2001 Black Rock City Art Installations
Amazing Larry's Lucky Seven Ages
Dubbed “Amazing Larry’s Cube Club”, two 16′ tall bright red dice house a cozy, downtempo jazz nightclub, bar and casino (with a beautiful view of our amazing city in the distance behind them).
One die contains a small stage where our house band and vocalist perform. The second die houses our bar, as well as an array of casino games. Chips will be given out as gift/barter items at the door.
Two stained glass beehives provide meditative spaces for those inclined to the hive mind.
This installation is about the beauty and wonder of birth and rebirth. It is meant to be a giant (15′) grass seedling pushing out of the ground and heading for the sky. The experience of this sculpture is meant to emulate the process of searching and rebirth in our lives.
Boggle a la Burning Man
150 multi-colored wooden alphabet cubes will rest on the playa. People will be able to express themselves by spelling out whatever is on their minds at that moment.
It’s a 16 foot tall replica of Marcel Duchamp’s Roto-Relief sculpture.
The 18-foot flaming tetherball returns to the playa. Through the night a ball of fire hovers, swoops and spirals over the playa. Temporal eddies actuate this haphazard pendulum as it records playa time with awesome precision.
An 8′ X 8′ frame contains low-wattage (5mw) lasers each emitting light in a vertical column. As each of the beams are broken, tones are generated by an electronic musical instrument system and broadcast into the space by a low-wattage sound system. As people interact with the sculpture, it changes the dynamics of the soundscape. Effectively this is like playing a light “harp” with invisible strings, but the effect is more complicated. Depending on the number of people and in which ways the interaction takes place, much more complex sounds can occur.
Crucifixion of the Soul
A wooden cross approx 10 feet high is papered with fashion magazine covers and a female torso is crucified on the center of the cross. Next to the cross on a story board is the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver.
Delicate Balance is a solar-powered black light geodesic dome with pentagonal canvasses representing five essential truths in a cybernetic hieroglyphic form on the exterior surfaces. This dome is a totem to the embodied truths of two lovers Svye and Siri communing together in divine union. The five essential truths illuminated on the exterior are: Self, Work, Union, Play, and Moment of Transcendence.
On the stark open playa, remarked by the glaring sun, a patch of what appear to be easels catches the sunlight and casts long shadows. Upon closer inspection, it’s revealed that these easels have no support for paintings, but are themselves the fruit of creation. Take pictures of them, with them, through them, view your world as art framed by these colorful easels.
Ephemeral Nexus, The Labyrinth Project
The Labyrinth is an archetypal symbol which holds the experience of wholeness and unity for all who enter. Walking the Labyrinth is an ancient spiritual act of pilgrimage symbolizing one’s walk with God or journey through life.
FireTime is a six foot tall digital clock made from metal tubing, solenoids and micro-controllers. It burns propane gas to display the time in digital format. Time is kept accurately using a satellite GPS system fed into a programmed circuit board controlling propane solenoids to gas burners in the shape of four figure eights.
Flags of Pacifica
A collection of flags that creates a rain forest of color, pattern and movement, this island encourages interaction by attracting participants to immerse themselves in the motion and sounds of the flags flying in the wind.
Flex Fire is a frame containing linear images made of flex wire, a flammable, malleable wire. Each night visiting German fire sculptor Norbert created and burned a new image.
An antique floor lamp reimagined for the city of the future, BRC, this plastic sculpted moonscape reflector bowl, goofy cast rubber space ship, and subtly strobed woven el-wire shade doesn’t so much cast light as gather darkness.
A gate beckons… will the beholder open it and go through?
Genetically Engineered Corn
A field of solar powered corn stands guarded by a businessman sentinel. Bills of money and a copy of the bulletin “Hazards of Electrically Engineered Foods and Crops” peak out of the briefcase he’s holding. The cell phone in his other hand remains quiet, well outside of any service range… Solar cells in the leaves of the corn plants charge a set of batteries during the day. At night, a hidden microprocessor powers the LED lights in the glass corn ears.
The shell of a 10′ diameter sphere is covered in blue paper with an outline of all the land that makes up the earth, filled in with one dollar bills. Five skeletons attached to the globe try to free the earth.
Inside and Outside the Cosmos
My project is about the dynamic interaction between shapes and structure and strength in nature. Essentially this is a three frequency icosahedric sphere.
A mannequin paddles a kayak embedded in the playa.
The intent of the “Knitting Lessons” project is to create a giant knitted sweater-shaped work of art as an offering to the Burning Man. The piece will be knitted using long strips of cotton fabric for the yarn and 6" diameter, 10′ long cardboard tubes for the needles. Anyone from the Burning Man community is welcome to assist with the knitting (lessons provided) and/or donate clothing or other natural fiber materials to be incorporated into the piece.
