“Davos Is Burning Man With Clothes” – Sergey Brin

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Google Co-Founder and Billionaire Burner Sergey Brin, rumored to be one of the Anonymous donors backing Burning Man’s year round philosophy center/nude bathing retreat Flysalen, has chosen the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to show off his “cool kid” Burning Man credentials.


re-blogged from The Hollywood Reporter (because Switzerland is so close to Los Angeles)

Google Co-Founder: Davos World Economic Forum Is Like Burning Man “Except We’re All Wearing Clothes”

Sergey Brin, the president of Google parent company Alphabet, on Thursday lauded the technology company and Silicon Valley’s culture of pursuing new ideas and businesses, even if they don’t succeed, arguing that it allows for innovation and creativity.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in a session that was live-streamed, he said his first visit to the event in eight years reminded him a bit of Burning Man in Nevada.

“Not having been to Davos in eight years, I’m even confused in a good way, because there are all these business executives and CEOs and everybody wondering how are people going to find purpose and what about all these refugees, what about income inequality,” he said before drawing laughs by adding. “I kind of feel like I’m at Burning Man — almost, except we’re all wearing clothes.”

On a more serious note, Brin told the Davos crowd on Thursday that outside of the Forum, “oftentimes, there is a very antagonistic [relationship] between government and business,” which he said is “very unhealthy.” He called on all to focus on tackling issues “in a real collaborative way.”

He was also questioned about the culture at Alphabet/Google and Silicon Valley in general. “We are just lucky to have the environment that tolerates making lots of risky bets and tolerating the failures that inevitably result,” he said about the company.

In that context, he also shared that he thought about the idea for Google as part of his graduate student project at Stanford University and asked his advisor whether he should become an entrepreneur or finish his PhD, the advisor said: “Why not!? Go for it, and then if it doesn’t work out, you come back, you finish your PhD, which I am still planning on doing.”

Brin said “that mentality permeates Silicon Valley, and I think that’s one of the strengths that it’s not viewed so negatively to try something even if it doesn’t work out.”

Asked about Alphabet/Google’s key values, he said: “For whatever weird reason, maybe it’s because we are San Francisco hippies, Google has always had a little bit of that social responsibility view.” And he added: “It can’t be the case that companies such as ours are just purely profit motivated. … You can’t just think narrowly, this is your business, you are just going to maximize earnings, it doesn’t matter what else is going on around you.”

Image: Noah Zerkin, Twitter

Image: Noah Zerkin, Twitter

Asked if he had any idea where Google would go when he started it, Brin said: “I could not possibly have imagined.” 

What’s his advice for young people? Brin said “you should have fun” instead of thinking about an IPO from the start or trying to be number one in their field on a global basis, explaining: “I certainly had no dreams of economic success.” He concluded: “I would encourage young folks to take chances and pursue their dreams and try to silence out the voices that say well, actually there are a thousand startups trying to solve self-riding bicycles or whatever they happen to be doing.”

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]


We know most Burners would rather talk about refugees and income equality than LSD and Molly. Right? We’re not just partying, we’re actually making the world a better place…by partying.

I guarantee you there are after parties at Davos where you can find naked people. Perhaps Brin isn’t “in”?

google-machine-gunWhen Sergey described the “very antagonistic relationship between Government and Business”, was that based on his company having 427 meetings at the Obama White House, a “hand in glove” arrangement with the State Department, and its Billionaire Burner CEO being chairman of the Pentagon’s technology board and the top outside advisor for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential run? If that is antagonistic, I’d hate to see what “in the pocket” looks like. The close collaboration between corporations and government Sergey dreams of is also known as  “fascism”.

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Source: Quartz


Burning Man for Billionaire Bilderbergers

What other rave lets you see billionaire dicks swinging in the wind? If you want to see your Davos colleagues rock out with their shirt-cock out, invite them to Burning Man. Maybe they can connect with venture capitalists and hot new startups – even BMorg themselves have an incubator now, Black Rock Labs. Sergey will be there, sans vêtements, he’s the 13th richest guy in the world. Allegedly. If they’re lucky (or even unlucky, as long as they’re rich) then knowing the right insiders might swing them a VIP invite to the offsite. There’s a geyser (Ser-gey-ser?), where you can get naked in the hot springs. It’s called Radical Self Expression, and it’s life-changing. Transformative. You may be the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, but if you’ve never done Special K with supermodels at sunrise at Robot Heart then you’re living a false reality, a lie that you need to cast off so you can make the world a better place. Tune In to Larry Harvey and the Ten Principles, Turn On to liquid acid, and Drop Out of all those clothes that stop you from expressing who you really want to be. Come to the Burn, Man, and leave Transformed.

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How long until Google hosts an executive retreat at Flysalen? It’s probably already happened. Wonder if any goats were sacrificed.

 

Sergey’s speech this week is not the first time Burning Man has been linked to Davos, which has been called Burning Man for Billionaire Bilderbergers.

In 2014 BMorg told us about all the Burners at the World Economic Forum in Davos is Burning. Strangely, they didn’t think it was relevant to mention that Burning Man’s first Chief Technology Guru went from Black Rock City, Nevada to Davos, Switzerland, to set up all the tech for the World Economic Forum. A promotion for a job well done, perhaps?

hyperledger-s-executive-director-brian-behlendo-originalBrian Behlendorf, lead developer of Apache and creator of the SFRaves Mailing List, went from being Burning Man’s Chief Technology Guru to the same role for the World Economic Forum. Now he’s Chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (founded by CIA consultant John Perry Barlow) and on the board of crypto-messenger Wickr, along with Gilman Louie (founding CEO of CIA venture capital incubator In-Q-Tel, and former employer of Burning Man founders Carrie Galbraith and Kevin Evans), Jim Breyer (BBN Technologies, early Facebook investor), and former CIA man Joseph Detrani (President of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance). The CIA.gov web site runs on Brian’s Apache software.

Sergey Brin himself is no stranger to the CIA either. His claim above…

he thought about the idea for Google as part of his graduate student project at Stanford University and asked his advisor whether he should become an entrepreneur or finish his PhD, the advisor said: “Why not!? Go for it, and then if it doesn’t work out, you come back, you finish your PhD, which I am still planning on doing.”

Brin said “that mentality permeates Silicon Valley, and I think that’s one of the strengths that it’s not viewed so negatively to try something even if it doesn’t work out.”

