2007 Honorarium Installations
A dreamcraft of steel, leather, and wood, with spewing flames and incandescence, Acavallo is a carousel from somewhere in the future’s past, designed in a linear fashion. Rideable, saddled horses fly in pairs side by side – rising, falling, pitching slightly fore and aft in a levitating gallop, transported slowly on a 60-ft long deck that drifts lazily across the cracked floor of the desert. Part Coney Island, part ship off-course, it bears a live music stage at the stern, with the musicians of the playa its calliope.
A 40′ long mobile Ant represents the worker, one who creates a beautiful structure for the community. Throughout the week, citizens will see the ant transporting forty 5′ square sugar cubes out to the abyss where it will stack them in what becomes a beautiful sugar palace that glows at night.
The Apocalypse is an ancient and mythical “stage”coach puppet theater that has been traveling the earth for thousands of years collecting stories, legends and music about the end of the world. It is pulled by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (a team of four bicycles) named Calamity, Carcinoma, Hegemonia, and Holy Mess.
Big Rig Jig
Big Rig Jig is a rumination on power as manifest in the relationship between humankind and nature. We hope to instill thoughts of wonder, fear, instability, nature, and beauty. And we are going to do this by literally cutting up pieces of the oil industry and thrusting them into the air. The sculpture is fashioned from real oil tankers and filled with lush silk plant life, a reminder of the ultimate source of the black gold once transported inside them.
Our source objects are fundamental to the world’s oil distribution infrastructure, and are pertinent examples of our culture’s unmatched production of carbon dioxide. By altering these symbolically rich objects, the sculpture is a celebration of humankind’s raw power on earth, a visual metaphor for non-sustainability, and a contemplation of our unique ability to recognize and change our most destructive actions.
Bike Rack is an archway, 30′ tall, 40-50′ long, made entirely out of reused bicycle parts. The environment at the Burning Man event is full of visual rhythm, and bicycles are the most dynamic part of that rhythm. This archway is an attempt to capture and manipulate that visual energy. The arch explodes outward, creating a gallant entrance to Center Camp and in fact creating a whole environment. Every participant on a bicycle becomes part of the sculpture. Building the arch with bikes reclaimed from garbage dumps and recycling centers fits perfectly with the 2007 green theme. Bike Rack was inspired by the artist’s trip to Arches National monument. An arch is symbolic of many powerful things, like victory and balance, and appears throughout history. Its context and meaning is open to interpretation; for this artist, making sculpture is striving for a sense of victory personally and collectively.
Originally created for Burning Man 1999, the Bone Tree returns to the playa to celebrate the Green Man. This mobile tree is made of hundreds of animal skulls and bones, and will move around the playa, emitting its own soundtrack.
The Burninator X is a very large playa-scale fire installation – a set of flame towers arranged in a cross, in an area of approximately 1/2 million square feet. This is the third in the Burninator series, bigger than ever. It uses the expanse of the playa to create 2-dimensional patterns and sequences of flame, controllable by the spectator. Standing near the towers, the rush of flames is felt moving at near the speed of sound; from far away, the patterns of fire it creates will be visible from anywhere in the city, and for miles around.
Four flaming steel candelabra trees, from 12 to 17′ tall, are placed 25 feet apart at the four points of the compass, surrounding a steel figure within a flaming moat. The figure is Belisama, the Celtic goddess of fire, light, the forge, and crafts, and the muse of poetry and music. Belisama is chained to several steel sculptures, each aflame.
The Cone is made up of two cones; one is turning around the other one. The inner cone is a fixed structure that supports and holds the outer cone, which is rotatable, attached to the inner one. Both consist of a bearing structure made of spirally fixed timber slats. The construction method is according to the principals of the Russian engineer Suchow: to create the layers as thin as possible and to avoid huge beams in the structure. The surfaces of the two bodies have a virtually homogenous faηade, which appears as one simple body. People and wind will keep the outer Cone in rotation while several dynamos on the inside are generating electricity. Depending on how much energy can be produced the dynamos will power a light beam and several other light effects. Thus people can immediately enjoy the self-produced energy inside and outside the construction.
Cornucopic Contraptions of the Green Man
The contraptions Man, Woman and the Waking rooster, Mr. Nice Guy, Hot Mama and the Red Hot Cock are metal fire caldron effigies of fertility reflecting the need for a new perspective and change in the use of fuel for life in times ahead. The literal transfer of solar energy (sun) through the tree is the focus of this all natural night time heat source and entertaining “fire TV show”. They entice and warm participants as they make their way around the playa in their nightly brigade.
