4986

Bright spark fuels green power possibility at Seed

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]W[/bra_dropcaps]e’re investigating the possibility of creating a centralised source of green power for theme camps, artists and core team infrastructure at Burning Seed. The Feasibility Study, below, is the first stage of dreaming a little dream with you – and it’s brought to you by one of the many bright sparks in our community.

Meet Troy Reid: keen-bean Burner, tech whizzzzzz and quarter-century veteran of the IT landscape, who works in infrastructure management. He has developed this study to assess interest and the possibility of generating central power using waste vegetable oil biofuel, with a view to using solar or wind in the future.

For a little squiz at the momentum building in standard festival world around sustainable power, have a little read of this. And if they can do it… well, we’re Burners, right?… we gotta be capable of finding a sustainable and innovative way to produce power and share the costs and benefits.

Ultimately, this feasibility study might reveal that PowerCity isn’t… well… feasible. But it will be the first of hopefully many innovative solutions that community members like Troy – and YOU – bring to the table, so we can find ways to use our pooled resources for the benefit of the collective.

Burners, countrymen and women, chuck us your ideas! And in the meantime, fill in the survey at the bottom.

So what’s this survey about?

Your survey feedback will enable us to assess interest and feasibility of centrally generating green electricity for the theme camps, art and central infrastructure of Red Earth City.

This will help us reduce generator noise and chemical pollution at the event (carbon footprint is a form of MOOP – just coz the MOOP is invisible doesn’t mean it’s not there).

Your feedback will also contribute to our other carbon footprint calculations and the potential to develop a carbon offset price per ticket sold.

Let’s talk technology

The power generation and storage plan would use an array of silenced generators in a fault-tolerant configuration fueled from Waste Vegetable Oil biodiesel  in combination with an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) battery backup system to provide more reliable, efficient and cost-effective electricity than solutions deployed in previous years.

Building a re-usable power distribution network will also be included in the feasibility study. Current architecture under consideration by a team of industrial electricians is a 3-phase ring with periodic distribution points.

Power demands fluctuate significantly throughout the event, so the challenge is to produce just enough power to meet demand using multiple generators in various combinations so that any generator in use is always operating within its optimal efficiency range.

Generator switching will be automated through a computerised monitoring system that will engage and disengage generators automatically in response to demand. The UPS, sized to provide a 10-minute buffer under peak load conditions, will smooth out the transitions between generators and balance the supply and demand.

Interactivity

PowerCity might also incorporate an interactive multimedia visual arts installation. An array of stationary bikes with generators attached could offset diesel generators for anyone interested in generating pedal-power.

Not only will PowerCity be an elegant engineering solution and the life-blood of radical self-expression, it shall be a thing of beauty itself.

Looking to the future

The long-term goal of PowerCity is to eventually transition to electricity generated from renewable sources like wind and solar, backed by a sufficiently large power storage system; however, this is likely to be a multi-year development project guided by the growth of the event over time.

[bra_button text=’Ready, setty, take that survey’ url=’http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2031672/Power-in-Burning-Seed’ target=’_blank’ size=’large’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’]

 

 

4991

Feeling the Burn as Seed brings it home

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]L[/bra_dropcaps]ast month we posted about Christina Broza, a 50-year-old American ex-war vet now turned keen Burner, who shared her playa transformation story with us. But you don’t have to travel all the way to Nevada to experience those special moments at a Burn or feel the reverberations in your life after it’s finished.

Our 2014 census has revealed that many of you are feeling the same way about Seed, with stories of connection, authenticity, spiritual moments, hope, joy and… yes… what we would call life-changing experiences. We’ve collected a few of these tales in a diary for you to enjoy and, perhaps, empathise with. (For those crusties and snarkies amongst us, consider it an opportunity to reacquaint yourself with your softer side —  god/goddess/pick-your-deity forbid.)

This diary highlights yet again that Seed is much more than just a party or any ol’ festival. It is a space and place that has become our own petri-dish of possibility: add a little of this, a dash of that, a load more of them, shake and watch what happens.

