dBMblog

SynchroniciTEA House : enchanted elixirs for the masses



Get Found is a collective of friends with roots in the Pacific Northwest that stretch down the West Coast: Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, Portland, Sebastopol and San Francisco. We came together at Burning Man 2009 through a series of serendipitous events and have spent every summer since sharing in adventures, creative work and community building. In 2011, we came together 30-strong to create the SynchroniciTEA House at Burning Man, a respite from the desert sun that offered loungey vibes, music and performance, a place to recharge and connect over endless flowing infusions and elixirs. Our special love is for oolong tea, and we have a supplier in Taiwan who sends us the most choice leaf available; we also serve pu’ers, herbal blends and more.  

www.gofundme.org/synchronicitea

After the successful Burning Man experiment, the teahouse was reconfigured to be mobile and began making appearances at gatherings like Sacred Bass Sessions in Bellingham, Pranaforce Yoga’s “Dream it Real” events in Seattle and the 2014 Photosynthesis Festival. Through our experiences, we have learned that it is rewarding to show up and be in service to the community.

As we look forward to Summer 2015, we want to take the SynchroniciTEA House to the next level for the people ~ we have plans for a bigger, bolder teahouse structure, space and amplification for playshops and performances, daily yoga and healing arts offerings and even more exquisite tea sourced from around the planet, with even more potent high frequency infusions.



SynchroniciTEA House is more than just a teahouse: it is a hub of creative community, engagement and exploration. It is a vessel that facilitates Get Found’s desire to contribute to the emerging transformational festival culture and serve others. Each cup of tea is infused with love consciousness and a seed of the high frequency shifts needed to support new ways of sustainable living on the planet.

We have never asked for money for our tea service over the years ~ all are welcomed in, all are given a seat and a steamy cup of tea.  Our patrons leave with the magic warmth of tea in their hearts and a sense of belonging to something greater. This year, we have sketched out a dream budget of $4000 to fund our next-level vision.

Will you help us help the well-being of our community by making a donation, however large or small, to the SynchroniciTEA House today?

www.gofundme.org/synchronicitea

Help fund a movement that is much greater than all of us, a movement that is rising from the ground up, like steam off a hot cup of Oolong, unstoppable. May we see you at our table this summer, and may we soon share a cup of tea!

The Billionaires at Burning Man

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"For his 50th birthday, Jim Tananbaum, chief executive officer of Foresite Capital, threw himself an extravagant party at Burning Man, the annual sybaritic arts festival and all-hours rave that attracts 60,000-plus to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada over the week before Labor Day. Tananbaum’s bash went so well, he decided to host an even more elaborate one the following year. In 2014 he’d invite up to 120 people to join him at a camp that would make the Burning Man experience feel something like staying at a pop-up W Hotel. To fund his grand venture, he’d charge $16,500 per head...

For 2014, Tananbaum wanted a camp that was aesthetically novel, ecologically conscious, and exceedingly comfortable. In the spring he and his team sent out a detailed invitation, enticing potential guests with an early vision of the camp, named Caravancicle. Anyone concerned about living in a hot, unforgiving wilderness could rest assured. There would be no roughing it at Caravancicle. Accommodations would consist of a series of cubical tents with carbon fiber skeletons. Each cube would have 9-foot ceilings, comfortable bedding, and air conditioning. The surrounding camp, enclosed by high walls, would be safe and private. Amenities would include a central lounge housed in a geodesic dome, private showers and toilets, solar panels, wireless Internet, and a 24-hour bar. Guests could count on a “full-service” staff, who would among other things help create “handcrafted, artisanal popsicles” to offer passers-by. To help blend in with the Burning Man regulars, who tend to parade around the commons in wild, racy outfits (if anything at all), the camp would include an entire shipping container full of costumes....

For Tananbaum, his improbable journey from the precincts of the East Coast Establishment to the inner circle of one of San Francisco’s great countercultural institutions appeared complete. As it turned out, the honeymoon was short-lived."

"Move over, Google Bus. There's a new symbolic fight over tech money, class, and privilege": http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-05/occupy-burning-man-class-warfare-comes-to-desert-festival

How to enjoy the Burning Man Experience from the Comfort of your Own Home

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1.) Tear down your house. Put it in a truck. Drive 10 hours in any direction. Put the house back together. Invite everyone you meet to come over and party. When they leave, follow them back to their homes, drink all their booze, and break things.

2.) Stack all your fans in one corner of the living room. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.

3.) Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.

4.) Lean back in a chair until that point where you’re just about to fall over, but you catch yourself at the last moment. Hold that position for 9 hours.

5.) Only use the toilet in a house that is at least 3 blocks away. Drain all the water from the toilet. Only flush it every 3 days. Hide all the toilet paper.

6.) Set your house thermostat so it’s 50 degrees for the first hour of sleep and 100 degrees the rest of the night.

7.) Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don’t go to a doctor.

