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Sex and our city — discover the key to all our needs

At Burning Seed, we’re super keen to build a space where people can create, explore, discover, connect, transform and express themselves as openly, safely and respectfully as they can — whenever, wherever and with whomever they choose. And that means sex too.

Yep, we’re gonna talk about sex and the big C.

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Say cheeeeeeese – body banquets at Burning Seed 2014.

Why? Because consent is the key to creating a space for both no and yes..yes…oh god, YES! And in this petri-dish of possibility called Seed, that means evvvvvvvvvvverrrrbody gets what they want or need — commonly known as a win-win-win-win-win-win-win situation.

To understand consent’s winsome ways, I hit Rog up for some of his wise words. Say hello to Rog. “Hello Rog!”

Rog is a manager of a Melbourne sex-positive workshop venue, professional counsellor, co-founder of the peace-keeping initiative, ‘Pt’chang’,  at Confest, and one of the people helping to serve up the fantastic body banquets at Burning Seed last year. (Now THAT was a cheese and fruit platter!)

I chinwagged with him about consent’s ambidextrous role; its importance for Seed as the new kid on the experimental block; the dangers of focusing on the fear factor; and what Seed can learn from the sex positive community.

According to Rog, consent is the ultimate multi-tasker. “On the one hand, consent is a safety, protection mechanism, and on the other hand, consent is an enhancement, expansion tool.”

And these tools are crucial to the development and evolution of Burning Seed as an experimental space.

“Consent as a safety, protection mechanism is crucial because Seed creates an environment of freedom and opportunity where people are exploring themselves, willing to take risks and go over their edges,” Rog says.

“However, it all happens in the broader context of our larger culture. All of the difficult and challenging behaviours around sex are still at play. So what you wind up with potentially is people with their guard down but still in a risky cultural context.”

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Up close and personal. Photo by Shaan Ali

But according to Rog, consent is also essential for the transformational possibilities of sex and the Red Earth City.

“There are a lot of people ready to have new experiences and learn new things about themselves,  and one of the things people look for are more sexual experiences,” says Rog. “In terms of getting what you want, becoming empowered and having some really interesting experiences, there is an opportunity to say, ‘well here’s an amazing tool that will take you to some amazing spots’.”

What makes it such an amazing tool? Well, basically Elvis got it wrong. A little less conversation, a little more action? Pfft! More like: a little more conversation, a lot more action.

“There is a model out there that says we should magically know how to touch each other and magically progress in a direction that is good for us. I think that works for a small percentage of people a small percentage of the time. For the rest of us, we benefit a lot from a bit of dialogue and communication about how we like to be touched or what we’re looking for or how far we would like things to go,” says Rog.

“So when you start to do it like that, you start to get into the detail about what you’re after, and you very quickly arrive at something which is far far better than what would have happened if you had just turned off the lights and hoped for the best.”

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Best cuddle EVA. Photo by Shaan Ali

According to Rog, the consent conversation between individuals, and within the broader community, can help lay the breadcrumbs for people to find their way out of the dark, and discover a more enhanced sex life and relationship life.

Unfortunately, our community conversations often place too much emphasis on protection over empowerment and passion. And if you’ve spent any time on social media lately, it can sometimes seem as if there is a potential predator on every Seed corner and we need to wo-man the ramparts against the baying hounds. Winter is coming. Winter is coming!

What’s the problem with framing consent just in terms of protection, and particularly protection of women?

“I think sometimes we can get so caught up in all the things that are wrong about sex that we start to become sex negative. You can develop a dynamic where people are so scared of violating each other, even though they have the best of intention, that the place becomes a battleground rather than playground,” says Rog.

“Obviously, the ‘no’ or ‘don’t’ message is crucial, but if we don’t also use our ‘yes’ and ‘please do this’ messages, then things don’t really improve.”

And it doesn’t do women any favours either.

“There’s a tendency to not trust that women are powerful, empowered people. And when we constantly look at how the situation negatively impacts women, we’re not giving a lot of credit or seeing their power,” he says.

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Temple of Surrender at Seed 2012. Photo by Onur Ka

So with sex on the Seed agenda and the need to both empower and protect, where can we look for inspiration and role models?

