Mark Bava – Lament for an Unsung Hero
It is with incredible sadness and grief that I share this terrible news. In the early morning of Saturday Oct. 20th 2012, tragedy struck. One that will be felt by many for a long time. Below are two messages that I posted to my Facebook page regarding the loss of our great friend Mark Bava, his brother Chris and Chris’s wife Cat.
I’m still too grief-stricken to write anything more. Until such a time that I have recovered enough to pool my thoughts, I am reposting what I have been able to write as of this time.
Facebook has its limitations, one of which is that your important postings just end up going deeper into the past, soon to be forgotten. Mark Bava, Chris and Cat deserve something more permanent, so I’m putting this little memorial up on my website, where it will remain until I am no longer around to tend to it.
The first message is something I posted upon hearing about their untimely passing.
The second message was written the next day after an extraordinary experience I had, which in some way tied into the passing of the great Mark Bava. Please read it and feel free to leave comments below.
Mark Bava, Chris and Cat continue to live in the hearts of many
Posted on Facebook Oct. 20
For those who have not heard, our incredible community of friends, artists, performers, lovers, and fun-loving acquaintances have just suffered a terrible loss. Times three. Beloved friend Mark Bava, his wonderful brother Chris, and Chris’s wife Cat all perished early this morning in a traffic accident in San Jose.
Mark Bava was a humble visionary, who rarely took the credit for the wonderful things that flowed so easily and naturally from his unique being. He had a positive impact on just about everyone in his midst. A one of a kind individual. Always with good vibes and kindness. Never harsh nor judgmental. A gem of a human being. A shining example of how to be. Possibility incarnate. Truly, the good die young. And no, life is not fair.
When I was the head of the L.A. Burning Man region in 2003, I thought that the time was right to create an official Burning Man Decompression event in L.A. Bava was the first person I approached to discuss the possibilities. He was the first person on the team. Others whom eventually joined the team are still running the Decompression today, which just celebrated it’s 10th successful event last week. Mark, Chris, and Cat owned Little Pedro’s Cafe, affectionately known as The Blue Bongo, in the downtown L.A. arts district. The Blue Bongo became our headquarters and the first Decompression was centered on the streets around it. And so it was for the first 4 years. Mark was instrumental in shaping and merging the Burner and artists communities in L.A. He was a quietly powerful force of nature. Mark is missed, and he always will be. Deeply.
Thank you for listening… I just felt the need to say a few words as I process my incredible sadness. And I know I am not alone.
All that’s left to do is grieve this terrible loss and carry on. And carry on I intend to do, starting tonight, with the bright light of inspiration that was and always will be Mark Bava burning deeply in my heart.
I’m heading down to Little Pedro’s right now. 1st & Vignes. Downtown.
Rest in peace, my friends.
Mark Bava and the Owl
As posted to Facebook Oct. 21, one day later
An extraordinary thing happened this evening when I arrived home from work. I was on the phone talking to my girlfriend Brooke as I parked my car. As I walked down the narrow walkway that leads to my house, I looked up and saw perched on a telephone wire some sort of creature. I could not make out what it was. As I got closer, I started to describe what I was seeing to Brooke. It looked like a cat. But how can it be that a cat would be perched on a telephone wire in the middle of two telephone poles 50 yards apart? Quite unlikely.
It had pointy ears, like a cat. And it appeared to have fur rather than feathers. Brooke asked if it had a tail, which it did not. I went into the alley directly behind my house to where the animal was perched, (which happened to be right outside my bedroom window). I stood directly underneath the creature for some time. I finally saw that it was an owl, as I watched it turn its head back and forth 270 degrees. An owl with great big beautiful eyes.
Now, I have lived my entire life in this city and I can only recall two occasions where I had seen an owl within city limits, and both times the sighting was brief, and the owl was in flight with its massive wingspan in the dark of night. And yet, here I was, now standing in the alley behind my house directly underneath this amazing creature 20 feet above me. It was totally exposed, no trees for cover. Out in the open. Unusual for an owl.
This owl calmly gazed at me with its huge eyes. Unafraid. Unconcerned. Which is strange because owls are shy and they keep themselves pretty well hidden from sight. I stood there taking it all in, all the while describing to Brooke what I was seeing.
Brooke thought it was an interesting occurrence, given that Mark Bava had departed this plane of existence just yesterday. She then began to explain to me the symbolism of the owl in Native American cultures.
