Archive for the ‘Balsa Man’ Category

Goodbye and thanks for all the inspiration!

Sunday, April 7th, 2013
Colin, the Balsa Man Founder and the Balsa Man 2008 (photo by Edrabbit)

Colin, the Balsa Man Founder and the Balsa Man 2008 (photo by Edrabbit)

Dear tiny participants,

When I started this art project so many years ago, it was little more than a minor inspiration. I had originally just planned to burn the lil’ guy myself but others soon asked if they could come and add something to the event: Nifer who helped tremendously with the Balsa Man build, the wonderful J-Rad who built the first Temple entitled “The Temple of Reduced Expectations”, and the marvelous handful of tiny artists — the balsa phoenix, the pink buddhas, diminutive dance dance immolation!

Before the first Balsa Man event was over, I already knew I had to do it again. The passion and joy on the faces of the literally dozens of participants inspired me to take concept further the next year — Balsa Man was ripe with creative ore.

In all these years, I never did the event just to do it. I always endeavored to find a new creative reason — a new idea, a new challenge. Many times these ideas came from the participants themselves and other times they were ideas that came to me in a fit of joy and laughter. This continued year after year as I was inspired by all that came before and new creative twists were added to the event.

Balsa Man's tour of Black Rock Desert 2012

Balsa Man’s tour of Black Rock Desert 2012

This year is different. This year my inspiration is the wisdom that one has to know when to let things go. In many ways, this past year was a wonderful year to end on: I was able to go out to the desert to host the Black Rock Regional myself. We finally moved the event from Baker Beach where was it’s home for years to a wonderful enchanting beach north of San Francisco. Due to the added distance, the attendance dropped drastically from several hundred participants to a number much closer to the attendance our first year. In a sense, it was an ouroboros return to the beginning.

This is the reason behind this year’s Balsa Man theme “Flotsam & Jetsam” — I am jettisoning Balsa Man into the sea of subconscious so that I can travel lighter, sailing my craft onward to new creative waters!

Again, I thank each and every one of you: all of the tiny artists, all of the donors, the Balsa Man KCrew, the DTW, the Balsa Man org staff, the BPAF tiny arts grant committee and their incompetent hot pants interns*, everyone who offered encouragement, and all who helped in whatever small way they could.

Fair winds and following seas,
Colin Arbuthnot Fahrion

 

*some or all of the Balsa Man and BPAF staff may or may not have existed.

Updated Ticket & Location Announcement Policy

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

We have received a lot of feedback over this year’s randomized ticketing policy. First most, we want to say we hear you and understand that the new rules are confusing and we are sorry that this has been a hardship on the Balsa Man community. The Balsa Man higher ups have had numerous meetings over the past couple months trying to figure out a way to make this work for everyone — from the tiny artists that make Balsa Man the wonderful creative place it is to the puny theme camps that fill it with vibrant community to the little new faces who bring fresh energy to Balsa Man.

We know the new revised rules won’t make everyone happy but we have every confidence that even though it is tiny the Balsa Man community is strong enough to come together and heal the small rifts of these trying times.

Revised Rules for Ticketing

  • As of today August 1st, new online donors no longer receive tickets as part of their donation (all donors prior to Aug 1st will still receive their tickets as promised).
  • Artists who receive art grants receive a ticket (additional tickets can be requested for large tiny art projects). Please submit for an art grant today!
  • Dept of Tiny Works, and other Balsa Man volunteers receive a ticket.
  • Any other people that the Balsa Man Org deems important to the event receive a ticket.
  • Everyone else who wants a ticket must play to win at the upcoming Balsa Bingo event (Saturday 11th) or at another TBD Balsa Man Ticket Casino Event.

Location Announcement Policy

  • Due to certain troubles at last year’s Balsa Man, the location will no longer be announced on the main Balsa Man tiny mail list.
  • You must be a ticket holder to get on the location announcement email list.

Balsa Man 2012 Theme Announcement!

Monday, February 13th, 2012

The Balsa Man Theme Advisory Committee has settled on what it truly believes is the ultimate theme that truly represents the year 2012 in the grand narrative of the long history Balsa Man!

Balsa Man 2012 - Chance

Balsa Man 2012 :: Chance

Instead of damning the whims of fate that resulted in last year’s hullabaloo, this year Balsa Man will celebrate serendipity and the fortuitous fiascos which make Balsa Man the wonderful event it is!  …it is 2012 after all, the year the world ends, or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Any fool can have bad luck; the art consists in knowing how to exploit it. ~ Frank Wedekind

Small Event, Big Changes

As a result of last year’s fated turmoil, Balsa Man is faced with multiple conundrums. It truly was a year of Growing Pains and the Balsa Man Org is getting it’s engines moving early this year in order to tackle these dilemmas.

Where should we host Balsa Man 2012?

This is a big important question and we have created a new location committee to tackle it. Nothing has yet been decided but we want you to know we are taking it seriously as this more than any change effects the future of the event and the Balsa community.

How will we deal with the ticket scarcity problem to keep it both fair and free of dirty rotten scalpers?

Another important question and one we are pleased to announce is solved! We have come up with an innovative solution that is fair, eliminates the problem of scalpers, and best of all is inspired by this year’s theme!

Donors who donate prior to August 2nd 2012 will receive a number of tickets equal to the roll of a 6 sided die +/- their donor level modifier. (see the BPAF donation page for more info)

Additional tickets will only be available at any of the Balsa Man Ticket Casino events leading up to the main event. At the ticket casino, participants can win tickets by playing any number of games of chance including craps, roulette, and bingo! While obviously not everyone will win a ticket to Balsa Man, all participants will have a fair shot!

No tickets are required for kids 12 and under since as tiny humans they are considered art.

Give Us a Little Feedback

Friday, September 9th, 2011

How was your slight smidgen of experience? Let us know! Each year after the event, Balsa Man staff play video games, read books, and generally procrastinate as a means to avoid having to do anything to do with Balsa Man. This year we promise to at least think about it a little, maybe when we are in the shower.

This year our theme of “Growing Pains” became quite literal what with the chaos of ticket sales, our very hastily trained Gate staff, and the necessitated moderately dramatic relocation. There are may questions and small hurdles for Balsa Man going forward and we would like to hear your feedback — as long as it isn’t excessively loquacious.

A general response highlighting the most prominent feedback will be posted later on the Balsa Blog. We want to hear from new and old Balsars alike. Please email your comments both good and bad to gro.namaslabnull@kcabdeef or in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the tiny amount of time to contribute your thoughts. We promise our intern will at least glean what you have to say. Looking forward to 2012!

 

Dress Warm Returns Once Again

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

After getting rave reviews and plenty of thank you intoxicants for last year’s issue of Dress Warm, the Dress Warm staff has decided to release an issue for Balsa Man 2011! They had this to say:

Really this is the last time — we swear on our grandmother’s grave. We worked are asses off on this issue so you all better actually read the whole thing this time!

In case you missed last year’s issue of Dress Warm here’s a PDF of the issue! Dress Warm, September 2010 [pdf]

Pre-release copies of the 2011 issue of Dress Warm will be available at tonight and tomorrow’s Balsa Social! Of course, Dress Warm will also be available at the Balsa Man event and the Balsa Black Rock Regional.

And here is a exclusive sneak peak at the cover for the 2011 issue of Dress Warm!

Dress Warm cover 2011

Balsa Man 2011 Ticket Sales

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

The Balsa Man organization has been going through some “Growing Pains” itself. After much discussion, consternation, and deliberation we have decided for the first time in the history of the event to require participants to have tickets to gain admittance.

I know many will cry “Balsa Man Has Sold Out!” — this is simply not true. We have made this decision in the best interests of the community. We feel that the optimal way to grow a stronger, better, more inclusive community is to restrict it to people who are willing to put their money where their participation is.

Tickets to Balsa Man 2011 are 10¢ and are available from any official Balsa Man representative — do not buy tickets from unofficial sources! Donors also receive complimentary tickets as part of their donor reward package. Tickets will be also for sale at the gate on a first come first served basis. We encourage you to buy early in case we run out!

Ticket Policy Addendum: No ticket is required for kids 12 and under since as tiny humans they are considered art.

We wanted this ticket to be a beautiful collectors item, but unfortunately due to the last minute nature of this decision our preferred designer was busy. As a result, we are stuck with this tragically mundane ticket design — seriously copperplate bold?!? We apologize and plan to design a better ticket next year. Don’t worry we won’t feel bad if you just throw out your 2011 ticket after the event is over.

Balsa Man Ticket 2011

Balsa Man Ticket 2011

UPDATE: So it turns out that the “designer” we got to do the tickets—some guy’s nephew’s cousin’s roommate or whatever—decided to surprise us my sending a completely different “hella cool” design to the printers. It’s too late to change anything. The following is the resulting ticket design we are stuck with misspellings and all… I’m at a loss for words… or at least at a loss for words I’m allowed to post here.

The actual ticket design, ugh… growing pains indeed

The actual ticket design, ugh… growing pains indeed