Thursday, July 31, 2008

Homouroboros makes "Best of Bay" 2008

Homouroboros in San Jose, originally uploaded by marytsao.

The monkeys we love are named:


Burning Man has inspired and elevated some amazing Bay Area artists over the years, but Peter Hudson, a.k.a. Hudzo, has become a star both on and off the playa using a unique medium: stroboscopic zoetropes. Hudzo is a San Francisco carpenter and stagehand who has designed sets for the San Francisco Opera, porn flicks, and the upcoming Milk movie. His first piece for Burning Man, Playa Swimmers, used strobe lights and precise molds of the human form to give the appearance of figures swimming in the desert sands. He's returned every year with steadily more ambitious projects, which culminated last year in Homouroboros: a bicycle- and drum-powered carousel that conjured up the vision of a monkey swinging from limb to limb, then taking a bite from an apple delivered by a snake slithering down a vine. Installations in San Jose, Minneapolis, and other cities followed. Now Hudzo is busy putting together his next piece, Tantalus, working with a huge group of committed volunteers out of his SoMa home. (You have to scroll down some)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Get Your "Glow" on!

I suspect that many of you are getting ready for Burning Man even as I write this. Have you been wanting to bring a little more luminescence to the Playa? Here it is! Whether you want to make a big impact or just show off a little, stop by GlowFur.

Glowfur has been a generous contributer to our Black Rock Arts Foundation auctions and has generously created a GlowFur™ BRAF Bracelet. GlowFur is DONATING 100% of the net proceeds to BRAF, so check them out and do it soon because the Man burns in 37 days.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meet our Grantees - Primal Source Realized

We told you last week about about the BRAF Grants-to-Artists recipient, Primal Source by Usman Haque at the Santa Monica Glow Festival.

So now we want someone who was there to tell you about it:

Last night in Santa Monica, CA, from 7pm to about 7am, Glow 08 took over the piers. It was an art and music festival with a bunch of cool events and attractions, but the coolest looks to have been the "Primal Source," a gigantic fountain with projections on it built by Usman Haque. As the video shows, it looks like a gigantic drug-induced hallucination. Which is awesome. written by Adam Frucci

Congratulations to Usman Haque for realizing his vision!!

Just in case you have forgotten, the light effects are produced from discreetly hidden microphones that picked up sounds from the crowd so that participants generated realtime colorful animated light patterns and shapes on the water screen before them that reacted to the sound of the words, music and noises produced collectively by both individuals and groups.

photo: Andrew Rollinger Creatve Commons - no commercial use

Monday, July 21, 2008

Voyage in Utopia - A Cocktail Fundraiser with the Black Rock Arts Foundation

A beautiful film, in a beautiful theatre, packed to the rafters, produced and directed by a sweetheart, Laurent Le Gall. Beautiful photography, beautiful production values.
John Mueller, the Treasurer of the Black Rock Arts Foundation and his wife, enjoying the after party at Cafe Flore

The "Man" signalling the after party

A buddy and Erik Davis having a drink at the Black Rock Arts Foundation cocktail fundraiser, thank for coming. Erik is on the Advisory Board of the Black Rock Arts Foundation.
Josie, Maggie Best and Tomas, BRAF's new Managing Director
The BRAF Pack
Thanks David for your very generous contribution to the Black Rock Arts Foundation auction at the cocktails fundraiser.

Scott London's beautiful Burning Man photos were also a generous contribution to the BRAF auction. Thanks Scott.

Scott London
David Best and some of the other stars from the Movie
David arriving at the Premiere in style

Larry Harvey, JD Petras, owner of Cafe Flore who hosted the after party and one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence perhaps Monkey, Stardust and FireBoy at the afterparty at Cafe Flore

Alix Rosenthal and friend
affinity representin' photo: Scott London

Jewel, MonkeyBoy and Actiongrl
photos: A special thanks to Rich Stadtmiller for the great photos, to see more:

Meet our Grantees - EMERGENCE

This is the last weekend to go to Governor's Island and check out Emergence. When we last got a report from them there had been over 1,000 visitors. So if you are in the New York area, check out how to get there on their wonderful website and go interact with their paticipatory art!!

