Art, Money, and the Renaissance: Q&A with Larry Harvey

Part of the Art, Money, and the Renaissance blog series


At the 2016 Burning Man Global Leadership Conference, the Burning Man Philosophical Center presented on this year’s exploration of art and money through the lens of da Vinci’s Workshop.

Caveat moderated a discussion with Larry Harvey and Stuart Mangrum, who then took questions from the audience.

Leave your questions, insights, or arguments in the comments section below!

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6 Comments on “Art, Money, and the Renaissance: Q&A with Larry Harvey

  • Rangers as the benevolent sentinels of the Principals, taking care of the community, the people. We are part of the soul that create the Burn, AND as a Burner, is to embrace the ethos of our community based on the Principals.

    So where do this leave us as a volunteer based community, and as individuals inside this community? Are we only giving lip-service to this Burner ethos, or only getting on the Burner band-wagon for a few weeks every year?

    Yes, the Burn has a wonderful freedom to it all, But freedom without basic rules or moral compass leads to chaos and anarchy. And both of these will destroy any social system…especially that of the Burn.

    And for us as “civilized people”, where does the concepts of honour and integrity comes in?

    Is it left-overs from a bygone era? Invalid concepts in a modern do-eat-dog digital world?.

    Honour is a gift a man gives himself, and only he can take it away. The terms and conditions of honour vary, but by and large it means adhering to principles you set for yourself or principles you agree to value, hold true to, and defend.

    Integrity demands that you are honest and straight with yourself, and in dealing with others. Sometimes it’s the toughest thing you’ll ever have to do…

    You don’t say ‘yes’ to please people, or because it’s the right thing to say, or because it makes you “look good”. The foundation of self-confidence is living in accordance with your own set values.

    You can’t have a little bit of integrity, you can’t put it aside when it’s not convenient. From the moment you’ve selected your values, you need to live with them. This is the measure of your quality as a human being, as a ‘man’, ‘woman’ or Burner.
    The question will always be: Is there still a place for higher ideals in the Burner concept.

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  • Timeless says:

    For more thought provoking commentary on my funding model, “Fundiversify”, discussed in this clip, I reference the great article: “Making Patronage Work for Us: Recognizing That Our Community Creates Value”, May 4, 2016 By Caveat Magister. Also, you can read the original concept by clicking my name, above. In that same link you will find a link that discusses our installation this year called “Creative Cauldron”, which promises to be the first installation funded entirely by Fundiversify. Please help by sharing my Fundiversify link wherever and with whomever you can. If we can make this work, Burners and we could just have a funding device to help drive the coming Renaissance…

    This fellow; goes by Cam K commented on Caveat’s article. His remarks are spot-on, and insightful enough to warrant reposting here:

    Cam K says:
    “Timeless is a Burning Man artist trying to bridge the gap between burners and the general public through creative design. The 10 Principles of Burning Man are exotic and inclusive and this mentality is exactly what we are seeing with Timeless and his “Fundiversity” model. Using a 100% inclusive funding model to promote art for Burning Man while also recognizing that the non-burner community is deserving of these visual works as well could become the newest platform for art crowd-funding and the next great generation of art and artist.

    It is often said the fastest way to make a billion dollars is to help a billion people. Today, art has become one of the most valuable portions of the 1%’s portfolios while artist seemingly live paycheck-to-paycheck looking for the next commission so they can continue to create. Radically excluding this model, I challenge any reader to think of the possibility that an artist can construct their dreams without limit from their financial dependency but create using financial community. Imagine now that under this new platform for funding – Fundiversity – we had a billion dollars and could tell artist, go make art. The results would be visually, emotionally, and financially astounding.

    The art that Timeless has created and continues to create is not art for one man; it is art for an entire community both on and off the playa. This communal good is value at its core. Art like this appreciates in value as it becomes part of a community rather than just another collector’s trophy or dust ridden piece of desert art. If the dollars put towards art and artist is communal and the subsequent piece is used within this community its value becomes intrinsic, nearly priceless, given that it is the community’s appreciation that gives value to the art. Equally, it is the art that returns appreciation for the community by way of financial gains. This cyclical progression is in my opinion, well worth investing in and I look forward to following Timeless and Fundiversity over the next couple months/years to see the results.”

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    • M Squared says:

      I was there when Timeless started his journey on his Fire Inside Art that tied into his Fundiversify concept as an apprentice almost 6 years ago. I have watched him go from burning stumps in the backyard to creating massive monoliths that burn from the inside out on the playa. All the while Timeless has been slowing gaining ground on his Fundiversify concept.
      I have the privilege of joining him in his quest for liberty on the playa this year. I hope to see some of you out there and please come and join in the art of Fire Inside.
      You can click my name if you’d like to visit the website .

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  • It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this outstanding blog!
    I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.

    Chat soon!