Got a story to tell? Share it with us below in the comments section. [responsive-flipbook id=”imagine:nation_diary”]

 

 

 

5238

Burner Bios — linking ticket sales to Seed know-how

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]T[/bra_dropcaps]his year we’re looking at integrating Burner Bios into the ticketing process. This means that everyone who buys a ticket would need to trip their merry way through a series of fun FAQ questions and then share some very basic details to set up a Bio. And we want to talk to you about it. 

Why create Burner Bios?

We had a large number of newbies rock up to our fast-growing patch of paddock of Paradise last year. Of course, we love us a newb and we love watching them blow their minds (and hearts) at their first Burn. But with participation our paradisical fuel, we need to make sure that everybody is aboard the self-reliance, leave-no-trace, all-the-ten-principles train.

And despite the large amount of info available last year, there were many reports of first-timers not knowing their fun from their FAQS –  MOOPing, issues with consent, Participation and self-reliance? Never heard of it, to name but a few. “We need more education!” many of you also cried in the 2014 census.

So, we’ve been talking to other regionals about this wee problem that many of us are facing: Burns growing up very fast under the spotlight and cache of the Burning Man name, and at a time when the mothership is turning away tens of thousands of people from its dusty, pearly gates. It’s a time when the I’ve-alway-wanted-to-go-to-Burning Man newbie is king — or at least a large part of the coterie.

For regionals like AfrikaBurn, which now numbers around 10,000 this year and faces its own delicate balancing act of Burn vs desert rave (insert Doof for us), Burner profiles have proven a useful way to ensure that people actually engage with relevant Burner information.

How would Bios make a difference?

Everybody will have to pass through this Bio-making point to get their ticket, and that means everyone will need to engage with a certain level of information needed to create, maintain and take part in our Burnerverse. 

For example, to set up your Bio you will need to answer a range of fun FAQ multiple-choice questions covering all the Burning Seed 101s: Did you know you gotta bring your own shit, owright? Yes, that means water too. And what does P stand for? Nooooo… it doesn’t mean just parrrrrrrrty. It stands for participate – and it stands for YOU.

Once your Bio is set up, you will also be required to download the Survival Guide as part of the process and be redirected to options for participating.

It won’t be a perfect system – ‘cause if you want to just tick, tick, tick to get through, there’s not much we can do about it. But we can ensure that many, many more people are made aware of the fact that a Burn is all up to YOU – and that means them too!

What information would Bios retain?

We will collect as little as possible and not much more than what you already share with the ticket company. We will ask your name – real or playa/paddock – your email address, your number of previous Burns, and the way you might want to participate. (This last question is less about info retention than redirection (aka gentle nudge) towards options for getting involved).

Privacy

We take your privacy seriously, and are committed to keeping your information private and confidential. We will not share it with any third party.[bra_border_divider top=’20’ bottom=’20’]

So talk to us. We’d like to hear your thoughts too. Click here to write your own ideas or support the ones that other people have shared.

 Banner pic thanks to Onur Ka

4926

BMA Radio goes beta

BMAR1 (1)All your ears are belong to us!

Burning Man Australia Radio (BMAR) hit the digital sound waves last month with a Beta site that is now begging for your creative lubrication… YES people! This is a call out for community content!!!

We want spoken word shows, DJ sets, live recordings and more – check out our early guidelines on the FB page and send your content to redearthradio@gmail.com. We’re also making sexy plans for BMAR’s first live on-site broadcast for 2015 to come to your ears direct from Blazing Swan (April 1 – 7) – aural pleasure like you never knew!!

5307

Call to care action — Matong Burner needs our support

10997176_782903998446092_4429033221212887762_o[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]rian Jones is a much-loved Matong local and Burner who has been an enthusiastic and vital support person for Seed, donating his time, heavy machinery and good will from the get go! Now he needs our support too.

At the start of this year, Brian developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, a very rare auto-immune reaction following a throat infection, which causes rapid paralysis. Within a week he went from working 14-hour days on the farm to not being able to walk at all, nor use his hands. With daily physio the recovery time is between six months to two years on average.

