(Part of Charnival). 2πr. Two concentric rings. The inner ring detects movement and translates it into fire exploding up from the ground on the outer ring. Presented without any visible theme, it is a blank slate for the user to perform upon. It seems to lend itself to thoughts of magic, though it could just as easily be seen as a tool for a performer, a conductor’s orchestra, or any number of other interpretations.
Emerging from the study of geometry in sacred architecture, this artwork has been inspired by the dendritic forms of medieval vaulting. Medieval architects used the arched geometry of ribs and vaulted ceilings to achieve a soaring lightness and elevate the spirit; the architecture had a spiritual function. We have digitized these geometries and manipulated them in parametric models to design a contemporary structure that achieves the same objective.
The Arbour celebrates life through geometry, which underlies the structure of so many life-forms. The Arbour’s soaring ribs draw our gaze heavenwards and inspire us to reach for the stars.
Axayacoatl (pronounced: ah-shy-ah-co-ah-tul, meaning: serpent mask) is a 20’ tall, 13’ wide copper effigy of Quetzalcoatl’s mask with a translucent copper screen warrior in his mouth. Flame effects and interactive LED lighting allow participants “behind the curtain” to put on an impressive display to those approaching. Large physical levers and wheels form the interface for participants who want to play “wizard” to those approaching the mask. Participants may climb his stair stepped tongue, enter the room created by the swallowed warrior’s head and look out through his eyes.
Welcome to the Coney Island of the MInd! Surrounding the Funhouse Maze structure this year, is an interpretation of traditional sideshow banners from the 1930s to the 1950s. Often hawking the lurid, morbid or the taboo, banners lured the carnival “peeps” to spend their nickles to see the forbidden exhibits “on the inside”.
Billed as “ALIVE!- SHOCKING!- AMAZING!”- and brightly colored, sideshow banners were the alluring bait that made the sideshow a fixture of the carnival culture for more than a century.
In recent years, sideshow art has gone from being nearly forgotten, to being recognized as a uniquely American cultural art form.
Step right up! Stop! Look through he doorway!! It’s all on the inside!
Be the Menagerie
Be the Menagerie
Be the Menagerie is a common interactive carnival amusement extraordinarily done. A Tintamarresque for photo ops, the creatures to be inhabited are imagined from various epochs and contextual sources—mytho-mechanical beasts for instance—set in surreal environments and painted in neo-medieval style.
Becoming Human is a 30-foot tall sculpture of a robot, which occasionally smells the flower in its right hand. The sculpture hopes to inspire viewers to ask questions about technology and nature, and the value of slowing down.
Inspired by the geometry from the crystalline growth pattern of the element Bismuth, the Bismuth Bivouac is a playful pavilion celebrating the orthogonal geometries that exist in natural Bismuth crystals to form an intriguing cubic structure, with spiralling disruptions on each face, governed by the golden ratio. From a distance, it appears as a solid cube but intricate spaces can be discovered when you get closer. The iridescent colours of crystal translate into the proposal through coloured LED, built into the lumber structure, so at night the pavilion gives the same visually mesmerizing, colourful effect of the crystals in nature.
Black Rock Observatory
Black Rock Observatory is a mobile astronomical observatory dedicated to the celebration of the nexus between art and science. Showing the universe as art is an admission that the truth is sufficiently beautiful and that it deserves our attention.
A tourist office for the rest of the universe; a series of wooden domes derived from the Small Rhombicuboctahedron and designed by architect Gregg Fleishman, where the secrets of the universe are revealed by powerful mirrors, optics, experiments, art, performances and interactive exhibits.
The sphere is the universe’s answer to the form problem. Orbs above; orbs below. Echoes of the outer planets, the domes lie in a remote space requiring skills, effort and patience to reach. Eyeballs and color coded lasers fondle the planets overhead while ‘zards, ‘nauts and ‘bots conduct experiments below.
A giant, climbable typewriter with a shaded hangout space. The keys have sensors that drive projections of letters on a “paper” screen. Each day we will place a new physical poem, 16’ wide by 40’ long, next to the typewriter. It will meld poetry, sculpture, light, projections, and sound.
