, keep your eyes and ears open for good stories. If you find them, share them with us. If you need help crafting your story, we’ll help you.

We welcome feedback, comments, and suggestions. Email us at us {{at}} templestories.com.

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+.

Eternal thanks to Scott London and Rod Hoekstra for sharing some amazing photographs with us.

September 15th, 2012  |  Filed under Building BRC, Culture (Art & Music)

A Sacred Place amidst the Dust

Temple and Dust

This year I was fortunate enough to spend time with some of the Temple Crew and I was privy to the energy, values and belief they put into building the Temple of Juno. I found that talking about the Temple soon becomes a discussion about something ethereal, something bigger than an art project and rather something that is a significant locus not only in Black Rock City but also within each of the people who are working on constructing it, including those who fill it up once the structure is finished. The Temple is something vital and real to our community. It is a sacred place amidst the dust.

I’m not an expert at these kinds of things, but from what I’ve encountered, the Temple Crew is a group who feels deeply about what they build. Many have been touched by grief. They are all unified in their sense of purpose, even if they all bring different points of view and motivations to the creation of the Temple.

Temple Crew in the Dust

I hung around the work site, then at their camp and they were a hard working bunch, but they always had time to talk to me when I asked about what they were doing. That seems to be a running theme among the crew.

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