Here is an excerpt:
The most prevalent Native American symbolism of the Owl is one that is associated with death and spirits. Many Native American tribes viewed the owls as spirits of the dead, or the souls of the recently deceased. Some tribes also believe that the owl was a messenger of the underworld and carried spirits to the afterlife. Owls were also viewed as powerful spirit protectors and their feathers held great meaning and value.
Native American Belief
While Brooke was explaining, I was standing directly under this beautiful creature. As she finished telling me these Native American beliefs, and her words were sinking into my consciousness, the owl looked down at me again, paused… and then gently spread his/her majestic 6 foot wide wingspan and gracefully took flight, silently disappearing into the night.
Now, I’m not a religious person, if anything I’m more anti-religious, and I don’t necessarily believe in a spirit realm. And please don’t try to convince me otherwise. I find it to be boring, pretentious, and brutish. I try to keep my beliefs or lack thereof private, as I would hope others would do, too. However, this unusual situation would have been amazing on any given day, but taken in the context of Mark Bava’s untimely passing, the experience became remarkable. Having experienced this cosmic coincidence has brought some modicum of peace and calm to my mind and my heart in regards to our dear lost friend. And anything that brings you some modicum of peace in getting through this life is a good thing.
The timing was perfect. It was truly extraordinary. I was moved and soothed.
Be well my friends. Thanks for letting me share.
6TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES BURNING MAN DECOPRESSION
SATURDAY OCTOBER 4TH:
L.A. Burning Man Decompression coming at you! The following is an abridged version, since all this info has been repeated on other lists. For FULL INFORMATION, artist and performance lineups, set times, and recent updates visit the Los Angeles Burning Man Decompression website.
RAIN or SHINE.
Still Going Strong – 6th Annual L.A. Burning Man Decompression
Burning Man Decompression in L.A. is in a new location! Huge thanks to the Planning Team for pulling this off; we’re gathering at
the Los Angeles State Historical Park, AKA the Cornfield, this year. It’s still downtown, and the directions are below.
No more partying on the streets, now we have acres of beautiful lawn all with the amazing view of downtown we have always had. Be prepared to get your shoes dusty! The Cornfield is really a field, and the dust definitely kicks up while dancing.
One important note: The Decompression parking lot will be closing after the event, around midnight, so park mindfully, and make sure to read the parking notes if you are planning to attend an afterparty.
The location is at:
Los Angeles State Historical Park
1245 N. Spring Street, 9001
(See map below)
Time: The festivities will start at Noon and end at Midnight.
Cost: Admission to the event may be gained thusly:
$10 in costume or with a Metro Rail pass!
$20 in street clothes.
(Children under 12 are FREE!)
We are very grateful to the State Park Rangers for allowing us to use their wonderful location. When you see them around, tell them thanks. They have been truly great to work with.
Please check the L.A. Burning Man website for extensive details. You’ll be impressed, excited and filled with anticipation!
See you in the dust!
I’ve been doing a bit of traveling lately… seeing bits and pieces of this blue/green planet of ours in all its glory…. hence my sparse posting over the past couple of months… I know, I know, that’s no excuse. Therefore I’ve been hunting high and low for some kind of system that can be put into place to ensure that this list can continue with its free-flow of information, regardless of where I personally might be, or how much time I may or may not have on my hands… more on that later. I may need your help. Yeah, for sure, I’ll need your help…
It was this traveling that kept me away from the Playa this year. After 10 consecutive years at Burning Man, and always either being involved with a huge art project such as the Burning Man Opera, or just being the L.A. regional director (as I had been from 1999 – 2006), this year, being without a major Playa project for the first time ever, I caught the travel bug… I’ll post more on that later, as well. In the meantime, enjoy this little image of me enjoying myself on September 1st, the day the Man Burned. I was half a world away:
Additionally, it is this travel bug that will be keeping me away from yet another fantastic function, as today Saturday October 13th is the day for the
5th Annual L.A. Burning Man Decompression!
It was in 2003 that this exceptional festival was born. I’m proud to say that I was the L.A. Regional director that made it so. No, I can’t and won’t take credit for the creation of the event, as the team that came together had been an exceptional group of proactive super-cool something-or-others with whom I’d been hanging with for some time. For the most part, it is this team that continue to put the event together. The work is hard and for the most part, thankless… but it must be done… and so it is…
And when you and the rest of the community show up… well, as you know, that’s where the magic is. The juice. Alchemy. You know!
Now, without further ado, Ladies and gentlemen… freaks and misfits, spectators and participants…
Los Angeles Burning Man Decom Sreet Faire!
