If you are planning a Villiage you are Fucking Insane

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mattconlon
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If you are planning a Villiage you are Fucking Insane

Post by mattconlon » Mon Sep 08, 2003 5:40 pm

Let me be the first to post here by reiterating the subject line: IF YOU ARE PLANNING A VILLIAGE YOU ARE FUCKING INSANE!

If you are not now....you soon will be!!! Sure you may be successful. But odds are that you and about 20 others will be doing all the work for the 100 or so others who will do nothing, or next to nothing.

I've watched villiage after villiage crumble as numbers increace. Sure, it sounds like it all makes sense..... "Dude, if we get, like, 150 people to pay $50 each then we'll have like $7500!! We could build the biggest fawking trance dome on the playa, rent a truck to get it there, and rent a 50k generator to run it 24-7!!!"

Then all of a sudden it's tuesday after the burn, and its you and 12 of your friends, and one big ass dome that has to come down. The truck and a generator is already a day late, and the driver had a total breakdown last night and had to be evac'd so that his remaining synapses could remain in tact. You're out of money, and your 200x300 plot is covered with more moop than playa.

Sure you planned it to the tiniest minutia.....so now what?

precipitate
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Post by precipitate » Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:04 pm

That's why Gigsville works. Each individual camp within the village is autonomous, as are individual campers. There are no village dues. Someone wants a project done, that someone does it. If others think it's cool, they'll contribute time or money or beer or whatever.

I've done it both ways (not villages, but theme camps). I like the take care of your own shit model a whole lot more.

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:49 pm

Funny how similar our village is to Gigsville. Irony duly noted.

That sid, I agree with miz P: all camps in our village were autonomous, as well as campers in our largest theme camp, Solo Collective. (the name even implies the "take care of your own shit" vibe). No dues are required, which is one of the things I always liked about it, but without dues, note that no services are provided (there's that damn "take care of your own shit" vibe again. :))
This year, as an experiement, we took donoations to rent a generator for the village. I ahven't got the full starts back yet, but it seems to have worked really well. All donations to the fund were voluntary, although if you didn't donate, you didn't really get to use it.

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jamison
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Post by jamison » Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:46 pm

hehe,

Next year one of my friends wants to do a theme camp (just a theme camp, not an entire village) and I just started thinking of the logistics (shower, cooking area, evap pond, moop!) and I suddenly found myself thinking of a getting a one man tent and going by myself.

I'd like to find a theme camp to join, or create one with my friends. I want to do something for other burners to enjoy, but I don't want to have a nervous breakdown trying to do it. I saw other theme camps with trash-cans full of moop, and a huge amount of gray water from doing dishes and showers. I was able to keep this down to the absolute minimum for myself, is there a way to "scale up" well?

And though I made friends with several theme camps this year (this was my first burn) I didn't feel that drawn to any that I'd choose to join over just going with my friends again without a theme camp. How did others get involved in theme camps or villages outside of Black Rock City, and does anyone have suggestions for how to find a camp I really can belong too?

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:16 pm

http://www.solocollective.org

Might be right up your alley.

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jaywalker
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Post by jaywalker » Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:59 pm

Ivy wrote:Funny how similar our village is to Gigsville. Irony duly noted.
one of us, one of us.
This year, as an experiement, we took donoations to rent a generator for the village. I ahven't got the full starts back yet, but it seems to have worked really well. All donations to the fund were voluntary, although if you didn't donate, you didn't really get to use it.
Way it should be.

My question though is how many of those that didn't contribute "donations", still showed up with electronics, coffee grinders, hairdryers, expecting to use it just on their charm, or good nature of those that did "donate"?
http://www.solocollective.org

Might be right up your alley.
recruiting like a Jehovah's Witness :wink:

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PetsUntilEaten
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:08 am

I have noticed an ebb & flow to my own & my friends group contributions & large works. I think its good to do some years on alternated with a few off the big stuff. I might be ready to come back into the larger fold (as long as I can have my separate kitchen tent that is.)

Our adopted campmate who previously slaved at 100+ person camps was seduced by the 5 person camp.

Meanwhile my fire/metal artist friend who has backed off for this year is gearing up for mayhem next year.

