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Come by for the Burner Hackathon

936295_10100605196438424_559228150_n This weekend, [freespace] will be hosting BurnerHack.

What is a BurnerHack?

BurnerHack is a weekend full of beautiful beings making marvelous manifestations in preparation for the playa.

Burner: A person who attends Burning Man or who lives by the Ten Principles.​

Hack: To change default reality by imagining and creating something new.​

​Hack on software. Hack on blinky lights. Hack on costumes. Hack on interactive body piercings. Hack on anything your robot heart desires!

We sat down with the event’s catalyzer, Micah Daigle and asked him a few questions.

What inspired you to start the event?
I love hacking on shit. And I love burners. It’s a natural combination. We created BurnerMap two years ago and it blew up. Something like half of Black Rock City uses it. We were planning on updating it, so we thought, why not invite other people in on the process?

What can we expect to see if we attend the event?
Burners. Hacking. What does that mean? People building art projects. People hacking on software. There’s going to be EL Wire workshop. There’s a whole list of projects on the BurnerHack site.

What are you most excited about for this weekend?
We’ll see what happens. Burners will be here. And people will be getting excited about the burn. BurnerHack is a great way to convene Burners that is not about the party. Because Burning Man is so much more than a party. It’s [also] about making really cool shit. Most events before and after Burning Man (like decompression) are about partying, which is cool. But the Burn is way more than just partying. So this is an event for us to get together, and convene as a creative community.

Anything else we should know?
Come to event and participate!

Art, art, art

We’ve been overjoyed with the creative expression in our space. In less than 1 week, we’ve had all kinds of projects go up. Rather than tell you, we’ll show you.

Below are some of the visuals taken by Eoin, our point person for [freespace] arts.

We’ll be posting more media as we see it this month. In the meantime, search for #freespace on Twiter, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube and other social media channels.

And if you’ve seen (or taken photos/videos) we should know about, let us know in the comments!

Building Community

This weekend’s opening at [freespace] was fantastic! We started out the weekend with a community potluck. During opening day (June 1st), several people facilitated group discussions around logistics, safety, and general operations around the space. Remember – we’re starting with nothing except space and passion.

So – we not only have to sort out what events will happen when. But we have to sort out who will turn on the lights, who will keep the bathroom stocked with toilet paper, and who will take out the trash. All as a community. With volunteers.

In addition to actually sorting out these logistics, a few other magical things happened –

A mural went up

Walls were painted

SF Yellow Bikes setup shop

A public art project went up


And people congregated

This afternoon, I personally organized a team meeting around our website. For folks that haven’t visited the space, it’s just not very clear what’s happening and why. Our calls for participation are also not clear. Much of this organization is happening on Facebook, simply because that’s where our friends (and their friends) are. We’re all okay with that. The less we have to build, the better.

Our Philosophy, Our Needs

We’re building more than a website. We’re building a community. The website, like the space, is in flux. It’s dynamic. And it’s a community project.

In practical terms, it is also very useful for coordination and documentation. So during our volunteer-run meeting today, we discussed what the website should be used for going forward, what some existing needs were, and how we should go about building things. We are, after all, volunteers.

Our needs, specifically include :

  • coordinating volunteers
  • gathering donations of goods (paint, routers, cleaning supplies, etc)
  • planning events
  • documenting our process

Some outcomes and [potential] resolutions from the meeting?

We took the wireframes (developed by Jessy Kate), created visual mockups, and are now working on a child theme that we will make available to other community spaces.

Here is a summary of the principles we discussed :

  • All our custom code will be open-source (via our newly setup github repo)
  • All our contributions (and those of our community) will be licensed under Creative Commons (specifics are TBD)
  • We will work to document our process so other can learn from us and replicate them in their own communities
  • We will acknowledge and thank those who contribute to the community
  • We welcome participation as long as the safety of our community and participants is not threatened

Creative Commons License
as of now…. freespace media by Freespace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


In the spirit of documentation and process sharing, I’ve listed out what we’re using to run our site.

As of now, our website is running on a multisite network provided by WP The software itself is run on WordPress and WooTheme’s One Pager Theme. Our hosting is provided by Arrow Root Media, and served up by WP Engine’s servers. WP Engine is providing Varnish caching, a CDN, and solid tech support as needed.

Our WordPress Plugins collection include :

Other Assets

Of course – the most important asset we have right now – passionate, caring, dedicated smiley volunteers who care about community, resource sharing, and the power of the collective. Without these key principles in place, we’d all be working on “just another project.” But with vision in action, we are able to catalyze a community of people in a very short amount of time.

Looking forward to more!

Comments, love, appreciations, ideas, and inspiration are welcome. Leave your thoughts below!

Space opening

Today is our very first “official” day. We’re excited to have you! Come by today and tomorrow and join the community. And check out our calendar of events for an overview of what we have planned (so far).

Check out some of our freespaces below …

Site Launch!

This past Thursday, we did our first walk-through of the space. In short, it’s awesome! We’ve got alotta work to do to get the space ready for opening. And as we have more people in the space, it will continue to evolve, develop, and get cleaned up.

We’re looking forward to co-creating with you!