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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.

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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]

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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

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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Crucible art project – your chance to build fire/light art

Flame Effects Australia is building an art project as part of White Night Melbourne on 21 February 2015 – and YOU could be part of it too.

‘The Crucible’ will consist of several metal sculptures of varying sizes and intricacy, some with flames and others lit with spotlights, EL wire etc. The details are still hush hush  —  we don’t want to spoil the surprise — but this is an amazing opportunity to work together with other Burners and fire lovers to produce a public installation piece.

Flame Effects Australia is looking for every kind of volunteer: from fabricators, welders, plumbers, sparkys and fire-safety experts to web designers, graphic designers, marketing gurus, photographers, people to feed the crew, volunteers on the night — and things we can’t even think of right now.

Yep sign me up!

To volunteer, please register here or contact Stephanie for more information at flameeffectsautralia@gmail.com.

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Melbourne workshop: learn to build fire art

Ever thought about making big or even little fire art? Now is your chance to learn from some of the world’s best!

Stephanie aka serious is hosting Dave X and Propanic from Burning Man US for a two-day Melbourne workshop from May 23-24. This class is great for the beginner fire artist and always has something new for the “expert”.

During the course, you’ll learn basic practices and principles for incorporating fuel-based flame effects into your work. You will also get a full-day of hands-on experience fabricating, plumbing and firing off a group-made project.

The course costs $250 for both days, and we also have 10 low-income scholarships available for $200, sponsored by Burning Man Australia (Red Earth City Pty Ltd).

I’m interested, what do I do next?

  • Register for the workshop here
  • For more information, check out the Facebook event or email Steph at flameeffectsaustralia@gmail.com

Wanna see even more fire art built?

There will also be a fundraiser on Saturday night, May 23, in Brunswick. ‘Burn On’ will help raise money to launch Flame Effects Australia, a new not-for-profit that will focus on community-based fire art. Join the event here. They need volunteers, stall holders, performers and bartenders for the event, so please email Steph at flameeffectsaustralia@gmail.com if you can help out!