Burners, Burners, Everywhere…

global_regionals_mapThanks to Burning Man’s social alchemist Bear Kittay for posting this one. Click the link below to see a map of Regional Events around the planet. Burner culture is starting to spread, a disorganized organization with a great deal of human potential. Party on, world!


burning_man in laThe global population of Burners is estimated by these guys at 64,319. That means Burners.Me, after one year in existence, is being followed by about 25% of all Burners. I’m not so sure about these stats though – maybe they mean “Population of Regional Burners”. A more accurate comparison might be towards the official Burning Man community page on Facebook, which has 417,974 Likes. Which puts us at a mere 4%. Last estimate I heard about JRS (the Jacked Rabbit Speaks) was above 100,000 email addresses, if anyone has more accurate data please let us know.

There is a glaring hole in Burning Man’s global dominance: South America. As I write this I’m in Cartagena, Colombia – which I think would be a great place for a Burn. I’ve met random people down here who asked “have you ever been to Burning Man?”…so the demand is there. And a rich history of beautiful people with beautiful costumes, such as at Carnaval. They would probably have to accept feathers though…

Another glaring omission is the Moon, but the always pioneering Robot Heart seem to have that one covered!

robot heart on the moon

Burnal Equinox 2013 is Coming!

by Whatsblem the Pro

The Machine - Photo by Douglas Hope Hooper

The Machine – Photo by Douglas Hope Hooper


Burnal Equinox is coming up once again on Saturday, March 2nd, halfway between Burning Man 2012 and Burning Man 2013. There will be multiple celebrations of the Equinox in various parts of the world, under various names; Portland, Oregon, for instance, has their annual Halfway Home party.

There’s even a virtual Burnal Equinox held online as part of Burn2 in Second Life. . . which is a bit of a full-circle proposition, as Linden Labs founder Phillip Rosedale was originally inspired by his experiences at Burning Man, which he first attended in 1999.

As far as events go, the main hoopla seems to be in San Francisco, which has been holding Burnal Equinox events since 2006, and at the Nevada City, California event, now in its third year.

The San Francisco event, billed this year as an “art salon and mixer,” is themed. The 2013 theme for SF’s Burnal Equinox is “Technology as Savior,” which is explained in more depth here:

Through a multitude of technological devices we have expanded our sense of what is real, what is possible, how we relate and what we find gratifying. We can text one another instantaneously across oceans, meet online and converse with groups of strangers at any given moment about the trajectory of asteroids, express our opinions to political leaders via on-line petitions, and expand our social network of “friends” seemingly without limit! We watch reality shows about other people’s lives and create virtual versions of ourselves as we fly through the Interwebs in enhanced real-time. Miraculous devices have become so ingrained in who we are, how we work, think and relate that we could not imagine life without them or the immediacy and satisfaction they offer. And why would we?! Technology is SAVING our economy and way of life, even as it reinvents everything! That is its magic! That is the miracle! It reinvents itself and our relationship with it in mysterious and accelerating ways! There is no problem Technology cannot help with. Nothing Technology cannot and will not do to enhance our lives and save us from any number of impending destructions! Technology WILL SAVE US, even as it helps us relate to one another in better and more convenient ways!

The San Francisco event will be held from 7PM to 3AM at Public Works, 161 Erie Street, SF, CA 94103 (between Division & 14th St. in the Mission). Please note that this is a 21 and over venue. Tickets are $20 at the door, or $15 with donation of art supplies for Hospitality House’s art program, which puts art supplies in the hands of the homeless and indigent. Supplies especially needed are watercolor brushes and paints, watercolor 140’ paper, quality marker sets, canvases, working sewing machines with all necessary parts included, and craft and jewelry supplies.

For more information about the San Francisco Burnal Equinox event, please visit the Flambé Lounge 2013 special events page.

According to Marketing and Community Outreach Committee member Coryon Redd, the Nevada City event, which is not themed, began in 2011 as a concert by the band Albino. At the urging of local burners, it was expanded into a full-blown burner event with the help of Gretchen Bond, director of the Miners’ Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City, California.

Redd will be running an event at Burnal Equinox called “Jedi Training School.”

I also spoke with the Nevada City event’s archivist, Kathleen Hoffmann, who gave me this snippet of history: “Our event started in 2011 and has grown larger every year. In 2012 the event doubled in participation. This year we joined with Sacramento Valley Spark, a non-profit organization of and for the burner community.”

I asked Kathleen what she has in store for us. “This year,” she says, “the event is busting at the seams with bands, fire effects and performances, theme camps, art cars, gifting, performance artists and SHENANIGANS!”

From the Nevada City Burnal Equinox press release:

Gold Country Burnal Equinox will be a celebration of self-expression and creativity inspired by the Burning Man event, complete with art, fire performers, fashion shows, costumes, and theme camps. It all takes place at The Miners Foundry, located at 325 Spring Street in Nevada City.

Three stages of entertainment will feature live music, DJs, and performance art. Bring yourself and be yourself. Playa wear is welcome and encouraged. This all-day event begins at 2:00 p.m. and continues until 1:00 a.m. Tickets are $20 in Advance and $25 at the door.

