Saturday, 20 October 2012

Burn2 2012: No Bystanders!

There are no bystanders!
                                                  - Burning Man and Burn2
Saturday 20th October sees the opening of this year’s Burn2 festival in Second Life. Burn2 is the virtual world equivalent of the RL Burning Man festival held in the Nevada desert and where Philip Linden received inspiration to create Second Life itself.
Burn2 is a week long celebration of community, art and fire culminating in the burning of ‘The Man’ and ‘The Temple’ on 27 and 28 October, respectively. The theme this year is ‘Fertility’.
Late Thursday night (GMT) a number of other bloggers and I were given the opportunity to have an advanced look around before today’s official opening. Now, it has to be said that the hour we were given was not nearly enough to take in the hundreds of different builds on the six regions devoted to the festival. But it is enough to get the taste and feel of this year’s playa and take a few snaps.
As is my way, I wandered around aimlessly and studiously ignored the site map we were supplied with. I had a vague notion that I wanted to visit ‘The Man’ and ‘The Temple’ and look out for a WOW-factor build. The pictures on this blog-post come from Thursday’s exploring.
I‘ll be returning often during the week to drink-in the 40-odd live performers, 50-odd DJ’s and especially visiting the art installations of this year’s five invited artists: Silene Christen, Pallina60 Loon, Nexuno Thespian, Ub Yif and Fuchsia Nightfire.
Last year I had the pleasure of observing Debbie Trilling and Aleeta Zelin over a number of weeks as they built, scripted and tested their ‘Man’ installation for 2011. I was asked to take the official photographs for promotional purposes. The final 15 min performance was one of the most dramatic and exciting scripted installations I have ever seen in SL (watch the video below; ‘Change Quality’ to HD for best results).

This year ‘The Man’ is closely modeled on the RL equivalent at Burning Man. It is a collaborative build which included input from the RL Man team. The inner structure – called ‘the pistil’ – is constructed from mesh and therefore requires a mesh-compatible viewer to see it.
I am very much looking forward to this year’s Man burn on the 27 Oct, one of the highlights of the festival.
(click pics to see full size)
The Man 2012
The Temple’ is the spiritual center of the playa – the heart and the soul of the festival. In contradistinction to ‘The Man’ installation, no attempt has been made to replicate the RL equivalent – it is a unique Second Life installation especially created for Burn2. Another of the Burn2 highlights is the burning of ‘The Temple’ which takes place on 28 Oct.

The Temple 2012
The individual installation which grabbed my attention during Thursday’s tour was created by Ultraviolet Alter. This has a real “wow-factor” and although I have embedded a few pics of it here, it really is worth seeking out to see for yourself.

Created by Ultraviolet
As I wandered around the playa it soon became apparent that not all of the builds have a “wow-factor”. Indeed, some are very simple, some are utilitarian, others’ are psychedelic and/or rather garish. There were even a number which I couldn't make head nor tail of.
But that is hardly the point. The point is that hundreds of SL residents have joined together to create a six-region community festival, despite recent adversities that threatened to end it entirely. Anyone who wished to had the opportunity to get themselves a parcel and simply build and create.
One of foremost joys of Burn2 for me is seeing people simply participate in whatever way they wish to participate. Burn2 is a healthy antidote to the “I Just Stand Here” crowd who infest many of Second Life’s otherwise enjoyable venues.
And that is why one of the key slogans of Burning Man and Burn2 is:

There are no bystanders!

Pixie xx

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