Video

History is Happening: Let’s Bring This To Burning Man

rap-news-juice-media-courage-is-contageous-dekade-z-interview1

Juice Media channels Die Antwoord in the latest Rap News. It’s brilliant.

Forget “class warfare” and petty hooliganism. Fuck Fight Club: we can’t solve the world’s problems with the same kind of thinking that created them. Let’s hold a mirror up to those at the top of the pyramid with ART. Let’s get these guys out to the Playa.

The Melbourne-based duo Hugo and Giordano believe that “courage is contagious”.

From Media Roots:

juice rap newsAn age-old question among activists and the media is how to grab an audience’s attention and hold it. In a society accustomed to twitter feeds, blog hosting, sound bites and news that serves to either placate viewers with entertainment or alarm them beyond reason, knowing how to engage people on serious issues can be quite the challenge.

In order to reach a culture that is over saturated with sensationalism and new technology, one thing though, is for sure– you have to be creative.

Many people would rather be mindlessly entertained than learn about depressing news. So why not use entertainment to inform the masses?  Inspired to combine music and news-room journalism, two European expatriates living in Australia combined their powers of lyrically creative brilliance, comical acting and historical and political knowledge to form the eccentric character Robert Foster– host of Rap News.

Read the full interview here.

Hugo and Treats performed their live show in Australia at the Eclipse2012 festival, which was attended by many Burners.

Double Rainbow video

Do you like hugs?

Please Like and Share if you want to see these guys perform live at Burning Man 2015.

Support the cause and Donate to keep the Rap News coming.

Watch the other videos on the Juice Media YouTube channel.

rap news pyramid

Gurning Man Festival Declared a Success

re-blogged from wundergroundmusic:

A festival which debuted this year has been declared a success by attendees and promoters alike.  The Gurning Man festival, an event which sees a twenty metre tall wicker man gurned to the ground as its epic finale, was held in the Mojave Desert in Southern California last week.

“It’s like a Mecca for nudists and hippies,” said event organiser Flip Chaste of El Primo Promotions. “Not in the sense that nudists and hippies flock here, more in the sense that people spend a lot of time on their knees with their faces on the ground. Usually due to dehydration and copious amounts of mescaline.”

He added, “There is a real sense of community here. There has to be, I suppose, as we’re out in the middle of the desert with nothing but yurts, drugs and sunscreen. If you need anything, you have to figure out a way to get it from someone else.”

“We operate a barter system,” he continued. “We find this avoids such unnecessary inconveniences as people buying things they don’t need, like Native American Headdresses, obnoxious sunglasses and food. One man brought a large bag of coke and has managed to trade it for water, toilet roll and handjobs for example.”

“However, the man who brought a large tank of water has managed to acquire a palatial home in the Californian hills. People get desperate when they’re thirsty and suffering from sunstroke.”

Flip was quick to point out the flaws of having a festival of self expression in the desert, “You can’t walk ten metres without tripping over a sizzling hippie or walking face first into a tit. I think the attendees think “self expression” means “get your bits out”. Either that or everyone is just losing it because of the heat.”

“There have been some tragedies,” he offered while looking down in a moment of solemn tribute. “One man this year has suffered first degree gurns. The medics were quick to treat him, however he will never regain the use of his jaw.”

The event culminated in the gurning of the wicker man, where all who attend gurn their way through the large effigy.  Three people are still stuck inside the icon and are expected to stay there until next year as they are hippies and have no jobs to go to.


 

For more gurning – “the most beautiful and majestic sport in the history of Mankind” – click here.

Boycott Commodification – or Just Give Us Your Money [Updates]

Thanks to our eagle-eyed readers who spotted this post at The Burning Blog Voices of Burning Man. It seems they posted it, and as soon as there was a critical comment, yanked it again. Not before one sharp Burner could capture it, though; thanks Grey Coyote.

The irony of their Minister of Propaganda being censored on the Voices of Burning Man is one of their best jokes yet.