Here is some information about their exhibition:
Emergence is a summer exhibition of experimental and participatory art involving more than 30 artists/collectives, with a strong emphasis on audience and artist interaction.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS/COLLECTIVES:Anne Arden McDonald, artcodex, Asha Ganpat, Avant Car Guard, Barend de Wet - Douglas Gimberg - Christian Nerf , Chris Jordan, Casper Electronics, Damon Hamm, Erik Fabian, Eugenia Yu, Friendly Falcons & Their Friend the Snake, G-77, Jason Van Anden & Nat Hawks, John Krill, John Walter, Michael Alan, Monica Müller, Peripheral Media Projects, Pornj Diamond Cell, Sarah Phillips, Saviour Scraps, Tara Parsons, Tim & Martin Dockery, Triangle Project, and Urban Homesteading Project.

Emergence is curated by Johan Kritzinger, Joyce Manalo, Elke Dehner & Audrey Boguchwal.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Meet Our Grantees - Fire Blooms Fundraiser

As hopeful recipients of the Black Rock Arts Foundation Grants-to-Artists Program, Rebecca Anders, Yasmin Mawaz-Khan and Charles Gadeken are creating San Francisco Ocean Beach Fire Pits and here they are to tell you more about it:

The experience of building a fire at the ocean’s edge is as old as human time, and a much-beloved ritual on the San Francisco coastline. Ocean Beach Fire Pits are locally made sculptural fire pits made from cast concrete and designed to succeed in the harsh and extreme beach environment. Taking the form of Sea Stars and Fire Blooms these beautifully crafted, unique objects provide a valuable and accessible site of public interaction and connection. Already a success among the San Francisco community, the intentional welcoming aspect of the fire pits draw people together and encourage engagement between a diverse cross-section of beach visitors and the surrounding landscape.

So come and support them by attending this fundraiser so they can meet their goal and receive a matching grant from the Black Rock Arts Foundation.

Come out to the Dept. of Spontaneous Combustion on Saturday, July 26th, for a rockin evening of music, fire, and celebration to support the FireBlooms crew in our ongoing quest to make stunning giant floral firerings for Ocean Beach, SF!

The event features live music, blazing drinks, fire performances, special custom Fire Blooms wearables, and a chance for you to help these unstoppable women of the Fire Blooms crew meet a generous matching grant offer from the Black Rock Arts Foundation!

Please come out and share this good time for this good cause; we look forward to seeing you there, and to continuing this exciting work of functional public art.
When: Saturday, July 26
Doors 9pm

$10 - $20+ sliding scale

Where: 1281 30th st, emeryville, 94608

Who: Fire Blooms!

The fundraiser is hosted by Dept. of Spontaneous Combustion -

Fans of Jimmy Century -

The Fire Rings on Ocean Beach project was started in 2007 by BurnersWithout Borders (, and is supportedby the National Park Service, the Surfrider Foundation, and the BlackRock Arts Foundation (

The Fire Blooms, initiated by Rebecca Anders and Yasmin Mawaz-Khan, and the Sea Stars, led by Charles Gadeken, have used grant and private funding to produce large sculptural fire rings for public use, with great success. These works have a significant positive impact on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, allowing the long-standing tradition of beach bonfires to continue in a safer, cleaner, legal way. This project is for and about our community, and our people's support is vital to its completion!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Meet our Grantees - John Bela - Victory Garden

In addition to telling you about our current Grant-to-Artist's recipients, sometimes I will be introducing you to our prior recipients, and what they are doing now, and how they are growing as artists.
Last year I had a chance to interview John Bela, who is one of the founding artists of REBAR, the artist's collective that first conceived of PARK(ing) Day. Their Parkcycle was part of our Grants-to-Artist Program in 2007, and REBAR was one of our honorees at our 2008 Black Rock Arts Foundation's Fundraiser - Flip Your Lid. John is a delight, smart and commited to making the world more walkable, greener, and this is his new project!

