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BMA Radio goes beta

BMAR1 (1)All your ears are belong to us!

Burning Man Australia Radio (BMAR) hit the digital sound waves last month with a Beta site that is now begging for your creative lubrication… YES people! This is a call out for community content!!!

We want spoken word shows, DJ sets, live recordings and more – check out our early guidelines on the FB page and send your content to redearthradio@gmail.com. We’re also making sexy plans for BMAR’s first live on-site broadcast for 2015 to come to your ears direct from Blazing Swan (April 1 – 7) – aural pleasure like you never knew!!

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Call to care action — Matong Burner needs our support

10997176_782903998446092_4429033221212887762_o[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]rian Jones is a much-loved Matong local and Burner who has been an enthusiastic and vital support person for Seed, donating his time, heavy machinery and good will from the get go! Now he needs our support too.

At the start of this year, Brian developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, a very rare auto-immune reaction following a throat infection, which causes rapid paralysis. Within a week he went from working 14-hour days on the farm to not being able to walk at all, nor use his hands. With daily physio the recovery time is between six months to two years on average.

Brian has been at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital since the new year, first in intensive care and now the rehab unit. He is recovering at a best-case scenario pace, and his mental and emotional health are strong. He’s focused, determined and positive. Even so, he is likely to be in hospital for several more months, re-learning how to walk.

Let’s help him to stay positive and feel connected to our community. If you can find some spare time, please send Brian a letter, card, drawing, distraction, words of encouragement, or something else that you can think of. Thanks!

The Address:

Brian Jones
Wagga Wagga Base Hospital
Rehab Unit
PO Box 159
Wagga Wagga
NSW 2650

5178

Local crew bring Burning Man to Melbourne

Local Burner crew fired up Melbourne streets on February 21 with a blast of Burning Man art and heart at the annual White Night event. The 17-strong kick-arse crew created a 14-metre long, fire-breathing metal dragon and fire forest, which not only enthralled the crowds but made the front page of The Sunday Age and Herald Sun too.  

Led by Steph Selig and Sean Diamond, The Crucible project also proved to be a prime example of Burner can-do, with nine of the crew having never welded previously – or worked on large-scale metal art.

The idea came to life when Steph, a Melbourne-based member of the San Francisco art collective Flaming Lotus Girls and a Seeder, approached White Night about doing a fire piece for the all-night event. 

Meanwhile, the event organisers were keen to realise another dragon by Melbourne artist Sean Diamond, who had not previously incorporated fire into his sculptures. Add a local pyrotechnical company, Howard & Sons, and a bunch of keen-bean Burners into the mix and, hey presto, a collaboration was born!

Steph’s highlight? “Creating something so big and unleashing a little bit of Burning Man on Melbourne, and having the support of the city and Andrew Walsh (White Night artistic director) behind us the whole way. And empowering nine women to learn to weld was pretty awesome.”

And what about those who went all Flashdance and wielded their metal magic for the first time? Meet three of the women behind the welding mask.

 

 

 

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Chocolatey

Why did you join the project? I liked the idea of being part of a team that was creating something amazing, and, at the same time, learning how to work with metal and weld.

What was the highlight? Meeting other people working on the project and working with a group of highly creative and fun individuals. Seeing the final piece in action and watching people's reactions was of course also wonderful.

 

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Diia Bourke

Why did you join the project?  It was actually a New Years Resolution of mine to do something challenging and artistic, after going to Burning Seed for the first time in 2014, seeing some amazing art installation, following Burning Man on Instagram and getting inspired by the art.

What was the highlight? Apart from seeing the amazing dragon in its glory, the people I got to work with. Everyone was supportive of ideas and everyone pitched in. Steph and Sean were amazing group leaders. They allowed us to find our own way but also helped a lot.

 

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Anna Truong

Why did you join the project? The biggest reason was to increase my knowledge in lighting design and expose my skills in the public realm where most of my industry colleagues can see my work.  

What was the highlight? Hearing the gasps of awe and wonder of the audience during White Night.  It really made the hard work and effort with the tiny details for lighting and fire effects worth it, and I will cherish this memory for a very long time.

So what next for the Crucible crew? They plan to plumb the dragon themselves to create propane flame effects and to bring their creation to Seed (huzzah!). The project has also spawned a few individual metal projects, which will also be appearing at Seed (Double huzzah!).

Wanna make cool fire shit too? Flame Effects Australia will be running a fire art course in May. Check out the details here. To see more pics from the build, installation and tear down, visit Flame Effects Austalia's Flickr.

Cover pic by Kai O'Yang

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From whale to wish list — dream a little Seed with me


Our info requests often involve the help-line banalities of the obvious: “Where do I buy tickets?” (on the website you just visited, under tickets*), or “Tell me about Burning Seed” (have you met our website? The one you just visited to send the info request?*).

But sometimes we receive messages that not only make my day but remind me why I Burn. They also remind me to retain the faith in the specialness of what we are creating together at Burning Seed — despite the sometimes bumpy ride of growth, community and this radically participatory experiment.

Our most recent message also underlines the fact that other people are getting wind of our special little something too.

Meet Christine, a 50-year-old disabled military veteran from New Mexico, USA, who wrote to us via the Seed website. Her dream? To save up and make it to Burning Seed next year. After asking her if I could share her story with all of you, this is what she wrote back:

“Yes, my story is kind of funny and sad too…

I was a typical conservative Christian-type American. I served in the army during Desert Storm in the early ’90s,
and 
came from a strict Catholic background. One day I just “woke up” and felt it was all wrong and ridiculous:
none of this working hard and doing the right thing was making my life better, and the Christian male god isn’t
nice to females.

So, I left it all, turned to paganism and Wicca, left the conservative world behind…at age 48 mind you. I felt my
life had been wasted in religious and conservative hate and fear, like my parents, who it did nothing for
(American conservativism).

I was watching YouTube one winter night and came across a Burning Man video. A group built a giant whale art
car… and I got angry! It is not fair! I work hard every day, and these hippies can go out to a desert and build a whale
for no reason. Why can’t I do stuff like that??…why can’t I? Why can’t I? What is stopping me? Me…duh! Go find
your whale, Christine…

So, I found some Burners. They didn’t know what to think of this old conservative broad (I still looked and acted
conservative, not knowing any other way), but they let me hang around, and I got to attend a gay Burner wedding
(I was so glad for the invite, I felt like I had a new family), a regional burn, then the big burn in Nevada. And I got
to perform; someone started the first Burning Man classical orchestra and I play violin.

I cannot say enough how much it has changed my life! I regret that I am not young anymore and, as a disabled vet,
burning was physically tough, but I love it, love my new family, and look forward to more Burns — with Australia
on my dream list!”

Christine’s message is a reminder that Burning Seed brings together people from disparate tribes, all walks of life and far-flung countries too. It is this diversity — along with the inclusion and acceptance of it  — that makes our event so special.

Welcome to our little patch of Paddock paradise, Christine.[bra_border_divider top=’20’ bottom=’20’]

*No newbie was harmed in the making of this blog

 

 

 

 

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Burning Man Australia Radio set to hit net

Plans are underway for an online broadcast of Burner tunes, chat and other audiolicious content via Burning Man Australia Radio (BMAR). BMAR is, and will be, a fantastic example of the potential we have for collaborative and creative endeavour in this community.

Fresh and flushed from the success of the inaugural Red Earth Radio live broadcast at this year’s Burning Seed, those ‘fellas with faces for radio’ — Hotwire, SirAndy and Matt Stone — have joined forces with a formidable and highly experienced on-air talent — Sea Ansley — to build a new platform for community engagement, creativity and information in the form of a 24/7/365 online radio site.

BMAR will run throughout the year with music and DJ sets, interviews and other content from the Aussie Burner community, with live broadcasts via Red Earth Radio at Burning Seed and Blazing Swan, and events such as Decompressions, Theme Camp fundraisers etc.

Sowing the Seed

red earth radio

The concept of an Aussie Burner radio became a reality when legendary Burner Hotwire bought some basic kit for a broadcast at Seed 2014, and threw the idea out to the community.

Red Earth Radio, Burning Seed’s on-site broadcast station, was born under a marquee, on a trestle table, next to the ice truck.

Hotwire, SirAndy of Man, Si and Matt Stone hosted a daily show throughout Seed, attracting, cajoling and dragging in a variety of guests to interview.

Making (air)waves

Participants (who had a radio and knew the frequency) heard from medical guru Dimmer, cool dudes Duncan and Andrew, veteran burner Hey-you, now-not-so-shy Eric Doriean AKA Snorky, the super surreal Kitty and Ian, who was obsessed with SirAndy’s relationship with his parents. 

Other guests included centre camp guardian Sparks, beatboxer Sacha Fawkes, legendary cabbie Joseph F Smith, Red Earth Radio’s heavenly fragranced weather consultant Frenchie Mercury (aka Steve Pollet), and the ubiquitous Jay Man.