…sounds sweet, and suits the mythology of Silicon Valley. A student was encouraged by his professor to drop out of college to become an entrepreneur, he took a risk and achieved great success through hard work, talent and luck. The American Dream! But he’s leaving out a pretty significant component, as Nafeez Ahmed from Insurge Intelligence revealed in his stunning 2015 report How The CIA Made Google: Inside The Secret Network Behind Mass Surveillance, Endless War, and SkyNet

The inside story of Google’s rise, revealed here for the first time, opens a can of worms that goes far beyond Google, unexpectedly shining a light on the existence of a parasitical network driving the evolution of the US national security apparatus, and profiting obscenely from its operation

Nafeez quoted Dr Bhavani Thuraisingham, who stated in 2013 “the Google founder Mr. Sergey Brin was partly funded by this program while he was a PhD student at Stanford”. After Nafeez’s article was published, Dr Thuraisingham dialed that back a little  – heat from the bosses, perhaps? This is from his revised update:

Prof. Jeffrey Ullman (at Stanford) and my colleague at MITRE Dr. Chris Clifton together with some others developed the Query Flocks System, as part of MDDS, which produced solutions for mining large amounts of data stored in databases. Also, Mr. Sergey Brin, the cofounder of Google, was part of Prof. Ullman’s research group at that time. I remember visiting Stanford with Dr. Rick Steinheiser from the Intelligence Community periodically and Mr. Brin would rush in on roller blades, give his presentation and rush out. During our last visit to Stanford in September 1998, Mr. Brin demonstrated to us his search engine which I believe became Google soon after.

 

Despite Dr Thuraisingham’s milquetoast clarification, the story of Google’s intelligence community origins has been independently corroborated by a second source, 20+ year CIA veteran Robert David Steele. Julian Assange wrote an entire book about it, excerpted here: Google Is Not What It Seems.

google guys.pngJust like CIA contractor Timothy Leary was presented before crowds at the 1967 Human Be-In as a leading voice of the counter-culture, so CIA contractor Sergey Brin is presented at Burning Man for Billionaires as the leading voice of the tech world (and hippies). Flower power reigns supreme! If you think endless war and mass surveillance by A.I.’s is cool, then Google is a pretty cool company. Neat-o! Come to Flysalen and learn how to be just like Sergey. Naked.

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Doodle, by ABC.XYZ

Last year 62 people had as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the world. Thanks to monetarism, that’s now only 8. Of these, 3 are connected to Burning Man: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison (his kids go). Of course, all of those have CIA ties as well. Zuckerberg went to an elite program for gifted children at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in Baltimore, Maryland – as did Sergey Brin and spirit cooking enthusiast Lady Gaga. Zuckerberg then “accidentally met on the street” Sean Parker, who was recruited by the CIA at 16. Parker introduced Zuckerberg to Don Graham, whose family owned the Washington Post – exposed by Carl Bernstein in 1977 as one of the key CIA propaganda assets in Operation MOCKINGBIRD. Graham took a board seat at Facebook, and later sold the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos for $250 million at almost exactly the same time that the CIA gave Amazon an unspecified $600 million deal  (just before Amazon released their Echo always-on listening device). Amazon CEO Bezos is also on the Pentagon technology board with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Larry Ellison was working for Ampex and the CIA on a database project they named Oracle, after the popular counter-culture magazine that organized the Human Be-In. He left to start his own company funded by a juicy contract with Oracle’s first customer: the CIA.

Silicon Valley’s mantra of “it’s OK to fail” is definitely enhanced when you are working for the military/intelligence community with 55% of the country’s discretionary budget.

 

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Alphabet and Pentagon Innovation Board Chairman Eric Schmidt at the 2016 Further Future Festival in Nevada, organized by the owners of Robot Heart. He claimed in his speech that he was wearing a new generation of bullet/laser-proof vest, recommended by the Defense Department because of the threat of laser weapons. Perhaps he was joking, but the laser threat is no joke. A Burning Man ranger was permanently blinded by a handheld laser in 2014

“Dear White People, Standing Rock Is Not Burning Man”

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It seems that the idea of “using The Ten Principles of Burning Man to make the world a better place” is not yet embraced by everyone else in the world.

screenshot-2016-12-01-01-35-18There has been a barrage of press this week about complaints that Burners are trying to turn the Dakota Pipeline protest at Standing Rock into Burning Man.

Some of the headlines:

The Independent (UK): Standing Rock: North Dakota access pipeline demonstrators say white people are ‘treating protest like Burning Man’

SF Chronicle: Standing Rock Activists Asking White People Not To Treat The Protest Like Burning Man

Daily Caller: White Hippes Descend on Standing Rock Protest, Treat It Like Burning Man

Papermag: White People Are Reportedly Treating the #NODAPL Protests Like Burning Man

Washington Times: Complaints Grow Over Whites Turning Dakota Access protest into hippie festival

Yes, the demonstrators have a new thing to protest about: Burners. The colonial subjects do not want to have a transformational experience from the colonists, they are quite happy with the culture that they already have – an ancient one sacred to them, principles that their people have risked their lives for centuries to defend.

GQ says:

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Opponents of the nearly-completed Dakota Access Pipeline have been confronted with some harrowing stuff during their ongoing occupation of Standing Rock Indian Reservation: pepper spraystrip searchesrubber bulletswater cannons, and now, as the calendar rolls over into December, plunging temperatures and the prospect of snow. It’s a volatile, dangerous situation, and the continued integrity of the demonstration will depend heavily on the exercise of restraint, sound judgment, and common sense. Unfortunately, your college roommate who was way too into Dave Matthews Band is apparently out there doing his best to fuck everything up. From the Independent:

People demonstrating at North Dakota’s Access Pipeline protest have expressed frustration at white demonstrators who are reportedly turning up to “colonise” the camp.

Concerns have been raised by protestors on social media, who claim that people are arriving at the Standing Rock demonstration for the “cultural experience” and treating it like Burning Man festival.

Yes, apparently some Johnny-come-lately Caucasian protesters have been comparing the protests to Burning Man, using donations to buy fluoride-free water, and—the cardinal sin of white people everywhere—playing their guitars around campfires. My fellow white people: do not do this shit! Standing Rock is not the place for you to embark on a meaningful spiritual journey to find yourself. 

If they are so inclined, it’s great for people to show their support for the tribe’s efforts to protect its water supply and preserve their traditional tribal burial grounds. But while it sounds there are plenty of non-tribal protestors in attendance who are doing things correctly, others need to learn some dang manners. 

Nobody wants to hear your songs with your guitar or drum around the fire” is an evergreen reminder, to be honest, but it especially applies to anyone who treats Standing Rock like it’s a friend of a friend’s housewarming party that they can crash.

[Source]

This is particularly amusing because BMorg have been boasting about how they have teams on the scene, including [former] Social Alchemist/House Bard Bear Kittay. If “playing guitars around campfires” was a middle name, it would be his…

 

As a rule we don’t share personal Facebook posts here, but in this case Bear was happy for his take on Standing Rock to be published on Medium, who bring us Bear Kittay From The Bismarck Airport Leaving Standing Rock (on a private plane, perhaps?):

Photo by Bear Kittay. Note their Principle “No Children in Potentially Dangerous Situations”, something the Org really needs to consider

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“Real, immediate dialogue. That is what we need. How can we create an environment where an indigenous person, gypsetter, and rust belter will be imbued with a sense of peership?

My experience of the microcosm of a cauldron that Standing Rock, in my brief visit there, has left me with much to ponder and digest. So many layers simultaneously coexisting.

