Category: fire

What I want to say I can’t even put into words today….  But I’ll try anyway and probably lose a few people along the way.  So let me get some great stuff to share off my chest first!

In a photography forum, I found this great photo of Pyramid Lake in Nevada.  We pass it going to and from Burning Man, and last year we spent the day swimming there to wash off the week of dust on our way home.  I asked the photographer, Scott Thompson (no relation) for permission to post it here…

(Side note! Since I’ve been studying up on photography, I’m going to crack down a lot more on making sure people understand copyright protection and photographers rights. If you want to use ANYONE’S photo but your own, and it’s not publicly listed with a Creative Commons license or a statement that you can use it, ASK FIRST! And always credit/link to them! I’m no expert, but if you have any questions about what you can or can’t do and don’t have time to look it up, you are welcome to email me and I’ll do my best to help you find an answer.)

Copyright Scott Thompson. Click for larger image!

I also need to share this blog post by Amanda Palmer on Lady Gaga, freedom, and authenticity.  A must read!

We celebrated July 4th at the second annual PEX Fest – I worried as we were on our way that my expectations were too high, based on the amazing time we had last year.  I had nothing to worry about as it was blown out of the water again, and it was definitely one of the best weekends of my life.

Despite this time being bittersweet – my Grandma Betty who passed had annual July 4th gatherings – I know that divine intervention or whatnot had a role in how things turned out.  I never had to risk her wrath for missing her picnic for PEX fest (or, more likely, miss PEX Fest), and the first summer that the picnic didn’t happen after she died, I was surrounded by my second family and felt so full of love.

PEX fest is summer camp for burners.  It’s a little like Playa Del Fuego (PDF) but it’s completely different.  It’s not community run, but PEX has wonderful vision and core values that overlap with Burning Man’s principles.  There’s a little commerce, but mostly just for food/ice (except for an unfortunate vendor agreement with the camp property, which had a tie dye t-shirt vendor on site – I went from being annoyed to feeling sorry for them because this was NOT going to be a killer sales weekend for them with mostly burners in attendance!) (And I’m tie dye loyal, I ONLY get mine from my awesome friends in Reno!)

As usual, the schedule was chock full of amazing workshops but despite best efforts, I attended 2 and Random attended 3.  Quality outshone quantity, as they were absolutely amazing experiences.

Random attended Lucky’s contact staff workshop, and we both attended the Porno Jim Show (hysterical, shows the best and worst of porn and talks about how bad porn is bad for expectations/sexual practices in real life) as well as a class from Camp Chemistry.  And without going into any details too embarrassing for the general public of the internet, the class was life changing.  Really!!!!!  I was a bit nervous going in, but knew that it was a safe and respectful space and that we could leave at any time.  We stayed through the whole class, and it was definitely worth it.  If it sounds intriguing to you in any way, please consider checking out their events and classes.  They are good people, and no matter how much you think you know, you’ll learn something new!  And that’s all I have to say (publicly) about that 😀

Between sunny days in the pool and long nights on the dance floor until sunrise….  Living on an angle and having a constant beat 24/7….  PEX Fest is a place of love, beauty, joy, creativity, fire, sensuality, music, dancing, authenticity, acceptance, laughter, family, and more.  There’s no better place to celebrate freedom than here.  I am STILL on cloud 9 and loving it!  See you all next year!


Morning Coffee - by ManisMachine

My Morning Coffee - by ManisMachine

I am back in the “default” world after an amazing weekend at the first (and hopefully annual) PEX Summer Festival.

I’m almost at a loss of words.  I’m also at a loss of photos.  I brought two cameras, and never touched either.  I’m relying on photos others took and enjoying the candids I find of myself!

(Sometimes I find looking through the camera keeps you from experiencing something.  There is also creativity in photography, and it’s rewarding in it’s own way… but I sometimes feel struggle to balance being in the moment and taking photos (whether snapshots or artistic)  Anyway this is a whole post on it’s own so we’ll talk about that another time.)

By ManisMachine

Workshop that Random and I attended, taught by LinaLuv - By ManisMachine

What was it like?  It was like the best summer camp ever.  The location, Ramblewood, used to be a kids’ summer camp.  Now it caters more to adult and alternative groups like ours.