Brainchild embodies two of the elements of creative exploration i love most- celebrating the inquisitive spirit of play and exploring the plurality of forms that can be expressed through biologically inspired shapes and patterns found in nature. The branching head area of the sculpture serves as a playful interactive space where participants can become literal neurotransmitters providing the necessary synaptic activation for the piece to come alive. Lighting elements with proximity awareness sensors responding to the movements of participants as they move through the piece will add an additional element to the piece at nite. The sculpture as a whole emanates a contemplative yet engaging quality. Our hope is to create a safe environment for participants to engage in a playful and intimate experience.
Colossal ceramic brick human head reminiscent of the temple carvings of Angkor Wat or the great Olmec heads of Central America, a contemporary relic of a civilization not yet past. Site specific sound and light elements will be incorporated into the artwork.
The Charnival will be comprised of rides, games, and themed interactive installations designed to mimic Coney Island at the height of its popularity. Gates, decorative carnival elements, lights, and sounds will direct visitors in the heart of the Charnival where the vibrant ambiance is in full swing, spectacles abound at each turn, and the carnival as we know it finally lives up to its thrill‐seeking potential.
Church Trap Organ
The infamous antique pump church organ, controlling the LED light installation piece of twisted exploding music sheets, is sure to lure participants to any stage. Located in Center Camp, the sights and sounds will fill the air and call to the strollers to stay and play. The piece is one that demands interaction, as it is a blank slate. It also has a dramatic light show that is triggered by its musician that is mesmerizing to a large audience of listeners.
Cirque de Reflexions
The Cirque de Reflexions immerses Burners in a reflective experience. It plays with the literal reflections created by mirrored facets and provokes personal and inward reflection. The intriguing outer walls resemble ornate Chinese folding screens. Once inside Burners will find a mysterious mirrored crystalline sculpture which will reflect their crazy decorated bodies in its multiple facets and encourage spontaneous and uninhibited performances. The tattoo imagery of the intricately laser-cut petal walls is inspired by the magnificent Tattooed Ladies of the early 20th Century Travelling Carnivals. The ‘skin’ of the Cirque celebrates these Ladies as early pioneers of Radical Self Expression. It reminds us that our bodies are our personal canvas and how we paint, ink, pierce and decorate them, clothe and conceal them, flaunt and expose them, remains our own very personal choice. Elegant mirrored images of contortionists in the lower panels also celebrate the marvels of the human body.
The City of Lights team provides artists with a basic solar light fixture and stand to create their own light sculptures with their own materials. These sculptures are then mounted on the BRC’s sign posts. Workshops during the event will provide battery lights for folks to incorperate into their own gear.
Clown Teabagging Eruption
(Part of Charnival.) Sometimes clowning is a mouthful. A mouthful of teabags in this case. Play this Charnival game to test your skill in teabagging clowns. If you can pull it off in time then you make the clown head erupt.
Colossal Skeletal Marionette
The Colossal Skeletal Marionette is a collection of rusty bones sourced from the desert and the mountains. It dances with the concepts of death and whimsy. You dance under the shadow of the Man. He will fall again. You are haunted by the ghosts of ancestors. They beg you to play with them. Nosce Te Ipsum. Know thyself. These represent big old bones from which we came, and to which we shall return. He’s just a Big Metal Puppet, and you can be his Puppeteer!
Compound I” glistens like a totemic pillar of eyeballs as light undulates over its multifaceted orbs. Mirrored spheres, surfaced with lens-like convex mirrors, stack one atop the other to a height of 18’, referencing compound eyes of insects, forms of Buddha heads and the Mandelbrot fractal at once.
Circling around “Compound I”, reflected light follows us…as if we are being watched. Looking into the shifting centers of the glistening lenses, we meet our own gaze. As we realize it is our own sight and form that animates these pupils, our sense of separate-ness from the art is challenged.
Stepping away, we see our image simultaneously contract/overlap with everyone else’ onto the mosaic globes before us- a composite of shared reflection.
The eye as instrument of reflection and the ‘I’ as object of reflection; boundaries blur between perspectives of inner and outer, personal and collective, to convey a picture of interconnectedness, with us as facets of a compound ” I “.
Coup de Foudre Project
Our installation creates an architectural space where we discover how to collaboratively control a large musical tesla coil. Participants ascend into one of three control towers placed radially around the coil. Each control tower is a two-layer Faraday cage, built in the austere and elegant style of old lighthouses. Inside, they find an odd artifact that can manipulate an aspect of the tesla coil’s performance. Through collaboration, the coil reaches its peak performance and sends 20′ arcs of lightning to the control towers.
Just as we are a sect of homo-sapiens which grows lush in our desert habitat, one imagines that everything about our city – the striped tents, the night beacons, the strange crawling vehicles, the unexpected flames – are equally living products of the rare atmosphere of the playa. One imagines what creatures might evolve there in the heat and the dust, with the sun and the wind for power, with a peacock’s urges to be admired day and night, with a joy in the solitude and the rough edges of the natural world that spawned them. What life forms might develop as the denizens of the Carnival of Mirrors if their constituent molecules were dust and rust and sunlight?
An answer to this question is The Dancing Serpent which will be a 14 foot long sculptural metal serpent constructed as a mobile. Canvas sails hang from the serpent to catch the wind, causing the sculpture to swim gracefully through the air, and propane flames sprout from an array of outlets along its spine and jaws.
Dragon Masters Presents "Wicked Art Piazza"
The Wicked Art Piazza is where we invite Burners to see Claude the fire breathing dragon and other fun interactive sculptures.
The Dragon Smelter was originally designed and constructed by artists Daniel Macchiarini and Moises Luarte for the 2000 Burning Man event and has been used at various Burning Man events since. Its primary function is to promote recycling by facilitating limited art in action smelting and casting production events using recycled aluminum cans. The Dragon Smelter itself is a kinetic piece of sculpture which is made up of 60% recycled materials. It contains a propane-powered reduction furnace for the aluminum melting, has a rotation causable for safely pouring it into sand molds which contain designs by the artist and participants who learn to make casting molds through artist workshops. The Dragon Smelter also has fire effects which blow fire out the mouth and tail sections overhead.
Inspired by the wonder of childhood carnival rides, Dreamland is an immersive and interactive environment that encapsulates the energy of the Carnival of Mirrors. A whimsical experience of vivid colors, dazzling light and flame transport participants to the world of spectacle and the carnivalesque. Dreamland evokes not only the carnival of our collective memory, but that of our dreams: a fantastical space that stretches and warps our perspective, and shimmers and glows at the edges of our consciousness. Tranquility envelops us as we step into its shadows. It exists as a reverie–its leisurely intoxication punctuated by ecstatic pandemonium when submerged in its interior.
Project EMPIRE intended to explore our tiny corner of the solar system in a secret interplanetary mission. Instead, these travelers, not tourists, ended up traversing the wondrous universe and are finally able to come home with the help of alien technology. The vehicle that arrives is equal parts sculpture and performance art.
(Part of Charnival). For those who like fire, air hockey, and music this is a chance to combine all three. Players will get to shoot the puck around on a Reubens table. Center ice will be on fire, so players are strongly encouraged to keep their hands on their side of the table.
Fire Helix is a 12′ tall rotating double helix made of aluminum with flame poofers located at dna nodes firing parallel with the ground. Control pads that surround the piece allow participants to fire the poofers causing the helix to spin.
The double helix is the building block of life. Fire is one of the building blocks of civilization. Together we believe there is an elegant mix of meaning that draws the mind to the ephemeral questions of what brought us here and what will we do with the fantastic tools and opportunity we find ourselves surrounded by.
There is something about fire in motion that captivates us in both mind and spirit. The moment becomes everything and we lose ourselves in the purity of the now. As the mind unwinds in this state we often have realizations that only occur when everything else fades into the background. This simple captivating experience is what Fire Helix embodies.