Deep ancestral distrust, how can we begin to address the underlying fears and victimization?

On my journey to North Dakota I read “Quiet Thunder: The Wisdom of Crazy Horse” (thanks Michael Costuros) and was astounded to revisit, in chilling detail, the magnitude of the atrocities committed by the United States upon the Lakota Nation.

For all the focus we put on the inequities of the wider world, it struck me so deeply to look here into the history of our own land, and demystify the historical injustices, that were not from some far off historic time. For indeed, there is a through line that, very immediately connects the vile, systemic campaign against the Native Americans to the current moment of Standing Rock today.

I have tried to balance and remain agnostic from the many conspiracy theories that are in sprinkled around the Internet and spoken as if they are high truth. I believe this world is complex and that oversimplification can lead to the worst in human behavior.

So, can someone please give me an explanation as to why all of the major media companies are refusing to cover standing rock in earnest? It has all the telltale signs of conspiratorial activity, with huge corporate interests conspiring to suppress public outrage through misinformation and, even, fake news. If any of you that are reading this are deeply connected in the mainstream media, please use your influence to send field reporters.

Thank you to Seth BuntingElana Meta Jaroff and the many others who are on the front lines of this conflict vigilantly documenting and broadcasting the scene. Your work is making real impact, your courage is real.

This isn’t going to be one of those Facebook posts where I prescribe eloquent solutions or pruned emotional reflections — I’m sleep deprived, exasperated and very much in process.

If you’re reading this, I implore you to create conversation with those who may challenge you, trigger you, who you may easily judge, and subconsciously look down upon… get off of the Internet and receive the incredible gift of human connection outside of our affinity bubbles.

This is what the world needs. This is what our hearts need. This is but one facet in the many layers of Standing Rock as a metaphor for the front lines of our nation and indeed our world, in transition.

In love, and to the ongoing ceremony and prayer in our Greater Circle. Aho

And PS — it’s COLD AS HELL out there. Please consider the comfort of your warm home when making a donation to support the Water Protectors: http://www.ocetisakowincamp.org/

[Source]

I wondered if this “camp ocetisakowin” had anything to do with the Dakota Pipeline, or if it was some plug-n-play that BMorg had set up so they could fly execs in via their new airline. At first glance it looked like an anagram of “white ocean“…Turns out it’s the traditional name of the Sioux People and one of the largest camps up there. Among other things they’re seeking:

The sacred fire must be kept burning until it is guaranteed the water is protected for future generations.  One of our greatest needs for the winter will be wood.  It warms our lodges, cooks our food, heats the stones for our sweats. 

Tipis, winter liners, and poles

Yurts or other winter worthy structures

[Source]

Ask for yurts and help to keep the sacred fire burning and don’t be surprised if Burners show up! Perhaps they should’ve asked for ShiftPods…they could blast the pipeline away with that stadium-grade Funktion1 system.

Actually, the Daily Mail features “Burning Man-style” aerial photos…I see multiple Shift Pods. Where’s the DJ booth?

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[Source]

To be fair to Bear, the Standing Rock protestors were complaining about people treating it like Burning Man before he showed up:

Burbank Airport is a popular hub for General Aviation

Burbank Airport in Los Angeles is a popular hub for General Aviation, but an unusual departure location for an SF resident on a commercial flight

Tracing this story to its roots, it seems like the complaints about Burners started two weeks earlier, on November 14.

GQ quotes The Independent who plagiarize quote without attribution Counter Current News who quote Alicia Smith on Facebook.

Standing Rock has reportedly been overrun with white demonstrators trying to soak up the ‘cultural experience’

Demonstrators at North Dakota’s Pipeline protest have spoken out about the amount of white people who have turned up to “colonise” the camp.

The concerns have been raised by protestors in a series of tweets and Facebook posts. According to them, people have turned up to the Standing Rock demonstration to soak up the “cultural experience”, and are treating the camp like it is “Burning Man” festival or “The Rainbow Gathering”.

“They are coming in, taking food, clothing… and occupying space without any desire to participate in camp maintenance and without respect of tribal protocols,” said protestor Alicia Smith on Facebook. “I even witnessed several wandering in and out of camps comparing it to festivals. Waiting with big smiles expectantly for us to give them a necklace or an ‘indian’ name while our camp leader was speaking.”

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If you read our post Making Sense of the Non-Census (or did the Creepy Census) you will have encountered the term “2 Spirit”. I wondered what that was, now I know: someone who travels to sacred Indian land to scream at the Elders.

Burners Without Borders has been involved since at least October 28.

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There seems to be a battle going on of “which nerds should be the ones to collect donations to [*cough*] pass on to the protestors”. BWB director Chris Breedlove asked “where does this money go?” on Bear’s Facebook post asking for donations to ThriveAction.org , which redirects to thrivemarket.com, which says that the distribution really gets done by UpToUs.Net – which is a “coming soon” 1-page web site four months after raising $41,104 of their $75,000 goal for a “caravan to the DNC” . They have partnered with All It Takes, created by Divergent actress Shailene Woodley and her mom to send poor kids to training camps. It’s about 100% of their annual budget. Where does the money go? It’s complicated…

While I share Breedlove’s concerns and his intentions sound noble, it turns out Burners Without Borders are promoting their own preferred charity, in partnership with Patricia Arquette.
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Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing Burners Without Borders is supposed to be doing? The Burning Man Project has $7.5 million cash (at least, it did at the end of 2015). Why can’t they spare $80k for this project, if it’s so worthy? Why can’t they redistribute $1 from each of our tickets for this? Why are they promoting Patricia Arquette, who a couple of months ago was hating on Burning Man?

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Why does Burning Man with many millions have to wait for Patricia Arquette to raise tens of thousands before they can help the Sioux tribe in North Dakota? The tribe’s potty requirements presumably tick the Ten Principle boxes of “Immediacy”, “Civic Responsibility”, and (dare I say it) “Radical Self Expression”…meanwhile the existing portapotties are freezing up.

Perhaps They want to ameliorate the concerns Hollywood quasi-celebrities have about Burning Man’s environmental values by partnering with them on a composting toilets project. Whether such projects get funded enough and completed in time is not as important as the “optics”. Someone semi-famous who went to Burning Man once is making something happen, somewhere, somehow, coming soon. Woo-hoo! We’re saving the world with Larry’s Ten Principles, and OPM!