Uchronia - Photo by Douglas Hope Hooper

Uchronia – Photo by Douglas Hope Hooper

Advance tickets are available online from Vendini and Nevada City Box Office. You can also call Nevada City Box Office for tickets at (530) 265-5462, or buy them in person at the Briar Patch Co-Op, 290 Sierra College Drive, Suite A, in Grass Valley.

If you are interested in contributing, volunteering, performing or have questions, please email burnale2013@gmail.com

For more information please visit: http://sacvalleyspark.org/?page_id=686


Is your community having a Burnal Equinox event? Tell us about it in the comments!

Burners in Brooklyn: Artists Bringing Art Cars to the Wider World

The Brooklyn Paper has published a story on veteran Burner and visionary artist, Yarrow Mazzetti. I first met Yarrow in 2010 when I camped with the Overkill crew, he’s a great guy and builds some of the raddest art cars out there – the Fish Tank, the Lady Bugs, and many more.

Fish Tank at Fertility 2.0

Fish Tank at Fertility 2.0

A metalwork artist is creating high-octane art by driving a bit of Burning Man into Brooklyn.

Artist Yarrow Mazzetti is turning the “art car” phenomenon of the funky desert art festival into big business here — and the outlandish Burning Man-style sculpted vehicles that he creates in his Williamsburg garage are turning heads around the city.

“These are ridiculous sculpture concept cars,” said Mazzetti, who builds anywhere from two to 15 fanciful vehicles in any given year.

Mazzetti’s own personal transportation is one of these cars, a tricked-out Sacramento limousine service dubbed the “Batlimo” by his Tribeca neighbors.

Some Lady Bugs with their Mother Ship, Freeform Festival NJ 2012

Some Lady Bugs with their Mother Ship, Freeform Festival NJ 2012

Each Lady Bug has its own generator and sound system, and 3000 LED lights in its shell. Yarrow transports them around the country in a custom designed Lady Bug-mover semi trailer – every time I see him there’s more Lady Bugs, the last count I heard was 15. Everybody LOVES the Lady Bugs.

The Fish Tank’s design shows the experience of its creators in building the “right” kind of Art Car. It is surely one of the most interactive art cars on the Playa. Anyone can jump on it and have a good time – as long as you can run fast enough to catch it! It’s not a bus, after all…

Significantly, Yarrow is bringing his art cars to other events beyond Burning Man. One of the Fish Tanks was in the Houston Art Car parade last year, and another one in the Reno

Lady Bugs at Double-Seven at the Gansevoort Hotel, NY, October 2012

Lady Bugs at Double-Seven NY, Oct 2012

Art Car show; some of the Lady Bugs were at the Freeform Festival in New Jersey and Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. And these art cars just love to tear up the streets of South Beach during Art Basel in Miami – the Fish Tanks have been painted by Red Bull challenge champion street artist and Burner Hans Haveron.

Both the Lady Bugs and the Batlimo had major roles to play in lighting up the darkness of Lower Manhattan, during Hurricane Sandy.

Yarrow, who on occasion can seem like a caricature of himself, builds his vehicles as caricatures of their owners. Who obviously have a good sense of humor, healthy egos, and booming bank accounts: expect to pay this artist $100,000+ for one of his creations:

Yarrow Mazzetti driving one of his Lady Bugs

Yarrow Mazzetti driving one of his Lady Bugs

Mazzetti says that what for many people is a part-time hobby to indulge in the months leading up to the annual desert festival at the end of August, has become a full-time trade for him in New York, where people pay him big bucks to create art cars to keep the whimsical Burning Man spirit alive year-round.

“People have gotten so much life force out of the experience that those who have the means want to give back to the spirit so that other people can receive what they found at Burning Man for themselves,” he said. “So they fund art cars.”

The fully customized cars start at around $100,000 — and the price goes up from there.

Mazzetti says he tries to get to know the owners first before creating what he hopes will be an authentic automotive reflection of them.

All the cars are designed in a way to be a caricature of the owner,” said Mazzetti. “We usually hang out or take a trip, go somewhere or go skiing, and during that time we’d talk about what they’re trying to do. Do you want it for your friends, to pick up girls, a party car, a light car, transportation car? I try to find out what makes them tick. A lot of times I’ll ask what their spirit animal is.”

nautilusAlthough the price might seem high, it’s not out of the ballpark: last year’s Playa Force One spaceship was rumored to cost $450,000; the entrance door alone on Christopher Bently’s library-equipped Nautilus cost upwards of $20,000.

If you’ve got the money to burn, trust me, you’re going to have way more fun with an art car than a Ferrari.

Congratulations to Yarrow and his team for getting much-deserved publicity for their ingenious creations.

Look out for this “Bat Limo” on the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan

Some of the other art cars mentioned in this story, not built by Yarrow. Here’s the door from the Nautilus:

Here’s Playa Force One – the “engines” on the wings are speakers, the wings fold down and the party begins.

Playa Force One - photo by Tomas Loewy

Playa Force One – photo by Tomas Loewy