10067

CALLING ALL RIVERINA ARTISTS!

by Lisa Rodrigues

If you’re an artist from the Riverina, Burning Seed’s ARTery department would love to hear from you!! We have $1000 in arts grants available to each of the East and West Riverina areas to show that little bit of extra love to locals attending this year’s Matong merrymaking. Last year a Riverina grant was awarded to Jason Richardson for the artwork Colour from Outer Space/Youtube. This fantastic installation urged us to “watch as nets capture ethereal spirits released during the transmogrification of sound into light” – YEAH!!

Participants delighted in Jason’s work which offered sound-activated visuals on a TV with percussion lying around to encourage them to trigger it. The idea was to represent inclusivity by having an installation that responded to people making music.

This year we’d love to see more local artists and art lovers get involved. You don’t have to have a long history displaying your work – Burning Seed offers the unique opportunity to help make art happen for people who love to create, but aren’t necessarily professional artists.

Need inspiration? Check out the Burning Seed ARTery Facebook page for images of the amazing work at last year’s event and our Art Guide for some tips and things to consider before making an installation for Burning Seed.

Applications for Riverina grants ARE NOW open and close on June 19th 2016 at 6pm.

Simply apply using the small grant application form, and let us know that you’re from the Riverina East or West area. You can review the questions we ask you here and check out our policies including more information on the kind of projects we do fund.

You must be attending the event to display your work and a ticket is NOT included in the art grant. For more information on tickets including details on how to get your Burner Profile please visit our Ticketing Page.

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Color from Outer Space by Jason Richardson – get your hands on a grant to do something awesome!

10050

NUMBERS NERD REQUIRED FOR SEED FINANCE!

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Do the math! Go figure! Help us navigate the numbers!

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FLAME ON! Using fire on the paddock

 by Hot Wire

Things are hotting up around here! Can you feel the radiant heat? We sure can.

2015 saw the introduction of the Fire Art Response Team (FART) to facilitate smoother burning in and around the Paddock. This included a formalised application process for theme camps to host burn barrels (open fires in a barrel or brazier) as well as for artists wishing to incorporate fire into their art pieces using carbonaceous solids (A class fires), liquids like diesel or kerosene for fire twirling (B class fire), LPG gas (C class fires) as well as an interesting and extremely exciting oil/air hybrid fire cannon thingy (F class fire).

Any flammable mediums on the Paddock each need careful consideration when it comes to placing, controlling or fighting them and this is where FART steps in. Add to that the three major burns (Friday night art burn, Saturday night main Effigy and Sunday night’s Temple burn plus all the smaller fires) and we were busy little FART bees in 2015!

The heat is on! 2016 is shaping up to be the most flammable event yet!! So what’s the score with Fire Art in 2016?

First Principles

First, burning anything on site IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED without prior consent. This includes random camp-fires or burn barrels, potato cooking ovens, hexayurt saunas or groovy citronella torches at the entrance to your sweet sweet orgy dome.

Why? Matong State Forest falls under the umbrella of NSW forestry and as such Burning Seed needs to meet some very strict controls regarding fire. Add to that the fatal nature of Aussie bushfires and things get very interesting indeed.

Ultimately we all want to have fantastic and wild burns but keeping a weather eye on safety is mandatory. A citronella candle left untended next to a tent has the potential for mucho devastation.

So how do we as a community ensure we have an awesome burn sans emergency?

Work with FART and ARTery

Easy! Working closely with the Artery, Department of Mutant Vehicles and Theme Camp Teams, FART will send out information packs to those of you who want to make fire applications so that you can start wrapping your brains around the process of expression through fire.

All art projects must be registered with the Artery department and you can alsospecific info on fire art guidelines on the Seed website. The packs will include all info that you will need to make safe and happy burning.

The cut off time for fire applications is August 17th 2016 (note this is two weeks before general art registration closes). This will ensure that you have enough time to make sure your rig is kosher and give us time to evaluate and approve fire permits and add your project to the map/WWW. If it ain’t on the map/WWW guide and hasn’t gone through our on-site approval process, it will be shut down.

We need to make this clear from the outset: Do not assume that you can show up and burn without prior consent. Even if your permit to burn is granted, once on-site your rig (including extinguishing mediums) will be inspected before approval is given.

