Black Rock Arts Foundation – Newsletter – July 2014

In this Issue:

  • Make a tax-deductible donation to a Burning Man-bound art project!
  • Artist Update
    • Goodbye, Future’s Past!
    • Hello, Soma! Opening Reception, August 1!
    • Goodbye, Defenestration!
  • Grantee Update
    • Hung Viet Tran (Forever Our Change. Dream Your Mind)
    • Soundwave (Illuminated Forest)
    • The Cabinet of Curiosity Project
    • Compression Sesquicentennial Peregrinations
    • River of Wings
    • Before I Die…
    • Cardboardia
    • Burning Baskets

Make a tax-deductible donation to a Burning Man-bound art project!

Now, it is possible! Through BRAF’s new Fiscal Sponsorship program, you can make a tax-deductible donation to one of many superb projects bound for the playa this year.

As you know, BRAF has been funding off-playa projects since 2001. As the original offspring non-profit organization of the Burning Man event, BRAF has strived to support our greater community’s artists in every way possible. However, it wasn’t until recent changes to Burning Man’s organizational structure that we could offer fiscal sponsorship to playa-bound projects.

These outstanding projects need your support. Make a donation to Michael Christian’s or Charlie Smith’s latest works, or to David Best’s Temple, or one of the many other wondrous projects, including a massive video projection wall, a 20 foot kinetic model of the universe, a flaming metal praying mantis, and so many other inspiring works!

Just a few of the BRAF fiscally sponsored projects going to Burning Man in 2014.

Just a few of the BRAF fiscally sponsored projects going to Burning Man in 2014.


Artist Updates

Goodbye, Future’s Past!

We’re so sad to see the deinstall of Kate Raudenbush’s Future’s Past after its two-year stay in Hayes Valley in San Francisco! However, we’re thrilled that it was so welcomed and loved by the local residents, and that its stay was extended for so long! What was meant to be a one-year exhibition was extended to two. Thanks to the Hayes Valley Arts Coalition, Kate’s crew of tireless workers, all the project’s donors and supporters, and, of course, to Kate Raudenbush for her inspiring work!

Hayes Valley says goodbye to Kate Raudenbush's Future's Past

Hayes Valley says goodbye to Kate Raudenbush’s Future’s Past

Soma at Pier 14

The Flaming Lotus Girls’ very cool and smart Soma is being installed at Pier 14 as we write! If you’re in downtown San Francisco this week, pop on down to see the FLG team in action and lend them your enthusiasm and support.

Originally displayed at Burning Man in 2009, Soma is an interactive sculptural installation depicting two communicating neurons connected by an axon bridge. At its new home on Pier 14, the public can interact with Soma’s computer-controlled LED lights by pushing buttons, activating the ‘trans-synaptic action potential simulation,’ resulting in an output capable of 16 million possible colors!

On August 1, we’ll gather in celebration at the project’s Opening Reception. Don’t miss this party! Hear the artists speak and stick around for the lighting ceremony. You have to see Soma’s new lighting effects!

A Cerebral Celebration: In Honor of Flaming Lotus Girls’ Soma

Pier 14
San Francisco, CA
Friday, August 1, 2014
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Flaming Lotus Girls crew installing SOMA at Pier 14 in San Francisco, CA.

The Flaming Lotus Girls crew installing SOMA at Pier 14 in San Francisco, CA.


Goodbye, Defenestration!

Defenestration, fiscally sponsored by BRAF in 2010, by Brian Goggin, transformed a San Francisco building into a renowned art site in 1997, and for seventeen years it remained. This multi-disciplinary sculptural mural displayed seemingly animated furniture; tables, chairs, lamps, grandfather clocks, a refrigerator, and couches, their bodies bent like centipedes, fastened to the walls and window-sills, their insect-like legs seeming to grasp the surfaces. Against society’s expectations, these everyday objects flood out of windows like escapees, out onto available ledges, up and down the walls, onto the fire escapes and off the roof.

Defenestration was created by Brian Goggin with the help of over 100 volunteers, and individual works were restored four years ago with generous community support, including artwork donated by Banksy.

Defenestration by Brian Goggin.

Defenestration by Brian Goggin.

