A couple amazing videos came across our radar recently. They’re amazing in and of themselves, but also as an exercise in contrasts … and a vivid reminder that every Big Thing started small.
One is a Super 8 video shot by Bob G at the first Burning Man to take place on the Black Rock Desert in 1990 (he added the soundtrack in 2000 as an effort to juxtapose what Burning Man was to where it’s evolved). The other is a beautiful high-definition time lapse video of Burning Man 2011 called “The Fertile Desert” by filmmaker Roy Two Thousand.
Never doubt the power of a spark to ignite a flame that will burn the world.
In the middle of all the physical and metaphorical dust storms, The 10 Principles keep the beautiful chaos on track. Some are pretty clear, like “Leave No Trace.” Others are more tricky to get your head around. As a long-time Burner, I am sometimes asked to clarify or explain the Principles as I understand them. Read the official explanations here, and then check out my thoughts in the video above.
These views are solely the views of Halcyon and do not represent the opinions of The Burning Man Organization.
Every year, the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) — Burning Man’s sister non-profit dedicated to the funding of interactive, participatory and civic art projects around the world, year round — awards grants to support art projects that reflect and forward its mission.
In 2012, one of those grant recipients was FLOAT, “a participatory art/design project using air-quality-sensing kites in Beijing, China. FLOAT had two components; a workshop and a public installation. The workshops gathered local Beijing residents to make kites with an air-quality-sensing module, and the public installation was a group kite flight in parks throughout the city using these kites. The air quality data was fed and geolocated onto a mapping API, and displayed through LED lights. A series of longer term installations throughout the city offered residents ‘air quality stations’ that displayed air quality data in real time, previously recorded data and education about urban health. Through the poetics and playfulness of kite flying, FLOAT sparked dialogue on urban environmental health issues, and gave agency to city dwellers to map, record and engage actively in the monitoring of their environment.”
A scene from “Stars in the Haze”, by Joshua Frank
If you find this ingenious and important project intriguing, we highly recommend you watch “Stars in the Haze”, a fascinating short documentary film about the project, written, shot and edited by Joshua Frank.
You can see a full listing of all of BRAF’s art grant recipients from 2013 and years past here on their website. These grants are made possible by the generous donations of good folks like YOU. If you’d like to help, please donate.
Most of us are home and cleaning the playa dust from this year’s Burning Man. My kitchen continues to smell like vinegar since my husband and I arrived home two weeks apart. But most of my friends are talking about missing the community and spectacle they experience at the Burning Man event. For some of them, like us, it has become a part of their lives. I know there are a lot of videos out there but I thought you might like to see “Burn Baby Burn”. It does have some enhancements so if you are a purist about the Burn this might not be the video for you, but I loved it:
Music: BRAPT, an underground Belgian artist
Animation: John Ferran (Dustfish)
Video: Mister WA or MisterWAvideo here: MisterWAvideo (at) gmail.com
Burning Man was built on freedom of expression, and participants shouldn’t have to worry that photos or videos of their on-playa activities might appear online (or elsewhere) without their permission.
Going way back (pre-2000), Burning Man has requested that participants intending to record video on playa sign a Personal Use Agreement (PUA) to protect participants’ privacy in Black Rock City. In fact, it was this policy that allowed us to stop Voyeur Video from broadcasting illicit videos they’d recorded of unwitting Burning Man participants in 2002.
Burning Man’s photo policy is spelled out in the online terms and conditions applicable to all tickets: any participant is free to disseminate photos for personal use only, and cannot use them for any other purpose without the written permission of Burning Man. The PUA simply provides another mechanism to make participants aware of the limitations on photo use, and the distribution of the PUA at Greeters also assists in this process.
Of course, technology is evolving quickly. Back when video cameras were big and bulky and rare, we asked that each be tagged so people could identify the person taking their picture. Flash forward to 2012, and now just about everybody has a video camera on their person in the form of a smart phone or handheld video camera — so while collecting PUAs has become more logistically challenging, protecting the privacy of our participants is more important than ever. Read more »
The folks working the Gate are great people … and you might not realize this but they’re ALL volunteers. And they work HARD. Take a moment to learn more about this amazing crew, and you might just find that volunteering for the Gate is right for you!
This great video (thanks to the LOVE project) highlights the work of some of the volunteers who make the gate run. We’ve also got the transcript of a nice interview with Shimmer, an Exodus Pulsing volunteer working the job. Finally, you can learn the nuts and bolts of how the Gate works in our Gate FAQ. If you’re interested in volunteering with this hardy crew, visit our Gate participation page or visit the V-Spot on playa, in Center Camp next to Playa Info.
(WARNING: Volunteering may lead to meeting really incredible people and developing an amazing sense of accomplishment and belonging by helping to make BRC possible. You have been warned!)
Our LOVE crew showed up Monday of Labor Day, 2011, and talked to Shimmer at the last Pulsing spot. Here is what she said made her volunteer experience tick:Read more »
We’ve gone viral! Teddy Saunder’s beautiful Dr. Seuss video is the first Burning Man media to truly catch fire. With 800,000 views in just over 3 days, it has been on BoingBoing, The Huffington Post, and the front page of Reddit.
It is gorgeous, well done, and makes Burning Man look AWESOME.
So…are we screwed?
With ticket fears rampant, will our community be able to handle the flood of virgins drawn in by a dust-free depiction of whimsy, smiles and sunshine?
I was asked directly in my podcast this week and share my rambling answer (plus my plan to sell tickets for $1,000,000) here:
**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **
What did you think about “Oh the Places They’ll Go?”
What do you think this surge of awareness means for the future of Burning Man?
WANTED: Participant Videos on Playa Preparation and Participation! DEADLINE: JULY 15, 2011
Calling all filmmakers and benevolent Burners! We want YOUR video submissions to share as part of the 2nd Annual Burning Man Video Acculturation Series, designed to help new Burners prepare for their first playa experience!
The theme for 2011 is PREPARATION & PARTICIPATION! Read more »