Feb 18 2013

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About Ulan

Ulan McKnight Burning Man 2012My name is Ulan McKnight. I graduated college in 1987 having studied Mechanical Engineering and Political Science. I had dreams of going to Tanzania and applying my knowledge to build wells, roads and bridges. My goal was to break the oppression of colonialism by creating an alternative societal paradigm away from the exchange economy and towards intentional communities based around shared interests without the need to place value on our labor.

I was working at Boeing-Vertol on helicopter blade design when a number of Huey helicopters returned from suppressing a rebellion in South America. My boss rushed me out to see “the blood stains” that were still on the side of the helicopters. A visiting lecturer asked if I would be interested in helping Apartheid South Africa develop concrete housing for their nuclear reactor. It seemed like everything I might want to work on would only contribute to more suffering.

Fast forward 25 years to Burning Man 2012. Within 12 hours of arrival I realized I had let my engineering lay dormant for too long. I was stunned by the creativity of the artists and the openness of the community. I spent a day with Ian and his group Movement of Jah People. Ian had been for the first time the year before and returned home resolved to bring a mutant vehicle to the Playa the following year. I decided that day to follow in his footsteps and build a mutant vehicle for 2013.

And here we are. It is February 18 and our camp (The Pongo Lounge) has a truck, a space to build, a name (UNAVERZ). We hold our first “UNAVERZ Builders” meeting tomorrow night at 8pm.

Woot! =)

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