So far this “fund by Becca Dakini” has raised $30k of their $85k goal. I guess if there’s one thing Burning Man is good at, it’s managing dumps in remote locations…

porta-potty-blowdown

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In this case it’s not just Burners Without Borders and Burning Man raising money for toilets. It’s also people (and networks) from Do Lab, Symbiosis, Lucidity, their brand consultants, and “others” from the “global festival community”. Colonize turns out to be an apt word, since their “focus is on village building”:

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Protector’s Alliance is a unified platform and partnership effort of aligned organizations, skilled workers, producers and individuals from the global festival community. We are working to support front line environmental crisis and social justice conflicts. We gather accurate information about the needs of an action, manage a database and resource bank of our community’s assets, deploy and distribute resources effectively with a focus on “village building”. We support on the front lines with effective aid, skills, labor, infrastructure and tools, through an agile approach to fulfilling the emergent needs of actions. We are committed to working as allies, building pathways for inter-cultural cooperation, with cultural sensitivity training and education for our partners and affiliates to ensure appropriateness of our conduct towards nurturing respectful relationships and empowering peoples of place. Individuals and Organizations that are part of this alliance include the communities and networks of Burners Without Borders, Burning Man, Do LaB Inc, UPLIFT, Lucidity Festivals, Keyframe-Entertainment, ReInhabiting the Village, Take Root Productions and others
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Deploy and distribute resources effectively? Who’s counting that? Are they planning to build their villages on tribal land? And who are these unnamed “others” collecting all the databases? What happens to the data? Is it shared with the “Burning Nerds” or “Burning Man Earth” teams?
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Composting toilets might not be “fulfilling the emergent needs of actions” if the protest gets shut down next week like the Governor has ordered:

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On Tuesday, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department indicated that it would block delivery of food, medicine and other supplies to protesters who defy orders to leave the Oceti Sakowin camp. Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Monday ordered mandatory evacuation of the camp because of a predicted strong winter storm. 

 

The first blow to the camp’s security was an announcement last week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would shut an area to the public that includes the main camp. The corps said its decision was based on growing violence between police and protesters and the onset of cold weather.  

 [Source]
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Burner General Wesley Clark‘s son is leading 2000 unarmed Veterans up there to make a human shield. Frozen or not, shit’s about to get real. The Veterans group have raised nearly a million bucks on their GoFundMe. Like the Haiti earthquake, Standing Rock seems like a goldmine for all the helpers. How much of the money leaves the hands of the white folks non-indigenous groups and flows into the hands of the tribes is an open question. I didn’t notice any Indians amongst all these various fundraising entities.
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A search for “Standing Rock” on GoFundMe turns up thousands of fundraisers.
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All of these are still open, which begs the question “which will close first, the protests or the fundraisers?” Back in the day, people used to pay their own costs to protest for things they believe in.
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Another BWB-backed group called Red Lightning are setting up a real Burner-style camp there. You can send donations directly to them:
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Reality Sandwich, a site founded by Daniel Pinchbeck, today published a lengthy feature by Tamra Lucid “From Burning Man to Standing Rock”

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But now, 300 indigenous nations are there in Cannonball, North Dakota, protecting the water. Among them the Yaqui, Bianca’s tribe.

But Bianca has another tribe, too — she’s a Burner. Burners have been getting a bad reputation at Standing Rock because of some who treat it like just another festival. Burners who freeload, you know, tourists, or colonists. People who play guitar at campfire when they shouldn’t. People who explain when they should be listening. But they aren’t the only Burners at Standing Rock.

…I witnessed festival families showing up at Standing Rock.  Fortunately, many burners came in service to the indigenous, while unfortunately others came to “have an experience” to showcase on social media.  The later is what became most evident and publicized and provides our community with an opportunity to grow and become culturally aware of how we show up in the world.  It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for those of us who have not grown up with tribal people to interact, and to garner a more real understanding of what it means to interact with tribal people. Go and sit quietly in the different councils (preferably giving the primary seats to the Natives), go and engage with the gathered nations by asking one simple question, “How can I be in service to you today?”  

 

If you’re unsure of how to do this or nervous you will step on toes, connect with https://www.protectorsalliance.org

[Source]

In fact there are more than 500 tribes there from around the world. My people are there too, although our way of protest is a little different from kumbaya, kombucha, and fluoride-free water…here’s Kereama Te Ua from my hometown of Wellington at Standing Rock doing a haka, the Maori war dance..

You may have seen this sort of thing before in sporting events with the New Zealand national team, or in the movie Invictus with Morgan Freeman. I can guarantee that you haven’t seen a haka like this, though. This is the real deal, he’s not messing around. It’s significant that he doesn’t rise from his knee. If he does, it’s to fight. These people are not to be trifled with, they ate the brains of their enemies on the battlefield to take their power.
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It remains to be seen whether these more traditional forms of protest will be more effective than thousands of GoFundMes for unemployed/trust-fund Burners looking for a transformational experience and promising that “100% of the money” goes to the Indians. We wish everyone involved a peaceful and successful protest. It’s a global village now. Mess with the tribes and you mess with all the tribes.
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[Update 5/12/16 7:27am]

Chris Breedlove from Burners Without Borders has commented on this story on our Facebook page. Predictably, instead of addressing any of the issues we raised, he tried to spin it and place the blame here.
BMorg can do no wrong! It is only Burners.Me that does wrong. BMorg good! Burners.Me bad!
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Back to the Further Future

Image: Peter Ruprecht

Image: Peter Ruprecht

Kestrel returns with a year 2 review of Robot Heart’s tech and music conference.


Last year I took a chance on Robot Heart’s festival debut. Now, one year later, that heart remains a lightning rod for any number of gripes about the social experiment in Nevada, and what it has become. Last week it became a literal lightning rod, as FF was body-slammed by mother nature. Last year the BLM’s shady permit-denial moves and the travel problems created by the “Fight of the Century” threw festival-killer curveballs at the event. This year FF was inundated by a season’s worth of rain in one day – so before anything else is said let’s all bear in mind that this crew of friends-turned festival producers are averaging 3 crises every 12 months.

 

For a fairly long and detailed background on last year’s event, the Paiute, and the infrastructure of FF, refer to my article from last year. For now, here are the basics: Further Future is a 3-day music and tech conference held on private property belonging to the Paiute Indians of the Moapa Valley reservation about 45 minutes N.E. of Vegas. Tickets prices are tiered, but average about $300, and one needs to apply for an invite code by sending a simple, one-sentence message. The code can be used to buy multiple tickets and has nothing to do with what you look like or how much you make. Camping accommodations vary greatly from self-camping to luxury structures. Water and WiFi are free, and there is cashless RFID wristband-vending but almost no branding. Attendance is about 5000 people, spread over a few dozen acres of desert. The bill is comprised of over 100 speakers, studio monitors and musical acts.

 

Bookended by the Robot Heart bus facing dawn, and a more traditional main-stage framing the sunset were a variety of structures. A beautiful outdoor speaker series stage called Booba Cosmica, a Creator’s Lounge to showcase and demo tech, a tight-packed disco called the Void, a pop-up dining hall, a spa, a yoga sanctuary, a surround-sound setup called the Envelope Satellite and a variety of art installs, chill-out pods and customized containers peppered the grounds. There was a general store and a farmer’s market. The event eschewed West-Coast fest mainstays such as flying runs of stretch fabric, flower-of-life tapestries and the “LEDiarrhea look” for simplicity and function. Staging was celestially oriented, and celebrated the natural beauty of the Mojave desert. This year, the addition of hundreds of wooden pallets made for a retro/Western feel evocative of Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia” video.