Some of the best kicks from the radio show came from it’s connection to the ten principles, of course. Immediacy, radical inclusion, communal effort, radical self-expression, participation, civic responsibility (yes, there were public service announcements!), gifting — these were all present in the experience. It also underlined how the Burner community can be a  safe playground for any kind of crazy idea — no matter how much experience or equipment you have, so long as you have energy and excitement, you have all you need to make it happen.

Intertubes ahoy!

The boys are working closely with Burning Man Australia to develop the BMAR project and will have more to talk about come early 2015. They’re keen to hear from the community about your interest in getting involved — whether you wanna host a show, play your music, or help out on the technical stuff, BMAR wants to hear from you.

For now, drop by our Facebook page, register your interest and check out some of the content from this year’s Seed.

 

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Seedtech — keeping you in the loop

The 2015 Burning Seed theme was a chance to road test an online voting tool, which was gifted to us by a Burner and community-engagement honcho, Keren Flavell. This kind of tool will be the first of many opportunities for you to better vote, engage, give feedback or just stay in the loop with Burning Seed.

While we would love to be able to sit around the Paddock with you all and chew the fat about our co-created Seed adventure, we all spend a large amount of time apart, online and only in contact with our closer community of Burner friends.

We’re therefore keen to develop more platforms like Town Hall Social so that our community can keep up the conversation about the past, present and future of Seed, even when we’re all apart.

For the 2015 Burning Seed theme, the community was able to help shortlist the top five theme choices with the help of Town Hall Social. This allowed them to rank their favourites while also seeing the overall community results in real time. In the new year, we plan to utilise this tool for more community voting around the theme design and a new logo for Burning Seed. 

But our tooltime doesn’t stop there. Each year, we run our annual census with the help of Amelia Loye (yay Bubbles) and her generous gift of a full licence for Survey Gizmo. This year, we’ve also heard your questions and sent the answers right back atcha’ with the help of Slideshare. Our 2013 Effigy and identity Survey also received a lot of interest.

Stay tuned for more feedback frenzy when we publish the Burning Seed 2014 AfterBurn report at the end of January. In the new year, we will also create another opportunity for you to share your further thoughts and suggestions for the consent issue.

With so much techie talent in our community, we’re keen to hear what further tool tips you have for crowdgenerating ideas, taking the pulse of the community and just generally having a yak. Friends, Burners, countrymen and women, lend us your ideas!

4669

Town Halls: building our local communities

Sydney and Melbourne have kicked off regular Town Hall meetings, with the first Sydney one held on November 12 and Melbourne meeting on November 13. Both cities plan to hold these meetings quarterly.

The Town Halls and our exploration of online tools are part of an ongoing dedication to providing more opportunities for a little more conversation and a lot more action within the community! These platforms are not just aimed at the Burning Seed event, but are a springboard for moving beyond the Paddock, building our local communities and creating other Burner initiatives.

Sydney Town Hall
The two regional contacts Jayman and Neilo led the Town Hall with three main objectives:

    • Demystify and create clarity between a Burning Man local community and events such as Burning Seed/Blazing Swan.
    • Explain how the proposed changes to the Australian original legal entity are seeking to align with this.
    • Discuss how to own your Sydney Burning Man community.

You can read the notes here Sydney Burning Man Community Town Hall[bra_divider height=’10’]Melbourne Town Hall

Rather than setting an agenda, the two Regional Contact hosts, Jodi York and Justin Mcghee, came to the meeting with cards and markers so that participants could write down topics they wished to discuss.  Some of these were specifically related to Burning Seed, but efforts were made to ground the discussion in the Melbourne community.  Discussion topics included:

    • cultivating a consent and LNT culture at our events — our culture is very precious to us, and protecting it is *everyone’s* responsibility
    • the relationship between Melbourne Burner Community, Burning Seed, Red Earth City pty ltd, and Burning Man Australia (which remains confusing to many participants)
    • identifying financial priorities of the Melbourne community, including possible local art grants and collaborating with like-minded events like Figment
    • creating space for new projects like Burners without Borders and other innovations —get in touch with your RC or with Burning Man Australia, put in a proposal for things you’d like to see, and we’ll see how we can support you!
    • supporting our friends in Tasmania (who now have a dedicated FB page!)
    • sourcing information on and participating in the ongoing conversation about the future of Burning Man in Australia.
Pic by Onur Ka
4707

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

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

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

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

Yep sign me up!

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