Burning Man in photos. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
Burning Man is the annual, radical art festival in Nevada. It draws creative people of all stripes to a temporary city in the desert for anything-goes social experimenting. It’s been there since 1990 (the year of ConFurence 1 – maybe we can call them subcultures of a shared zeitgeist.) It fertilizes the roots of some of Furry’s most exciting activity. It’s one of those Furry Illuminati connections that casual members may not know. (There’s no Wikifur page for Burning Man).
Furries at Burning Man 16: Dante's Infurno, Relay hawks Camp Fur snowcones, awesome Furryburner art created in camp. pic.twitter.com/YeZeYjuCvx— Vox Fox (@minstrelbill) September 7, 2016
Find the Burner/Furry connection in my interview with Neonbunny. He founded the festival’s Camp Fur. Those carroty roots grew into his series of dance parties in the San Francisco Bay Area, which led him to found Frolic party in 2010. That spawned a mini-movement of furry dances across North America.
See Camp Fur and what it’s for at Furryburners.com:
If you thought I was joking about conspiracy – this goes all the way up to the president. Burner luminary Lindz was invited to the White House to show his anthropomorphic robot, Russell the Electric Giraffe. The national news didn’t tell it, but that was a furry shaking hands with President Obama.
I’m happy to introduce their fellow rock star, a dragon from Vancouver. Thanks to Asunyra for talking with Dogpatch Press!
For Asunyra, the roots grew in a slightly different shape. He’s a tech entrepreneur by occupation. For passion, he leads his own Burning Man camp, and promotes sex-positivity in furry. Get a taste of it when he throws “Trippy Cuddle Parties” at cons.
Cons bring furries together, but things can only go so far at hotels. Watch how far things go when furries have unlimited freedom in the desert. (Have you ever seen a vibrating dragon-dildo chandelier?) – Patch
Asunyra talks about his ambitious theme camp, “Dante’s Infurno.”
(Asunyra:) Here’s a bunch of photos of the camp from various events and the whole build process. These two are probably the best photos of the structure. (Photos by Luke.Me.Up). I’ll tell you the general story of how it came to be.
My partner Lummox and I have been each active with Burning Man for 10 or 15 years, and in the furry community about as long. We’ve done a lot of big builds for Burning Man in the form of art cars (like venusravertrap.com), local fundraiser parties, theme camps etc – and on the furry side, we’ve hosted our trippy cuddle parties at maybe a dozen or more cons over the years.
For the past few years, we’ve also hosted sex-positive house parties for the local furry and burner communities, with anywhere from 70 to 200 people in attendance. We’ve carefully maintained a good safe environment, emphasizing enthusiastic consent, proper communication of boundaries and have put a lot of effort into making sure the guests are all people that we can trust and vouch for.
Here’s what one of the spaces looks like:
(Read more – The Furry House – a base for creativity and community. – Patch)
For work, Lummox is an industrial millwright and public sculpture artist, and I’m a tech entrepreneur in the telecommunications industry.
Why Dante’s was created
In 2015, Lummox was taking the year off from Burning Man and I wanted to bring our furry party experience there, so we spent a month or so building a custom insulated 280 sq ft air-conditioned structure (the “cuddle yurt”) that inside was all cushions and trippy decorations. This would serve just like our room parties as a sex positive space for fursuiters, furries and fur-curious folks of playa to cuddle and play.
As I was going solo, my intention was to join an existing camp rather than start a new one. But after a lot of discussion online, I discovered that established furry theme camps were very against sex being publicly associated with furries, out of concern for the image of the fandom. Uncle Kage’s principles were referenced as an excuse to hide and shame the sexual side of the fandom, and it was made clear that my space was not welcome. At the last minute, I found a small furry camp out in the suburbs that would accommodate me and decided to go for it anyways.
It took two days of driving from Vancouver, and four days of work onsite to put the structure together by myself, but I had a great time doing it and met a lot of very supportive folks in the process (like Amenophis, Duke, Zarafa, and Ashke). I also brought our Venus Raver Trap remote controlled armchair drone, and controlled it from inside the cuddle yurt. (Photo):
Back home safely from Burning Man. Hardest working year yet for me but super rewarding. Met so many awesome people! pic.twitter.com/08ucZt7nGI— Asunyra (@asunyra) September 9, 2015
Being out in the suburbs meant that few people could find it, but all in, it was one of my best years at Burning Man and it gave me a ton of enthusiasm to come back bigger and better.