Although we must say farewell to this beloved work of public art, we can take home a piece of San Francisco history. Contact Varnish Fine Art Gallery and purchase one of the individual works from the Defenestration collection.

Varnish Fine Art
16 Jessie Street, #C120
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 433-4400

The landmark SF installation ended June 3rd, but the exhibition continues online through July 31st.


Grantee Updates

2013 Grantee – Hung Viet Tran

2013 BRAF Grantee Hung Viet Tran, artist of (Forever Our Change. Dream Your Mind) reports from Vietnam on a new initiative:

“Livinwondr is transformative public art celebrating human connectivity in time and space, connecting global citizens with each other to create an innovative, large-scale interactive, public sculpture that has the ability to alter and re-configure itself into multiple structures. A key feature of the sculpture is its potential to transform and expand as more people participate in its creation. Through crowd sourcing, Livinwondr engages the public to create art and stories, builds transformative art for worldwide exhibitions, and presents new interactive experiences. Livinwondr is 21st century art arising out of digital technology, mass data, social networking, transmedia, globalization, and international cultural activities. The very first project will be exhibited in the front courtyard of the History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City in conjunction with workshops, talks, and a gallery exhibition.”

Hung Viet Tran's Livinwondr

Hung Viet Tran’s Livinwondr

For more information and to participate, visit: or


2010 Grantees – Soundwave

Since their grant in 2010, for the Soundwave project Illuminated Forest, these grantees have gone on to produce the very successful annual Soundwave festival in San Francisco. Soundwave features a ton of interactive and experimental sound and visual works and is going on now! This year, Soundwave’s overarching theme is “water.”

ocean beach Soundwave

Events include hikes in the Marin Headlands to site-specific performances, listening events at Ocean Beach, artist talks, and performances at venues like the Exporatorium and Intersection for the Arts.

Read about all these wonderful events and buy tickets at


 2014 Grantee – The Cabinet of Curiosity Project

Artist Mai Thomas reports that the Cabinet is coming along nicely and the public feedback has been great! See pictures of this work in progress, here. Nicely, indeed!

2014 Grantee Cabinet of Curiosity by Mai Thomas.

2014 Grantee Cabinet of Curiosity by Mai Thomas.

We can’t wait to see where this grantee project goes next. Read about past events connected to the project at


2014 Grantee – Compression Sesquicentennial Peregrinations

Marvelous things are happening in Nevada and Erika Wesnousky tells us about it…

“Lovelock loved their Compression festival! One HOT summer evening the fire toys started popping. Lovelock artists stepped up beside seasoned Burners for their event, giving it unique and intriguing flavor. The same thing happened in Fernley the next weekend, where the rodeo grandstands were packed fuller than they’ve ever been, even for the rodeo!  Both communities hope to replicate festivals next year, meaning that the goal of the BRAF project (to offer the successful template for an annual community-driven arts festival) has been achieved.

Controlled Burn dancers and flame effects at Fernley Rodeo Grounds (photo by Bill Kositzky) for Compression Art & Fire 2014 Fernley Multi-Cultural Festival.

Controlled Burn dancers and flame effects at Fernley Rodeo Grounds (photo by Bill Kositzky) for Compression Art & Fire 2014 Fernley Multi-Cultural Festival.

“An Austin Compression event in conjunction with the International Landsailing World Championships will be held on another remote Nevada playa, Smith Creek Dry Lake, on July 12. Regional Burners, this has been the most challenging because NO local artists have stepped forward. If you care to collaborate, display, or attend, JUMP UP!  The land yachts (“blocarts!”) race all week, and conditions are playa self-reliance, leave no trace in a beautiful place.”

Ain't nothin' better than a cowboy doing fire for Fernley.  Justin Cunningham (local event lead) spinning fire with Controlled Burn at Compression Art & Fire 2014 Fernley Multi-Cultural Festival (photo by Jerry Mansker).

Ain’t nothin’ better than a cowboy doing fire for Fernley. Justin Cunningham (local event lead) spinning fire with Controlled Burn at Compression Art & Fire 2014 Fernley Multi-Cultural Festival (photo by Jerry Mansker).

