Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Dec 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Temple Master

templejunoDavid Best brings it back with this year’s The Temple of Juno

Have you ever wondered what it’s like as an artist—especially one who creates enormous sculptures and architectural feats, as does David Best, the man behind many of Burning Man’s temples—to see your masterpieces burnt into oblivion? “It’s kind of like those jokes—I built this temple and all I got is this lousy T-shirt,” jokes Best. But although the half dozen temples he has built for Black Rock City have all, inevitably, turned to ash, he actually says he would have it no other way. “The memory of those will last longer than a piece of art,” he says.

When he designed the first temple for Burning Man in 2000, he didn’t foresee it becoming an annual fixture at the event (arguably more beloved than The Man himself). He also hadn’t intended for them to become somber, spiritual spaces where thousands of Burners say final goodbyes to loved ones they have lost, although he’s glad that the community now has such a place.

Now, after a several year-long hiatus, Best is back at the helm, working on what he has dubbed The Temple of Juno (an ode to the Roman goddess and protector of women, which is fitting for the 2012 Burning Man theme, “Fertility 2.0”). Burning Man has grown quite a bit in the years he’s been involved, and the temples have grown along with it—a trend Best wants to curb. “The art is getting better and better—the bar is continually raised,” Best says. “But can you play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ again? There’s a pressure to make the next temple better or bigger. I have to put the pressure of the community out of my mind, and just try to make a piece that is going to be a good piece.”

With The Temple of Juno, he hopes to restore the temple to a more economically sustainable level. “I’m trying to come back and bring it down to a more manageable scale,” he says. “Financially and spiritually, I don’t think it needs to be quite so big.”

But before Best and the “Temple Crew” (comprised of 300 to 400 volunteers, who Best says deserve all the credit) can get busy building this year’s temple, they need to raise the funds to do so. With a partial grant from Burning Man already secured, the project is looking to the website Kickstarter to garner the rest of the funds.

Best looks forward to handing The Temple of Juno—which he says will be his last—over to the community this August, and watching as BRC citizens fill it with memories and prayers, and adorn it with scrawled messages and mementos. “It’s nothing until it’s filled with all those things that people bring,” he says.

After that creation has gone up in flames, he will start focusing on his next endeavor: taking the Burning Man ethos and creativity to the outside world, namely through construction of an unpermitted performing arts center in Detroit, Mich.

“I’m more interested in reaching out outside of the desert with my work,” he says. 

Learn more about The Temple of Juno and the people behind it at templecrew.org. To donate to the project, search for “The Temple 2012” on Kickstarter.com.

See cover story: Beyond Black Rock City.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire