Sol Diego

Burning Man Art Collective

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Meeting Minutes 19 April 2014 Sol Diego Direction

Sol Diego Direction 19 April 2014

12:00pm – 2:00pm at colab


The Sol Diego Direction meeting, attended by approximately 30 people, commenced at 12:15pm. Host Brandie Maddelena handed out an agenda. She was almost immediately interrupted by an air compressor, which she was directed to unplug from On High.

This deserves a note of explanation. The Sol Diego Direction meeting was held concurrently with a colab build-out party. A special thank you is given to colab volunteers for accommodating the Sol Diego Direction meeting. Colab volunteers were installing insulation and sheet rock in the upstairs meeting room. They diverted their efforts in order to greatly reduce the noise, so that speakers could be heard at the Sol Diego gathering.

Brandie began with a review of the three years of San Diego Regional CORE history, with photographs of each project completed and burning. She explained that CORE was in a transitional time, and that discussion and decisions were required.

While the guidelines for CORE projects have been almost entirely consistent from 2011 through 2013, the vision for the 2014 CORE project for is entirely new. In parallel with this external transition is an internal transition. Sol Diego seeks to expand scope from building a CORE project for Burning Man to building permanent local projects, in accordance with the Sol Diego mission.

Making amazing stuff and learning from each other was affirmed. An element of Art Assault Squad was mentioned, in terms of Sol Diego being able to offer substantial design and manpower leverage to projects viewed in keeping with the mission.

Brandie explained that she had selected a board of directors to assist in the transition, and they were introduced. (Nicole, David, Nate, Brandie, Abraxas). Brandie described the CORE guidelines that were discussed at the recent Global Leadership Meeting. Larry (Burning Man Founder) has "taken on CORE as his project" and envisions it as a souk-style marketplace surrounding The Man. Each installation will be a market stall, staffed continuously throughout the burn, with individuals that enact salesmanship negotiations with participants. The goal is to gift, and gift generously, with a multitude of items that represent the region the stall represents. Actors, barkers, haggling, negotiation, and decommodification were all emphasized during the Leadership Conference by Larry as essential ephemeral elements of the experience.

This is a significant departure from previous CORE projects.

Brandie mentioned two concerns. First, the MOOP impact of a multitude of small gifts. Secondly, San Diego CORE has had challenges in the past signing up enough people for docent duty for previous CORE projects. Previous projects have not had a 24/7 staffing requirement, and had a shorter timeline, as CORE projects burned by Thursday. The current souk-style CORE project burns on Saturday, and has a stricter staffing mandate.

Meeting participants spoke up to allay both concerns, affirming that MOOP would not be a significant factor and that finding participants for the souk project would not be as difficult as finding docents for previous CORE projects.

Question: Are the gifts supposed to represent the San Diego region?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is there any money from Burning Man Org for this project?

Answer: Yes, either $1000 or $500 (AI: to be confirmed).

A meeting participant affirmed the power of the souk project in terms of spreading the message beyond the event. The souk project envisions the practice of many small items gifted through experiential marketing. When they are taken back into the default world, they become an artifact. The power of building things that make a difference beyond the event was emphasized.

A meeting participant suggested that Souk Rehearsal Parties could happen, and be popular.

A meeting participant suggested that staffing the souk booth through collaboration with San Diego-based theme camps would be productive. In essence, striking agreements to where theme camps would provide a team to staff a shift at the booth. The assumption is that the group, being previously acquainted, would work well together and enjoy the experience.

A meeting participant observed connections to Spoon Return Camp, and emphasized the power of re-introducing burn participants to small-scaled gifting. It was observed that we would still need a leave no trace (LNT) team, but that instead of cleaning up an individual space, they might commit to patrolling the playa in general, to offset any additional MOOP created by the souk.

General guidelines for the souk project have been given. Specific ones are still outstanding. Abraxas stated that the information at hand allowed a decision to proceed on the souk project, and called for a decision.

Brandie discussed Salon de Refuse CORE. Several regions are exploring the possibility of doing large-scale art projects in the CORE tradition, and Brandie is in communication with them. If agreement can be reached, then Sol Diego may participate.

Sol Diego has already embarked on a large-scale playa art project, that will burn, called Nexus. This project, in keeping with the traditional CORE experience, could be part of the Salon de Refuse. Or, it could be a stand-alone burnable art piece. Either way, work on Nexus is ongoing.

