Make Art, seriously, do it

Building art? Planning to perform? Building a stage or performance space? Talk about it here.

Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby fbcota » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:17 pm

Hi Everybody,

I just wanted to remind everyone that has a dream to make a "something" at Burning Man or anywhere else to just do it. Seriously, you can do it. It takes a lot of work, and tears and a ton of blood and it is worth every second of it.

And if you need some advice then ask away. I don't have all the answers but after 3 years of big projects in a row and a 4th one that is maybe to big for its own good I can at least tell you how to avoid some of my mistakes. Or have fun repeating them.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby gaminwench » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:16 pm

Thank you,

sir,

you are an inspiration!
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby moonrise » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:35 am

Right on fbcota!
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby VultureChow » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:22 am

I can't do real art, but I'm busy crocheting some cute little items as gifts and mini art projects around the city.

Crotchet poop for the potties etc.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:51 am

"Can't do real art"
Ha. WTF is "real art"? I'd say it's crochet, which I can't do, of course. ;)
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby fbcota » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:32 am

Everyone can do real art. Shit, all we did was copy a decaying structure and put it in the desert. Now all we are doing is making a bigger decaying structure,...

I say if you call it art then its art.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby trilobyte » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:39 am

Well said, fbcota. And forget about the concept of 'real art' (whatever that is anyways), do or create something that excites you. Big or small and regardless of the medium, it's all good :)
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:07 am

Creativity is one of the human legacies we all are heir to. I abhor the idea of "real art". Just because something's in a museum, doesn't mean it's inherently "better" than other work. (Yes, there is very good stuff in museums, but they keep the embarrassing parts of the collection in some cellar some where, where nobody sees it.) And, like so many thing, art gets better with practice. We have some cultural ideas about what is and is not worthy of attention. Dead white men still get preferential attention on gallery walls. Crochet, for example, is devalued because it is typically produced by women and typically used for practical things, like shawls and sweaters. Put I say that the lovelier our practical things, the more centered and whole is our life. Okay, using a plastic bucket isn't going to send you to some sort of miserable hell, but I once saw an antique chinese bucket that was hollowed out from a whole slice of tree trunk. I dunno if it was hollowed out as a purely practical object by a peasant, or if it was created for some sort of wealthy taoist, but it was lovely.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby VultureChow » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:39 am

theCryptofishist wrote:Creativity is one of the human legacies we all are heir to. I abhor the idea of "real art". Just because something's in a museum, doesn't mean it's inherently "better" than other work. (Yes, there is very good stuff in museums, but they keep the embarrassing parts of the collection in some cellar some where, where nobody sees it.) And, like so many thing, art gets better with practice. We have some cultural ideas about what is and is not worthy of attention. Dead white men still get preferential attention on gallery walls. Crochet, for example, is devalued because it is typically produced by women and typically used for practical things, like shawls and sweaters. Put I say that the lovelier our practical things, the more centered and whole is our life. Okay, using a plastic bucket isn't going to send you to some sort of miserable hell, but I once saw an antique chinese bucket that was hollowed out from a whole slice of tree trunk. I dunno if it was hollowed out as a purely practical object by a peasant, or if it was created for some sort of wealthy taoist, but it was lovely.



Well said... I hope to at least make someone smile with the various little projects, and I guess that's all that matters.

Though if Burning Man turns out to be something that I want to continue doing, I have an idea that involves an old card catalog cabinet from a library that would be fun to attempt.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby fbcota » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:30 pm

I think the greatest thing about Burning Man is that it is an open gallery for anyone to be seen in. It is a chance for the fringe artist, the kid, the adult with a dream of showing theirs crafts to 50,000 willing participants.

The growth I have personally experienced as an artist in the past 3 years at Burning Man have been incredible. Now I am staring at the stages of Bregenz (http://twistedsifter.com/2011/08/outdoor-opera-on-the-lake-stages-of-bregenz/#.TqG-UhGgf0k.facebook) and thinking something like this may be worth doing in 2013.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby junglesmacks » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:35 pm

You know, you're right. Finally this last year I put close to 200 hours into my clothing/art project, and the reward of jaws on the ground and the flood of people stopping me to literally thank me for bringing what I did to the playa was one of the most inner rewarding experiences that I've ever had in my life. I just had a little mini vision this minute that I think that for 2012, I would like to do a playa piece using lights as medium since that's what really inspires me. Actually, the balloon chain project really got me thinking about using the sky as a canvas.. giving light installations a new dimension to play with. Hmmm...

I know the info is out there, but since we're actually on topic.. maybe you or someone could list out the correct steps to bringing/placing playa art? Grant/funding info? Pertinent design requirements/thoughts?

Actually, a super detailed thread just as an informational regarding guidelines for creating/placing/designing playa art should be a sticky.. :idea:



Great.. like I needed another project. Too late now.. the mind is racing.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby fbcota » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:56 pm

I will try to find some time this week to do that :)
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby wh..sh » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:23 pm

I am actually starting violin classes this week. Hopefully for BM 2012, you will all get to hear my out-of-tune amateur violin recital... hehahahaha!
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby trilobyte » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:39 pm

Junglesmacks, see this link, and stay tuned to both the site and the JRS for details on the 2012 submission process as they become available next year.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby Roberto Dobbisano » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:06 pm

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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:56 pm

1. Listen to music by Johann Sebastian Bach. If Bach doesn't make you more creative, you should probably see your doctor - or your brain surgeon if you are also troubled by headaches, hallucinations or strange urges in the middle of the night.
2. Brainstorm. If properly carried out, brainstorming can help you not only come up with sacks full of new ideas, but can help you decide which is best. Click here for more information on brainstorming.
3. Always carry a small notebook and a pen or pencil around with you. That way, if you are struck by an idea, you can quickly note it down. Upon rereading your notes, you may discover about 90% of your ideas are daft. Don't worry, that's normal. What's important are the 10% that are brilliant.
4. If you're stuck for an idea, open a dictionary, randomly select a word and then try to formulate ideas incorporating this word. You'd be surprised how well this works. The concept is based on a simple but little known truth: freedom inhibits creativity. There are nothing like restrictions to get you thinking.
5. Define your problem. Grab a sheet of paper, electronic notebook, computer or whatever you use to make notes, and define your problem in detail. You'll probably find ideas positively spewing out once you've done this.
6. If you can't think, go for a walk. A change of atmosphere is good for you and gentle exercise helps shake up the brain cells.
7. Don't watch TV. Experiments performed by the JPB Creative Laboratory show that watching TV causes your brain to slowly trickle out your ears and/or nose. It's not pretty, but it happens.
8. Don't do drugs. People on drugs think they are creative. To everyone else, they seem like people on drugs.
9. Read as much as you can about everything possible. Books exercise your brain, provide inspiration and fill you with information that allows you to make creative connections easily.
10. Exercise your brain. Brains, like bodies, need exercise to keep fit. If you don't exercise your brain, it will get flabby and useless. Exercise your brain by reading a lot (see above), talking to clever people and disagreeing with people - arguing can be a terrific way to give your brain cells a workout. But note, arguing about politics or film directors is good for you; bickering over who should clean the dishes is not.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby lemur » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:39 pm

thats a bit new agey isnt it?



btw, speaking of such things..


I will sell you an e-book telling you how to create Real Art.

i made all of the drawings and i wrote it myself..

$2.95.


edit: jpb appears to be this guy: http://www.jpb.com/about/index.php
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby fbcota » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:22 pm

"I know the info is out there, but since we're actually on topic.. maybe you or someone could list out the correct steps to bringing/placing playa art? Grant/funding info? Pertinent design requirements/thoughts?"

Ok, I'm going to start to hit on some of my experiences. It took a couple years before I learned some key things about the entire Burning Man art process. I am sure some people will disagree with me, but this after all is just my asshole, I mean opinion. So take it all with a grain of salt. There are a couple kinda tips that make doing art out in the dessert way easier.

1. Be nice, but don't let anyone walk all over you. What does this mean. Well, be nice to The Artery, DPW, Gate, BLM Rangers Etc. It will pay off when you are is desperate need of help when something inevitably goes wrong and you need a hand. Remember, most everyone out there is a volunteer working in a pretty brutal environment. So, if someone seems a little short try to keep your cool. Offer water (even though most people are supposed to say no), some shade, or even an ear. Although, this is where the second part comes in. Don't let any walk all over you. Since there are a lot of volunteers and they all have a bit of power sometimes that can go a little to the head. If you meet up with the bad apple, call them on their shit. But don't be mean about it. It takes some practice, but if you can learn to look at someone, tell them they are being an asshole, and ask them how to make their job easier then you will get ahead. And, if they continue being an asshole just get the next guy who will most likely be cool.

2. Plan to do everything on your own. No seriously. You need to dig a handful of holes, then do it. You think you can muscle that floor into place, then do it. Try to design your art to be built within your abilities. Burning Man does offer support but your life will be so much better if you pretend like its not there. This is a lot like the "Be Nice" rule. You will get a ton of respect from DPW if you do most of the work yourself. Then when it comes to that lift you need they will be much happier to help you. Only use DPW support when you absolutely need it. And don't expect them to fix your mistake (like when I mis-surveyed the holes for The Pier and we had to redig half of the them).

3. Volunteers. Most everyone is a volunteer. So don't expect stunning customer service, perfect email responces, etc,.. Everyone is trying their best with what they have. And so are you :).

3. Ask questions. It took a while to learn this. But the org is not some super secret organization. If you have a question then simply ask it. Look on the site, ask on eplaya, and find an email and send it their way. Sometimes you won't get a response, remember they are volunteers (most of them). Send another email and keep your cool. If you need something then ask. I have never been offered Early Entry passes for my art. No one has ever said, "Hey you need your generator fixed". You just need to ask for the things you need or think you need.

4. Be cool when people say no. Both on your project and out in the desert people are going to say no. You need to accept it and not punch them in the face. Please refer to rule #1.

5. Have fun. This over rides 1-4 btw.

I will write more later (lazy volunteer)
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby Savannah » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:37 pm

Wow! Great post. :)

This is good advice even for a non-artist. I volunteer for non-artistic sectors, and my experience has been similar . . . new volunteers are well advised to know they will be communicating with and reporting to others who are working out of love. Almost without fail, one's supervisors and coordinators are engaged in Burn volunteerism in addition to whatever default job they do 8 or 10 hours a day to get by.

So responses from most departments will be a little slow sometimes, but they deserve your patience.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby lemur » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:20 am

while not art, i do have a "something" i make happen at burning man..

in the past 2 years it has involved managing/wrangling some 40+ volunteers over the event period with over 6 months of emails and recruitment of said volunteers..


some of the things i'd suggest to people wanting to do projects out there:

-plan ahead. write tons of notes.. write out what you plan to do and when.. as if you were giving instructions to someone else incase you were to break a pelvis and not make it.. Not only does putting your plans, thoughts and artistic ideas in to words help you better understand your project.. it will give you a roadmap to know you arent missing any steps.

-plan for the worst... hope for the best..be sure you realize where youre at.. it is hard to get shit you forgot or fucked up and a 5 hour trip to reno aint fun... plan as much redundancy and plan B's and C's as possible so you dont freak out when something does go wrong.

-It is great to be self sufficient and do it all yourself: but dont take it literally..!!!take breaks!!!! youll want to have a hand in everything but trying to do too much yourself can burn you out way early.. and hey, you still have tear down and mooping to do!

-dont be afraid to let people come up with their own solutions to tasks you give them instead of ordering them to do it a certain way.... you may be surprised at how awesome their solution is .. assign your goal.