It seems they are trying very hard to shut down any discussion of Commodification Camps, preferring Burners talk about Halcyon’s Mom instead. Or maybe they don’t want to piss off Billionaire Burner (and Amazon founder) Jeff Bezos.

If you don’t want to donate a share of your Amazon purchases to BMOrg, they accept stock transfers now too.


 

November 27, 2014      | Filed under Participate!.
Black Friday? Well, if you must …
Posted by Will Chase

We’re not huge fans of Black Friday, which puts the unseemly side of rampant consumerism on exhibition, shamelessly turning over-consumption into a spectator sport.

Yep, it’s like that.

Not to get all sanctimonious, but we prefer “Buy Nothing Day”, which was invented in 1992 by Vancouver artist Ted Dave, and subsequently given amplification by the folks at Adbusters (all hail Adbusters, who also initiated the Occupy movement).

It’s simple to participate: buy nothing on Black Friday. Well, it can be less than simple of course — sometimes you find yourself in a pinch, and you gotta buy diapers for the little one. But a massive flat screen TV? An X-station-Wii box? Pass. You get the idea.

Instead, we’ll get all hippy and stuff and — brace yourselves — make gifts for our family and friends. Or not. Sometimes we go for a hike in the fresh air or something. But we’re sure as hell not going to set foot in a box store.

Sure, it may be the equivalent of pissing in the ocean, but it’s something. And it feels as good as it is quixotic.

Now, if you’re committed to playing your part in America’s capitalist dream, great — have at it. But if you do, maybe consider making some good stuff happen with your purchasing power? If you’re shopping on Amazon, do it through AmazonSmile, and Amazon will donate .5% of your sale price to the Burning Man Project, supporting our year-round efforts to share Burning Man culture with the world. You get your stuff, and more people get to experience Burning Man. Win win.

Either way, however you roll, we wish you and yours a happy holiday season.

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, then transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009 to become Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He’s the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Voices of Burning Man blog, and content manager for Burning Man’s websites. He also manages the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social networking efforts.

One thought on “Black Friday? Well, if you must …”

Grey Coyote says:
November 27, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I can’t believe it, Will. Are you freakin’ serious? Given everything the BMORG has been caught at recently (ie, selling out to Commodification Camps, scalping tickets from STEP to “special VIPs” at far beyond face value, having a board member RUNNING such a camp, etc, etc, etc) you have the nerve to pen this:

“…Now, if you’re committed to playing your part in America’s capitalist dream, great — have at it. But if you do, maybe consider making some good stuff happen with your purchasing power?If you’re shopping on Amazon, do it through AmazonSmile, and Amazon will donate .5% of your sale price to the Burning Man Project…”

No thanks. Not a PENNY for the BMORG until they ANSWER THE QUESTION.


 

[Update 11/27/14 10:10pm] Grey Coyote has done a nice job re-wording Will’s post, from a more Burner-y perspective:

———-

Burners are not huge fans of Commodification Camps, which puts the unseemly side of rampant consumerism on exhibition, shamelessly turning over-consumption into a spectator sport.

Yep, it’s like that.

Not to get all sanctimonious, but we prefer “Radical Self Reliance” which was invented in 1998 by a group of burners and subsequently given amplification by the folks on Eplaya and http://www.burners.me  (all hail Burners.me, who also initiated the BMORG Accountability movement).

It’s very simple to participate: Shun all commodification Camps. Well, it can be less than simple of course — sometimes you find yourself in a mood, and you gotta whip out a can of whup-ass for the little people. But a toilet that flushes? A sherpa to shine your shoes? Pass. You get the idea.

Instead, you guys could get all hippy and stuff and — brace yourselves — make a real camp and actually interact with your Burner family and friends. Or not. Sometimes ya just gotta get out the water balloons and go for a hike out by Avenue K. But we’re sure as hell are not going to set foot in a CommieCamp.

Sure, it may be the equivalent of pissing in the ocean, but it’s something. And it feels as good as it is quixotic. Rich fuckers paying 20 grand to hide from the dust. Epic FAIL.