8.) “Downsize” last year’s camp by adding two geodesic domes, a new sound system, art car, and 20 newbies.

9.) Don’t sleep for 5 days. Take a wide variety of hallucinogenic/emotion altering drugs. Pick a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

10.) Spend a whole year rummaging through thrift stores for the perfect, most outrageous costume. Forget to pack it.

11.) Shop at Wal-mart, Cost-Co, and Home Depot until your car and trailer are completely packed with stuff. Tell everyone that you’re going to a “Leave-No-Trace” event. Empty your car into a dumpster.

12.) Roast and give away 1,000 hotdogs to strangers while singing your favorite obscure Tom Lehr songs.

13.) Listen to music you hate for 168 hours straight, or until you think you are going to scream. Scream. Realize you’ll love the music for the rest of your life.

14.) Spend 5 months planning a “theme camp” like it’s the invasion of Normandy. Spend Monday-Wednesday building the camp. Spend Thurs-Sunday nowhere near camp because you’re sick of it or can’t find it.

15.) Walk around your neighborhood and knock on doors until someone offers you cocktails and dinner. Or acid.

16.) Leave a nice couch on the side of the highway.

17.) Bust your ass for a “community.” See all the attention get focused on the drama queen crybaby.

18.) Parade around naked and then complain that someone is ‘oggling’ you.

19.) Get so drunk you can’t recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for 5 hours.

20.) Tell your boss you aren’t coming to work this week but he should “gift” you a paycheck anyway. When he refuses, accuse him of not loving the “community”.

21.) Search alleys until you find a couch so unbelievably tacky and nasty filthy that a state college frat house wouldn’t want it. Take a nap on the couch and sleep like you are king of the world.

22.) Ask your most annoying neighbor to interrupt your fun several times a day with third hand gossip about every horrible thing that’s happened in the last 24 hours. Have them wear khaki.

23.) Go to a museum. Find one of Salvador Dali’s more disturbing, but beautiful paintings. Climb inside it.

24.) Before eating any food, drop it in a sandbox and lick a battery.

25.) Mail $200 to the Reno casino of your choice.

26.) Spend thousands of dollars and several months of your life building a deeply personal art work. Hide it in a fun house on the edge of the city. Hire people to come by and alternate saying “I love it” and “this sucks balls.” Blow it up.

27.) Set up a DJ system downwind of a three alarm fire. Play a short loop of drums n’bass until the embers are cold.

28.) Make a list of all the things you’ll do different next year. Never look at it.

29.) Have a 3 a.m. soul-baring conversation with a drag nun in platforms, a crocodile and Bugs Bunny. Be unable to tell if you’re hallucinating.

30.) Lust after Bugs Bunny.

click for more…

Burning Man isn't what you think...

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Burning Man Isn't What You Think, and Never Has Been

It is, and always has been, ruled by all kinds of techno-smart futuristic punks rather than nostalgic hippies or dippy ravers.

Consider: this is a week-long art party in a handmade city in an environment that is doing its level best to kill you. Either the sun is baking dry ground that is blinding white, leeching water from your body, or the wind is blasting mile-high storms of dust across this enormous barren plain at ninety miles an hour, or a starry desert night is damn-near freezing you to death.

Occasionally the climate likes to remind you you're actually partying on an ancient lake bed — the playa — and rains for days until the solid dusty ground turns to thick soupy mud that adds inches to your shoes in seconds.

Who thrives in that environment? People who are a little bit crazy, quite a bit determined, and a whole lot of wiry and smart. People with an Iggy Pop-style lust for life. Here are punks of all stripes: cyberpunks, steampunks, biker punks, punk punks. People who do what it says on the ticket — voluntarily assume the risk of death. People who are brought roaringly to life in this killer of a desert, and fight fiercely to build an all-inclusive volunteer-driven civilization that lasts for as long as a mayfly.

Read the rest at http://on.mash.to/1p7b6w0

Techies at Burning Man: Yay or Nay?

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A Line Is Drawn in the Desert
At Burning Man, the Tech Elite One-Up One Another

New York Times Aug 20, 2014

If you have never been to Burning Man, your perception is likely this: a white-hot desert filled with 50,000 stoned, half-naked hippies doing sun salutations while techno music thumps through the air.

A few years ago, this assumption would have been mostly correct. But now things are a little different. Over the last two years, Burning Man, which this year runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1, has been the annual getaway for anew crop of millionaire and billionaire technology moguls, many of whom are one-upping one another in a secret game of I-can-spend-more-money-than-you-can and, some say, ruining it for everyone else.

Some of the biggest names in technology have been making the pilgrimage to the desert for years, happily blending in unnoticed. These include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Google founders, and Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon. But now a new set of younger rich techies are heading east, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, employees from Twitter, Zynga and Uber, and a slew of khaki-wearing venture capitalists.

