creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Monday, September 16, 2013

BURNING MAN 2013 Cargo Cult: Part 2 Gifts & Dazzling Lights

Framed by Marvin, The Vortexegon - photo by Gregory Frye
Many of my favorite moments and experiences from the week at Burning Man have to do with the acts of gifting, that is one of the main principles of The Burning Man philosophy. It is wonderful to  see it in action everywhere from others and from yourself in a variety of ways, from simple acts of kindness to grand gestures of goodness. It brings a smile to the spirit to be surrounded by that atmosphere, one that seems far too rare at times in the world at large. 

On the first night there, my fellow Sunny Mooners and I spent a lot of our time touring the C.O.R.E. (Circle Of Regional Effigies) art projects on the Playa encircling the main Burning Man sculpture (the man atop the UFO was the centerpiece this year).  A couple members of the Sunny Mooners were members of the Idaho C.O.R.E. and contributed to the building of a sculpture called “Marvin, the Vortexagon” -- which was by far one of my favorite art pieces of the week.  "Marvin" was a marvel, made out of a repeated pattern of geometric squares spiraling programed with a series of LED lights that channeled through it to beautiful effect. The colors and patterns were constantly changing, sometimes displaying solid hues, sometimes shifting into a full spectrum of chasing lights. It was an absolutely stunning achievement - and very exciting to know some of the hard-working creative team behind it.

Video for personal use only - music by (of which I am a member)

Our camp captain, Gregory, designed and built a tower of lights that we set up at our campsite to help define our camp. He brought a bunch of prismatic glasses for people to have fun viewing the lights with. That first night we brought several glasses onto the Playa and our group gazed at Marvin's lights through them, making the experience 10 times more dazzling.

Marvin, The Vortexegon by Idaho CORE
It became clear as we stood in awe of Marvin with the glasses, that we were not the only ones who ought to witness the "augmented" beauty. So we handed out glasses to various spectators and invited them to put them on. The reactions were priceless; big gasps of joy, smiles, laughter, and the continuous passing on of the glasses on to their friends or the next person who stepped up to the sculpture with phrases like “Wow, you have to see this! This is amazing!”  Strangers were united in on the Playa by their enjoyment of art and beauty. It was a terrific way to start the week and tap into the spirit of gifting. We hadn’t planned on any of this, making it all the more wonderful to allow spontaneity some space to manifest. It didn’t take long for us to pass out all the glasses we had on hand that evening, some people took the glasses with them to witness the effects at other light sculptures, some gazed at the sculpture of lights for a few minutes and set the glasses down on Marvin so others could happen upon them.

Rand takes a photo of his fellow Lollipop Guild campers framed by Marvin
At one point an eight-year old girl dressed in pink furry vest and boot covers came up to marvel at Marvin. I asked her if she wanted to try on the glasses. When she put them on, her face lit up as bright as the LED lights and she started giggling with glee. Her guardian mentioned how great that the pink glasses matched her ensemble and I invited her to keep the glasses. A few minutes later I met her parents, who live in Reno and have been to the Burn 5 times previous, but that this was their daughters first. They thanked me for the gift. Later, I saw the girl again at a different location. She was looking at another art piece with her eyes normally, and then placed the glasses on for an enhanced view. The sharing of a gift becomes its own type of gift to yourself and makes you feel good for contributing to another Burners experience.

More gifting stories and Burn experiences to come!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Jason - it's awesome - love the video! :) x