One of answers: the sex positive community and, in particular, the kink community — whether you like to walk on the wild side or prefer your vanilla with only a little extra sprinkle on top.

“The sex positive community, and in particular the kink community, have done incredibly good work on how to put these ideas into practice. The reason being that when you get into more nuanced and specialised areas of sex play, you can’t just dive into an activity and hope for the best.  Safety mechanisms need to be much more elaborate sometimes,” says Rog.

“These communities are also a shining example of how to use basic consent tools to take you to an amazing level of complexity. The self-expression within the sex positive and kink community can be profound – miles away from the norm. And that’s basically thanks to these consent tools.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Centre camp: the gift that keeps on giving

Written by Gipsy Nia

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Centre Camp to the rescue – Swing Dogs Theme Camp finds a new home for the night after winds destroy their tent.

I’m sure you’ll agree the most joyous of the ten principles to practice is GIFTING   Well, did you also know that Centre Camp is a gift to YOU?

Centre Camp is built by the people, for the people, and it’s a place where anything can happen at anytime. One of

Centre Camp’s finest moment was in 2013 when it came to the aid of Swing Dog Circus Theme Camp who were able to host their opening night party in this communal camp after losing their own camp to galeforce winds.

For the last few years, we’ve also had a talented artist, Scar Keller, toil to bring this community a bigger and better space where we can co-create anything and everything our hearts desire.

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Ro, Naomi, Scar and Terry working on decorative elements for Red Earth Info at Centre Camp

Scar is passionate about the principle of COLLABORATION and has put her heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into designing an awesome space for our community to gather and share inspiration and innovation. (And that’s why we call it Centre Camp  — together with the fact that you’ll find it in the centre of Red Earth City!).

For most of the year she is wielding power tools and cycling across Melbourne rain, hail or shine to build you and me a space to play in. During Seed you’ll find her building even more awesome shit and leaving Centre Camp to the Guardians to play

Excited? Intrigued? Wanna gift your creative hands and minds and contribute to Centre Camp 2015? Whether it’s a talk, live music, workshops or art, we’d love to help shine a light on your gift and share it with our community. Get your creative ideas flowing in to Centre Camp crew via our registration form.

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Fundercats are go!

Theme Camps are BRILLIANT! Let’s just agree to agree on that one. But have you spared a thought for the phenomenal work that goes into making these dreams (and nightmares) real for you at Seed? Fundraising is a massive part of it, and fundraising season is hot to trot as we get closer to the real business of Burning Seed.

Galah went behind the scenes with three of Seed’s Theme Camps — Swing Dog Circus, Kamp Kraken and the Dirty Birds — to find out what it really takes to create so much awesome and put the FUN in FUNdraising! Yeah! So corny right?!

Swing Doggies

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Swing Dog Circus’s fundraiser earlier this year

Most Theme Camps start pretty small – groups of friends become groups of groups of friends and before anyone realises HOLD ON THIS IS MASSIVE, HOW DID IT GET THIS EFFING BIG?

For instance, the now 40-50 strong uber-collective Swing Dog Circus began around four years ago when two groups of couch-surfers found each other at Seed.

CK Vibes, one of the now 15 core SDC crew, says she and a few mates from Sydney found themselves camped next to Monkey and a few of his mates from Adelaide way back then.

“We just ended up hanging out during that whole week at Seed and realised that there was more we wanted to do together — Monkey and his electro swing shenanigans, and me and my mates from Sydney on the circus stuff. So we made a plan to come back the following year and Swing Dog Circus was born.”

While talent and chutzpah will get you so far, it takes more to make a Theme Camp hum — as much as we may not like to admit it, money does help when it comes to some of the barer essentials.

“Swing Dog Circus did a fundraiser on Pozible in 2013, but we didn’t go crazy — we kept our goal achievable, just $1000 and we made it, just for some of the basic kit we needed for camp infrastructure,” says CK. “We wanted to go a bit better in 2014 so upped the goal to $1500 that year and again we made that too.”

Kakaw!!! KaKAW!!

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Dirty Bird’s Jeremy – with CK as supporting cast.

Timing is important: Dirty Birds’ Jeremy and Leanna say organising for Seed is a year-round gig, and fundraising plays a critical role in the planning.

