Transformus

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Transformus
Location(s) Mills River, North Carolina, United States
Inaugurated July 30-August 1, 2004 [1]
Most recent July 14-20, 2015 [2]
Participants 2,284 (ticket sales) [3]
Website
www.transformus.com [3]

Transformus is a regional Burning Man art festival hosted on private land within the boundaries of Pisgah National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Transformus celebrates the principles of radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy. The community forms a temporary city called Mysteria during the third weekend in July which includes art installations, neighborhoods, lively nightlife and camps which offer services to the community. Transformus has distributed over $43,005 in art grants to the community over four years and remains one of the most art-centric Burner events in the U.S.

History[edit]

The Bamboozler on the day before the burn - photo by FeyDreva

The first Transformus was held in 2004 and remains 100% community driven to this day. Begun with no firm infrastructure, it quickly became apparent that a leadership group was necessary to give direction and protection to the event. Originally founded by seven individuals (Debra, Wordplay, Chw, Rhythm, Uncle Jonah, Diesel and Theory), Transformus now has an LLC board of directors, community planning committee and team leads – all volunteers – who together drive the event through minimal policy and responsible safety teams. The event has grown quickly: in 2004 350 tickets were purchased and participants came from 10 U.S. states. In 2012, 2,059 tickets were purchased and participants came from over 33 U.S. states and several foreign countries.[4]

Event[edit]

Transformus is held in one of the only Temperate Rainforests in North America. Large amounts of rainfall are common, and on more than one occasion have made ignition of the effigy slow and difficult. Attendees are not allowed to take their vehicle to their campsite, and instead are expected to unload their gear and either haul it by foot to their campsite, or wait for a volunteer to help them haul their gear on a golf-cart.

Transformus is built around two central events: an effigy burn on Saturday night and a temple/art burn on Sunday night. These “burns” mean various things to various people and remain completely undefined by leadership. All are invited to personalize the temple before it is burned. Each structure is designed and built by volunteer teams. Artistic expression is a very important part of Transformus and many participants create interactive art installations specifically for the event. The LLC seeds this artistic expression through the fair distribution of Creativity Grants [5] with over $25,000 distributed to the community since 2006. Grants are allocated not by the leadership but the community through a jury open to anyone without a conflict of interest. Attendees build a temporary city called Mysteria then remove every trace before the event ends. Mysteria is composed of smaller campsites called theme camps [6] which offer services to the community.

Popular past theme camps include:

  • Gypsy Bar
  • Camp SCIENCE!
  • Bacon Camp
  • Camp Chocolypse Now!
  • The Pallet Bar
  • The Intergalactic House of Pancakes (IHoP)
  • The Dirty Southern Burners,[7]
  • Cape Sphere
  • Litt Valhalla
  • The Philosopherz Stone
  • Radical Faeries
  • The Visible Trash Society
  • The Philadelphia Experiment (PEX),[8]
  • Baron Samedi's VIP Lounge and Ball Pit
  • Willy Wonka's
  • Big Puffy Yellow,[9]
  • Camp Crayola
  • Kasa de la Kozee
  • Temple of Boom
  • Elders Camp
  • Green Man Camp
  • Local Fauna
  • Pretty Titty Bang Bang
  • Bubble Camp
  • Party Liberation Front (PLF)
  • Camp Contact.[10]
  • Mustacheville
  • Arcana
  • Percussion Junction
  • D.A.M.M. Camp

Ethics[edit]

Several themes and/or ethics are encouraged during the event, based on the ten principles of Burning Man.[11] These include:

  • Leave No Trace (or LNT) - everyone is expected to be responsible for any matter that they bring to the event. There are no public trash cans.
  • Gift Economy - no sale or barter is allowed at the event. Participants are asked to bring what they can and gift as they are able.
  • Radical Inclusion - everyone is welcome to be a part of the event.
  • Radical Self-Reliance - do what needs to be done and do not be a burden to others. Ensure that you bring enough to sustain yourself throughout the event.
  • Radical Self-Expression - be yourself, however you wish. Allow others to do the same.
  • Communal Effort - work together to make the best possible.
  • Civic Responsibility - every citizen bears a responsibility to contribute to the community as a whole.
  • Participation - no one attending is an observer; no spectators.
  • Immediacy - participants are to become part of the event and explore their inner selves in relation to the event and surroundings
  • Decommodification - rejection of corporate advertising, branding and sales of any kind.

Transformus' status as an Official Burning Man Regional Event [12][edit]

Transformus was founded in 2004 as an art, music and spiritually-focused counterculture festival, independent from Burning Man. In 2005, prior to the second event, Transformus became The Southeast Regional Burn, an official Burning Man regional. In June 2008, Burning Man's regional committee revoked Transformus' status as an official Burning Man event. In a letter to the Transformus community, Burning Man cited lack of civic responsibility and transparency as the reasons. In 2009 Transformus was invited by Burning Man to reapply for official event status but initially chose to remain independent. In early 2010, Transformus was reinstated as an official Burning Man regional event [13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Transformus Afterburn Reports" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  4. ^ Transformus. Burn After Reading. Accessed January 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "2009 Creativity Grant Process". Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  6. ^ "2009 Transformus Theme Camps". Retrieved 2009-10-26. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Dirty Southern Burners,". Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  8. ^ "The Philadelphia Experiment". Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  9. ^ "Creative Lunch Group: Platform to share, promote interesting ventures and many more". Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  10. ^ "Camp Contact at Transformus". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  11. ^ "The Burning Man Network’s Ten Principles". Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  12. ^ "2009 Official Burning Man Regional Event List". Retrieved 2009-25-25.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ "Official Burning Man Regional Event Status of Transformus". Retrieved 2012-05-31. 

External links[edit]