Says Marsi, (one of L.A.’s Regional directors):
Long time no speak, eh? We have been busy busy planning decompression and boy do we have treats for you! I have full info on Decompression, which is this Saturday October 13 listed below plus some special volunteer requests on top, and all other postings to the list below.
Hope to see you Saturday.
SPECIAL VOLUNTEER REQUESTS:
- EMT’s – Are you an EMT or MEDIC? If so, we would LOVE to have you join forces with our EMT team so that the folks we do have get some play time. If this describes you, please email email@example.com.
- We are blessed to have Peter Hudson, the creator of homouroboros, the amazing monkey/snake installation from the playa coming down from San Francisco. They have special volunteer needs as follows (should know how to use tools, but don’t have to be particularly masterful at building):
- We need 12 people on Friday morning (7am?) to help unload the truck and start building the base and about 6 people for the afternoon of building the top of the tree. Then we need 12+ people to help with tear down on Sunday morning after Decom. Everyone will get free passes into the event and get to work on on of the coolest piece of art on the playa and at Decom.
- If this is you, please email monica(at)thedolab(dot)com
Any other folks who would like to volunteer please email: monica(@)thedolab(dot)com
ART FROM THE PLAYA GALLERY (curated by Dale Youngman, our Decom Art Curator):
Opening Thursday Oct. 13th
“Fire in the Desert – Art from the Playa “
Featuring artwork from and about Burning Man 2007
At the Dale Youngman Gallery at the Regent
446 South main Street
View Larger Map
Part of the Downtown LA Artwalk from noon – 9 pm.
Please join us at this very special event as we celebrate the creative community that is Burning Man.
Featuring art by :
- Jim Bunkelman
- Christian the Blacksmith
- Stephen Gary
- Ryan Jessena
- Trish Keefer
- David Knudson
- Franklin Londin
- Linka Odom
- Jason Skinner
- Sean Sobczak
- Josh Weiss
- Zach Wasserman
Projections on Main Street by Bart Kresa
Documentary films in the adjacent Regent Theatre , including Burn Baby Burn by Steve Payne, Journey to the Flames by Doug Jacobson, and Nothing Without You by Ted Mattison. Coverage of this years festival by Current TV , including footage shot live of the Burn 2- 11 pm
Music by Dub Pscience 7-9 pm
The gallery and theatre event is also a kick-off for the annual Burning Man Decompression Street Fair, to be held Saturday Oct. 13 from noon until 11 pm. , at Santa Fe Ave. between 4th and 6th in the Artist District, downtown Los Angeles. Experience the art and culture of Burning Man at the biggest participatory celebration of Burning Man art and community without leaving the city ! Eleven hours of art, performance, live bands, DJs, fire, steam, dance, theme camps, art cars, green technologies, puppetry, circus, marching bands and Burning Man 2007 imagery. Tickets are $10 in creative wear/ $15 in street clothes. LaDecom is an annual fundraiser for the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF); the granting entity of Burning Man. A portion of proceeds from all sales will go to the Black Rock Arts Foundation.
The Burning Man Festival, the internationally recognized festival known as part radical experiment in community and self expression that annually takes place in the Nevada desert, grants over $300,000 a year for art projects at the festival. This exhibit will focus on the magnitude and creativity of some of those projects.
Show runs through Nov. 2. with a closing reception that night from 6-10 pm. 446 South Main Street, Downtown LA. Open Wed. and Fridays 2-6:30, Thursdays 2-8, weekends by appointment . Contact Dale Youngman – firstname.lastname@example.org / 213-458-3735
A percentage of sales proceeds will go to the Black Rock Arts Foundation, which contributes over $300,000 annually to fund special large scale projects. This show will feature photographs of some of those projects.
FULL DECOM DETAILS:
5th ANNUAL L.A. DECOMPRESSION STREET FESTIVAL
NEW LOCATION: Sante Fe between 4th and 6th St Bridge, Artist District Downtown LA
(see below for map and directions)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13th, Noon until 11 PM
$10 in Playa wear/$15 in non-Playa street wear
Children under 12 are FREE
rain or shine, it’s PLAYATIME!
It’s that time again! Time to grab those dusty boots you just don’t have the heart to clean off and experience the art, the culture and the thrill of Burning Man, brought to life on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. This is an annual event to bring the spirit of Burning Man alive in our community.
