10890

New Members for Burning Seed Town Council!!

Recently we announced vacancies for the Burning Seed Town Council (BSTC).  The BSTC is in place as an interim group to support the Burning Seed event Team Leads and facilitate the process for a new stand-alone Burning Seed legal entity.  

It’s important to note that the BSTC plays a complementary role alongside the Team Leads and we consider all the volunteers involved in making Burning Seed happen as playing an equally important role in producing an extraordinary event for all of us.

We were all very pleased with the response from the community and the high calibre of the five candidates who nominated themselves.  

The process involved the applicants submitting their nomination with background and experience, interviews with the candidates and then a final assessment of the candidates by the existing BSTC members.

After careful consideration of all the candidates, we are pleased to announce two new Town Councillors who are proposed to join the BSTC.

Ali Mohammad Shams Ahmadi is a founding member of the Middle Eastern Mafia theme camp at Burning Seed since 2013 and an active member of the Melbourne burner community.

Rennie Sinclair-Kydd, who might be known to many people through involvement with the Alien Welcoming Committee (AWC) theme camp since the early beginnings of Burning Seed in Matong and is also an active member of the Wagga Wagga and Canberra burner communities.

In addition to the BSTC roles that were available, we have also offered Susanne Parris the opportunity to support the BSTC with essential administration activities such as minutes, scheduling meetings, tracking agreed actions and facilitating comms with Team Leads through a Secretariat role.  

Susanne is an active member of the Sydney burner community and has also been a passionate participant at Seed since 2014.

Our congratulations to Susanne, Ali and Rennie and we look forward to working with all the other candidates in the future.  

We will be on-boarding the new BSTC members over the coming weeks.  We are very excited to have their new energy and particularly look forward to having three of the seven current BSTC members actively involved in representing theme camps at Burning Seed.

Burn Bright!

Victoria, Shaye, Neil, Phil and Jayman - Burning Seed Town Councillors

Ali Mohammad Shams Ahmadi

Ali Mohammad Shams Ahmadi

Rennie Sinclair-Kydd

Rennie Sinclair-Kydd

Susanne Parris

Susanne Parris

10906

Acknowledging Country

by Niki and Pete (Wiradjuri mob)

I would like to acknowledge the Wiradjuri people who are the traditional custodians of this land. I would also like to pay respect to the elders past and present of the Wiradjuri nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people present.

The Matong State Forest is Wiradjuri country, and here at Burning Seed we recognize the privilege of  being able to build our experimental community each year on this beautiful site. We feel we should not ignore the existence and ownership of this land by Aboriginal people before European settlement and acknowledge the history within the ritual of 'Welcome to Country', the ceremony performed each year at Red Earth City to formally launch the event.

Welcome to Country & Acknowledgement of Country

‘Welcome to Country’ is an important ceremony by Aboriginal people and it helps non-Indigenous people recognize Aboriginal culture and history and make connections with country. With Welcome to Country, Elders pay respect to custodians past and present as well as Elders past and present.

Before European settlement, despite the absence of fences or visible borders, Aboriginal groups had clear boundaries separating their country from that of other groups. Crossing into another group’s country required a request for permission to enter. When that permission was granted the hosting group would welcome the visitors, offering them safe passage

Spiritually, this is showing respect for the country and the custodians who are responsible for taking care of the country where we live… So what our custodians are doing is trying to give respect back into the country.

Respecting Tradition

It was the tradition of Aboriginals that when strangers came into their particular country to hunt or to gather, or to just pass through on their way to other places, that the host Aboriginals would go out to welcome them. When they met, there would be the formalities of greeting. Part of the ceremony of welcome would be the men sitting around and talking men’s business (share knowledge and lore) whilst the host women would take the visiting women and children to a women’s site to talk women’s business.

When this was completed, the two groups would join again and the men would trade and hunt for kangaroo, goannas or bush turkey - and the women would prepare an area for eating and would gather firewood and berries, fruit, nuts and lily roots for a meal.

Dancing, Singing, Leaving No Trace (sound familiar!?)

Then the ceremonies, the corroborees dancing would commence, the singing songs around the fire could well go on, not only all night, but sometimes for many nights in a row. Each with a message within their own stories. Men, women and children all taking part. Whilst during the day, the visiting tribe would be taken and shown the sites of significance and be told the stories of the spirit of the land they would be passing.

