Bring Your Mutant Vehicle Dreams to Life!

Mint Country Club’s spectacular Green Whale (photo: Andy Flint)

by the Red Earth Department of Mutant Vehicles

We’re getting more serious about transport around Red Earth City. As our community grows we need to make sure we have the necessary infrastructure to keep our City safe. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still have some radical and creative fun doing it….. hello art cars or ‘mutant vehicles’!

Last year (2015) saw the introduction of our first licensing and registration system for art cars on the Paddock, and the establishment of the Red Earth City Department of Mutant Vehicles (REDMV).

We’re expecting more art cars in 2016 and we’re looking for participants now to work with the REDMV team to help register vehicles in advance and to crew for the team. Red Earth City is a bicycle and pedestrian-oriented city and there is no driving allowed on site once you’re through the Gate other than with a registered art car or ‘mutant vehicle’.

What is a mutant vehicle?

A Mutant Vehicle is a unique, motorized creation that shows little or no resemblance to its original form, or to any standard street vehicle. Mutant Vehicles are radically, stunningly, (usually) permanently, and safely modified from their base vehicle. Sometimes the whole vehicle is made from scratch.” – Burning Man Department of Mutant Vehicles

At Burning Seed, all powered vehicles or human powered vehicles over 250kg for use on the Paddock need to be registered and licensed with REDMV. As well as complying with registration procedures and on-site driving rules, in order to qualify for a licence vehicles for use on the Paddock need to be ‘mutated’.

Creative collaboration is at the core of the Burning Seed experience and you could do worse than to work with a crew to bring your maddest Mad Max dreams to life with a mutant vehicle. The 2016 Burning Seed theme- Deep Space – offers some obvious inspiration but a project like this deserves your most radical expression!

Spectacular mutants in 2015

The first year of REDMV saw some spectacular vehicles make it to the Paddock, including the Wonky Queenslander, the Orphanage Art Car, the CocoPocoLocomotive and Mint Country Club’s Green Whale (this latter vehicle built on-site! – how cool was that!!?) Kudos to the crews responsible for those awesome MVs. Last year was also a success in terms of zero injuries and great communication and engagement between REDMV and mutant vehicle operators, and with Rangers and other relevant crew on-site. We want to see this same outcomes in 2016 with new and revised registration information and driving rules.

Not Shonky - Just Wonky! (photo: Jorgenn Dobleene)

Not Shonky – Just Wonky! The WONKY Queenslander (photo: Jorgenn Dobleene)

Get involved with REDMV!

If you love art, if you love vehicles or if you just love humans and want to make sure they stay safe on the Paddock, REDMV needs YOU! We’re looking for a REDMV second-in-command (2iC) to work with the Department to create documentation, evaluate applications, liaise with vehicle operators and ensure the safe operation of mutant vehicles on-site. We’re also looking for specialist REDMV crew to work with us on vehicle assessments including safety inspections, licensing and managing and enforcing safe Mutant Vehicle operation during the event.

What next?

Registrations will open soon and will remain open for a few months. If you have questions at any stage email redmv@burningseed.com. If you want to get involved and find out more about the 2iC role or other REDMV crew opportunities, register your interest with the Crew Wranglers at jointhecrew@burningseed.com.


Put Your Art on The Paddock in 2016

Put your Art on the Paddock in 2016-2by the ARTery Department

Interested in making art at Burning Seed this year? Sure you are!!

We’ve seen some AMAZING installations – large and small – grace our little forest playground over the years…. from awesome ‘stand-and-look’ pieces to ‘get-right-in-there-and-interact!’

The ARTery

All art projects that are set up on the Paddock need to register with Red Earth City’s ARTery Department.

The ARTery works with anyone bringing art to Burning Seed and supports art at the event through art grants and artist services.

How to Register

ARTery registration forms for art on the Paddock in 2016 go live April 1 (no fooling!) and to help prospective artists navigate the process there’s heaps of info on the website about registration, policy, grants and more.

Getting an Art Grant

OK so you’ve had an AMAZING idea but you need additional funds to help you bring your vision to life? We got this – the ARTery Department offers two levels of grants for artists:

Small art grants of up to $1,000 and LARGE art grants $1,001-$5,000

There are a few things to bear in mind before you apply for a grant… like ARTery will not finance 100% of any proposal – rather encourages artists to gift, and find alternative ways to fundraise the amount they require.