“Mamma bird says always remember to start your burn prep early, cause nothing sucks like trying to build that whizzmatron thingy idea you had for the burn, in the last goddamn week!” says Jeremy.

“Having our Dirty Birds scattered from Newcastle to Wagga to Melbourne takes some organization. We have a kick ass crew that gets together regularly to make sure the planets align.”

 

Release the Kraken

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The god’s must be crazy – Phoebe, Nat and Manos at one of Kraken’s first big fundraisers.

“All theme camps do it differently,” says Phoebe from Kamp Kraken. “But everyone has to fundraise in the lead-up to Seed in order to build infrastructure and enable creative ideas to come into being.”

Like the Doggies and the Birds, Kraken has evolved over the years from a small group of mates who went to Rainbow, to a 60-person strong theme camp that attends several festivals annually.

“We are a collection of eccentrics, creatives, misfits & lost souls,” says Phoebe. “Like the Burner community at large, Kamp Kraken is full of smart, creative, generous-hearted people. So many people contribute their skills and energy to Kraken in the lead-up to Seed, which is good because there is a sh*tload to do!”

“Kamp Kraken has definitely grown a few more tentacles lately. As our dreams and creative ideas have expanded, so has our capacity to deliver on those dreams. I think we are getting a bit more efficient each year. We have crew meetings every couple of months, and we split into teams to get things done. We can’t wait to unleash this year’s host of ideas onto the paddock!”

Party time!!

All three Theme Camps have now graduated to the next level of FUNderaising, with all three KICKING ASS with some of the best party fundraisers seen anywhere on this planet or the next.

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All white on the night – Dirty Birds draws a crowd.

“It’s lots more work, of course,” says Swing Dog’s CK. “Party fundraisers take a lot more planning — getting a location, finding licenced security, working out the decor, setting up a ticketed event, sorting out payments and budgets, logistics of set-up and pack day, organising performers and DJs, food plus drinks etc.”

The trick is to stay focused on what makes your Camp special. “Let it grow organically, also think about why you’re doing it. It really is like organising a mini theme camp for the night,” CK says.

 

Dirty Birds agree. “Choose a theme or gift and stick to it. Focus your energy on making one or two gifts great. Give generously and let your freak flag fly high!”

And Phoebe of Kraken says “When you are starting out it makes sense to take one or two things and do them really well, rather than trying to do too many things half-arsedly. Also check the Seed and Theme Camp facebook pages to get a sense of what people are doing in the lead up to Seed – you’ll always find support. Burners love helping newbies!”

These party fundraisers are also seeing increasing cross-camp burner participation, with Dirty Birds slapshots showing up at Swing Dog’s party, the Orphanage showing up at Dirty Birds and Onur’s Bacon Emporium showing up everywhere! Middle Eastern Mafia and Kraken both have fundraisers coming up this month so get along and show your support!

SOME TOP TIPS FOR FUNDRAISING

  • Have a good base structure and a do-ocracy — ideas need action
  • Reliable crew is fundamental!
  • Find your niche — do what you wanna, ride with it and watch it grow
  • Never think you can’t do it — you can!
  • Check when other theme camps in your city are fundraising before setting your date to avoid event clashes
  • Get a stellar team of people together to put the event on! Many hands…
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Watts next for green power survey?

Written by Troy Reid and Rhys Alconley-Jones

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]urning Seed often means different things to different people. The experience can vary from integrally connective to wildly discombobulating, and whether we’re coming apart at the seams or holding it together with sass and style often comes down to the quality of connection that we have with each other, our environment, and ourselves.

The PowerCity feasibility study aimed to explore how we connect electronically. Do we stick to our petrochemical guns; atomised campsites each with generator louder and smellier than a Trash Mansion barwoman whirring till the wee hours of the morn?  Or can we share power, quite literally, and engineer a solution both by and for the community?

While the feasibility study is ongoing, the project survey component is now concluded, and we are amped to brag about what we learnt.

The nuts & bolts 

Thanks to everyone that took time to answer the survey questions. From the 58 survey responses received in total, there was overwhelming support for the proposal and all 21 theme camp organisers, art exhibitors and team leaders responded unanimously in favour of a dedicated professional team taking responsibility for power generation and distribution, because quite frankly it is a big pain in the arse.