In this way, the hosts believed that by the end of formalities, when the strangers were ready to move on they would not be considered not strangers but friends who now had the spirit of the country in their heart. They believed that once the spirit of the land was in their hearts, then those people would never damage the land they would love it and care for it like those whose home country it was…

History

A Welcome to Country is about Aboriginal people acknowledging the past, and looking to the future. It is often delivered by an Aboriginal person who has themselves been the victim of government policies.

Our Elders do the Welcome to Country as an act of generosity. These are the same people who have had their children taken away, or been removed themselves. They’re the same people who had their wages stolen by successive governments. They’re the same people who had their ancestors’ remains raided by grave robbers. They’re the same people who were disposed from their lands and forced on to missions and reserves.

And yet despite all of these terrible events and the horrendous treatment by so many parliaments, these very same people are still prepared to say ‘welcome’ to the very people who in some cases have presided over the oppression.

We encourage everyone to come along and join in to the ceremonies, to be welcomed, feel loved and pay our respects to Country. Still today we all have Knowledge to share for a better future.

Niki and Pete 

Pete tending the Sacred Fire at Welcome to Country in 2015

Pete tending the Sacred Fire at Welcome to Country in 2015 (photo: Ryan McRobb)

Yindyamarra Circle near First Camp at Seed 2015

Yindyamarra Circle near First Camp at Seed 2015

The Sacred Fire (photo: Ryan McRobb)

The Sacred Fire (photo: Ryan McRobb)

10877

The Balloon to the Moon from the Paddock!

So who are The Fire Flower crew? We are a team of Melbourne creatives who design and create interactive spaces and sculptures that encourage patrons to play, explore and dream. Using recycled and locally sourced materials as well as bright and playful decor, we provide spaces for festival goers to escape reality. If you were at Rainbow Serpent Festival in 2015 and encountered the huge colourful flower installation, and found your way into Pollen Heaven, otherwise know as the ball pit (!), then you have experienced the crew namesake Fire Flower creation!
 
BTM1 Balloon to Moon Sketch
 
 
Our core crew for the Seed build are a mix of Burners (USA & Seed) and Virgin Burners (yay!); Rohan Mitchell, Marian Mazz Marsden, Jeremy Jez Ankers, Grace Pilcher and Emily Em Anderson (see the photos to meet the crew). Between us there's a wealth of years of experience (and hours and hours of creativity, design, sweat, communication rollercoasters, patience & perserverance!) in creating outdoor installations, shade structures, decor & art, and events management for festivals, doofs and parties.
 
Our Seed project is Balloon to the Moon -  an intergalactic hot air balloon playground that's landed in the paddock. However, challenging perspective, it lies sideways along the ground. Hmmm quirky...!
In the Balloon's basket, the curious explorer will find an intimate peculiar chill space along with various items left behind by the missing Balloon explorers.  Where did they go? What happened to them? Your investigation leads you onwards through the stratosphere and into the Balloon itself... and so I leave the story here to let the adventure be yours to discover. Though for radical self reliance sake, pack your space suit. Journey well, my friends!
 
Balloon to the Moon is our playful take on the Deep Space theme and we invite you to bring your curiosity and wonder as you interact, play & explore the installation.
 
We are so grateful to Burning Seed for their support of our project. With a Burning Seed art grant, along with your support and the community support of our fundraising adventures, we have the opportunity to 'make real' our fantastical, whimsical, intergalactical Balloon installation, which is our ultimate Gift back to you and the Burning Seed community!! We wish you great joy, excitement & happiness while you play & interact with Balloon to the Moon!
 
And beyond Seed, where will the Balloon fly to next? Well, the main frameworks of Balloon to the Moon and all our installation structures are modular. Modular is the key! and therefore we have the flexibilty to dream up infinite possibilities and then morph our existing kit and decor into new & exciting creations. So you will see the Balloon to the Moon again however it will most likely be as a completely different installation!! Build the same installation twice?? pphhhffff! where's the fun & challenge in that! 😉 
 
If you're interested in helping with the prep work and/or the onsite build of Balloon to the Moon then get in touch with us throughhttps://www.facebook.com/TheFireFlower/
 
See you on the dancefloor this Saturday at 'Electric Dreams' and then in the paddock at Seed!
 