It was a weekend of music (oh the music), friends, fire, workshops, swimming, playing, learning, smiling… I think I realized every time I saw anyone in the main PEXie crew (who each put in hours and hours of work to make this happen) – they had a huge grin on their face.  I think I did too.

Lounging - by Brian McBriarty

Lounging with Reno, Random, and my bottle of wine - by Brian McBriarty

The weekend was just full of joy, laughter, dancing, playing with fire, meditating, and just hanging out with some really amazing people.  The only thing missing was some people who I knew wanted to be there and couldn’t, for whatever reason.

Giant Bear - by ManisMachine

Giant Bear's Effigy - by ManisMachine

The night the effigy of Giant Bear burned (via torches stuck up his butt :P) I just felt the possibilities of where this first festival is taking us, and I knew that we were watching a piece of history.  No, this wasn’t quite the same as a burn (as in an official Burning Man recognized event.)  But it was almost like the best PARTS of a burn, magnified, with the worst parts missing altogether or passing unnoticed.  And on July 4th, it was the perfect way to express and celebrate our freedoms.

Some favorite memories:

– The Gamelatron.  An amazing installation of a robotic gamelan orchestra – all we knew at the time was that it was such a peaceful serene moment that sent us into a wonderful meditation.  We returned again planning to meditate more, and there was spoken words at times during the piece.

Modeled after traditional Balinese and Javanese gamelan orchestras, the GamelaTron is an amalgamation of traditional instruments with a suite of percussive sound makers. MIDI sequences control 117 robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven and rhythmic sound. Performances follow an arc similar to classic Indonesian gatherings, where stories from great epics, such as the Ramayana, are told and settings given in words that are continued in music.

– Music – need I say more?  Of course, with several stages and world famous (or just philly famous) DJ’s, the music was amazing.  A DJ was set up right by the pool so you could swim and still feel the beat, and the pavilion went all night long with fire performances and comfy couch/beds to fit all of your late night needs for entertainment and comfort.

– Workshops – made it to a few, including one about Cultivating the Gift of Fire, by LinaLuv.  This was based on the chinese elemental creation cycle, and dealt with being in the present moment in our relationships/interactions with others.  We also went to a fireplay workshop, which covered contact fire and fire eating.  Random took a contact staff class with Lucky and has a new obsession, and I made it to a pleasure palace workshop which was an exercise in asking and receiving pleasure from others (while respecting your own and others boundaries) – it was a very relaxing experience to have 6 people massage you at once!!

– Our mini camp.  We had a small group but a comfy shade structure and spent lots of time chatting with old and new friends as we overlooked the field and watched activities around us.


ETA memories as they surface again:

– Performers before the bear burned came out and the crowd was way too silent as they watched.  Chad’s yell of “we’re gonna burn some shit!!!!” and prodding the audience to hoot and holler was a wonderful sight!


I happened to be on the PEX facebook group and while the first part has been on PEX webpages before, if you haven’t seen it, it’s a good summary of what they are all about.  And below it is a wonderful poem I never saw before.

The Philadelphia Experiment is a Community of diverse beings that are connected through a common desire for creativity. The Experiment is the catalyst that unites us. We are dreamers, dancers, musicians, engineers, designers, artists, yogis, teachers, students, philosophers & just plain ol ordinary folk. Through our network we open doors of collective opportunity and experience. We invite you to join the PEX family. Chat, discuss, connect, create and get down here.

In Philadelphia
there is an experiment;
an examination of a life…
a community
beyond the false borders
of the homophobic, claustrophobic
caustically toxic
closed minded social order
that feeds us disunity.
The experiment
is an examination of rhythmic sound,
an observation of human creativity,
an exercise in social autonomy,
the rehearsal of a collective economy,
a measurement of participatory allegories,
and that of dreams becoming realities.
There is freedom
and liberation…
an emancipation from the socially toxic “me first” nation.
And there is dancing…
like no one’s watching
dreaming with your feet
getting into that higher trance type of dance.
Formed in the Black Rock City valley
this Philadelphia experiment
is a reflection
of radical self-expression,
a manifestation
of urban in-ergy
human synergy
free-love showing
consciousness raising
acceptance of the beauty in asymmetry.
It is a mindset.
A realized concept…
the silhouette of a calumet
shared in peace.