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Post by nymphgonebad » Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:06 am

irrational geographic society worked like a well-oiled swiss watch. i have never seen 120 people work so hard or so well together. we even apopted several burners who were disgusted with their own camps.

a shout out to chilonia, food lab, krotus, sublimination, and yes, even apathy ( you lazy motherfuckers ! ) for building a village where i'd want to live.

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Thu Sep 11, 2003 7:27 am

My question though is how many of those that didn't contribute "donations", still showed up with electronics, coffee grinders, hairdryers, expecting to use it just on their charm, or good nature of those that did "donate"?
As far as I know, we didn't have any problems. With that. Last I heard we were short for the gennie, which someone had put on their credit card...but a lot of people donated on the playa, so I think it's been covered. No final statisitcs yet; our fearless leaders are still decompressing.

I'll recruit for SC anyway, I'll shout it from the rooftops. We need some new blood.

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Post by Rockstar » Sun Sep 14, 2003 10:00 pm

The genny fund worked out pretty good and so did the grid we put in. But unfortunalty a lot of well off people contributed to make it happen. The donations were lopsided. Some donating 15 bucks while others donated several hundred.

The concept was that if you put money into it you can plug in to the drop boxes. We had adaptors to make sure that only those camps who put in money were the ones that got the adaptors. I told them that under no circumstances were they to share power to camps outside the village. This had more to do with power availibilty than anything. We were pulling the ragged edge of the 25kilowatt output so sharing it wasn't an option.

I did however tell the camps that once they plugged into the box they could use it for whatever they wanted as long as they each stayed under 2400 watts or 20 amps. We had breakers on each camps drop so they couldnt pull more than that without tripping it. Where the power went after it hit the camp I didnt care as long as it stayed in the village.

The big iisues I had, (I was the one in charge of it) was keeping peoples dickskinners off the generator output controls. We ended up putting a pd lock on it to fix that.

It went pretty good for a first run at powering our village. But we worked on the plan for 8 monhts, so it wasnt a spur of the moment project. Lots of details and calcultations were made and refigured during that time.

Gary

judas2

If you are fucking insane don't plan a village

Post by judas2 » Thu Sep 18, 2003 1:06 pm

Next year will be my 3rd and I expect to be one of the core group for a fairly large village. Having couple years' theme camp experience under my belt I'm looking forward to the challenge.

There are no rules. No one has authority. Contributions are entirely lopsided. If you want to lead then you need deep pockets.

If you are there to party, camp solo. Three's company, four means you have to do work, 30 means you have a full time job while on the playa. Neglect your job and you'll end up as described in the original post.

When I was talking to a leader of a large camp about this he said something very wise. "We've gotten big enough that there I people who I don't really know in my camp. If they aren't pulling their load I tell them to get the fuck out. This is my camp and I don't want any freeloaders."

-Judas

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attydog
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Post by attydog » Thu Sep 18, 2003 1:44 pm

That's why Gigsville works. Each individual camp within the village is autonomous, as are individual campers. There are no village dues. Someone wants a project done, that someone does it.
I don't get what makes it a villiage then. Somebody please explain the difference between my camp and my neighbors, and a Gigsville camp vs another Gigsville camp. I know villiages are all organized differently, but where's the line between lots of autonomy and no villiage at all?
Thanks

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:20 pm

First, take a look at this and the page that follows it:

http://www.burningman.com/themecamps_in ... llage.html

In summary and to totally over generalize, I would venture to say that a villiage is you and your neighbors and your block, only after you've gotten to know each other, like being near each other and decide to get together and do something together in addition to your individual camps.

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jamison
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Post by jamison » Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:23 pm

I wrote this before I saw Ivy's post:

Ok, let me see if I've got it right:

You've got people, just camping out. no theme camp or anything, just a couple friends and a couple tents, without any real pooled resources. (what my friends and I did this year, our first burn)

Then you've got camps and theme camps, where people plan out things, with shared resources like showers and meal plans, and of course putting on their theme event.

And then a village is a collection of theme camps that are sharing resources (like the generator mentioned before) or sharing a common theme (like the Alternative Energy Zone)

Did I get it right?

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:28 pm

That's the way I break it down.