“Reno Compression Art & Fire is on July 26. Reno is proud to hold this event in the heart of downtown, with art cars on the main streets and the Fire Garden on iconic Virginia Street Bridge. Performances (alternative, tribal, youth and fire dance) run from 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. on the main stage at Reno City Plaza on the doorstep of City Hall. Held for the 7th year as part of the month-long Artown festival, Reno Compression draws crowds to this free family-friendly celebration of the culture of Burning Man. Come and see Controlled Burn’s new flame effects, great works of propane art in the Fire Garden, playa art displays, and beautiful costumed Burners sharing a slice of their playa lives. Volunteers and donations are always welcome, well loved, and pleasantly schwagged!  There is still room in the Playa Art & Theme Camp area if you’d like to share your creativity.”

Mark your calendars! Compression Art & Fire Events in Austin and Reno, Nevada:

2014 Grantee – Rivers of Wing (ROW)

This new grantee is ramping up! Read on and get involved. This from the artists:

“River of Wings (ROW) is a community-based, temporary public art installation conceived by Los Angeles Burners Marcelle Gravel and David Hoffmann, consisting of a flock of 60 avian inspired kinetic mobile sculptures that will be hung along the bank of the Los Angeles River. Each sculpture will be personalized and re-imagined by local schools, community groups, and local artists. The installation will take flight on September 13, 2014 as part of the Frogtown Art Walk along the bike path in Elysian Park, just north of Downtown Los Angeles. The flock will then migrate to other venues around Los Angeles in the year following. The project is produced by LaMachineArt with initial funding from the Black Rock Arts Foundation, but it is powered by the relentless energy, creativity, and support of our local artists, students and of course members of the Burning Man community.”

2014 Grantee, River of Wings`

2014 Grantee, River of Wings

“We would love to have some of our inspired artist burners in Los Angeles to reinvent their own bird and become part of the flock. If you are interested please contact us.   RiverofWings  (RiverofWings  

“We are also looking for a metal shop to build the remaining perches that we need to complete the installation.”

For more information on the project please visit or on Facebook at


2011 Grantee – Before I Die… by Candy Chang

Over the past three months, 38 walls have been created in 18 countries! Thanks to passionate people around the world, 510 Before I Die… walls have been created in 70 countries and stenciled in 34 languages. Candy Chang sends a big thank you to Tartu, Kralendijk, and Tkibuli for bringing Before I Die... to Estonia, Bonaire, and Georgia for the first time. Candy writes, “Together, we’re creating public spaces to restore perspective and reflect on our lives with the people around us.”

Interested in making a wall? Visit

And for more information, visit,, or

2011 BRAF Grantee project, Before I Die...

2011 BRAF Grantee project, Before I Die…


2009 Grantee — Cardboardia

Cardboardia is still cooking! Since their 2009 BRAF grant, they’ve gone on to produce over three hundred events in over thirty cities! Wow.

Recently they hosted a Street Performance Laboratory in Moscow.  See it at The next European project will be a workshop and parade in Amersfoort in the Netherlands. For a full accounting of all their wonderful activities take a look at,, or

2007 Grantees, Cardboardia

2009 Grantees, Cardboardia


2007 Grantee – Burning Baskets

Mavis Muller was selected to receive a 2014 Artist Fellowship Award from the esteemed Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska. This highly competitive award of $18,000 is a gift to help her continue to pursue her artistic goals. Mavis began her Burning Basket project of community interactive, impermanent art in 2004, and has facilitated a total of 28 enactments. Mavis was also a lead artist for the CORE effigy representing Source Maui at Burning Man in 2013. This is Mavis’ third award from the Rasmuson Foundation.

2007 Grantee, Burning Baskets project produces this basket, titled "Together," in 2014

2007 Grantee, Burning Baskets. Mavis Muller, newly selected Fellow of the Rasmuson Foundation, stands next to one of her large basket sculptures of intricately woven natural plant materials. The basket will ultimately be released through fire.

Mavis is also seeking an assistant with skills in photography, graphic design, writing, publication, and is offering an artist-in-residency that includes rustic lodging at her amazing Cranehaven Studio of Art & Nature on the shores of Kachemak Bay, overlooking the Kenai mountains & glaciers. For more information contact her at mavis .

Follow Mavis at and

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