Between Sunday and Monday I spent a lot of time in Second Life’s Burning Man called BURN2. I listened to Philip Linden’s latest interview from SL9B on June 22. I’d seen part of it before but this time I listened to all three parts. By the way, there were only 21 views of part 3. There are several sections of Part 1 that talk about Burning Man.
The most meaningful part of my day was to engage more people in chats. When I arrived earlier in the day on Sunday, I saw a familiar name, Iono Allen, from my days at Hosoi Ichiba. I felt like I knew Iono but I didn’t really, I’d seen his award-winning machinima “A Question of Honour” about Hosoi a few years earlier. Anyway, I chatted him up a bit and like many others I’ve met, he was really excited BURN2.
Getting to know people and becoming part of BURN2 activities is a big part of what being a Burner is. Later in the day, I chatted with Support Staffer, Connie over at the Lamplighter Village. I learned that the Lamplighter’s have a drum and fire show every evening at 7pm SLT. And so it went throughout the day.
In my previous piece I talked about discovering BURN2 on opening day. Even though I’d had a preview on press day, there was a lot to discover, but in the next two days I began to feel the Burner experience. I suppose I was predisposed to becoming a Burner, but I’m not very good at kidding myself about feelings. I still needed to feel it.
On Sunday night while attending a live show at Center Camp, I became a Burner. It wasn’t a grand event but there was a good-sized crowd which included several of the BURN2 Camp Builders, Rangers and just plain folks like me. We were hanging out under that big tent as the Sun was going down, and I was reflecting on all I’d learned.
It wasn’t hard to imagine that this was the Nevada desert at night, and it had been a long hot day. People had gathered to hear a live performance by singer, Stella Silvansky. She was already on stage when I arrived, standing up, strumming a hot guitar. Stella sang just the right tunes with just the right chords. I was smiling when I realized it happened, I was a Burner.
I usually take Mondays off from Second Life, but I got a nice note from iRez author Katie Vizenor . Katie wanted to hangout at Burn, so we headed off for an hour. I tried to take her to the cool places I’d discovered. It was a lot of fun just meeting someone new and heading off on an adventure. We stopped at a new spots I haven’t highlighted yet, the Regeneration Plant.
The thing is, I had to know what she thought of the Guru Guru Stage. I mean, photos do not do this structure justice, so we allowed enough time to get over there and explore. Katie was indeed impressed with the Stage, so we headed in to do some dancing and prancing. It is all techno at the Stage and as we entered I saw the builder herself, Mikati Slade. Me being me, I chatted her up a bit, told her what an amazing build it is. I figured she’d heard this a lot, but as with so many of the great builders I’ve met, she was very down to Earth, even shy. It was a great place to end the evening.
There is still much more to see and remember, the burning of the effigy is yet to come.
8 thoughts on “BURN2 Becoming A Burner”
Great post, Yordie! It was so much fun to hang out. The Guru Guru stage is truly an amazing structure and I hope that everyone can see it. I wonder sometimes what happens to all these structures after an event? Do they go back into someone’s inventory? What would happen to all this work if SL were to end? The photos we take can immortalize them, but just like in real life, these structures are best understood by walking around them. Do you think there is any solution for this?
I suspect that Guru Guru Stage is something of an evolutionary design. I remember the stage Mikati created for SL9B and it had many of the attributes of this one. If I were a videographer, I’d make some vids but that’s a skill I’ve yet to become a beginner at. I’m so glad you got a chance to experience it.
It’s a funny question Katie… and, of course, one that many peeps have said a lot about: what an irony that digital creation, the theoretically most preservable art of all, is so likely to be the most lost. True that pix and vids will carry on, but the 3D / Immersive / Temporally explorable space…
requires a platform architecture and server space: money, effort, and implementation by someone… or else it’s kind of lost.
If you build it external to SL, like in Maya or 3DS Max et al, then you could drop it in many places, so that’s a good thought for the serious virtual creator, but Virtual Black Rock City is a group of people in a time and a place.
Then again, from an art historical / conservation perspective of preserve everything for all eternity… we do want this…
Yet at least for some, one “problem” with the Internet is that it doesn’t forget. Human memory often fades horribly as in dementia, but at times it also fades gracefully as in “gosh, I can’t even remember what we were fighting about… it must have been nothing…”
Also, while preserving work is wonderful in so many ways, to preserve can in a way be to kill. I know I love ephemeral art partly because it focuses on being truly present in the moment, and partly because it can subvert the commodifying impulse of the art market.
iRez is, among other things a place to preserve, if not living works, at least documents of their having lived:
Anyway, Mikati’s work is AMAZING! Not only do we mortals die, but we also change themes and media. Mikati’s been all over the place for a while now, but the day will come when we don’t have such easy access to her wonderful work. That’s a shame, but it’s also a reminder to truly breathe deep while we have the opportunity.
“Human memory fades” and even gets things mixed up. It’s why I write. So when a memory I’m so sure of is so wrong, i can go check what I wrote. Hopefully I got it right. oops… what the heck am i doing rambling like this.
It would be wonderful it the works of great virtual artists like Mikati could live forever in SL. We should have a place for such art. For poeple like Amiryu Hosoi and many others.
There’s something about living beings that’s more compelling than “dolls in a bell jar”… still… if it’s a lost civilization… any trace of this culture would be a wonderful thing…
Maybe we (and by “we” I mean some code jockeys like the peeps on the Firestorm or other viewer projects, not “we” here at iRez who mostly just talk! 😛
anyway… “we” should create a digital bell jar… where even if an artist can’t afford the price of a sim… or even if their time at LEA is up… or even if a whole world / platform like SL did close down… that this “Virtual Bell Jar” — kind of like a website or a browser or an iPad — would be a place where you could “run” any digital object that you had access to (by some arcane permissions system)
Whether that could populate a new world or simply be a museum exhibit of an old world… it would be priceless.
So far the bulk of conservation funding has gone for the object-based art that old money and power has made “valuable” through commodification, but clearly there exists a generation of artists and curators across many media that do understand and appreciate Ephemeral, Virtual, Public, works, and might be compelled so “save” at least a small sampling of this creative activity.
What an idea, a digital bell jar! It seems possible as long as you can have a stable server & viewer to reproduce the object-based art. For example, there are still version of old DOS games being brought back to life, so sometimes these technologies can survive.
Maybe this won’t happen now… since You or I or Becky or Kathleen aren’t really the developer types to be able to do that… and the peeps at Firestorm or Exodus or Qarl, el al, are busy making NEW stuff…
But if this world ever does “fold up”… then some of those peeps might make a “Virtual Archaeology Viewer” (digital bell jar)
Of course, from the archivist perspective, a lot of work would be lost by then. Maybe we should get out our pom poms and go to GitHub or SL Code Camp and rally the hacker troops!
Until then, good vids will have to do. But even the most elaborate vid is always a point of view, nothing can ever replace experiencing something for yourself.