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Fire ArtArt: Deep Sea Angling by Stephanie Selig, Flame Effects Australia (left) and Ham’s Vile Heat by Brendan Jones, Sage Lian, Haig Jason & Flame Effects Class (right). Photo: Matt Walsh.

Photo: Ryan McRobb

Photo: Ryan McRobb

Leave No Trace

Did we mention you need to Leave No Trace? That includes all ash and MOOP your flames produce or attract during the course of the event. Yes even the major burns are required to tend their precious flames until there is no trace.

Cooking with Gas?

Gas cookers and BBQs are permitted provided they are up to Australian standard and you have taken all steps to ensure their safety (can be as simple as turning off your “swap and go” gas bottle when not in use… Seriously).

You may have seen that butane camping stove tops made prior to a certain date have been BANNED in Australia. Go check yours now.   Consider the worst case scenario as a definite possibility. Would you risk it? Is it worth it? No. No it isn’t.

Sounds a bit doom and gloomy right? Nah. It’s really simple and super fun!! Now that we have established some basic boundaries we can start talking soon about best practice. Stay tuned.  I’ll hold your beer. You GOT this!

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Busted! Wanna join the Burning Seed fun police?

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Make the Gate queue less boring (Photo: Onur Karaozbek)

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If you thought the 2015 Disco Police were harsh, get ready for the Fun Police (photo: Luke Mason)

Burgin Support

The general gist of the scheme is that while Seed participants are queueing in cars, this mob will entertain, amuse and educate on how not to burn, how to burn, and generally welcome people.

With more new Burners or 'Burgins' coming to Seed each year, we need to make our community’s cultural expectations and norms better understood.

The long lines at Gate last year held literally captive audiences and as intermediaries between Gate and Greeters  the Fun Police can ease the pressure on both teams by delivering information (previously delivered by Greeters)  to those in line while also asking entrants questions to help prepare them for the operational elements of Gate and organizing cars into defined lanes to help the efficiency of the entry process.

For Exodus, this team may also be a presence at the Gate for collecting food/alcohol donations, saying goodbye etc. ( i.e. What are you going to bring next year?, Make sure to fill out the census, Rubbish/Recycling drop off points).

If you’re up for the task, check the Team Lead role description or contact the Crew Wranglers

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TICKET RELEASE DATE: Deep Space – Burning Seed 2016

Photo: Onur Karaozbek

  • Tickets for Burning Seed 2016 GO LIVE on Friday 20 May at 7pm AEST
  • You need to have completed your Burner Profile to buy a ticket
  • Max 2 adult tickets per transaction
  • All ticket holders need a Burner Profile with a name that matches photo ID
  • Having a profile does not guarantee a ticket – there is a cap on tickets
  • No tiered pricing in 2016 – all adult tickets are $185 (incl. booking fee and GST) ($10 for kids <16)
  • No free or complimentary tickets – everyone buys a ticket

Humans, thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience! We’re pleased to announce the planets have now aligned and tickets for Burning Seed: Deep Space will go live on 20 May from 7pm AEST. Pull up your spacepants, get with the gravity of this situation and put this event on your horizon!!

Ticket and tiers

There are some important changes to ticketing in 2016:

  • You should already know (we’ve been nagging you) that to be eligible to buy a ticket, you need to complete a Burner Profile. If you haven’t done it yet, go complete your Profile!
  • ALL adult tickets are priced at $185 for your five day, 120 hour, out-of-this-world Deep Space experience at Red Earth City in 2016. Everyone pays, everyone pays the same.
  • We don’t expect tickets to sell out immediately – however, a limited number of tickets (around 10% of the total number of adult tickets available) will be reserved for purchase by core event crew and essential crew at returning Theme Camps to reduce any risk to the basic infrastructure of the event.
  • There’s a maximum of 2 adult tickets per transaction.
  • There’s no tiered pricing in 2016 and ticket release won’t be staggered over the year.

Why has the ticket price increased?

