Are you a Burner?
You are if you’re part of an international free-flowing group of artist-performers who rally around the fiery effigy that is Burning Man.
Since 1991 the self-described "annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance" has held camp in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in late August, drawing crowds of up to 50,000.
Since 1998 and the advent of the Internet, the spirit of Burning Man has evolved into a social movement, with regional Burning Man-related events held around the globe.
» Where: Gunstock Ranch, 56-250 Kamehameha Hwy
» When: 8 a.m. Wednesday to noon Saturday
» Cost: $60 in advance; $80 at the gate; children 13 and under free
» Tickets/Info: 594-7138 or www.kapilina.org
Hawaii has been part of the mix, with "Rebirth" held from 2006 to 2008 near Pahoa, Hawaii island, in an area known as "The Shire."
This year, "Rebirth" morphs into "Collidiscope 2012" and moves to Oahu’s North Shore, specifically Gunstock Ranch in Laie, where participants will congregate for four days of interactive art, fire performances and free-spirited celebration.
One Burner who is helping get the word out about the Hawaii event is Mac Kaul, a 50-year-old retired nurse and fire performer who works with her husband, Dave, the appointed fire safety supervisor.
"The whole idea of Burning Man is to share the event as much as we can. Since it’s been staged on the Big Island before, we decided to give the folks on Oahu a chance to participate," Kaul said.
"Besides people from Oahu, the Big Island and Maui, people from London, Canada and New York will be traveling here for ‘Collidiscope’ to escape the bad weather."
Admittedly, the barren environment in Nevada is "fairly harsh," but for "most of us longtime Burners, we try to live the lifestyle throughout the year. I learned fire spinning at Burning Man when we were living in Reno (120 miles south of the camp). It just made sense to me, and as a ‘fire diva’ I’ve been doing it for almost six years."
Once on the grounds of any Burning Man event, a Burner’s commitment is absolute. There will be no casual going to and from Collidiscope; people park in a designated area and either walk or bicycle to the ranch.
As part of the "radical self-reliance" that is integral to the event, everyone must bring their own food, water and shelter to last the entire festival. No money, other than for the purchase of tickets and ice, will be needed, and any exchange of goods and services will be done in the spirit of a "gift economy."
Other than the scheduled burning of effigies each night, Collidiscope 2012 will become whatever participants make of it, so a dizzying array of interactive art installations, live music, spoken word, dancing and costumes can be expected at all hours of the day and night.
And Kaul guarantees safety for all. "We will have security. Collidiscope and other Burning Man-related events are not only about radical self-expression, but also maintaining a safety perimeter. And like Burning Man in Nevada, which has a huge area for kids, we welcome parents with children, who will have their own activities."