Fire Tetris will blow the minds of participants with flaming edge technology and razor sharp gameplay. The classic video game tetris is played on a board blown up to epic proportions. Each square of the board is a steel box open at the front, creating a grid. The tetris pieces descending down this metal grid are rendered in flame, courtesy of 200 flame effect heads.
In addition to the traditional single player mode, Fire Tetris can be played with four participants in multiplayer mode. Each player controls one aspect of the piece’s movement: left, right, rotate, and drop. While video games can be an isolating pursuit, this dramatic, highly visible metal monolith encourages cooperative play as well as appreciation from a larger audience while participants ANNIHILATE BLOCKS WITH FIRE.
A vast, star-shaped, domed ceiling of lights and motion. Moving images of shooting stars, Hubble photos, aurora borealis, and various visions of heaven are depicted by 21,000 LEDs hanging 10-15’ above the ground. Find the hidden camera in the middle to add your face to the mix.
Flack in the Box
(Part of Charnival) Crank the knob, the flack will bob; immolate the grinning yob.
(Part of Charnival.) Flaming Hookers is a 12-foot-tall flaming ring-toss game that encourages participants to get hookin’.
Francis the Fantastic
(Part of Charnival). Francis the Fantastic is an interactive fortune teller. Participants can scry on his crystal ball to earn a fragment of his wisdom – and a display of his fiery power!
The giant Kaleidoscope is a re-imagining of the classic childhood toy. Traditionally, a kaleidoscope is a triangular prism, comprised of mirrors with loose beads or pieces of glass held at the end opposite the eye hole. When rotated, the moving pieces create colourful patterns with an effect that is absolutely mesmerizing. Our intention is to give the viewer that same feeling of awe, as when they first looked through that tiny eyehole as a child.
This kaleidoscope has been scaled up to eleven feet long and the colourful beads have been replaced with colourful humans. The scope manually rotates within a cradle at a height people can easily look through and even climb inside. Lights around the openings frame the image, accentuating the triangulated pattern and provide a brilliant invitation to explore. Everyone becomes an integral part of the interactive experience – Voyeurs become participants and the adventurous become part of the world within.
Hall of Mirrors Arcade
Larger-than-life sized arcade pieces (Giant Pinball, Foosball Reimagined, Jumbo Pachinko) , each with beautiful themed artwork by artists from the DC and Baltimore Burner communities. Tons of cooperative play and interactivity!
Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow
Silicon Valley has long been heralded as the epicenter of technological innovation. They are the creators of the Internet, the keepers of the Google search, the denizens of Twitter. And because of them, no longer do questions go unanswered. Whenever someone wants to know who that guy was in that movie, or how that magic trick was really done, the answer is a few keystrokes away. That air of mystery has vanished from the world, replaced with the oversaturation of easily accessible information.
The South Bay Burners seek to restore that magic and mystery with Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow. A top hat, long forgotten by the desert, provides refuge for those clever enough to unlock its secrets.
(Part of Charnival.) Hell Blazer the fire infused strength tester Charnival game. An eight foot pitch fork hand crafted by the devil for Earthly access to Hell Fire. This pitchfork spits fire when a human tests their strength to activate LEDs and blasts high above the Playa.
HYBYCOZO - Deep Thought
“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” – Douglas Adams
I guess we must have discovered it! Because for this year’s HYBYCOZO we are building something even more bizarre and sublime. Deep Thought, the centerpiece of this year’s construction zone, will take the form of a triambic icosahedron. A what?! A shape made of 60 gold filigree panels which will cast colorful shadows far and wide onto the playa. Within Deep Thought, a place for contemplation about life, the universe and everything, is where you will find yourself completely immersed in an interwoven patterns of geometry and light. On the outside, forming an arc, other golden polyhedrons will be placed to create a grounds for a mesmerizing cosmic zoo, community zone, and a collective zooooooom.
The Illumacanth is a massive fishy monster surging up from the ground, with mouth agape and brain alight. Its dark, deeply textured exterior surrounds a bright, reflective interior, into which one may venture through its toothy jaws. Elevated over its open head is a halo of silver bird-fish which dance and spin. Flame effects and undulating lights enliven this mysterious beast, and invite the participant to rest on its fins, gather inside, and sneak through its gills. The Illumacanth is a free-standing, interactive sculptural installation made primarily of metal. It provides seating and gathering space, and features flame and light effects as well as kinetic elements.