Rock on! 🙂

BTM3 Mazz hot air ballon

BTM7 Rohan got balls

BTM5 Grace Clouds

BTM6 Ro Jezz truck Balls

The Fire Flower crew are the creators of the Balloon to the Moon' installation for Seed 2016, and to help make it become a reality our 'Electric Dreams' Fundraiser is happening THIS Saturday 6th August at 24 Moons in Northcote, Melbourne. Woohoo!
So step out of the winter chill and onto our dreamy dance floor for a night full of funky house beats and a lineup of entertainment that will have you floating on cloud nine; awesome DJ's, decor, visuals, burlesque, circus arts, Drag Queen Benign Girl, live body painting by Living Colours and ...a BALL PIT!! 
Weird and wonderful wardrobe is vigorously encouraged so be sure to get your electric glad rags on and live out your wildest dream... and hey, make the effort as there’'ll be a stack of free drinks to win for those who tickle our pickle!
You gotta be there! 🙂
 
More info on the fundraiser at: https://www.facebook.com/events/139178599838796/  
 
 
10860

Coming Soon to The Paddock: Astral Arbour

By Kelly Zephyr 

The Astral Arbour is a deep-space alien landscape which pulses, inspires and grows. The central sculpture is a surreal tree of life. Her generous leaves and elongated branches create a large semi-enclosed chill space where festival go-ers can explore, find shelter from the sun, or delve into cuddle-puddle narnia.

She is created primarily out of steel tubing and fabric, is several meters high and six meters wide. Within the tree is a glowing core, and each of her five branches culminate in a graceful buttress-root inspired cocooning basket.

The concept grew from a desire to create an intimate deep-space place that recognises growth, landscapes and beauty are part of both this and other worlds.

This sculpture space is proudly presented by the THINGkers collective. We are a crew of tinkerers, welders, designers and makers. The build team includes Darby Bicheno, Terry Stevens, Naomi Faith Smith, Hannah Pallot, Kelly Zephyr, Rohan Mitchell, and an awesome crew of supporters.

We warmly invite you into the space and possibilities of the Astral Arbour landscape. Rest, spoon, play, look out and up, or meditate. Allow the Astral Arbour to feed your needs.
Follow our build on https://www.facebook.com/THINGkersCollective

AstralArbor02Original concept sketches

AstralArbor01

Hard at work at NORM Artist Warehouse in Coburg

10784

PEER Rangers & a New Seed Sanctuary

By Jacqueline LadySparkles 

A message from your friendly PEER Rangers!

For all of those who don't know who we are, we are an arm of the Red Earth Rangers with specialist skills and experience in dealing in difficult emotional and stressful situations during the event. PEER stands for Psychological and Emotional Emergency Response. We provide crisis intervention to members of Red Earth City during times of distress to help a participant return to the event safely and with improved clarity. It was developed as a pro-active, rather than reactive initiative for all citizens of Red Earth City.

With LESS THAN 100 DAYS  to go before the gates open, you will be receiving regular updates from the PEERs and Red Earth Rangers over the coming weeks to help you understand our role on the paddock, in case you need a Ranger at the event.

The PEER Rangers love communication and we believe that it's the best lubrication, especially when used in intimate relationships.  Check out this awesome video on what healthy communication looks like in romantic relationships.

(Seeing healthy communication between fellow burners - whether on or off the paddock, get the PEERs and Rangers juices flowing with excitement.)

RANGER PEER PURPLE

New Sanctuary Space at Seed 

This year, Burning Seed is introducing a new safe space, designed to provide somewhere for participants to chill out and process any difficult experiences. Keep an eye out for more info on the new Sanctuary space, as we will be putting out a community call out for volunteers for this space too.

If you would like to join the awesome Red Earth Rangers or the PEER Rangers this year, please sign up at our Community Crew page.

10739

The Bestest Seed Theme Camp? KIDS CAMP!

by HAVOC!

In 2011 a Leeton local, Aurora Sparkles, attended a crazy new addition to the area called... Burning Seed. Back then the population of Red Earth City was still under 500 and Aurora had such a fantastic experience that she spread the word to her local friends. In 2012 another Leeton legend, Jo Roberts, formed the first “unofficial” theme camp specifically for families - Burning Seed Kids’ Camp 1.0 was born.

