Free Software to Organize your Camp

Two Burners from the Chillage have been using Asana (Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz’ new company)  to organize their Burn, with great results. They’ve convinced their employer to release a special Burning Man edition of the software. You can use it to create a shared camp workspace, and also a personal packing list.

Asana’s been invaluable to the Chillage. We hope it serves you too.

Playa Checklists
Whether leading a camp or attending solo, there are dozens of things to remember to do and bring. We collected all the basics in one place.

Track & Coordinate
Track all your to-dos, easily coordinate responsibilities among camp members, and keep all the discussions in one place.

Make it your own
By reducing busy-work of smoothly coordinating infrastructure, you can devote more time to the things that make your camp special.

Burnerāsana is a gift from two people who work at Asana. There is no official tie between Asana and Burning Man. The two of us just happen to be burners. ♥

Kickstarter project nearly there: Cosmic Carousel

Created by artist Michael Walsh; The Cosmic Carousel is an interactive aluminum sculpture 23 feet long, 18 feet wide and 17 feet tall with the ability to spin from kinetic energy applied by willing participants. It is mostly self-funded by the artist, but needs money to get to the Playa and back. They have raised more than 70%, the Kickstarter finishes in a couple of days. Please give generously, this looks like a sweet project.

Let us entertain you with our following story as we attempt to lure you into backing our project with some much needed funding. If you would like to follow our progress of fabrication, please become our Flight Commander, David Prism‘s, friend on Facebook, view our photo blog at  or check back at our kickstarter page for updates. Thank-you for your time and consideration. We are very grateful for all the help we receive while bringing this project to life, to live.   

Message from

Commander Prism of the Psychedelic Funk Groove Armada

The Cosmic Carousel

I am excited to be landing on your funky blue planet in the month August of your year, 2012. Our journey as The Cosmic Carousel Crew will begin at an inspiring gathering of your kind called, ‘Burning Man’, a festival aimed to cultivate and imitate an open society maintaing liberty for all within a structure supported by conscious exchanges from individuals to individuals. As the flight commander of The Cosmic Carousel, I feel Burning Man will offer us a warm welcome full of honest projections and expectations of human existence. After we have accustomed ourselves to your atmosphere and traditions within this ‘love bubble’ we will venture onward to explore more of your North American continent.

I have made many successful journeys through space and time and have visited many life forms, however, in order to pass through your galaxy and reach your planet I need to make modifications to my craft and replace certain materials in order to be compatible within your elements. My crew and I have already begun to make some of these changes as we are dedicated to completing this mission.

My crew is a resilient core of experienced individuals covering a wide range of talents:

Michael Walsh  – Lead Artist and Creative Director 

Elliot Shields  – Technical Development 

Jeremy Groznik  – Lead Fabricator

Kevin Carter  – Design Development Lead and Project Lighting

Big Jim  – Project Consultant

John Masters  – Metal Fabrication

Julia Drazic  – Upholstery Design, Fabrication and Apparel

In order to compete socially within your current psychological homeostasis, I have started a Facebook page as my ‘real name’ ‘David Prism‘. It would be pleasant to me if you were to request my image and distant communicable responses as a ‘friend’, I would be so honored. I will be updating my Facebook page with information about our progress and hope to continue to add to its volume in the future with pictures of our shared escapades with human kind throughout our travels.

I speak for myself and crew as I say: we look forward to making contact.