We’ve always asked that people buy the most expensive ticket they could afford and raising the ticket price is never an easy thing to do. We do our best to keep the ticket as affordable as possible, balancing income against cost while allowing for contingencies and making sure this remains a sustainable event. The price still compares well against other festivals and events with camping and of the same length (five days or less).
Tickets at Gate

There are a certain amount of fixed costs not directly linked to capacity which need to be covered – whether 1000 or 4000 participants attend.  In fact as we approach 4000 participants, we start to see additional regulatory costs, such as insurance, medical and security… and certain increased operational costs are expected this year including more grants and donations, and better toilets which are likely to cost around $70k in 2016.

In 2013 the average income from tickets (per participant) was $158 and the cost of the event was $148. We saw similar margins in 2014 & 2015 – between $10-$20 per participant. In 2016 we are budgeting average ticketing income of $160 per participant (after deducting for GST and fees) and event costs of $150 per participant, including a contingency reserve. These numbers are based on our best estimates, but there may be unexpected costs or emergencies we cannot budget for – such as the flooding of the site – so we need to build in the contingency.

What about Seed crew?

Burning Seed is a not-for-profit operation run by volunteers who don’t get paid a cent for hundreds of hours of work on site and throughout the year. There are no crew tickets or concessions. EVERYONE pays for a ticket.

Why no tiered pricing?

All tickets sold out in 2015 ahead of the event for the very first time. We expect the same to happen in 2016. In the early days of Seed when there were fewer participants, tiered pricing made more sense. There were plenty of tickets for anyone who wanted one. We expect to sell-out again this year and because of this expected scarcity of tickets a tiered pricing system no longer makes sense.

What about kids tickets?

Kids (<16) tickets are available for $10. Kids don’t need to complete a Profile – their tickets will be linked to the Profile of the responsible guardian attending with the child. Young people 16 and over need to purchase an adult ticket so they will need their own Burner Profile.

What Next?

From 7pm AEST on Friday 20 May you can purchase your ticket(s) at the same link where you completed your Burner Profile. Any issues or questions drop us a line at ticketing@burningseed.com. We’ll issue another reminder or two beforehand but make sure your heavenly body is orbiting that ticket page on 20 May!!

10058

THE 2015 AFTERBURN SUMMARY REPORT HAS LANDED!

Hey kids, we reckon this ‘revolutionary’ document was worth the wait!  

It’s been a few months now since the Team Leads and crew for last year’s Burning Seed met in Sydney to de-construct and re-construct the 2015 event – examining what went well , what didn’t go so well and coming up with some classy ideas for how to make 2016 event an even better experience!

Before the Team Leads’ shindig in late November all the teams developed a detailed report on their activities pre/post event and on-site – this handy PDF summary document(3MB download) captures the highlights of those reports in an easy to digest format with some pretty pictures and some great facts and figures about our little forest gathering…

Big, big thanks to Mike Lannan for his incredible patience and work to design and layout this Afterburn Summary – also massive thanks to all the teams that contributed copy, facts, photos, ideas, revisions, all the things!! Thank you!!!

Ultimately, Burning Seed is all about what we ALL make it – we’d really love to hear your feedback – on the Afterburn report yeah but also on how we can work together to tackle some of the issued raised therein – do you have skills, ideas, time to give to Burning Seed in 2016 to help us focus on doing it right?

Any of those recommendations resonate with you so much you just can’t help but grab your phone/laptop and email jointhecrew@burningseed.com to offer your help to make them happen??

We’d love your feedback – if you have questions or ideas please drop us a line at comms@burningseed.com or visit the website for details if you want to contact specific teams direct.

AB-report

10056

RED EARTH ECOLOGY: A weekend with the Dirt Angels

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By Havoc!

Every autumn for the last three years the team at Red Earth Ecology (REE) has gathered burners and locals of the Riverina together to push beyond the idea of just Leaving No Trace. We Gift back to the country that hosts Burning Seed, our annual celebration, with a planting of native trees, shrubs and grasses in the small town of Matong, close to Red Earth City.

How many people came this year to support local biodiversity? The answer is 42. We converged on North Matong Road over the ANZAC Day long weekend at a carefully selected private property, about 15 minutes from Red Earth City. Jo Roberts (Whisper), former Kids Camp team leader, has moved on from nurturing the children of the Burn to put her wisdom and energy into bush regeneration. REE is supported and partly sponsored by the Burning Seed LNT team.

