Bee Here Now!

Rendering by Andrew Johnstone

Every year since 2001, the Man has stood atop an elaborate base designed to reflect the spirit of that year’s art theme — and each one has included some kind of interactive element.  This year, the art theme is Fertility 2.0, contemplating the tendency of any being or living system to create abundant life.

As such, the Man will be perched atop a dramatic pavilion reminiscent of the Pantheon of ancient Rome, under which will stand an intricate 38′-tall sculpture representing a flower’s pistil. In case your memory of high school biology has eroded as much as ours, pistil (from the Latin pistillum meaning pestle) describes each discrete unit of the gynoecium, a collective term for the reproductive organs of a flower. (Phew … thanks Wikipedia!)

Otic Oasis by Gregg Fleishman, photo by Bryan Vincent

This sculpture will be designed and built by Gregg Fleishman, who created last year’s contemplative and peaceful “Otic Oasis” structure found out in the outer reaches of walk-in camping (and which will return to the same spot this year, we’re happy to report).

As with Otic Oasis, a series of stairways and walkways will provide access to a number of platforms, allowing participants the opportunity to climb, explore and enjoy the intricate architectural dynamics of the pistil.

DA Bee, photo by CameraGirl

In the spirit of participation, you’re encouraged to discover your inner bee, joining together with others or working solo to create interactive experiences of your own. Break out your best bee costume and inspired creativity and express yourself through bee culture and couture … perhaps coordinate a sunset bee swarm? Play follow the queen? Organize a honey tasting? Conduct a kazoo orchestra in a rendition of “Flight of the Bumblebee”? (It’s all good, but yeah, please don’t actually pollinate the pistil … capice?)

Want to connect with other folks to collaborate in your creativity?  We’ve created a special discussion thread on the ePlaya to do just that, or you can of course use Facebook, shout it at some random guy at a bar, or use whatever method works for you … but have at it! Perhaps tapping into your local regional group will be the source of collaborative riches?

For your planning purposes, please note that the structure will be open from Sunday, August 26th at midnight through Friday, August 31st at 9pm(ish), when the Man starts to undergo its preparation for immolation. There will also be limited access during the CORE burn on Thursday night from around 8-10pm.


About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase

Will Chase is Burning Man's former Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He was the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Burning Man Journal, and content manager for Burning Man’s web properties. He also oversaw the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social media presence. Will first attended Burning Man in 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004 until he transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009.

4 Comments on “Bee Here Now!

  • kiki enfuego says:

    I’m certain Gregg Fleishman’s sculpture will be beautiful. The “break out your best bee costume” thing? Lame.

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  • bunny slippers says:

    the man is placed higher and higher each year to symbolize the growing greatness of the BMorg. the idea is that the man (the BMorg) is above and exalted. it’s there to be worshiped by the citizens for its greatness and glory.

    once that hierarchical relationship is established, it makes it easier to convince the citizens to provide free labor to the exalted in exchange for becoming spiritually closer to the one above.

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  • epiphany starlight says:

    I still have my bee bracelet when I was swarmed at SF decom a few years ago… that my have to do.
    @ bunny slippers… the think the grandiosity might be more of a challenge accepted from the temple last year. wink wink… I mean really an earth harp… make the whole playa the instrument… very symbolic… bring it Man… and they did! Imagine that.

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  • SamsaBee says:

    How could breaking out any “best costume” bee lame at Burning Man? Give me a break ya jaded vet ;)
    I honor the symbol of the Bee and am very excited its totem will bee with the man this year. I’ll bee buzzing by to buzzz with you all!

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