Scribe got the scoop of the year this year, with the news that Burning Man is charging $150,000 for Vogue photo shoots, and profiting from DVD and soundtrack sales from their movie Spark: A Burning Man story. Then he decided he was going to just shut up and enjoy the Burn, trusting that Larry and Marian would do the right thing by all Burners. He still cares though, and took to his paper’s blog to point out to us that the latest BMOrg announcement of “What’s Up With The Burning Man Project?” is a disappointment:
In a series of stories earlier this year, I outlined how the board that controls Burning Man doesn’t appear to be “relinquishing our control” over the event, as founder Larry Harvey announced would be happening in 2014. And if you want more proof of his bait-and-switch, check out this new blog post by spokesperson Will Chase on the Burning Man Project. Far from taking over the $23 million business, the new entity seems to have less going on that its predecessor off-shoot,Black Rock Arts Foundation. As I previous wrote, I’ve moved on, but I thought you’d enjoy the links anyway.
What is actually up? Well, if you donate your own money, you can help fund the “Founders” travelling around the world giving lectures:
Burning Man Project received its 501c3 status as a charitable organization in May 2012, has been getting its administrative house in order and is starting to make things happen. We’re wading into deeper waters now, taking on projects on a variety of topics. We wanted to take a minute to highlight a few of the recent ones.
In November, the Burning Man Project joined Columbia University’s Department of Religion and Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life to present a free forum on Burning Man, technology, religion and the future, featuring panelists Larry Harvey (founder of Burning Man), John Perry Barlow (founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and Peter Hirshberg (disruptive cultures and technology expert). Dr. David Kittay of Columbia’s Department of Religion moderated a lively conversation about Burning Man as a philosophical movement, its history, and its predicted global applications.
More than 300 turned out for the two hour-long discussion and Q&A session.
I met Dr Kittay at his first Burn, just a couple of years ago. It’s unclear to me exactly what role he, Barlow, and Hirshberg play in the Burning Man story as “Founders”. But, donate anyway.
We’re looking to offer traveling symposia like this in more cities around the world as part of the Project’s education programming. They’re an ideal way to share the wisdom of Burner values with the academic community and beyond.
“Share the wisdom of Burner values with the academic community”? Well, if you really think that’s the same as “taking Burning Man to the world”, donate.
Burning Man Project collaborated Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock City, The Crucible, Exploratorium, and Maker Faire to work with Burner artist Dana Albany and kids from San Francisco’s Tenderloin and Hunters Point neighborhoods to build a 12′ diameter 10′ high space ship from repurposed and found objects.
Y.E.S. is a mobile spaceship classroom and collaborative art project that gave the kids experience creating and exhibiting their creation, which has gone on tour to Burning Man, the Exploratorium, Hunter’s Point Open Studios, and Maker Faire in San Mateo.
A bunch of kids re-cycled some existing materials to build an art car – cool. Please donate so Burning Man can take the Art Car to other cities. Of course, if you want to take your own art car to other cities, Do Not Use The Words Burning Man.
I checked out this spaceship at Burning Man this year, I thought it was great. If I was going to kick money into a spaceship though, it would probably be my own art car that I would fund myself to bring to Burning Man. It’s hard to see how funding someone else’s art car to go to non-BM events, helps bring Burner culture to the world and makes the world a better place.
Earlier this month, Burning Man Project hosted a free panel discussion on trends in the sharing economy. Crowdfunding and the sharing economy reflect our principles of gifting, communal effort, civic responsibility and decommodification, and we brought together Kate Drane from Indiegogo, Daniel Miller fromFundrise, and Harry Pottash from Kiva to talk about the future of crowdfunding.
More than 50 people turned out to discuss the state of crowdfunding, the challenges they’ve faced, and new ideas on how this movement can be used to empower underprivileged projects through the democratization of fundraising.
50 people went to a panel discussion that has nothing to do with Burning Man. Crowdfunding is not Gifting or Decommodification. The topic, Crowd Funding, was recently heartily bashed on Burning Man’s official blog (unofficially, according to the author). Please donate to Burning Man’s not-so-new charity, so that people from Indiegogo can put on more panel discussions.
Really, BMOrg? After 3 years, this is it? This is your vision for how the big rave called Burning Man is going to help the world? Reinvest the profits back into Black Rock Solar and be done with it. Let Burners save their hard-earned money to spend on costumes, art cars, and art projects that we bring for free to increase the monetization potential of your party.