PARTICIPATE! Just like Burning Man, this event is put on through volunteer efforts. We are currently looking for volunteers the day of the event. If you are interested, please contact: email@example.com
This is an art event. Come, immerse yourself in eleven hours of art and performance with theme camps, art cars, art installations, street performers and 2007 imagery.
ARTISTS (in alphabetical order):
- ADAM MOSTOW
- ARMEN ZEITOUNIAN
- BILL GILMAN
- CHARLIE CURRY
- DAVID KNUDSON
- DAVID SHIELDS
- DON NORRIS
- JAMIE WEDOW
- JON JUSKIN
- LINKA ODOM
- MEGAN DEAINZA
- MICHAEL ALLEN
- MICHAEL WISNIEUX
- MIGUEL CABALLERO
- NICK BOSWELL
- NICOLAS BAUTA
- RAY CIRINO
- RYAN JESENA
- SEAN SOBCZAK
- STEPHEN GARY
- STEPHEN NORRINGTON
THEME CAMPS (in alphabetical order):
- BLACK ROCK YEARBOOK
- BOUNCY BOUNCE CAMP
- CLUB BABY SEAL PLUSH LOUNGE
- DISORIENT LOUNGE
- D’MAN’S LAIR
- FLATTERY CAMP
- GREEN TEAM ECO ZONE
- KRISHNA CAMP
- LA DREAM TEAM
- LA MUDPEOPLE
- ORAL MOISTENING CAMP
- PLAYA SURFERS
- SAGRADA BY DRAGON DEBRIS
- SPIRIT WIND CAF??
- SUN VALLEY CAMP
- TABULA RASA BEADING CAMP
8 stages featuring DJs, live bands, performance art, spoken word poetry, fire troupes, aerialists, workshops and lectures on sustainability, new green technology and the Earth friendly movement.
STAGES (in alphabetical order):
- FIRE STAGE
- GREEN LECTURE STAGE
- GREEN SECTOR
- LIVE DUMPSTER DIVE
- RUFF AND RA
- VENICE VIBE TRIBE
FEATURING THE MUSICAL TALENTS OF (in alphabetical order):
20 MEAT 6 FRY, 40 FT. JESUS, ALBINO, ANTON TUMAS, ARLAN’S ORGANISMS, AUDIO VOID, BONNIE DELIGHT DELIGHT, BRAIN GARDEN, BRASSWORK, BRIAN RAY, BROOKLYN, CARLY D/TAMO, CHAPLIN MXR, CHRIS RYAN, CONNIE JEAN, COOKIMON, COUSIN LOVERS, DAT GIRL (WITH HEAVENLY FATHER), DAVE SWEETEN, DAVID HUGHES, DIRT RYTHYMS, DISINTEGRATE, DJ ASTRAL, DJ CORY SAGE, DJ GUTI, DJ MYCHO PAN COCOA, DJ SEAMLESS, DMT, FANTUZI, FATFINGER, FLOW, FUXEDOS, THE GEOMETRIST, GODESS VIBE TRIBE, GOOFERMAN, HENRY STRANGE, HOWARD AMB, IMAGIKA, INTERACTIC GODDESS THEATER, JUSTIN PAUL, KIVA, LA MUD PEOPLE, LAZY SLAVE, LEE MAYJAHS, MANNY, MARQUES WYATT, MEE MU, MOJO W & VIBRATION ARMY, NICK THE NECK, NICOLA, NIELS MAYER, NIGEL RICHARDS, NOVATRON, ORIGINAL BOOTY BURGLARS, PETER JOBS, RENFEY, ROOTABREAKA, ROVER’S PINKY, RUFF HAUSER, RYANART, SAMANTHA GIRON DANCE PROJECT, SEDA/SQUARE ONE, SHADOW PORN THEATER, SPYROS, STEVE BOYETT, STILT CIRCUS, SUN BYTE, SWITCH MISTRESS, SYRENA, THE, LUMINARIES, THE MAGICAL HARP/HIGH PRIESTESS, THOMAS LANN, TIKO DRUMS, TODD SPERO, TOSHI, TREVOR, UCLA BATU, ULKULADY, UNITED BY SOUND, VENICE VIBE TRIBE/SATCHI OM, VIDEO MONTAGE, WARDEN AND JUNE, WARLORDS, YEH-BE-DE
Decompression is an opportunity to come together and share the art, performances, theme camps, photos, videos and stories from the playa; to re-connect with family and friends; and collaborate to create something new. It is, at its simplest, a reunion. But more significantly, it is a thoroughly participatory celebration of Burning Man art and community within our larger communities…