Stay true in order to remain cool,

Commander Prism

of the Psychedelic Funk Groove Armada

The Cosmic Carousel

The Cosmic Carousel 2012: Budget Summary

Bearings                                          $500.00     purchased

Upholstery and foam                         $500.00     purchased

Metal forming work                         $1,100.00     purchased

Steel                                             $2,080.00     purchased

Aluminum                                      $4,960.00     purchased

Lighting and controllers                   $3,000.00

Acrylic Sheeting                                $600.00

Lumber                                             $740.00

Abrasives                                          $400.00

Welding Gas                                      $250.00    purchased

Welding wire                                       $200.00    purchased

Adhesives                                          $670.00

Fuel for transportation                          $550.00

Tolls for transportation                           $40.00

Generator Rental                                  $500.00

Trailer Rental                                     $1,000.00

Studio Rental, American Steel             $2,000.00    purchased

PURCHASED MATERIAL            =    $11,590.00

KICKSTARTER FUNDS               =     $7,500.00

TOTAL PROJECT EXPENSES    =    $19,090.00

This journey is partially self-funded. It will take the combined monetary efforts of others to make this magical craft spin. We want to make beautiful interactive pieces of art that have the ability to take the observer and/or participant to a different world. Any contribution you can offer will be greatly appreciated and utilized toward this goal. Sending love from within the universe to the universe, we thank-you and hope to make contact with you at some point in time; past, present and/or future.

Galaxy Magazine, July 2012                                                                             

The Cosmic Carousel: a human-made object for an alien world”

Direct from the Outa Funkassphere, deep inside the 27th dimension of the Prizmatic Galaxy, comes the Cosmic Carousel. This is its maiden voyage to Earth caring with it specific mission parameters: infect Earthlings with visual euphoria, laugher, smiles and child-like bliss. Flight commander, Prism from the Psychedelic Funk Groove Armada, has selected Burning Man 2012 for the Cosmic Carousel’s initial landing site testing human kind to see if they are ready for the power and message this craft has to share.

This magical spacey craft defies concepts of gravitational flow know of this third rock as it will balance upon a single thread. These inexplicable abilities are powered by secret silly sauce flavor flow energy particles, triggered by undulating gyroscopic movements from symbiotic intimacy with Humanoids. Those with an intrepid evolutionary spirit will be invited to climb aboard the Cosmic Caresoul, leaving behind any extra nasty unnecessary weight and lighten up! Their very own Earth-galactic funky people power propels the movements of this craft encouraging all to hang on, hang out and most importantly, have at it.

The Cosmic Carousel is the concept of MIchael Walsh, supported by the brilliant staff of: Elliot Shields, Jeremy Groznik, Kevin Carter, Big Jim, John Masters and Julia Drazic. Without their individual talents and funky ways spaced travel of this kind would be improbable. The Cosmic Carousel is one of many intergalactic constructions Mr. Walsh summons from the 32nd planet of the Prizmatic Galaxy, some 713 light years ….a hop…skip…and jump away.

The Cosmic Caresoul is a brushed aluminum sculptural form levitating just above the surface of its location. Form has nothing to do with function and everything to do with funkin. During the day it rests under the sun, serving as an inspiringly cosmic piece of sculpture, a visual gift of form and balance. During the night it comes alive as a kinetic interactive play thing for those whom wish to climb aboard and propel the 360 degree rotation by pulling on the centrally located wheel. The harder these Cosmonauts pull, the faster the Cosmic Caresoul will spin, sending all aboard on a voyage through the creative dimensions of the mind and faculty of the combined human spirit, for when upon the Cosmic Caresoul you are neither here nor there, you are simply are.

Reported by: Flexi Glass

$1,000 reward original sculpture by Michael Walsh. Dimensions: (2012)  (7.25 X 4.8” X5.9”) Dyed Nylon
$1,000 reward original sculpture by Michael Walsh. Dimensions: (2012) (7.25 X 4.8” X5.9”) Dyed Nylon

The Ultimate Art Car: Kuratas

We’re about to be 12 Burns into the 21st Century, and I think it’s safe to say that the robot age is well and truly upon us. First we had the Hand of Man. Then we have all kinds of drone activity being planned for this year. Now, anyone with a spare $1.35 million can make a big splash at Burning Man with the ultimate art car: the 13-foot high robot suit, Kuratas. It’s so cool it even has its own theme song:

It needs a paint job and some EL wire. At 4.5 tonnes, it should be pretty wind resistant. And it moves at Playa speed already. Well, you can crank it all the way to 6 MPH – but with this baby, is any cop going to try to ticket you for being 1 MPH over the limit? I don’t think so…

A Japanese electronics company has revealed a $1.2 million gun-wielding robot that can be controlled from your smartphone.

