The following is a brief history, told by Sunshine, a Silicon Village member and part of the South Bay region for many of it’s years.
In 2003, another Silicon Valley High tech guy went to his first burn, returned totally transformed, and killed his TV. Not knowing any local burners, he invited those on the fledgling “Burning Silicon” regional list to gather around a fire in his backyard.
We took turns around the fire circle in late September 03, sharing our biggest visions for our little community. By August 04, this group of ~20 dreamers had manifested every outrageous fantasy we spoke, into being; including monthly regional gatherings and workshops, a large art burn (Pagoda of Infinite Reflection, 2004), and a large all-night celebration (the “Perfect Storm”, and “Burning Solstinox”, now the annual Burnal Equinox event in SF). The instigator of that fateful fire circle became known as Sunshine, and that backyard “Club Z”.
The dream shared at that fire by then Regional Co-Coordinator Gidget was establishing a regional camp, open to all. By March, Sunshine and close friend Curtis established Burning Silicon Camp as a thank you gift for her, modeled after the successful Solo Collective – a camp model where generator infrastructure is shared, but everything else is up to small groups following the 10 Burning Man Principles.
Our first year of 2004, we had about 100 campers, a big gennie, a shared public shade structure & snuggle tent, a big team at the Pagoda every day, and little else except pioneering spirit. We all loved the results, and the first major regional camp at Burning Man was born.
In 2005, Sunshine’s wife Glimmer became camp mayor, and laid down a strong organizational foundation for the future as camp size doubled to make us one of the largest camps at BRC. She asked for a bench so we wouldn’t have to sit in the dust. Sunshine doodled up a slotted plywood love seat, which blossomed into Playatech.com, one of the most popular ongoing art projects on the playa and a signature design feature of the camp to this day.
From 2006 through the present, our camp has been well over 200, well organized, and filled with “pods” using the 10 Principles to bring powerful experiences to the people of our city. Each mayor built on the experiences of before, and evolution continued under the reins of Diane Dulmage, Eric Haugen (Sawdust), Twisty, KathyKat, CoolDaniel, and currently ProjectBoy.
Burning Silicon ultimately became so successful as a camp and regional community that it could not possibly sustain its path, and didn’t. In (don’t recall the year), BMORG invited us to cease using the word “Burning” except to describe things actually on fire, and in the ensuing chaos the local community decided to separate the camp entity from the regional organization. So, Burning Silicon Camp became “Silicon Village”, and the Burning Silicon Region became the South Bay Burners.
Thanks for keeping the fire we lit in late 2003 burning bright. I look forward to seeing you soon and dusty!!!