Aurora, Jo and Mel Browell had about 30 kids that first year, growing to 45 kids in 2013. By 2014 there were 50+ kids and in 2015 we had 63 registered children on site plus all the other kids that visit from other camps.

Burner Family

After 2014 our local legends and founding Mother Monsters retired from KC duties in order to have some grown-up fun. Transitioning leadership of a big camp is not for the faint hearted but family Burners are a special breed.

Last year we had 54 registered families living on site. Kids Camp is a camp with special needs in terms of the relatively high proportion of dependents; imagine if half your camp couldn’t be Radically Self-Reliant (not just that one guy... you know who you are/he is).

So our operational model, while challenging, works really well and is always being refined. Having the support and strong relationships with past Camp leaders means KC is going to be better than ever this year as Bonnie Roppola takes the reigns.

So what happens at Kids’ Camp? SO MUCH FUN! We have a dedicated art tent, a baby and infant marquee, a mess tent that feeds everyone dinner every night, a movie tent and a shaded outdoor space and for the second time running a kids’ only loo. Last year my five year old started the Kids’ Café where they gifted breakfast to each other and passers by (cutest thing ever and a welcome self-reliance exercise for kids with tired parents).

Safe and Inclusive

Kids’ Camp is a reminder that Burning is not just about partying. For families to share the opportunity of a reprieve from the default mode; to see adults playing like children, to meet people of like mind from all sorts of places and socio-economic backgrounds, to focus on creativity and individual self-expression and look after each other outside of institutional models is a precious and rare thing. Kids’ Camp is Inclusion.

Not everywhere at a Burn is suitable for children but Burner parents get to expose their kids to as much or as little of the carnival as they wish to, without judgement. However, children need a safe place with clear boundaries; one they recognise as consistent and not too challenging. At Kids’ Camp we provide this safe place, where the environment is just adventurous enough to be exciting without pushing into causing them to feel insecure. They know where their friends live and can run around our lovely site freely. Our gift is to build and manage it with them in mind.

Kids’ Camp has no nudity, drugs or smoking. These boundaries are of course open to challenge on the Principle of Radical Self-Expression, yes, but as a tribe we have to allow for parents who may have boundaries that require a greater restraint, co-parenting arrangements for example. On the basis of Inclusion these things are non-negotiable on KC site.

KC Families are fiercely collaborative but this is not a drop and run zone; your children must be supervised by you or a guardian you have organized at all times. Leaving a child anywhere at Burning Seed without making adequate arrangements is taken very seriously and Rangers will be informed if a parent cannot be located in a reasonable amount of time.

Deep Space Cadets

So what’s new this year for Deep Space? Improved site management; families don’t travel light and everyone tends to bring the big rig so our population has reached critical mass. Kids’ Camp: Deep Space Cadets will be a child-centric activity world with camping encouraged for new families, sole parents and crew but there is still room for others on our fancy new grid system. We are designing an observatory and hopefully a water feature!

What we do know is it is time for more family theme camps to spring up; last year kids tickets represented roughly 6% of the population. The teens and tweens are not technically allowed to roam, so we need people to help create awesome things to occupy them. We encourage everyone at Red Earth City to think of ways of including kids in their own offerings and to let us know early so we can get it in the Junior Burner Guide. Registrations open soon! Now let’s hear from the kids…

"I like kids cafe. I also like the workshops and seeing old friends from the years before. I also like the art, like painting." Caitlin, 7

"My favourite thing about Burning Seed Kids Camp are the workshops and the grownups spending their time with the kids doing fun stuff. " Tegan, 9

To get in touch please email kidscampburningseed@gmail.com or visit us on Facebook 
You can also support our Kids Camp fundraising efforts by grabbing some of our awesome merchandise.

Kids Camp

Kids Camp

Kids Camp

Kids Camp

10706

Burning Seed Town Council Needs More Members!

Burning Seed Town Council is the organising 'Board' responsible for staging Burning Seed. Due to a member stepping down recently, there are now TWO vacancies on the Burning Seed Town Council and interested members of the community (that's YOU!) are invited to apply to join!

What's Involved?

