Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Impromptu SF Tiny Art Build Night, Aug 26th

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Billfrog is having an impromptu Tiny Art Build Night on Thursday, 9pmish and on, at The Sycamore, 2140 Mission (between 17th & 18th). He encourages any and all to show up with their tiny art projects to build out on the back patio. Even if you have no Balsa Man projects feel free to stop by, grab a drink, and mingle with the tiny artists!

It’s not an official Tiny Art Build Night so it’s BYOBalsa and tools. A BPAF representative may or may not make an appearance depending on their schedule—it’s getting awfully close to the event!

Dress Warm is back!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

We’ve just heard the news that after a couple year hiatus, Balsa Man’s favorite alternative newspaper Dress Warm is back! Here’s the word direct from the Dress Warm staff:

“We stopped writing Dress Warm because it was just too fucking hard to write and produce multiple issues out on the beach in the space of only a few hours. But then we took a couple years off and got bored with not having an outlet for our snark. We were thinking of changing the name to the Balsa Village Weekly but that just sounded lame. There will only be one issue this year, but we promise it’ll be the best issue of Dress Warm you’ve ever read.”

And we have a exclusive sneak peak at the cover for this year’s Dress Warm!

Dress Warm 2010 Front Cover

Get your copy at this year’s Balsa Man! Also, this is the first year Dress Warm will be delivering copies to the Black Rock Desert Balsa Man Regional! So if you are stuck out in the desert make sure to stop by Fandago during the Regional on Friday 5-6pm for your copy of Dress Warm.

Teeny Tropolis (Grant Awardee)

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

We heard through the grape vine that this year the Black Rock Balsa Regional won’t be the only art project entertaining those desert campers. It seems that our small project has inspired others to also embrace the idea of making art out there on the Black Rock Desert—rather than just sit around staring at the mirages and dust devils. The one project we heard about seems cut directly from our own small artistic stock: Tiny Tropolis, 100 dioramas, each containing a small unique work of art by a tiny artist. Their box dimensions (12″ x 12″ x 8″) are a tad large, as such the BPAF can’t support their efforts.

Lo and behold, but what did the BPAF get in the mail but a grant request from J.D. & Logan for Tiny Tropolis’s smaller cousin Teeny Tropolis! No worries about supporting a project that was too large for their box dimensions are a wee 3.2 x 1.4 x 1.5 cm. Also we all applaud their choice of postcard—they really know how to stab into our hearts!

Teeny Tropolis (front)

Teeny Tropolis (back)

Congratulations J.D. & Logan for your grant award of $2! Unfortunately, none of the BPAF Art grant committee had the two dollar bill you specifically requested, but we will send your grant along as soon as we get one.

Get Your Snack On!

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Our fifth installment of Forging Community comes from Dawn Stott who writes about that lightly refreshing center of the Balsa Man Community the Itty-Bitty Balsa Cafe!

It's all smiles at the Balsa Man Cafe, photo by Miikka Skaffari

It's all smiles at the Balsa Man Cafe, photo by Miikka Skaffari

Here, at The Itty Bitty Balsa Cafe, we are just a little excited about our humble facility. There will be tiny taste treats and delicious nibbles, along with sips of this-and-that to savor during a quick break from your truncated journey through this veritable village of forged dreams.

Our small mission is to craft an environment wherein brief encounters of light-hearted social interplay may create the minutest amount of drama so-as to stimulated co-creativity without the need for a drama-free zone. But. Just in case. There will be a wee dunce cap in the corner for those wishing to be placed on personal alert to self-moderate any larger expressions of dynamic character. We want everyone to have an equally wholesome good time.

As such, we keep our menu limited for the purpose of maintaining the main focus of short, interconnected, collaborative moments. The cafe is a place where you can pause to reflect upon the tidbits of talent that adorn Tiny Art Main Street. Perhaps you will meet a tiny artist? Share a tiny treat? Crack a quick smile? Then move along

When you do return to the clement environment of our fair shores, kindly refrain from tromping upon the art.

Close enough is perfect

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

In our fourth installment of the Forging Community blog series, Benjy briefly expounds upon the FAZ, a philosophy which is in many ways core to Balsa Man.

This morning our beloved Smallest, Colin Fahrion, said something to me that I found truly inspiring. In the tradition of Zen koans like “Does a dog have Buddha nature?” he offered me insight in the form of a question: “Where’s the fucking blog entry you said you were going to write two weeks ago?”

This question snapped me out of an unproductive mindset—namely, that it’s hard to be creative—and replaced it with a far more useful approach: turn the goddamn braincrank until your monkey mind poops out some art, then go get lunch.

Easter Island moai

They're all dead now. Fuck big art.

I am reminded of this brief essay: The Cult of Done Manifesto

The whole thing is brilliant, not only because it was written in 15 minutes, but because it’s a razor-sharp X-acto blade you can plunge into the cardboard excuses that keep you from being awesome. Foremost among these, for me, is this:

Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.

Balsa Man is a standout example of what the philosopher Rakim Yay termed the Fleeting Autonomous Zonelet—the FAZ.

Rakim’s essay comes to us from a single surviving manuscript hastily scribbled in a taxi in South Passaic on the back of a coupon good for one order of Krab Rangoon at the Jin Glatt Kosher Chinese Restaurant. The essay reads, in full:

Between now and soon, there is a wall; pee on it.

1 beef chow mein / rice for 2 / free Krab

Fortunately for posterity, the coupon had expired, and the manuscript was published in 1993 in the now-defunct “Dress Warm”, the official samizdat of the Balsa Man underground community.

In conclusion, don’t worry about finishing anything. Just start, and the rest will

Minneapolis Balsa Man Regional (Summer Edition)

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Minneapolis Balsa Man Regional (Summer Edition)The twin cities has so much enthusiasm for all that is tiny that it can’t be contained by merely having one Balsa Regional! ! Now you may remember that Cali “Starfive” Mansty lead Paul Balsa Bunyan Man Regional in Minneapolis last February coinciding with the amazing Tiny Shanty art project.

Not willing to leave this summer lacking in all that is tiny, the excellent Felix Strates is hosting “With a Cherry on Top” the Minneapolis Balsa Man Regional (Summer Edition): Sept 4th, 7-12pm in Minneapolis (exact location to be determined.

For more information check out the Facebook invite: Minneapolis Balsa Man Regional Summer Edition: With a Cherry on Top or email Felix the regional lead at