Posts Tagged ‘2009’

BRD Balsa Regional Reports Success & Fun!

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Written by Kristen Ankiewicz, Balsa Man Regional Lead and Czarina of Tiny Art.

Balsa Man Regional was, by all accounts, a fabulous little event. At 5pm, in front of Ardent Heavy Industries (3:50 and Adapt), a crowd grew around the collection of tiny art that had yet to be unpacked. Earlier that day one of the Giant Man KCrew delivered an actual Toe of the Man. Rumor has it that “The Toe” is a leftover piece of lumber from That Other Man.

Tiny Star Tree (photo by Kristen Ankiewicz)

Tiny Star Tree (photo by Kristen Ankiewicz)

The population clearly wanted to be involved, and several volunteers quickly began building the L’il Trash Fence. We assembled The Toe with the L’il Balsa Man Head, not too far from the L’il Temple. We joked about having the man “from head to toe”. Silliness abounded. Cali brought her Tiny Star Tree, which added considerable class and swank to the event. The Tiny Star Tree was an art piece with many adventures in its future, since it was the only piece to attend both the Regional and the actual Balsa Man event.

After a tiny portion of an hour, we began the arduous task of digging mini-trenches for the Tiny 2piR. However, our spoons wouldn’t make a dent in the playa, so we decided to leave the fire effects above ground. That worked fine for everyone, because mere moments later a couple of tiny drunken slugs and a l’il raver penguin were on the platform. We’re not sure where the tiny bottle of Jose Cuervo came from but it turns out everyone dances better when drunk.

BRD Balsa Regional Participants (photo by Kristen Ankiewicz)

BRD Balsa Regional Participants (photo by Kristen Ankiewicz)

The beauty of the Regional was the high level of participation from attendees. People started rearranging the tiny attendees (mostly slugs, penguins, and frogs). Smuckles von Smee and several of his slug friends were enjoying the event from the ground level.  A couple of Regional rangers kept order around the perimeter. Many photographers were taking photos with macro lenses. I doubled as media volunteer, and gave attendees carte blanche to document the heck out of the Regional. Of course we reminded everyone that in keeping with the spirit of the main event, BALSA MAN REGIONAL RETAINS ALL RIGHTS TO ALL THUMBNAILS OF ANY PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO, OR FILM THAT IS TAKEN AT THE EVENT. Several people with bullhorns helped narrate for those who weren’t as close to the front lines.

About half an hour into the event, it could only be described as wonderful, beautiful chaos. The Garden of Tiny Delights evolved (as it should) beyond my initial designs. The attendees of the Regional moved the little frogs and penguins out to the trash fence; the zombie penguin was poised to attack the Temple; the Obelisk was placed out by L’il Mural. The S&M penguins embodied radical self-expression, and were causing quite a stir with their public flogging—scandalous! Tiny parachuters landed onto the playa, dust storms started kicking up thanks to Rubin’s can of compressed air, and people started clamoring to burn things. Alas, one of the little parachuters landed funny, but after some quick thinking by Eddie (a Regional burner), a tiny helicopter came to medi-vac the injured little parachuter guy out of there.

Balsa Man Regional - Head to Toe (photo by Neil Girling)

Balsa Man Regional - Head to Toe (photo by Neil Girling)

At 5:45 the event culminated with the burning of the L’il Man + Toe. Although he’s made of balsa and kitchen matches, we decided to douse him in fuel just to make sure he’d really burn. All it took was a carefully aimed magnifying glass to set the thing ablaze. For a few minutes it was calm enough for one of the attendees to toast a marshmallow. Pretty soon a raucous group of people started chanting and dancing in a circle around the L’il Man, and one or two people even jumped over him.

Finally, at nearly 6, we burned the L’il Temple. The crowd grew solemn, with various people hushing and shushing and yelling DOWN IN FRONT. I believe a few tears were shed. We doused the structure in fuel, and used Edrabbit‘s flame effect/flame thrower to light it on fire. Laughter erupted as the flaming ball of temple flew ten feet off the platform onto the playa. I doubled as DPW and cleaned up all the ashes.

Lots of people exchanged hugs and vowed to come back next year, with more art, and more ideas. Perhaps we’ll recruit a pyrotechnics expert to strap down the burning items.

Balsa Man on Pirate Cat Radio, tonight 6:45pm

Friday, September 4th, 2009

The Chief Tiny Officer of Balsa Man will be appearing tonight from 6:45-7:15 on Pirate Cat Radio on Jeremy Pollock’s show, The League of Pissed of Voters. Listen in to 87.9fm!

