Chat Transcript: April 26, 2000
No Spectators: Performing Art on the Web
Chat with Julie Chase

The Burning Man event brings 20,000 people to a high Nevada desert each year to create a community and works of art. Their byword is: No Spectators. How can we transfer this exuberance into a web based art and community? Can we build a community from the comfort of our homes and the anonymity of the internet? Come explore the meanings behind Burning Man and how we can translate this into opportunities for collaboration in web-based text and art.

Julie Noelle Chase is completing her MA in Theater at the University of Colorado-Boulder by writing her thesis on the Burning Man festival. She returned to Colorado after writing theater reviews for the SF Weekly in San Francisco and directing several plays in Norwich, England with her theater company, Tattooed Women.

Related Links

- Start log: Wednesday, April 26, 2000 7:44:34 pm CDT

Salmon breezes in.

JulieNoelle arrives.

Salmon smiles.

Salmon [to JulieNoelle]: Hi there!

Deena quietly enters.

JulieNoelle says, "Hello! "

Deena says, "Hi Julie--sorry, I was in the wrong room"

Salmon smiles.

Deena says, "Salmon, Great. hypertext lit is incredible. Do you know about the Assemblage project at"

JulieNoelle says, "that's ok, it's been a while since I've been in a chat room and I think I was lost too :) "

Deena says, "Julie, Salmon has just recently heard about the Burning Man project,"

Salmon scribbles the URL down fast and furiously.

Deena says, "It is really hard to remember where you are without checking :)"

Deena says, "let me share the burning man URL:


JulieNoelle says, "I have a hard time describing the event to people who are just hearing of it. The burning man website is very *functional* and concerned mostly with the infrastructure and planning though many of the communities that spring up from burning man meet and plan there. "

Salmon nods.

Deena says, "Julie, yes the burning man site just gives a taste of it, like how to go to the moon instead of what the astronauts saw."

Deena says, "What do you see in burning man?"

JulieNoelle says, "well, my first experience reaffirmed my faith in humanity. I didn't believe until that event that so many people could gather, be left to their own judgments and resources and live so peacefully. And then there was the immense volume of expression and sharing. I think it was the culture of sharing that impressed me the most. "

Deena shares a URL...


ElisabethM quietly enters.

ElisabethM quietly enters.

Deena says, "Yes, this website really talked about the culture of sharing. How does the sharing effect the art?"

Salmon nods, and wonders, "Did you find that there was a lot of good listening, as well as sharing?"

Deena says, "Hi Elisabeth, Julie Chase is doing her thesis on the Burning Man, and we are talking about how the sharing works"

Deena says, "Did the sharing of things contribute to the sharing of ideas?"

JulieNoelle says, "Definitely listing -- although the anthem is no spectators, it's almost impossible not to be absorbing or witness to someone else's expression at all times. In terms of how the culture of sharing affects the art, people have a lot more agency and less restrictions -- no one is going to put economic evaluations or judgments on their art. There are no professional critics, only an open environment of sharing. "

Deena says, "So while the anthem is no spectators, yet the place is full of witnesses. Is there a large distinction between active sharing and listening as opposed to passive viewing?"

Deena says, "I think the same kind of anthem can translate easily to the web and the internet. There is so much passive viewing--with webtv, etc, and so little active viewing and sharing."

Deena says, "Salmon, do you find in your classes that the web promotes a passive listening--spectating-- or an active sharing/listening?"

Salmon says, "Well, I try to encourage active use.. I find that the web is best use as a tool for active use.. in fact, my students find the more passive uses of it (research?) frustrating.."

Deena says, "This essay talks about the transience of the art, which also mirrors the internet..."

Salmon says, "But in the classroom, I think it depends on how you present the tool"

Deena says, "How do you encourage the active use of it in your classes?"

Salmon says, "well, their assignments require them to use the web to build and to interact.."

Deena says, "So building the web helps promote that sharing""

JulieNoelle says, "So there are ways in which your classes -- or at least the web assignments are elective or self-directed? "

Deena says, "Julie, how does the burning man promote sharing?"