Now, if you’re committed to playing your part in America’s capitalist dream, great — have at it. But don’t do that shit on the playa. If you do, you’re a Fair Target, and we are watching.  Your ass may be jumped by a bunch of Burners with weed-blowers, tar and feathers. If you’re camping with a Commodification Camp, you’re fair game and its open season.  It doesn’t matter if you’re “donating” part of your ticket price to the Larry Harvey Retirement Project, you’re still a total chump in our book.  You’re not supporting the year-round efforts to share Burning Man culture with the world. Instead you’re getting a turnkey camping experience complete with hookers and blowjobs and sherpas to wipe your ass.  This isn’t how you should experience Burning Man.

However you commodifiers ultimately choose to roll, rest assured your Burner Bretheren can’t wait to meet you on the playa.  We wish you a happy holiday season. Try the caviar.  Feel free to choke on it.  See you in the dust.


 

[Update 11/28/14 12:36pm]

They’ve trotted out Halcyon to try again, with the warm fuzzy version:

http://blog.burningman.com/2014/11/tenprinciples/gifting-vs-gift-exchange/

 

Video

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s a Turkey Camp

Some members of the Lost Hotel sent us this video as an example of how interactive they were, handing out coffees and smoothies. Other Burners contacted us to point out that almost everyone in the video is wearing a wristband.

.

Surely “free coffee” would lead to lines longer than those for the $4 lattés at Center Camp?

Center Camp price list, 2011. image: Neil Girling/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Center Camp price list, 2011. image: Neil Girling/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Burners lining up for commercial transactions. Image: Masha/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Burners lining up for commercial transactions, 2007. Image: Masha/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Lost Hotel and Caravancicle were built by the same people, using the same canvas cube technology; one group paid the sherpas of the other. Lost Hotel scored a Red on the MOOP map.

 

2013 Charity Results Released [Update]

Last weekend, Burning Man Arts – the new organization that is a merger between two of the non-profits in BMOrg’s empire, Black Rock Arts Foundation and the Burning Man Project –  threw its Eighth annual Artumnal Gathering event.

I would love to be able to tell you the story of what a great job Burning Man’s non-profit subsidiary is doing in supporting the Arts, how much money it gives to poor artists and how little it keeps for itself.

Sadly, that story would be a fairytale: the evidence paints a different picture.

Today, the IRS Form 990 filing for 2013 for BRAF was released. We’re still waiting on BMP’s information, when it’s available I will write another post.

Their overall efficiency score was 20% – meaning that if you give $1 to the Arts via BRAF, only 20 cents of it will go the Arts. The rest is absorbed into salaries and overheads.

Here is an updated table of their giving for the previous 7 years:

Black Rock Arts Foundation Assets Revenue Expenses Profit Grants Efficiency
2013 $626,574 $508,442 $428,860 $79,582 $101,556 20.0%
2012 $560,917 $621,359 $477,525 $143,834 $114,449 18.4%
2011 $588,129 $735,147 $577,706 $157,441 $219,080 29.8%
2010 $392,205 $478,567 $461,961 $16,606 $169,274 35.4%
2009 $364,588 $405,762 $278,003 $127,759 $80,349 19.8%
2008 $237,910 $439,353 $498,831 -$59,478 $105,906 24.1%
2007 $268,433 $532,346 $352,662 $179,684 $116,790 21.9%
Total $560,917 $3,212,534 $2,646,688 $565,846 $805,848 25.1%
Burning Man Project
2013
2012 $368,249 $591,672 $259,925 $331,747 $36,378 6.1%

The total amount of money the charity raised in 2013 dropped 20% from 2012. They kept their salaries about the same, and reduced the amount that actually gets paid out in grants.

Gifting

2012: $114,449

2013: $101,566

Gifting dropped by 11.3%.

The grant money was split between Individuals (US and non-US), and Organizations.

