The “burners roots” of the H2O Project
Since the original project team is entirely composed by members of the Burning Man community living in Rome (aka Roman Burners), we decided to stick to some of the burners principles for the production of the art installation. Burning Man’s 10 Principles, created by Burning Man founder and Chief Philosophic Officer Larry Harvey back in 2004 are a great transformational and community building platform – just ask any burner around the world…
For the H2O project our team have found particular inspiration in a consistent subset of the 10 Principles; 8 out of 10, practically almost all of them:
The H2O project is open to participation, and we welcome all volunteers who want to get involved in the future evolutions of the H2O project and art installation.
Gifting / Gift Economy
H2O is not a commercial project. The artwork is not for sale, and its production has been entirely funded by RGB Light Experience. No artist’s fee or monetary compensation has been requested to the festival and won’t be requested to any further festival participations neither. H2O is a gift.
Radical Self Expression
Obviously, through art that meets social and environmental activism.
The entire project is the output of a communal effort and a network collaboration based on the voluntary sharing of time, skills and resources by each team member, with the goal of working together to make a piece of magic happen.
Creating a project that help raise awareness on the dangers from indiscriminate abuse of plastic is a contribution by the H2O project team in terms of social activism and civic responsibility.
Leaving No Trace
Non only we don’t leave a trace, we will leave each place better than we have found it. Be it our working spaces at Officine Zero and Forte Prenestino, or the installation placement area for RGB Light Experience at Parco Sangalli. Outside of the physical space, we actually aim at leaving a trace, both on the activism side by raising awareness on the plastic problem, and on the inspiration and entertainment side with the magic of the H2O art installation.
Participation is commitment to the common goal, team members interaction, knowledge sharing, active motivation, and it’s also the bond that makes our project team a little family.
It’s OK to work for many months to showcase the project just for three days, we will enjoy each and every single moment of them. As well as we are enjoying the long production process, and the hundreds of adaptations we had to figure out to overcome the many obstacles we had to face along the process. After all, the creative production is all about the process, and we are fully embracing it.
As announced in the homepage, our team has decided to give the H2O project another chance after RGB Light Experience, and to apply to bring H2O to the Spanish desert of Los Monegros, where every year takes place Nowhere, the official European event and gathering of the Burning man community. More info about it soon, after RGB Light Experience 2019.
#BurnersBuildStuff all around the world
The international community of Burning Man is a volcano of creative co-creation that manages to bring to life each year hundreds of creative projects from any branch of the arts. While many burner projects come with further aims at social activism, awareness raising, or community interaction, pretty much all art projects created and co-created within the Burning Man community are designed with the purpose of triggering emotional responses through interaction with the artwork – any emotion in the range, from awe and surprise to joyful and playful exploration, all the way to deep inner, energetic or spiritual trips.
And in most cases there’s always a Build. Sometimes the Build stage is scheduled to the detail with months of planning work behind, some other times the magic of creation happens with just a few days of hardcore onsite work. In a way or the other, there’s always a Build stage. Because truth is that burners love to build stuff, all around the world.
Sure, there are also several many steps needed within an art project, from design and budgeting to production and programming, testing and plenty of transportations and purchasing planning to do too. Add working space scouting and volunteer management, and of course the post-event tear down and Leave No Trace, as this is a thing we do – we don’t leave a physical trace, just an emotional one.
Many projects are being built for a Burning Man gathering at first – from Black Rock City to Nowhere and AfrikaBurn and the many Burning Man regional events all around the world – and then get a second chance of life by being shared and placed at other festivals and events outside of the Burning Man community, sometimes even being placed in public spaces as temporary or permanent public art placement. Many other times, sad but true, many projects don’t get a second opportunity to shine after their playa interaction, and end up stuffed in a container or in a storage space forever, or until the moment the projects gets cannibalized, by recycling and upcycling its parts for use in a new project.
Some other projects get presented at other art and cultural events around the world before entering a Burning Man contexts, some other projects are designed and build uniquely for the “default world” and will never see the playa, but their co-creation normally happened because of burners involved in the co-creation project, and because of a collective effort and other work ethics that are aligned or inspired to the classic Burning man principles. In a way or the other, there’s always a Build stage. Because truth is that burners love to build stuff, all around the world. Also normally the bigger the better in terms of build volume an commitment.
We recently created the #hashtag #BurnersBuildStuff on social media to try to figure out how many projects out there that require a big deal of physical Build, and that are co-created to interact also with the default world, before or after their participation to Burning man community events. Join the #BurnersBuildStuff conversation on social media to share your latest, future or past burner art projects. Check out the BurnersBuildStuff group on Facebook (coming up soon) to interact with a community of creative builders worldwide!