In Philadelphia… there is an experiment… and it is we.

The Philadelphia Experiment -A Poem Inspired by the Decompression
The Philadelphia Experiment
by Oskar Castro aka Bohiti
(a work in progress)

It’s so hard to explain to people who haven’t been.  There’s a sense of heart and community at the base of all that they do, and you know everyone who makes this happen does so with ALL their heart, and just for you.

A huge thank you to anyone who helped make the event happen (and it took so many!) as well as to each person who showed up – because they are just as necessary to make the experiment work.  With a happy heart and a smile still on my face, I look forward to celebrating independence and freedom with you for many years to come!

NY Santacon

I’ll post more about this later, but for those who want to stay in touch the day of NYC Santacon, PM me for my number if you don’t have it.  – starting location will be announced night before at 10 pm.

starts at 10 am saturday dec 13. I’m not sure when our group is joining – either for the start, or noonish to be better rested up for a long night ;o)

rather than mass texting people who have asked me for updates (cuz you know my brain! i already forget who asked me first! :D)  subscribe to my twitter and set it to update you via text messages. i’m sure you’ll want to cancel it after santacon, but for now, it’s easiest…

WHOOT! er, i mean HO HO HO!!!


** Wear warm layers as festive as you can get, bring a metrocard, booze, water, snacks, comfy shoes.

Playa Del Fuego

I arrived and was hugged by campmates.
I was a deviant (we had a theme camp, Camp Deviants).
I read deviant poetry.

I had my ranger shirt deviant-ified.
I made up many words over the weekend. Many involved -tastic or -licious.
I rangered.
I spread the word about B.E.D.
I hugged many many many friends, old and new.
I made dinner that not many people were hungry for, and burned the hell out of the hot dogs. *shrug*
I recruited volunteers and rangers.
I had my love arrive and find me despite my not getting his text (I was going to meet him) and showed him to the camp.
I drank.  A bit too much of a mixture of things.
I wore a lot of green.

I hung out in an irish pub with a wall and a red door, and watched a man in a kilt and studded leather sing show tunes with a man who tends to scamper around on all fours better than most can walk on two.
I watched my friend try to peek under the kilt.
I hooped while drunk, while wearing pants and a skirt, and did a jump-in without breaking my neck.
I laughed at the Potter posse predicaments and trying to come up with more alliteration.
I think I finally can remember which Potter is which.
I avoided getting sick and my love put me to bed.
I woke and laughed with those who never went to bed as I munched on ginger snaps.
I lounged lazily and was fed breakfast.
I cooked a gazillion (felt like it) grilled cheese sammiches. and I missed most of the deviant acts performed by the customers. but I got to see their smiles.
I dressed in a tacky 80’s dress, and laughed as campmates competed for the best jersey 80’s hairdo.
I wore too much orange (at least when standing next to my love. and those with orange hair.)

I wished my love a happy half-playa-versary. ❤
I watched the pony burn. Only it was a seahorse. I took a few hundred photos.

I danced to 80’s music.
I tried to disappear in the mist.
I theme camp hopped, then fire barrel hopped.
I wandered all night (pretty much) with my love, soaking in every luscious moment, and there were so many.
I fell asleep at dawn in his arms.
I had another lazy morning and was fed breakfast again.
I was gifted a rose.
I hooped.
I wandered in the sunny afternoon, in skimpy clothes, it couldn’t be october.
I soaked in the wonderful energy of PEX/PLF.
I packed up, reluctant to leave.
I ate from the huge buffet my campmates cooked.
I ate candy necklaces, only they weren’t necklaces, and not around someones neck….
I said sad goodbyes.
I watched a pirate ship burn.
I left home. For the time being.


To sum it up…. Sun. Cold night mist. Fire barrels. Fire. Music. Hooping. Food. Deviance. Laughing. Friendship. and most of all, Love.  PDF is always all these things, but even more so with my soulmate and love by my side throughout. ❤ 


Is it spring yet?