JulieNoelle says, "One of the fundamental rules (and there are few that actually govern the event) is "no vending". This is one of the few things actively enforced by volunteers and rangers at the event. "

Salmon [to JulieNoelle]: I'll let you know! I'm fairly new at this, and I'm hoping that self-directed objects will happen next month

Deena says, "Wow. That is so different from the commercial nature of the web!"

Salmon [to JulieNoelle]: sharp contrast to woodstock, too!

JulieNoelle says, "this doesn't mean that some people don't try, but in keeping with the philosophy of the event I've always turned down anyone selling anything *(though to be honest this has only ever been drugs and tattoos:) "

Deena says, "So could we do a noncommercial approach to web art and literature?"

JulieNoelle says, "Just this last weekend I hosted one of the featured performers at burning man, the Seemen, they build robotic, pyrotechnic, interactive sculptures -- Kal, the sculptor has never sold one of his pieces and is quite proud of that. "

Deena says, "So we could get away from the selling and publishing mentality..."

Deena says, "How did you host the performer?"

Salmon says, "That's admirable.. and I love the spirit.. but what about a living wage for artists?"

Deena passes out doughnuts and reality checks

Salmon laughs.

Salmon doesn't know when she became so practical, and it irks her.

JulieNoelle says, "I think what drives burning man is a certain amount of established peer pressure -- everyone is sharing so why dare be the exception. I'm part of a group locally that exchanges/edits/cooperatively writes via an email group. People have to want to share and be able to see the benefits in that... as a child of american capitalism I certainly didn't experience this before burning man. "

lugh quietly enters.

lugh arrives.

lugh says, "Anyone here...?"

Deena hands out practicality raincoats

Deena says, "Hi Lugh, we are talking about the burning man and how it works."

lugh says, "But I prefer cotton!"

Deena says, "Julie is talking about peer pressure as something that drives the burning man."

lugh says, "Ahhh... I'll listen for a bit."

Deena says, "Also, Julie, the burning man is in the desert, in its own community."

lugh says, "How does peer-pressure apply?"

Deena says, "How does that isolation help with the sharing non commercial nature?"

Deena says, "Lugh, have you seen any performance art on the web?"

JulieNoelle says, "I think that the unique environment of BM is crucial to it's success. The isolation is very important to the non-commercialism because people are limited to what they can pack in and pack out. But also, I think of the desert as a place people have no conditioned responses to, they aren't acculturated in a certain way so new social structures can be forged. "

lugh says, "Not much, I'm afraid"

Deena says, "Salmon, can the peer pressure help in your classroom situation--to get kids more interested?"

Deena says, "So the unique environment lets people respond in ways they wouldn't otherwise?"

Deena says, "does the burning man environment stay alive after the event?"

JulieNoelle says, "I think if we consider the web to be not just a tool, but an environment, one that is just being explored there's no reason similar, non-commercial or collaborative experiences can't happen. "

Salmon says, "I think it can.. you see it in presentations,, one group comes up with a creative idea and it inspires better work from the others"

Deena says, "We have tried to do email groups to explore art, and that works sometimes, but the distance can be difficult."

Deena says, "Maybe we can consider the web a unique environment, or portion off parts of it to work that way."

lugh says, "The web is a world unto itself "

JulieNoelle says, "I think the ways burning man, for me continues year-round is through initial contacts on the web, but because I find these people in my local community. I'm now close friends (and planning an artistic collaboration with ) people that I never encountered in the desert or at the event, but whom I met through the burning man connection. People return from the desert with such a need to continue that experience that they seek out others who have been there. "

Deena says, "Salmon, you mentioned self-directed projects. Could the world as web help provide peer pressure for those projects?"

Deena says, "So you meet in 'meat space' with those in the local communities?"

JulieNoelle says, "Yes. Although everyone that I see locally I met after, and because of BM. Most of my initial co-campers at the event are back in San Francisco. "

Deena says, "Did you start the collaboration at BM?"

Deena says, "Salmon, could your classes start collaboration and continue after the classes?"

lugh says, "I still don't get the peer-pressure as interest-in-the-thing equate."

Salmon [to Deena]: oh god, I hope so!