The KR01 Kuratas Battle Mech, or Kuratas for short, was unveiled by Suidobashi Heavy Industry in Tokyo yesterday at the Wonder Festival.

The diesel-powered machine stands four metres high and weighs a humble 4.5 tonnes, moving around on four wheels at a top speed of 10 km/h.

Unveiled ... the $1.2 million, 4.5 tonne KR01 Kuratas Battle Mech.

It sports a Gatling gun capable of firing 100 rounds a second (ball bearings, not bullets), which is activated via facial tracking technology when the pilot smiles. Suidobashi call this “the smile shot” – trigger happy indeed. 

Perhaps the most exciting feature of this behemoth is the fact that the “pilot” can control it from the safety of their smartphone. An app, known as the MasterSlave control system, will allow smartphones and tablets full control of the device when connected to a 3G network.  

The beast can also be controlled from inside the cockpit, where augmented reality-style controls are overlaid on a display of the outside world. Motion sensor technology allows the pilot to move the torso, arms and hands via 30 hydraulic joints. Kuratas can also grab and pick up things with its claw-like fingers.

The exterior of the Kuratas, which features “shot-proof” armour, is reminiscent of Japanese anime that features giant robots or “mecha”, such as Gundam and video games such as MechWarrior. Comparisons were also quick to emerge between it and the Mitsubishi MK-6 Amplified Mobility Platform (aka AMP suit) in James Cameron’s epic Avatar, not to mention Robocop.

Kuratas can play nice as well as naughty, and can be programmed to perform such duties as firefighting and cleaning. It comes in 16 different colours, and will be made to order, including a $90 optional cup holder in the cockpit.

Suidobashi Heavy Industry have been working on the robot since 2010, and created a similar prototype earlier this year that was controlled partially with Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. 

Read more:

The artist, Kogoro Kurata, working away in a secret mountain lair in anime-mad Japan, has previously produced a 13-ft mech suit and a Steampunk Laptop. It’s a fully functional laptop, with mechanical keys, a wooden space bar, and a stylish Morse key over the trackball. It’s even got USB, Ethernet, and all the modern trimmings.

He sounds like a bad ass to me, let’s hope he’s a Burner. Robotics expert Wataru Yoshizaki also worked on the piece.

Here’s some more coverage from CNET:

Kuratas is a four-wheeled, 30-joint exoskeleton that can be piloted from its cockpit or remotely with a 3G touch-screen phone. It was demoed at the Wonder Festival, where legions of robot fans gathered.

Kuratas can move its massive torso, arms, and hands, and has a few “weapons” like a “LOHAS launcher,” but it actually shoots BB pellets and fireworks. It can also grab things (like humans) with its claw-like fingers.

After all, Kuratas is billed as an “art project” but it “makes your dream of becoming a robot pilot come true,” as a promo video tells us.

The man behind it is metalworking wizard Kogoro Kurata, who is known for creating a full-scale cast-iron model of a Scopedog mecha from the 1980s series “Votoms.”

Kurata has also done a variety of art and commercial design work in recent years in and around Tokyo. He assembled the robot in a remote garage in the mountains.

Kuratas is a case of life imitating art. It evokes the realism of Votoms and the Gundam animation franchise that debuted in 1979.

Inside the cockpit, AR-style info is overlaid over the video feed. Game-style controls rotate the torso and move the arms. The exterior has “shot-proof armor” and is painted with military-style insignias.

Suidobashi Heavy Industry’s logo, meanwhile, recalls those of Japanese weapons and shipbuilding conglomerates like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

It’s unfortunate that fireworks are illegal in Nevada and that includes Burning Man, because those  smile-activated cannons look like they could be a whole lot of fun.

Maybe James Cameron IS John Connor? He warned us of this almost 30 years ago: Terminator came out in 1984. It seems the Japanese are already considerably ahead of the US in this type of technology. Maybe some enterprising Burners can make a Kuratas in their garage, and even the score.

No word yet on if the Iron Crow of Kuratas will have more power than the Hand of Man