If you're interested in helping steer Burning Seed into the future and you have experience in event or project management your talents are needed! You'll need to make a commitment to join the monthly meetings and dedicate at least a few hours each month to directing that lovely brain of yours to all things Burning Seed.  

If you'd like to get involved and want to find out more please read the Issues to consider before standing for Burning Seed Town Council document and email towncouncil@burningseed.com with your details.

What's the Background?

The BSTC reports to the Directors of Red Earth City Pty Ltd, the company that stages Burning Seed each year. Red Earth City Pty Ltd has been the legal entity behind Burning Seed since 2010. Until last year the Red Earth City Town Council oversaw Burning Seed event and supported other Burner initiatives under the banner of Burning Man Australia, all on behalf of the Red Earth City Board of Directors.

Back in December 2015, the Directors of Red Earth City Pty decided it was time to make some governance changes before important issues related to the event's sustainability and growth could be addressed. So the Red Earth City Town Council was split into two separate bodies:

1) a group to drive forward the staging of the Burning Seed event, its future growth and development; and

2) a separate group focused on developing Burner culture around Australia - (remember although Seed was the earliest Aussie Burn a few more have spawned since then including Modifyre in Queensland and Blazing Swan in Western Australia).

OK, so these two new groups that were created last year are the Burning Seed Town Council AND the Burning Man Australia Community Board. The new structure looks something like this...

Why Change?

Burning Seed is going through some major changes right now. The event's tremendous growth in numbers in recent years has given much to think about in terms of how Burning Seed moves forward on a number of counts.

What's exciting is, for the first time, Burning Seed has a Town Council that can concentrate just on the Burning Seed event. The Burning Seed Team Leads' group keeps an operational focus while the new Burning Seed Town Council has a broader focus on securing a sustainable future for the event.

In December, an interim Burning Seed Town Council was set up to get things moving with the goal to research and consult the community on the best options for a new legal entity under which Burning Seed can operate in the years ahead. The positions on the current, interim Town Council include:

  • One Red Earth City (REC) Director: Phil Smart;
  • Nominees from Team Leads and the former REC Town Council: Jarred Taylor, Victoria Vickery and Neil Power;
  • Ex-officio member: Shaye Harty (Event Coordinator) 

This Town Council WILL change and is technically only temporary until they figure out the new entity for Seed in the future.

Get Involved!

Two positions are now available on the Burning Seed Town Council and they'd love to hear from those in the community who want to help achieve all these goals, and who (preferably) have time and experience in event management and development - if you'd like to get involved and want to find out more the read the Issues to consider before standing for Burning Seed Town Council document and email towncouncil@burningseed.com with your details.

Town Council

Our structure: Any artists out there wanna make this look purdy?

Town Council

Where it all began - at the Bellingen Seed in 2010

Town Council

Still welcoming you home in 2016

10611

burningseed.com got a facelift!

By Maddy Snow

There's been a lot happening in Seed world of late, and perhaps you've been living under a rock, but it's more likely you've fitted out your Burner profile, applied for a large art grant, registered your theme camp, bought your Seed tickets, got your annual leave approved... oh, and checked out the new and improved Burning Seed website, yeah? Yeah! 

Well in case this little update escaped you, here's a breakdown of some of the changes we made:

  • You can now access all Burning Seed info on your smart phone or tablet. What that actually means is you can now access burningseed.com from the toilet.
  • Burners landing on the homepage can join the crew straight from the home page. (Did you know there's a bunch of crew roles waiting to be filled by awesome people like you?)
  • We have a fresh page of galleries, gradually being updated with the latest and greatest photos from our amazing crew of photographers.
  • There are little hints of Deep Space spread through the site (notice the colours? The way it sucks you into a black hole of Burner knowledge?).
  • We also made a bunch of changes to the site's back end, making it easier to update and less likely to do really annoying things that keep Andrew Lau up at night.

Haven't had a look yet? Well, you're on it right now. Have a poke around, by starting at our homepage.

 

We're pretty pleased to be giving our website a facelift, and none of this would have been possible without:

 

Gentle Fox. Over many phone calls, confused messages from comms members and bottles of wine, Fox spent months, often up until 3am leading the update to a Deeply Spaced website.

gentlefox

 

Andy Goodyear. Andy provided amazing support in the final weeks before launch, including making our 10 Principles page and gallery pages look super slick, just like his hair. 

