It's Press / Blogger Day at the newly designated Burn 2 festival formerly known as Burning Life. I had worked all day and didn't arrive in-world until shortly before the 3 pm party started at the Center Camp. Anxious to get in, I'd barely tasted my dinner as I ate, while waiting on my lap top to boot up. When I arrived at the site, a small crowd had already formed and the DJ, Sporty Tone had already started up the stream. As I entered the tent I was greeted by Raven Haalan who had just sent out a group IM letting everyone on the playa know that the party was about to start.
With as even as small a group present as there was it did take several minutes for all present to rezz complete. As I waited for them and the site to do so, I saw a familiar name tag which was worn by a grey avatar approach and I called out a greeting to Chestnut Rau. She paused briefly to exchange small talk and then left on her way to snap a picture with her words trailing off in chat, "… on a deadline … ". I scanned around for familiar names and spotted only one, Doctor Gascoigne who I had met at the year ago festival.
Sporty Tone's voice comes across my the speakers of my headset set, the stream is alive and he announces the first set of songs, Nickleback, Stevie Ray Vaughn and EC. I called out in chat that I liked his selections. The dance balls were out and several people had already pointed, clicked and were whirling around under the tall brown canopy at center camp. Several more people had drifted into the party, most seemed to part of the volunteer crew, rangers and stage managers along with several builders.
Tonight's party wasn't my first visit to Burn2, I had popped over shortly after Raven had sent me a group invite. On the first visit I met Miso Susanowa and had a nice chat about her work and her installation here. She agreed to my plans for an interview article, and I do look forward to the opportunity to talk at length about it with her. A few days later, I met with and previewed Maryva Mayo's build. I'd seen many of her pieces at exhibitions and in her gallery. She has created something quite spectacular once again and it will likely be a key stop for those who attend the two week long festival which starts this Saturday, the 16th of October.
I listened to music and noted the arrival of several artists, Bryn Oh, ColeMarie Soleil, Maya Paris, soror Nishi, Trill Zapetero and Wizard Gynoid. The chat was lively with exchanges of greetings. The arts community in Second Life is a fairly tight one, most know each other well and see each other often or even collaborate on installations. Most of the above did not stay long, and after having made their appearance left on their way back to work in finalizing their build for the opening I assumed.
With the withdrawal of Linden support, the festival has shrunk dramatically from a year ago. In 2009, there were forty SIM's set up as the "playa". This year the all volunteer effort is … well only one way to say it, smaller with six SIM's comprising this years playa. The theme chosen this year is "Metropolis - Civilization in the Desert". The notecard went on to explain the theme as , "Exploration and expression of the urban reality in the style of Burning Man, where materials are trucked into the desert to build a temporary city that then disappears, leaving no trace". While certainly smaller in scope, the strong sense of community amongst the volunteers was ever present and will no doubt make this years festival a success.
I was about to depart when a feeling of having missed something hit me. I scanned around the assembled avatars and watched as they danced and chatted and the feeling of something amiss wouldn't abate. I couldn't quite put a finger on it and so I shrugged my virtual shoulders, opened an inventory window and found a landmark back to book island. It was in transit that I realized what I'd missed … White Lebed wasn't there.
A Blow Up @ Gellar's Warehouse
3 hours ago