See you at PEX.

Almost Famous

I guess I may be on my way to being a local celebrity. OK, maybe not, but I am all over lately and I find it highly amusing.  ;o)  Here’s an article on my friend Ter’i’s hoop jam that turned into a fire spinning evening.  Which is where I fire hooped for the first time. Unfortunately, I guess none of those photos turned out… 😦   The journalist’s flickr set is here, and has some pics of me doing poi and fire eating.

OK so time for a little write up and some pics from the burn…. 

All of my pics are here:

But there were many many photos we didn’t get — the man burning (we had front row seats and a camera that had no pictures left!), art that we just didn’t take photos of for whatever reason… I wanted to go back to the art piece I have the tattoo of during the day and get a good shot of me with the sculpture, but it never happened.

I’ve searched out and favorited on flickr photos that either rock or that are of things I missed seeing or just missed taking a photo…. so feel free to browse through them to see some better/other pictures!

The weather was bad a few days, but overall it was the best burn yet for me!  
Biggest news/favorite memory, probably is getting married to Random (Nate). Yup. We had a playa marrage. (there’s no I in marriage!)  performed by bluebuddha.  We were invited to join a reception, and then asked if we wanted to get married. Sure, why not?!  They lent me a veil and flowers, as well as a maid of honor and a “father” (peter pan).  Random got a best man (peter pan’s boyfriend!)  The marriage is valid until the “alcohol, novelty, or drugs wear off, or until you leave the playa”.  Wedding rings and a certificate completed the ceremony, then it was time for the reception. Introduction, first dance, chicken dance, hokey pokey, conga line, last dance… all the cheesiness, right on the street between the wedding camp and the DJ across the way! it was a blast. I hope they send me photos they took, we signed a book and asked for them to email us. 

Right before this, we had stopped at the Barbie Death Camp and Wine Bistro, and I spilled wine all over myself 😦  Luckily, I never travel anywhere there without a sarong, and I was thrilled to realize I had a special one with me that day (it was given to me by a dear friend, and I wore it at my first burning man during critical tits in her honor!)  So I changed from wine stained capris into the sarong for the wedding 😀

My other most favorite moment was watching sunrise Sunday morning, with the man gone, the temple stood out, and the sun rose behind it from our position at PEX. (We had wandered, danced, spun glow poi, mini-golfed, and cuddled/chatted with some friends the entire night)  

(Photo by Lisa)

As for conclave… well we performed Thursday night at PEX.  Except for one part not going as planned at all and not making sense to the audience (taking down uncle sam between fire pieces), it went well.  Then saturday, it was a little dusty all day, and full white out for a few hours before sunset.  News on the ranger radios was that the man burn was delayed.  When it cleared, we made our way to PEX, to hear that we had no idea if we were performing or not, but we went out to the man.  They ended up just burning the man with no conclave performance – I’ve heard various reasons (no performing because he was loaded with fuel/fireworks, or because they didn’t want the wind to pick up and end up missing the window of opportunity… *shrug*.)  we were all disappointed, and some were very angry.  I appreciate that I enjoyed spending so much time with this amazing group of performers, becoming better friends with them, and we had front row seats for the burn.  I don’t know if I’ll do it next year, just not sure I want to commit the time and driving again, but it was totally worth it.

The temple burn was magical, my first time sitting up close (for various reasons the past two times, I watched from mid-playa or esplanade).  The Man burn had the longest fireworks show I’ve seen in my attendance there. 