Brian has been at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital since the new year, first in intensive care and now the rehab unit. He is recovering at a best-case scenario pace, and his mental and emotional health are strong. He’s focused, determined and positive. Even so, he is likely to be in hospital for several more months, re-learning how to walk.

Let’s help him to stay positive and feel connected to our community. If you can find some spare time, please send Brian a letter, card, drawing, distraction, words of encouragement, or something else that you can think of. Thanks!

The Address:

Brian Jones
Wagga Wagga Base Hospital
Rehab Unit
PO Box 159
Wagga Wagga
NSW 2650

5178

Local crew bring Burning Man to Melbourne

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]L[/bra_dropcaps]ocal Burner crew fired up Melbourne streets on February 21 with a blast of Burning Man art and heart at the annual White Night event. The 17-strong kick-arse crew created a 14-metre long, fire-breathing metal dragon and fire forest, which not only enthralled the crowds but made the front page of The Sunday Age and Herald Sun too.  

Led by Steph Selig and Sean Diamond, The Crucible project also proved to be a prime example of Burner can-do, with nine of the crew having never welded previously – or worked on large-scale metal art.

The idea came to life when Steph, a Melbourne-based member of the San Francisco art collective Flaming Lotus Girls and a Seeder, approached White Night about doing a fire piece for the all-night event. 

Meanwhile, the event organisers were keen to realise another dragon by Melbourne artist Sean Diamond, who had not previously incorporated fire into his sculptures. Add a local pyrotechnical company, Howard & Sons, and a bunch of keen-bean Burners into the mix and, hey presto, a collaboration was born!

Steph’s highlight? “Creating something so big and unleashing a little bit of Burning Man on Melbourne, and having the support of the city and Andrew Walsh (White Night artistic director) behind us the whole way. And empowering nine women to learn to weld was pretty awesome.”

And what about those who went all Flashdance and wielded their metal magic for the first time? Meet three of the women behind the welding mask.

[one_third]

clair_150

Clair Richards

Why did you join the project? I liked the idea of being part of a team that was creating something amazing, and, at the same time, learning how to work with metal and weld.

What was the highlight? Meeting other people working on the project and working with a group of highly creative and fun individuals. Seeing the final piece in action and watching people’s reactions was of course also wonderful.[/one_third] [one_third]diia_150

Diia Bourke

Why did you join the project?  It was actually a New Years Resolution of mine to do something challenging and artistic, after going to Burning Seed for the first time in 2014, seeing some amazing art installation, following Burning Man on Instagram and getting inspired by the art.

What was the highlight? Apart from seeing the amazing dragon in its glory, the people I got to work with. Everyone was supportive of ideas and everyone pitched in. Steph and Sean were amazing group leaders. They allowed us to find our own way but also helped a lot.[/one_third][one_third_last]anna_150

Anna Truong

Why did you join the project? The biggest reason was to increase my knowledge in lighting design and expose my skills in the public realm where most of my industry colleagues can see my work.  

What was the highlight? Hearing the gasps of awe and wonder of the audience during White Night.  It really made the hard work and effort with the tiny details for lighting and fire effects worth it, and I will cherish this memory for a very long time.[/one_third_last]

[bra_divider height=’40’]

So what next for the Crucible crew? They plan to plumb the dragon themselves to create propane flame effects and to bring their creation to Seed (huzzah!). The project has also spawned a few individual metal projects, which will also be appearing at Seed (Double huzzah!).

Wanna make cool fire shit too? Flame Effects Australia will be running a fire art course in May. Check out the details here. To see more pics from the build, installation and tear down, visit Flame Effects Austalia’s Flickr.

Cover pic by Kai O’Yang

4879

From whale to wish list — dream a little Seed with me


Our info requests often involve the help-line banalities of the obvious: “Where do I buy tickets?” (on the website you just visited, under tickets*), or “Tell me about Burning Seed” (have you met our website? The one you just visited to send the info request?*).

