Webinar with Daniel Pinchbeck: Evolver Field Guide to BM 2012

I met Daniel Pinchbeck at this year’s Lightning in a Bottle, a lovely chap and he certainly had some interesting things to say. Such as, the reason women make noise during sex, is to attract the other males in the tribe to come and have sex with them, too – thus increasing their chance of being inseminated. It was certainly in line with the “sacred goddess power” of LIB, and no doubt many women will be trying out these theories at Burning Man too. Wear your jimmy hat boys!

It sounds like this upcoming Webinar is much more conventional, and probably quite an interesting way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon – the last one before Burning Man weekend. Perhaps streaming in the car, while you’re driving to Reno? (hint: reception is better on I-80).

Tune in at noon Pacific on Saturday August 18th. Tickets are only $15 if you purchase them before the 12th.

Evolver Intensives Presents: The Evolver Field Guide to Burning Man 2012

Maximize your Burning Man adventure by joining us on August 18th 12 noon PST/3 PM EST.

PRICE: $20

Early-bird: $15 through August 12th. 

Hosts: Daniel Pinchbeck, Jill Ettinger and Baza Novic

Whether you are a Playa newbie or the most grizzled Burner veteran, there is always more to learn and new techniques to master for maximizing your Burning Man adventure. As we approach Burn 2012, with hordes of rabid newbies getting prepped to descend on Black Rock City in faux fur, this is the moment to prepare your Psyche for the sub-cultural onslaught coming your way imminently, and brush up on your Playa protocol. In this learning experience, we will explore deep questions such as:

*Is it a good idea to snort bath salts from the bellybutton of a stranger?

*Is getting branded on your tongue something you are likely to regret later?

*Are Sparkle Ponies worth taming?

*Is the Burning Man camp a new form of social organism?

*Can hipster cache be bought with a credit card?

All these questions and more will be addressed in this unique one-time only webinar. Please bring your own “burning” questions to this interactive forum.

Join Daniel Pinchbeck, executive director of Evolver, along with Jill Ettinger and Baza Novic, Evolver LA honchos, with special guests, on a journey into the practice and philosophy of Burning Man, the festival’s dust-blown past and unclear future. We will discuss the evolution of the festival, its ever-growing cultural impact, this year’s ticket fiasco, and much more. Also, how do you integrate Burning Man into your daily life?

In the second half of this session, veteran Burners will reveal favorite tips for thriving at Burning Man:

Camp Set Up

*5 tips every camp should know about

*The 3 best tools to bring

*Shade structures, tarps, and tenting secrets

*Making your tent a sacred space

*Fun camp rituals and other ways to share your gifts (clothing swap, buddy systems, intention setting, etc)

*Grey water management

*6 things to bring to camp that everyone will love you for [drugs? – Ed]

Food & Healthy Playa Living

*Why everyone should go vegan at Burning Man (and how to do it!)

*8 tips to eating smart: Whether you prepare all your food ahead or make it on the playa, we’ll help you make it the healthiest and most delicious

*Lemons, lemons, lemons

*How superfoods will drastically alter your Burning Man experience, and keep you from wasting food

*Foods to eat for natural sun protection from the inside out (really!)

*Vitamins, supplements and natural herbs for the desert

*The “essential” essential oil kit–for staying energized, all night dancing, relaxing, etc, you’ll want to have these helpful plant oils with you at all times!

*Natural first aid and how to honor your vessel in outer and inner space

*Green your clean: wetnap alternatives that cost less and are better for the planet

*For the love of sponge baths

*How to make a dry shampoo (and other useful tips for baking soda)

*Mastering the portapotty experience and how to set up a pee station in your tent (really!)

Up your Playa Experience

*Webinar attendees are invited to connect on the playa to build a collective altar at the temple–we’ll bring the art supplies and other goodies to share with you, you bring your intentions, photos and your all-around magical self

*The art of ground scoring, music scrying and Mastering your life artistry on the playa

*Monitoring your states of consciousness and dealing with others on the edge and of course, Traffic etiquette 101


Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of Breaking Open the Head, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, and Notes from Edge Times. His essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Wired, and many more. He is the co-founder and executive director of Evolver, which publishes Reality Sandwich. He is the executive editor of Evolver Editions, a publishing imprint with North Atlantic Books. He is a producer and featured interviewer in 2012: Time for Change, directed by Joao Amorim and produced by Giancarlo Canaversio and Mangusta Productions. He is a founder and producer of Unify Earth (www.unifyearth.com), a global spectacle set for December 21, 2012. He writes regularly for Dazed & Confused (www.dazeddigital.com).