 

It’s eerily similar to the Black Rock desert, but the conditions are less extreme. (Usually.) No open fire. No LEOs besides Tribal Police. Do what you want, consume what you will, but keep your clothes on. Key times are dawn and sunset, the aesthetic is futuristic and silver, people seem to split their time between costumed photoshoots, TED-style talks and dancing. The population is noticeably more ethnically diverse than TTITD and skews both a little older and more European than the crowd at Larry’s party. It seems that news of last year’s success reached foreign shores, and the Cali. festy kids with little to risk who drove the 4 hours from L.A. were replaced to some extent by European couples in their 40’s and 50’s. People were friendly but not as aggressively outgoing as the crowd at The Awesome, and anyone who’s traveled in Europe will recognize the vibe.

 

There are two ways to talk about Further Future –  in and out of the context of TTITD. If no-one had ever heard of the other event, FF could simply exist as the finest small music festival in America and perhaps the world. Perfect sound at accessible stages featuring an expertly curated mix of diverse music with the addition of substantive talks delivered by actual visionaries in a gorgeous natural setting.

 

But the event doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It grew out of a TAZ which itself grew out of a specific historical setting. A very smart friend of mine sums up TTITD as a series of small cultural revolutions connected by a thread best labelled “The Search for White Identity.” Larry and his crew had the brilliant idea of bringing San Francisco-flavored Situationism to “The Middle of Nowhere.” (a White man’s conceit – Lake Lahontan has been an important meeting place for a long time.) The Robot Heart crew brought a very different East Coast and Far-East sensibility to the experiment a decade-and-a-half after guns and dogs had been replaced by techno.

This may have been the source of the rumor that the leader of Anonymous was there. Image: Ruprecht Studios

This may have been the source of the rumor that the leader of Anonymous was there. Image: Ruprecht Studios

I get the feeling that BMorg’s hyper-litigious corporate culture stems from decades of fighting off commercialization of their event, as well as downplaying the suicides, O.D.’s and sexual assaults that perennially threaten the very existence of the experiment. The most extreme example that comes to mind is their recent legal victory (documented on this very site) over a Canadian collective trying to incorporate a common synonym for “combust” into their domain name. I don’t use the word in my writing anymore, and similarly FF’s participants and speakers made little mention of the culture that birthed this new one, and the fear that Larry’s lawyers have instilled in us only pushes us further, faster.

 

We opted for a Saturday entry ($100 off) and that late arrival saved us a couple hundred on flights. Although it meant missing Four Tet, Tennis and WhoMadeWho. Bummer, but we stayed dry in Vegas. As was my experience last year, the journey from the Strip THROUGH the gate took under an hour. So easy compared to DFALT (Discovering Friends And Losing Things.) We set up our little Jucy rental RV and went exploring. I guess now it’s a tradition, but I insisted we made a beeline to the bus. As we entered the grounds, people’s regalia and costumes were on full display.

 

There’s no central Esplanade; rather the fastest way around is actually a curved road on the periphery of the event, with a stunning backdrop of the Moapa valley extending for miles on one side, with and everything else on the inside. It feels like K street around 10 in BRC, right where the outer ring is closest to the edge of our Lake of Dreams, and you can sort of see the shrubs out by 447 and the road the cops use to come in on, so the RH crew are right at home here!

 

People generally respected the fact that the other side of the road was tribal land, but used it as a photo-shoot backdrop. You didn’t get the feeling here that cameras are an issue, and there was a sign at the gate warning that one’s image would most likely be captured. I never, ever carry a camera or take pictures in BRC (other than to document builds and camp stuff) but here I felt like a kid at the zoo, and was glad to have a DSLR. Right as we entered a woman dressed in Dom gear and giant moon-boots was standing on a modded container snapping a bullwhip at a camera drone. You saw a lot of the “rhinestoned generalissimo hat and round shades” style that’s kind of an RH fan mainstay and looks way more “Frank Miller combat-hooker” than the “Haight Goddess and her Silicon Valley Unicorns” look people NOT from the West Coast tolerate in silence at BRC.

 

It’s always hard to tell who made what, but the costumes were fun and varied, and there were fewer normcore types and sports logos than you’d expect. I talked to a super daywalker-type from Minnesota in a polo shirt who was impressed by how respectful everyone was. I explained how I felt that while it wasn’t exactly horrible, the few butts around would cause a riot at the Main Event, and he had a tough time understanding why. For a second time, I witnessed zero shitshow moments/fights/nonsense, with the one exception of a bro who somehow slipped thru the entry code process and drunkenly bear hugged a hanging Hybycozo lantern that came straight down around him like Building 7. The pieces were intact, and they fixed it later, but he ran away into the darkness, hopefully to be bitten by some rattlesnake who’d wandered in, following a 75,000 watt thumping trail to Lee Burridge.

Image: Peter Ruprecht

Image: Peter Ruprecht

I won’t go into great detail about the music, except to say that I have a whole new library of stuff to listen to. Got to see The Pharcyde in the desert. Discovered a new sound in the form of UK act Elderbrook, when we just had to go check out the guy playing solo Fender Jaguar into Ableton plus soul vox on the Boba Cosmica stage. The stages and screens are gorgeous, and the festival sounds like a millionaire stereophile dragged bespoke systems out into the desert (It’s a “funktion-none” situation, from what could tell. The only brand clearly visible on an audio element were the RH logos on the Bus’s mid-stacks.)

 

Last year’s headlining slot (sunset Sunday) went to Bob Moses. This year we were treated to the Easy Star All-Stars playing Dub Side of the Moon in its entirety with a high def “Oz” visual accompaniment (so fun!) followed by HVOB, who, like Bob Moses, bring live vocals and native instrument flavor to minimal electronica. HVOB’s visuals consisted of mostly black and white flowing graphics that I believe were the work of artist Clemens Wolf, punctuated by the band’s simple “checkmark” logo. Minimal, Austrian, disarmingly beautiful, and a perfect companion to Dub Side. When I say the music is expertly curated, I mean the music is. Expertly. Curated.

Image: Facebook

Schmidt claimed that they were concerned about attacks from laser weapons. He was recently appointed to run the Pentagon’s new Innovation Advisory Board, so this may not have been ironic

But what really sets FF apart is the quality of the talks. Everyone knows of a theme camp that organizes a speaker series to help with their placement and give the illusion that the camp is bringing enrichment…but in execution the talks are a joke and everyone makes sure they’re not so loud as to wake up the DJ’s. Further Future’s speaker series had Eric Schmidt answering tough questions. The CEO of Google, ten feet away. As we arrived he was saying that “We are in a time where we know more but feel worse”…cogently acknowledging the existence of a new form of dysfunction that arose from the all encompassing knowledge-sphere his own company had helped to create.

