Back from a two week vacation in the desert. I provided guerrilla art support for a number of projects at The Burning Man festival. What does that mean? About 10 days of driving around loaning out tools, jump starting dead vehicles, getting broken equipment fixed, getting crew members moved off of their work site and into their new camp sites just prior to opening night, bringing volunteers out to projects much in need of bodies – in short – getting-it-done. I had a lot of fun riding in and saving the day.
This is my first year in a long time of not being on an art project and of having my own 4 wheel vehicle. I bought this chopped Dodge RAM cargo van on craigslist a week before coming out and it became my rolling office.
If you saw a blue truck rolling around out there doing the same thing, that was my buddy Stephen from the Temple Crew doing the same thing. We didn’t plan that. Being a couple event OGs saw a need and we jumped in.
Artist at Burning Man are on their own in terms of gear, food, supplies, camp infrastructure, etc. There are too many projects for it to be otherwise. However, as the event evolves, more and more artist from around the world who have no experience with this wasteland called the Black Rock desert – one of the most inhospitable places on the planet – are coming out and trying to make a go at. Which provides those of us who have more experience out there, and have the personal connections, to do what we can to keep things moving…. to Get It Done.
I would encourage every participant at Burning Man to look around. Find an art project that is not done. Schlep a bag of ice out to he crew… or some viddles. One crew I spent a lot of time with was eating granola and drinking hot Gatorade for serval days. If someone had shown up with 6 cheeseburgers and cups of coffee on Tuesday night, they might have mustered the strength to finish up sooner. Sometimes a crew just needs bodies to throw stuff on a truck. Jump in! It’s a great way to meet new friends.
New city, new coast, and now… a new professional pursuit. I left my awesome job at Yahoo working and ran off to white water rafting guide school in May. After two weeks of intense training, I returned to Portland, and I’ve begun to pick up work guiding trips on the Clackamas River.
While not on the river, I’m playing around with new coding environments rediscovering why I got into software development in the first place.
I’m grateful to my team at Yahoo. I had a great run there.
The time has come. I’ve been living in NYC since 1995 in a great old building in Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. But the time has come and all the stars are aligned for a move to the west coast. I should be in Portland, OR by the end of 2012. I’ll continue to work for Yahoo out of their Hillsboro office.
I found a great affordable Mind mapping app – MindNode. I was first introduced to the concept of mind mapping by the Bee Collective – a group of activist that would go into poor and underserved communities to map out there hopes, dreams, desires, history, challenges. It’s a really powerful and fun process.
MindNode has a free and pro version of their app. And a touch version for IOS.
I’m throwing together some maps for myself, but the real fun is doing it with a group.
I was a crew member on the Burninator Grid project at Burning Man 2009. This was the 3rd incarnation of the Burninator – a creation of Bill Codding. Essentially it was a field of 16 large fire cannons 20 meters apart that were triggered by a computer sequencer.
The Burninator had some unique safety features, including a solenoid fuel shut-off valve and bullet spliced wiring… so that any sort of mishaps, such as an art car backing into a tank, would immediately shut down the whole system.
The effect was a very loud, hot and intense experience. At more or less two hours past dark each night, we lit up our pilot lights and waited for an unsuspecting person to wonder into the grid. At which point we’d fire all the cannons and watch the person jump out of the skin. Of course the lucky winner got to climb the 4 foot platform in the center, select a sequence, and trigger the fire cannons.
We were happy to get many people up on stage to trigger the big booms: friends, kids, Burning Man staff, EMS workers, cops, people with big stupid grins on the faces, as well as a long line of dudes asking ‘how does it work?… how much pressure in the tanks? how big are the valves? etc.” To which my response was, ‘less talk, more rock. Push the button and make the crowd happy.”