Archiving the Ephemeral: a Kitchen Sisters Podcast

My betrothed, Beto Gonsalves, recently alerted me to a new series of NPR podcasts by the Kitchen Sisters:  The Keepers — stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians.

“Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. Guardians of history, large and small, protectors of the free flow of information and ideas, eccentric individuals who take it upon themselves to preserve some part of our cultural heritage,” the website says.

Hello! I contacted them and invited them to come to Burning Man Headquarters to view our archives. I spent a couple of hours giving them a tour of the office and sitting with them in the Archive Room, talking about our history and culture. I grabbed Coyote, Black Rock City’s Superintendent, who was at HQ that day; he joined us and talked about how BRC is surveyed and laid out in the desert each year.

The Kitchen Sisters were so intrigued by our stories they contacted Stuart Mangrum, Burning Man Project’s Education Director, to assist them in getting audio clips for their podcast, including quotes from Larry and sounds from the playa. They did quite a bit of research and their final podcast is duly impressive and beautifully put together; I couldn’t be more pleased with it!

The podcast was released on August 21, and it aired on KQED Morning Editon on Labor Day. You can listen to it here.


About the author: Christine "LadyBee" Kristen


Christine Kristen (a.k.a LadyBee) is Burning Man’s Archivist, Art Collection Manager and Photo Gallery editor. She was Burning Man's art curator from 1999 to 2008, where she dealt with all things visual and aesthetic, including managing the art and the art grant program, photo-editing the Image Gallery, writing art content for the Burning Man website, working with the ARTery, managing the archives, and lecturing and writing about the art of Burning Man. She is the co-author of "The Jewelry of Burning Man", with Karen Christians and George Post, and the curator of the exhibition "PlayaMade: Jewelry of Burning Man", which debuted at the Fuller Craft Museum near Boston in 2017. It opens at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Seattle in January 2020. She has an MFA in sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago.

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