We’re doing it all again and sending a small contingent of Burning Man Project staff to Austin for SXSW 2018! Burning Man has a long history with the Austin area, as the first ever Regional Event, Burning Flipside, was founded in 1998 and takes place annually about an hour outside of Austin. SXSW has been on Burning Man’s calendar since before it became the household name and cultural phenomenon it is today, with our folks facilitating and participating in panels and workshops ranging in topics including participatory cities, storytelling, and managing intellectual property. Last year’s panel featured reps from ArtPrize, Moment Factory, and the City of Vancouver, and explored the intersection of art and urbanism, and how creativity is transforming cities.
Though we won’t be hosting a formal conference panel in 2018, we’ll have several engagements and opportunities to meet throughout the week, including the announcement of a Burners Without Borders civic ignition grant at our annual community meetup (deadline for submissions is March 2).
As usual, the art at SXSW will turn the conference’s spaces into immersive environments using emerging technologies. This year’s installations were selected to be launching points for “collaborations and discussions around the role of visual and digital media arts in culture, technology, and the public realm.” Read more here.
Kim Cook, Burning Man Project’s Director of Art and Civic Engagement, sits on the Advisory Board for the SXSW Art Program. Kim will also serve as a juror for the “Place by Design” competition on Tuesday, March 13 at 12:30 pm, part of the “Cities Summit” programming launched this year at SXSW.
“Designing places of meaning, creating kinesthetic environments that are welcoming to inhabitants, and staying conscious of the built environment as a social construction are huge passions for me,” Kim says. “I am thrilled to be invited as a juror, not simply to choose an award winning project, but more importantly to be actively participating in promoting the values of creative urbanism.”
In keeping with tradition, we will host two Burner meetups this year. Both will be open to the public, and neither will require a SXSW badge.
The first will be an informal gathering on Saturday, March 10 from 7–9 pm at El Mercado South (south of the river). Come by for a drink and some food, to meet our team, and discuss all things Burning Man!
On Monday, March 12 from 6 pm–10 pm, we will be at Kinda Tropical for our annual Burner community gathering. This year we’ll also be hosting a Burners Without Borders SXSW Civic Ignition Grant Workshop, aimed at funding an innovative social impact project in the Texas area. Anyone is invited to apply, and everyone is welcome to the workshop where we’ll read over the submissions and participants will choose the winners. This new grant focusing on Texas-based projects is timely, as Texas boasts six separate BWB communities, and has just finished up an intense Hurricane Harvey Relief project.
Again, no SXSW badge required for either event!
What are you looking forward to this year? See you in Austin.