Nine figurative steel sculptures, weighing 7 tons each and standing 30′ tall, embody the faithful. In their various poses of worship from around the world, they bow down and reach forth to the Revered Oil Derrick, that icon of the religion which now stands above all others. The Derrick is a 90′ tall wooden tower with stairs all the way to the sky. At any time, 200 people can amass on its upper platform while below, the nine faithful belch their fiery prayers from within and around their bodies. Each figure is bound by a participant-activated fire effect, created by Pyrokinetics. On Friday night at 10 pm, as the air raid siren wails and the battleship smoke generator pours forth its malevolent cloud, the Revered Oil Derrick will light up with a fire display like none before or ever after. A flame gusher will then explode from the center of the tower, creating 2.4 gigawatts of raw power in only one minute. You will bear witness to the largest flame cannon in history and the tower will fall.
At the strike of noon on Saturday, we invite everyone to welcome a new day and to participate in the secret completion of this artistic installation/performance.
This 20′ diameter light sculpture functions like an orrery and contains a multitude of orbiting prisms, each rotating at different speeds. Each has its own satellites, moons and asteroids which also rotate around the largest respective mass. Above a central mirrored sphere is a solar collector that focuses the sun’s light outward through the rotating prisms. Some of the orbiting prismatic vessels contain bioluminescent algae and water. A green power station is located fifty feet from the center of the piece. On top of the power station are two sets of solar arrays (to power the lighting and supplement orbiting motions) providing deep shade for a stationary, two-seated bicycle. One or two participants can power the the speed of the orbits while continuously charging batteries for night time lighting.
Fata Morgana is located in the Keyhole in center camp.
Green Glass Man
Walking the dusty, desolate playa, one comes to a set of wrought-iron gates reaching high above one’s head. They are prickled with bits of glass made into swirling & fantastical shapes, Walk thru them & come to an open area with the head of the Green Man mounding up out of the earth, nearly as tall as you are. He is festooned with gleaming green glass leaves & other odd shapes. He has glowing eyes, and as his mouth opens, one sees it is filled with the fiery honey of molten glass. Glassblowers throw green glass bottles into the glowing mouth of the furnace. The glass blends with the ever-present playa dust & it is all transmuted to glowing plasma. Audience members are encouraged to come forward and press a coin in the image of the Green Man. This is a living art project.
The Green Dot/Green Shoes is a light pulsing, interactive soundscape couched inside a frog pond. As participants pass through a veil of frog voices they are detected within the interior field of hundreds of pulse-luminous shoes. Frogs quiet at the approach, individual shoes light, and as the viewer passes, they play sounds from the realms of the world: marine, terra and the interior world: water, animal noises, bird calls, breath and heart beats. An overlapping aural map of the world pulses into life and dissipates with the passage of each visitor. This installation is a healing intention for the Burning Man community and for the Green world.
Guardian of Eden
She is the Sacred Lotus of ancient creation myth and the avatar of enlightenment. She is the Life Force of all that is struggling to survive on this dying planet. She is the Guardian of Eden. Her origins evolved from a cross-pollination of Hindu and Egyptian creation mythologies, Buddhist symbolism and the ancient symbol of the life force of creation, the Flower of Life.
An imposing 18-foot tall plasma-cut steel lotus flower, this Guardian symbolizes Earth’s creator and protector. Her intention is to further the awareness of interconnectedness of all life by gathering us together to be enfolded in her symbolic seat of enlightenment. For it is within this awareness that we might nurture our desire to care for her spirit, and realize, in turn, that her survival is intimately connected to our own. Enfolded in her petals, we contemplate that we too can be creators and sustainers of our world, and, more significantly, we too are its Guardians.
Kinetic Steam Works (KSW) is a Bay Area industrial arts collective dedicated to bringing steam power + steam art + kinetic art together, creatively. We started our collaboration in 2005 to explore and re-purpose the artifacts of clockwork modernity. Steam power is beautiful, rhythmic, and evocative. Earthy like an elephant, it cant be missed! Our main engine is a huge 1920 Case Traction Engine. This year were providing steam to the Steampunk Tree House, many smaller kinetic art projects, and a large carousel. Well also cruise the playa pulling our fiery Tender behind us at blistering yet leisurely top speeds of up to 2.5 MPH. There will be space enough for participants to ride on the Tender.
An oversize human figure crouches on the playa with its legs ready to move, pounce or play. The figure reflects restraint, knowledge and wisdom while still feeling anxious, excited and oblivious. An audio/visual element lies embedded within its flower/tentacle head. Koilos is a Greek word which means hollow.