San Francisco Victory Garden

Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor, takes his turn with the trowel

After 10 days of incredible action—sod removal, bed and ground preparation, installation of irrigation lines and fencing, the building of a fantastic soap box—the lawn in front of San Francisco’s City Hall was transformed into the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden. It was a perfect planting day as 150 volunteers helped moved nearly 4,000 plants into their new homes. Teams divided into zones with their leaders and peacefully planted lettuce, tomatoes, beans, herbs, flowers and so much more. Good thoughts and prayers (including those from the next-door religious meeting) were had by all. Together, we built a “garden of communities,” as Victory Garden Manager John Bela calls it.
Written By Naomi Starkman

photos: Scott Chernis

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Detroit Dream Project - World Hoop Day

I have been looking forward to giving you an update about how the Detroit Dream Project, Temple of the American Dream is benefitting the community. As you know, we have already had a dedication party, a wedding, a fashion shoot, and live music, and now:

The Detroit Hoopers are partnering with the Detroit Dream Project, Motor City Blight Busters and Society to Promote Art & Recreation in the Community (SPARC) to celebrate “World Hoop Day Detroit on August 8th, and host a hooping extravaganza at the Temple of the American Dream (in historic Old Redford). The event will include hooping lessons, prizes, a hoop jam and more.

Detroit will join major cities around the world in celebrating “World Hoop Day.” This international holiday is dedicated to promoting hula hooping for fun and fitness. Think of it like Hands Across America – but hula hoops around the world. From New York and Los Angeles to Tel Aviv and Berlin, the whole planet will be hooping. For an interactive map of participating cities, visit

IMG_9119, originally uploaded by taymar_burning_Man.

Everyone’s invited (with a hoop if they have one, empty-handed if they don’t) to help represent Detroit on World Hoop Day. The point is just to get as many Detroiters as possible out to The Temple of the American Dream, from 4-8 p.m., to have fun and represent our city. And who wants to be the only person on the planet not hula hooping on 08/08/08?
Last year’s hoop day in Detroit gave away 300 hoops – help us this year:

We welcome your interest, donations, and partnership!

Donations: Doxie-

Want to Volunteer? Faith-

Questions: 313-608-4580

Link: Detroit Hoopers — Hoop Day Detroit:

The Temple of the American Dream is a public art park and temple pavilion, located in the Old Redford / Brightmoor area of Detroit (17363 Lahser Rd., Detroit, Michigan 48219) designed by artist David Best and built by the Detroit Dream Project team. SPARC is dedicated to directly improving the economy and community of Detroit by furthering the idea that the creation of art is an essential element of community life. For twenty years, Motor City Blight Busters has been committed to stabilizing, revitalizing and beautifying the City of Detroit.
Together, we can make this a hooping holiday to remember.

See you at World Hoop Day Detroit!

Voyage In Utopia this Friday at the Castro

What could be more fun than hanging out with a bunch of Burners and watching a Burning Man movie together, seeing your favorite art piece again on the big screen or getting to whoop and holler when someone you know shows up bigger than life in front of you?

In the fall of 2005, along came the San Francisco Sneak Preview of Beyond Black Rock. I was the Wedding Coordinator for Burning Man at that time and one of "my" couples who had gotten married on the Playa the year before came to town from Texas, they were excited to be here and we were thrilled to see them in their Playaglam wear. The "Mighty" was packed and you could almost smell the playa dust in the room.

This is what they're saying about the film:

“Voyage in Utopia is a remarkable piece of story telling. It does what our event is said to do : it evokes the inexpressible, it invites imagination to inhabit the unknown”.
Larry Harvey, founder of Burning Man

“Lovely interpretation of who we are !”
Artist David Best, temple builder

“ I watched your film last night and was very moved. The cinematography is superb and the editing very intelligent. You really capture the feeling of being on the playa, the emotional drama, and what we're really all about in terms of the community and our principles. Bravo! ”
Christine Kristen aka LadyBee, Art Curator of Burning Man

“One of the best films about Burning Man I’ve ever seen!”
Andie Grace aka Actiongrl, Communications Manager of Burning Man

"Forget John Ford or better yet Sergio Leone, Laurent Le Gall's “Voyage in Utopia” captures le coeur of the real Wild West : The Good, The Bad and The Otherwordly in the Black Rock Desert. Giddy-up!"
Jane Sullivan Director, Santa Cruz Film Festival

French Filmmaker, Laurent le Gall, and artist and Temple Builder, David Best, will be introducing the film and will be available for Q and A after the screening.

"Burning Man: Voyage in Utopia"

Castro Theatre in San Francisco (429 Castro Street)

Friday, July 18, at 8:00pm

There are three ticket options:

Regular Admission
Film Premiere Screening and Discussion, 8pm - $10

VIP Reception:
with Film Maker Laurent le Gall & Artist David Best, 6-7:30pm in the theater mezzanine
Includes hosted bar, appetizers and reserved seating. Benefits the Black Rock Arts Foundation. - $75*

Host VIP Reception:
Includes all of the above plus premiere seating, Director & Artist-signed DVD, name ID at the venue) - $150*

*$50 of each VIP ticket sold benefits the Black Rock Arts Foundation and is tax deductible.


To see a review of the film:

After party at the Cafe Flore

photo: Scott London

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meet our Grantees - Primal Source

If you're in the Los Angeles area, check out the BRAF Grants-to-Artists recipient, Primal Source by Usman Haque at the Santa Monica Glow Festival, which is free to the public.

This all night festival and exhibition of luminous artworks will be near and around the Santa Monica Pier on July 19, 2008, from 7:00pm to 7:00am.

Primal Source was commissioned by the City of Santa Monica, California, and is an all-night performance/installation that will be located on the beach near the Pier. It will make use of a large-scale outdoor waterscreen projection system that will appear like a mirage on the beach at Santa Monica and is brought to life through the voices, sounds and music created by festival-goers.

Discreetly hidden microphones will pick up sounds from the crowd so that participants will generate realtime colorful animated light patterns and shapes on the water screen before them that react to the sound of the words, music and noises produced collectively by both individuals and groups. Their voices will give birth to primal creatures that emanate from the mirage becoming more and more ebullient, with colors flying in and out, and reflecting the ever-changing sounds.

A highly interactive and visually dazzling display, Primal Source is sure to leave you saying "Wow"!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Come Craft With Us!

We will be making more 'flags' for our installation this Saturday. We will provide the supplies, snacks and fun.

Come Join us!

For more information about our ScrapEden on the Playa Project.

Saturday July 12th, 2008

and then again on:
Tuesday August 5th, 2008 6:00-10:00pm

1900 3rd Street
San Francisco, Ca 94158

Please email to let us know if your coming (so we can have enough snacks and materials). Thanks for participating.

See you on there!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Meet Our Grantees - City of Dreams

Figment Festival 2008, originally uploaded by heatherwhitephoto.

City of Dreams Mini-Golf is a project of Figment, an annual celebration of participatory arts that takes place on Governors Island. FIGMENT is a free, non-profit, volunteer-planned public participatory art event.

Meet Our Grantees - City of Dreams

Figment Festival 2008, originally uploaded by heatherwhitephoto.

Another recipient of our Grants to Artists program is City of Dreams Mini-Golf. The nine-hole mini golf course is located on Governors Island – FREE and open to the public Fridays through Sunday until October 5, 2008.

Nine different artists (or groups of artists) each designed and built one hole of the City of Dreams Mini-Golf. The project is an example of artists working separately, yet together creating a collaborative work of playable, interactive public art.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Meet Our Grantees - Emergence

We want you to introduce you to our grant recipients, so this is the first in our series "Meet Our Grantees". Some of our posts will be about our 2008 grant recipients, and some posts will be about some of our earlier grant recipients and the work they are doing now. So hang on, there is a lots of fabulous public, interactive and temporary art out there, and we are excited to share it with you.

So the first grantee we are going to tell you about is Emergence ...a summer exhibition of experimental and participatory art involving more than 30 artists/collectives, with a strong emphasis on audience and artist interaction. The exhibition opened on May 31st coinciding with the grand opening of Governors Island to visitors for the season and runs through July 26, 2008. Bex, our friend and blogger over at the Burning Blog, the Burning Man blog, visited Emergence and loved the experience of visiting the old Victorian House chock full of temporary interactive art, with over 30 individual installations and over 40 artists that have come together to create a temporary interactive art house for 9 weeks.

Check out this video, one of several on the Emergence website to hear more about the exhibition:

And here are photos of a couple of photos from the exhibition just to give you a taste of the variety of artists and installations.
The Friendly Falcons and Their Friend the Snake (Jeff Kurosaki & Tara Pelletier), a game show

Peripheral Media Projects (Garrison Buxton & Ray Cross), the participants can arrange the various hexagons 98° (Sarah Nicole Phillips), when participants touch the print, their body heat can make the image disappear

Saviour Scraps, partipants are invited to bring scraps of material to weave a fantastical environment


photos: Emergence
video: Hsuan-Yu Pan