As those of you who have been know, it’s just a crazy week full of amazing memories, and hard to put them all into words. the list of things we meant to see/do is long, but I know we would have sacrificed things we did experience if we held to schedule. 
Random had a great time as well – and we travelled well together. yeah we each had little cranky moments but that always happens at burning man, the weather and lack of sleep can be harsh. they passed quickly, and even after spending almost two weeks together, we didn’t want to leave each other, so I say that was a complete success 😀
and so I’m going to be totally lame and use parts of something I wrote for my town’s blog rather than recreate some of the things it says (I was pestered by one of the main bloggers to contribute. I posted before I left for burning man – – and once I have all my photos will submit the full follow up post as well.).
Journaling attempts (both photographic and written) fail, as time becomes fluid and you are continually distracted until exhaustion catches up with you out in the desert.  My boyfriend and I attempted to write in a journal and only got about two days worth before forgetting it entirely.  Trying to catch up post-event, it’s become a list of favorite mental snapshots and moments that even full paragraphs or photos could not do justice.
Our arrival on Monday afternoon was a dusty one.  It was clear driving on the roads, but once you turn off the pavement and onto the playa (the dry lake bed) it grew dustier as we drove, and we could not see the city through the cloud hovering over it.  The caravan slowed as soon found out that the gates to the city were closed, with full white out conditions in the city it was unsafe for driving.  We alternated between sweating in the van (with no working air conditioner) and suiting up with goggles and dust mask to stand in the cool breeze of the storm. 

As the weather cleared up where we were, an impromptu party of neighboring cars started as people broke out a box of wine, a guitar, and marshmallows.  Odd combinations like this are the norm on the playa, and we enjoyed making new friends as we waited.  Once the gates were opened, they rushed us past the greeters rather than giving “virgins” (first timers) the fun inaugural speeches and dares.  I was disappointed for my boyfriend as it was his first burn, but he says the white out was the best initiation for him.
By the time we set up camp and said hello to old friends, we were too exhausted to go any further, and decided to rest up for the first full day on playa.
And from there, it was one adventure leading to another.  Whether you start out for a task or a leisurely wander, it easily can last longer than expected as you run across friends you haven’t seen, or an unusual piece of art.  Stopping to smell the roses is essential, as the next time you pass that way the object of interest could be moved, or non-functioning (as functioning pieces of art tend to have down times), or despite all good intentions you may not pass that way twice. 
Some burners fall into definite “day” or “night” categories – meaning they will live one up to the fullest and spend most of the other recovering/sleeping.  We did our best to do a little of each – managed to see two sunrises by staying up all night, but the day after was always a wash out.  Other days we did daytime art exploration.  And even if you don’t need sleep for some reason, there are still not enough hours in the week to see everything you want to see.    
While the large art works and the burns of the Man and the Temple certainly are memorable, it’s the little things that mean the most to me.  They are snippets of memories and no longer hold any order or timeline in the conventional sense.
-The synchronicity of sharing a plane route (and even a row) with a familiar face, both on the outbound and inbound trips. 
-Playing “spot the burner” in the airports (some are easy, carrying fake fur coats and sporting colorful hair – some are more of a challenge!) 
-A picnic in a shady spot out in the middle of the hot playa on an art piece, offering passersby blueberries and strawberries and seeing their delighted reactions. 
-Standing in line at the 30′ tall ketchup bottle, waiting for fresh french fries, and making friends while we wait. 

Photo by Chuntr

Photo by Chuntr

-Watching skydivers at night with sparkly firework effects, leaving trails in the sky. 
-Speaking of the sky, the clearest view of the stars I have ever seen, and shooting stars are a common find. 
-Staying warm and chatting with friends as we wait for the sunrise – which rose behind the temple from where we were sitting. 
-Being invited to have an impromptu “playa” wedding – only for the duration of the event – with strangers standing in as father of the bride, best man, and maid of honor, complete with a reception featuring a first dance, the chicken dance, hokey pokey, conga line, and last dance.  Our “cake” was a s’mores Poptart, given to us shortly before hand from the off duty art car “Dust City Diner”.
-Having a “brainwashing” at Cleu camp ( – which is a relaxing meditation as they explain the meaning of their symbol, and they give you a copper necklace with the same symbol. 
-Leaving notes/messages at the Temple, for those who passed on and for those who could not return to Burning Man this year. 
-Watching my boyfriend (er, husband at the time!) experience the city for the first time with such joy and awe. 
-Performing our conclave piece during the week, our last rehearsal. (It ended up being our only performance of it – high winds and white outs on Saturday precluded the conclave groups who worked so hard all year from performing before the Man burned.  He still burned, just later than usual, and we did have front row seats.  Many were angry or disappointed, but the time spent practicing with my group was wonderful and it was worth it even if the end goal was never completed.) 
-Sharing wine and chocolate with neighbors before the Temple burned, and walking home in a white out at night afterwards.
Those are just a few of the highlights of the week.  Yes, the weather was harsh at times.  However I find the Playa (and it does take on a personality of it’s own) tends to bring you what you need, whether or not it’s what you want.  Mostly, for me, it brings me back to the moment.  You can’t focus on things you need to do/see – the only things I had scheduled were our last rehearsal and our performance, and you know how that turned out.  You can’t rely on a mental list of things you want to see, or return to in the daylight.  When you leave camp, you need to have your bag fully packed with water, snacks, dust mask and goggles, because you never know what is in store for you.  You may have a goal destination, but it usually is just a starting direction for your journey.  Wherever you are, whoever you are with, you need to enjoy that to the fullest.  Because that’s a moment you’ll never get back.