Individuals (US): $36,370

Organizations (US): $46,696

Individuals (non-US): $18,500

16 un-named individuals split $36,370; 11 got an average of $1,306 each, and 5 received larger awards, $4,400 average.

The overseas figure is made up of $12,500 to the Czech Republic, split between 2 recipients; and $6,000 to someone in London.

Of the Grants to US Organizations, the breakdown is:

The Exploratorium $10,000

The Box Shop $6,000

Urban Matter, Inc $6,000

Engineered Artworks Ltd $11,100

The $10,000 is a mere drop in the bucket to the Exploratorium, which raised $40 million in 2012 and has $138 million of assets. But it is the second largest grant handed out by BRAF, representing almost 10% of their total grant allocation.

12 works of art were donated to the group, recorded as a non-cash contribution of $50,000 – $4,166 each.

The charity still sits on most of the money given to it. Net Assets increased 15.7%:

Net Assets

2012: $507,753

2013: $587,335

They ended the year with $478,088 in cash – 4.7 times what they gave out to artists.

Almost half of the organization’s revenues went to salaries, which increased slightly:

Salaries (% of revenues)

2012: $209,461 – 33.7%

2013: $211,491 – 41.6%

This was more than double the amount of funds they paid out to the cause they represent.

They were charged $40,000 for accounting costs – a number that seems extraordinarily high, for filling out a 34 page form. More than $1000 per page – and many of the pages are blank. I wonder if the charity was forced to shoulder some of the burden of the complexities related to their “transition to a non-profit” – which included carving out the only real assets of the business, its trademarks and related royalty streams, to Decommodification LLC, a new for-profit company owned by the 6 remaining founders of Burning Man.

Note that the overall “non-profit” group paid a staggering $1.43 million to its accountants and lawyers in 2013, according to their Afterburn report.

BRAF paid $25,154 for rent and office expenses, $1,707 for travel, and $4,303 for insurance.

Like BMP, there are 18 directors of BRAF. Each put in 2 hours per week – except for Freddy Hahne (President) and Tracy Burton (Treasurer), who commit 4 hours each. Of Burning Man’s 6 remaining founders, only Larry, Harley, and Will & Crimson are listed as contributing their time to BRAF.

BRAF’s Artumnal was their only fundraising event during the year.

According to the IRS form, BMP Director Chris Bently’s building charged a whopping $8,345 for the use of the Bently Reserve venue: 8.1% of the money that was raised at the event. Mr Bently inherited the $47 million building and many other assets including a $45 million coin collection and a 50,000 acre cattle ranch.

The 2013 Artumnal Gathering grossed $185,780.

$38,684 was spent on food.

$33,315 was spent on entertainment. Some of the entertainers (listed below) are salaried employees of BMOrg.

$102,936 went to BRAF as contributions. For any sponsors wondering how much of their Artumnal ticket or table donation is tax-deductible, it appears to be 55% – but don’t take my word for it, I’m not an accountant. You should seek independent, professional advice, rather than telling the IRS “Burners.Me is my financial advisor”.

Since $101,566 was the amount actually gifted by the Black Rock Arts Foundation over the course of the entire year, basically the Artumnal raises all the money that goes to the artists.

You can see the IRS Form 990 for the Black Rock Arts Foundation here. Hopefully when they release the 2013 Form 990 for the Burning Man Project, it will tell a much better story, one of generously passing donations given to them on to the artists.


[Update 11/25/14 10:12am] Burn After Reading magazine brings us a report from the event, which (ironically) was shut down by a fire alarm.

[Update 12/14/8:15pm] See All We Want For Chri$tma$ Is Your Money for links to further analysis we’ve done on the charitable performance of “we call the whole thing Burning Man”.


From blackrockarts.org:

Performers

Art and Installations

Flowers and Decor

  • Christina Pettigrew
  • Julz (Hookahdome)
  • Marcia Crosby
  • $teven Ra$pa

Photography

image: Eleanor Preger, Facebook

image: Eleanor Preger, Facebook