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attydog
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Post by attydog » Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:32 pm

I understand some of the concepts of a villiage, and am considering trying to join one next year, but am confused as to what would make something a villiage if it had no communal space, no communal projects, no communal _____. Assume that each post of mine starts with a "I don't know what I'm talking about, but..." but did Gigsville have any communal anything? And if so, who paid for it? Why arent there any dues? I know I could probably poke around and do a little more pro-active research on my own, but is there a short answer to these questions?

These are undoubtadly stupid newbie questions. Is there a better place to get these answers? Maybe I'll email somebody at Gigsville directly - can someone suggest who the best person to ask these questiong to would be?

Muchas gracias senors y senoritas...

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:35 pm

I'm not from Gigsville, and being that there are many more people on the e-playa that are and can probably speak to their projects better than I can, I'll hope that they come in here and do so, but I can off the top of my head think of two communal projects they ahd this year: the gate adn the car-b-que. (Please, correct me if I'm wrong, O Gigsvillans).
am confused as to what would make something a villiage if it had no communal space, no communal projects, no communal _____.
Me, too.

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Post by precipitate » Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:55 pm

> what would make something a villiage if it had no communal space,
> no communal projects, no communal __

Nothing. Villages are about community. Gigsville had communal space
(the open area around the Car-B-Q, the Car-B-Q itself), communal
projects (the Gates on Esplanade), communal [public] events (Lenin
Lookalike Contest, various performances on the central stage, etc.).
There were some communal private events too, like Gigsville Night at
the Island of Misfit Strippers.

Please don't confuse organizational style with ultimate outcome. Gigsville
is a do-ocracy. If you want to see it done, do it. If others think it's a
good idea, they'll help you do it.

Examples of do-ocracy in action:

The Car-B-Q was donated by Villains and the wood provided by Villains
(voluntarily - you didn't have to pitch into the wood fund if you couldn't
or didn't want to, and there was a person who fronted the money and
would have sucked up the costs had donations not met needs).

The gates were built by Villains, again out of their own pockets, and some
people chose to contribute money to that cause, but by no means all.
And we didn't keep people from using the gates who hadn't contributed.
Though come to think of it that's fucking brilliant. Maybe next year, as
performance art.

The stage was provided by a Villain, set up by another Villain, managed by
a third Villain, and hosted acts by anyone who wanted to perform.

All of these things contributed to the village that was Gigsville, but were
done without any central organizing body. Yes, we had a mayor and
vice-mayor. Their jobs were to deal with the LLC on placement and safety
issues, and with the community to get a decent idea of space needs,
ideas, etc. and to manage internal conflicts. They did a brilliant job.

Each theme camp within Gigsville was autonomous. Some went with the
theme (Doomokratic Republik of Gigsville), some didn't. But all contributed
to the overall community in some way. It was definitely more than just
a whole bunch of people camped together.

precipitate
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Post by precipitate » Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:58 pm

> Maybe I'll email somebody at Gigsville directly - can someone suggest
> who the best person to ask these questiong to would be?

About village planning? You can try our mayors from this year:
[email protected] (I think, I might be wrong about that address),
[email protected]. Or hit up girlie - she's posting on the eplaya -
and is a former mayor and amazing organizatrix. She's at [email protected].

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attydog
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Post by attydog » Thu Sep 18, 2003 6:45 pm

OK, thanks for the posts, that helps me understand things a little better. From the outside, I could never really tell what was going on. I've been going to BM since 1996, and certainly I'd heard of Gigsville, but hadn't had any experience with the villiage. Passing by, it was unclear where the boundaries were, or what the gist of the whole thing was aside from a place to camp. My own little group of 20 or so has been going every year and we've been toying with the idea of hooking up with a villiage. I'm just feeling it out.
Thanks again.

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III
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Post by III » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:33 pm

i'm a former mayor of gigsville as well.

there are all sorts of different way to do villages at burning man.

the definition of "a collection of camps forming a neighborhood" is about as close as you can come to a common definition, i think. (although, officially, these days it's just a matter of overall population within a camp)

there are sort of two models you can follow, the centralized control model, and the decentralized individual model.

the former appeals to both manager types, and slacker types. it seems to result in camps that are very attractive to outsiders. it also seems to break down a lot faster. (though not always. xara operates on this model, and has been around for at least 6 years. but they also have a fairly heavy turnover in population, requiring a new influx of people every year to achieve their goals)

the decentralized model attracts people who can take care of their own stuff, while also contributing to the overall group. the drawback is that, while the group may be very together socially, the appearance of the village will be less uniform and cohesive.

and of course, it's possible to be somewhere in between. shangri-la did not have camp dues, rather they took donations and fundraising projects, but had quite a few centrally managed (or at least funded) projects.
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Post by girlie » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:51 pm

>> Or hit up girlie

Damn. I originally read that as "hit on girlie" and got all psyched that
precipitate was pimping me out.