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles based writer, editor and photographer regularly featured on Organic Authority, Reality Sandwich and Sunwarrior News. Her focus on food, herbs, wellness and world culture blends the mystical and modern as she explores what our shifting agricultural landscapes and healing systems will look–and taste–like in the future. Every human being should open to receive things in order to manifest their deepest desires. She was published in the anthologies “Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age” and “What Do You Believe?” Her work has also appeared in publications including The Village Voice, MTV, and Global Rhythm. Alongside Baza Novic, Jill is co-director of the Evolver Network’s Los Angeles spore, supporting creative transformation through events focused on leading edge art, education and social activism. The two have co-written several articles featured on Reality Sandwich including, “The Last Temptation of Dogma: An Ironic Tale of Fundamentalism” and “The Cosmic Hour: The End of the 5th Sun and
the Beginning of Everything”. Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Baza Novic is a former U.S. Marine, an expert in human relations, a certified master gardener, a storyteller and a permaculture thinker based in Los Angeles. He can make anything grow and has an intuitive sense for problem solving. For over a decade, Baza has offered consultations to those struggling with integrating life’s more challenging experiences. Baza is a multifaceted artist working in many mediums including writing, photography, installations, film and television networks including NBC, Disney, CBS, and MTV. He can often be found wandering the streets of Los Angeles conducting desperate acts of magic. For more info about life artistry and how to actively participate in the open source consciousness of the mulitverse, visit: http://www.prosciousness.com/ or follow Baza on Twitter @bazanovic

By participating in this online course, you will receive:

*Useful tips and Playa checklist

*Conversation with Evolver and Reality Sandwich co-founder, Daniel Pinchbeck

*30 minutes of question and answers

*Participation in a private online community with other students

*Unlimited online access to video recordings of this segment

**Fuzzy tails and hats not included.

Maximize your Burning Man adventure by joining us on August 18th.

PRICE: $20

Early-bird: $15 through August 12th.

Condition Alpha: Can you handle the Blow?

When the dust storm hits, you want to be in an RV, drinking a cold one from the fridge and using the bathroom whenever the urge hits you. Perhaps enjoying a different kind of blow – what ever tickles your fancy. Could be the blow of your cool air conditioner. You definitely don’t want to be on Deep Playa without an art car,  bicycle, or dust mask. But it happens. Are you prepared? Burners Galen and Bruce kindly put together this discussion of 2002’s “Condition Alpha“, a time when a dust storm hit that was so serious they closed the exits. Burners were trapped there together, with wind gusts up to 100 MPH.

The Condition Alpha Survival Guide is a good read, even if you have experienced these conditions before. Here’s the story of the Big Blowout from another perspective. Jim Mason was in a crane cab and argues that Burning Man causes this event, every year – similar to the argument Christopher Brooks is making in his appeal about Burning Man’s environmental impact. If true, then we could be in for trouble this year, with Exodus restricted to 1,000 vehicles per hour and the largest ever crowd.

I know BMOrg loves to live in fantasy land and wish things into existence, then blame Burners if that didn’t work. Here in the default world, where maths and physics and things like that can be useful too, it just seems impossible to me that Exodus times could be reduced from last year. They are closing one of the 2 exit lanes, holding back the number of cars released per hour on the single-lane road, and 10,900 more official participants means at least 6,000 more vehicles. Burning the Temple early, means more hours of heavy Exodus starting earlier…which seems like it could be bad news for dust storms.

From the 2012 Environmental Impact Assessment:

Gate Road is going to be widened for Exodus again this year. This will provide more space to stack cars instead of allowing too many cars onto the highway. For over half of the peak periods of Exodus, only one gravel lane will be used instead of two to avoid too many cars on the highway. 

From the 2006-2010 Environmental Assessment:

Based on BLM random counts at the event gate indicating that vehicles are occupied by 1.9 persons on average, participant traffic is estimated at 18,600 vehicles. Factoring in the vehicles required to manage the event, up to 19,000 vehicles could be anticipated 

This was for an event size of 35,500 (in 2005). 1.9 persons per vehicle, from 60,900 people = at least 32,000 vehicles this year.

I’ve been in Dubai on top of a massive skyscraper when a haboob came to town, it was quite a spectacular sight. These are experienced in parts of the Western US on a regular basis. With drought conditions all over the country, who knows what the weather will be like on the Playa? Dust masks, goggles, and bikes are essential. And lots of battery powered EL wire, forget glowsticks.

