June 15 to 18, 2021
Over a long weekend in June, IAMU / HRV leadership crew and supporters gathered at Revina Farm to reconnect, burn, play, discuss the future of the camp, fundraise and work on a site structure restoration project for members of DC area Burning Man community.
We had camp members travel from Chicago, Denver, Pennsylvania and the DC area for our first gathering since COVID. The mission was a smashing success, as well as a first iteration of a new model of collaborative community - one that can flexibly and dynamically deploy a creative mission. The main project was the restoration of a freestanding porch house but the village space was also home for an experimental sonic / bass frequency based fire suppression system AK had been looking for an opportunity to work on. KJ organized and managed the build project, backed by lots of experience, ideas and muscle from the overall crew. No one will be surprised that Michelle and Truly did a fantastic job with food and fluffing, plenty of treats and fresh things throughout the weekend. Lots of great playlists all around, and we were grateful for Alessandro's terrific sound system.
The structure project turned into a larger scope once we removed some of the older materials we were replacing. Like any burn, challenges were discussed and solutions imagined. No one flinched, new materials were acquired (and we kept working through until the structure was in a much improved and operational state. Many learned new build skills, even in sometimes challenging weather. We will return later in August to complete the work.
AK's bass cannon fire suppression system was always an experiment, and Revina was an incredibly beautiful location where we had space to build and safer opportunities to do a controlled fire were possible. This project will also continue when we return.
The main thing was to get everyone together, have fun, burn and see how we worked together after such a long time of not actively organizing or deploying. While it took a little extra effort to get back in the Burner logistics groove (which was a little disorienting, and hilarious to watch ourselves work out) by the end of the first day we were in flow. While several people hadn't actually met one another, you wouldn't know it by how well everyone made it all happen. Everyone jumped in and tapped out as needed, there was a steady effort and we always had more people for big pushes (or we would just throw Fred at something and he would tear through some challenge or tough spot like it actually wasn't).
The structure scope challenges meant we didn't have as much time to specifically discuss all of the ideas we wanted to get to about the future of IAMU / HRV. There is and will be time and space for this, as well as opportunities for boarder input and participation. But we walked away from the experience feeling like anything was possible, and were all thinking about what kinds of collaborative, creative community projects or deployments are now within reach.