Monday, June 30, 2008

Represent - the Burning Man Picnic

On a cold and foggy day in San Francisco it was time to pull out the grills, fill up the ice chest and welcome Burning Man participants, new and old.

Josie and Jewel got out their fabric and embroidery hoops and invited one and all to participate in making flags for Scrap Eden on the Playa. Here's Josie, deep in crafting mode.

Learn more about the Scrap Eden on the Playa 2008 project.

What is the ScrapEden on the Playa 2008 project?

Scrap: n. Discarded, leftover or unused material.
Eden: n. A delightful place, a garden, a paradise.

This year the Black Rock Arts Foundation's ScrapEden Playa-garden draws on the likeness of a working-class American backyard. We'll create a casual, welcoming environment strewn with clotheslines of colorful, flowing panels of fabric. We'll lounge in the shade, sip lemonade and conspire to bring interactive art to communities beyond the Playa! Each panel of fabric, about 1 x 1 to 2 x 2 feet in size, will have a single word on them.

On the Playa, participants will be able to rearrange the words to create sentences, create and leave a new word or take a word that speaks to them as a gift. The visual effect will be a poetic combination of clotheslines, prayer flags and quilts, with a dash of magnetic poetry.

We would love to have you participate....

Get Involved! YOU are the artist!
The Black Rock Arts Foundation community is growing and expanding each year as we further our reach in our civic projects and grants to artists. We're looking to you, our extended, international community of Burners and Non-burners alike, to create these 'words' and to submit them to the project via mail. See below for guidelines and instructions. Or join us at one of our craft nights, here at BRAF/Burning Man HQ. See below for dates.

Guidelines and Instructions:
1. Fabric squares can be anywhere from 1 x 1 to 2 x 2 feet in size, roughly. A little larger or smaller is fine,

2. We encourage you to use reclaimed and reused fabric. Look around.. any old items of clothing you can cut up? Any left over fabric from past projects you can use? Make it a goal to not buy any materials and you'll be surprised of the creative solutions you come up with!

3. Your fabric square can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. The fabric squares and words can be sewn in patchwork, painted, screen-printed, spray painted using stencils, etc. See below for some tips and ideas.

4. Can't think of a word to submit? Here are some ideas to think about: Think about what art has done for you. What do you feel art’s potential is in a community context? What have you seen art achieve on the playa? And in your community? What is your American Dream? What is your hope for the future of art in America, and in our world? Can you say it in a word?

5. As citizens of Black Rock City and in respect for our community's commitment to the principles of Leave No Trace, we must not use materials that create MOOP (Matter Out Of Place). Avoid using any sparkly or fuzzy fabrics that may shed or applique items that may fall off. Fabric words submitted that use materials that may leave MOOP will not be used in the project.

6. Send your Work to:

ScrapEden on the Playa

Black Rock Arts Foundation

1900 3rd Street, First Floor

San Francisco, Ca 94158

Words will be accepted on the playa, but we prefer to have as many as possible before then. Please mail them if you can!

-Pokiedot & affinity

photos: Pokiedot

Friday, June 27, 2008

Detroit Dream Project Dedication a deux

I promised you a wedding and other community events from the Dedication in Detroit. First, check out this video:

And, then direct from Fuzzytek, a Detroit City Photographer and Doxie one of the team members of the Detroit Dream Project, here you go...

The celebration of completing the build for the Detroit Dream Project took many forms. For Greg and Angela it was their wedding day, surrounded by friends. The rain came in the afternoon and most went home, but not for long. Gina came over after doing makeup for the performers at the Redford Theater. She brought a couple models to shoot Identity Fashions at the temple as sunset fell. At night performers spun a glow of flame near the structure as it was lit with colored LEDs.
- Fuzzytek

It was a lovely first day of summer though rains clouds danced above our heads. Despite that we started the days events with everyone doing a Tip Toe Parade led by Warrior Girl around the block that weaved everyone through the Temple to ring a Tibetan bell to start the wedding of Gregg and Angela from Detroit Evolution Lab. The wedding was a beautiful ceremony bearing witness to their amazing partnership and love. It was an honor to behold. The rains held off until just after the ceremony. The crowds cleared for a few hours to return at dusk to start the evenings events! As Blight Busters 20th anniversary events surrounded the Temple we entertained passers by and the curious with glowing poi and fires show of hoops and staff and Strings of Fire performed soulful violin and dancing fire! It was a heart warming to see all the friendships built between the members of the Brightmoor and Michigan Burning Man communities over the last two years gather and celebrate on that beautiful and warm midsummer solstice evening!
(danielle kaltz)

And for more news:

photos: Fuzzytek Photography LLC - All Rights Reserved


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Detroit Dream Project Dedication

IMG_9165, originally uploaded by taymar_burning_Man.

It was quite an event when the Temple of the American Dream was dedicated.

There was a beautiful wedding earlier in the day with live music, and then in the evening when they lit the Temple there was fire spinning and other community events.

What a fabulous event, the culmination of collaboration between Charles “Chazz” Miller, David Best, SPARC, the Motor City Blight Busters, the Black Rock Arts Foundation, and the local community.

The Temple is a welcoming shelter for community gatherings, children’s arts camp, outdoor music and poetry readings, and neighborhood BBQ’s sheltered by more than 40 trees.

We congratulate all of the participants for manifesting their vision.


photo: Taymar

Friday, June 20, 2008

Come Make Art With Us!

Come make Flags for the Playa!

This year the Black Rock Arts Foundation's ScrapEden playa-garden draws on the likeness of a working-class American backyard. We'll create a casual, welcoming environment strewn with clotheslines of colorful, flowing panels of fabric.

Each panel of fabric, about 1 x 1 to 2 x 2 feet in size, will have a single word on it.

On the playa, participants will be able to rearrange the words to create sentences, create and leave a new word or take a word that speaks to them as a gift. The visual effect will be a poetic combination of clotheslines, prayer flags and quilts, with a dash of magnetic poetry.

We will be crafting together this Monday!
Come join us, bring some fabric and ideas or just bring yourself and we will put you to creating with our supplies!
  • Monday June 23rd, 2008
  • 6:00-10:00pm
  • 1900 3rd Street
  • San Francisco, Ca 94158


photos: pokiedot

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Detroit Dream Project - The Temple is up!

The Black Rock Arts Foundation, along with SPARC and Motor City Blight Busters, is helping to make the Detroit Dream Project a reality. The structural work for the Temple is complete but there’s decorative work and some landscaping that will be completed this coming weekend.

The Detroit Dream Project is a collaborative effort to build a community art space in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood. The central structure will be a sculptural pavilion known as the Temple of the American Dream, designed by David Best, Chazz Miller and the community.
The Temple is designed to be a welcoming shelter for community gatherings, children’s arts camp, outdoor music and poetry readings, and neighborhood BBQ’s sheltered by brand new trees. The Detroit Dream Project intends to jumpstart the revitalization of this historic section of the city through interactive art. A driving goal is to involve the community and local artists spreading the message that all people can participate and create together.

The photo includes David Best working with several volunteers.

To see additional photos of the project: Detroit Dream Project flickr Group


Sketch: David Best
photo: Fuzzytek

photos: Lea

Sunday, June 15, 2008

AIR!! Elemental Interactions

We started and ended our evening of the art and physics of AIR with Wizzard demonstrating how air changes with different stimuli.

This was the second event in our new lecture series, Elemental Interactions. In appreciation of our members and donors, we've designed these informal evenings to explore topics of art, science and civic participation.

Our host, a Board member of both the Black Rock Arts Foundation and Burning Man, Will Roger Peterson told us about how he perceives "air" and introduced our guests.

Lissa Shoun aka Tiger Tiger opened her talk by showing us the locations of the Black Rock City Airport posting in the Nevade State Airport Directory. She provided us with history, statistics and great stories of what it is like to be the Manager of the BRC Airport.

Landing at Black Rock City: video: Rreet

David Boyer told us about his kinetic art, how he became a full time sculptor and how he sometimes uses used or recycled materials.

Here is a little video of David wind testing one of his sculptures:

And to close the evening Ned Kahn talking about the use of both wind and water to create sculptures that are sometimes 9 stories high.

David Boyer, Ned Kahn, Lissa Shoun and Will Roger Peterson

It was an evening full of wonder and creativity and we thank everyone who participated.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Okay this is the last Homouroboros post!

I promise, this is the last Homouroboros post, but I just had to show you this fabulous video of the monkeys at night!!!

video: LizChavarin


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

San Jose LOVES the Monkeys

Photo: Cherri Lakey

photo: Melissa Alexander
The South Bay Burners have been supporting Homouroboros coming to San Jose. The "wrenches" are on call for small repairs and maintenance, and the "docents" have been the hosts of Homouroboros, with one of them there anytime that the piece is up and running. It has been an experiment in the community running an interactive art piece and it has been a fabulous success!
Elecktra, one of the docents for Homouroboros tells us:
"So during my 2 shifts as a docent today, Sunday, I met a couple who were staying at the Marriot which is 2 buildings PAST the convention center, they were on the 26th floor on the observation deck and heard monkey screaming!! so they went for a walk to see where they were...... and found the art !! I thought it was too cool!!