43 Flavors of Burners

It takes a village, to raise a city. Radical inclusion means welcoming everyone, no matter what their idiosyncracies. Last year, Piss Clear Black Rock City Weekly published a defintion of Burner types, compiled by Burner Turnerjer from a discussion on ePlaya. It’s quite amusing – if you enjoy this, then you’ll love the Jaded Review.

  • the acquisitor : measures how much fun they’re having by how much stupid crap they can stuff their pockets with. warning: they’ll try to steal some key piece of decor from your bar. also, they’ll try to trade you a handful of painted bottle caps for a dose of E.
  • the bad couple : fights all the time. fucks the rest of the time. one or both of them may try to seduce you. it’s not worth it.
  • the barfly : if you have a bar, this person will keep people coming back to it, night after night. always willing to spell you at bartending, always there when you need a smoke, always drunk enough to find everyone fascinating, will dance to any music, laugh at any joke, applaud any story. will probably sleep on the couch even if their tent is ten feet away. this person is your bar’s heartbeat.
  • the burner-than-thou : similar to the jaded old-school burner, except this is their third year. don’t try to tell these people awesome stories of your adventures.. they’ve seen it before, and anyway you did it wrong.
  • the camp bitch : would really have been happier staying at a nice hotel in reno… but then they wouldn’t have lazy filthy campmates to complain about! they can’t believe what giant slobs everyone else is. will moan incessantly about how no one else wants to wash the dishes. if you’re burning with more than two other people, you have at least one of these in your crew. if you don’t know who it is, maybe it’s you!
  • the center-camp-hanger-outer : hangs out at center camp the whole time. by the end of the week, they’ll have spent more money on iced-coffee drinks than you spent on gas. PRO TIP: center camp is lame.
  • the creepy date-rapist : always has plenty of drugs.
  • the cruise director : has read the guide. knows what day it is. eats spectacular meals in a different place every night. easily spotted by the addresses written on their arms. if you want to go to bed early, spend the day with this person. by sunset you’ll be exhausted.
  • the engineer : on the up side, they’ll do all the work and keep your camp functioning. on the down side, they’ll never let you forget that they do all the work and keep your camp functioning. try to get them laid.
  • the first-timer whose mind is completely blown the whole fucking time : depending on your point of view, these people can be deeply inspiring, or even more annoying than the jaded old-schoolers. usually they take too many drugs and have at least one nervous breakdown.
  • the fish-to-water : it’s their first year, but they wear the playa like jessica rabbit wears an evening gown. fearless, self-deprecating, and utterly charming. makes even jaded old-schoolers smile. make them your camp ambassador.
  • the font of swag : exact opposite of the acquisitor. each morning they’ll fill their bag with homemade junk, and won’t return to camp until they’ve “gifted” away all their garbage.
  • the jaded old-school burner: never shuts up about how much BM sucks now… but still comes! you won’t see much of these guys, though, because they never leave their camp.
  • the overly spiritual burner : can be easily identified as the person who never laughs at your jokes. thinks burning man should be like easter mass: solemn and incomprehensible. just drop them off at the temple while you hop a totally undignified art-car to the upside-down-on-a-pole-in-a-wet-t-shirt drinking contest at Pinky’s.
  • the overprepared neighbor : forgot your can opener? your toenail clippers? your corkscrew? here you go! no, you can keep it, i brought twenty.
  • the person who’s having way more fun than they seem to be : often the oldest person in their camp. has had a hard life. you have trouble catching their name. you’ll worry because they just sit at the end of the bar the whole time, drinking from a flask. but when you catch their eye they give you a giant shit-eating grin.
  • the perv : all their clothing is shiny and/or crotchless. they brought a “bag of tricks.” for most of the week you don’t know where they are. that’s because they’re next door, having earth-shaking sex with your dumpy middle-aged neighbors. if this person invites you to a party they heard about, FOR GOD’S SAKE GO
  • the philosopher : prefers shots to cocktails. often fails to notice hot nudity that’s right next to them. has rough mornings. loses their voice.
  • the raver : wakes up at sunset. measures fun in decibels. runs out of drugs.
  • the shell-breaker : who would have thought boring old doug from work can sing like barry white and do beer bongs like Bender?
  • the sparkle-pony : no camp is complete without some of these. they’re a bit like furniture you might get a chance to fuck.
  • the weekender : arrives on friday in an RV that’s more luxurious than your apartment. doesn’t want to meet their neighbors. doesn’t pack out their trash.
  • the wrecking ball : spills drinks, knocks over barstools, falls off of tables, rides their bike into support ropes and is humorously flung backwards. wanders off with the bong. invites thieves over. gets hurt. gets tickets. can always lay their hands on a megaphone.
  • the yahoo : says woo. picks fights. is a dick.
  • your dream-girl/guy/both/other : your perfect soul-mate. you’ll spend the most wonderful night of your life with this person. then you’ll find out they’re married.

Burner Mookie5 added to the lexicon with some more positive archetypes.

I noticed most of the categories listed so far were negative – and yeah, those types of people are around, but I don’t think it’s too hard to be able to avoid having to be around a lot of them. (Seagull is a great name descriptor though!). I thought I’d add some positive ones from my personal experience:

  1. The Architect – Has a couple of oversized playa art projects, leads a theme camp. Campmates tend to look up to him/her and help with the giant projects, which create unity of purpose for the camp. Also helps others with their projects due to the plethora of construction skills the architect has.
  2. The Planner – Like the Architect, the planner leads a theme camp, but rather than making landmarks, the planner addresses every organizational challenge possible, from event listings to leave no trace planning, writes it all down, and communicates the expectations to camp 3 months ahead of time, yet somehow isn’t bitchy during the event when, as always, things don’t go exactly as planned.
  3. The Builder – The builder doesn’t like details, but goes to burning man to put shit together and make things work. The builder always is wearing a tool belt except for the one time a week when they’re exploring deep playa.
  4. The Overlit Wanderer Won’t leave camp at night unless they’re radiating at least 30 watts of colored light. Brings solar panels and batteries solely to recharge smaller batteries.
  5. The Guy Who Shares Workspace – Is usually hard to find on playa, but back in defaultia, they share a gigantic workspace where people gather to build stuff and party.
  6. Small Art Car Guy – Spends the 6 months pre-burn just building that golf cart based animal car. While at the burn, only desires to drive it around, and take campmates, neighbors, and total strangers other places on the playa. Won’t drink, as they take driving seriously.
  7. The Homemaker – Goes to burningman to build something that’s as comfortable as home, from scratch each year. Has comfortable furniture, fantastic shade, home made swamp cooler, and some sort of sealed sleeping area. Usually has good food they share, and hates RVs.
  8. The Worklepony – Has a million costumes, built some crazy artbicycle, arrives early to build camp, and really helps out doing so. Sometimes takes things a little too seriously.
  9. Fire Spinning Hero – Came to the burn to spin poi/staffs/comet/etc. Is a good campmate, cleans up after themselves, helps as appropriate.
  10. Fire Spinning Zero – Came to the burn to spin fire, fuck everything else. Otherwise acts like a seagull. A long time ago, my camp had 4 of these. ugh.
  11. Rockstar – It may be their first year, or their 7th, but the rockstar just gets ‘it’, and seems to help everyone, rustles up campmates to lead them to the coolest playa parties, and looks snazzy doing it. Kinda rare.  [I KNOW ONE!]

General burner archetypes I’m aware of, but haven’t interacted with on a camp level – I consider these folks (even the ones I’m not real fans of) essential parts of the landscape of burning man:

  1. Deathguilder – wears black, looks like they’re from Mad Max, their art vehicles are black, spikey, spit fire.
  2. Steampunk – Dresses like they are out of the movie “wild wild west”, 1800’s formal, but with lots of gears and mechanical flair. The ones I know best from seeing out there drive the “Neverwas Haul” around very slowly. I’d also lump some western afficianados in this group, even though it’s a little different.
  3. Partiers – Show up, throw up a teeny bit of survival infrastructure, and go rage for 5 days straight. Usually hang out on 10 or 2.
  4. Theme camp-a-holics – So busy maintaining/running a major theme camp, they don’t get to get out and about very much. Usually overcommitted, but their camp is on Esplanade or Center Circle or 10 or 2, so somebody’s gotta be paying attention, right?
  5. MTV Beachparty – The sea of sparkle ponies that are out in the sun grooving away at the Distrikt (used to be deep end) all day everyday.
  6. The volunteer – Goes to burning man to volunteer with the org, be it Rangers, Gate, Coffee, Greeters, or many other things. You won’t notice them much when they’re not volunteering, and they’re ok with that.
  7. The installation artist – Spends 70% of the burn finishing their deep playa project. You can see them on Tuesday night under lights working until 5am.