JulieNoelle says, "No. It was meeting this group in the last few months, and our shared desire to have space in Denver that could mimic the flexibility and cross-disciplinary collaboration of BM that has organized us. "

Deena says, "We were working with the idea of non-commercialism, lugh, and we saw the BM succeed partly because there is no selling."

Deena says, "Do you have a physical space in Denver?"

JulieNoelle says, "And it's idealism, and there's a sense of carnival to burning man -- carnival is the world inverted, what better way to invert our modern world than to reject capitalism. "

Salmon [to JulieNoelle]: an on-going space for on-going work? (in Denver, that is?)

Deena says, "Salmon, does your class meet in physical space or internet space?"

Salmon says, "physical space.. though I am bringing a class to a moo very shortly"

Deena says, "Julie, the carnival really IS inverted, as the commercial aspect of what we now see as a carnival (the carnies, the take your money and run folks) is inverted in what was the carnival--a way to get together and celebrate."

JulieNoelle says, "we're working on acquiring a physical space in Denver, that's the goal of this group I'm working with -- to help artists *own* instead of renting space. artists are frequently a wedge in development, the squatters that move ahead of gentrification, then they loose their space. We want something more secure. "

Deena says, "BM sounds like it has done a lot to bring back that kind of old fashioned carnival."

Deena says, "How have they managed to keep the noncommercial aspects?"

Salmon says, "Re- carnival, there was a resurgence in the idea of the feast of fools, recently..for April 1st, and the idea of carnival as resistance was part of the talk around that"

Deena says, "Salmon, I really like the idea of carnival as resistance. This is a people's celebration in the deepest sense. The people"

Julianne quietly enters.

Julianne arrives.

Deena says, "The people's fair in Denver really used to be like the BM but without the same art focus and now it is commercialized"

JulieNoelle says, "Larry Harvey, the founder and organizer of burning man has rejected countless offers of sponsorship to keep the cost down. In surveys participants all agreed they'd rather pay more in ticket prices than have sprite bottles to clean up. "

lugn says, "That's why it scares people - hasty info-control legislation and the like."

Deena says, "Hi Julianne, we are talking about Burning Man (BM) and how it is not commercialized but a carnival"

Julianne waves, "great! keep going"

Deena says, "So people pay for the BM and it pays to keep it noncommercial"

Salmon says, "this is part of what i find attractive about burning man.. you mentioned the significance of the desert location. when i think desert, I think of the coyote- trickster- fool- mythology"

Deena passes out awards of deep appreciation to the hours and hours of unpaid time on the organizer's part.

Julianne says, "JulieNoelle, I've been intrigued by some of the stuff Larry says about restoring the cultural purposes of art etc. - since you've been studying this in such detail do you know more about that?"

JulieNoelle says, "Definitely, people are paying for the privilege of both artistic license and sure, a sense of the debauchery. You get to take you own life in your hands at burning man - -the environment, a lot of the art is dangerous, it's a kind of agency that I think we lack in modern society. It's carnival as ritual"

lugn says, "The desert is like a clean canvas - few preconceptions or distractions..."

Deena shares a URL...


Deena says, "Yet is seems like the cost is *only $145 until April 30"

Salmon says, "art should be dangerous"

JulieNoelle says, "Lugn --that's exactly what I wrote in one of my initial essays, the desert is a canvas and yes -- art should be dangerous! "

Deena says, "the sharing would come in as well to thwart the danger..."

Deena Passes out stickers saying art is dangerous. Live dangerously

Salmon says, "People have spoken of the internet as also being like a canvas, a giant finger painting party..."

JulieNoelle says, "the ticket is only $145-$185 but people spend much, much more on travel, their theme camp, food etc. In some ways it's the most excessive and wasteful capitalism -- all that money spent and then everything burned. "

lugn says, "in an anesthetized society, anything which provokes thought and response is dangerous."

Deena says, "Do people share the materials"

Deena says, "Salmon, the internet does seem like an unlimited canvas, and in a lot of ways mirrors the wasteful capitalism..."

JulieNoelle says, "There are cooperative buys of materials and food, but most projects are organized locally and paid for by the individual groups."

Deena says, "But at the BM event itself, do people share food and water?"

Deena says, "And materials?"

Salmon says, "But there's waste... and then there's waste... if you think of it, all art is wasteful..."

JulieNoelle says, "Food, water, shelter, drugs, artwork... everything is shared once you reach the event."

lugn says, "It's a libation instead of a loss..."

Deena says, "Julianne, you mentioned restoring the cultural purposes of art. I think that goes back to the non-commerical nature of BM. Would it be fair to say that the commercialization detracts from the cultural?"

Salmon nods enthusiastically to lugh!

JulieNoelle says, "Fire is the ultimate consumer -- and it ensures that no art of "product" of the festival can be taken back to that other world and sold. "

Julianne says, "One very telling URL is the diary at - talks about spending too much money, and about being overcome by the desert and having to leave also - the BM entries start there and go forward by date"

Deena tosses lugn a libation of sharing and some horns of plenty

Salmon grins.

Deena shares a URL...< >

Deena says, "Do a lot of the people keep diaries?"

Julianne says, "Yes, mostly photographic "

Deena says, "Julianne, Julie was saying earlier that she found people to collaborate locally after burning man. Have you found that too?"

lugn says, "Is not a photo-diary also a way to take some of the art back to the World...?"

JulieNoelle says, "Love that essay! I've learned more about engineering, quonset huts, and wind shelters because of the event. I think there are quite a few diaries on various websites -- what I haven't seen, and I think would be interesting is a collaborative diary. Participants returning from the event and scripting a collaborative mythology"

Julianne says, "Jere"

Julianne says, "Here's a sample photo diary:"

Deena shares a URL...

Deena says, "Lugn, yes, and how to share the physical experience with others..."

Deena says, "Julie, has anyone done a collaborative diary? What about setting up an internet project with your small email group and others to continue BM in the web?"

Salmon says, "a collaborative diary... now that's an interesting idea in itself..."

Julianne says, "I am friends with some long time burners, but this will be my first year of actually attending (as opposed to virtually). The New England attendees have a mailing list and local events and collaboration."

Deena says, "I wonder if people could use the spirit of Burning man on the web to continue projects well afterwards..."

Julianne has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Julianne.

Deena says, "I like the imagery of burning man itself--it is so transient and yet so energetic-- a lot like the web!"

JulieNoelle says, "to my knowledge there hasn't been an attempt to create a cooperative mythology, but I don't see why it couldn't be organized around certain keystone events, camps etc."

Deena says, "Salmon, have you tried doing a cooperative mythology or project in your classes around the web?"

Julianne quietly enters.

Julianne arrives.

lugn says, "Does anyone know about QuickPlace...?"

JulieNoelle says, "I think there is a lot to the temporality and transience of burning man that is like the web -- probably one of the reason it exists in a virtual community year-round by web connections."

Deena says, "Julie, are there many burners who know about the web?"

Salmon smiles, "No! but I really want to now!"

Deena says, "Lugn, tell us about quick place"

Julianne says, "Sorry, don't click the Wrybread diary, it kicks you out of the chat"

Deena smiles back at Salmon, it would be a lot of fun to try!

JulieNoelle says, "oh goodness, considering that so much of burning man sprang up out of San Francisco, there are countless programmers and designers who attend every year. "

Deena says, "There have been collaborative efforts on the web, such as the Brown website, "

Deena says, "So there would be enough technical knowledge..."

Deena says, "Now all you have to do is figure out how to get the technology there, and how to get it to work. Does anyone have solar powered computers?"

lugn says, "QuickPlace is a new way to make a permanent, secure virtual 'home' on the Web for collaboration and info disbursement. Ideally suited to what we're talking about. A new (still pilot) service from Lotus."

lugn says, " I do - but not many others do."

JulieNoelle says, "solar camps are very popular, there are several sites dedicated to solar power. But most people just rent or buy generators. The power isn't a problem so much as the all-pervasive desert dust. "

Salmon has disconnected.

Deena says, "So, lugn, quick place would allow you to create this collaborative space."

Salmon has connected.

