The Serendipity Outpost: A Gifting Experience

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The Serendipity Outpost: A Gifting Experience

Post by laughhearty » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:18 pm

Thank you for a magical Burning Man Experience!

Now that the dust is settling and I'm easing back into my off Playa world, I'd love to update you on the Serendipity Outpost at Burning Man.

It was a hit! It was successful beyond our imaginations. People loved it, were moved by it, were motivated by it and Wowed by it.

The gifting experiences were carried out by willing participants and word of folks coming up to others with little wooden balls began to filter back to us.

One individual in particular stands out. His name is Lincoln. His gifting experience was "Ask someone for their autograph and tell them why you are their biggest fan" and he had to gift "someone in a pink wig or with pink hair" at "anytime". I ran into Lincoln at the Outpost, he had visited a day before and was bringing a friend to see it. Lincoln was overjoyed to meet me and to show me all of the autographs he'd collected - on his chest and back. About 15 or so. He said the Outpost had made his Burn. He also demonstrated how he'd been approaching people, it was delightful! I ran into Lincoln two days later the night of the Man Burn. He'd been looking for me for 2 days to show me more autographs, he now had over 30! He reported that folks with Pink hair had heard of him even before he approached them!!! And to show me the magic he demoed the gifting experience with a man who walked by with pink hair. It was brilliant!

Lincoln epitomizes philosophy behind this magical machine! He gave folks an experience that they could fondly remember and he also gifted himself in the process.

Another gifting experience was "Invite someone to play a game of Patty Cake". One afternoon I entered the Outpost to see two women sitting on one of the benches in a lively game of Patty Cake. I don't think they knew each other.

I was hanging out in another art installation, The Forest, when a group of Londoners arrived. Once they found I'd been responsible for the Outpost one of them told me of the story of being approached by a fellow with a wooden ball that said "Someone jumping on a trampoline." Of course at the time that's exactly what she'd been doing. The fellow told her that their destinies were Serendipitously linked!

There were also moments when the machine seemed to profoundly know who was spinning. My friend David Shakiban, was blown away when he got "You are a dream catcher: Capture or receive someone's dream and release it to the realm of Possiblity". He's working on a documentary on dreams and was gathering footage at Burning Man.

The Outpost was so popular that we ran out of 2000 Who Balls!!! Art cars would pull up and a crowd would gather. We had anticipated that if a person spun the wheel every 5 minutes 24/7 then we'd have enough balls. Well, when you get a crowd like that the spinning is more like 5 or 6 folks every 5 minutes. And the glee when they found out they could keep the balls! They were beautiful! Branded and oiled (trust me, we've heard every joke) and a definite reminded of their experience.

We will do this again next year. We will have at least 6000 balls and will definitely work on fortifying the machine against the elements, etc. We are amazed at the stamina of the mechanism and the electronics to eject the Who Ball worked flawlessly! Thank you Alan Macy!

I only have one disappointment: My camera did not make it to the Playa. So I'm depending on the Serendipitous imagery of others. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE: If you have any images or footage of The Serendipity Outpost would you be willing to send them to me? I will credit everyone!

Also if you have an experience to share that derived from the Outpost we'd LOVE to hear it and we'll be posting the stories at

And remember:

Serendipity is happening right NOW!

Love to you all!

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Re: The Serendipity Outpost: A Gifting Experience

Post by Tiahaar » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:32 am

T'was still working excellently Sat morning (minus the wooden balls of course), great job!!


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