Red Earth angels

You turn up to “plant trees” but the process happens at a pace where you work in small, informal gaggles, so you yarn as you go under the autumn sun. You get to really know people outside the glorious chaos of the Burn at this pace. The kids have an amazing time too, making dirt angels, riding bikes and lighting random fires while the grown ups mostly work at planting or preparing meals.

The land has been tilled in rows ready to plant before we arrive. We travel along these avenues in teams of 3 or 4 with a bucket of seedlings, some cardboard guards and what I affectionately call the nature bazooka (a red contraption that digs perfect little seedling-sized holes in the ground). The earth is pressed in around the base of the delicate plant, a cardboard guard on a bamboo stake is placed around it for protection and eventually the water truck ambles along, watering in each little baby.

Mornings start with yoga and evenings are spent under the full moon around the fire or turning in early to genuinely rest and recuperate. We listen to Elvis on slightly warped vinyl while eating the best local lamb cooked in a camp oven (but of course the vegans were catered for with the utmost diligence).

Expert local knowledge

The Red Earth Ecology planting is a warm and fuzzy thing in which to participate. There is something about burning that means you do things that teach you great lessons in ways you never expected, and you often get more than you bargain for. The knowledge of the planting weekend organizers and participants provide me with a great opportunity to learn about the local country, native birds and indigenous land management.

I am delighted when I overhear Monkey and Whisper discussing which plants needed to go where. There are 4000 seedlings on the trailer this year and four zones being planted out, my assumption is that we just whack them in wherever, like I do in my kitchen garden. Instead I discover that each bucket of plants is very carefully curated.

The Curated Bucket would make a fabulous theme camp right? In this case it means there are areas that look like scrubby paddock for years but they can turn into a canoe ride in the right (or wrong) conditions – like we saw last year at Red Earth City with a wetland where we expected to see a Minty Country Club. So these little seedlings going in have an expertly planned future. The right plant species in the wrong spot is as useless as pasties on a green ant, so watching community knowledge step forward and curate this seemingly random bucket of plants makes my heart sing.

Another major lesson comes when I ask Whisper about the focus of the plant choice. We are planting habitat corridors between the Matong and Ganmain State Forests, in areas that are like pit stops between vantage points in the landscape, and we are restoring habitat for lizards and birds in particular. The plants chosen are mostly seed bearing rather than nectar bearing, to redress a habitat imbalance in the region for seed-eating birds. The Thornbill is a particular favourite being encouraged back to the land.

I’m blown away by the fact that Australian indigenous (and therefore sustainable) agricultural management thrived for tens of thousands of years before European settlement and that there was a “food bowl” of grain bearing grasses that stretched from Perth to the Great Dividing Range; 10 times the size of what is now considered “arable land” with post-colonial food production methods.

Across geographical and language barriers our traditional land owners nurtured the survival of these food sources for animals and themselves alike. Red Earth Ecology has chosen several of species of this type to go back into the landscape.

Absent friends…

Respects are paid to absent friends. One whole avenue of plants is dedicated in loving memory of Natalie Etherton, beloved wife of Ray and mum to Fletcher, whom we lost this year. Burners being burners we giggle as ashes are sprinkled down the nature bazooka, knowing if a whole row failed it did for the right reasons.

An enormous thanks is owed to our gracious hosts Sonya and Dave, to our fearless leader Jo (Whisper) Roberts and the whole LNT team and participants. The Thornbill thanks you for supporting its habitat in particular and I am thrilled to report that Communal Effort is alive and well at Burning Seed!

Find out more about Red Earth Ecology on Facebook.

 

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10053

BURNER JOURNEYS: Red Earth Rangers To The Rescue!

By Hot Wire 

He was shivering and rather distraught when we found him, stuck on the top of the art car, huddled on a couch in the fetal position. 4am is a terrible time to be stuck anywhere in a tshirt and jeans… let alone on top of an art car with no idea how you got there or how ladders work.

Ranger TimeOut and myself were doing the rounds after the effigy bonfire had shifted into a cold mellow pile of coals. We were patrolling, helping participants find their way home or to the next raging party, putting blankets on those asleep for the night in random communal areas and raking the effigy coals into warmer pockets to reduce MOOP come sun up.