La Rificolona is a folding lantern which opens into a half moon on the face of the playa like two fans with their tips arcing together. It is 20.5 feet high, 20 feet wide and 41 feet long. It is built of canvas and bamboo, pivoting on steel pipes. La Rificolona can be opened to allow participants to enter.
Drum to your soul’s content on Corndog’s re-purposed junk-metal sculpture, “Sonic Rocketship 000″. Earplugs and leather gloves recommended for extended crushing.
Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom
I am making a small field of 500 – 1000 artificial sunflowers. They will be placed at a spacing of about 1 yard, resulting in an area of about 25 yards square.
A single storyboard with burning man photograph and a poem invites participants to “leave everything you know behind”. Adjacent to the storyboard will be a small wooden box with cards and instructions for participants to write whatever they want to “leave behind” on a card and place it in the box. The night of the burn I will bless all the cards and burn them with the Man. The storyboard and box will be encircled by Tibetan prayer flags on four 10 foot poles to create sacred space.
By night, Light Compass is a navigational aid which provides guidance to those exploring the outer playa. Aligned with Earth’s magnetic field, it will glow with four colors of light corresponding to North, South, South, and West. By day, Light Compass invites participants to share their wisdom with others. Pens will be provided.
The magic 8 ball meets the wheel of fortune. People will think of a yes/no question (“will I make it back to camp in time for cocktail hour?”), give the 8′ diameter wheel a spin, and get their answer based on where the pointer ends up (“all signs point to yes”).
Marty is a tropical garden outpost in which to restore travelers’ vitality for their journey back across the desert.
Museum of 10,000 Wonderful Things
It’s a recreation of a traditional natural history/anthropology/ethnographic museum featuring exhibits, texts, and dioramas.
Playa Bells is a welded metal participatory sculpture and musical instrument. Created specifically for the BM community, the bells are there to be struck and played.
Psyche’s Windows is an octagonal gazebo beyond the Man, featuring 8 different kinds of windows suspended by white ropes through which citizens of Black Rock may view their city and the surrounding desert environment. They will be clairvoyant portals for the mythic lovers Psyche and Eros. Writing materials will be available and pillows and rugs will afford relaxation.
Riding Man, a mobile, kinetic pyro-sculpture, is a life-size man made of rebar welded onto half of a mountain bike, which is attached to a functional bicycle. He has ankle, knee and hip joints and can pedal everywhere the bike rider goes. Covered in Kevlar wicking and doused with kersosene, he appears from a distance to be a flaming bicyclist.
A 10 ft. wind-powered pendulum will scribble with a pen on paper that is secured on a table, driven by a copper vane on the top.
Searching for Carrots
A female figure on her toes, arms spread, balances a sphere on her head, spinning in circles with the wind.
Seven Ages of Spam
7 cans of Spam, 7 plates. Each day another of the cans will be opened and emptied onto its plate. As the Spam faces and overcomes its life challenges through the event, we will be able to witness it using all of our senses.
This large scale (40′ high) sculptural windmill of steel and fabric contains seven individual rotors which dance with each other in slow, graceful play with the wind.
Triangular Tensegrity Tower
Tensegrity is a concept developed by artist Kenneth Snelson and coined by Buckminster Fuller, by which a structure uses struts to provide rigidity while remaining separate, not touching one another, held in stasis only by means of tensed wires. This is a beautiful triangular tower of copper, spiraling upward in a six-pointed star, its struts not touching one another, held securely in place only by the tension of steel cables matched against their own rigidity.
One can walk through this cylindrical tunnel of flaming metal tubing.
Twinkie Henge and Assorted Snack Food Art
Just like the real one only made with materials that will last longer.
This is a piece about the superficial self and the dangers of allowing it to dictate action. You will be literally confronted with your own perception of your external self and asked to look beyond it.
This tall, stylized plywood figure of a woman returns to the playa to bring female energy to her surroundings.
A fifteen-foot tree sprouts foliage made of paperback books; on the tree are twenty knotholes which play random 6-minute looping soundtracks of all sorts of things from water to bowling. A few radio headsets hang like fruit from the branches and play faint music. Participants must strain to hear the sounds, as if listening to a whisper.
Word Up Project
The Word Up Project is a 16 foot high by 27 foot wide 4 letter word with each letter constructed of extremely bright lights that can be seen for over 2000 feet. The controls are open and the letters can be changed by anyone walking by to create any word they want to visually broadcast to the rest of the playa. The resulting image is an enormous, .constantly morphing word that directly reflects the people who are participating, as well as the amount of participation overall. The Word Up Project is a tribute to graffiti and all bombers.
Deep in the open playa, you find a traditional road-construction sign, “Workers Ahead.” Just beyond is a 20′ x 20′ square of traffic cones. Inside is a single worker in an orange safety vest, hitting an iron plate with a sledgehammer every 15 seconds. Participants who engage the worker may find themselves the new worker, and the pattern repeats.