-dont be afraid to say "NO" ...its your project, everyone will have their opinions on proper stewardship of it... put your foot down and take ownership, some things should be done your way... you cant pussyfoot around trying to make nice.. shit needs to get done. (this is in line with the suggestion above to not let people walk all over you)

-never yell at people... no matter what. and dont argue either.. calmly step back verbally, and physically.. tone down any aggressive body language and if need be.. excuse yourself. we all love the shit we do out there.. and just surviving is hard enough work.. be prepared to have a way to deal with such unpleasantness
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby lemur » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:49 am

i'd also add about art, and projects... especially at burning man.


dont be afraid to give a shit... to some its "just art" or "just a camping trip in the desert" but really, yo.. ..dont be afraid to own whats important to you...

i had someone once tell me stuff about "taking it too seriously" im sure they meant well.. but to me in the context of the convo that was like saying that i didnt need to doing my best possible work.... fuck that shit! im gonna do it right!!!


the way i see it...if its your thing...you gotta love that shit so much people have to pull you away from it.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:19 pm

lemur wrote:thats a bit new agey isnt it?

If it works, I don't give a screaming bloody buttfuck. :)
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby chiefdanfox » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:09 pm

fbcota wrote:I think the greatest thing about Burning Man is that it is an open gallery for anyone to be seen in. It is a chance for the fringe artist, the kid, the adult with a dream of showing theirs crafts to 50,000 willing participants.

The growth I have personally experienced as an artist in the past 3 years at Burning Man have been incredible. Now I am staring at the stages of Bregenz (http://twistedsifter.com/2011/08/outdoor-opera-on-the-lake-stages-of-bregenz/#.TqG-UhGgf0k.facebook) and thinking something like this may be worth doing in 2013.

I would love to help with this!
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby Peacekeeper » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:13 am

yo!

If any of you guys are still interested in building a theatrical type stage, we're already well into the design phase for a 1500 capacity theatre/performing arts center for BM2012!

We ourselves had been talking about Bregenz along the EXACT same lines as you, fbcota -

It is a chance for the fringe artist, the kid, the adult with a dream of showing theirs crafts to 50,000 willing participants.


nothing would make us happier than to see the Truckee Tuesday Night Players perform "A Midsummer Nights Dream" in front of a large appreciative audience of burners: we feel the performing arts sector of the BM community could sorely use a modern, badass, performing arts center within which to unleash their creative insanity, but not just a theatre, rather a facility that is in itself a major artwork...

The wheels have been in motion on this project since mid-october, we'll be building in reno, so do please get in touch if you want to hear aboout the plan and see if you'd like to join in!


peace, naturally.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby EspressoDude » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:56 am

Also, don't be afraid to find and learn from a mentor, people that have done something similar or any project on the playa. Most people; artists, creators, ARTERY volunteers are happy to share their knowledge of how things work, or don't. Something that may look cool in your mind, gets built in the backyard, torn apart, and rebuilt on the playa may have worked great at home; but the bearing get full of dust or the design doesn't let wind blow through it, etc.
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby ellenoche » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:13 pm

[quote="VultureChow"]I can't do real art, but I'm busy crocheting some cute little items as gifts and mini art projects around the city.

Crotchet poop for the potties etc.[/quote]

Crochet is indeed real art!!! I've seen amazing crocheted and knitted pieces!! It's even inspired me to make an art project for 2012. I've constructed in my mind a 5x5 ft crocheted spider web in various colors. It might be bigger,it might be smaller, it really depends on how much free time I have from school. I'm thinking it will be suspended in air somehow - that part, I'm recruiting the help of my boyfriend.

I look forward to seeing your art on the playa!!!!!
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:15 pm

Art is anything you can get away with.
-Marshall McLuhan
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Re: Make Art, seriously, do it

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:23 pm

When two seemingly disparate elements are imaginatively poised, put in apposition in new and unique ways, starting discoveries often result.
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