I went primarily for the music and the talks about music, and I’m not an excellent judge on the caliber of conversations about the future of high technology. But a friend of mine who is far more knowledgeable than me about such things was also there, and he was impressed by the high level of most of the talks and felt that one could summarize the attitude of most of the speakers down to the idea “that you could harness technology (applied creatively), collaboration, and an orientation towards action and positivity rather than fear and apathy inducing cynicism – to transform the world.  That the future of technology might not be so much killer robots ala terminator but the opening of new frontiers for mankind.” He’s dubbed this view “techno-positivism” and he says that nowhere has he seen a better case for it than at FF.

 

There were as many speakers as DJ’s. The talks were fun, and there were many more questions than time to answer them. I witnessed an humanoid robot engage in an open-domain exchange about gardening. I experienced the Playa in 360 degree immersion through VR goggles (my first exposure to VR). I listened to a Princeton neuro-scientist talk about what happens to you put transcendental meditation masters into an MRI machine. When I suddenly realized I wanted an apple, I could buy one at the farmer’s market. The next day I got to hear the farmer who brought them talk about how we could get insurance companies to incentivize the consumption of locally-grown food. Last year the Soundcloud guys spoke; this year it was a Spotify team member’s turn. The giant, gorgeous display on the mainstage was used to host a mini film fest between acts, and Darren Aronofsky was in attendance.

 

When I talk about music publishing in a VR realm to people, I usually get blank stares in return. Here VR music distribution was a defacto topic of conversation across forums. The off-repeated fear that Oculus will make us all hermits was met with data on how VR can help treat autism. We were told about a project to create a VR sexual assault experience from the viewpoint of both the attacker and the victim so legislators could “walk a mile” in both shoes. The notion that this technology could actually create empathy and bring people together permeated both the Creator’s Lounge and Booba Cosmica. If it got too heady, you were a three minute trot from face-melting beats and just as far from a massage. Festival veterans enjoyed the cerebral moments, and the academics and inventors enjoyed the novelty of speaking in a tent in the desert. It felt both authentic and accidental, but more than anything it felt timely.

 

There were a few misses. Tycho was a no-show at his panel. For some reason, there were bare mattresses everywhere, and I actually preferred the staging and layout last year, where camping was basically inside the festival grounds. This year featured an actual manned gate, and security would either not scan you at all and just wave you by, or alternatively not let you in with a camera, seemingly depending on the individual guard. We paid for an RV pass for our Jucy, but since the van has no hookups, and we were just living in the lot anyway, it seemed like a waste of money, and at $250 split three ways, it’s not just pocket change. Last year felt more like a spontaneous gathering, but then it occurs to me that this might be nostalgia speaking. Am I doing the “It was better next year” thing? Already?

 

My first year I went alone – this year I brought two friends and next year we plan to bring a whole crew. We stayed ’til Monday morning, at which point RH’s friends were doing the “I’m MOOPing, are you?” judge-nudge that lets the strangers know it’s time to leave. (At this point Monday Beatport’s pre-written hit piece was already online. Contrary to popular misconceptions, mangoes are not $7 at FF. A freshly prepared fruit cup is. There was no pizza. Delicious, desert-appropriate portions of ceviche were $6. A McDonald’s-quality salad poolside at the Bellagio is $20. Who’s the 1% meow?)

 

Further Future can be done for less dough than most big festivals, and as more people realize how great this event is, the complaints about it being “BM for the 1%” will fade. The organizers are careful to use language that suggests they are willing to open source their event. They describe what “a” Further Future event is, not what “the” event is. Presumably this kind of “mindful optimism” is portable. It has to be.

 

One last thing worth mentioning is that this event takes place on Paiute land actually owned by Paiute, so some (presumably large) part of the ticket price goes to them. There is no temple, and the RH crew reminds participants not to strip down naked or wear anything Native-American inspired. For the second year, I didn’t see anyone break this rule. The main event, on the other hand, features white people building a temple on former Indian land that turns a profit for other white people.

 

Let that sink in next time you’re feeling sacred out there in the CNC’d shadows at the corner of Twelve o’clock and missing friends. The Paiute are missing a few as well….

 

…And if you are one of those for whom that land by the temple is sacred, and you’re feeling the crunch of ticket scarcity, whatever you do, don’t look West to the music nerds climbing their bus project. They don’t have any extra tickets from Bmorg. Nope, if you’re feelin’ that The Man has altered his contracts with you and made it harder for you to access your sacred land – you should write to him. The Paiute can tell you how that goes…

 

Image: Peter Ruprecht

Image: Peter Ruprecht

TTITD’ers are not all the same. We’re not all fire spinners, or DJ’s, and some of us even play guitar. There can be a kind of Etsy-conformity to our culture, and although I’m decidedly not wealthy, at times I felt like I “fit in” more at FF than BM. If you’re into the whole desert TAZ thang, but you’re not a fire-jock, this is the fest for you. If you’ve ever had a festy friend with their heart in the right place tell you to “add some color to your wardrobe” this is the fest for you. If you like your conversations about energy flow to happen with a guy who’s put lab instruments on Tibetan monks…then I’ll see you in the Further Future.

 

The other thing moves your heart. Further Future fills your brain. This is a transformational festival where people with the resources and skills to transform the planet interact with people who have already transformed their personal lives. To that extent, where the Impossible City in the Desert saves individual people, Further Future has started a conversation about how to save the world.

 

I’ll close with my tech developer friend’s words about FF:

 

“I find the internet hate directed at the so called “Burning Man for the 1%” to be almost embarrassingly unproductive.  These are not the 1%’ers we should be fighting.  These are the ones we should be talking to, working with, cross-pollinating with. Lumping them in with the Martin Shkreli’s of the world based solely on their net worth is just not the smart move here.”

 

There was a neon art piece out by the bus that read “This Is Just the Beginning.”

 

I hope so.

 

-Kestrel.


burnersxxx:

Thanks Kestrel for another fine guest post. And thanks to photo artist Peter Ruprecht for these images, he says:

The future is not something that happens to you but rather the fabric with which you shape your destiny. It is part raw material, part pre-built. It is up to us to learn to navigate the challenges, successes and shortcomings in a manner that makes the journey worth the result and the result worth the journey. It is that perfect dance of embracing your future, accepting your past and loving your present. Thanks all for your gifts out there…thanks Further Future and Robot Heart!

I took some cellphone video of Eric Schmidt’s talk. Like always at these things, you look around and see lots of professional photographers and fancy camera setups, filming away. Where does all this footage go? Seemingly, not on YouTube. Anyway, it’s shaky, it’s shitty, but it’s better than nothing…

 

Million Dollar Tickets – Coming Soon

BMOrg’s embrace of all things Medici may have inspired some other festivals to follow suit.


 

Re-blogged from Music Vice

Icleland’s Secret Solstice has made a $1 million dollar ticket package available. And you thought Coachella was expensive!

For $1,000,000 you get your own private jet, two private performances, access to luxury cars and driver’s, helicopter transfers, tours,  a luxury villa and and access to the world’s first concert inside a volcano.

Secret Solstice takes place on 16-19 June in Reykjavik, and features a stellar line-up including Radiohead, Deftones, Of Monsters and Men, Die Antwoord and Action Bronson. The good news is, all this plus the stunning Iceland scenery, can be yours for less than a $1,000,000 too – with more modest ticket prices starting at 24,900 Icelandic krona (approx. £143/$202/€177) for a full festival pass, or 34,900 Icelandic krona (approx.£200/$283/€249) for a VIP pass to the entire event.  Tickets are available at secretsolstice.is.

For those of you with a cool mill to spare, here’s the full details of what the world’s most expensive festival package gets you:

  • Private chartered business jet (Gulfstream G300 or similar) return to Iceland from any destination on Earth for 6 people
  • 24/7 access to two luxury cars, personal drivers, and private security for the entire week in Iceland
  • Luxury 6-room villa for 7 nights in the center of Reykjavík over the Secret Solstice 2016 festival week
  • Exclusive admittance to Secret Solstice 2016, including chaperoned access to off-limits areas of the festival site where possible
  • Access to the sold out Secret Solstice presents Inside The Volcano event, the world’s first concert inside a volcano over the Secret Solstice 2016 weekend, including helicopter transfers from Reykjavík
  • Private viewing areas for all major acts at Secret Solstice 2016, where possible
  • Access to the private VIP artists bar on the festival site, only accessible by main stage artists and super-VIP guests
  • The world famous Blue Lagoon reserved privately for an evening for the ticket purchasers and their invited guests, plus helicopter transfers for the ticketholders to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavík
  • Access to the sold out Secret Solstice presents Inside The Glacier event, the world’s only event inside Langjökull glacier, including. helicopter transfers from Reykjavík
  • Access to the Secret Lagoon party in a 120+ year-old geothermal lagoon (Iceland’s oldest), including helicopter transfers from Reykjavík
  • Access to Secret Solstice 2016’s Midnight Sun Boat Party
  • Private concert outside Reykjavík by prominent Icelandic act in a lava field, including helicopter transfers to the location
  • Private show at the guests’ holiday residence in Iceland by prominent Icelandic act
  • Private half-day Icelandic nature helicopter tour, to experience Iceland’s incredible natural sights from the air, with champagne lunch at a geothermal hotspot
  • Personal engraved and framed memorial ticket for each guest, made from Icelandic lava rock
  • 24/7 access to personal assistants during your stay in Iceland
  • Private Icelandic dining experience with a prominent Icelandic chef personal chef at your holiday residence on a chosen night during your stay
  • Private Icelandic food experiences on site at Secret Solstice 2016 on request
  • Introductions where possible to Secret Solstice 2016 artists
  • All food/drinks at Secret Solstice 2016, including hyper-premium drinks
  • Private whale & dolphin watching tour
  • Private airplane day tour over Iceland’s south coast, including Vatnajökull glacier and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
  • Midnight sun glacier walk on top of a glacier in Iceland with the sun still up after midnight, including helicopter transfers from Reykjavík, and a private glacier snowmobile experience
  • Private tours of any additional Icelandic holiday/tourist experiences where possible, with time permitting
  • More to be announced soon!
Full Lineup for Secret Solstice 2016:
Radiohead [UK] – June 17
Deftones [US]
Of Monsters And Men [IS]
Die Antwoord [ZA]
Jamie Jones [UK]
Skream [UK]
Flatbush Zombies [US]
Art Department [CA]
Róisín Murphy [IE]
St Germain [FR]
Action Bronson [US]
Kerri Chandler [US]
Lady Leshurr [UK]
General Levy [UK]
Slow Magic [US]
Richy Ahmed [UK]
Visionquest [US]
Edu Imbernon [ES]
Bernhoft [NO]
M.O.P [US]
Afrika Bambaataa [US]
Apollonia [FR]
Hjaltalín [IS]
Deetron [CH]
Darius Syrossian [UK]
Derrick Carter [US]
Kelela [US]
Infinity Ink [UK]
Bang Gang [IS]
Mammút [IS]
Högni Egilsson [IS]
Gísli Pálmi [IS]
Agent Fresco [IS]
Benoit & Sergio [FR/US]
Lil Louis [US]
Úlfur Úlfur [IS]
AmabAdamA [IS]
Ryan Crosson [US]
Lee Curtiss [US]
Stacey Pullen [US]
Troyboi [UK]
Matt Tolfrey [UK]
Shaun Reeves [US]
Kúra [IS]
Fufanu [IS]
Ylja [IS]
Emmsjé Gauti [IS]
Droog [US]
Midland [UK]
wAFF [UK]
Maxxi Soundsystem [UK]
Chez Damier [US]
Paranoid London [UK]
Novelist [UK]
XXX Rottweiler [IS]
Ocean Wisdom [UK]
Glacier Mafia [IS]
Reykjavíkurdætur [IS]
Soffía Björg [IS]
Herra Hnetusmjör [IS]
Dr.Spock [IS]
Will Saul [UK]
Youandewan [UK]
Robert Owens [US]
Maher Daniel [CA]
Nitin [CA]
Axel Flóvent [IS]
Shades of Reykjavík [IS]
Glowie [IS]
Exos [IS]
Problem Child [UK]
Jack Magnet [IS]
Bensol [IS]
Voyeur [UK]
Artwork [UK]
Yamaho [IS]
Rix [IS]
Plastic Love [US]
Clovis [US]
Bones [CA]
MANT [UK]
Big Swing Soundsystem [UK]
Þriðja Hæðin [IS]
Faces Of The Walls [IS]
RVK Soundsystem [IS]
DJ Hendrik [IS]
Lord Pusswhip & Svarti Laxness [IS]
Pink Street Boys [IS]
Halleluwah [IS]
Lily The Kid [IS]
Vaginaboys [IS]
GKR [IS]
Stephane Ghenacia [FR]
Lily Of The Valley [IS]
EinarIndra [IS]
Gervisykur [IS]
Wølffe [UK]
KSF [IS]
Valby Bræður [IS]
Tanya & Marlon [IS]
Alexander Jarl [IS]
Mosi Musik [IS]
Alvia Islandia [IS]
DJ Kári [IS]
Fox Train Safari [IS]
Frímann [IS]
Casanova [IS]
French Toast [UK]
Tusk [IS]
Dalí [IS]
Stefán Karel [IS]
Marc Roberts [UK]
Captain Syrup [IS]
Auður [IS]
Geimfarar [IS]
Marteinn [IS]
Átrúnaðargoðin [IS]
ILO [IS]
Sonur Sæll [IS]
TRPTYCH [IS]
Kíló [IS]
Brother Big [IS]
Rob Shields [UK]
Balcony Boyz [IS]
Rímnaríki [IS]
Will Mills [UK]
Since When [US]

The festival will feature the world’s first party inside a volcano. From Mixmag:

Iceland’s Secret Solstice is pushing boundaries again this year, taking the festival deep inside the Thrihnukagigur volcano for a one-off performance.