But sometimes we receive messages that not only make my day but remind me why I Burn. They also remind me to retain the faith in the specialness of what we are creating together at Burning Seed — despite the sometimes bumpy ride of growth, community and this radically participatory experiment.

Our most recent message also underlines the fact that other people are getting wind of our special little something too.

Meet Christine, a 50-year-old disabled military veteran from New Mexico, USA, who wrote to us via the Seed website. Her dream? To save up and make it to Burning Seed next year. After asking her if I could share her story with all of you, this is what she wrote back:

“Yes, my story is kind of funny and sad too…

I was a typical conservative Christian-type American. I served in the army during Desert Storm in the early ’90s,
and 
came from a strict Catholic background. One day I just “woke up” and felt it was all wrong and ridiculous:
none of this working hard and doing the right thing was making my life better, and the Christian male god isn’t
nice to females.

So, I left it all, turned to paganism and Wicca, left the conservative world behind…at age 48 mind you. I felt my
life had been wasted in religious and conservative hate and fear, like my parents, who it did nothing for
(American conservativism).

I was watching YouTube one winter night and came across a Burning Man video. A group built a giant whale art
car… and I got angry! It is not fair! I work hard every day, and these hippies can go out to a desert and build a whale
for no reason. Why can’t I do stuff like that??…why can’t I? Why can’t I? What is stopping me? Me…duh! Go find
your whale, Christine…

So, I found some Burners. They didn’t know what to think of this old conservative broad (I still looked and acted
conservative, not knowing any other way), but they let me hang around, and I got to attend a gay Burner wedding
(I was so glad for the invite, I felt like I had a new family), a regional burn, then the big burn in Nevada. And I got
to perform; someone started the first Burning Man classical orchestra and I play violin.

I cannot say enough how much it has changed my life! I regret that I am not young anymore and, as a disabled vet,
burning was physically tough, but I love it, love my new family, and look forward to more Burns — with Australia
on my dream list!”

Christine’s message is a reminder that Burning Seed brings together people from disparate tribes, all walks of life and far-flung countries too. It is this diversity — along with the inclusion and acceptance of it  — that makes our event so special.

Welcome to our little patch of Paddock paradise, Christine.[bra_border_divider top=’20’ bottom=’20’]

*No newbie was harmed in the making of this blog

 

 

 

 

4737

Burning Man Australia Radio set to hit net

Plans are underway for an online broadcast of Burner tunes, chat and other audiolicious content via Burning Man Australia Radio (BMAR). BMAR is, and will be, a fantastic example of the potential we have for collaborative and creative endeavour in this community.

Fresh and flushed from the success of the inaugural Red Earth Radio live broadcast at this year’s Burning Seed, those ‘fellas with faces for radio’ — Hotwire, SirAndy and Matt Stone — have joined forces with a formidable and highly experienced on-air talent — Sea Ansley — to build a new platform for community engagement, creativity and information in the form of a 24/7/365 online radio site.

BMAR will run throughout the year with music and DJ sets, interviews and other content from the Aussie Burner community, with live broadcasts via Red Earth Radio at Burning Seed and Blazing Swan, and events such as Decompressions, Theme Camp fundraisers etc.

Sowing the Seed

red earth radio

The concept of an Aussie Burner radio became a reality when legendary Burner Hotwire bought some basic kit for a broadcast at Seed 2014, and threw the idea out to the community.

Red Earth Radio, Burning Seed’s on-site broadcast station, was born under a marquee, on a trestle table, next to the ice truck.

Hotwire, SirAndy of Man, Si and Matt Stone hosted a daily show throughout Seed, attracting, cajoling and dragging in a variety of guests to interview.

Making (air)waves

Participants (who had a radio and knew the frequency) heard from medical guru Dimmer, cool dudes Duncan and Andrew, veteran burner Hey-you, now-not-so-shy Eric Doriean AKA Snorky, the super surreal Kitty and Ian, who was obsessed with SirAndy’s relationship with his parents. 