Deena says, "Salmon, lugn was telling us about quick place. this might be a way to get your classes to collaborate on a project. Lugn, do you have that URL?"

lugn says, "Indeed. We use it at IBM and it works; I'll share the data w/you off line - it's not in wetware - sorry."

Salmon nods, "thanks!"

lugn says, "moment... let me check something... be right back."

Julianne says, "Regret I missed so much of the chat, my question for our guest Julie is, what can we learn from BM-style relationships between art (esp collaborative art like the kinds you have done Deena) and the community and ??"

Deena says, "Hmmm. Perhaps you can plan it at the camps and then actually put it in electrons when you get back."

Deena hands Julianne a get on track award replete with railroad models and whistles.

Julianne grins

JulieNoelle says, "that's not a bad idea; emails and webpages are swapped more frequently than real names and telephone numbers at BM. It's a real space in which to generate electronic contacts. I still email several of the people I interviewed over the last BM."

Deena says, "Julianne, one idea we had tossed around was to create a carnival of resistance, a space without commercial interest and with a lot of peer pressure to keep up with a sharing, creating environment."

Julianne jumps up and down with excitement

lugn says, "Quick place is at"

Salmon smiles.

Deena says, "The question is really how to do it. One way is to create an actual burning man site with ongoing collaboration in a place like Quick Place "

Deena ties all the ideas together with string

Deena shares a URL...

Julianne goes to check out the URL

Deena says, "Hmmm.. lugn, do you know the password for this place?"

JulieNoelle says, "And then find some way to present this through a camp at BM. There's lot of follow up on the web. The BM yearbook and ministry of statistics are just a few of the camps that returned "home" to develop web archives of their camp, there's no reason rather than being the archive the web can't be a continuation of that camp. "

Deena says, "So we could use the follow up to spin off other performance art ideas..."

Deena says, "The electronic literature organization is also a place that would be able to create a space for web projects and users. There are a lot of these around, also wordcircuits shares resources for hypertext writers."

Salmon says, "I wonder about the idea of an ongoing carnival though.. Part of the "success " of events like burning man, I would imagine, is the temporality of them. It's an event, a happening. Do we lose interest, vitality, momentum when we lose these moments in time?"

Deena shares a URL...


JulieNoelle says, "I think so. BM has certainly shown me how much people crave and need an outlet for expression. If they were given the opportunity to continue those burning man personas and energies, I think it would be actively embraced. "

Deena says, "HOW can we get more outlets for expression on the web?"

Deena says, "Salmon, how can classes work together with something like an extension of the Burning Man project?""

Salmon says, "I think we have tons of outlets.. I just don't see them being used.. think of all the MOO's that seem like ghost -towns.. the space is there"

JulieNoelle says, "Good point. One of my initial citations for my writing about bMwas Hakim Bey who stresses the necessity of temporality -- that carnival is so excessive that it cannot sustain its self. As an inversion of the structure it will collapse back into order. "

JulieNoelle says, "But there is the carnival -- the focus, the reallocation, the calendar event -- and there are the creative energies that drive it. I think those need nourishment throughout the year. Especially because carnival isn't part of our calendar any more. "

Salmon thinks about classroom applications.

Deena says, "So Julie, you need a focusing event, a calender event, to nourish the ongoing creativity?"

Deena says, "Could we do the same thing, only entirely on the internet"

JulieNoelle says, "Are there ways the space of the classroom can be re-structured or re-imagined? "

Deena bounces off the classrooms of the future and returns with a million different shapes and sizes and interactions

Salmon says, "definitely... i think find alternate metaphors is the thing i struggle with the most"

Salmon says, "students get very scared by the blank canvas, as we all do"

Deena says, "Yes, it is much easier to have something there to add to. That"

Salmon says, "and my students only have a vague sense that they have something to express.. their education has been very passive so far..."

JulieNoelle says, "I think so, part of carnival is the anticipation, the preparation, those libations and plans. So perhaps rather than having a continually evolving project, give people a time and space at which to present. Inherent in the "no spectators" of burning man is the guarantee that anyone presenting will also find an audience."