Following last year’s party inside a glacier, this one on June 18 is a world’s first, featuring a performance by a “well-known international act” for just 20 people 400 feet down inside an inactive magma chamber.

It’s not cheap mind, costing £1380 which includes entrance, helicopter transport from Icelandic capital Reykjavik, refreshments and a VIP ticket for the main festival from June 17 to 19. So not too bad at all, really.

Secret Solstice’s director Fred Olafsson said: “I will say that it will be an acoustic performance by a very famous name, and we promise guests will be impressed when we finally make the big reveal.”

Just in case you’re wondering about it erupting, don’t worry. The last blowout was when the Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza was built. If you’re history knowledge isn’t quite up to scratch, construction started in 2560BC!

volcano3

Cities of the Future Could Look Like Burning Man – if BMOrg let them [Update]

Gizmodo yesterday had a fascinating story about the Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning contest to design a new layout for Black Rock City.

Burning Man is an experiment, right? So why should only Larry Harvey and Stuart Mangrum be the ones conducting the experiment, by setting the themes? Why not experiment with new ways of living together, a temporary, pop-up civilization? Personally, I always thought was what Burning Man was all about. These days, I wonder if the nature of the experiment has perhaps been different all along from the sales pitch we were given over the Kool Aid water cooler.

The Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning competition was started last year, and was quickly covered by widely read publications like VICE and ArchDaily, the world’s #1 architecture website.

Despite BMOrg coming out to say “no change, no competition”, the response has been impressive.

From BRCUP:

The Results So Far

We have been pretty amazed by the scale of the response.

Since we announced the project last fall, 1629 people and teams from 168 countries have signed up to participate.

To date, we have received 72 submissions.

Gizmodo’s story goes through many of the submissions. I’ve selected a couple of examples:

Cities of the Future Could Look Like Burning Man
This proposal offers elements for “neighborhood improvement” like the addition of designated parks and public squares that could become locations for cafes and other meeting places, by Phil Walker of CallisonRTKL, USA

Cities of the Future Could Look Like Burning ManA proposal to redesign Burning Man’s Black Rock City as a Navajo mandala, by Sergio Bianchi, Simone Fracasso, and Chiara Pellegrin of Italy

The founder is a double digit Burner and software engineer:

The competition was spearheaded by Brian McConnell, a software engineer and ten-year Burning Man veteran. The original idea was to create a site-specific installation at the festival itself presenting visionary ideas for the urban planning of Black Rock City. But as McConnell quickly realized, thinking about designing a smarter temporary city also surfaced some bigger ideas which might extrapolate into other areas of city-building. McConnell was particularly impressed by the quality and originality of proposals, he said. “There are some designs that have gone completely out of the box.”…

The submissions, as well as all the online comments, will be published in a book that will be available for purchase and will be given to the festival organizers. “The best-case scenario would be that the planners see something that’s very interesting or extraordinary and decide to use it in some way,” said McConnell. But he also loves the idea of delivering annual feedback through the competition format. “The real goal of this would be to make it part of the annual planning process and kind of a ritual,” he said. Planners could offer up concerns and ask for improvements that could be implemented the following year.

McConnell also sees the potential value of completely reinventing the city’s plan each year, perhaps with a layout that responds to the theme, which changes annually. “It’s gotten so large they can’t do radically different things,” he said. “What if each time you went it was a significantly different city plan, and you would have to figure it out?”

Read the whole story here

As someone who’s only been to Burning Man 11 times, that sounds like a great idea. They’ve already shown they can have a “2.0” of any particular theme, so we can always go back to the past. That’s part of it too. In the future we will probably have “Fertility 21”.

Phillippe Glade’s Golden Rebar Awards highlight the incredible architectural creativity of Burners. The style even has its own name: burnitecture. The Tiny House movement is starting to follow in the revolutionary footsteps of the Maker Movement, and it too has links to Burning Man.

What is stopping us from making this experimental city in the desert an actual experiment?

Is it Tradition? Ritual? A lack of ideas, vision, leadership?

Or is it the nature of the existing experiment, that is still being done on all the rats in this alluring anarchic maze without walls – who ALL voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury or death by participating ?

1998 ticket

Rod Garrett was great, may he rest in peace; David Best is amazing, and doesn’t need Burning Man to be an artist on the world stage. Let’s give the fresh, young, new, unseen and untried ideas a chance. Why should only the Medici and their bankster friends get to decide the direction art, civilization, technology takes?

If you didn’t get it yet, I think an experiment to come up with different layouts for Black Rock City is an excellent idea. Bauhaus and the Panopticon have been tried, OK, let’s move on.

3nd attempt-almost final

 

Screenshot 2016-03-23 17.20.12

[Update 3/23/16 5:53 pm – added images and link to video clip of Burning Man Founder talking about the city design]

Here’s BMOrg’s official position on trying a new city layout, or even incorporating any ideas from Burnenrs. According to them, BRCUP have started a conversation, and we’ll see what happens next. Don’t hold your breath!

We recently caught wind of a Black Rock City Street Plan Design Competition hosted by an experienced group of participants calling themselves the Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning (BRCMUP). The Burning Man organization has nothing to do with it, but we thought, hey, this could be fun to watch. And then an architecture blog called ArchDaily wrote about the competition on August 16 without doing its journalism homework, so now we have to clear a couple things up.

Burning Man is not involved with this competition, and we aren’t “select[ing] a winner”. The BRCMUP organizers never said we were, either. They say they’ll present their winner to us, and then it’s up to us what we do with it. So the ArchDaily blog post was in error, and it has since been corrected.

As for the contest itself, the official description is worded pretty strongly:

“The final choice of design will rest with bmorg [sic] based on a combination of popularity, logistics and space considerations (including the option to retain the current city plan).”

We love the ingenuity of Burners and are curious to see what they come up with through this competition. We will certainly take a look at all the top designs in this competition, not just the winner, out of curiosity and admiration. The ideas generated by this competition could also be useful to Regional Events, which are in various stages of growth and planning, each with their own location’s design challenges, and we think that’s great. But there are no plans to redesign Black Rock City.

Thanks to BRCMUP for starting an interesting conversation, and we look forward to seeing what comes of it.

[Source]

So, we started an interesting conversation. And so far 72 designs have been submitted. The designs show just how much unbelievable talent is available for BMOrg to tap into, if they truly chose crowd-sourcing, participation, civic responsibility, immediacy, and communal effort as their path.

You can view randomly chosen designs from the gallery and enter the competition at Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning. Seems to me that would be a much better official Ministry for BMOrg to have than their only one so far: Propaganda.

Let’s discuss these ideas. Many of them don’t even require the 0.666% of a circle pentagram design to change.

2013 double pentagram

Or, even better than just talking: put on parties based on those designs and we’ll promote them here and go check them out.