 

andyG

 

Andrew Lau. Lau is fluent in nerd, and made a heap of improvements that only Gentle Fox could understand, but that are all incredibly important.

 

Lau

 

Jane, aka Lioness. Jane coordinated the foundation for us to work from, and provided the words for us to sculpt this site around. She wrote the beautifully eloquent page descriptions which have inspired other Burn sites around the world.

jane

 

Next time you see any of these people, buy them a drink!!

Also, big love to SirAndy, our fearless Burning Seed Comms team leader, and Rohan for his equally geeky moral support. Enjoy!

10586

Welcome to… The Watershed

The beautiful brains behind Splash Mansion are set to revolutionize the way Theme Camps manage their water on the Paddock... Trash Mansionite Professor Johnny Breakwell is not just a pretty face. That brilliant mind of his has been working overtime on ways to:

  1. make it wetter down there on the Paddock,
  2. help Theme Camps Leave No Trace AND
  3. give back to the local community in Matong and surrounds!

Making a Splash
In 2013 he created Splash Mansion: “It got me out from behind the bar at Trash”, says Johnny, “and for the cost of an hour or two each day it meant we got showers, kept cool and had some awesome fun.

“Splash grew bigger in 2014/15 and we ended up doing daily water runs - it made me think about how much water we were going through, not just our camp but others too,” he says.

Then at Seed in 2015 Johnny met Rowan Kos and these two legends got talking about water. Rowan suggested the idea of setting up a collective group of Theme Camps to better manage the supply of water to camps at Seed.

The Watershed
Skip to 2016 and welcome to the fruit of that conversation…. The Watershed.

This by burners, for burners, not for profit collective comprises a willing coalition on a mission to mutually obtain and distribute quality water to Theme Camps at the lowest possible price.

“This is a fantastic social enterprise,” says Johnny. “The Watershed is facilitating the purchase of a bulk amount of water for Theme Camps - something like 20,000 litres - from farmers local to the Burning Seed site at Matong.

“The farmers will donate their time and use their water licenses to sell us the water, and any profits they make after their costs are covered will go to support the local school in Ganmain.

“These little schools make a big difference in the community - any dollars we can raise make a big difference to these kids,” he says.

How it Works
Johnny says The Watershed is owned by Theme Camps that join the collective as members.

“The members are currently Splash, Sunset Island, Trash Mansion, Dirty Birds, Detox, Casbah and The Brink.

“These and potentially other Member Theme Camps will pay in advance for a water cube of 1000 litres - the cube will be delivered to them on site during set-up, and a water tanker will come by and fill it up. The empty cube will be picked up from the camp at the end of the event.

“The Watershed will bring a lot more drinking water into Theme Camps and also make a serious environmental impact on site - for instance by minimising waste packaging from water containers - no more taking empty cartons full of air home - and reducing the number of journeys needed for water runs during the event.

“But there are many other benefits - if Theme Camps know they’ll have water delivered on site they’ll have more cargo space for Theme Arts and it also gives them scope to gift more drinking water and nautical activities.

“Importantly - this is NOT about free water on the Paddock. The Watershed is only working with member Theme Camps, not individual participants. Everyone outside our Member Theme Camps will still be required to bring the necessary amount of water they need to survive for the week. This is just about providing

Making the Infrastructure Pozible
Johnny says that with stronger interest from other Theme Camps, funding is now needed to buy the water container infrastructure.

“Without some initial funding the Watershed may have to limit further memberships and have less impact than we might do in this first year.

The Watershed is running a pozible campaign right now to help cover some of these upfront costs for basic infrastructure.

“Each one of the 1000L water cubes we’ll use for distribution of the water to Theme Camps will cost about $80 to $100 and the Watershed crew will also need radios and cleaning products to sanitize the cubes,” says Johnny.

“We’re offering some sweet water-based perks for anyone who wants to donate from $1 to $10 or more - and every dollar counts to help us get this fantastic project off the ground," says Johnny.

Find out more about The Watershed or go visit the Possible campaign and donate!

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 5.08.29 PM

Find out more about The Watershed

Prof. Johnny Breakwell: it's vitally important to stay fully hydrated on the Paddock... (photo: Andy Flint)

Watershed

10046

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.

 

lesh01

lesh03

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

 

lesh02

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 ?