Great news, Experimenters! Given the upheaval during June for many of us, your friendly Mosaic Organizers have decided to extend the deadline for Large Art Grants and Effigy applications until Saturday, July 9 at 11:59 p.m. That means YOU HAVE MORE TIME to gather your ideas, team and get your applications in!
Cover image by Scarlett Hayes, shayestudios, Mosaic 2015
Let us together journey backwards to the days of retro futurism. Back when analog was king, and holding a computer-phone in your hand was but a blip on the future’s radar… keep going, back, back farther still! Think 40's & 50's Sci-fi books and movies. Art Deco space ships. Hovercrafts and lots of flashing lights; fashions that are out of this world! Even time travel is on the books here. Encountering alien races, sentient robots, or mad scientists doing their latest cross-species experiments would not be out of order. Now that we have tricorders, self-replicating nano-technology, and self-driving cars, tomorrow IS today - wait, which future is this, anyway? Backwards, to the days of FUTURE PAST!
Tickets go on sale May 18 at noon - mark your calendars and adjust your gears, Experimenters! Check out the ticket details here. Interested in our Scholarship ticket program? Applications accepted March 30 to April 13. Read the details here!
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it:
SUGGEST A THEME for our next Experiment: September 29 to October 2, 2016.
In 2014 we mined the hive for its wisdom and secrets. Queen Beetch held court while burner bees swarmed Reclaim, pollinating the strip mine playa with weirdness, art, gifts, and a honeycomb-inspired effigy that went down in a blaze of glory. In 2015, we defied gravity together with Mothership Love, an effigy that spun us to new heights. WHAT WILL 2016 BRING?
HYPOTHESIS: Mosaic 2016’s theme will be so mind-blowingly awesome you’ll hear pew pew pew sounds when anybody speaks it out loud.
ABSTRACT: Dig down deep, burn scientists! Submit a theme that inspires our community to create, connect, participate and explore. Include a description that makes your vision clear.
VARIABLE: The only limit is the farthest reach of your beautiful mind.
CONSTANT: Submissions accepted until WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16 at 11:59 pm.
METHOD: Submit your theme suggestion and description via this handy form:
THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING.
Mark your calendars, Experimenters! Stay tuned for theme submissions, ticket sales announcements, and more.
As we hit the final stretch, just a quick reminder that our consent culture is everyone's responsibility. Consent means asking first and gaining permission when interacting - undeniably true. On the other side, consent is also about your clear communication. Take responsibility for your boundaries and intentions. Let people know how to interact with you, your art, your theme camps, and your projects! Scarlett Hayes, our fantastic Gate co-lead and graphic designer, created these images for you to use! Each separate sign image below is available as a PDF. DOWNLOAD THEM HERE, print them, decorate them, or make your own:
Consent also applies to ALL photography and video:
VIDEO AND PHOTOGRAPHY POLICY Video and pictures may be taken for personal use only, and ONLY with permission of the person being photographed. Commercial use is not permitted. Practice gaining permission before recording or taking images of people. Consent is a cornerstone of our culture, and you are expected to get consent from anyone you photograph prior to taking photos.
PLEASE NOTE: This policy is ESPECIALLY important regarding minors. You MUST ABSOLUTELY have permission to photograph anyone, and with minors, you must have the guardian's permission. DO NOT POST ANY PHOTOS PUBLICLY WITHOUT ADDITIONAL CONSENT.
Finally, please remember that consent extends to all interactions - including all human touch - this means hugs, back rubs, shoulder massages, and all intimacy. ASK FIRST. What if someone touches you without consent? COMMUNICATE YOUR BOUNDARIES LOUD AND CLEAR. Not being heard? Find a Ranger (go to the Volunteer Hub at Atomic Chocolate if you don't see one) or go to the First Aid tent. Ask for help. CONSENT MATTERS.
by redbird While many of us are daydreaming about what our next adventure home will bring us, I’m over here envisioning our fantastical village at work… the volunteers burning in the parking lots to show cars where to go; rangers burning as they stroll around offering help to their fellow participants; DPW burning as they swing hammers and yell “get off my lawn” to the same hippies that they so lovingly embrace in the next moment; gate volunteers burning as they accept your bribes and give you your wristband (after making you sweat a little for it, of course); greeters burning with hoots, hollers, and hugs that we all made it home safe; and the countless others volunteering to burn and burning to volunteer. In my misty eyes, I remember why I feel so strongly about volunteering- it’s because I feel so strongly about burning. To me, volunteering is burning. In these exciting times pre-event, as Mosaic’s volunteer coordinator, it is easy to get caught up in the blank spaces of our volunteer shift schedules… but then I get reminded to think about why I love volunteering and what volunteering at burns has given to me. I remember that this community provides, and I am forever grateful that I get an opportunity to provide to it.
I truly believe that the glory behind volunteering is that it encompasses the 10 principles- the essence and architecture of our community- in one single time-structured act. Volunteerism is encouraged for all to enjoy. For most volunteer shifts, no prerequisites exist, all are included and welcome. Volunteerism is a gift of time to our entire community. We gift this time not because we expect something in return, but because we know that our time and energy are two of the most precious things one can give, and we get to offer them to everyone all at once. We take pride that no volunteer is ever paid. Down to the last event organizer, everyone purchases a ticket to the event. This includes the folks that volunteer their time year-round to ensure that our home remains compliant with the default world, ensuring that we can return to our family reunion each year. During volunteer shifts we might find ourselves in inclement weather, awkward moments, or entirely new atmospheres; we find that we must rely on our own resources, both mental and physical, to accomplish a valuable task. Every single volunteer adds their flavor to their immediate atmosphere, something that only that individual can express to that role. Volunteering is such an easy way to participate in our community- to get to know and grow ourselves and others around us, to be an active member of the village in which we are participating and sustaining. Without volunteers, we would leave our home a MOOP (Matter Out of Place) pile. From the year-round organizers to the graveyard shift rangers, the greeters who welcome you, the individuals in bunker gear, the artists that create our effigy centerpiece, and the parking shift guides keeping us safe, we are all burning as we fulfill our tasks. We are volunteering to sustain the burn, to build it, to give it fuel… and at the end, we clean it up to start anew.
But what volunteering truly gives to me is a place to be of service. You can probably all relate to that feeling… if you have something about yourself that you value, you wish to share it with the people you love. Musicians share their compositions, medics share their first aid skills, level heads share their mediation techniques, fire performers dazzle your eyeballs, programmers delight your senses with audio-visual splendors, chefs share their skill for flavor and texture pairing, and so on it goes for every talent in our community. The world can be an awkward place to share your talents sometimes, but I assure you, volunteering will always be a welcome canvas. If it wasn’t for volunteer coordination, I’d be on the sidewall at the back of the furthest dome wondering how it felt to do the things everyone seemed to be enjoying. I found a place to use my talent, in volunteering I found how to burn. When it feels this good to find something like that, it’s hard not to share it. It’s hard not to dance and shout and holler that everyone should volunteer because it’s amazing what you can get from it and it’s amazing what you can miss if you look at it as a chore or a sacrifice. Not to mention the food, snacks, swag, hugs, and appreciation bombs that Mosaic is growing to provide its volunteers… yeah, those are pretty sweet too!
To find out how you can volunteer or sign up to do so here: Volunteer Sign Ups. And feel free to email me, redbird, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or feedback.
On-site we have a Volunteer Hub that is located inside of Atomic Chocolate again this year so once you’ve unpacked your gear, come see us during the day to find out where you can volunteer, what shifts you signed up for (you may have forgot, but we got you), and to get some good ol’ volunteer appreciation! And to the countless volunteers burning for countless hours to make Mosaic the home we long to return to, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. While I am awestruck by the art and activities that a burn facilitates, it is the efforts of our volunteers that fill me with the inspiration to continue believing that our community can affect the change we wish to see in the world.
Hi everyone! I’m redbird and was on the ground floor of Mosaic Experiment in 2013. I fell into the Volunteer Coordinator position because it was the position that made the most sense to me as it matched my available skill set… but then I just fell head over heels with the people I met by holding the position. In my three years with the Mosaic organization I have learned more about myself, my community, and my intentions to live the life that is important to me than all of my life’s years combined. Mosaic is my home because I truly grew up here. Also, I think farts are hilarious.
Mosaic Experiment: Defying Gravity 2015 Placement Map
ANTI-GRAVITY ELIXIRS Anti-gravity elixirs aim to challenge the force of attraction by which our bodies fall toward the center of the Earth. The consumption of anti-gravity potions are the gates of which to enter an alternate world of possible impossibilities. By creating possible impossibilities, we enable ourselves to lose touch with the physical laws of attraction that bind us to reality, and unhinge fantasies of weightless existence of which evoke transformative change.
DEFIANT PHOENIX “Defiant Phoenix” mixes Mosaic 2015’s “Defying Gravity” theme with the Big Burn’s “Man Effigy”. This installation is a family of wooden birds which will be set ablaze. Each reminds us to defiantly soar high above the challenges of life. Their cycle of "life from death" reflects our own experience from default world to burner community.
GALLERY OF THE FOUND Gallery of the Found is a interactive gifting gallery for art and writing. Found in a tiny alcove of trees, the Gallery is place to discover art, poetry, crafts and writing all gifted by our burner community. The Gallery will also feature the Altered Book Project, a creative way for you to make art and poetry at the burn. Find us among the trees... bring or make something to gift, and hang it in the gallery to be found anew. Please, don’t be shy - take a piece of Mosaic art home with you when you depart!
FLYING BADONKADONK MACHINE How does one describe a flying badonkadonk machine? It's mobile musical instrument that anyone can play (if they are tall enough); it’s mounted on wheels, so you never know where it might fly off to. You’ll know it when you see it. Play it! Interactive participation of this mobile musical art is encouraged!
