Meet those who make Burning Man happen, beyond the desert and out in the world. Artists, activists, and innovators. Builders and Burners, freaks and fools. Burning Man floats on a sea of stories, and the Burning Man LIVE podcast is a plucky little boat with a microphone.
Dana Albany: Dreaming in Metal and Glass
Dana Albany has come a long way since her first art project in the Black Rock Desert, a scrap-wood camel that got her started making things out of found materials, from discarded metal and broken glass to sun-bleached cattle bones and deer antlers.
She has built flammable targets for notorious machine-art groups, worked as the artist-in-residence at a San Francisco dump, and had her large-scale metal and mixed-media sculptures exhibited around the world, most recently at the “Radical Horizons” show at England’s Chatsworth House.
She talks with Stuart about her path to becoming an artist, which began at Burning Man in 1996, about her mentors and mentees along the way, and about the joys of working with children to create high-impact interactive art.
George Reed: Invisible MOOP and the Net-Zero
We committed to be carbon-negative by 2030. How will we do it? We have “Burning” right in our name.
When it comes to solar, biofuels, and energy banks, we have many irons in the fire, or rather, we are planting many seeds. Hear how Black Rock City is a hotbed, or rather, a garden bed, for the innovation of clean energy.
Stuart talks with George B Reed III, Associate Director of Burning Man Project’s Off Fossil Fuels program about the progress we’re making for a brighter future, or rather, yeah, a brighter future.
George shares what Burning Man’s leadership has been developing to be in integrity with our principles and goals, from composting organic waste for food cultivation, to making renewable diesel from captured carbon. He shares stories of the community preventing and reversing damage to the climate.
Hear how we’re collectively rewiring reality, showing our work, and sharing what we know. Here’s how you can do it for your camp, your cohort, your city.
Mysteries of Desert Wildlife with Dr Lisa Beers
The desert seems lifeless, yet it’s home to a whole lifecycle of bugs and animals from bunnies to foxes, from lions to horses to – most dangerous of all – COWS! Hear about the hidden lives of all that’s alive around Black Rock City.
Stuart Mangrum talks with biologist Dr Lisa Beers aka Sciprus. When she’s not teaching in remote villages on the other side of the planet, she’s Burning Man Project’s land fellow studying the Fly Hot Springs territory.
In the face of mystery, she has the surprising answers, or at least more questions, and aren’t questions as good as answers? Aren’t they?
How do butterflies know to ride the jet stream from Canada to Mexico and back?
What do sea monkeys have to do with Fairy Shrimp Scampi?
How do feral Burners adapt from arid & dusty to moist & muddy?
Brody Scotland: Art From the Inside Out
How would you overcome shyness at BRC?
How would you break people’s brains at SantaCon?
How would you acculturate museum docents to Burner culture?
Brody Scotland tells how she did it, and how she went from hating Black Rock City to working year round in the Burning Man Art department.
Brody and Stuart delve into the uncommon common sense of self-care and “feelings” in the emo roller coaster of BRC. They explore a style of pranking where no one is the butt of the joke. And they celebrate “Shit Dave X Says.”
From hand-crafting iconic costumes, to logistics-crafting “weird little odd art,” this is a string of stories about Brody’s bespoke approach to increasing happiness in the world.
The Streets of Black Rock City
Stuart and Burning Man’s Community Services head honcho Terry “Retro” Schoop riff on the streets of our fair city and the naming thereof, from the controversial to the miraculous to the misunderstood. Black Rock City has elaborate art themes, each with street names, each with curious conditions. Why does our recreational refugee camp even need street names?
Hear this year’s art theme (ANIMALIA) express itself through cryptids (animals that no one can prove are real). Folklore and fandom brought us our new ABC street names: Afanc, Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Dingbat… and NOT the Easter Bunny, thanks to Encantados, which are were-dolphins that shape-shift into dapper dancers in search of a party.
This is an episode with literature, lore, and laughter — and a pile of BRC trivia for extra street cred.
Steven Blumenfeld: The Tech of Art and the Art of Tech
Yes, Burning Man has a Chief Technology Officer, and his name is Steven Blumenfeld. In this episode Stuart chats with “Bloom” about art, innovation, immediacy, and the power of the unexpected, with trippy side trips into AR, VR, and AI (and TLA).
Yes, we have a CTO. We have all the enterprise tech needs of any not-small non-profit, with the added complications of ridiculously challenging work sites, a staff that’s mostly seasonal volunteers, and an ethos rooted in Ten Principles that don’t always line up with ideals of Big Tech or engineering efficiency. You don’t build a city of 80,000 in the desert — or a global community of dreamers and doers — without bending a few bits and bytes. Or stepping on a few tech-bro toes.
Bloom shares stories from his colorful career at the intersection of art and technology, from working with Al Gore at Current Media to pioneering the “always two years away” world of virtual reality. And he does his best to reassure Stuart that AI will not be taking his job… yet.
Catnip for Burners!
I love this show! Stuart and Andie and then other hosts are fantastic, as they interview the makers and movers and shakers who make the event awesome, and who support the culture spreading across the globe. The show always makes me long to get on home to BRC!!
Can’t get enough
I eagerly await Wednesday when I get an alert that there is a new episode. Guests are superb, hosts spectacular, advertisements that make the world better, and well thought out episodes.
Stewart- you inspire me to be a petter person and an even more involved burner. Can’t wait to meet YOU on the playa someday
Reminds me of why Burning Man is so special.
I’ve only finished the first two episodes, but it’s already given me the feeling, emotions and thoughts of being at the burn. “We’re going to need a bigger temple” so perfectly encompasses and made me feel and cry as if I was there. This podcast is so beautifully done. Thank you for making it.