Procrastinating from working, wanted to share some upcoming events!

Friday 8/8/8! An auspicious day, and World Hoop Day!!!! For jersey folks, Teri is having a gathering in Wayne from 5:30 onwards. Contact me for more details! I’ll be there until dusk-ish.

Saturday 8/9/08 – PEX Compression Party!!!!  You know the PEX parties of past, through experience or reputation.  Yes, this is a different venue – we broke it in for Phoenix Rising.  It still has the awesome PEX energy (despite overpriced drinks and thorough searches by bouncers! Be respectful and law abiding and they’ll treat you fine. You are allowed in and out of the place however, not that I’m condoning any illegal behaviour… But I suppose a drinkypoo in the parking lot is not illegal if you don’t drive with an open container or while inebriated! right? ;o)  AND no pesky limits on invites, we have plenty of room for all! Just remember to dress up (ARrrrgh! pirate or ninja??) or you’ll pay a hefty entrance fee. 

The following weekend I’ll be winemaking Friday night, hanging with some cool cats in frenchtown Saturday night, and freaking out about packing the rest of the time. 

Friday Aug 15th, 9 pm, Playa del Fuego tickets go on sale!  My awesome crew of gals is talking about making our group an official theme camp this time… If you are interested in attending for the first time, or camping with us, contact me because space near me will be limited! But we’ll have a satellite area in open camping as well.  Fall PDF is October 9 – 13.

August 25 – Sept 1: Burning Man WHEEEEEEEE!!! I’ll be camped along 5:30 somewhere, look for a casket bar/keg system on a corner, a bunch of old hippies in tiedye, and possibly a pool table as well.  Home brew for the home brew is the name of our unofficial theme camp.  Catch my conclave group performance at PEX’s camp (Esplanade and 8:00) Thursday evening, 8 pm, or right before the Man burns Saturday night!


Is there life after Burning Man? Yes, there is…. It just gets much more relaxed. ;o)  I’m not planning on fall Wildfire (and it sold out in less than 2 days!) and we have PDF of course.  And before you plan any fun halloween parties, put PEX’s decompression halloween party on your calendar for October 25!!!

PEX party prep time!

Greetings Family!

This will be the last Philadelphia Experiment fundraiser before Burning Man. Please feel free to blast this out to all of your peeps. The club has a capacity of 2,500, so we are not doing invitation only this time. We have an exciting line-up and are looking forward to sharing this experience with YOU!

Our website is going through some major exciting changes. If you haven’t already registered with our new mailing form, please do so at:

And now we present….

Pirates Vs Ninjas
BRC Compression Party
A Philadelphia Experiment Costume Event
August 9, 2008

Shampoo Nightclub
416 N 8th St. 10pm – 6am
21+ /w ID Required
$20 in Costume
$30 Without

We really want EVERYONE to participate

—-DJ Lineup:—-
Marques Wyatt
King Britt
Oscar P
Braden Anderson
mr. caparro
Lee Mayjahs?
Mia Ink
Justin Paul
Nick Cosmo
Ross D
DJ Everyday
Big Jawn
Friar Tuck
Glenn Weikert
Matt Tanz
Kris Murphy
Tubbo & KBunny

—-Live Performance By:—-
Arche-Dream for HumanKind
The Philadelphia Fire Arts Tribe
Live Burlesques Dance Troop featuring Heather Belman
plus Live Stilters, Hoopers, Face Painters & Performance Art

Live Music By:
Dr.Fish featuring Jenny Jamz & Heather Belman
The Innerfluents
The Plum Dragoness

Visuals By:
Optical Digital Distortion
Dr. Fish
Peter Parker
the Blackouts

Please note that the lineup list is subject to change, so check frequently for updates! We hope to see YOU there!

