Salonista Profile – Jaki Levy

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Profiles | No Comments

( profile by Yum Yum )

2014 Camper of the Year and First Inductee into Salon Soleil Hall of Fame Jaki Michel Levy a/k/a Dr. Feelgood Unicorn Fuzzycuffs III

Burning Man 2014

  • Born Sept. 5, 1979.
  • Astrology Sun in Virgo – Moon in Aquarius – Libra Rising.
  • First Year on Playa: 2009 via e-playa’s cross-country rideshare.
  • First Year as Salonista: 2010
  • Duties: Committee Chairman for SS Web Committee (www.salonsoleil.org); Truck Crew 2010-2014
  • Volunteer on Burning Man Web Team since June 2013

In the mid 1960s, two star-crossed Jewish clubbers locked eyes at ‘Absalom’ in Copenhagen. When Rosa, the youthful local beauty, realized that Menachy, the dark handsome Iraqi foreigner, was swirling across the dance floor directly to her, the earth moved. Shortly thereafter, Menachy moved to Sao Paolo, Brazil and called for her a year later: ‘marry me.’

Rosa accepted the lure from across the globe with a man whom she barely knew, but could not resist. Fifteen years later, in that land of tropical heat and dangerous curves, Rosa and Menachy created Simone, and a few years later, Jaki. The family moved to a Brazilian enclave in South Florida in the mid 1980s and graciously hosted a constant stream of travelers from around the world.

Simone, a bombshell stylist, and Rosa still live in Hollywood, FL. Jaki left to NYU Theater School in 1998, where he majored in Theater and then created his own major of Art & Technology. During the brief stint that followed in Baltimore, Jaki co-created progressive anti-Bush documentaries and led a radical reading group. He attended NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in 2005 to focus on an interdisciplinary art and technology/engineering graduate degree. While doing community organizing around art and technology, working with dance companies, and running a meet-up group, he met Salonistas Rob Faludi, Robert Moon, Leif Krinkle and Kate Hartman. ‘Bay Lights‘ creator Leo Villareal had already graduated. Jaki was fortunate enough to take the last semester of his education in 2007 to be with his father, Menachy, during the final months of his life…leukemia.

Jaki returned to Brooklyn and continued working with art and technology. As he listened to the stories of New York Salonistas about Burning Man, like his mother before him, Jaki could not resist the strong call to a foreign and unknown place that could create magic and transform his world. Enter the soon to be Dr. Feelgood Unicorn Fuzzycuffs III to the playa in 2009, to Salon Soleil in 2010 and to the Bay Area in 2012. The rest is history.

Jaki’s major loves about Burning Man are seeing old friends, experiencing the synchronicity of random encounters, appreciating the creative and theatrical vibe of everyone and seeing the projects of NYU’s ITP Grad School coming to life on the playa. “It’s the perfect breeding ground for left-brained, right-brained technology,” he muses. “I really see it as a festival to celebrate the community not accepting the status quo through creation and coordination instead of an expectation of service based on money.”

Our Unicorn would much rather serve creatives with water mistings and an introduction to Salon Soleil’s Do-Me Domes. He is immensely grateful for the camp’s supportive collaboration in the 2014 truck challenge.

“You can’t buy that; it comes from love and heart,” sighs Jaki, as he holds one fuzzy paw to the red glow of his heart through a lab coat…and gazes out into the distance…

You can check out photos from Jaki’s first burn with Salon Soleil here : https://www.flickr.com/photos/jackomo/sets/72157624773399711

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