Read the rest at
http://nyti.ms/1tiEGoq

tech elites
Some of the technology elite who have attended Burning Man, include from left, Larry Page, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin


Tech Elites Aren’t Ruining Burning Man. They Get Their Hands Dirty, Too.
TechCrunch.com August 22, 2014

Don’t believe the hate. While it’s a juicy narrative that rich people spoil everything the common folk hold dear, there are plenty of tech bigwigs at Burning Man that work hard to contribute and embody the event’s ideals of inclusion. And the thing is, what they do has little impact on Burning Man as a whole. Whether they’re secluded in forts of cushy tour buses like The New York Times’ Nick Bilton rails, or they’re cooking food and giving it away to total strangers as I’ve seen in my six trips to the desert, you probably won’t notice. It’s a massive ad hoc city where your experience is what you make of it, so there’s no need to worry about how the upper crust burns.

Are more super-wealthy people coming to Burning Man? Sure. Because more people are coming to Burning Man. It’s grown from a few dozen people in 1986 to 30,000 in 2004 to 70,000 last year, so it’s naturally going to include more financial outliers.

Yet pouring money into Burning Man won’t even get you that far, since most everything outside your camp is free. And moneyed burners aren’t all from tech. One widely criticized luxury camp that housed venture capitalists and likely inspired Bilton’s piece was actually started by a C-level executive of a giant hotel chain. Some of those VCs have ditched that camp because it felt at odds with the spirit of self-reliance.

Arguably a bigger threat to Burning Man’s culture are techie spectators. They come with little forethought, buy what they need to fit in, glom onto a friend’s camp, but then don’t actively contribute much. While it can be tough to know how to add to others’ experience the first year, everyone should try — no exceptions. Those that only take and don’t give dilute the atmosphere.

Luckily, one of the great things about Burning Man being a decentralized event set across seven square miles is that there are near-infinite ways to experience it. A temporary city the size of downtown San Francisco is tough for a couple of people to wreck for everyone else.

As Caleb Garling wrote for SFGate last year, “if you try to cherry pick a few of them to build a story, you’re left with a basket of disingenuous anecdotes.”

http://tcrn.ch/1tw8Tzk

Best Burning Man 2013 Reads + Photos

Essays

"Burning Man 2013"
http://www.paulduane.net/2013/09/burning-man-2013/

"How I Got F*cked by Burning Man, and Other Sacred Ceremonies"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leah-lamb/how-i-got-fcked-by-burnin_b_3904071.html

"Radical Inclusion vs. Radical Self-Reliance at Burning Man"
https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/b6ab7a2a8321

"An Emotional Survival Guide to Burning Man: Be open. Be intimate. Be human."
http://www.fest300.com/magazine/an-emotional-survival-guide-to-burning-man

"Sixteen signs you’re still in Playa mode after Burning Man"
http://www.mybeatfix.com/2013/09/sixteen-signs-youre-still-in-playa-mode-after-burning-man/

Photo Essays

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(above) "10 things i learnt at burning man. {2013: the sexy, crazy, transcendental… and everything in between}"
http://www.katyanovablog.com/10-things-i-learnt-burning-man-2013/

"24 Hours at Burning Man"
http://www.buzzfeed.com/kevintang/24-hours-at-burning-man

"It was the biggest Burning Man ever, and this is what I saw there"
http://io9.com/this-is-the-problem-with-burning-man-20-years-ago-it-w-1278908305


Photo Galleries

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^ Trey Radcliffe
http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Burning-Man-Page


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^ Scott London
http://www.scottlondon.com/photo/burningman2013/thumbnails.html


holden2013-theman

holden2013-balloons

^ Michael Holden
http://michaelholden.com/burning-man-2013-photo-gallery


neilgirling-truthisbeauty2013

^ Neil Girling / The Blight
http://www.flickr.com/photos/carnivillain/sets/72157635281483254


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^ Rolling Stone Magazine
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/pictures/burning-man-2013-the-people-20130905/burning-man-and-wife-0466375


Burner Service Announcement: A Message From the Man

Hilarious.

An Oral History of Burning Man

Burning Man, the annual super-rave in Nevada, has become Independence Week for a worldwide tribe of inventors, artists, and desert freaks. Brad Wieners talks to founders and fans about how the party got started—and the death, mayhem, and power struggles that almost shut it down. Written by Brad Wieners for Outside Magazine, 2012.