Brandie described the current state of Nexus in detail. This project is a lantern pavilion, with working pipe organ project provided by Organ Donor.

Nexus has three parts. The pavilion super-structure, the hanging lanterns, and the pipe organ. All three combine to create Nexus. The lanterns are lit with computer-controlled LEDs. The organ can be driven with a console, pre-recorded MIDI files, or a Theremin interface. The LED lighting responds to the music produced. Gamellon and other percussive effects will be included if at all possible.

The hanging lanterns are a community opportunity. They will be accepted as creative offerings, solicited for construction based on drawings, or provided as kits to build at parties throughout the county. Varying levels of involvement will increase accessibility of participation. Work on this needs to begin immediately. The vision is for Nexus to be an icon of San Diego. It will bring the light to the desert, and be intensely interactive.

Fundraising was discussed. Sol Diego currently has nearly $3000 in the bank. The recent Burner Bazaar provided $1700 of that $3000. This is $3000 better than any CORE project in the past, at this point. This is a substantial achievement. However, with the expansion of scope of Sol Diego, fundraising is a serious concern. There will be another Burner Bazaar in July, and a committee is needed immediately in order to ensure event success.

The next topic of discussion was colab. Sol Diego is an anchor tenant at colab, and is expected to pay $400-$500 in rent. Sol Diego has provided significant sweat equity at colab and is highly motivated to ensure the space is free long-term through grants and fundraising. Securing a home for the community to build and learn is the highest priority of Sol Diego at this time, and all efforts are being expended to achieve this goal. The board is actively seeking any and all input on this process, from grants to gifts to income, as creating our San Diego home will make an enormous difference in the quality and quantity of projects we are capable of completing.

YouTopia will have a two-story temple. The lead artist is Ondec. He has asked for construction help from Sol Diego. This is a larger structure than previous temples, will be built at colab, and will be deconstructed and stored for re-use at future YouTopias. The temple will be enhanced with sculpture gardens, pathways, and other augmentations. The increased scope of structures at YouTopia means that the approval process for a structure may require engineering documents in order to assert some level of basic structural safety.

Kevin with Fringe Festival ( has indicated interest in a Sol Diego installation at the festival. It would have to be complete by July 3-13th. Participation in this event is seen as a stepping-stone to outreach within the greater San Diego area, which is in keeping with the Sol Diego mission. Kevin has inquired if any art cars would be willing to serve as tour busses. They would have to be street legal.

Jason presented Clay for Clay, a project to construct social-art enhanced signage for Clay Park. Clay Park is used by JCS San Diego Academy for PE and sports. Jason will teach photography to the schoolchildren. They will then photograph people in the park using portraiture techniques. The portraits will be transferred to tiles. The tiles will be fired in a kiln that Jason has obtained as a donation. The tiles will then be constructed as part of a concrete slab sign. Jason requests assistance with planning and building the sign, moving and installing the kiln. He has a deadline of the end of June. He is working with Sherry Lightener on the regulatory aspects of the project. A recommendation to contact Nigel Brooke as a useful Parks and Rec contact was given by a meeting participant.

Fundraising was reviewed. The Spring Burner Bazaar netted $1700, to bring the total in the bank for Sol Diego to $3000. This is substantially more than Sol Diego has ever had to commence CORE projects. However, due to the expanded scope of Sol Diego's efforts, more money is needed. Another Burner Bazaar has been scheduled for July and needs volunteers. Brandie emphasized the potential of the event to bring in increased funds. Brandie agreed to make a contact available for volunteering for July Burner Bazaar.

The 20 April 2014 Roller Skating fundraiser at World Skate was discussed and meeting participants urged to attend and get the word out. Event will be from 8:00pm to 10:00pm with 10:30pm load out.

There will be a Volunteer Appreciation Tapas Soiree at colab on May 4th 2014.

Responsible Person: Action Item

Brandie: Create contact for July Burner Bazaar.

Brandie: Confirm amount to be received from Burning Man Organization for Souk project.

?: Make contact with other theme camps and SD groups for shifts at Souk project.

?: Call for lanterns needs to go out immediately. (develop kit, develop process for submitting drawings, develop process for soliciting completed works)


Sol Diego will commence Souk Project.

Sol Diego will commence Nexus.

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