Deena thinks about Marble Springs, where people can add works into an existing village (

Deena says, "So Julie, really the event goes on all year long in terms of anticipation and afterburn."

Salmon [to Deena]: my students are going to be looking at Marble Springs =)

JulieNoelle says, "something to add to... definitely. that's why the event is still called burning man. The other camps now almost eclipse the original structure, but it was that one structure, the man, the burning of it that was the origin of the whole event. Everything else sprang up around it. "

Deena says, "Again, we come around to the crucial difference between spectating and participating"

Deena smiles at Salmon and throws her some aspen leaves.

Salmon grins.

JulieNoelle says, "there are burn decompression parties and the planning starts almost immediately after the hangover subsides. "

Deena says, "So the other camps have different names than the burning man camp?"

Deena shares a URL...


JulieNoelle says, "there are entire sub-set villages like Disturbia, the bluelight district, the irrational geographic society -- also made up of smaller camps. "

Deena looks at ALL the sites connected by the ring and still wants to see an uber site, a place for the camps to congregate online

Deena starts singing "somewhere a place for us" very loudly and off key

Julianne sings "a time and space for us" - trying to remember temporality

JulieNoelle says, "much like the city -- every other camp is in a semi-circle around the man. I think Harvey is hoping the camps will comedy circle the man, the man and his fiery end is the axis mundi of this community. "

Deena says, "Julie, I think it would be a great part of your thesis to transfer some of the bm energy to getting a place online for the bm to create all year round."

Salmon says, "those sub-villages instantly make me think of the web- geocities neighborhoods, or the placi-ness of some moos, where chose your room location very carefully according to your interests"

Deena says, "Salmon, perhaps your class could work the same way, with the pre-burn of planning the project and the after burn of continuing the collaboration"

JulieNoelle says, "It already is! BM is only a week, it's the web community and the people I meet from it that are my year-round community. "

Deena says, "I wonder if we could do a burning man type of event for hypertext literature writers and artists...."

Salmon nods to Deena as ideas go spinning through her brain.

JulieNoelle says, "Certainly. Although I know a lot of local burner, I also know that I've only tangentially met a few of them... like the mad scientists or the transgendered housewife in the suburbs that I gave a ride to. "

Deena says, "Then you could have a meet space for people to work in. Rather than a place to show work that has been done all year, gather to DO the work, share the materials, and come back to write in local groups..."

Salmon says, "Moo space is a great place for something like that.. with all the toys you can make =)"

Deena says, "This event is huge, how many people come each year?"

JulieNoelle says, "it's been growing exponentially the last few. in 1997 it was 12K , in 1998 17K etc. this year they might actually limit attendance, simply because the environmental impact has been getting too much t "leave no trace""

Deena says, "that is an amazing amount of people. Do you need that many to get this going?"

Deena thinks of the 40 or so hypertext writers and wonders how to get up to 19k in the next year or so.,..

Deena says, "Julie, does there need to be a critical mass for something like this?"

JulieNoelle says, "oh no, if you look at the "history" of burning man on the site, the initial beach burn attracted only 30 or 40 people. The first year they took the man to the desert there weren't more than a few hundred. It just touched a nerve and found it's own momentum. "

Deena says, "So we can find that kind of momentum?"

lugn says, "Tell 'em it's profitable - by the time they know otherwise, they'll be hooked."

Salmon laughs.

Salmon throws a little snake-oil to the wind.

Deena says, "Yet profitable in a completely noncommercial way. So there is no money, yet 19K people come to express themselves"

JulieNoelle says, "I think so -- the web has the kind of reach an access that a few flaky artists don't :) "

Deena says, "<maybe we are tapping a universal need to express ourselves and we can do that best on the web."

Deena hands Julie a golden key. The access is the key!

lugn says, "well, we have complete operating systems and loads of free applications written for the love of it instead of monetary gain - why not literature...?"

JulieNoelle says, "and how can it be ritual -- I think that's the other key element to burning man -- a sense of ritual that is unique to the culture (the technology culture esp) of people participating. "

Salmon says, "I keep coming back to temporality, and that is a major part of ritual. one moment in time, set apart"

JulieNoelle says, "if the work is already being done then all you need a is a locus, a place where it can be offered and shared. I think that's why burning man was so successful, artists were already doing the work, they were doing it w/out financial compensation anyways... what they really craved was an audience. "

Deena passes around the culture rituals

Deena says, "Maybe we can get that same audience through the web as it reaches so many people"

Deena says, "There are a lot of places that do this such as the wr-eye-tings scratchpad."

Deena says, "But how do we get them to have an audience?"

Deena says, "How do we publicize through the commercial stuff of the web?"

Deena Thinks about the $10,000 some places pay for getting into a search engine...

Salmon says, "yeesh."

Deena says, "Yeah, the commercial nature is really ridiculous right now."

Deena passes out practical rain hats and cute little galoshes for stepping in the sea of money sites

Salmon says, "but there still are ways to get around that, aren't there?"

Deena Passes out rays of hope

Deena says, "I think so. Eliterature is trying to do this, as are many other sites to promote the arts. Do you guys have any suggestions?"

Deena says, "How did BM promote itself to get 19K people from 30 - 40?"

Salmon . o O ( that was my next question! )

Deena says, "Julianne, you came to CyberMountain, what if CM was like BM in more ways..."

lugn says, "I'd like to know that too..."

JulieNoelle says, "I think sites that promote the arts and literature could benefit from more web rings -- one site links directly into the next -- there is a sense of community and mass imbedded in every site. "

Deena says, "And celebrated creating?"

lugn says, "Can we burn the computers...?"

Salmon laughs.

Deena says, "No, but we can celebrate by putting the work on the web. that is just as transient!"

Deena says, "Julie, web rings are a great idea. I will pass that on to the Elit folks. And we could get a lot more community going that way."

JulieNoelle says, "burning man spread entirely by word of mouth. Postcard about the event only go out to past-ticket holders and participants. There has been some media coverage of the look-at-these-freaks variety, but the organizers have actually taken steps to limit mass-media coverage (including stopping a documentary by MTV that was unauthorized). "

lugn says, "A BM ring, associated sites w/pix and notes - sounds neat."

Deena says, "WOW. 19K people by word of mouth convinced to go to the desert. There really IS a need for expression!"

Julianne says, "Deena, I have ideas about some bm-style ritual collaborations we could do at CMC - "

JulieNoelle says, "I think the idea w/both Burning Man and webrings is that the audience who is sympathetic to one aesthetic or cause will continue on in the ring, spread the community to others. "

Deena says, "Julianne, that would be neat. I think that doing a collaboration event would be much more useful than a workshop event..."

Salmon says, "and yet.. i heard about BM through mass media.. ( I wish I could remember which source) and I might not have come tonight if it weren't for that.. so there is something to be said for it.."

Deena says, "Julie, the sympathetic audience really is key too."

lugn says, "I first heard about BM from a fellow at work - a photographer working for the Navy who had been there (unofficially)."

JulieNoelle says, "definitely, the exponential growth in the last few years (97-_) has been because of increased media coverage and not so much word of mouth (although everyone I brought from Denver last year heard about it from me). "

Deena says, "So the growth is first from word of mouth and then from mass media."

Deena says, "That does mirror the way the internet has grown."

Julianne says, "In addition to sympathetic aud, important that ANYONE can create and that everyone is both creator and audience, mostly one on one it's true, but still that's an important aspect of it."

JulieNoelle says, "Oh! One of the "spies" :) I think there are elements at BM there to police the carnival. "

Deena says, "The creator and audience, the listener and talker is important"

Deena says, "How is the carnival policed?"

Julianne says, "Do you mean the Black Rock Rangers etc?"

lugn says, "?"

JulieNoelle says, "share, do nothing to interfere with another's experience, leave nothing behind. It's remarkably self-policing. When almost nothing is restricted there is very little to enforce. "

lugn says, "That makes sense - a culture of artists has little bout which to chaff."