The build process
In February 2016, Lummox and I decided that Burning Man could really use a standalone sex-positive furry camp, and we were up for the challenge of doing it. Lummox always wanted to build an homage to the strip club from Beetlejuice and we figured why not use this as an excuse, so Dante’s InFURno was born. A raunchy over-the-top strip club would be a fun way to showcase the sexual side of furry to the folks of Burning Man.
We started by digging out some fibreglass I-beams that he had, built the floor layout, support posts, upper and lower walls, and giant signs. The whole thing had to come apart to fit on a 16′ tandem axle trailer (ikea flat pack style), so we made all the major structure bolt together and the non structural panels click in with door hinges and hitch pins. Lummox did all the structural layout and design, the two of us spent almost all of our spring and summer weekends on construction, and some of our local friends helped with painting. One of our local furry artist friends generously designed the big dragon head for us and helped us find a way to get it printed and cut from plywood.
I think this photo kinda captures our build style best – we just kept holding up a screenshot from the movie and kinda winging it.
There’s horror themed bars, and clown themed bars, but no Furry bars in the world that I know of yet – thanks to Asunyra for dreaming one. – Patch
Last year’s events
Our very first public build of Dante’s was at the Seattle regional burn, Critical Northwest in 2016. Rummy and Yotice joined us with their Coyote Garden art piece, and the four of us put everything together over two 12 hour build days. The space was a huge hit, busy all night every night. Rummy donated an old CRT television with built-in VCR that we hung from the ceiling of the dome and used to play 8-hour tapes of furry porn, and Lummox would stand on the top floor balcony and remote control the Raver Trap armchair in front of camp for hours every night. Despite getting rained out the night before teardown, we had no major snags and everyone had a great time.
Two weeks later we brought Dante’s to our local Vancouver BC Burning Man regional, Burn in the Forest. We were placed in the “red light district” in the spot that had previously been the main orgy space, so the vibe there was definitely a lot more open sex. We also had a bigger sound system and great DJ performances, so it was kept very busy. At one point one of our campmates – exhausted from set up – had fallen asleep in the middle of the cuddle pit, only to get woken up and bolt upright to find several couples enthusiastically having sex all around him.
At both of these events, Dante’s was really appreciated – but it wasn’t really that furry, as the few of us running the camp were pretty much the only furs there. It was at Burning Man that the place really came into its own as a furry theme camp. There, we teamed up with Varka (co-founder of Bad Dragon)- who made a vibrating dragon dick chandelier, and Dave the Dinosaur, a dirty insult-spewing dinosaur-shaped vending machine that dispensed free tiny dicks all week.
Thanks to help from FUR, we were placed right near their camp, on a prominent busy street corner right near the centre of Black Rock City. Lots of people would come back and bring their friends to show them the space, the dick chandelier, or to get accosted by Dave.
We had the cuddle yurt in full operation all week, and it worked great. Daytime it was used mostly by the general public to hide in the air conditioning from the heat, and at night it was usually full of cuddly furries and curious non-furries. At one point some of us were interviewed in Dante’s for a podcast. (In this one I’m Saffron, the name of the fursuit I was in.)
“I have been waiting for this moment for years. I finally sat down with the wonderful people from the Fur community and got to learn all about their wonderful intricate and complex world that is like a Russian doll when you start to peel back the fur.
Dante’s Inferno is a camp for Furries (which was one of 5 Fur camps) built by two super MacGyvers from Vancouver that featured a giant chandelier in the center of the room lit up by 10 fantasy dildos representing every kind of dragon, unicorn, and tentacle dick a furry heart could desire. (Dragon dicks have SCALES!)” (-Zoe Nightingale)
I’ll take the cutie on the right. – Patch
We’ve already started planning this year’s events, and our telegram group is busy with tons of exciting project ideas. We’ll be bringing Dante’s to Burn in the Forest again, and also to Burning Man. Because of how popular it was last year, we’ll be going from 4-6 campmates to almost 20 at each event – which means more volunteer hands for setup, teardown and shifts running the space, so it should be a much bigger and smoother operation.
Lummox and I have bought an old 30’ city bus, and are converting it to be our new towing rig for the Dante’s trailer. We’re covering it in almost 3000 watts of solar panels so that we can run most of our camp without generator power this year. We’re also building a “ghetto” streetscape to extend off the Dante’s frontage with a boarded up pet shop, cash for gold pawn shop, maybe a passed out furry hobo mannequin. Plans are to have a new bar, new sound equipment, and bigger DJ lineup.
I’m pretty passionate about this project (and about promoting sex-positivity in furry in general), so I’m really excited to share!