"This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words. And indeed in thought." —T.E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
It took some convincing to get me to
Burning Man, even though—or because—friends couldn’t shut up about it. Their pictures were intriguing, sure, but the camp back then resembled nothing so much as the costumey parking lot of a Grateful Dead show.
Not a sell for me. And I like people fine, but when I go camping I generally hope to see fewer of them. Finally, worn down by heartfelt entreaties—and especially the assurances from my great friend John Law, a main mover in the festival’s start-up era—I drove overnight from San Francisco and made the Black Rock Desert shortly after dawn.
What I will never forget about that first trip to northwest Nevada was striking out onto the playa, the vast, vacant deceased lake bed. It was 1994—the ninth Burning Man, the fifth in the desert—a time before cell phones, and the map of the area I was headed to was blank. Directions? Look for the second traffic cone and a line of those small red-flag wire thingies. Leave the road. Drive eight miles, turn right for two more. Really, that was it.
Five minutes out, I found myself in an alkaline whiteout, partly of my own making because of the rooster tail of dirt I was kicking up. When I finally made camp it felt like an achievement, and I had adrenaline to burn. So, despite being sleep deprived, I wrapped a kaffiyeh around my head and took off on a walk.
Immediately, I started to get what I’d been missing: the almost gravitational communal spirit (needed for survival) and the permission, even insistence, to get your freak on. Everyone seemed busy: erecting tepees, hanging wind socks, painting their bodies. It was Montessori for grown-ups, in the most astonishing void.
Eighteen years later, tens of thousands have made the pilgrimage, some a bit too avidly, it’s fair to say. As the event grew, a pop-up metropolis formed—Black Rock City, whose population this year may top 60,000. The outfit that stages the festival, Black Rock City LLC, is now a $23 million-per-year concern with 40 full-time employees, hundreds of volunteers, and a non-profit arts foundation that doles out grants. Demand for tickets is so great, the organizers used a lottery system this spring. That turned out to be a mistake. Big-time artists and veteran volunteers were shut out, while scalpers ran the tickets ($250 face value) up to $1,000 on eBay.
For Burning Man’s principals, the ticket fiasco was merely the latest crisis they’ve had to overcome to keep the dance going. They’ve been faced with such challenges every year, it seems, and somehow they’ve always managed to meet the task—or to finagle someone who could.
In this light, Burning Man is partly the story of a half-dozen eccentrics—an unemployed landscaper (Larry Harvey), an art model (Crimson Rose), a struggling photographer (Will Roger Peterson), a dot-com PR gal (Marian Goodell), an aerobics instructor (Harley Dubois), and a signmaker (Michael Mikel)—who made good. Less charitably, it’s the tale of a group of slackers who grabbed hold of the one thing that brought them notice—and, eventually, a paycheck—and have ruthlessly ridden it for all it’s worth. The truth contains elements of both, of course, but one thing’s for sure: it’s never boring.
IN THE BEGINNING: 1986–1989 Before it drew thousands of determined pilgrims to the Nevada desert, Burning Man consisted of a small group of friends torching an effigy on San Francisco’s Baker Beach, just west of the Golden Gate Bridge. Was it a summer solstice party? Guerrilla art? Or, as legend had it, one man’s attempt to exorcise his heartbreak?
LARRY HARVEY
(co-creator and executive director of Burning Man): My friend Mary Grauberger had done a celebration down on Baker Beach for years. In 1986, she’d decided not to do it again, and I thought we’d recreate that, but in our own way. I really wasn’t an artist. I was hanging out with these famous latte carpenters, all of whom, in their spare time, were writing novels or painting pictures or playing music. I think Jerry [James] may have asked me to repeat my statement on the phone so he understood what I was telling him: “Let’s burn a man on the beach.”
JERRY JAMES
(co-creator): There wasn’t much more to it than that. Larry called me and asked, “Do you want to build a figure and go burn it for the solstice?” OK, sure.click for more…

5 Ways to Make Your Life More Like Burning Man



by Steve Bearman and Troy Dayton for Burner Love. Photo by Spenser Jones.

So you’ve been to the playa, and you’ve seen the promised land – the promise of freedom, of self-expression, of immediacy and creativity and community. The playa fed you, and it changed you. It provided you opportunities for growth, you took advantage of those opportunities, and you came out the other side more the person you’re here to be in the world.

But then Burning Man ended, as it must. It was burned down, dismantled, packed up into dusty vehicles and carted away. Now, you find yourself without the the steady flow of magic that helped you become more yourself. You’re “home” (in the traditional meaning of the word), and you’re probably wondering whether you can still be the person you liberated yourself to become at Burning Man.

You can be. All you need to do is to make use of these 5 principles:

1. There is no default world
2. Expect more from strangers
3. Form your camp
4. Be part of the generosity economy
5. Embrace impermanence (at least for now)



1. There is no default world

Burners have come to use an unfortunate term when referring to life after Burning Man. They call it the “default world”, as if magic only happens in the desert during one week of the year. This is particularly unfortunate because there is one great secret to bringing everything you love about Burning Man into the rest of your life and to making the rest of the world more like Burning Man. What secret, you ask? As it turns out, there is no default world.

We’ll say it again, because this really matters.
There is no default world.

If it helps, you can think about it this way. Some art installations are just too big to bring to the playa. They need to be left out in the rest of the world. In fact, really the whole world is just one, big, world-sized, interactive art installation. It’s all just a series of temporary encampments in which humans have, through their ingenuity and creativity, figured out how to interface with the wilderness and live together in clusters. Just like the street clock and the open playa, the rest of the world is available to explore and interact with and play with while wearing one costume or another, playing one role or another. There is no default world.