Deena says, "So there are a bunch of ground rules"

Deena says, "That are simply about self and other respect and creating"

JulieNoelle says, "The black rock rangers are the volunteer force. They mostly (to what I've experienced" only enforce no-vending, fire safety concerns. Most of the rangers I've spoken to have little to do because people are so willing to cooperate. "

Deena says, "Again, the meeting in the desert really makes a difference"

Deena Wonders how cybermountain could make the same sort of difference...

JulieNoelle says, "yes: the basic rules are: bring everything you need to survive, no vending, do nothing to interfere with another's experience, leave no trace and a few subrule like please don't dig big holes because it upsets the land-speed people who use the playa at other times in the year. "

Salmon says, "Sorry, i may have missed this, but what is cyber mountain?"

Julianne says, "Want to explain that Deena consciously took a bunch of Cybermountain participants on a trip that was like a portal to the event - relaxing and stimulating them - bathing in hot springs - Deena you already have a great sense of ritual. "

Deena says, "Sorry about that Salmon, Cybermountain was 30 hypertext writers meeting on their projects last year"

JulieNoelle says, "I think the environment could easily be virtual one if there was the focus of a certain time and event and maybe the promise of a few surprises and danger :) Again, I think the impact is in the new environment -- the unexplored, blank canvas. "

Salmon nods, "very cool. thanks!"

Deena says, "A virtual experience would be really interesting. Particularly if we promised a blank, unexplored canvas."

lugn says, "Art is one of the few human endeavors w/no 'practical' side. It's a danger by definition. That's O.K. by me..."

Julianne says, "Here's another question on my mind as I plan my camp - is it possible to have a 'bad' camp - one that isn't interactive enough, doesn't share enough? (And can we generalize to the web project you all are discussing - what's a threshold to really get INTO things)"

Deena says, "Hmmm... there have been bad interactive sites where nothing happens. Look at the empty MOOs. Or bad classes where students don't participate. But I think we have to try."

JulieNoelle [to my]: knowledge, only one camp has ever been expelled, ironically enough the capitalist pig camp-- but not because they were trying to tax people (this was a bit of a joke) but because one of the camp member made some explicit comments to a young girl, over a megaphone, with the mother present -- interfering with another's experience.

Deena says, "That would interfere all right."

Julianne says, "Julie this is good to know - I guess are there camps where the energy doesn't flow or eddy properly, due to the participants not opening up to the community enough..."

Salmon thinks about a fool-like figure roaming a moo, inspiring creativity and interaction through mad-cap example..

Deena says, "These are great ideas, and I think we could go on all night with them. But It is late, and I would like to call out for last ideas on how to galvanize a web community using the BM example"

JulieNoelle says, "And in terms of art as danger, I recommend the seeemn's website" All of Kal's sculptures breathe fire or require the audience-operator to put themselves at some risk. Most of the event is like that. You can't "

Julianne starts thinking hard about Salmon's interesting idea about the fool

JulieNoelle says, "the element of surprise: hyperlinks that go someplace else than you expect them to. "

Deena Passes out the live dangerously sign again and wonders how web art could be dangerous

JulieNoelle says, "Thanks deena! This has been fascinating! Thank you all! "

Julianne thinks she has recently seen some dangerous web art (interactive too) but it was unfortunately nonverbal:

Deena proposes a toast to living dangerously and tosses the toast

Julianne shares a URL <>

Julianne says, "Thank you Julie! And everyone!"

Salmon says, "thank you julie!"

Deena says, "Thanks so much for all of you for coming!""

Salmon says, "I think we had a good camp here tonight!"

Julianne grins

JulieNoelle says, "I'm ready for the desert when you are! "

Julianne waves, see you there!

Deena says, "We had a great time."

Salmon smiles.

Deena says, "And I appreciate it."

Julianne has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Julianne.

Deena says, "Thanks for coming everyone!"

Deena says, "Julie, thanks so much, and we will continue to discuss these great ideas for both BM and CM!"

JulieNoelle has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove JulieNoelle.

Deena says, "Salmon, thanks for coming. It was great!"

lugn says, "Thanks all - great stuff. Ciao..."

Salmon says, "oh, I really needed this tonight! "

-- End log: Wednesday, April 26, 2000 9:37:08 pm CDT


Related Links: