21 January 2011

Google *Hearts* Burning Man

Excerpt from Bloomberg's "Game Changers" series about Google. Burning Man reference at the 2:01 mark. 
The documentary first aired 28 October 2010.

Eric Schmidt @ Burning Man
2007 (via Gawker)
Yesterday it was announced that Google's CEO Eric Schmidt was stepping down from his position within the company. What this has to do with Burning Man per se is absolutely nothing. Except that this blog is dedicated to the art, culture and community (drink!) of Burning Man. To that end, Schmidt and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are burners with both Page and Brin in attendance at the festival almost as long as they've been running their company.

The story goes that Schmidt got the job at Google because he was the only candidate for the position that had been to the event according to Silicon Valley journalists John Markoff and Gregg Zachary.

In 2003 Business Week reported that after Schmidt landed the job "one of the first orders of business was joining his new 20-something colleagues at Burning Man.... Sitting in his office shortly after his return, tanned and slightly weary, Eric Schmidt couldn't have been happier. "They're keeping me young," he declared."

There's an entire chapter devoted to Burning Man in the national bestseller book published in 2005 about Google: "The Google Story" by David Vise, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Washington Post in which the author describes Burning Man as a "counterculture" commune event of about 18,000 people held yearly in a "desolate stretch of Nevada's Black Rock Desert" that attracts "a motley assortment of other technologists, artists, anarchists, intellectuals and free spirits" and where "nudity and drugs mingled easily," "buying and selling were forbidden" and "advertising is banned." That's not to say you couldn't buy "burning man" as a Google AdWord though. We're just sayin'.

The first "Google Doodle" circa 1998
Google loves Burning Man so much that in 1998 the Google logo on the website's landing page was altered during the week of the event to include an image of the Man to one of the "o's" in Google. This was the first of what would come to be known as a "Google doodle". The intent was to send a comical message to Google users that the founders were “out of the office.”

In his paper entitled "Burning Man at Google: a Cultural Infrastructure for New Media Production" Fred Turner, Associate Professor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, believes that elements of the Burning Man — including the building of a sociotechnical commons, participation in project-based artistic labor and the fusion of social and professional interaction — helped to shape and legitimate the collaborative manufacturing processes driving the growth of Google.

While there now may be a job opening at Google the CEO position has already been filled by Larry Page. But if you're thinking it might be kinda cool to work there, according to Future Boy, a one-time guest on the BURNcast podcast, you not only need a "degree from a top-notch university and a stratospheric GPA. But Page and Brin also have a preference for hiring Burning Man attendees...."

BTW, we're told that Google enjoys camping within a stone's throw of First Camp, the playa compound of the Black Rock City LLC's senior staff. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and say "hi".

19 January 2011

Burning Man 2011 Tickets Now On Sale!

Tickets for Burning Man are now on sale! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry and get yer ticket to ride!

18 January 2011

My Playa Adventure - Burning Man 2010 [pt. 2] by Mastahnick

In case it's not obvious, BURNcast is a h-ee-yuge fan of Mastahnick's Burning Man videos and this one is no exception. It's the second part of a two-parter from his 2010 video series -- the first one we posted here.  But here's the one that started it all.

Anyway we were gonna post this video to follow the first one back in October when it was originally released but sorry to say that it got buried in the number of media submissions we've received since then and it's only now that we're getting around to posting it.

Now, have YOU got a video, music track, slideshow, essay, haiku, or article that you would like to share with BURNcast followers?  Oh, by all means: BRING IT! It might take wee whiley to post but we will get to it ... eventually!

11 January 2011

What I Did On My Summer Vacation - Burning Man 2010

The above video is from albert speer.  It's more of an essay set to a slideshow and music than it is a video, so be prepared to sit and actually read it to get the most of it.  Once you get past the fact that some of the sub-titles are kinda hard to read I think you'll find the narrative told here pretty cool.

Here's the story:
Two Rochester NY Artists Eddie Davis III and Aydin Ture go participate in the Burning Man project, an Art Festival in the Middle of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Seeing with Virgin Eyes.

They Join the theme camp ROOT SOCIETY, a large scale "sound camp" on the playa.

They become part of a large crew.

This is their story.

and if you ever thought about going to Burning Man,

well, rumor has it that it's going to be Hot, Dusty and Noisy and that it's going to suck.

burn on.

Eternal Thanks to Jefr, the Root Society captains, and the entire camp, we love you.

10 January 2011

In Loving Memory: Grant Fey

Grant Martin Fey, born in Memphis, TN and resident of Ventura, CA  died Tuesday December 21, 2010 at the age of 33. An informal memorial and hike in his honor took place yesterday in Ventura.

Co-worker Michael Destito remembers Grant: "I worked with Grant at The Good Bar in Ventura, CA. He was an awesome guy who worked hard and was my friend. He cracked me up with his crazy-colored pants he'd wear to work and when it was slow we kicked back on the patio with a coffee and watch Ventura's downtown Main St. go by on a Sunday afternoon. He was a GREAT cook and an even greater human being. He'll be missed by us all."

For those who knew Grant and missed an opportunity to attend the memorial, we apologize for the late notice of this announcement but we just heard about it this morning.

Rest in peace, Grant.

06 January 2011

John McLaughlin's New Year's Resolution? Attend Burning Man!

Over the weekend political commentator John McLaughlin announced his New Year's resolution for 2011 was to attend the Burning Man Festival.

McLaughlin is the creator, executive producer and host of two weekly public affairs programs: The McLaughlin Group and One On One.

It's worth noting that McLaughlin used to be a speech writer for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Welcome home, John!

04 January 2011

BURNcast.TV Home Videos: PEX (The Philadelphia Experiment) @ Burning Man 2007

This video concludes our three part series of Burning Man 2007 videos from Hedy Sirico. It features footage from the theme camp called Philadelphia Experiment.

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
by Oskar Castro aka Bohiti
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