Conclave and Convex

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June 27, 2014 by synapticwolf

Shortly before the Man combusts in all his pyrotechnic glory (and if you don’t know who the Man is or why he burns, how on earth did you find this blog?), he is witness to this solar system’s largest choreographed fire performance. Hundreds of spinners from all over the world perform the pieces they have spent months forging, fantastic logistics filming and untold sums of energy creating.

Makes for pretty aerial shots, anyway.

Makes for pretty aerial shots, anyway.

Presented to 70,000 Burning Man participants, it is simultaneously the most watched and least seen fire performance in existence.

Most watched because this is the moment when our entire community gathers to be as outrageously primal as possible in this prepackaged, undernourished, florescent era.

No joke, this shit is actually posted on the conclave page of the Burning Man website. I have no idea what it means.

Seriously, this drivel is actually posted on the conclave page of the Burning Man website.  I have no idea what it means.

Least seen because a) only the Man has a view which can take in group choreography on any level whatsoever, b) fire is dazzling and no one knows what they’re looking at anyway and c) the world’s largest choreographed fire performance takes place in conjunction with the world’s largest choreographed drug ingestion adventure – most people watching are too spun out to know what’s happening.

Um. . .fire is happening?

Um. . .fire is happening?

This year forty-one groups – each containing 20-50 spinners – have applied for thirty spots around the great circle. Those who are accepted will be awarded the honor of joining this pyrotic ritual, the energy amassed from spinning fire simultaneously with hundreds of other performers, the prestige of being a Burning Man Varsity Team member, front row seats to the cremation show, and half price tickets to the event itself. Just to be clear, those are, ahem, half price artist tickets.

Sometimes we chuckle about all the bruhaha that goes into this most monumental and under appreciated ritual. But the effects of conclave reverberate far outside of Burning Man.


This image has nothing to do with the reverberating effects of conclave. It’s just straight up trolling because someone recently accused me of sexualizing the fire arts and exploiting women.

The artistry and logistical planning that go into creating a 30 minute choreography composed of several dozen performers is a massive exercise in group bonding and leadership. The connections forged and the routines created by months of practice far outlast our etherial moment in Nevada over Labor Day weekend.

Pictured: Etherial moment.

Pictured: Etherial moment.

So, the submissions are in.

Now there’s nothing left to do but dig our dust goggles and furry coats out of storage, sew el-wire onto our funny hats, rig our bikes with flame throwers, program the LEDs on our art cars, ship all of our most exciting earthly possessions to Nevada, and hope that the fire counsel finds us worthy of the great circle.

Stay dusty, my friends!

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What is Flow?

Flow is the state of grace that emerges as a natural consequence of full presence. The flow arts, also called spin juggling or object manipulation, alternatively engage and relax the body and mind. By following the natural movements of an object, we can unlock the previously hidden potential of our inner dance.

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