24 Hours At The Temple Of Juno

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.

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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Send Us Your Temple Stories From Friday And Saturday

If you have a story, an image, or anything to share from Friday or Saturday at the Temple this year, we want to see it.

My friend Sarah and I are working on a project that covers the span of time from midday Friday to midday Saturday at the Temple of Juno. That encompasses at least five weddings, the gnarliest dust storm of the week, and many more emotional highs and lows.

Were you there? Send your memories to us {at} templestories.com. Make them as long or as short as they need to be. Please include names to go with your stories, though the names can be whatever you want.

Please only share information you’re willing to share publicly online.

You’ll hear more about this project very soon.

We love you,
Jon & Sarah

Thanks forever to Scott London for the photo.

Balloonatic Rides at Sunrise

This morning I stumbled out of my trailer and was treated to a true delight: The Balloonatics, AKA the Burning Man Balloon Operation (Bi.M.B.O) had rolled into DisOrient  and were filling up a couple dozen enormous brightly colored weather balloons with helium.

That’s a lot of helium….and  I thought to myself, well, this is clearly worth an extended gander. They were planning on giving people rides as soon as they had enough of them filled up. As it turns out, this is a lot harder to do that one might thinks: The balloons are huge, and if the lines get tangled they become unmanageable. But the Balloonatics make short work of it and before long they have 20 balloons filled up and took them out to their staging area to get them ready to fly.

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State Of The Art

12:01 AM Monday, August 29th 2011: must be time to burn. The calendar says so.

Burning Man is in full swing. There are hundreds…no, clearly thousands of auto headlamps visible on Gate Road, something that Danger Ranger once referred to as the “String of Pearls”. Swarms of clean people are pouring out of the radial streets onto the iinner playa…and I just saw one guy belly flop with joy into the dust. And the art. The art is up, and more is coming. I can’t see it all. I can’t shoot it all. I can barely even decide which of the 3000 images I’ve captured in the last few days to display here.

So, without further ado, here’s a small sample of what Burning Man 2011 has in store for you.

“Orgasm” by Brian Tedrick

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Temple of Transition: It’s Big and It’s Happening

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.

Another point of reference: three times the height of Marco Cochrane's "Bliss Dance".

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?”

“I think I want to do the Temple,” Kiwi replied.

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The State of the Art

Minaret in the Keyhole with people
Minaret in the Keyhole with people

This morning we woke up to the light patter of rain on our dome. It was a fresh morning on the playa, one that sharpens your mind as you take a walk to check out the progress our ARTISTS are making beneath a cold blue sky speckled with dabs of white clouds.  The weather has been cold And there have been long white outs but our valiant artists have persevered and a huge array of projects are being completed.

We made our way towards the 2 o’clock side of the City and visited with Karen at Infinitarium. The sculptures are in place and they’re building out the fire effects. The Garden is a beautiful layout of plants with the tallest being the Fleur. There are some Willows, the Lovers (Two leaves), Trumpets and some Dandelions. Like I said, the weather has been rough on all the artists this last week, and this morning is was cold, cold, cold. Karen said, “Look at us. Who wears thermals at 10:30 in the morning on the playa? Who’d have thought.” Indeed, and that makes it all the more wonderful to see all the people out here trudging through the long hours to finish their projects.

Bliss Dance
Bliss Dance

We wiped the dust from our goggles and wandered out to the Keyhole where yes, Brian Tedrick’s Minaret is as beautiful as you hear it is. At night it is illuminated with rings of color and during all hours of the day and night our bold citizens climb up Minaret’s vertebra, then midway they go inside and make their way to the see-through sphere at the top to revel. It is truly a worthy Keyhole piece. Last night we met some folks who say it isn’t finished yet though. Still to be installed are misters in the top steel orb. These misters will release BBQ sauce and flame effects are still to be installed also that will, with the touch of a button at the bottom, instantly incinerate the revelers in the sphere, thereby creating a fine hourly grilling bonanza of our bountiful supply of citizens. They may have been joking but I say it sounds delish!!

We hear there was supposed to be snow on Donner pass today. Crazy.

If you want some beauty, this year make sure to get out to Bliss Dance by Marco Cochrane. She is a sublime form, twisting and flowing and simply divine. Today they were putting on her finishing touches.

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