The art car had long been abandoned by the driver when blood alcohol levels restricted their ability to drive it. Somehow our bewildered participant had fallen asleep on the couch not realising the once buzzing group of burners sharing the view had moved on.

It was only by chance that we found him. We had decided to check the top level of the car on a whim, thinking there might just be someone passed out on the couch perched high above the Paddock. It’s the kind of place you’d go when you’re at the end of your party tether and need a nap far from camp, a great spot to hide and gather your fizzypop thoughts.

 

RED EARTH RANGERS LOGO - T-SHIRT

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From cold and merciless…

But that 4am frost is merciless – when we found him his internal struggle was real. Stick it out on the couch and shiver till sunrise or make a dash for it down the ladder back to camp?

“Where is camp? Where has the effigy gone? How does this dang ladder work? Why so steep? Oh it’s a very long way to the ground. One smoke left. Gah. Someone used my beer as an ashtray and there is no water anywhere. The music sounds dark and strange in the distance. So cold.. So cold.”

And then we are upon him! At first approaching slowly so as to not frighten him – that’s Ranger training at work!. Yes, yes.. One eye is open and he appears to recognise humans.

“Heya pal, I’m Hot Wire and this is my hetero Ranger life partner TimeOut. We’re Rangers and you look bloody cold, mate. Need a hand to get back to your camp?” I say.

“Uhhhghh nahh.” He mumbles and shudders back into his misery. Slinking deeper into the couch and squeezing his hands between his legs a little more. He wants to go back to camp we could tell, though everyone is wary of strangers and hawkers at first.

 

I have my hand gently on his shoulder and can tell the dew has seeped into his clothes good and deep.

“Rightio mate. We’ll be back in ten minutes with some blankets and clothes and sort you out,” says TimeOut as we climbed back down the ladder. I radio into RED5 (the Ranger shift boss) with a snappy update and we’re ready to go. RED5 has nothing else for us to do so we are Free Range.

We make our way to the effigy fire and began hunting around for the usual clothing and blanket MOOP people tend to forget about. Gathering up a beanie, jumper and small blanket we make our way back to the art car. Would he be there or would the shock of two Rangers been enough to spur him onto his next mission?

He’s still there. Sitting up now dragging on his last smoke and eyeballing us as we climb back up the ladder.

… to warm and fuzzy

“Heeyyyyyyyyy champion! We’re back with some warm clothes and a blankey. Time to get you warm again. What’s your name bruv?” I ask. TimeOut passes me his smoke while he wraps the participant in the patchouli stinking jumper, beanie and blankey. For some reason this is hilarious and he begins giggling, “I don’t know!” he says between chuckles.

He doesn’t know this but laughing in front of TimeOut or myself is a dangerous move. We LOVE laughter and will do dang near anything to keep it going. We’re the types to take it ALL THE WAY.

“Oh ho! You don’t EVEN know your own name!? Haha what is WRONG with you? Everyone knows their own NAME.” I say placing emphasis on words for no reason.

Our new friend thinks this this is hilarious and starts laughing away at the absurdity of laughing. TimeOut winks at me with a smile and we know we’ve found that special kind of mindset where EVERYTHING is funny.

“We dub thee: Sir Popsiclese! The coldest mofo on the Paddock. Come on Sir Popsiclese, let’s get you off this mountain!” says TimeOut loftily. “Bahahahahahaha. Hehehehehehe. No no, I’m ok,” he replies as he put his arms over our shoulders and lets us guide him down the ladder.

Eventually we get him to Ranger HQ and warm him up in front of our burn barrel until he remembers who he is and where his camp might be. It’s still a bit of a struggle to get there so he accepts TimeOut’s invitation to retire on the many bean bags at the Orphanage camp, chuckling at the mere sound of our voices. Seems fitting really.

I never saw him again but I hear the Orphanage have a new family member…

Rangers make it all betterer…

And that dear readers, is a small glimpse of what Rangers are and do. We can lend a hand and point you in the right direction so that you can do what needs to be done – whatever time of the day or night. We keep our ears to the ground to make sure you are good to go. Come and say hi. We wear orange and smile a lot. If YOU can do that (and you can) then you’ve got what it takes to apply to be a ranger too! Check in with the awesome Crew Wranglers before Seed begins and sign up for a shift or two on the Paddock in 2016.

