Saturday, April 18, 2009

An interesting Saturday...

Picture mooched from the Jellyfish 12000 website - thanks!

So do you know about Burning Man? The big festival where 1000's of people head to the Nevada desert to set up a temporary city full of art, entertainment and parties that culminates in the burning of huge effigy man?, Ever since a friend went to it years ago, and I saw a story about it on Nova, and becoming acquainted with several "burners" I have been kind of fascinated with the idea of Burning Man. Kind of a big artistic summer camp for grownups... I loved summer camp as kid, I bet grownup summer camp would be great too.

One of my coffee shop friends is a "burner" and she is really active in the local burner community Element 11, which hosts a summer burn, and various parties and events throughout the year. Last weekend she invited me to come out to a street fair sort or fundraiser they were having, so I stopped by for a few minutes.

The street fair wasn't on a street, but actually on some property, "The City of the Seven Gates" on the other side of town. I don't have a clear picture of how many local burner groups there are, or how they all connect, or how they pay for this, but somehow "they" have rented or own this big industrial type space on the other side of town where "they" practice performances and have art studios and parties and big warehouse space to work on huge projects. I put "they" in quotes as I still haven't figured out exactly who "they" is!

As someone interested by art and creativity I thought it was quite interesting. They yard was full of welded/sculpted art projects, in one of the buildings ropes and fabric hung from the ceiling where people people practiced aerial dancing. There was a huge warehouse full of stuff were people worked on projects like art cars.

For their street fair they had music, activity booths, food and artists selling crafts. Of interest to me of course, was the one guy that was selling torchworked pieces. It was another one of my "weird cosmic coincidences" as the night before I had stopped by Trolly Square and saw some really cool borosilicate glass work in a shop. I asked the shop owner who the artist was and she said he was a local guy, Kristian, one of Burning Man guys. Being pretty impressed by his work I was glad to get to talk for a few minutes, and he gave me a tour. They are in the process of setting a really nice studio with 6 torch stations for big boro torches. I was pretty impressed, and jazzed because they may have classes someday, so perhaps if I ever get the bug, I'll have a place to go for boro lessons. I wish I had some pictures or a link to share, as his pieces were very nice, but unfortunately I don't.

Speaking of invertebrates, as Kristian lead me back through the big warehouse to the studio, there were some people working on what I was pretty sure was a Burning Man "Art Car" - sort of like a parade float, but better. It looked really interesting to me, the kind of thing I would have fun working on. Later that evening, interest piqued by the goings on at the "City of the Seven Gates" I googled for info about the local burning groups and low and behold, found a site to the art car, Jellyfish 12000. If you like big cool art check the pictures and videos!!! The videos are really neat, the Jellyfish is quite the productions! One more thing to make want to someday try out the Burning man experience I'd love to see that in real life!

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