Balsa Man 2013 :: “Flotsam & Jetsam”

Circus Circus Merry Go Round (photo by achemical)

Circus Circus Merry Go Round (photo by achemical)

When Balsa Man first began, it was nothing more than a badly done wooden figure doused in lighter fluid. Still as dinky and janky as it was that tiny flame fueled a huge bonfire of joy for literally dozens of people! As the years went by, the Balsa Man got more and more refined and more and more people came — not only to experience but also to participate by making their own tiny art! Soon regional Balsa Man events sprouted up around the world!

Each year, the Balsa Man founder, Colin Fahrion, and all the amazing staff of Balsa Man strove to add a new creative twist to the event. Of course, like any art event it had it’s share of controversies too — like the ticket fiasco of 2011 and the dramatic relocation of the event in 2012. However, all the participants who braved these hurdles walked away transformed in some tiny magical way.

This year contains a twist like no other Balsa Man that came before — one that will no doubt cause it’s own unique controversy. We hope, like the years before, that this becomes an inspiration rather than a consternation.

A Celebration of Letting Go

Balsa Man 2013 - Flotsam & Jetsam

When something wonderful and magical comes along we all flock to it and strive to recreate it again and again. Every recreation is different, and when done right it takes on a bit of the glamour of the times before. This is what we strive for. It’s human nature, hell we aren’t very different from rats or even ants in this regard.

Real wisdom is achieved not only by knowing how to recreate that spark, but also by knowing when to let it go. Without the act of letting go we get trapped in a cycle creating rituals for the enchantment that once was. Without the wisdom of knowing when to move on, we are left much like the Melanesian cargo cults building effigies for a magic airplane that never arrives.

It is with this wisdom that Colin Fahrion and the Balsa Man org has decided to let go of Balsa Man.

August 31st 2013 is yours

We are letting go of the Balsa Man event and releasing the glamour it contains back into the sea of subconscious. Our hope is that all the wonderful people that participated over the years use this as a impetuous to create their own event no matter how small. You don’t need to go to Balsa Man or any other event — all you need is a smidgen of creativity and an ounce of passion to make August 31st a day to remember!

What about the Balsa Regionals?

We still encourage people to host Balsa Regionals if that is what they want to do. Hell, if someone has a vision to transform the Balsa Man main event we give them our blessing. However, we encourage you to make it yours instead of slavishly duplicating what came before.

A letter from the founder of Balsa Man

When I started this art project so many years ago, it was little more than a minor inspiration. I had originally just planned to burn the lil’ guy myself… Read more.