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Burner Journeys… Why do we do this burn thing?*

By Leash

A lot of rhetoric gets thrown around about the fundamental philosophy of burning man and regional burns… what it is to be a “burner”… and then a volleying of either post-modernist cynicism, or holier than thou rationalist, or sacred space community, or adherence to principles, or volunteerism intensity focussed, or seniority of burn experience centred interpretations of what that means. “Do you even Burn, bro?”

The Burn? What does it mean? Is it empty and ultimately meaningless in relationship to our broader communities and the world at large? Is it an authentic and intense crucible for growth and learning with transferable lessons? Or is that trip a naiive indigo child or reductionist intellectual projection of fantasy that is best served up scoffs and eye rolls? Is the meaning of our shared time simply pingers and dancing, and if so is that so bad, isn’t that enough? Is the concept of being a burner simply a brand? Burner™? Is the burn not real? Why do we devote so very much of our lives to it? Is it a cult? There are some strong indications in the positive. I feel like the only person I can answer this question for with any kind of authority is myself.

 

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Leash’s burnerTM odyssey

Burning Seed has been a part of my life since we first landed on Bellingen’s lush, bamboo laden and psychedelically wonderful and overwhelming shores back in 2010, but I can’t say it’s really been the most pivotal part at all times or even now. I’ve had a lot of other fucking stuff on.

I’ve been making the very slow chug towards becoming a working scientist in a country with a 26 year low of investment in science as a proportion of GDP and a lot of fucking TV ad money to brag about our “ideas boom”, working to support citizen centric science, building a decent events industry career, helping run a community garden and a small farm over a couple years each, holding space for entheogenic and other progressive “consciousness” movements I both believe in and at times of which I somewhat doubt the honesty.

I’ve been keeping the personal finances afloat, juggling the key priorities of self-care, family, relationships, friendships, grappling with mental health challenges through years of therapy, tricky family trauma, a godforsaken bad back, an autistic mind which I love but often facepalm about in equal measure, sexual awakening pleasures and pangs and generally pressing on towards greater balance, health, authentic relating, individuation and fulfilment, cooking, eating, gardening, writing, dancing.

 

 

I’ve been engaging with wonderful mates who send me videos of alpacas or godawful pirate jokes and go for beautiful sculpture garden walks with me and let me play with their kids or rope me into helping them dress an ARIAs performer in a giant fluffy egg, and love and laugh and empathise with me deeply and vice versa in an genuine fashion and help me decide whether or not to date a non-ironic Satanist ninja (beautiful man, I’m a jerk for even bringing this up, but that’s sometimes another big part of me), doing absolutely nothing at all except maybe lying in a hammock or some grass for long periods of time, wandering beautiful and fascinating places and
ideas: the whole spectrum of life-filling things.

This is my small, weird bombastic world. It’s a bit megalomaniac and intense perhaps – but that’s just who I am, I came out like this and make no apologies for it although I push to tweak it and improve it, especially the parts that impact negatively on other people shining their own crazy or quiet and circumspect beacon. Parts need a lot of work, parts I’m really proud of in a fairly sane balance. There are many things in it that have brought me personal meaning in different ways and loads of joy, peace and pain and a life that feels by and large more and more engaged and real.  I need some more fucking exercise, cash-flow and sex and less pointless fights but overall it’s going fine and I’m working on that too.

How does “burning” fit into the picture?

Sometimes I scoff at how much Burning Seed fits into the rest of my life. Packing and planning for months, working for hours on end for days mainly in some kitchen or mythological/mystical wank or another, dropping into a cuddle puddle, throwing the odd theatrical tantrum, dressing like marginally more of a festival nutcase than I would every other day of my life, dancing around a fire nude and maybe winding up feeding a grown man dressed like a cat a delicious, nutritiously balanced breakfast with the consistency of cat food in a completely non-ironic manner, aka a fairly typical Leash Burning Seed experience.

But I do it, because I’m a huge martyr, I’m addicted to food praise, I love connecting with new people and wild vivid experience and I probably need to dance more and have more mud wrestles with rascals to balance this kind-of uptight organism out. But mostly because it personally brings me meaning on a real, raw visceral level. I feel compelled to. I do it because I feel like Burning Seed is a part of me that is a bit less rational. I feel an inexplicable sense of belonging, which I can’t logically explain yet and maybe never will.

Why do any of us burn?

For each of us, that meaning we relate to it and gain is to the great extent personal and individual and related to our broader lives and perspectives and community. Much of the time I’m mostly in it for the dancing and pingers. We all live in our own simple and humble or brashly full microcosm of life which is individual and personal, and how we engage with meaning in that is very much up to us and there’s no huge rights and wrongs ultimately aside from “try not to be a dickhead!” and even that one’s highly contested and situational.

It is also importantly a collective space, which brings us something bigger than the sum of our parts riffing together off all of the things that we each individually bring to the table and closer relationships we’ve built at seed over the years and in our broader lives. Many of us pitch in up to the eyeballs, especially many of the old cranks on “Burning Seed Sucks”. Some of us only pitch in a little. One beaut old cheeky seasoned burner simply comes along to dance and be joyful each year and he is so delightful and fun this is unarguably valuable for our community. And let’s not forget Slave, I absolutely never will.

We have a shared set of principles, crews we form based on deeper compatibility of interests and values, and a community that is spinning out from it where we have rich and diverse and individual friendships, relationships, disconnects, etc. just like in any other walk of life that also spin into our regular lives without a perfect overlap but definitely some influence for many of us, positive at its best.

The only thing I feel I can say with some certainty about us as a group Burning Seed shakes us out of our patterns and shells at its best to engage us to relate in a more real, human, authentic way, and throws us into the usual stupidly shadowy and stuck or self-righteous and stuck patterns of humans trying to interact in other ways, but overall is a vivid, real and loving container for fun loving humans, and the sum of whatever meaning we all put into it.

I haven’t got all of the answers of why we are doing this thing, but I love the process of us all figuring this out together and am optimistic we can push this shared inquiry into meaning further. Lots of efforts towards this have always been made, at Town Councils, Red Earth Talks, and online discussion when it doesn’t deteriorate like a self-righteous witch hunt or an episode of Degrassi Burning High.

Only you make Burning Seed meaningful to you, from your own individual take on it or from the values we share. Don’t just take it from the FB air time hoggers like yours truly.

Leash

 

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P.S. I fucking love Burning Seed and every single person I have ever met there even if I can’t necessarily always/ever get along with some of you because of the sum of all of our flaws and I totally personally believe we’re maybe helping bring forth a utopian society together one day in spite of ourselves. When I was 4 years old I totally thought I could talk to Jason Donovan in my mind though, so maybe I’m deluded. Anyway, Pollyanna here believes what she believes, and I will always unashamedly be a complete tree wizard.

#fuckyerburn #jasonifyourestilllisteningIloveyoutoo

Also, for more on the philosophy of meaning at Burning Seed, check out:

Or weigh in here at the Burning Seed Philosophy group, started by one of our lead Rangers and Burner™ extraordinaire, Wonka.

*This blog is primarily Leash rattling on from her own perspective only, not as any kind of official comms representative of Burning Seed ?

9183

The Evolution of the Temple

by SirANDY

Less than two weeks to go until the deadline for submissions for concept designs for the 2016 Burning Seed Temple and we are HELLA excited to see what you folks come up with!

Since the earliest days of Seed we’ve had some truly amazing Temple Burns - from Rob and Kursty’s green bamboo at the original Bellingen Seed (2010) and then at Matong with Myke McQuaid’s Temple of Time (2012) and Spirit Temple (2013), Elba Garcia-Clark’s Labyrinth (2014) and Brad Ogden’s Tower of Babel (2015).

Rusty, Seed’s beloved Temple and Effigy co-ordinator, has supported burning and construction of Seed's Temple and Effigy structures from the beginning and Rusty also plays a key role in the ARTery and in the new Fire Art Response Team (FART).

The first year in Bellingen we knew the green bamboo was going to be hard to burn, and the large embers tend to fly quite a distance," says Rusty. "That’s not such a big deal with a small group of people but we saw the same thing happen with last year’s Effigy - so bamboo is now banned for all the big burns at Seed,” he says.