But ya, write me (or III or pretty much any gigsvillian) if you've got any
questions on the gigsville community. I love talking about that stuff.

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Post by attydog » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:59 pm

It's all pretty fascinating to me. I was poking around the Gigsville web site and I must admit that part of me just loves the map. I have the best camp I can imagine - good friends, an incredible luxurious Morrocan tent, a kitchen of seemingly bottomless supplies of food and drink, floor completely covered in priceless persian rugs, but our map sucks - just a rectangular plot. Morroccan tent on one end, truck on the other, cars along the outskirts, individual tents in back - maybe a bamboo tower or other larger project from year to year scattered about. Oh what I wouldn't give for a 50ft central plaza and a few 10' alleys...it really does look like a...a....villiage.

How all the folks at Foot In A Bucket must have loved the other folks at No Drama. And certainly the fine fellows at Wildlife Refuge were always dropping in on the lovely ladies at Pink & Purple just to chat. And what could be better than a twilight stroll down the quaint 10ft alleyway from Oh Boy to the Camp Scrub -a- dub?

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:17 pm

xara operates on this model,
Was Xara a village? I was under the impression theyw ere a theme camp. Or were you just useing them as an example of "the centralized control model," regardless of "definition?

dropping in on the lovely ladies at Pink & Purple
Um, if I recall correctly, Pink & Purple is male.

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Post by precipitate » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:33 pm

> And what could be better than a twilight stroll down the quaint 10ft
> alleyway from Oh Boy to the Camp Scrub -a- dub?

Well, yeah, except that both Oh Boy! and Scrub-a-Dub got moved from
their mapped spots because we had a bit of a last-minute real estate
crunch. Something to keep in mind, for both theme camps and villages,
is that the map is just a map. You may have to improvise once you get
there.

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attydog
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Post by attydog » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:46 pm

Um, if I recall correctly, Pink & Purple is male.
Listen, it's my fantasy, and I'll have them girls if I want to.

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III
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Post by III » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:47 pm

>Or were you just useing them as an example of "the centralized control model," regardless of "definition?

yeah, that, though they've had close to enough people in the past to qualify as a village, i think. and i should point out that the centralized model becomes more unwiedly as the group becomes larger. it doesn't scale well, while the decentralized model does.

>Pink & Purple is male.

sure is. well either that, or a thirteen year old girl...
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III
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Post by III » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:54 pm

>the map is just a map

this is actually a problem as camps get larger. gigsville has been way off the scale of what the org is used to dealing with for a couple of years now.
the difference between the space you're promised, and the space you actually get, seems to be proportional to overall allotment. a small camp won't get trimmed by much at all (since they don't appear to havemuch to give up). a 500 person village, on the other hand, can easily lose a couple camps worth of space, and need to squish those in between other overcrowded camps in order to make do.
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Post by clandyone » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:38 pm

III wrote: and i should point out that the centralized model becomes more unwiedly as the group becomes larger. it doesn't scale well, while the decentralized model does.
We found this out this year. Next year we will be emphasizing that our camp is first and foremost an art project, and anything not project-related must be provided by members acting on their own or in self-determined groups. No goddamn shower, no goddamn evap pond, no goddamn communal water, and CERTAINLY no communal kitchen. What a nightmare that was.

This year we ended up being the Black Rock Hilton for a lot of people -- a lot of people who booked at 5 AM on Monday. Resent, resent, resent.

We will probably have dues again, because our project is expensive. But that's all dues will cover. I find this liberating.

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Post by attydog » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:48 pm

and CERTAINLY no communal kitchen. What a nightmare that was.
I'm sorry to hear that. Bigger communal kitchens always sounded like a fairly good idea to me. What was the problem?
This year we ended up being the Black Rock Hilton for a lot of people -- a lot of people who booked at 5 AM on Monday.
What is your camp, and what is your expensive project?

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