When you start to recognize the true, interactive nature of what we’ll call “the extended playa” (that is, the world-sized, extra-playa art installation), you’ll find that so much more is possible.

2. Expect more from strangers

In a community like Burning Man, you can assume, even assert, the right to approach any random person and have an interesting interaction. There’s room to transcend the ordinary superficial greetings and interviews. You can introduce yourself effervescently, or oddly, or launch right into the middle of the conversation you wish you were having with someone. You can overtly express interest and curiosity. You can play. You can do all this because you expect, more often than not, that your enthusiasm and curiosity will be met with the same. You expect people to be interesting and to be excited by your invitation to play with them.

It’s no different on the extended playa. If you give people a chance to be their more expressed, more playful, more connective selves, more often than not, they’ll take you up on your offer. Everyone everywhere wants deeper connections, more meaningful interactions, less seriousness and more play. If you expect this of the people you meet, you’ll be right more often than not.

Hugs and affection are a particularly important domain in which to expect more from strangers. We all need love, and hugs are one of the best ways to deliver it. Take the risk to go in for a hug. You’ll be surprised how many people reciprocate. Of course some people will be hesitant. They may not even know that hugging is an option! Or they may just be plain scared of hugs. That means it’s your job not to be scary. You can pull this off by hugging people in a way that demands nothing of the huggee. Practice being sensitive to where the other person is at while still expressing your affection and admiration. If you get it right, you may notice them releasing and relaxing. Hugs bring us together. You are just the right person to initiate them.

Not only is there no default world, but there are no normal people. There are, however, many people who have gotten good at projecting the appearance of normality. At Burning Man, the endless parade of people flaunting their unusualness brings joy and excitement. The unusual is both delightful and challenging, enticing and intimidating. Out here on the extended playa, people love the unusual just as much as you love it at Burning Man, but there is such a constant press to conform to social norms, that we sacrifice our wonderful weirdness, our playful impulses, and our freaky freedom just so we can fit in. Without even realizing it, you have probably come to participate in this system of socialization, subtly and continuously discouraging people from coloring themselves outside the lines.

It takes some deliberate effort to reverse that tendency. Part of expecting more from strangers is noticing the weirdness in others and encouraging it to express itself. When you encounter someone who is already weirder than you, instead of looking away or otherwise indicating disapproval, remember the courage it takes to break with norms, and you’ll realize just how valuable that smile or that nod can be. Say “yes” to the strangeness of strangers.

Remember, nearly everyone you know was once a stranger. Expecting more of strangers increases the likelihood that the people you meet will become a part of that sometimes elusive network of connections we call community.

3. Form your camp
click for more…

Burning Man in the Age of Rick Perry: Revelation, Pluralism, and Moral Imperative



We cannot know his legendary head  with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso  is still suffused with brilliance from inside,  like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low, gleams in all its power… You must change your life. —Excerpt from Rilke, “Archaic Torso of Apollo” 

At this moment, over 50,000 people from around the world are gathered, again, in a temporary city in Nevada’s Black Rock desert. By now, I suspect most RD readers have heard of Burning Man, though the nature of this temporary city—please don’t call it a festival—remains elusive. Some call it a Temporary Autonomous Zone devoted to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance. Others call it a utopian experiment in commerce-free living. Others, well, others call it a festival.

Like any pilgrimage site, Burning Man is less a destination than a pretext for the journey. These days, of course, flying into Reno isn’t so hard—but actually opening up to whatever Black Rock City has to offer… that journey can be arduous. If you go looking for a festival with sex and drugs and dance music, that is all you will find. But if you pause to wonder why there’s a temple in the middle of it, why people come back year after year even if they don’t do drugs, or, for that matter, how it is that the art, community, and culture of Black Rock City is constructed without a Them putting on entertainments for Us, much more can be received.

Generally speaking, those who intend to be open in this way come away changed by the experience. I’ve been to dozens of “festivals,” and some of them have been very cool. But they didn’t inspire me to change my life. Burning Man did, when I first went to it in 2001. What it presents are ways of being that most of us never imagine. It’s possible to be like this, it says, to live so richly and creatively and expressively and sensuously, to be this in love with life. And once one has really seen that such a life is possible, one cannot go back to how one was.

click for more…

Torsten's playa bike

Bay Area-based honorary Get Founder Torsten was recently featured in an online article about playa bikes:


TORSTEN HASSELMANN (12 years at Burning Man)
Origin of bike:
I built and welded it and myself out of the town dump when I lived in Wyoming. Among other things the handlebars used to be a shopping cart frame.
Accessories: Minimal, just the bike here, though I used to enjoy EL (electroluminescent) wire so I put some on the bars for lighting back in 2004 and still use it to not get run over.
Advice for last minute bike builders: Start earlier next time and make it fun for everybody.
Tips for riding on the Playa: Keep it upright.
Most important in a Burner bike: Hopefully it’s not just fun for you, but brightens other peoples’ experience as well.