Le Museum de Materiel Retrouve
LE MUSEUM DE MATERIEL RETROUVΙ or Museum of Reused Items is an art museum dedicated to recycled materials. The structure’s exterior features geometric designs built in reclaimed cardboard. Its interior contains an assortment of sculptures and 2D art which are reproductions of famous artworks done entirely in recycled materials. During the day one can attend a guided tour of the Museum led by an experienced docent. At night listen to an automated tour powered by your own exertion. Experience the beauty of recycled materials elegantly employed while at the same time learning about art history.
The Mechabolic: Cyborg speculations in machine metabolism
The Mechabolic project is a large-scale bio-imitative installation of hydrocarbon and carbohydrate based fuel production and consumption. Our goal is a large-scale, fantastical, bio-machine hybrid -a burlesque of the “synthetic metabolism” of machines- re-rendering internal combustion engines and their related fuels as the biological organs and processes from which they were copied.
Neverwas Haul & Grand Steam Expedition
Neverwas Haul is a self-propelled 3-story Victorian House made from 75% recycled equipment and materials, based on a Jules Verne-inspired imaginary world where steam technology is considered cutting edge. Participants interact with the intrepid explorers of the Academy of Unnatural Sciences by viewing the specimens and trophies of their travels. Additionally, demonstrations of steam-generated “green” projects on the Grand Steam Expedition Stage include a solar distiller, a steam generator, and a bio-peat mill which utilizes waste from the Steam Camp: gray water, paper products, and coffee grounds. All participants are welcome to interact as fellow explorers or “natives” and to join the Academy in its explorations, either on the Haul as it transverses the playa or at the Stage. The Stage is also a venue for performers, lecturers and actors interested in Victorian-style entertainment. The Neverwas Haul and the Academy interact with other steam-based art installations.
Samhain: Into her Dreaming
From the earth comes a tree. The tree becomes a building and in time is demolished. Dense wood destined for a landfill is rescued, experimental art is created, and the land becomes canvas. The vessel is a vehicle for contemplation. Each day we wake with the sunlight and sleep upon nightfall. Another layer of this cycle repeats itself with the waking spring and the long night of fall. Bridging cultural awareness, influences include ancient Celtic paganism, unearthed ship burials of old England, and the scaffold internments of the Great Plains Natives of North America. Samhein also expands as a musical instrument, the perimeter tensioned with 24 strings radiating from the middle chamber. Details include joinery fastened entirely with wooden dowels, and two urns placed at feet of the green man, each containing shared written truths.
Imagine a world in which there aren’t natural trees anymore maybe there are a few left in special National Maximum Security Parks. Maybe the memory of a tree is so far gone from living memories that people try to recreate what they imagine they’ve lost using another sort of Romantic imagery, one of machinery, scavenged gears, gathered belts, haunted steam pipes, gleaned gauges, rusty metal and gobs and gobs of steam. In short, though our natural world may change, the human drive to connect with it and one another remains; it is second nature. Enter the Steampunk Tree House!
SWARM is a large scale kinetic art piece. It consists of a number of robotic spheres directed by a mothership, actuated by motors, and guided by GPS to create moving formations evocative of the animal world and the world of dance. They are simple, but together they behave in ways more complex than one could predict; a lot like life.
Tasseograph: The Trash TeaHouse Temple
Hard to describe but beautiful to behold, the Tasseograph is a temple constructed entirely from found objects and food packaging. Meticulously detailed, this art project is a precious space created from non-precious materials. By replacing the gold and marble surfaces of traditional temples with aluminum can adornments and bottle-cap mandalas, we hope to inspire others to see everyday trash as beautiful, to save everyday trash and use itnot because it is responsible or right or necessary to recycle, but because people are excited about the materials and the medium. Throughout the week, tea ceremonies (tasseography is the mystical art of reading tea leaves) and other performances will highlight this deep-playa venue and intrepid participants are welcome to be a part of this intimate but grand experiment in trash alchemy.
Temple of Forgiveness
This year’s temple features four grand entrance halls that converge onto a central altar. Above the altar the open tower projects to the sky, letting the energy flow dynamically through the structure. As you approach, you see the central tower rising above the flanking entrance halls; at the top are long curving beams that reflect the arc of the sky. Clad with intricately cut and layered wood, the Temple is a vehicle for remembrances and blessings, promises and forgiveness.
U-Me: The Unfortunate Monkey Experience
Crash-landed at Burning Man 2007, a space capsule lies on its side, partially imbedded in the playa due to tremendous impact. Upon closer inspection of the damage, one can see strange markings of a defunct eastern block country and an unlocked escape hatch. Upon entry, one is greeted by charred outdated technology and a robotic chimpanzee. Seated at the co-pilot controls, a challenge is put forth to perform the correct launch codes that will launch the frustrated monkey back into space where he belongs.