Fresh challenges

Every year, each designer/builder/artist/architect has had new and fresh challenges to face - from finding the inspiration for their design, to budgeting, finding enough crew, accessing/learning the skills to create the structure, dealing with the elements during the build and ensuring a safe and successful - and awe inspiring! - Burn that Leaves-No-Trace.

Myke McQuaid says in the early days at Matong, with the budgets very tight, the size and scale of the Temple Burn was more modest than we can expect now.

I did the temple in 2012 and 2013," says Myke. "Both years the wood came from a local neighbor near Matong and was made from cyprus. The first year was roughly 76 sticks of wood of various sizes and a few sheets of plywood for gussets.

My strategy was always 4 builders in 4 days or it's probably too large a project. That was early days though and the budget was tiny so it fit. Nowadays you need lots more crew and lots more time.

Whatever the budget, make sure you’re clear upfront on the deal with the organisers - in terms of supply of power/fuel/lights/food/security/site prep/ what happens during the burn and after. Also expect 50% of your volunteers to go AWOL!

 

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 Myke's 2012 'Temple of Time'

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Elba's 'Labyrinth' design from 2014

Budget growth

Myke was working with budgets of just under $950 in 2012 and around $1300 in 2012/13 while Brad Ogden’s Temple of Babel came in (on budget) at $15k last year. As the Temple has evolved so has the time/crew/material needed to build it.

Last year we had 6-8 crew at any given stage for prefabrication, 8-10 crew on-site (15 involved over the course of the project) and the whole thing took approximately 120 hours on build/prefab + 20 odd hours of designing,” says Brad.

In terms of wood and other materials we used 783 linear meters of 100x50, 40.8 linear meters of 150x50, a 6 metre 300x300 (that was shaped down into a 260mm hexagon)...   there was about 1500 batton screws (492 in the 6 supporting legs alone), a few fistfuls of nails and a few star pickets.

In terms of the build, pre-fabrication can take a lot of the stress of building on-site out of the equation but be careful when pre-fabbing with rough sawn timber... shrinkage is real.

Expect the unexpected

One rule of thumb that both Brad and Myke say all designers/builders need to consider…. expected the unexpected and be prepared to make compromises on site.

From the very earliest phase you need to think about how this thing will Burn,” says Brad. “For instance, in hindsight, we should have put a little more work into weakening the central post. It should have been obvious that once one of the sides was gone it would have fallen over. I expected it to stay upright a little longer than it did.

Also, no-one anticipated the amount of embers being thrown off by the thin ply skin. We normally work with thicker ply, but we had to compromise getting the laser cutting quote down to an acceptable level.

You have to think of the end at the beginning,” says Myke. “Like, how is this thing going to burn? Density is good - it allows for a good heat build up. In 2012 we had trouble getting it lit fully because it was so open but in 2013 - now that was the burn I was looking for!"

 

 

Safety Third

Safety is of course the most critical consideration for any Temple builder/burner.

In 2015 we introduced the Fire Art Response Team to tighten up our safety procedures and to facilitate smoother burning in and around the Paddock, particularly at the main Burns,” says Rusty.

I like the Burns when the crowd has to move back more because of the heat of the fire - they get to feel the power of the Burn and this only adds to the experience and to the understanding and respect for fire and what we do for a big Burn like the Temple.

Weakening - or making cuts in the timber to ensure a smooth Burn - is a very important consideration with the generally thick timber of the main support structure. You have a big safety circle with the Temple Burn for most of the day before you burn, so you can be bold with the weakening cuts and with your liquid and solid fuel loading.”

Learn from the Burn

It’s always great to learn something new,” says Myke.I’m a mechanical engineer, a veteran burner, handy with tools but in 2012 when we had 90km winds on-site and the Temple started listing a guy came over to help me and taught me a trick I hadn’t known before to stables it.”

Brad says design and build skills are important but not everything.

I’ve got basic carpentry skills, I’m self-taught on Sketch-Up, I have a rudimentary understanding of engineering/physics and some project management experience - but you don’t need to know everything - there are heaps of people involved who are ready to offer help and advice.

I will say this though - if my experience of the Temple build last year taught me anything, it's that if you turn around once, and do the Eagle rock... everything will be OK....”


Got an idea for a Temple design? - Get to it! - less than  two weeks to go!!! 

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Brad's Tower of Babel Temple design from 2015