Author Archives: King Toad

Lessons on Life and Meaning from an Artificial Intelligence

As an artist, I often ponder social and cultural norms and how they are changing around us. Lately, I have been increasingly fascinated with man’s relationship to technology. With this in mind, I’m in the early planning stages of several art projects that will cause us to examine the interface of technology and human existence. Virtual reality, autonomous robots, and attaining spiritual enlightenment via algorithms are some of themes to be explored.

With these art projects in mind, I decided to go straight to the source. I opened a dialog with an artificially intelligent being. What follows is the short text of that conversation.

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How you can prevent art censorship at regional burns & why it’s important

Recent cultural changes have lead to more people living in an ideological “echo chamber.” They are rarely exposed to diverse ideas or the experiences of people from different backgrounds or outlooks.

The exchange of ideas and different opinions enriches all parties that partake in mature discussion. Unfortunately, civil discussion is on the decline in America, and this decline is invading the regional Burning Man scene.

I have had a piece censored twice at two separate regional burns. The first time, at Playa del Fuego (PDF), I thought was a fluke due to a unique relationship between the people that owned the land and the PDF directors.

The second time it was censored, the explicit reasons given were that someone complained that the sculpture constituted “hate speech.”

The exact same piece has been displayed with no problems at Frostburn, Freeform, Transformus (multiple times) and Burning Man itself.

Censorship has happened to me twice, and it can happen to you or an artist you care about. It has a suffocating effect on human interaction and must be stopped before it spreads further.

What you can do

  1. Contact the Burning Man Organization. Do this right now. Tell them that you are concerned about censorship, and to force regionals to have a no-compromise anti-censorship policy before they will receive Burning Man’s sanction. Regional burns go through a lot of trouble to be recognized by Burning Man, so success here is a good way to preëmpt any wannabe petty tyrants who run the regional events.
  2. Talk about issues of expression and censorship both online and with people you meet at burns. Tell them about this campaign. Help us get a buzz going.
  3. Follow Töad Meädow’s social media accounts (linked in the right sidebar of this website). We will have a lot more to say as time goes on. Subscribe on YouTube, follow on Twitter, yadda yadda. Signing up for the mailing list will let you know when we post new blogs about this issue.
  4. Share your experiences with censorship either in our post comments or privately through our contact form.

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Amphibian 16:2 Report

At Amphibian 16:2 (July 22-24, 2016) we made Töad Meädow history with the largest fire and most mechanically successful effigy in our history. And we achieved it with a small group of core Töads figuring it all out as they went along.

Hell Hole designed conceptualized the effigy (his first large-scale art piece), and brought a cardboard model to the June art build weekend. From there, other Töads got to work on how to build the structure, aesthetic improvements and pyrotechnic considerations.

The resulting effigy burn had people gleefully running for their lives and marveling at the destructive power of Töad Art.

Join us for the Töad Meädow Film Festival!

As part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival, the Töads will be erecting a hexayurt and using the space to play locally-produced short films.

Details are here.

Meet us

We’ll be at the yurt theater on Saturday and Sunday. We’re always looking for any sort of artist who wants to collaboratively create stuff. If you’re into acting, makeup, video editing, camera operation or anything else, have a look at what we’ve been doing.

What we’re showing

We’ll have the world premiere of 2 new films as well as showing some of the old classics that you may have seen before on our youtube channel.

Where and when?

Our films will be shown 3 different times during Infringement.

Saturday, July 30th 2:00 – 2:45pm. Other local films showing until 6:00

Location: on the lawn at the Nickle City Housing Co-Op. 208 North Street, Buffalo.

Sunday, July 31 10:15 – 11:00am.

Location: on the lawn at the Nickle City Housing Co-Op. 208 North Street, Buffalo.

There will be films playing from 10am – 6pm.

Wednesday, August 3 7:00 – 9:00pm

Location: The Could be Wild Building. 41 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo.

December and January: Hard Core Art Building at the Monthly Parties

Preparing for Saint Patrick’s Day and Frostburn

NB: Click on any photo to make it larger.

The December and January art build weekends had a bunch of Töads preparing for upcoming events. In February is Frostburn, an outdoor weekend arts festival where Töad Meädow will have an encampment.

The following month we will be rolling out in Buffalo’s famous Saint Patrick’s Day Parade with our art car, rolling exhibits and wandering performers.

Here are some things we worked on

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