I also met a long time burner from the comic convention who hasnt been since `99 and lives in Mendocino... came back later with more buddys.
Also met a couple who had built the first Burning Man Greeters Stations.... and their daughter who went to her first burn at 8 months old... She is now 2 1/2... They had been wanting to get involved with the south bay burners but wasnt sure how... .. we met and she was thrilled!! "

Neon tells us:

"I had sooooo much fun on my shift last night! The tourists and people of San Jose are really appreciating the monkeys being in town. One woman, visiting her son in San Jose, said in a long Southern drawl, after he told her the monkeys had been at Burning Man, "Well I've never even heard of Burning Man before, but now I want to go!" Then she turned to me a minute later and said, "Are we allowed to make noise on those drums?" And when I said yes, she ran toward them squealing like a child. Maybe you had to be there to see how cute this was, but, I tell you, it was a beautiful moment.
An earlier moment had a group of about 5 young kids, around 5-8 years old, all running around and around the drums, hitting each one as they went by.

We had a few cars pull was a group of people who had just been tattooed, they were in that semi-altered post-tattoo state and they stopped because they thought the monkeys were actual people swinging from pole to pole...

We also had a few people from a comic book convention who were really appreciative of the work. ...

Then there was one woman who was asking me a lot of questions and it took me a minute to figure out where she was coming from...see, she thought that the monkeys were actually swinging from branch to branch, so she was asking me if it was the speed or the centrifugal force that would make them start swinging. I could see that she didn't understand any of my explanations. Then when I finally said, "Do you see how each monkey is in a slightly different position?" and then when she saw that, I said, "They are stationary in that position, they don't move at all, they just look like they move." Then, she was so surprised, she screamed! It was so funny....her mind was so blown, and she screamed and I laughed and we high fived and then the monkeys started up again...

And I look forward to my next docent shift! "

Originally posted May 19, 2008

- affinity

Homouroboros - The Monkeys are Coming!!

Please join burners, press and public for the Black Rock Arts Foundation ribbon-cutting ceremony for Peter Hudson's Homouroboros installation! This will be the official kick-off for the 01SJ festival, and the beginning of an entire month of monkey business in downtown San Jose.

The dedication will take place at 6pm on Saturday May 17th at the Children's Discovery Museum - Discovery Meadow.

Once the ribbon is cut by Melissa Alexander, Executive Director of BRAF, and Peter Hudson, the artist and creator of Homouroboros, the drums will start to pound and the zeotrope will start to spin. Get ready for what Wired Magazine called the winner of the "WOW, did you see that?" survey at Burning Man 2007.

Reception follows the ceremony, and the end of civil twilight is at 8:39pm. Be sure to see this incredible zeotrope at its best ... in full dark ... to appreciate the effects under the strobe lights of what scientists call "the persistence of vision".

And don't forget, this piece will be in Discovery Meadow from May 15th - June 15th. Come by during the day, too (we'll have special daytime viewers available). Bring friends, family, kids, neighbors and co-workers! It's free to the public and a perfect fulfillment of BRAF's mission to place experimental, highly interactive art in public settings.

Want to learn more about how Homouroboros works:


Postcard Photo: Tristian Savatier
Postcard design: Golddust

Elemental Interactions - Fire

The Black Rock Arts Foundation's first evening of their lecture series, Elemental Interactions - FIRE - was an exploration of the physics of fire and its and history as a performative medium.

The event featured these exciting guests:
Hosted by Crimson Rose, Administrative Director and Pyrotechnic Performance Director for Burning Man and BRAF Board Member.

• Members of the Flaming Lotus Girls, 2007 BRAF grantees, told us about recent performances in Amsterdam and future plans.

• Special guest Dr. Paul Doherty, a physicist from the San Francisco Exploratorium explained and demonstrated aspects of the physics and chemistry of fire.

• Acclaimed performer Vatra Amadzich illuminated us on the history of fire dancing and performed for the audience.

It was a fabulous evening, smart, entertaining, educational and best of all, FUN! We had a lot of kids facinated, as we all were, by the combination of fire and art.

For more information see:

And LOVE the poster:

To join our BRAF Group:

- affinity

photo: Nick Morgan

The Portal - Meet our Grantees - Finley Fryer

The Black Rock Arts Foundation had an opportunity to help support the installation of Finley Fryer's Portal in "Bringing Back the Fire" an exhibit at Santa Rosa Junior College in February and March 2008. The portal is constructed of recycled plastic pieces and is so gorgeous!


Photo: Lisa Beerntsen

Represent!! - Burning Man Open House 2008

Josie and I represented the Black Rock Arts Foundation at the Burning Man Open House this year. It was an opportunity to talk to folks about what BRAF does and how we do it, and we got to meet some of our favorite volunteers. A little chai, a little chat, it was great.

Thanks to all of you that came by to meet us and find out more about what BRAF does!


Hasta Luego "Passage"

"Passage", mother and child sculptures by artists Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito, have been gracing Pier 14 on the Embarcadero in San Francisco for 18 months. Passage created a lot of controversy. San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom once said “Short-term public art projects can invigorate our public spaces with artworks that may be bolder, provocative and more topical than the permanent projects and…will allow the public to see their city and their surroundings in a new way”.

So now it is time for the next temporary sculpture to inhabit this space.


photo by: Bill Silent Chan (the photo was taken by a tourist from Hong Kong who was kind enough to take a photo and send it to me. Thank you Mr. Chan)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Dreamer by Pepe Ozan

The Dreamer came to San Francisco in the Spring and Summer of 2007. In the bottom photo, Bay to Breakers, a San Francisco foot race, rushes by 'The Dreamer' in Golden Gate Park.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation's Civic Arts Program organized this temporary exhibition and the project was supported by The James Irvine Foundation.


photo: Brad Immanuel 2007, all rights reserved

photo: Michael Todasco, all rights reserved

Park(ing) Day 2007

So my friend Janet and I went on a tour of San Francisco parks, Park(ing) Day parks that is. Parks filled with golfing, hair cutting, chill spots, interactive art projects, knitting...a plethora of amusements, parks that will soon be back to being parking spaces.

In the photo above, REBAR, an artist's collective and recipients of a grant through BRAF's Grants-to-Artists program, sit atop their pedal powered park, Parkcycle, created for Park(ing) Day 2007. Park(ing) Day, an event conceived of and organized by REBAR in 2005.

PedalPower Rules!

Park(ing) Day has since gathered thousands of participants around the globe to transform ordinary parking places into temporary public least until the meter runs out.

BRAF's Grants-to-Artists' program is supported in part through private donations, and by individuals who make online purchases of tickets to Burning Man and choose to make a gift of additional funds. The Grants-to-Artists' program also receives support from members of the Burning Man Regional Network.

Photo: Sasha Wizansky

Tres cool, check it out...

Here are my photos of my friend Janet and I enjoying Parking Day:

originally posted: September 2007


Update: REBAR was one of BRAF's Honorees at the 2008 Flip You Lid Gala, more about that later.

Adventures at the Panhandle Bandshell

Last June, I called my friend Playa Jewel and said, “whatchadoin? Let's go on an art adventure." I had been putting together some photos for the Black Rock Arts Foundation so we started at the Panhandle Bandshell in San Francisco, and is it ever gorgeous?

The Panhandle Bandshell is a full-scale performance stage constructed almost entirely out of reclaimed and repurposed materials, including 65 automobile hoods, hundreds of computer circuit boards, 3,000 plastic water bottles, French doors, reclaimed wood, and recycled structural steel. As a fully modular structure, it can easily be dismantled, moved and re-assembled anywhere.ScrapEdenSF, artist's collectives, The Finch Mob and REBAR, partnered with Christopher Guillard of CMG Landscape Architecture to construct the bandshell entirely from reclaimed materials, ultimately diverting 18 tons of waste from landfills.

Perfomers were able to self-scheduled acoustic performances throughout the summer of 2007.

As you can see the sound baffling is made of reclaimed water bottles. ScrapEdenSF is a project of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, was supported by a Zero Waste Grant from the San Francisco Department of the Environment and by grants from The San Francisco Foundation, The Darby Foundation and The Mental Insight Foundation.

The Panhandle Bandshell was moved to Treasure Island in the spring of 2008.

photos: Melissa Alexander, Melissa Alexander, affinity

Stan, Submerging Man

Yes! Stan did come to VMD Park and was there from June 2006 until April 2007.
And to learn more about Finley Fryer:
photos: Chuck Revell