Meet the Keymaster. Have you ever wondered if aliens or dimensional beings ever visited Burning Man? I have. My guest, Eric Steven Rankin, first became interested in the possibility of other worlds and dimensions in the 1970’s. This led him to his work on Sonic Geometry, which is his theory and study of geometric symmetry found throughout our universe in physical space and sound. Eric is also a burner. We’ll hear several of his burner stories including his “close encounters” of the Playa kind. Did you know that some of his material is found in the graphic art of this year’s Burning Man poster? By the way, the Multiverse poster is a fundraising opportunity for Burning Man. Find it at the Burning Man website. Nicole Bloss, the artist of that poster, is a guest of my podcast. She talked about Eric in our recorded conversation and then she introduced me to him.
Justin Katz aka Paradox has golden fingers that have touched many Bay Area burners and we don’t even know it. He gets things done and makes things happen. Sometimes he’s center stage and sometimes he’s behind the scenes. He’s the founder of PARADOX Media and The Edwardian Ball, member of longtime Bay Area bands Rosin Coven and Dr. Abacus, and works for Burning Man Project as an Executive Producer and co-lead of the San Francisco Community Events Team. Thinking about how we were asking for collaboration, connection and experiences, something recently sparked and led to him taking on a leadership role in Burning Man’s new online portal for virtual and global events, Kindling. What is it, how do we use it and what is it going to do for us in 2020 and beyond?
Super Suz and Professor Pickle explore Camp Envy, the “largest theme camp NOT on playa”. As the burner community shifts to a socially-distanced online experience this year, we are all now in Camp Envy. Since 2009, CE has been a welcome online home to burners who aren’t able to attend the annual gathering in Black Rock City. CE is populated by veteran burners and burner curious all looking for a way to connect and radically express themselves during the Burning Man webcast (#bmwebcast).
DJ Celeste Lear, music producer and visual artist, first went to Burning Man in 1999. She has a deep love for art, music, community and rave culture. She brought her family to the playa, and a brought large-scale, metal sculpture for 9 years. She has performed there as a music producer & DJ. This last year, she has been exploring various disciplines in the high tech world of VR to continue to bring self expression as an artist and DJ to the digital playa and beyond.
It’s April, 2020 and we just found out that Burning Man Black Rock City, 2020 is cancelled. Now what do we do? I invited Molly Freedenberg, known as Molly Free on the Playa, to chat about what she thinks this can mean for burners. What does it mean for us burners- not only the burners who would have gone to BRC this year, but for burners all over the world? What can we do for our close-by community? It’s an International, Virtual Burn and it’s a Burn in Place that can make an impact. Let’s see what we can make together! Commentary by Tex Allen, past guest with his own podcast.
What can we do with creator spaces NOW during the Quarantine?
Atticus Wolf, owner of M0xy (spelled with a numerical zero for the “o”) in Oakland, invited Danny Beesley, founder of IDEA BUILDER Labs to talk shop. Danny helps learning institutions develop their creative spaces. Both have knowledge and experience over the years supporting artists and developing a maker space. M0xy just recently survived a fire! Both are well suited to suggest how we move forward. How do we help? How do we support the artist-community maker/creator space owners who need our help now during our economic turmoil brought about with the quarantine and Shelter-in-Place for the Bay Area and beyond?
Nicole Bloss, aka Alpha Pussy, has been designing for over 2 decades and burning since 2005. In 2016, Alpha was offered the commission to design the participant maps when the opportunity opened up and has designed all of them since DaVinci’s Workshop. She has helped many artists design for their projects as well. We hear her talk about her passion for design and creativity and how it plays an important part of our lives at Black Rock City and beyond.
Burner Hacks is a group on Facebook with over 23,000 members. Melissa Kirk, the group’s originator and one of the admins, has made it into a “Troll-Free Zone” with all questions valid (mostly) and radical inclusion practiced (with the exception of unnecessarily mean people). Find out how to make the best potty for your camp, the best swamp cooler and monkey hut. You can discuss ad-nauseum about the best way to stake down your tents. You’re doing it right at Burner Hacks, or you are at least trying! Note that if you are not a Facebook-type of person, you can find similar information on ePlaya Forum located on the Burning Man website.
Simon Gold, aka Simon of the Playa, has been attending Burning Man since 1996. Upholsterologist by day and ePlaya postershop by night, Simon has been bantering with the best burners since 2007 on ePlaya, the online forum for burners to post about all things Burning Man related and a little beyond. Find plenty of open discussion there with a whole community of passionate posters. Simon talks about politics, social media and developing his voice there. At a time like this, your vote and your visual “voice” says a lot. Simon says, “Use it”!
Meet sTeVe Knauf, of The Mighty Zenith. It’s not just a big TV. It’s a big TV set that drives around BRC and looks just like a 1974 Zenith TV console. The 13 by 10 by 10 foot art car is a roving performance stage. When it’s at Black Rock City, the producers encourage everyone to join in on what may be a talk show one night, a game show another night, and a live stage in the daytime. The producers have a motto that drives the show. It’s “You be the content”. Fantastic! Note that the end of the podcast is about 30 minutes talk about DIY plastics reuse on and off the playa.