More profiles at http://www.7x7.com/fitness-outdoors/burner-bike-diy-tips-playa-pros

Black Rock City 2010 Yearbook

The Black Rock City 2010 Yearbook is out -- hooray! This is such a lovely and heartfelt gift to the community each year, and having visited their photo camp for the first time last summer, I can tell you it is a lot of work.

Browse the gallery of all the freaky beautiful amazing Burners, or download a pdf version of the yearbook,
here. Here’s a small sampling of what goodness is in store for you.... <3









Of course, this awesome project reminds me of another awesome project that I have been working on since my first Burn in 2007:
The Playa Portrait Project!

Two views on gifting

"Gifting" - by Halcyon from Belief Buffet on Vimeo.



Will it be hot? Will it be dusty?

"I have one life and I would be damned if I live as a fool "

what happens when you set a typewriter up in the middle of nowhere desert at Burning Man and invite people to write whatever they want (via a self-servicing station)?














Many, many more at http://www.sunflowerrobots.com/timelovememory

Defining Moments, 2009



This Burn was my third (nonconsecutive) pilgrimage to the playa and the most powerful by far. Seeking a way to ground my energy and emotions upon returning to my homeground in the Pacific Northwest, I headed out to the San Juan Islands last weekend to visit two dear friends at their home on a cliff above the wild shore. I told stories about my experiences at the Burn for hours; a few days later, one of the friends commented "you seem humbled by your Burn this time around." That is a perfect description of my current state: humbled. Also: in awe. thankful. blessed. in love. connected. pregnant with possibilties. floating in a state of grace, not fully existing in this world or that.

"Tell us about one of your defining moments on the playa this year …" is the question John Curley posted on the
Burning Blog last week, and over 75 Burners fresh from their Black Rock City tenure answer with stories that are moving, hilarious, sacred, bittersweet, transformative and heartfelt. I connect to the thread of humility that is braided through the many impressions shared. I feel waves of playa-love pulsing through my newly-reinvigorated heart as I read these personal reflections. I hope you can feel them too, and I invite you to share your own defining moment in the comments at the end of the post.

* * * * * *
One evening early in the week, as the sun was setting, I walked out into the desert alone, behind BRC, where there was no one. I was utterly alone, no other humans near by. I asked my creator what I should do. My creator informed me that I must lose the costume first…and so away it went, layer by layer, and then the jewelry, and necklaces…all of it off, I stood completely naked, bathed in the blazing colors of the setting sun. I walked away from my belongings, and my footprints appeared in the cracks before me, before I stepped into them, the footprints appeared. They were already there, waiting for me to fill them. My body found a rhythm and I intuitively moved in a kind of slow ti-chi-yoga dance, that let my joints crack and free themselves of their restrictions. I have been in several accidents, have broken many bones and have limited range of motion, but I felt freed of all of it. Free of pain, regret, fear…..FREE. With my creator that evening, I found myself once again. A child, an embryo, a man, a woman, all together, all encompassing, a creative being of light….free to BE… as I was gifted this life to be.

Later that evening, a fellow burner gave me a bumper sticker that says ‘Fear is Funny’.

And I have not stopped smiling since.

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I decided to trek to the temple alone on Saturday afternoon after much debauchery. I was delivered into a dust storm on the way, and couldn’t see a single structure or living person at first. Rather than feeling worried it was the most peaceful experience of my life. Later, I would come apon pockets of people and art that would recede into the dust again like apparitions. I finally made it to the temple and cried like a little girl- for me, for loved ones, for everyone there. It was like my soul was wiped clean for the very first time. It was so stunning and surreal.

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Watching the temple burn with friends, we were awestruck when a phenomenal cellist humbly played next to us. We listened for a half hour while he drew all the sorrow, love, yearning and spirit of the temple through his strings, and then moved on. I am so grateful for that beautiful experience.

Also, I got to surrender to the moment many times this year – going with the flow, against my programming and typical behavior or responses, I got to experience immediacy more than I ever have before in 10 years of participating in Burningman. Here’s to playadipity!

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2 years ago I was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Last November, after a year of radiation and chemo I was told I only had ‘weeks or months’ to live. Being at Burning Man again this year was a triumph for me and an affirmation of life. When I put a message on the temple I started to cry because I suddenly realized I had changed from thinking about dieing to thinking about living. That was a moment I will never forget.

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"The Life Lessons of Burning Man"

A columnist at the San Francisco Gate recently published a meditation on Burning Man that doesn't suck. It begins: "As I've been lured back to the sweltering, dusty sexed-up madness that is Burning Man again this year -- my sixth time -- by a gaggle of delicious friends, I am hereby reminded of a few hundred truths, half-truths, outright lies and astonishing epiphanies offered up by the world-famous, Christian-feared, beautifully debauched, sensory overloaded, impossible-to-describe art-survivalist-camping-rave megaspectacle now underway in the remote Nevada desert. If you've ever wondered at the appeal, the urge, the drive to attend such a thing, if you've heard wisps of the mythology and the mystery and the epic weirdness or even seen a few pictures and wondered, you know, WTF, maybe these tidbits can help..."