Other guests included centre camp guardian Sparks, beatboxer Sacha Fawkes, legendary cabbie Joseph F Smith, Red Earth Radio’s heavenly fragranced weather consultant Frenchie Mercury (aka Steve Pollet), and the ubiquitous Jay Man.

Some of the best kicks from the radio show came from it’s connection to the ten principles, of course. Immediacy, radical inclusion, communal effort, radical self-expression, participation, civic responsibility (yes, there were public service announcements!), gifting — these were all present in the experience. It also underlined how the Burner community can be a  safe playground for any kind of crazy idea — no matter how much experience or equipment you have, so long as you have energy and excitement, you have all you need to make it happen.

Intertubes ahoy!

The boys are working closely with Burning Man Australia to develop the BMAR project and will have more to talk about come early 2015. They’re keen to hear from the community about your interest in getting involved — whether you wanna host a show, play your music, or help out on the technical stuff, BMAR wants to hear from you.

For now, drop by our Facebook page, register your interest and check out some of the content from this year’s Seed.

 

4633

Community design labs: theme & logo

Like everything we do at Burning Seed, what you see is what we make – together. And in honour of this collaborative spirit, we’ve banished the word competition from our lexicon and developed Community Design Labs instead.

These labs will be opportunities throughout the year to bring your dreams and designs to life by helping to create  — and choose — the design for a range of Burning Seed projects. Anyone can submit a design and wherever possible we will involve the community in shortlisting them with the help of online voting tools.

And this year we need your help not only with the theme — Revolution — but a new logo for Burning Seed. We’ll also be looking at you  — yes, YOU — to design our Effigy and Temple for 2015. There’s also a rumble in the radio jungle, we hear, with Red Earth Radio also looking for a logo. Stay tuned!

Check out our new participation portal for these Community Design Labs. Here you’ll find details on submissions and a place to upload your designs.

 

 

4547

Burning Seed 2015 theme and dates announced

You guys threw your theme ideas into the fire and out of the flames rose… Revolution! Yup. The theme for Burning Seed 2015 will be Revolution, so get those creative juices flowing over the chrissy break because we’ve got dates for you too. Drum roll please…

Burning Seed 2015 will take place again at Matong State Forest from Wednesday 30 September to Monday 5 October.

You might have noticed that we’re finishing a day earlier than the 2014 event, and pack-down is the main reason for this change. With the bulk of participants leaving the event on Sunday or Monday, and the pack-down process not able to start until Tuesday, we have struggled to retain enough community crew to help with this last big heave-ho task.

But never fear: we won’t be hustling you off the site as soon as Monday hits. We will start packing down community services such as rangers, info centre, ice and toilets from midday, and you will still have 24 hours to leave Red Earth City. 

Thanks to everyone who submitted a theme idea and used our new Town Hall Social voting tool to create the shortlist. Stay tuned for the chance to create next year’s theme design.

Revolution

Revolution – a word so often charged with the bloody, ideological fury of a group seeking to overturn the prevailing
powers or structures as fast as their critical mass will allow.

But the power of Burning Seed’s revolution is not in rapid overthrow or raised fist. Its power is in the depth of motion
and change, and drawn from the love and evolution that live within the word itself.

Revolution is the constant, circular return to the beginning, the omega of the old and the alpha of the new. It is the
panorama of new vistas and experiences emerging on the horizon of each new rotation of our world.

And as Burning Seed takes its sixth spin around the sun, the event and its ten principles continue to provide a pivotal
point for those seeking a (r)evolution in how we all live, love, work and play together.

Our revolution is both an act of humanity and one of fire. It scorches the earth and tears itself open for the sapling of change,
from the deeply personal to the greater social fabric of our growing community. It awakens the heart and flies the spirit like an ensign. Revolution15 is our incendiary phoenix.

 

What does Revolution mean to you? How do you associate it with Burning Seed? Share your (brief) thoughts with us and we’ll turn them into a crowdcloud of your words and phrases, as well as signage for the 2015 event site. Share your ideas here.[bra_border_divider top=’20’ bottom=’20’]

Pic by Randy Brophy