MANIC DYSPHORIA A stately willow with an impossible garden stands beside a clouded sky. The central tree canopy sways fluidly as an unseen breeze imparts momentum to the sculpture; its lifelike actions captivating in their apparent simplicity. The tree has surprisingly chaotic behaviors while still being structurally strong and stable. Lights flow across the limbs and reflect off the cloudy sky. The garden is beautiful but seemingly cannot truly exist, just like people can still hold beauty in times of seemingly impossible hardship. This environment represents the chaos and the beauty in which the severely mentally ill and those close to them live.
REFLECTIONS Reflections is a wooden pergola with a rope suspended bed made of reclaimed wood. Like swinging on a swing set as a child, Reflections defies gravity by offering a feeling of weightlessness, happiness and flying while being safe for burner participants to hang out on and reflect. At night, the effect should be something similar to floating around in space, staring up at the stars.
TAKE MY HAND Take My Hand is a passive interactive piece that encourages spontaneous moments of slow dance. Imagine as you are on one of your walking adventures to check out what Mosaic is doing, with a person you are happy to have in that moment - a friend, a lover, a parent/child/brother/sister, a new acquaintance, a crush, a recent stranger - and you frolic across a stand-alone space where you can sweep in and out of a dance at both of your wills. Maybe it makes you nervous, and maybe it gives you butterflies, maybe it feels like the most natural thing in the world... sway back and forth all night or until the end of the song.
Based on the artist’s fond memories of dancing with her father, Take My Hand recalls being spontaneously twirled around and sharing a dance, then letting it end as quickly as it came on with zero awkwardness. This project is being built in hopes to offer a platform to offer your hand to someone and be intimate with another human, the slow dance way.
TARDIS (BIGGER ON THE INSIDE) We'll be making a tardis out of plywood with mirrors (some of them carnival style) lining the interior walls and solar lighting from the edges. The idea is to create a multi-angled infinity mirror effect in which a person can view themselves in ways they were never previously capable. Perhaps even realizing like a Tardis, they too are bigger on the inside.
TEMPLE OF UNOBTAINABLE EXPECTATIONS The concept of the Temple of Unobtainable Expectations is simple, really. Expectations are all around us and in our daily life. We really do take for granted that things will always be the way they are now and they won’t be. Each moment in time is different than another. There is no going back, only forward. So, why not go forward with a new direction? The direction of healing. The Temple’s goal is to help transmute the energy of guilt of expectation into a loving remembrance of who we really are. When we free ourselves of expectation, we make room to express more love and joy. You are invited to interact with the Temple by writing on the outside, or leave unobtainable expectations within on the heart shaped papers provided. The Temple is located in Sacred Grove, and the artist will often be nearby and invites you to reach out to her if you need help letting go. The Temple of Unobtainable Expectations burns Sunday morning as the sun rises.
ASGAARD When you feel consumed by the fog of uncertainty, when you feel driven to break free from the oppressors, heed the summons of the heathen horn. This is the home for those who embrace the white frost, a haven for the fighting spirit, consecrated by hearts of fire and steel. Harken the battle cries of our warrior brethren, the strike of the anvil, the lightning crash. We welcome you to Asgaard, to answer the thundering call of the north.
People can come and hang out, listen to our music, dance. We will be playing mostly Nordic and European metal as well as some other music. People are encouraged to express all of the 10 principles, but especially radical self expression.
BIPOLAR DRAGONS The large art "Manic Dysphoria" is integral to the theme camp. It's expected that several people at once can be creating art of the dance through the movement of the chaotic willow limbs and playing with complex light patterns in the limbs via smart phones. All of these activities interact with each other. Cooperation tends to produce the most beautiful actions with the seeming chaos. The floating boulder is there specifically as an art play area for kids. A specific activity is drawing on the boulders with colored chalk. Hopefully this will foster the concept of being artistic without permanently marring outdoor beauty. More introspective interaction is writing/drawing/etc. on cloth that people can quickly glue to the tree trunk and roots. It is expected that there will be additional art to gift that helps carry the discourse about Bipolar Disorder beyond the limits of the Mosaic Experiment.
CAMP BLAST OFF! A place made up of people that love space and all space related things. BYOA: Bring your own alien and no MIB allowed.
CAMP BYE FELICIA! Camp Bye Felicia! is a camp with a unique attitude. We welcome the stranger as long as that stranger isn't a jerk. Anyone thought to be a jerk will get a very loud "Bye Felicia!" from us. We are a camp full of silly grumps. We will have odd and possibly bitchy art lying about. We are also offering an activity called Frankenfurries where you can sew together your own crazy creature out of various stuffed animal parts. We want to spread the message that even though we are at a burn, we don't have to put up with rude jerks. Our camp definitely abides by the Fuck Yer Day mentality!
CAMP CUDDLEFISH Camp Cuddlefish is an aquatic-themed cuddlespace. We also run workshops, usually including Good Touch Games, an experiment in consensual touch gamification that also just so happens to make people practice good consent culture.
CAMP GROWN-UP We are Camp Grown-Up, an art-centric group of cool people from Boston. We come all the way to Ohio to make sure hippies have the things they need to burn successfully - we practice radical over preparedness. We also have a sober adult person on premises all through the burn - so if you lose your shit we'll help you find it.
CAMP NEVER B IV - THE OFFICE An interactive office, play, and teaching area.
CAMP SNAKE OIL Camp Snake Oil will serve the finest in libations meant to give you the pep, vim, and vigor you need to promote health in the body and mind using the oldest and best science. No fancy double blind studies here folks! Just good old fashion know-how! So long story short, we're a bar, which promotes all kinds of interactivity in one way or another.
CAMP CLOUD CITY Camp Cloud City brings out the kid in you. Imagine walking through the clouds into a space filled with toys from your past. Imagine playing games from years past. Imagine drinking tea from toy tea cups. Imagine seeing the stars and moons scattered on the ceiling from your childhood bedroom. Here you can escape from the hustle and bustle of your busy camp life, and retreat into your inner child - free of pressures, filled with joy and innocence.
The camp also hosts several art installations, one of which is the recipient of the medium art grant. You can write a postcard to your future self. Drop it into our Cloud City mailbox, and we will keep it safe and mail it to your future you. What would you like to say to yourself? What wisdom would you like to impart? What would you like to remind yourself? It's all here - waiting for you.
On Friday for a couple of hours, kids are welcomed to the Cloud City to play games led by one of our camp members. On Saturday for a couple of hours, we will be serving an adult brunch where everyone is welcome to participate.
Camp Cloud City serves as a haven. A way to ease your burden and take a few minutes of your day to let the kid in you play again.
DEITY CAMP Come to Deity Camp and become a God or Goddess (your choice), complete with immortality ceremony, sacred geometry creation, and a pantheon sound altar that will burn after the effigy. We have some amazing never before heard electronic based sets ready to go with both high and low energy times happening. Come gather and worship around the fire alter, feel or dance at the sound alter, or join in on some cuddle opportunities, and don’t forget to say high to Z(i)us: God of the gods, God of sound, and God of cuddles.
FIRST FIRES First Fires invites you to take a step back in time and a step into coziness. Here we celebrate the first fires of our civilizations that drew people together for warmth, comfort, companionship, and expression. We invite you to relax in our cave dwelling, and leave your mark on our time together by adding to the murals inside. Stop by any time, or join us for one of our events, including a Wild Things Tea Party, Open Mic, and Beginner Fire Spinner Workshops.
FIX YOUR SHIT Fix Your Shit started as advice, turned into a philosophy and now it has evolved into a theme camp. We provided shit-fixing supplies, including sewing kits, basic first aid, things to keep you warm, and more. Need something fixed? Come see us, we’ll do our best to help! Camp FYS is also radically inclusive as our members are involved in a variety of activities, many of which are counter culture. We attend burns, pagan festivals, kink parties and are open to any and all people regardless of gender, orientation, marital status, and blood donor type. We are poly and kink friendly. Several of our members also love to hand drum and that draws in many visitors and people looking to get away from the EDM. We will have many drums with us to loan people and several people with large mouths to draw people in.
FROSTED KRAKEN COOKIES Our flavor engineers have crossed the Indus River and climbed the highest peaks of the Himalayas to fetch the sacred milk of the finest Nepalese cows. We’ve traversed across China in search of the holiest of holy grains. We’ve sought out the oldest of Irish druids in search of divine swine. We solicited the help of the righteous brotherhood of the Canadian Maple. We even had some dolphin bits left over from our last endeavor. Look for our Cookieketeers making the rounds passing out our most sacrilegious treat yet.
HELPING HANDS SUCCORS We are a camp offering a place to stay for new burners, who would like to already have connections before experiencing this wonderful life changing event called burning. We are here to offer help, guidance, answer questions and ensure the newest members of our community have a better burn experience. We also will offer a gifting tree or loan hub where people can register extra supplies they bring, hoping to gift or loan to those who have forgot, lost, broke, ran out of, or didn't plan on bringing. We all need a little help from time to time, and even the most seasoned burners can run into a snag while at an event. There is no shame here. No sparkle ponies, just inexperienced or uneducated future friends.
LAST CAMP With an iron-clad pack-all-the-muck back out plan we intend on setting up a hookah bar for ages 18+. We will have 4 hookahs, wind covers for the bowls for safety, and a variety of flavors for everyone to try. Will have a pillow pile for sitting out to look at the stars or discuss all the things. We want to provide a relaxing place in a quieter area for folks to gather and talk or take a breather.
MOTHERSHIP LOVE Mothership Love Command Center. Welcome Humans! We are honored by your open arms and profuse usage of this H2O substance you keep drinking. How weird. Come hang out and say hi to the Crew and come visit with the Mothership! Make sure to stop by on Burnday afternoon. Our crewmembers have fallen in love with this… grilled cheese concoction you humans eat. We will have plenty of these grilled lactose slices for you all. Don’t believe their lies!
NOTACAMP We'll bring our big metal dome back this year filled with electronics, blinky lights and tons of fun stuff to do! Live music and DJs will be playing in the dome throughout the event. Want to play your own stuff or jam, then stop on by! We're also bringing back Mosaic Radio, 88.5 FM, so bring your FM radio to tune into what's going on in the dome. We also accept submissions for radio programming, so submit something!
PIONEER Much like it was in 2014. We're going to have a book swap (leave a book take a book) under our -better built- front porch. We're also planning on having olde fashioned checkers set up for folks to take a siesta and relax ye olde pioneer style. On one of the nights we're going to have corn on the cob. The following day we're going to teach people what some uses pioneers had for cobs. Other than wiping their butts - making checkers, scrub brushes and other stuff Peppers brain contains.
PRIORITY5 Our vision is to create a space to demonstrate our camps incredibly varied skillset to the community as a whole. We plan on having a bar, to lure people in, and have a large scale sound system to keep them enraptured by our DJ roster. We have a number of fire spinners that will be performing their flow art, as well as hosting at least two events (a talk on cryptography and a bourbon tasting). As a whole, we focus on building strong social ties within the community by enabling unmediated experiences.
SACRED GROVE "The Place Where People Meet to Seek the Highest is Holy Ground."
Our vision for Sacred Grove at Mosaic is to intentionally and energetically interact with a designated space to create “the Sacred.” In a Blessing Ceremony, all are invited to imbue the space with the gift of our own sacred energy, gratitude for the sacred energies present in the space, and an interest in mutually awakening and expanding these energies together in the space. We will summon within ourselves: trust, acceptance, and openness to change and expansion.
Throughout the course of Mosaic, we will work and play in that sacred space, and offer it up to whomever would like to do the same. As Mosaic draws to a close, we will offer a Blessed Ceremony, to conclude our personal experience with the space, and also take it forward into the next chapters of our lives.
We promote radical inclusion by opening the space to all at any time. We also open the idea of what is “sacred” to be explored by all who enter the space with awareness of its intention. We promote radical self-expression by celebrating all forms of self-expression as sacred. We promote communal effort by supporting each contributor in manifesting their offering to the Sacred Grove. We promote participation in the space through both physical and energetic offerings that will be described in an intentional schedule posted at the entrance.
We promote immediacy by encouraging experience that drops participants’ energetic expression/ reception down from headspace into heartspace and root-creativespace. In the same vein, we encourage participants to fuse any intention that they carry together with openness to whatever is present – to fully and sacredly experience the beauty of the NOW experience.
THE SECRET GENTLEMEN’S CLUB The Secret Gentlemen's Club is an oasis of leisure and sophistication, a bulwark of civility against an increasingly savage world. Here a Burner can embrace their more cosmopolitan side, engaging with other like-minded individuals in an atmosphere of refinement and urbanity.
Whether enjoying liquid refreshments lovingly concocted by one of our expert cocktail craftsmen, playing one of our outsized lawn games, voicing their innermost thoughts through participatory art installations, testing their skills at classic arcade machines, or simply engaging other Secret Gentlemen (keeping in mind that ladies can be the most secret gentlemen of all) in scintillating conversation, Mosaic participants will find The SGC a most welcoming environment for expression, repose and intellectual edification.
Proper attire required (or will be provided).
SKRAMBLES**!* Born from confusion and tempered by mild incompetence. Home of the world famous "Now we dance! Now we fight!" Dance/Fight party (now with fewer stuffed animal related injuries!). Absolutely no eggs. All hail String.
SPIRIT ILLUMINATIONS We believe in creating a space where a person’s body, soul and spirit are free to connect to the Creator of the Universe. We provide a safe place where one can interact with the spirit through creative art, dream interpretation, readings, and healing.
SUMMER CAMP REJECTS PART DEUX Were you the outcast at summer camp when you were a kid? Now you can be the popular one! This camp is for all of us who were not accepted. We will have interactive projects such as coloring books, fabric paints, beading and LEGOS! We will be hosting a Lego Build Party on Saturday from noon to 3 PM. Dragoon DailyFlame, camp mascot and all around good Dragon will also be in attendance.
SYNCITYUM An Ann Arbor/Detroit based theme camp with bar, sound and whatever fire Ohio allows us to bring.
UNDER SEAGE Under Seage is collaborating once more with a bunch of wonderful people and camps to create Ocean Motion Village! With Art, Music and an interactive space for performance, spiritual expansion, TED talks and cuddle space, if you are not having fun, you're doing it wrong! So come play and learn.
WHITE RABBIT White Rabbit offers a safe, chill space to enjoy. We have gallery space to display art. Art supplies and paper to create art. Hookah. Quiet, and chill music, as well as an interactive art installation.
Many thanks to Lady D, our Placement lead, for her hard work coordinating our village. Huge thanks to Lindsey Pepper of Pioneer camp for the gorgeous graphic design!
Questions? Email our placement department at placement[at]mosaicexperiment[dot]com.
by Captain Blood
Consent is an important discussion to have because we are generally a gifting, loving, sharing group. It is very easy to take that for granted without realizing when we do so. Generally when consent culture is discussed the focus is on sexuality, but it has a much larger scope.
So I thought I would throw out some scenarios that most of us have been probably guilty of at some point, and also potentially how to react when consent isn't given. Let’s start with the basics. Consent is about asking first. It is the participatory gift you can bring and give at any time or situation. It may not be the most heralded or recognized, but your receiver will either note it or learn from it. Knowledge and experience are the best gifts in my world.
Let’s be real, we all can work on our asking for consent. Who hasn’t just walked up and petted someone’s tail or plopped down at someone’s campfire? I know I have failed at times, but being consciously aware of it is what we are striving for. That awareness will help us develop a knee jerk "Ask First" reaction to situations.
Physical contact: This is the most often area that is touched on (I made a funny). Physical contact encompasses ALL touching: hugs, handshakes, kisses, groping, touching a tattoo, wig, fuzzy vest, light, etc. Any and all sexual contact, even mid-sexual encounter.
Conversations: Sharing our input and experiences is often very fluid at burns. But be conscious that in an intense conversation (or intimate one) that another person’s input may not be welcome.
Physical space: Some theme camps have all-day offerings of yummy things or fire pits or fun stuff and music. Others do not. When approaching a camp, confirm that you can have a drink, or share the fire, or have a seat or eat foods. Usually they will call you in, but theme camp people also want to do all the things and at times may have their camp unattended. Best to wait for an okay, or see if they have a sign. The same applies for anyone's physical space that is not deemed yours (or your camps.)
Others belongings/Art: Art is effing awesome. So much of it is interactive and meant to be touched, climbed on and tagged. Some is just meant to be visually appreciated. If you are unsure, ASK. Some art will have signs indicating its purpose. Please respect the time and resources invested to stimulate our imaginations and spirits. This applies to open camping, people, chairs, kitchens, all the things. Never assume it's okay. Get consent.
Photography: Not everyone wants the interwebs to see them in their awesome striplaya outfit. They chose it for themselves - not you. Ask before shooting pictures of people. When shooting pictures of camps, art, fire, etc, make sure either no one else is in the frame, or make anyone near aware you would like to take a pic of this super cool thing. If they wish not to be included, give them the opportunity to do so. When posting pictures, make sure you have gotten permission prior to posting any recognizable faces or bodies. If you are unsure, or want to give them a copy but forgot their name, reach out to Mosaic leads, one of us will be able to help you find them.
They said NO. Now what? Rejection sux, but we need to not take it as a personal slight. We have no idea why in that moment that action isn't okay. I have come up with a useless acronym for dealing with a NO: A.R.F. Acknowledge: We need to acknowledge we heard them. Either a “thank you for letting me know” or “have a good day” or “okay”, but just let the person know you heard them and respond with assent. DO NOT ask why. Just accept that is where they are in that moment. React: Now that they have declined your request, it’s time to react in a comfortable manner. If your long lost burner buddy doesn’t want a hug, continue the flow of the greeting, do not make it weird. Just verbally show your happiness at encountering them. If a camp has said they are not currently serving from their bar, ask when maybe you can return and move on. Follow Up: Especially when you have a pre-existing relationship with the individual, it’s good to do some follow up. Just check in and see if there was another way you could have approached them. It gives them the opportunity as well to communicate about the moment, or maybe they need to decompress about some issue. In the instance of a camp, it’s nice to go back, find out when is a good time to participate and thank them for giving when they can. Follow up can also be a time for apologizing for overstepping boundaries.
"But I know Sparkle Pony, and they always have been okay with ______, why do I have to ask now?" Have they given you blanket consent, meaning yes all the time? Even if they have, I have a large group of friends I’m close with and we all hug, kiss, pet and grope each other. We do not ask anymore BUT at anytime I am ready for someone to change that dynamic. Even for a minute or forever. I will accept that boundary and love them in a manner that honors them.
In a nut shell, the topic of consent is growing in visibility in our community. Many feel it should become the 11th principle of Burning Man and all communities who follow the principles. In order to grow, adapt, and share our philosophy, we need to come together and install the principle of consent in all we do. Only this way will we be able to sustain as a community and educate those who desire to call our community home.
Captain Blood, new Gate co-lead for Mosaic, lives in Chicago and is the founder of Camp Cloud City. Captain Blood has been an avid volunteer at Lakes of Fire, local burn events, local art and childrens events, and spent 7 months in Thailand involved in post disaster relief. She is passionate about the importance of regional burns and their diversity in the changing landscape of our developing society. She is also a feeder (Hungry? Go see Captain Blood), active within the Chicago burner community, a Ranger and generally open to dispensing long, sweet hugs. She also makes a mean cocktail and bakes wicked good cake.
Our community has known Kristal Light for a long time. She exemplifies the Burning Man 10 Principles through the artistic gifting nature of her personal lifestyle, and over the years she's volunteered to work First Aid at more regional Burning Man events than we can keep track of. If you've been to a Midwestern or Southern regional Burning Man event in the past 10 years, chances are good you've met her! She also became one of Kentucky's first official Burning Man Regional Contacts, and was one of the founders of Reclaimation, Kentucky's first official regional burn.
Currently living in Lexington, Kentucky, Kristal received a Large Art Grant to bring her vision for The Temple of Unobtainable Expectations to life. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, and sent us a few pictures of the work in progress (but nothing too specific, she's not going to spoil the secret!)
How did you first get involved in all this Burning Man business?
My first burn was Transformus in 2005, but I heard of Burning Man years prior from an article published in Wired back in 1996. I moved from my birthplace of Louisville, Kentucky to San Francisco in 1998 and attended some fundraiser parties for Burning Man, thought hadn't yet made it out to the actual event. It took finding community in the woods (at Transformus) to inspire my first journey to the desert. My first actual Burning Man was in 2008, and like with so many others, it radically changed my life. Finding others who are inspired by large art, blank canvases, and vision, I started to make big art of my own for regional burns, not to mention participating in Burning Man's first historic C.O.R.E. (Circle of Regional Effigies) project in 2011. The project was called the F-N Bourbon Barrel and was a 16ft tall by 16ft wide Bourbon Barrel that housed 350 individual art pieces from people here in Kentucky and some native kids in Canada.
Would you mind telling us a little about your project for Mosaic Experiment?
I'm building a temple for Mosaic called The Temple of Unobtainable Expectations. The vision for this art piece came to me while doing 108 days of mantra meditation earlier this year. I wanted a way to help myself and others to let go of the expectations of others so that we can be free to feel more joy and love.
I was inspired by my meditation , my job and my life to make this project. I wanted to use recycled materials from my workplace in a way that dresses them up from their original use. I also wanted to show the art that anyone can make if you make the time to do it.
Our families and friends think they are helping us when they tell us we will be judged by others around us. Sometimes, we are filled with these expectations by friends who want us to do more and more for them. It's when we realize our truths and let go of these expectations holding us back that we can be free to be whatever we choose to be.
The art is very personal for me as I work through the thoughts and ideas that have held me back over the years. I just hope this project helps others to know even well-meaning expectations can be harmful to the psyche and transmutation is the way of freedom.
I look forward to seeing the reactions of others as they interact with the piece and hope we are all healed as this burns at dawn Sunday morning.
This sounds like a profoundly deep project for you. May we ask how much time you've spent on it so far?
Wow.....good question there.....I started with the vision in February this year (2015) and started the work in March. I knew I wanted to bring this piece to Mosaic all along and I'm grateful that I'm getting closer to making my vision a reality.
Are you collaborating with anyone on this you'd like to mention, or working primarily alone?
I've been working on this piece alone, for the most part. I did consult two friends on the building/spiritual parts of the piece, but this has been a single person build all along. The Sacred Grove camp has taken me in as a member this year and have offered to keep sacred space around the piece when I need a break.
Have you run into any unexpected obstacles while building / designing this Temple or has everything been going to plan?
My main challenge has been making sure I collected all the recycled materials to make the project. Luckily, I have done that, and now my only challenge will be muscle help on site to help me lift pieces while I put it together/break it apart.....want to help out? I'd love volunteers.
Would you mind sharing any advice or wisdom to other participants considering a major project like this for a future Mosaic Experiment?
Dream big! Don't be afraid to try something out of your league. It's just a new thing you've not tried yet. Don't give up on yourself or your art. Anything is possible when you have dreams!
One last question: Mosaic's theme for 2015 is "Defying Gravity." How does your Temple defy gravity?
I've decided to look at the world differently than before, and part of doing that is baring my soul for all to see. This project is a sort of therapy for myself dealing with loss, depression, and abuse. As you walk into the project, you'll see several phrases in negative tones. Those words are from the heart and I cried as I let the pain come through me and be placed into the wood for you all to see. Likewise, I have positive phrases inside the heart of the piece to show the healing that has taken place in my life so that it helps others to not suffer as much. We have so much in common and yet we forget that we all hurt, cry, bleed the same. Life is a terminal illness. It's time we fly beyond our faults and embrace our beauty in those differences. Letting go is the hardest part. Dream big and believe in yourself.....that's how true miracles happen.
I hope this temple helps someone not feel alone, ashamed or afraid of those dark things inside. I hope this temple is the vision of beauty I've seen in my meditations. I hope this temple helps heal others as I know it will help heal me.
Remember, this isn't magic, this is your life. Your game, your rules. You can change those rules you've set for yourself if they hold you back from your highest potential. Don't give up on yourself. Don't stop believing. Never stop dreaming.
Thank you, Kristal, for sharing your vision and gifting of yourself with an art piece we can all participate in. The Temple will burn on Sunday morning, October 4, 2015. We look forward to sharing this experience together.
Are you ready for Mosaic Experiment and all the beauty and creativity you'll experience? Be sure to come prepared so you can fully enjoy it! Check out our Weather Preparedness & Self Reliance post, and of course, don't forget to read the Survival Guide.
Regional burns expose us to all types of weather. Burning Man faces the unique challenge of camping in the desert -- Mosaic Experiment challenges us to be prepared for October camping in Ohio. What can you expect? Anything. That means sunny days and chilly nights, light rain, heavy rain, wind, hail, cold. One day you might be happy running free in a tank top. That night, you might be wrapped up in a sleeping bag with three layers of pajamas cuddling for warmth. One thing most burners have in common: we're proud of our ability to survive unpredictable weather, outdoors, without trips to the local store for last minute items -- and we do so with style while having a great time. Showing up prepared (and the process of getting prepared) teaches us how to take care of ourselves responsibly, so that we can make the most of our time burning together.
How can you up your Radical Self-Reliance quotient? Plan ahead for everything. Anticipate dramatic changes. A good question to ask yourself: what kinds of things do you pack beyond the obvious "umbrellas, sweatshirts and raincoats"? How are you planning to prepare for wind? Do you have good stakes for your tent and shade structures? Do you have an extra tarp? How will you survive a cold night if temps drop into the 30s?
R A I N
In 2014, we thought it would be helpful to start a thread on our Mosaic Facebook Group asking our community to share the ways in which they prepare their art, theme camps, tents, and selves for the inevitable October rain in Ohio.
Here are some of the best recommendations our community members responded with:
- Good solid rain boots
- Have a SPARE pair of rain boots
- How to waterproof your boots with wax: http://youtu.be/htyNHX6afQM
- LOTS of warm socks!
- Pack your clothing in a Rubbermaid container.
- Pack an extra outfit inside a Ziplock bag in case your tent floods. Pack bedding in trash bags if it's raining on arrival day, so it doesn't get wet between car and tent.
- Waterproof your tent and clothing (the spray can stuff from Shoe Carnival is said to be good enough.)
- PREVENT TENT LEAKS: When you leave your tent, make sure nothing is touching the sides. Anything touching the tent sides creates a place for rain to gather and enter the tent rather than roll off. Pull all crap toward the center!
- Put a ground sheet or tarp under your tent and ensure it doesn't extend past the sides of the tent. If the tarp is sticking out around the sides, it will gather rainwater and pool under your tent.
- Better yet, put the ground tarp inside the tent under your bedding.
- Have lots of tarps and rope!
- Don't build art projects out of cardboard for events when it might rain.
- Warm cocoa, hot cider, miso soup. YUMMY during cool rainy camping adventures.
- For cold rain and damp nights, use a light weight sheet or blanket to cover air vent under rain fly and then tarp away!
- Vitamin C! Airbornes!
- Extra tie downs and stakes for your tarps!!!
- Wool, fleece, warming clothing
- Rain suit! Something like this
- Check out this article with tips from engineers: Storm Proofing Your Tent
W I N D
Rain isn't the only likelihood. You should also prepare your structures for wind. When high winds pick up, EZ Up shade tents that aren't staked down can go flying and become dangerous. Are you bringing a dome or other large shade structure? Make sure you've researched and planned how it will stand up to wind. Some tips:
- Make sure you secure your tent to the ground in a way that it will not come loose. Buy higher quality stakes than the simple metal ones that come with your tent.
- Wind over time will cause your tent to move up and down and side to side, therefore your ground stakes need to be checked frequently to see if they are working.
- Properly angle your stakes and guylines. If wind is up-rooting the pegs, use longer ones, and remember to hammer them in so that the point is closer to the tent than the head.
- Keep in mind that anything lying around your camp that is not secured down, like garbage, plastic bottles, paper, art or anything else, will get blown during high wind. It is your responsibility to take back everything that you bring in, from the largest structure to the smallest bottle cap or cigarette butt. Keeping everything secured means you won’t have to spend time searching for it later.
C O L D
- Cold Weather Clothing: Make sure you pack the basics: long sleeve shirts, long pants, a hooded sweatshirt, parka jacket, warm socks, gloves or mittens, a beanie. Layer your clothing so you can add/subtract insulation as needed.
- Avoid cotton materials as they trap and hold moisture close to the body, reducing any insulating value. Undergarments of polypropylene are ideal for wicking away dampness, while over garments should be made of wool. If you layer, it's easier to adjust your comfort level as temperatures change.
- Air mattresses trap cold air underneath you. Layer a fleece or wool blanket on top of your air mattress to insulate your own body heat.
- If you are hanging near a campfire, make sure that your outer layer of clothing is less likely to end up ruined if struck by an errant ember. Wool is one of the best, most fire-resistant natural materials and is great for this.
- Hydrate, then hydrate some more: You may not feel thirsty in cold weather, but staying hydrated is just as important in cold weather as it is in summer. Drink water (warm or cold), hot tea, or hot chocolate—the latter also provides high-calorie fuel for your burn adventure.
- Be ready for condensation: As you breathe in a warm tent on a cold night, condensation will form on your tent, even if it's a four-season model. There's not a lot you can do about condensation, but the next morning be sure to dry out your sleeping bag before using it again. To minimize condensation, you can vent your tent at night—it won't hold in heat as well, but it will stay dryer.
- The old wisdom of stripping down before you get into a sleeping bag doesn't make sense. Put on everything you brought before you turn in for the night. And if the campfire is still going, heat some water, pour it into a heat-proof water bottle, and snuggle into your bag with it.
- Hot Hands and Mylar Blankets are a quick lifesaver on a cold night. Open a pair of Hot Hands, shake them, and throw them in the bottom of your sleeping bag. Cover your bag with a mylar blanket. You'll sleep like a baby all night long.
Have a comment on this list or another suggestion we should add? Let us know at info[at]mosaicexperiment[dot]com.