Read the entire article, alongside many other first-hand reports and interpretations, on the
"What is Burning Man?" page in our "About" section. Alright then.

"5 Things Cities Can Learn from Burning Man" by Time.com

"Yer goin' where? To do what?"


Photo by John Curley; The Man 8/26/2009.

Some last thoughts before leaving for Burning Man 2009

1.)
Camp dBM location : Because of our (hopeful) partnership with another larger camp that we're drawing power from, we ended up involuntarily situated at the far edge of Black Rock City -- 2:15ish and Lineage, or on the perimeter out by walk-in camping. AKA, the Boonies, or as Torsten called it, The Frontier. This is exciting for several reasons. First of all, I wonder: what the hell goes on way out there??? I've camped near Center Camp and the Deep End (accidentally) and on the Esplanade, and so have always been, for better or for worse, close in to the downtown BRC action. What will it be like on the Frontier? Will there be periods of peace and tranquility? Does anybody wander by out there? What's it like trying to get around on bikes from way out there? And just what exactly are those walk-in campers up to? With all of these questions unanswerable until we strike camp and find out, I am psyched to be getting a new perspective on the city. I can't fathom that there's a "bad spot" to camp -- except for a few camps I wouldn't care to be next to -- only different spots, providing for different perspectives. Sounds like a good way to keep the Burn fresh! Secondly, which leads me to...

2.) the natural vibes of the
Black Rock Desert. I expect the Frontier positioning, with our camp facing outward towards open playa and the hills, to allow me, for the first time, to try and discern some aspect of the natural vibrations of this special place. I typically move through the world attuned to the natural world around me, noticing the birds and plants, reading the landscape. Down at Burning Man, this hasn't really been a part of my experience -- in part because there doesn't seem to be anything living for several miles, as well as because the humanoid stimuli is so overpowering! Imagine bird-watching during Carnival or Mardi Gras, netting butterflies on the Las Vegas strip, Id'ing fungi in Alice's Wonderland. Not likely. I do remember, in 2007, taking a personal timeout one night and biking out to the trash fence on the edge of Deep Playa, sitting down and gazing out at the desert. I felt an electric charge when I slowed down and focused on the vastness of open space out there, how far the playa stretched on to the horizon, how incomprehensibly vast the cosmos above was and how many stars it held. I think that it is the only time I've dialed in to the natural powers of the Black Rock, and I look forward to making more of an effort to do so this year. Another way to keep it fresh.

Speaking of nature...

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Burning Man iPhone app



I found a very cool new iPhone app featuring sumptuous photos from the playa, plus a how-to playa photography guide, links collection and other swag, made by Seattle's own Matt Freedman and available at www.monkfishlabs.com. It'll costya $3.99, but then you'll have the playa in your pocket for any time you need a quick escape!

Are you ready to Evolve?



Thoughts on the
forthcoming Burn from www.examiner.com:

"For this year's theme, Burners are asked to contemplate three questions: What are we as human beings?  Where have we come from? And how may we adapt to meet an ever-changing world? There is perhaps no better moment in time to ask these. We stand at a unique epoch, amidst a world in turmoil that is transforming literally before our eyes. How will humans evolve to meet the challenges of a world besieged by war, overpopulation, economic depression, climate change, and over-consumption, yet one that has never been more consciously aware and interconnected? A world daunted by convergent crises, yet equipped with tools and ideas unimaginable to generations past? Will we find a collective pathway out of the morass, or will we end up our own worst enemies and seal our own fate?

For Burners and the vast culture they have spawned, the key to surfing the apocalypse (from the greek meaning "lifting of the veil" or "revelation") is creativity and community, and the endless ways that each are continuously reinvented...."

More
here.click for more…

Adam Lambert : Bringing the Burn to mainstream America



On Jun 10, 2009, at 9:38 AM, moontroll wrote:
Subject: "I realized that we all have our own power, and that whatever I wanted to do, I had to make happen."

I don't know this guy, never even seen "American Idol" once, but can appreciate his awakening at the Burn:
NY Daily News.

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On Jun 10, 2009, at 10:09 AM, Edub wrote:
Subject: Re: "I realized that we all have our own power, and that whatever I wanted to do, I had to make happen."

"Drug fueled"  Yeah, that's there, but we all know there is more to the Burn than that!  Through portal we come face to face with the Pure Power of Potential.  How we choose to harness it - on the playa and in the default world, is up to us.  In the immortal words of Master Yoda, "Choose, but choose wisely."

Onward toward the Burn.  May the Force (i.e. the Pure Power of Potential) be with us.

