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Don’t Just Stand There, DO SOMETHING! #ThanksLarry 4 #BurningMan

June 21, 2018

The Otters and the Seaweed by Teddy Macker

This is what you need to know:
you need to know that otters wrap themselves
in seaweed so they won’t,
while sleeping at night, float out to sea . . .
Are you imagining this?
Can you see the otters actually doing this?
Does it break your heart a little?
Does it seduce you just a bit
into loving more
this odd hard world?
Oh otters, wrap yourselves tight! And sleep,
exactly like you do, floating but seaweed-held
in our salty living waters! Oh otters,
wrap yourselves tight! And you,
the one who doesn’t, the one who doesn’t
tether himself down right,
we are with you as you float away,
we are with you as you sleep
and lose yourself in the night.
Teddy Macker is the featured poet tonight June 21 at weekly reading at the EP Foster Library in the Topping Room followed by an open poetry every Thursday at 7:30pm 651 E. Main Street – Ventura  with host  Phil Taggart. 

Today, Thur. Jun 21, 2018 is the solstice, and in the northern hemisphere, it is the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. In the far north, the stars barely get a chance to shine during the twilight that goes from sunset to sunrise.

On this, the longest day of the year, it’s time to GET OUT THERE AND DO SOMETHING! Save the otters and be the seaweed!

This is the perfect way to honor the memory of Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man who died earlier this year on April 28, 2018 on this “Day of Gratitude” as well as service because for many of us, Larry Harvey and Burning Man has served as the seaweed that has kept us from floating out to sea:

Burning Man participants around the world will toast Harvey at events, at home, or wherever they may be on this day, because according to the Burning Man Journal, June 21, 2018, is the anniversary of the first Burning Man in 1986.  we invite you to connect, reflect and celebrate the life and gifts of our original instigator and firestarter, Larry Harvey. If you don’t know much about Larry, you can read some moving tributes here in the Journal, as well as on the public memorial site. Check out the hashtag #thankslarry  on social media.

One of the most important “rules” at Burning Man is: NO SPECTATORS. That means, instead of standing around gawking, DO SOMETHING! It is up to all of us to make the world a better place. As the Burning Man Journal points out, “Larry lived a life of purpose, play, creativity and service. One of his greatest talents was making opportunities for others to co-create in imaginative ways. The results sparked a network of participatory events, which gave rise to a year-round community and a global cultural movement.” They ask us to consider today: Who were you before you found Burning Man? Who are you now? What are you inspired to do? How do you want to see more Burning Man in the world?

The Burning Man Journal reminds us that “The hour around sunset is a special time of reflection on the solstice, no matter which hemisphere you’re in.” They encourage us to gather and share “the moment of sunset” which is what we did here in Ventura on the day that  Larry died.  “As the sun sets around the planet,” says the Journal, “we’d like to honor all that being alive and active means to us and express gratitude for our lives, our gifts, and our community.” The sunset’s in the SF Bay Area, the birthplace of Burning Man, at 8:35 pm PDT: “We invite you to pause, (light a candle, howl at the moon, meditate, laugh, sing a song) and reflect on how Larry Harvey and Burning Man have affected your life.”

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of things to do all day and all night around the world!

You can find an event near you in the “Day of Gratitude” blog post on the Burning Man Journal including events in LA at Dockwelier Beach, NYC, Israel, Stonehenge, Barcelona, and more.

Here in Ventura, at sunset Burners will head to a nearby beach. For some that will be by the Ventura Pier. Others will connect with Art City’s Annual Solstice Gathering in the Avant Garden  where there will be performances and fire and the burning of an effigy at 930pm as well as a screening in the Gallery tonight plus events throughout the weekend. Art City is located at 197 Dubbers St. Ventura, CA, USA

Art City is an appropriate venue because that’s where I landed in 1993 following my first Burn in 1992 that rocked my world and allowed me to embrace my inner artist. There, I turned many people on to Burning Man, and several people from Art City have attended and continue to shape Burning Man with their contributions.

Art City Summer Solstice Celebration
Thur. Jun 21, 2018 7:30-9:30 pm

The event features a screening in the Gallery of a film by poet and musician Jeff Grimes: “Only Jeff Grimes could patiently wait forty-four years to allow the film “Courthouse” to fully ripen into a prescient, ironic comment on how misdirection places our attention on superficial pageantry, while the wheels of social injustice grind on in the shadows, unchanged. This short film is more relevant now, than at any point since its original creation in 1973,” writes Lufton Wright.

During the event, Sophia Kidd will perform the deterritorialization and reterritorialization of the human body. Then Jeff Grimes will give a musical story-telling of his short story “Flower Cabin,” translated into Chinese and printed bi-lingually on letter press for “Bad Exhibition: Value in Art.”

model of the effigy by Krista An

Around 930pm: Bring drums and instruments for a session around the fire with an effigy burn and sharing of stories and toasts to Larry Harvey.

Also this weekend at Art City, check out these events on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday:

Electronic Summer Nite
at Art City Gallery
Fri. Jun 22, 2018 8-11pm
$5-$10 Suggested Donation

Sukia are an American electronic band, based in Ventura County, featuring Ross Harris, Craig Borrell, Sasha Fuentes, and Henry Marks. Formed in the Early 1990s Sukia took their name from the Italian vampire comic book of the same name. Sukia gained a cult following from the release their only album “Contacto Espacial con el Tercer Sexo” (1996) produced by the Dust Brothers. Alternate single versions of their songs “Gary Super Macho” and “The Dream Machine” have maintained and grown the bands mystique.

The Volt Per Octaves self-produced their premier album “Moogsaic” in 2007, featuring Nick and Anna Montoya with their daughter Eva Montoya as well as the talents of Roger Manning Jr. and Brian Kehew (from the Moog Cookbook). Nick Montoya and Anna Montoya are both former/current employees of Moog Music Inc. in Asheville, North Carolina. They have collaborated wih Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads) and Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Air.) Since returning to their roots in Santa Barbara they have been repairing vintage synthesizers and performing in local shows. They play all live electronic music via 1970’s analog keyboards such as the Moog synthesizer, Wurlitzer EP, funky Clavinet and talk box synth. Their mellow, yet funky energy on stage is sure to leave you smiling.

Mister Moonbeam is a one man band, craft artisan, and sculptor. After a near-death-experience left him with a ‘build it and they will come’ directive to express and share the now-constant soundtrack in his head, Mister Moonbeam has charted a course to reconcile these new developments. He has performed up down the West Coast for the last 6 plus years. The result is a bizarre and exquisite one-man music machine: For the left foot he constructed an octave of bass pedals with gem-shaped keys and built-in lighting. The right foot toe-taps out each individual drum sound on the pads of a sampler bolted to half a dress shoe. His Magic Flute is a proprietary lead instrument that sounds alternately like a trumpet, accordion, synth, or whatever the song calls for. All this serves as the backing band for a guy with a guitar singing equally crafted folk-rock-ish songs with the urgency of a man on a mission.

On Saturday June 23, 2018 from 8-11pm BROKEN TRAJECTORIES hits the art city gallery ($5-$10 suggested donation) for a “bad exhibition: value in art” closing night celebration. The event pairs acclaimed lyricist Paul Abramson of Crying 4 Kafka with Kevin Dippold (who has toured (and produced) with Smashing Pumpkins/ Billy Corgan, etc.) for an evening of spoken word, killer guitar, and musical mayhem. Their musical collaborations are noteworthy for the venues they’ve played (e.g. atop a water tower for a rave, an industrial warehouse with a rickety one-story high stage, etc.), though their respective bands have played together for more traditional gigs. Performers include: r.lord (ukulele), kali bennett (spoken word), sophd* (spoken word), t love (poetry), mary x (poetry).

In a final event for the weekend at Art City’s Gallery, on Sunday June 24  from 3-5pm “Avant-Garde Considerations” pairs long time Burner MB Hanrahan with Kevin Carman for a discussion about early and recent experiences as Ventura avant-garde in “MB Hanrahan: 4 Decades of Avant-Garde Performance & Kevin Carman: Craftsman or Avant-Garde Artist?” Two twenty-minute presentations
with Q & A moderated by Dr. Sophia Kidd.

In closing, no matter where you go and what you do, remember that:

Let’s do this!

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