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  • Timeless says:

    I propose a Fundiversify Conference at “SoulFire”, that outrageous Precomp coming up June 24th to the 26th, at the Lupin Lodge in the hills of Los Gatos. I hope to see each of the three gentleman in the this Q and A interview there too! I’ll be there with some of my self-funded monuments to help me show-case this summer’s Timeless installation (Click my name for more). Right now the clock ticks, as my 30’ depiction of The Man in carved flames, designed to burn from the inside-out with real flames, thereby creating the ultimate playa artifact — lay in limbo awaiting funding that, in my world, must come when someone empowers Fundiversify. That’s the new funding profile that doubles as investment vehicle… Just think of what it could mean for investors of all stripes who want to support the community they love with their next enterprise — and to see monetary returns from such community efforts, while sampling the events and celebrations themselves. Now that’s a fun way to diversify…

    Between Larry’s metaphor of turning a “vicious cycle into a virtuous circle” (I love that one) and Caveat’s turning “visceral tension into fruitful tension” we are indeed creating more of the world we want to see and Larry we already do know it by the fruits. That fruit hangs low every Decomp season and regular auctions should follow.

    At least one, court certified art and antique appraiser has told me that, if Fundiversify builds momentum, it could foster an environment of art auctions that operate outside such mainstream institutions as Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses. Talk about rocking the art world…that would truly give investors and artists a chance to change the face of the arts — and of society for that matter. Along with creating a society that conditions the way money behaves we can indeed create a society that liberates artists and the minds they inspire.

    Through all the snares of something as potentially game-changing as Fundiversify, the guiding principle, the one that will avoid Ranger Chrigi – Afrikaburn’s “invalid concepts of a digital world” descends from Nikola Tesla: “Progress benefits mankind, but technology doesn’t necessarily do that”. We should direct the money the later has brought to enhance the former, thereby serving both causes.

    Dear Madden Mobile Free Coins’ thank you for reposting, I hope everyone will — and for your query about a donate button for Fundiversify, but with this funding model donations are replaced by the participation of one or a few capable investors — who, incidentally hope to inspire community so their investment(s) can accrue. Not so bad considering the alternative…

    See you at SoulFire!

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  • Timeless says:

    Attention! Philanthropic Investment Alert!!!

    What! FUNDIVERSIFY CONFERENCE in the brew…

    Why! To brainstorm and fine-tune a plan to put welcome money in artists pockets, inspiring art in blank community spaces, real fire inside communities and fun diversity into investment portfolios — a plan Larry Harvey calls a “a virtuous circle”.

    Where! SoulFire Precomp Lupin Lodge, Los Gatos. (I’ll hook you up if you click my name over there and send me an email).

    When! June 24-26

    What the fuck is Fundiversify! You can click my name to read all about it but first you may want to read what this court certified art and antique appraiser says about it (Tony Pernicone has more certifications than I have unmatching socks.):

    “I read through your Fundiversify concept, and it’s brilliant. I can see why so many people are latching on to the concept. It seems like you took our conversation years ago about building the value of a work of art based on its exposure, and applied it to the principle of Fundivesify. You’ve obviously done your homework and have come up with a substantial and very doable plan. I’m especially intrigued with allowing the sponsors of the work to include the working class man/woman, who’s affinity for art, can be taken to a new level by being a part of the ownership process. And potentially share in profits as time moves along.”

    And who else likes the idea!

    Larry Harvey: “I find your Fundiversify model very interesting. If I understand this correctly, it mandates that art move through communities. By doing so, it would seem to accrue both cultural value, as we understand it, and marketplace value, which works as an incentive for the patron to sponsor the artist.”

    Caveat Magister: “It arguably creates more of the world we want to see…”

    Cam K [not sure who this blogger is but he’s spot on]: “Using a 100% inclusive funding model to promote art for Burning Man while also recognizing that the non-burner community is deserving of these visual works as well could become the newest platform for art crowd-funding and the next great generation of art and artist.”

    And who the hell are you! My name is Timeless. I’m an aging Firemeister of 4+ years, sculptor of 40+ and fellow playa rat and I bring fresh water to keep the pond from go’n smelly. To do this, let’s see, so far I’ve invited Larry Harvey, Caveat Magister and their buddy Stuart Something — and other mighty Burners. Let’s see who shows!
    How!: The Conference may be hosted at one of the camps or maybe at my art installation there (waiting to hear…). I envision a steady stream of chats and brainstorms with a group huba hub like Sunday brunch (bring bacon!) Hit me up if you want updates, we’ll get’ya there!

    Everyone should try to come some time over the weekend, because I think an idea recently discussed, a national database of available display venues in public spaces (See “Art Gets More Valuable When “Data” Becomes “Relationships”, May 23, 2016, By Caveat Magister)
    I think this data base could be the bare bones of Renaissance and I think Fundiversify will be the muscle. Hey, Leonardo would approve the anatomical analogy.

    OK we’re all gonna try to show up there, thanks Timeless, your great!!!

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