~ Master Doobsauce


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Burning Bookshelf: Books about Burnign Man

Reviews by moontroll

In less three weeks, the Man will burn. Over 45,000 revelers, seekers, artists and freaks will gather around an effigy on a remote, desolate, dry lake bed in a forgotten corner of Nevada to drum, dance with fire and lose their minds to the magic of the moment. The energy of Burning Man 2008 is growing in strength daily, and Burners the world over can feel the pull to the playa.

In 2007, I went to Burning Man with a large group of Bellinghamsters organized under the Boogie Collective umbrella. We built a 40-foot tall Boogie Pyramid, threw all-night dance parties and lived communally beneath a billowing green parachute for ten days. While it has long been obvious that I wouldn't be returning to participate in The Event in the Desert this year, I have to admit that with the arrival of August, Black Rock City's invisible, inevitable gravitational forces are agitating my soul. I have other projects I am dedicated to this year, but that doesn't negate my natural affinity for ritual and release, intentional gatherings, inward reorientation and creative pranksterism.


I might seek for a vicarious Burn instead, browsing the many different books about Burning Man published in recent years.

Jessica Bruder's "Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man" (Simon Spotlight, 2007) is a dizzying piece of artwork, a shuffle-play of favorite Burning Man deliriums throughout the years, designed by the venerable collagist Martin Vensezky. It features photo contributions from hundreds of playa snapshooters and loads of playa ephemera, like reproductions of tickets and maps from past Burns, stickers and buttons from different theme camps and all the little trinkety stuff that are gifted out and circulated throughout Black Rock City.

The trajectory of the book is shaped to represent the journey to and through Black Rock City, and thus early chapters include drives through Gerlach and the first burns in San Francisco before introducing you to playa legends like Thunderdome, Dr. Megavolt, Contessa and the Belgian Waffle. There are chapters on music, vehicles and costumes/identity before the reader is brought face to face with the Man and his many inflammations. The end of the ride lands softly with a retrospective of David Best's temples and closes with a look at the city's dissolution in the chapter "Leave No Trace."

Dale Pendell's "Inspired Madness: The Gifts of Burning Man" (Frog Ltd., 2006) is a loose interpretation of the tribal, post-pagan gathering told through short, abstract episodic vignettes and sketches, which could be hell to read if Pendell wasn't such a interesting storyteller wading up to his eyeballs in the spirit and joy of each moment.

"This is Burning Man" by Brian Dogherty (Benbella, 2004) is much less abstract and subjective, and less fun too. It seeks to tell the story of what BM is, where it came from and why it is what it is from a journalist's perspective, though Dogherty claims no impartiality: he has been burning for over a decade. Warning: knowing *too* much about the people pulling the levers behind the curtain can spoil the fun and dull the mystery. Mostly, Dogherty does a fine job of translating the untranslatable and he has a deeper grasp than most on what draws so many diverse people to the desert gathering year after year.

What happens when a bunch of academics go to the Burn, drop acid and start taking notes? You end up with the book "Afterburn: Reflections on a Burning Man" (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2005), offering essays like "Utopia, Social Sculpture and Burning Man" and "Fires of the Heart: Ritual, Pilgrimage and Transformation."

Finally, I love the exquisite collection of black & white photos presented in A. Leo Nash's "Burning Man: Art in the Desert" (Abrams, 2007.) Nash's is an unusual look at Burning Man – his colorless, arid photographs focus on the diversity of art that is brought to the party. His camera is trained on the sculptures, interactive installations, vehicles and structures that populate the empty playa on the outskirts of the city. Nash has a natural gift for composition and capturing detail, though it is unsettling to view these otherwordly, fantastical dreamworks frozen in time and outside of their original dusty context. Rich and mysterious.

If you are a Burner left behind this year, you might consider buying or borrowing something from this reading list to keep your soul in alignment in the dim days of the Default World.

How to enjoy the Burning Man Experience from the Comfort of your Own Home

Tear down your house. Put it in a truck. Drive 10 hours in any direction. Put the house back together. Invite everyone you meet to come over and party. When they leave, follow them back to their homes, drink all their booze, and break things.click for more…

"Burning Book"

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Leavenworth Lids in effect



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Masks

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Burning Cartography



Here's an amazing hand-drawn map of Black Rock City 2005 by Lisa Hoffman.



and here's a map of Black Rock City 2006: Hope and Fear done in "Acid Deco" style.



I found both via the website
info gargoyle. The guy who wrote the posts is very serious about his cartography -- it is the gift that he brings to the community: "This year, I'm seeing more and more people come together with their interest in cartography than ever before. The sponsored mapping group, PlayaInfo is also expanding their geographic reach by supporting a GPSDrive friendsd server so that participants with art cars can broadcast their location to the main map. Seems like a perfect fit for cyborgs and technomads alike!"

He's got an interesting slideshow too
right over here.

Green Man icon

Found this unofficial icon on Flickr in the Green Man 2007 pool



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