Grants are also mainly for approved materials for construction of artwork – for instance wood, fixtures and fittings, fabric, paint etc. Grants are NOT provided for ‘labour’, Burning Seed tickets or personal travel expenses.

Applications for both grants also open April 1 2016. The deadline for large grants is May 15 and small grant applications close June 19 at 6pm.

Please like the ARTery’s Facebook page to stay up to date on all the latest art happenings!


Burner Journeys… Finding Your Creative Power!!

by Acid Mama

The Burning Man (and Burning Seed!) community is a unique creative space when it comes to enabling people to push their comfort zones and try something new. For those of us who have had the opportunity to step up into our creative power and participate in a collaborative project for Burning Man or one of its regional events, we know how magical this experience can be.

Nothing fabricated about this - it's as real as it gets...

Being a Burner means doing cool stuff like DANGER!!

Furthermore, if you are a woman, as I am, and you’ve had this kind of opportunity, then you know just how empowering it can be to have your skills appreciated and encouraged, nourishing a part of you that thrives on creativity.

Getting Involved

In 2006 I experienced my first Burning Man and the incredible WOW-factor of Black Rock City. That year was eye-opening, challenging, and beautiful. When I left the Playa, I vowed to return with a major contribution. I’d enjoyed being a punter my first year, but felt that there was a deeper way I could participate.

In 2007, I bought an old school bus, gathered friends and talent, and rocked back up to Black Rock City with a hula-hoop camp. Our theme camp was bare bones, but still ticked the boxes. Yet still I wanted a deeper level of involvement.

During the next year, I relocated to study jewellery and metal fabrication at Uni – and this is where I found my niche. I got a job as the fine metals studio assistant, taught classes, ran open studio sessions, and assisted the students. On the side I was tinkering, playing and experimenting with welding, steel work and plasma cutting in the large scale metal fabrication studio. Then one day, somehow, through word of mouth, I got a call…

Finding Your Niche

“Prof”as he was called, had heard about me and my work through a mutual friend. He told me the story of his Burning Man theme camp and asked if I would join their crew – the Black Rock City Hardware Shoppe – a Burning Man fix-it camp that had been operating on the Playa since the mid ’90s. What had started off as a pop up tent with some rolling tool boxes, had, by the time I got involved, turned into a camp with massive acreage right on the Center Camp ring of Black Rock City.

We fixed, broke and re-made anything that came to our door; bringing welders, every hand and power tool imaginable, any nut and bolt we could gather. Incredible opportunities landed in our laps, as we helped large-scale sound camps, amazing art cars, even the Department of Public Works crew. During the next 4 years, my experience with Black Rock City Hardware Shoppe radically transformed my Burn, and my life.

Getting Creative - Flame Effects Archway At Centre Camp

If you ever wondered why we call ourselves Burners…THIS!

Bringing the Skills to Seed

Fast forward to Burning Seed 2015: I’d stumbled into being involved again, working as 2iC for Theme Camps, and being a part of the team creating the flame-effects archway at Centre Camp. 
This latter project was an amazing opportunity for me to get back into welding and metal fabrication, work collaboratively with men and women, and dabble in a realm I thought I’d lost forever when I left America. 

Through this project, a plethora of other opportunities have opened up, and I am deeply grateful for each of them. It’s now my turn to give back, and create opportunities for other women to explore metal fabrication and welding techniques.

Women: Rule the Weld!

Women (of Melbourne)! If you’ve ever wanted to upskill in welding and metal fabrication, now’s the time. Starting in May I’ll be offering a 6-session Women’s Welding Workshop every third Sunday, 10-4 pm. The course will be held at NORM Warehouse which has just moved to an awesome new space in North Coburg, right behind the Batman Train Station, next door to Bunnings.

The skills you will learn in the course could enable you to design, create and install incredible art on the Paddock, allow you to upskill in an area that nourishes and enriches a practice already in place, or simply encourages you to make wicked yard art. Whatever your intention is with this course, know that it is welcome and encouraged. The space I am cultivating will be exclusively run by, managed and filled with women: female instructor, assistant, studio manager, as well as female students.

Learn more about the course and enrol!! Alternatively, send an email for more information.


What do you think? Want to get more involved and unlock your creative potential? Burning Seed is a DO-OCRACY made possible ONLY BY YOU! Find out more about Community Crew positions, email the Crew Wranglers for information or check out the ARTery for more about how you can bring your imagination to life on the Paddock!

Wanna share your Burner Journey? Email us with YOUR story at comms@burningseed.com



WOW! You folks are TALENTED!

We had a record number of submissions to our Design Lab for the 2016 DEEP SPACE theme design! Now, the amazing quality of all the entries made the job of selecting a design hella tough for our Team Leads, but they’ve only gone and picked one!! Check out the awesome design they selected below….

Deep SpaceSarah Barber – a graphic designer and hot glue-gun user extraordinaire, originally from New Zealand but now based in Sydney – submitted the selected design which was a hot favorite from the outset. We loved the cool, clean lines, pulling the sophistication of Art Deco into the galaxy – just beautiful! Ornamentation meets sacred geometry. In Sarah’s own words:

“The idea is that the moon is a mirror into our soul and thoughts. To look upon the moon and gaze up to the sky helps us to find meaning in our ponderings. The lines represent a blueprint of architecture (temple) and the coloured squares are windows looking past the lines into one’s thoughts and reflections. The image below the moon is from last years burn of people around the fire at temple burn, howling at the sky to let their inhibitions and fears rise up into the universe making them truly free. The watercolour top part of the image represents art and creativity.”

Beautiful! And that photo of you howlers included in Sarah’s design is of course courtesy of the outstanding Ryan McRobb from his collection of work from Burning Seed 2015.

Sarah Barber - Deep Space Designer and Pickle Bar operator

Sarah Barber – Deep Space Designer and Pickle Bar operative

Sarah is a two-time participant at Burning Seed but is yet to attend KiwiBurn and Burning Man. You may even recognize Sarah from the Bloody Mary Sundays, serving Bloody Marys in the mornings around the various theme camps at Seed last year? Re-imagined in 2016 as Camp Lazertits, look out for Sarah and a few of the LazerTits camp riding across the Paddock in their new and awesome mobile BubbleStitch Bar!

“Each time I come back I always find such joy and amazement in the people that I meet in this community. Everyone gives in their own beautiful way and welcomes one another with open arms. It is a breath of fresh air seeing so much creativity, self expressionism and environmental awareness all in one glowing hub found in a tiny red forest in the middle of nowhere. It has changed my way of thinking, and the memories shared have stayed with me on tough days in the rat race. I am truly grateful to have found such a supportive, free-thinking community of people. Burn Bright you mad mad wonderful creatures.”

Voting process

We had 18 entries all up, a fantastic response to our call out for designs which was open from 22 January to 22 February. The Burning Seed Team Leads were presented with all the artwork, numbered so as to retain anonymity, and asked to rank their first, second and third choice. Each choice was given a value – 3 points for first, 2 for second and 1 for third – and once all the votes were cast the points were added. The selected design – Sarah’s design – was the one with most points.

What will the design be used for?

Sarah’s design will be used to create all the main Burning Seed 2016 event collateral, including:

  • all our social media shenanigans – for instance the banners and headers on our Official Facebook Page and the 2016 Event Page;
  • the event wristbands, on the stickers we give out at the Gate and on community crew schwag;
  • our official publications and guides including the First Timers Guide, The Survival Guide and the What Where When on-site event guide.

How was the DEEP SPACE theme chosen?

The Deep Space Theme was chosen from almost 100 community suggestions following last year’s event. Whether you’re planning your Theme Camp, your art, your costume or your gift to the community we’d encourage you draw inspiration from this year’s Deep Space Theme.

I wanna use this DEEP SPACE image! How do I get a copy?

You’re welcome to download the poster (765kb portrait version, this is great for the screen saver on your phone!) and/or the banner (456kb landscape version, great for Facebook) if you want to use them. Alternatively, right click on the images displayed here to save them to your desktop. If you want to do more (say you want to use the design elements for your theme camp or artwork etc) and need to contact us for the files/fonts then email comms@burningseed.com with your request.



Want to get involved in our next Design Lab? We’ll be opening submissions SOON for the design of the 2016 Temple! Go and LIKE our Facebook Page to stay in touch.


Art and times of Burning Seed 2015

ARTery has its finger on Burning Seed’s art pulse, and this year they’ve been working hard with all you amazingly talented, creative and crazy people to paint our Red Earth City… well… red. So expect to wrap your senses around some fantastic art on the Paddock this year. There’s also an Art Parade in store, an art/media centre to explore and the chance to register more art.

Written by Stephanie Selig

Art Grants
Art on the Paddock

Art on the Paddock

We’re pleased to announce that we have funded a total of 24 projects this year in addition to the Effigy and the Temple! We had some amazing submissions this year and wish we could have supported more, but we’re working with limited funds.

What we clearly do have in abundance is a community with unlimited talent, energy and creativity. Right now there is a lot of building going on in backyards, supplies being ordered and other general arty awesomeness.

Please join our NEW Facebook Page  because we’ll be posting details about some of the projects over the few weeks to get you excited about what’s coming to the Paddock.

Bringing Art?

If you’re bringing art and planning to put up an installation at Burning Seed, we want to hear about it! It doesn’t matter if your piece is big or small — if it’s on the open paddock and not in a Theme Camp please make sure you register with the ARTery to get your spot on the map.

You only have a few days to do this — 31 August is the deadline. You can register here.  All art pieces must have a Leave No Trace plan, be well lit at night (even if it’s small please light it for safety so things don’t go bump) and if fire is involved you absolutely need approval from the Fire Art Response Team (fart@burningseed.com). If you have any questions, please email us at artery@burningseed.com.

Artedia Space & Art Parade
artery parade

Get your wriggle on for the Artery Parade on Friday

This year the ARTery will share a new space with the Media team: we’re calling Artedia (get it?). ARTery crew will be at Artedia from 11am to 3pm Wed to Sat during the event to answer any questions and to register your project. Drop by anytime (even after hours) to see our new large art map and read up on the installations around the Paddock.

On Friday night we’re hosting an Art Parade from 4-5pm. Join us for a walking art tour and learn about many of the pieces that have been created for your delight — costumes are highly encouraged!

You can find full details here . While you’re at it please like our new NEW Facebook Page and stay in touch with all things ART at Seed.


The art of flamin’ success

Flame Effect class 2015

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]H[/bra_dropcaps]ow do you know when you’ve built a spectacularly flame-worthy piece of art? Its postscript includes flashing blue lights and shiny red engines checking out what you’ve done.

And that’s exactly what happened at the Flame Effects for Artists course, run on May 23/24 by the new not-for Profit arts organisation Flame Effects Australia and attended by 40 Burners and general fire nuts from all over the country.

At the end of the two-day workshop at Footscray Makers Lab, the Melbourne Fire Shamans class of 2015 had gathered around to see their graduation project in action.

Built for a hodge podge of metal bits dragged in students, the “Eye of Sauron” or (Free the Nipple) let off a mighty roar of flames when the first person hit the control box button (also built by the students). A quick succession of button pushers means there were many very very happy little pyros roaring and phwoaring for 45 mins or so.

Sated and bathing in post-flame coital bliss, students were quietly milling around when the fire engine lights appeared down the side of the street. Woopsie!

But all’s well that ended well, and the engines departed again after a brief chat with key organisers, including Dave X and Propaniac who came out from Burning Man to run the course.

Dave X has been the Fire Art Safety Team manager for all fire art on playa for the more than 10 years and Propaniac is both part of FAST  and the Chief Inspector for the Nevada Board for the Regulation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

They also shared pics and tips to drive home the safety message: no safety third here. Creating flame effects and fire art = magic and fun for everyone. Carelessness and fried body parts = not the best look or way to make friends.Aka two shit-hot, experienced fire artists, who spent the first day leading students through valves and hoses and density and pressure and gas and and…

After a day full of nuts & bolts, the second day involved splitting the 40 students in three groups: one to build the electronic control box, one to create and plumb the accumulator (the bit that emits those short sharp bursts of gas for the flame effect) and the third to fabricate the structure.

Check out the pics below to see what the class created, and stay tuned to see a burst of flame effect art at Burning Seed this year. 

11268966_1582735608682750_3206299117859061717_n10423934_1582734628682848_8502637210821146906_nFlame effect lets lose

All in day’s (ok, two days’) work: fabrication team builds….control box team takes everyone through the to do list…and thar she blows!