If it proceeds, the most favoured funding model for the proposal was an increase in the event ticket price and based on the survey data we now roughly know how much electricity we need at this year’s event. For you nerdy types here are the magical numbers:

Projected power requirements: min=30kVA | avg=50kVA | max=160kVA

Projected energy requirements: 6,440kWh (liberated from 1,800L B100 BioDiesel)

Projected CO2 production/abatement required (calculated as 2.64kg of CO2/L): 4,752kg

For those interested in how these figures were arrived at, feel free to check out both the raw survey data as well as the calculations worksheet here. 

Sexy sign-ups

The survey also invited people to register interest in becoming a part of the project implementation. Here is an impressive summary of the surprising talent within our burner community that have put their hands up:  Electrical Engineer (1); Mechanical Engineer (1); Software Engineer (1); Engineering Technician (1); Licensed Electricians (3); Solar Systems Specialist (1) and Fearless Enthusiasts (7).

With a gene pool this sexy, we feel sure that the PowerCity project could easily evolve into something that shoots electrons into your next cuddle-puddle-spank-sessions, psychedelic aerobic workouts, or whatever else you freaks are into.

EmPOWERment and principle

There have been some concerns expressed that with electricity effectively ‘outsourced’, we’ll turn into an ultra-entitled out-group, demanding kilowatts and centrelink payments with no sense of, or respect for, the principle of Self-Reliance.

While this is always a possibility, the Communal Effort principle has something to say about this too. By pooling our resources and skills together, we can emPOWER our Theme Camps and Red Earth city to provide an even greater space for self-expression. And mother nature will be pretty stoked too.

Watts next I hear you ask? Well we are still in the process of validating and costing a range of competing solutions with a view to having the feasibility study completed by the end of May. So watch this space.

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Babylonika BOOM!

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]ean Bag Babylon was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met them. From these humble yet worthy origins, BBB has grown into a behemoth of beat-fuelled be-jesusness that sets a benchmark for Theme Camp awesome at Burning Seed.

And now the folks at BBB have brought their dome’s atmos and vibe to Melbourne with a new club night — the Babylon Boutique — capturing the intimate, colourful and friendly nature of one of Seed’s most loved and iconic Theme Camps. Best of all, it has a VERY late/early license (6am). Melbourne.just.got.cool.

Babylon Boutique debuted on Saturday 9 May at the Korova Milk Bar with two floors chock a block full of Paddock favourites and new faces. The BBBers are all pretty chuffed, with BBB G (aka Sam Gibbard) taking time out from his hectic theme campery to say: We’re very happy with how it went — always brilliant to bring a bit of Burning Man culture to the CBD.”

For those who missed out this time around, don’t despair!! The Babylon Boutique are hoping to make this a regular night in Melbs, supporting BBB fundraising efforts and helping those coolest of Theme Camp cats throw free and effing awesome parties at Seed and other events around Australia, spreading the Burner vibe like it’s butter on hot toast.

For more info and receive your next invite, join their BBB Facebook group.

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Burners on a mission? No WAY!!!!??

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]Y[/bra_dropcaps]es way. Meet the Beneficent Burners. You don’t even have to be able to pronounce it to be a part of it. This beautiful crew of like-minded and inspired Sydney Burners not only have the passion, love, intelligence and creativity to bring burner culture into the wider world but they have the looks to go with it. They are all so pretty!

Energy and love — Yeah!

Tristen Tan, a founder member of the Beneficent Burners based in a secret location somewhere in Sydney says the ultimate goal is to cultivate the energy, love, compassion and fun that we get from the Burning Man community and do some freakin’ good with it.

“Since we set the group up in January we’ve run three workshops and grown to about 60 members,” says Tristen. “Last year’s Seed was my first ever Burn event – I found my people and knew instantly there was more I could do to bring the vibe of burner culture out into the world.

“The incredible mix of talent and passion of those who turned up to our first meet-up in January proved me right – there was something very beautiful sprouting here and I couldn’t possibly be more proud to be a part of it.

