The Black Rock Astronomical Society

by Wabi Sabi


The Black Rock Astronomical Society, BRAS, is a rowdy band of travellers culled together by Bo Peep and Hypnotic of New York City to build their wild desert vision of a 20” aperture Dobsonian telescope in the Deep Playa. At Burning Man, wild visions cannot consist simply of a 10’ telescope with fragile pieces sitting in solitude on the playa waiting for passersby who want to peek into the galaxy. No. Their telescope will be an elegant behemoth amidst the swirling dust, rewarding brave souls who dare to climb upon its back to contemplate her or his place amongst the supernovas, nebulas, stars and planets.

The telescope will be a beacon to travelers venturing out to the Deep Playa, calling to all the aliens, starships, spaceships and those who dream of flying–and it will do this from within the oasis of the Black Rock Observatory. This is where weary travelers will rest and learn from wise men about what lies beyond and what the stars and heavens can tell them about what lays ahead in their future. There they will meet other travelers and share their stories and describe that intimate moment when their eye fell upon a distant star…

When Bo Peep and Hypnotic came upon the builders of the Black Rock Observatory, it was explained to them that they were an observatory in need of a central telescope.  The destiny became clear to them all as Bo Peep and Hypnotic described their vision of a telescope, and they immediately set off to find a crew. The first person chosen on the journey was General Pumpk1n.  General Pumpk1n was Hypnotic’s childhood friend and now that they were grown, Hypnotic could see he had become a man with intimate, formal knowledge of the brutality of the desert.

Pumpk1n is educated in chemical and bio-engineering and knows the magic of nuclear engineering. He told tales of being a special processes engineer and project coordinator for the government. He explained that it was he who was responsible for ensuring the survival of objects in harsh physical conditions. He could control the effects of shock, vibration, and harsh environmental conditions on objects precious to the government, such as heavy rains, sand and dust. Bo and Hypnotic asked the man to join them and he accepted.

They then happened upon Wabi Sabi. She would gather people near and far to join her in her ventures and connected those who were seeking with those who were sought. Bo and Hypnotic had traveled with her and knew she could gather together those who would seek out the telescope. Wabi Sabi agreed to bring the people to the telescope and joined them.

On and on they continued and happened upon Richard Berry, known as the Idea Guy. He was a learned man and had written books on telescopes. He built telescopes and brought them and his knowledge of the stars to the  people. Bo and Hypnotic knew this would be invaluable as they began building and Idea Guy accepted the new challenge of teaching them to build one of his sought after telescopes in the desert.

Together, we will all welcome you to share in Bo Peep and Hypnotic’s vision in the Deep Playa.