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Elemental Interactions: WATER!

February 5, 2009 @ 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Save the date for our fourth evening of our lecture series for members and donors. Enjoy demos, talks and performances at the eclectic Burning Man headquarters.

In appreciation of our Members and Donors, and of the support of our community, we’re pleased to bring you yet another fascinating and engaging evening of demonstrations and lectures. The last of our Elemental Interactions series, our guests will speak on the topic of ‘Water’. In this series we’ve brought together an eclectic mix of speakers, other artists, scientists, social historians and others from our extended community and beyond.

Our first events, EARTH!, FIRE! and AIR!, were incredibly enjoyable evenings for all, full of captivating speakers and entertaining demonstrations, as well as opportunities to meet and connect with our members and donors.

More on our exciting guests:

Hosted by Harley K. Dubois

A founding member of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, and of the Burning Man board, Harley brings over 17 years of project management, art and city planning experience to the BRAF board. Harley chairs the grants committee and acts as the foundation’s liaison with the Burning Man Project. She is fully engaged in program development and works closely with the Executive Director and other staff members in conducting day-to-day operations.

As the City Manager of Black Rock City, Harley oversees both the Playa Safety Council and Community Services departments, ensuring that the citizens of BRC are happy and safe, including ingress, life on playa, and egress. She originated theme camp placement, the Greeters, Playa Info, Burning Man Information Radio, and has kindled the development of all other Community Service teams. Harley also created and maintains a comprehensive training and self-development program for the Burning Man staff, fostering the concepts of volunteerism and cross-departmental communication.

Harley has an extensive education and history in the visual and performing arts, has been a fitness director and a San Francisco fire fighter.

Harley K. Dubois

Artist Linda Gass
Textiles have been an important part of Linda Gass’ life since childhood when her grandmother taught her to sew doll clothes. In her early adult life, she took a detour through the software industry after earning a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science from Stanford University. Linda returned to making textiles 14 years ago, this time for the wall, and now exhibits her work internationally. She escapes to the wilderness as much as she can for inspiration and to recharge her batteries.

Linda Gass makes art informed by the wilderness, land use, maps, history, aerial photography and her activist passions. Linda’s talk will take you on a photographic journey to the places that inspire her work, from the wilderness areas of California to some of the significant water interventions in the American West. She will show images of her quilted paintings and land art done in response to her experience of the landscape, the interventions and her research.

Fields of Salt, hand-painted and dyed silk quilt by Linda Gass

Fields of Salt, hand-painted and dyed silk quilt by Linda Gass

Artist Linda Gass, with her land installation, marking the ancient site of Lake Lahontan in the Black Rock Desert.

Artist Linda Gass, with her land installation, marking the ancient site of Lake Lahontan in the Black Rock Desert.

Artist and Kinetic Steam Works member, Zachary Rukstela
An industrial artist in residence and musician at NIMBY, an artists fabrication facility located somewhere in Oakland, CA. As a wee lad, he attended countless agricultural shows featuring steam engines and vintage steam technology. For the La Contessa, aka the Desert Galleon, he designed the electrical & mechanical layout, implemented it, and maintained it for every year it’s been to the Black Rock Desert. He’s a long time volunteer Firemen & Water Tender on the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, a steam driven liberty-class ship first launched in 1943. He is a member of the Extra Action Marching Band and plays drums around the Bay Area. During the day, he’s an electrical engineer by trade, a radio engineer by occupation, and a restorer of vintage steam engines by choice.

Kinetic Steam Works, a Bay Area collective dedicated to steam powered kinetic art, came together in 2005 to explore and re-purpose the artifacts of clockwork modernity. A small but growing group of industrial artists, the KSW crew poignantly and artfully explores the materials and technologies that existed before the advent of petroleum power, electronics, and the automobile culture.

KSW believes that steam engines connect us to our past, our hopes, dreams, desires and our fears, nightmares, dark urges, and false nostalgia. This connection to our past speaks to our present and to the future.

The Steampunk Tree House is representative of a mutually beneficial relationship between people and nature: humans living in harmony with the planet and its natural elements. The House component itself is built of recycled wood, styled after the Victorian age of architecture,H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne, wedded with the organic elements of nature. It’s a house of mystery both familiar and alien. Its surreal otherworldly décor invites its inhabitants to leave behind personal items, figurative pieces of themselves, memories of their childhood innocence, and invites them to release their thoughts and messages to be scribbled on the walls.

'Hortense' photo by  Nick Winterhalter

‘Hortense’ photo by
Nick Winterhalter


'Steampunk Treehouse' photo by Waldemar Horwatt

‘Steampunk Treehouse’ photo by Waldemar Horwatt

Diver, Musician, and Cinematographer, Henry Kaiser

Widely recognized as one of the most creative and innovative guitarists, composers, improvisers, and producers in the fields of rock, jazz and contemporary experimental music, California-based musician Henry Kaiser is one of the most extensively recorded as well, having appeared on more than 220 different albums. A restless collaborator who constantly seeks the most diverse and personally challenging contexts for his music, Mr. Kaiser not only produces and contributes to a staggering number of recorded projects, he performs frequently throughout the USA, Europe and Japan with a host of diverse instrumentalists. Evidence of his exceptional musical breadth and versatility can be found in a few of the extraordinary artists with whom he has recorded and/or performed: Herbie Hancock, Zakir Hussain, Richard Thompson, David Lindley, Bob Weir, The ROVA Sax Quartet, Raymond Kane, Michael McClure, Bill Laswell, Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Michael Stipe, Terry Riley, Jim O’Rourke, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sergei Kuriokhin, Diamanda Galas, Sonny Sharrock, John Zorn, Evan Parker, Merl Saunders, Derek Bailey, Harvey Mandel, Greg Allman, Jerry Garcia, Miya Masaoka, Miroslav Tadic, and Cecil Taylor.
Kaiser is also a research SCUBA diver in the United States Antarctic Program.  A coming-together of his two parallel careers of film production and Scientific Diving with his music career has been his recent collaborations with director Werner Herzog; most notably, ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, where Kaiser served as cinematographer, diver, producer and soundtrack composer/performer.
Kaiser will present new “art” video shot underwater last November, under the 20′ thick ice of the Ross Sea, Antarctica.


Henry Kaiser under ice in Antacrtica

Henry Kaiser under ice in Antacrtica


Henry Kaiser above ice in Antarctica.

Henry Kaiser above ice in Antarctica.

Water Economist, David Zetland

David Zetland received his PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Davis in 2008. He is now a S.V. Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow in Natural Resource Economics and Political Economy at UC Berkeley. He blogs on water, economics and politics at aguanomics.com. Before getting his PhD, David worked at startups and non-profits. He has traveled extensively, visiting about 70 countries in six years. 2009 will be his third year at Burning Man where he’s known as aguaman.

David’s is pursuing a career as a “public intellectual,” speaking to members of the public, policy-makers and non-economists about water issues. He will discuss bottled water; four BIG things that you need to know about water; water issues in the developed and developing world; and why water provision is the litmus test for a functioning, civilized community.

David Zetland

David Zetland

David Zetland, exhibiting his enthusiasm for water at an early age

David Zetland, exhibiting his enthusiasm for water at an early age



February 5, 2009
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm