finding & joining a camp

All things outside of Burning Man.

finding & joining a camp

Postby ZenRascal » Tue Nov 25, 2003 11:15 pm

2003 was my first BM. I went by myself and had a blast as a solo gypsy.
It was an incredible experience. Like sex, I guess we never forget our
first one, huh?

I'm already thinking ahead to 2004 and wondering what path to follow.
There's time and I'm beginning to do research on themes & camps. I live
in San Diego and of course I'm checking out the local burner scene here.

But geographic convenience isn't the only factor, it seems. When we're
all physically together at BRC it doesn't matter where home is and we
can interact according to a zillion kinds of energy & vibes.

So, I'm exploring & looking for feedback regarding hooking up with camp(s) where interests & vibes mesh well. Nearly all of you have more experience than me so I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts, experiences, whatever. Thanx.
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Postby Chai Guy » Wed Nov 26, 2003 1:40 pm

Well since you went in 2003 you had a good look around. Did any camps interest you enough to want to possibly join them? If so then try to find them on the Theme Camps Listing for 2003 here on the this site.

Many camps have websites, if the camp you are interested in joining has one, check it out. Some websites will have detailed information on joining. Contact one of the organizers and share a little about your self (your talents, abilities, past experiences). Ask about the organization, vibe, fee's, whatever else you want to know about the camp and how it's run.

If possible, see if you can meet up with some of the members or join in on a work day to see if you vibe well together.

If none of that works out, you can always start your own camp.
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Postby _tears_ » Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:52 am

Figure out what you are looking for first off. A few good questions to ask yourself are ... Am i looking for a LARGE theme camp a SMALL theme camp? A well known theme camp or an unknown one. And how commited are you willing to be. And How wild would you like the theme camp to be.

2003 was my first burn and i had "hooked up" with the Lamp Lighters, they are a truely amazing group to stay with , they have a bit of everything there, wild to utterly calm and relaxing i found it to be a nice good area, and i was always safe there. They are always generally located next to center camp and that makes it easy to find no matter how messed up you are.

I hope all this helped :)

Remember, just search yourself and then build off of what you want ect.

Tears 2003, 2004


The Ties That Bind Me Hold My Soul
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Postby diane o'thirst » Sat Nov 29, 2003 1:20 am

I assume you made friends out there (didn't you? ;)). If you made some real good friends, ask them if they're attached to a theme camp and then ask if you can hook up.

Big theme camps can be good in that they have a fun interactivity and/or installation to contribute to. They're also usually well-equipped, meaning they've sorted out their infrastructure. They've also probably sorted out their politics, which can help. But, the downside is, you're jumping into a big group of people who know each other better than you know them. A big theme camp with a big project also could mean, you don't get out of camp which can be a bummer.

Small theme camp usually means that when the Playa Flake Factor rears its hideous head (and it will), the repercussions can be devastating. So if you join a small camp and they got a really cool project, and you give it your all, and someone fluffs out, <b>you feel it.</b> That's happened to me a couple times. One gets used to it, but when it happens it hurts. But, if that beast doesn't ooze its way into the small camp, it can be <b>a lot</b> of fun :) Best of both worlds, contribute to a project, meet cool people, get out and meet more cool people.
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Postby ZenRascal » Sat Nov 29, 2003 4:01 am

Really good tips, folks. Thanx.

I don't think a big theme camp is my bag. I've checked out a local group and it does seem like an in-crowd clique with politics, egos & psychodrama. Since I'm a comfortable gypsy, I think jumping into something like this would not be a good step.

I'd like to participate in something more informal but where there's something like a family feeling. SoloCollective sounded good but they're disbanding or morphing. I'm not wild so HushVille sounds like it could work. The LampLighters suggestion sounds good.

There's a lot I can contribute but here's my passion: Wearable neon. REAL neon - verrry BRIGHT. Sort of "art pedestrian" along the lines of "art car." I wore an outfit with helmet-mounted neon for burn night this year. Got a lot of attention & had a blast!! I currently have an outfit ready with ten pieces of neon. I can light a whole room !! Can't you just see a smallish group, maybe half a dozen, cruising the Esplanade & camps all wearing blazing neon?? Who's interested in this kind of goofyness?
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Postby III » Sat Nov 29, 2003 10:03 am

>here's my passion

here's a decent burningman guideline: you're much more likely to find people who support your passion than share your passion.

question: would you be willing to provide wearable neon for other people to wear? you're more likely to find a group who could find a way to incoroprate your passion into their project than you'll find a group that wants to make it their focus for themselves.
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Postby ZenRascal » Sat Nov 29, 2003 10:48 am

>you're much more likely to find people who support
>your passion than share your passion

well put & very reasonable ... sure, that fits with what I'm looking for

>would you be willing to provide wearable neon for other people to wear?

yup ... kinda what I had in mind

>you're more likely to find a group who could find a way to
>incoroprate your passion into their project than you'll find a group
>that wants to make it their focus for themselves

it's what I had in mind (mebbe didn't make myself clear) ... not looking to lead or start my own thang ... I'm a first-timer & that would be biting off way too much ... but finding an enthusiastic group to share with would be very cool ... my "passion" is something I have to contribute
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Postby III » Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:05 am

it wasn't clear to me - and tehrefor might not hav e been clear to potential camps you were looking for.

consider camps that have both a high level of personal interactivity, and a theme conducive to costuming that could benifit from your art.

btw - i like the idea of real neon, as opposed to the excess of mostly uncreative e.l. wire we've been subjected to over the past couple years. good luck!
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Postby Kinetic II » Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:12 am

Real Neon? That's usually associated with glass tubes...which wouldn't be playa friendly. But it's very worthy of encouragement. Many of the best neon people that made the older signs and simply awesome work are dying off. Machines can make Open signs and Budweiser pub signs...but the handmade custom work is an art that needs new blood. If anyone reads this and gets a spark of inspiration and has artistic ability, take a look at getting into it. Learn while there are still masters around to teach, before the machines take over.
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Postby Bob » Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:28 am

Real Neon? That's usually associated with glass tubes...which wouldn't be playa friendly....


Indeed.

Image
http://images.burningman.com/index.cgi?image=10314

http://images.burningman.com/index.cgi?q_keyword=neon
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Postby Kinetic II » Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:04 pm

Clarification: In the hands of DPW, who collectively has forgotten more stuff that I'll ever hope to know...glass tubes and neon are wonderful. But for the rest of the BRC populace....anything glass would be best avoided.

Thanks Bob for quickly making me realize I screwed up on that last post.
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Postby Ivy » Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:25 pm

anything glass would be best avoided


So then, say, a glassblowing camp would be anathema?
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Postby Kinetic II » Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:44 pm

Allright...sheesh. The glassblowers were cool. Damn...I just hate glass and am boxing myself into a corner here for the amusement or annoyance of all.

Ok, we need more people to learn the art of making neon. If you do it on the playa, make sure you can clean up any mess. There.

I get myself into the craziest damn messes sometimes.
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Postby ZenRascal » Sat Nov 29, 2003 3:33 pm

Whoa !! ... I need to clarify ... I don't actually make tubes ... wasn't suggesting or advocating glassblowing on the playa

I buddyed up with a guy years ago who had his own neon shop ... his bread 'n butter business was signs for local businesses & architectural trim ... he had an artistic streak, plus the skills & equipment, so he would experiment making strange glowing vessels as he had time ... he did an occasional commissioned art piece

I hung around this guy's shop a lot while we were pals ... barely started to learn to make tubes ... but I soon realized the enormity of this ... neon folks need to have the skills of a glassblower plus a whole lot more ... I learned to have great respect for neon makers ... he and I collaborated on some art projects ... my contributions were novel electronics and unique enclosure design & fabrication ... in those days I managed to display & sell pieces in art shops & galleries in NYC, Provincetown, RI, & elsewhere ... <bowing>

I scrounge neon tubes wherever I can ... have bought surplus lots ... most neon shops have a pile of tubes which weren't used for one reason or another ... often they can be obtained free or for pennies by asking nicely

neon tubes are glass & sure, they can break (e.g. getting run over by an art car :-) ... I take as much care as possible to mount them in a safe fashion

hope this sheds some light (!) on where I'm coming from ... I luv em & wear em but don't make em ... BTW portable neon is a challenge ... several folks came up to me on the playa with questions & comments like, "Is that REAL neon you're running?" "How'd ya do it?" etc.
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Just $.02 worth...

Postby Zane5100 » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:28 pm

Don't sweat joining a camp--if you don't have a clear idea of what you want to do, and what you'll need to do it, focus on working that out first. Then, after your project is worked out, think about bringing other people into the mix. BTW, don't expect others to rally to your vision, or even agree with it, but chances are that at some point someone will want to change it along the way.

Joining a camp can be very, very cool--or it can suck more than you can imagine (sometimes swinging between the two extremes within minutes of one another). One thing is for sure, joining a camp will bring with it some level of complication for your experience.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:58 pm

I love glass. Always wanted to learn neon. For those of you in the Bay Area who are interested try
http://www.thecrucible.org/classes/neon.html
I went to their open house last(?) year and while I won't say "Burner Friendly" my guess is there's a big overlap in style and participants.

I'd post a glass image for you, but I dont' know how.[/img]
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Postby ZenRascal » Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:12 am

Thanks for that link.

A cool place in LA is the Museum of Neon Art http://www.neonmona.org/

Here's a piece I made some years back. WWII vintage transmitter tube, guts carefully removed out the bottom, handbuilt case styled after 1920s radios, neon coil made by my old pal.

<img src="http://idisk.mac.com/timkid/Public/radioneon.jpg">
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Postby Kinetic II » Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:24 am

Those last two posts are giving me a serious case of West Coast envy. If I ever make it to LA outside LAX the neon museum is now on my must see list. And I wish we had something like The Crucible here in KC. Everything I come across about that place makes it sound so damn cool. I'd be spending a lot of money and time on those classes and making more stuff.

Maybe if Sprint ever lays me off this would be a good idea to import here? Hmmm.

And Zen, that pic reminded me to check on this: http://www.centennialbulb.org/photos.htm
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