“We have our next meet-up mid April in Sydney – it’s an organic and really social thing, not super formal or process driven – but we do wanna get things done.”

2015 projects

The Beneficent Burners are looking to complete two major projects in 2015, potentially one focused on community and one on the environment. Smaller beneficent side-adventures are encouraged via the new network that you can find AND JOIN on Facebook.

If you are keen to get something going then post on the group or get in touch with any of the Beneficent Burners you have met to make it happen.

Can you feel that? It’s your love bone wanting to find out more. Visit Beneficent Burners at https://www.facebook.com/groups/beneficentburnerssydney/

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The big wrap: 2014 AfterBurn report

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]I[/bra_dropcaps]t’s here! Da big wrap! Every year, our dedicated Team Leads and Crew get together post-Seed to review the event — what went well, what didn’t go so well, and recommendations for how we can make the next year even better!

Each Team develops a detailed report and we’ve summarised them all here in this handy, er… summary. You’ll find pdfs the full Team AfterBurn reports below.

You — the community — make Seed what it is. We’ve seen huge growth at Seed in a relatively short time, and it’s your engagement — your creativity, your passion and active participation — will help to make sure that, as a community, we manage that growth in a sustainable way.

Take a look at the AfterBurn summary, take a deeper look through the full reports and let us know how you want to get involved in helping to make the good stuff better, helping to fix what didn’t work so well last year, and helping to implement recommendations identified for 2015.

Let’s do this!!

Note: To read the flipbook, press the magnifying class under the book and it will allow you to zoom in and read the text. To return to the layout view, just press the magnifying glass again.

For those who want to download the AfterBurn report, we’ve also provided a pdf.[bra_border_divider top=’20’ bottom=’20’]

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Individual team reports

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Feedback

[gravityform id=”19″ name=”2014 AfterBurn feedback” title=”false” description=”false”]
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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

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Join the crew and role with us!!


[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]Y[/bra_dropcaps]o! Hola! 
So, we need hearts and hands and minds… and you wanna feel a greater connection with your tribe — right? Right? Well here’s your chance! Whether you build houses or websites, cook for people or cook the books, fix bodies or fix bad copy (ahem!)…

WE WANT YOU, WE WANT YOU, WE WANT YOU ON COMMUNITY CREW!

We’re six months out from the Burn and we’re recruiting for key Community Crew roles RIGHT NOW!

Our Burn has grown so much in only a short time and we need your help to create an even bigger, better, burnier Seed in 2015. So, these skill sets are always in demand: lawyers, accountants, builders, carpenters, doctors, nurses, paramedics, graphic designers, content writers, editors, web designers, project managers and event managers (phew!)

But we’re open to anyone who wants to invest time ahead of the burn, on-site or after the event. Check out these job role descriptions below and get in touch QUICK! if you’re interested to find out more:

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To register for more opportunities and to join the crew, get in touch with our Crew Wrangling team. To take a look at other roles, check out our participation portal.

GO YOU!!

Pic thanks to Shaan Ali

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Get down n dirty with Red Earth Ecology

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]C[/bra_dropcaps]ome get dirty with a bunch of Burners — nooooooo, not that kinda dirty. Cheeky! We do that all time. Nup, we’re offering you the chance to connect with Country, learn about the district’s ecosystems and build stronger ties with the local community by joining Red Earth Ecology on another biodiversity planting weekend on 1-3 May.

Red Earth Ecology is building on the momentum and success of last year’s project by organising a biodiversity planting at a property close to the Seed site. These plantings are an annual project that help strengthen the links between Burning Seed and the surrounding land and locals.

They’re looking for about 20 community members like YOU to join the crew. Help give something back to the people and place where we play, leave a positive trace, have fun and connect with other Burners towards a common goal. No, not BACON (although there will be plenty of that) – BIODIVERSITY! For a little sneaky squiz, check out the pics from last time.

This year the team will also work with skilled-up Burners to assess the Carbon footprint of Burning Seed 2015 so that we can offset our emissions accurately next year. Red Earth Ecology is also increasing its visibility this year at Seed, with MORE bush walks (which conveniently end at Red Earth Brewery during happy hour), and MORE education about the Red Earth City ecosystem online and at site.

For more information, contact maddock.helios@gmail.com