Build it and they’ll actually come — the making of an info booth

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]Y[/bra_dropcaps]ou could have knocked Scarlett over with a feather — or the merest tickle of a tutu. 
Our resident Centre Camp artist had been struggling to build our whizz-bang new info centre booth with very limited help. But then our trusty Crew Wrangling Team had it’s wicked way with her, and suddenly a dreary Melbourne Saturday morning became a hub of collaborative kickarse know-how. 

What a difference a community makes!

On 18 April, 12 people descended on Reclamation artists warehouse in Coburg to help Scarlett build a new circus-inspired booth for the Red Earth Info centre. They came. They sawed. They conquered! Oh, and they painted too.

A smaller gang of Centre Camp rockstars have since been working on the metalwork that will adorn the info booth.

Check out some of the pics below.


Wanna tap into your inner Flashdance and help weld? Or are you gagging for a hit of sawdust? Jump on Centre Camp’s Facebook page or contact our Crew Wranglers via our Community Crew page.



Calling all artists and non-artistes: grant city, baby!

Written by Fiona Smart, ARTery co-lead

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]D[/bra_dropcaps]on’t just BE art, MAKE art!  Autumn’s arrived, which means it’s time to get ready to burn some shit. Yep, it’s burning preparation season and time to pump some thought into what ART you’re going to CREATE for the Paddock.

Whether it’s sculpture, installation, fire or light art or maybe some arty farty thing we’ve never heard of, we’ve got money to burn!! (not literally) and the art grants process is now open!! Large art grants (up to $5000) close 1 June and small art grants (up to $1000) close 5 July.

And don’t be scared off if you don’t consider yourself an artiste, art grants are available to anyone with a solid, committed, creative idea. And the ARTery Team are here to help you turn that bit-of-paper idea into a Paddock reality.

Consider yourself an artist, or know an art/architecture school or two that would kill to build something for Seed? We sure want you too. Check out our handy poster, download and paint the school/college/uni halls read.

For more info on grants, go here. Or drop a line to artery@burningseed.com

[bra_button text=’Download A3 art grant poster’ url=’http://burningseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Artery-outreach-poster.jpg’ target=’_self’ size=’medium’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’]

Art and Theme Camp applications are a go!

Annnnnnnnddddd we’re off! Art grants and Theme Camp applications have opened, so let those creative urges rip!

Theme Camp applications

Our illustrious Theme Camp team is keen to see more of last year’s mash-up mayhem, with theatrical camps, food stops, healing spaces, chill pads and acoustic stages rounding out our city’s onnz, oonz, oonz soundscape. This year, applications will close on July 1 so there is more time to plan our cityscape.

Key dates:
  • April 2: Theme Camp applications open
  • July 1: Theme Camp applications close

For handy tips and how-tos, check out our online Theme Camp guide. Wanna yak with a Theme Camp sparkle pony? Drop them line at themecamps@burningseed.com

Register your Theme Camp here. [bra_divider height=’10’][bra_divider height=’10’]Art grant applications

Our team has shown a whole lotta art this year by bringing grant applications forward by a month and increasing the grants – awhhhh, aren’t they great?  Now you have more time and mula to share that idea – big or small.

When it comes to the latter, don’t sweat the small stuff – just have a go. At a Burn, you don’t have to be an ‘artist’ to make art – we are all the art and soul of this creative enterprise.

And for those thinking big this year, we’re keen to have more of you onboard too. Our intrepid ARTery teamsters are here to support you by assessing your submissions and helping you realise them. They will also allocate grants during the submission period, rather than waiting till the end of the application process to let people know whether they were successful.

This year, small art grants are up to $1000 and large art grants are up to $5000.

Small art grant application dates:
  • April 2: small art grant applications open
  • July 5: small art grant applications close
  • August 2: all small art grants are finalised
Large art grant application dates:
  • April 2: large art grant applications open
  • June 1: large art grant applications close
  • April 1 – June 28: the ARTery team works with each artist to assess and help realise feasible art works. Art grants will be allocated throughout this period.
  • June 28: all large art grants are finalised

Please note that if you apply for an art grant, you don’t have to fill out an art registration form as well. The art registration form is only for those who are bringing art but not applying for grants.

Apply for your art grant here


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!!