Maker Faire, NYC

This weekend, I finally got my chance to geek out at the Maker Faire, which was hosted at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York City. The fair was heavily attended by enthusiasts and families with children. Here are selected photos of the experience. Click on the photo for full size.

Helpful directions to various destinations (Biobus in the background)
The aftermath of Mark Perez's Mousetrap, which also appeared at Burning Man
Children and adults lined up at this table to sign safety waivers
Cyclists (and free-riders) pedal-power the Madagascar Institute's voodoo lily
I was delighted to see this inflatable kitty and his/her red kitty friend (not in photo), who also appeared in the Deitch Art Parade years ago
Everyone, including the medical tent workers, created something - see the yellow crocheted hat
Mayhem erupts at the chariot race as one duo resorts to the wheelbarrow strategy - note the unusual spectators in the back

Burning Man at Open Video Conference in New York City/live online this Fri., Oct. 1, 2010 5:30-6:30 pm EDT

Here’s a chance to learn and give feedback on Burning Man’s policy on the use of images. I will be moderating the discussion – you can participate in-person or virtually. Below, I’m quoting the original post from here.

“Ever wonder what the small print on the back of a Burning Man ticket really means to a photographer? Want to understand why Burning Man has certain “Terms and Conditions” regulating media use? Curious about how the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) recent criticisms have affected Burning Man’s policy on the use of images? Want to learn more about this or share your opinion? Join us for an ongoing public dialogue about digital rights at Burning Man and implications for wider society!

On Fri., Oct. 1, 2010 5:30-6:30 pm EDT, Burning Man IP Legal Counsel Terry Gross and Burning Man adviser Rosalie Barnes will have a panel discussion with EFF’s Corynne McSherry at the Open Video Conference. The panel meets at the Auditorium of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), located at Seventh Avenue and W. 27th Street in New York City.

You’re invited to participate in-person or virtually! Details about registering for in-person are here:

The session will be streamed live via the Internet on the main conference page via Folks watching online will be able to tweet questions to discussion moderator Katherine Chen using a hashtag. For more info and online discussion about Burning Man’s digital rights policy, go here:

This is what Open Video Conference has on their site:

“Summary: EFF v. Burning Man – (Friday, October 1 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM)

Description: Each year, Nevada’s Black Rock desert plays host to the Burning Man festival. Tens of thousands of people make the pilgrimage to celebrate self-reliance, creativity and freedom. Anything goes in Black Rock City–except, apparently, when you’ve got a camera in your hand…

For some time, the organization behind the event has enforced a highly restrictive set of policies around photography in Black Rock. Through its ticket sales and online terms of use, the Burning Man Organization claims ownership over all photos and videos created at the festival.

In late 2009, Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Corynne McSherry went on the attack, criticizing these rules in a post at EFF’s Deep Links. This set off an internet battle for the ages. Burning Man argues these restrictions protect attendees’ privacy. People escape to Black Rock to express themselves freely, not have every action documented—-and they need to be protected. But EFF thinks attendees’ freedom of expression, and their copyrights, must be respected. How do you balance both concerns?

In a interesting turn of events, Burning Man, the EFF and Creative Commons have entered into negotiations to transform the largest counter cultural art gathering in the world into a legal platform for human readable language and free culture. Will it work? Will it crash? What will they as a team decide?

Join us for a real world ethics question, and a small-scale version of the free culture debate with insights into the governance of online video platforms, privacy, autonomy, and freedom of expression. Throw in panelists from Burning Man, EFF—and giant burning wicker man—and you have one interesting discussion.

Corynne McSherry — Electronic Frontier Foundation
Lightning Clearwater III — Burning Man IP Legal Counsel
Rosalie Barnes — Burning Man
Moderator: Katherine Chen – Assistant Professor of Sociology, CUNY””

Next talk: Thur., Sept. 30, 2010, 12:30-1:45pm EST, Dept. of Sociology, the City College of New York, CUNY in New York, NY

My next talk will be at my home institution, The City College of New York, CUNY, for the Social Science Faculty Seminar, which is organized by colleague Leslie Paik. If you do not have a City University of New York (CUNY) id, you will need a government issued id to enter the building.

The talk is scheduled for Thur., Sept. 30, 2010, 12:30-1:45pm EST, “Charismatizing the Routine: Storytelling for Meaning in the Burning Man Organization” at the North Academic Center, room 6/129, Dept. of Sociology, 160 Convent Ave., New York, NY 10031.

Next talk stop: Fri., Sept. 17, 2010, 1:30-3pm EST at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

My next talk will be Fri., Sept. 17, 2010, 1:30-3pm EST, at Room K1310, in the Ross School of Business, Interdisciplinary Committee on Organization Studies, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. The title of the talk is: “Charismatizing the Routine: Storytelling in the Burning Man Organization.” Thank you, Prof. Jerry Davis, for the invitation, and Paula Kopka, for making the arrangements!

The city that never sleeps

In conventional cities, street noise, party-goers, and bright street lights can disturb a good night’s rest. At Black Rock City, some people stay up late or all night visiting friends, the art, and theme camps, or they hang out at the 24 hour Center Camp Cafe with caffeinated beverages. Unfortunately, the hot sun makes sleeping in and napping difficult. Given these conditions, everyone, especially those who traveled from other time zones, risks sleep deprivation.

For more on the necessity of sleeping well, see sleep expert Dr. William C. Dement’s website here, or his Sleep and Dreams class website here.

A camp at the Center Camp, Black Rock City, 2010. Click on the image to read the sign.