Burners vs Bureaucracy

In the wake of the Santa Rosa fires, many Burners wanted to do whatever they could to help. The shelter situation was dire, with 3000 homes destroyed (5% of the total housing stock) and 100,000 people displaced.

Advanced Shelter Systems of Napa stepped up with SHELTERPODs for first responders.

Burners from Camp Epic raised $30,000 to bring their camp accommodation to Santa Rosa to create Oasis Village. 40-ft shipping containers decked out with power, lighting, insulation, and climate control. They got some land donated from a local weed medical marijuana grower, and shipped the containers out, set them up in a village ready for fire survivors to occupy.

And that’s when The Man stepped in to kill it.


Burner-Tainers

Danger Ranger brought the first shipping container to Burning Man in 1997, a military psyops unit used during the Vietnam War.

Burning Man 2008

Since then, containers have become part of the fabric of Burnitecture.

ian ross container 2012

ekoVillages.com upcycled art container

We contributed several containers to the Burner-founded [free|space] project in SF, earning a commendation letter from the Mayor’s Office. However we were very careful to ensure the containers were not used for residential purposes.

freespace mission2

Thanks to Tim Lipton (pictured) for bringing this sad story to our attention

freespace missionst

ekovillages.com up-cycled art containers at [free|space]

 Read more about the [Free|Space] project here:

Temporary Autonomous Zone: Proof the Model Still Works (2013)

 


No Gifting for Santa

Shipping containers are heavy, expensive to move, and in many ways impractical forms of shelter. But they are solid enough to withstand windstorms, and much more comfortable for a family than sleeping in a car.

So what was the problem in Santa Rosa? They were fitted out in Nevada, not California. And they didn’t have windows. So the city said “no way”, leaving the Burners with a foul taste in their mouth, swearing to never do anything in California again – and leaving the families who’d lost their homes still sleeping in their cars. “Cars have windows”, said the building inspector.

Communal Effort and Gifting means Burners want to help others. This is why Burners Without Borders was formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Many Burners went to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake in the same spirit.

More recently, Burners have created a cryptocurrency for disaster relief and are rebuilding Puerto Rico as a crypto-Utopia.

Unfortunately it seems that in Burning Man’s home state of California “Civic Responsibility” is a buzzkill for the other Principles.

The project was initially lauded in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and USA Today. Burners Without Borders promoted the fundraiser. Appeals to previous Burning Man supporters Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown fell on deaf ears.

Here is the full story from the SF Chronicle (hat tip to Tim Lipton from Black Rock City’s Volunteer Response Team for bringing this to our attention).


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Screenshots from SF Chronicle, Feb 25 2018

Read more:

Exclusive Interview with SHELTERCOIN Founder Christian Weber

Burners Building a Crypto-Utopia in Puerto Rico

Burner Art Becomes Symbol Of Hope In Fire Disaster

Our heart goes out to everybody affected by the unprecedented California fires. One place particularly affected was Paradise Ridge Winery, which hosted many Burner art pieces in the Voigt Outdoor Sculpture Collection.

We told you about this amazing North Bay Burner art collection in our 2013 story Temple Burns: Not Just For Burning Man Anymore and discussed some mainstream media coverage of it in the 2014 piece  A Permanent Temple in Paradise

Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg’s famous piece “LOVE” was there, and survived the burn.

Here’s Burning Man beat reporter Jenny Kane, writing in USA Today:

SANTA ROSE, Calif. — Amid a charred grove of oak trees, one relic still stood this week at the Paradise Ridge Winery — the 12-foot-tall, four-letter word: Love. 

The sculpture, which originally debuted at Burning Man in 2007, is probably the most iconic piece of art at the Santa Rosa winery, which over the years has collected dozens of pieces for its sculpture garden, many of them originally from Burning Man. The sculpture, a rustic steel sculpture stamped with flying birds, is popular with newlyweds and is the work of Reno’s Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg.

“That ‘Love’ sculpture has become a symbol of hope in Sonoma County,” said Sonia Byck-Barwick, whose parents opened the winery in 1994. “As my brother said, love conquers all. He took that photo when the property was briefly opened on Monday, and it’s gone viral. High school kids are sharing it on Snapchat and Facebook. It’s their symbol that it’s going to be OK. I mean, how can you not love a sculpture that says love?” 

The winery was largely destroyed Sunday night in California’s deadliest week of wildfires. One photographer captured images of wine simmering across the hot ground in the aftermath. More than 8,000 firefighters are battling the 21 wildfires that so far have killed 40 people, burned more than 200,000 acres and destroyed an estimated 5,700 homes and businesses. 

The art, however, and most of the Paradise Ridge Winery’s grapes, miraculously survived. Most of the winery’s supply also was in storage, so the business will be able to sell its supply to other distributors.

It’s Santa Rosa, not Santa Rose. Connected to Santa Cruz, the rosy cross – home of the first ever Acid Test. Read the full story here.

The winery was “largely destroyed”, but the art, the grapes, and the harvest miraculously survived. Perhaps the art and the temple and the love brought good luck to Paradise Ridge.

The sculpture survived the fire singed but standing strong. SFGATE

The Temple visible in the background indicates this is not a current picture. Image: Facebook