Note you can also listen to it broadcast online.


The segment with me is available for download:
Balsa Man on Pirate Cat Radio (mp3).

Art Grant Award/Theme Camp Announcement: Puny Pants Camp

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

We here at Balsa Man Headquarters (BMHQ) have been previously pondering about the potential problem for pantsless partyers and pontificating on proposing protocols to prohibit this practice. Luckily, Puny Pants Posse, aka The Society of Pants for the Wee, have come to the rescue. Here is their latest statement and grant request:

Pants Are Necessary Things - Seriously!

Pants Are Necessary Things - Seriously!

We, the Citizens who think Pants Are Necessary Things, Seriously! (PANTS) are concerned that tiny-person nudity is an epidemic sweeping the nation, causing wanton licentiousness, suggestive hoopla, blindness, and a corruption of the morals of our most precious asset, the children! Some little people have been known to lie around for days, weeks, nay sometimes months completely naked! I shudder to think what sort of lascivious thoughts might come unbidden to the unformed and malleable mind of a child who unwittingly happens upon such an obscene display! With just a tiny $2.69 donation for a tiny cause, you can ensure that such a scene will never mar the dignity and minuscule majesty that is Balsa Man! PANTS will fight tiny-person pantslessness with several specially-developed tools, including our PANTS Trebuchet and our PANTS Cannon, designed to render the pantsless incapable of exposing their hairless, bland crotches to the unguarded eyes of innocents. We will provide pants to any tiny-person without them, and will “convince” those who might be obstinate with the use of our arsenal.

In the name of decency,

Signed, The Puny Pants Posse, aka The Society of Pants for the Wee, aka What Part of Pants Don’t You Understand!

At first, the BPAF art grant review committee was hesitant to award monetary funds to “theme camps,” lest these “theme camps” become popular and get out of hand. However, we can all agree that pants are a necessary thing, and the word alone makes one giggle. Puny Pants Posse: APPROVED. pantspantspants!

Le Petit Pants!


And if you do happen to leave your pants behind, the Puny Pants Posse would also like to invite you to “The Party In Our Pants” which will take place at Balsa Man, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Pantsocolodas will be served – BYO tiny reusable cup! Come admire the wall of tiny pants (pantitos?) and fire a pair of slacks from the pants trebuchet!

Tiny Art Grant Award: Temple of Pet Peeves

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Gnomes, paper doilies, Bambi with an upside down Hebrew letter tav on it’s forehead, and nigh indecipherable psychotic chicken scratching. Oh and something about a Temple of Pet Peeves, so they might be building a temple… Or they might not.… We’re really not sure. Hell we’re not even completely sure that Sophia & Ray are completely sane.

Anyway, we had Joseph check the Balsa Man bylaws and it doesn’t say anything about how many temples Balsa Man is supposed to have. So, Balsa Man 2009 might go down as the year of the dueling temples: The Temple of Minor Irregularities Vs. the Temple of Pet Peeves.

Congratulations Sophia & Ray! The BPAF has granted you a tiny art grant of $2 for your Temple of Pet Peeves or whatever it is you are planning on building.

Temple of Pet Peeves (front)

Temple of Pet Peeves (back)

Now remember we gave you a grant so uh… if the gnomes tell you to do anything bad to us—or our pets—don’t listen to them!

Tiny Art Grant Award: Tiny Star Tree

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

This completely beautiful and well designed grant proposal came to us all the way from Minneapolis, MN! Sadly, Cali Mastny won’t be able to bring her Tiny Star Tree to Balsa Man as it’s a bit far—she’d only able to make it to the regional event in Black Rock Desert.

We wish her well in the dust of the desert and the BPAF is very proud to award her $5 for to make her Tiny Star Tree a reality!

Tiny Star Tree (front)

Tiny Star Tree (back)

Tiny Art Grant Award: Fleck

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

We all love Michael Christian’s work here at the BPAF headquarters. Unfortunately, his artwork is often far too large and we sadly had to deny his art grant proposal to this year’s Balsa Man. We asked if he could reduce is vision, but he decided to bring his work elsewhere.

As unfortunate as this is, we did not fret long for in the mail we found this joyful grant proposal!

Fleck (front)

Fleck (back)

A homage to bit Michael Christian and Cute Overload! I didn’t know that was even possible! Our dispair dissipated, everyone on the BPAF grant review committee instantly raised their hands in favor of awarding Rachel and her art project Fleck a tiny art grant of $5.


Rachel has already crafted her adorable Fleck which can be seen here: Fleck on Flickr