Much Love! And many many thanks for all for your contributions, without
which these events and this community would not exist!

-Giant Bear

Conclave Video

This is the true story… of 24 fire artists… picked to make a conclave…and have their performance taped… to find out what happens when people stop being polite… and start getting real…

At the bottom of this page you will find the link to our conclave submission video, which we are all very proud of. This labor of love is a testament to what happened when people take their arts to new levels, pushing concepts, dedicating their time and energy, and working together.

With mighty hopes, next stop: The Playa. (burning man) 
wording above by Lucky (the conclave shin/leader), because well I can’t say it any better than that…. ;o)

The conclave video (for application to Burning Man in order to perform there) is online!!!! Click here!!!

My connection from work (and work like people hanging around me) has kept me from seeing more than the first 1/3 so far, but it’s. freaking. amazing.  Of course I knew it would be, Hedy and Erik are amazing videographers!!  So since I haven’t seen it all, I have no idea if there are any embarassing bits with me, but I’m sure if there are, only I will think so because I trust their judgement.

The American Dream vs. The Human Dream

As we journey to Burning Man 2008, we embrace the theme of the American Dream. This country was founded on two concepts: Patriotism and Liberty, represented by the figures of Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty.

Liberty’s torch ready to welcome immigrants into its land, shares her light with Patriotism. The characters of this country are presented, creating the melting pot, which is the United States of America. Uncle Sam takes his new flame to light all those who enter this land, promising them of a good life. From families to punk rockers, soldiers to hippies, protestors to religious figures; all are welcomed. But Patriotism turns a selfish eye; leading rather than honoring, enslaving rather than freeing. Drawing further away from Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam shouts at his constituents, cracks a whip of fire, and demands falling in. The inhabitants of this new land become part of this new machine, moving in sync, conformed; their individualism lost under the guise of unification. That is until one breaks free.

A little girl, frightened by Uncle Sam, looks to Lady Liberty, dancing with sparklers refusing to listen, unwilling to fall in. She ignores the demands and slurs of Uncle Sam, risks being called a traitor or a terrorist to live in a free land. She strips herself of her patriotism and even of her clothing to find her human self – raw, tribal, real.

Uncle Sam directs his people to bring her back to his side, but inspired by her rebellion, they seek to join her. Stripping down, they find themselves. Lady Liberty’s torch extends to a dart revolving over and protecting her free people until all have left in the name of Liberty. The final two individuals take their tools, once lit by Uncle Sam, and breathe fire at their falling leader. Others lift themselves up to strip Patriotism down to its roots – a lost cause built by one of their own. Now free from his own constraints, he joins the group as the intended United People of America.

A single line of fire lit by Lady Liberty and aided by its own people, lights the group ablaze. Moving in groups by their own accord, the people of this land spread out and come together, creating a living clock. As the clock ticks, each individual exhibits his/her own beauty, while others stop to admire and look on. From a distance, time passes, the clock turns, and the land of the free becomes a reality. Lady Liberty’s torch bursts with sparks, and the people wave in succession, not as a flag, but as a people.

Aish Tamid (eternal fire) is born.


Playa del Fuego

Fire Spinners around the Pony Burn, originally uploaded by vees.

Photo by Rob Carlson

I’m beyond words about this spring PDF…. it was absolutely amazing, and I want to be back….

Photo is my first time in the conclave for PDF – it’s not choreographed like the one Burning Man, but I usually end up drinking the night of the big burn and never participated before this.

Oh, and to top off the incredible weekend, my art proposal for an installation in center camp at Burning Man was accepted!!! Wheeeeee!!!