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Pillars of the Guardians: Zoophemising the Ten Principles

The theme for this year’s Burning Seed is Zoophemism. This theme invites you to ‘Imagine a world where all euphemisms are animal related and puns are considered currency’. This had me scratching my head. How to radically self-express via animal euphemism? What does that outfit even look like?

One person not daunted by this year’s theme is Lucas Li, head creative for the Pillars of the Guardians art installation. Lucas and his team have created an interactive installation that pairs each of the ten principles [http://burningseed.com/about/ten-principles/] with an animal totem. A zoophemism for each principle.

The Pillars of the Guardians exists to encourage burners to interact with the ten principles and really think about their meanings. The installation is a playful, totemistic puzzle that you can solve with your friends. We can’t give away too much, but promise that it will be visually stunning, interactive, informative, and performative.

A crew member hard at work

Spotlight on the Artist

Lucas Li is a filmmaker, professional creative and enthusiastic member of the Burning Seed community. I was lucky enough to catch up with Lucas and find out more about him and his inspiration for creating Pillars of the Guardians.

What is your background and how did it lead you to making Pillars of the Guardians?

I'm a film-maker branching out into other forms of creative visual arts. I’m really interested in stories, myths and eliciting emotion. I find they're great communication tools and I really wanted to bring that sense of sacred mythic quality to the burner principles, because I think that can really help people learn them.

Have you attempted something like this before?

Not since my dinosaur diorama in high school. This is my first installation and it's been so challenging and rewarding. Learning woodworking, resin casting, 3D printing, LED lighting, all very new to me. I am very grateful for the experts that have stepped forward to help.

What is your Burning Seed story?

I had friends who couldn’t stop talking about it. I’m normally quite a serious person so it didn't compel me much. But four years ago, I had burnt myself out trying to help the refugee movement and also had a major relationship breakdown too. I was in a really dark place when tickets were coming out, so I just went for it. And it blew my mind. The creativity, the openness, the irrelevance… It was a sparkly explosion that reignited my creative fire. It taught me how important it was to have fun and look after myself too. 

What was the inspiration for the Pillars of the Guardians?

There's a 10000 year old site called Göbekli Tepe and it just got me wondering what sort of ceremonies and stories and songs they were sharing back then and what it would have felt like being that space. I wanted to see if I could create something like it here in our time.

I really wanted to infuse the project with positive energy, in the making of it too, so using as much recycled materials as possible and cooking wholesome vegan food for the volunteers. Even the plastic for our 3D printing is biodegradable.I'm hoping some of that good vibe will rub off on people entering the space and inspire them to bring their own positivity to it.  

The installation is very reflective of this year’s theme. Was this a coincidence, or did you react to the theme?

It was a reaction. Originally, I wanted the guardians to be old gods and spirits - but making them animals gave the work this universality that makes it so much easier to connect with. 

Do you have a favourite principle?

I'd say communal effort, we become more than the sum of our parts when we work together… Also, I love gifting too, it just creates this beautiful positive feedback loop of love and generosity. Basically, anything that inspires us to set egos aside and think communally. We burn brighter together.

Pillars of the Guardians Crew

The Pillars of the Guardians will be open from 5pm-midnight every day during Seed. However, the best time to see it will be during the opening ceremony [https://www.facebook.com/events/1088055534717346/] on Thursday night from 7.30pm. That’s your chance to become a part of the art and meet the guardians behind its creation.

The Pillars of the Guardians are asking burners to support their art piece through the purchase of a principle pendant [https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/709568852/burner-animal-pendants?ref=hp_rv-1&bes=1] (Spoiler Alert! They have their animal zoophemisms on the back!)

The Pillars of the Guardians is one of 21 art pieces supported by ARTery art grants this year. You can find out more about how to apply for an art grant here [http://burningseed.com/art/] or the ARTery concierge on the paddock.

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The Rangers are looking for some awesome people

If you've been to Seed before, you may have seen people walking around in orange. They're not just burners in costume - they're our rangers, and they're a vital part of Burning Seed.
Rangers have a very important role on site and contribute to the smooth running fo the event. They are not the police, they're participants like yourself who have decided to be sober and responsible for a few hours and walk around to help out other community members. With access to walkie talkies, training and a kick-ass cadre of seasoned veteran burners supporting them, Rangers volunteer their time to make sure that people are empowered when their radical self reliance runs out. This doesn't mean that they stop people from having fun; rather, they might point out the ways that that spiky bar could hurt you, and then call the medics if your long jump doesn't go as planned. You'll often see them dancing their butts off to a great set at a theme camp, but they'll also check in to make sure that person in the corner is choosing to sleep instead of passing out.
If you're in trouble on the paddock, the Rangers are a great first resource - they're good for helping find lost children, they can help mediate disputes and many are very good huggers if they're asked to provide one. Consent is still required though, so please don't just go jumping on them expecting they'll love it!
Ranger Training
Rangers learn to be so awesome through their training which happens pre-burn off-paddock, or on the first day of Seed for people who don't live in major cities or missed out on the pre-burn events. Training covers what to do in a variety of situations and returning rangers often help mentor newer rangers to provide even more range of experience. At training you will learn how to use radio protocols, how to approach a situation without inflaming it and also get the opportunity to hold the perimeter during burns. Burns can't happen without a safe perimeter, so rangers are CRUCIAL for one of the most fun and important parts of the event!
Burning Seed has one of the highest ratios of participants that have gone through ranger training of any burn in the world, which is something to be proud of. Ranger training is useful both for Seed and outside of Seed, and many participants have reported that their ranger training helped them out in sticky situations in the default world as well.
Why and how to get involved!
Are you interested in volunteering your time as a ranger? We would absolutely LOVE to have you on board. You'll get to experience Burning Seed from a whole new perspective and build some great relationships along the way.
You can get involved with Rangers in two easy steps!
  1. Register with the Crew Wranglers first. To do this, follow the link to complete a simple sign up procedure: https://www.volcor.net/TakeSurvey2.aspx?s=2404_CrewReg
  2. Sign up for the training onsite. Training will happen on September 25th @2pm. Follow the link to our Facebook event to sign up and get all of the latest news and information: https://www.facebook.com/events/2313762232224044/
PERKS! 
If you need to get to the paddock early to get settled in before training, there's a link to Early Entry on the FB invite so that you can let us know when you plan to arrive.  If you think you can make the paddock better by donning the orange, step up, come volunteer and be a part of a crucial, awesome team!

 

 

 

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FART SEEKS FIRE SAFETY CREW

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

And where there’s fire, there’s a bunch of smokin’ hot firefighters. And one of them could be you!

The Fire Art Response Team is still seeking 20 more crew members for Burning Seed 2019.

It’s no secret we love to burn shit, and in order to burn shit it’s crucial we have a competent team of burners who will be prepared to show up and be on the ready should any emergencies occur. You don’t even need experience… you’ll get all the training you need on site, and if you’re a novice, you’ll be paired with a veteran at all times. Your protective gear will be provided, and you’ll get to dress up like the sexy kitten-rescuing calendar stripper you’ve always wanted to be.

Meow!

You’ll do one non-burn shift where you’ll be responsible for raising fire safety awareness, as well as patrolling two of the three burns during the event. Sobriety for your shifts and your own safety boots are the only prerequisites.

We need at least 20 crew members, and you’ll be greeted with particular enthusiasm if you’ve got firefighting experience or you’ve FARTed at Burns past.  If you’re keen, feel free to head straight over to the website and apply.  

http://burningseed.com/participate/communitycrew/

If you’ve got any questions, drop Rusty a line at rusty@burningseed.com.