The Infinity Tree
Scorched, dry, barren, the desert wilderness sits silent, still, soundless, lifeless, only the pale whispers of the delicate fauna can be heard. Whispering, softly a whisper becomes a murmur, gently a murmur becomes a sound before the faintest of echoes can be heard, it begins. At first a drop, motionless. Weeks pass, slowly, a drop becomes a trickle, trickling, creeping, a journey begins, weaving, the trickle meanders. With time it grows, a small stream flows, filling the cracks of the playa. A sapling emerges, twisting and winding it grows high above the ground, encircling itself, entwining itself. A figure of our memories, a myriad of our existence, its infinitude transcends time and like the stream to the tree we breathe life into the playa. A rest for our minds, a shelter for our bodies, a place not only to remember, a place to never forget. The Infinity Tree is symbol of what can never be lost, what will always be found, and what makes us who we are.
Inflection is a suspension bridge. It goes nowhere, but the goal is the journey, not the destination. It is a hanging challenge with a literal twist; a problem which exists only to be overcome. The traveler will experience an easy ramp, a gentle glide onto the bridge, followed by wicked curves and a pointlessly difficult bend in the middle. The translation across the twist signals a transformation in the challenge, the point at which the journey’s end is in sight. Lights adorn the structure and pieces underneath the bridge, allowing for quiet reflection.
Kinetic Forest is a wind sculpture consisting of six horizontally oriented paddle wheels mounted on tall poles. The paddle wheels come in three sizes, two at 146” in diameter, two at 116” in diameter, and two at 92” in diameter. The pole come in three heights, with the smallest paddlewheels being mounted on the tallest poles and the largest paddle wheels being mounted on the shortest poles. This height and size arrangement takes advantage of an old Hollywood move trick called “forced perspective” and gives the illusion of a great deal of height separation. Burners attending the event occasionally need a place to relax and contemplate. This sculpture with its gentle overhead motion, and kaleidoscopic dance of light and shadow, will provide Burners with such a place.
King of Fun
The King of Fun is meant to be an individual interactive experience tailored to the specific user. Using a pulse sensor the person currently interacting with the piece places their hand on the sensor. While reading their pulse the machine lights up around the King inside to the rhythm of their pulse, making the experience unique to the participant. While reading the pulse the King begins to shake his instrument of fun, a Martini shaker, while he contemplates their fortune. After 30 seconds the King speaks his words of wisdom and the participant is presented with a quest dispensed from lower in the machine that will challenge them to perform a specific task or quest that will send them on their playa journey. We believe that while giving a fortune would tell them WHAT will happen, sending them on a quest sends them somewhere to MAKE something happen. They become participants in the Black Rock City experience rather than spectators.
Krewe of the Dusty Playa
On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina founding of Burners Without Borders, the Krewe of the Dusty Playa presents a Mardi Gras-style float that offers a humorous critique of our two homes, New Orleans and Black Rock City. The symbols of the gentrification of NOLA neighborhoods that have survived both time and storm will be juxtaposed with the plug and play camps that are at the center of so much discussion in the Burner community.
A large, colorful, papier-mâché, jester’s head created in the style of the Krewe of Rex will adorn the prow of a Mardi Gras float. The structure will be like a griffin, but instead of the head of an eagle and the body of a lion, the float will have the head of a jester and a body of a travel trailer.
Made using traditional New Orleans papier-mâché float construction, the float will be constructed using many of the same techniques, materials and by the same artists that carry on the tradition of Mardi Gras as members of New Orlean’s Krewe du Vieux.
Laffing Sal is a replica of an iconic automated character that was built during the 1920s. Her primary role was to attract carnival and amusement park patrons to funhouses and dark rides throughout the United States. She is accompanied by a raucous and rowdy laugh and is twice as large as the original.
(Part of Charnival) An awesome opportunity to engage directly, personally, and intensely with the elemental power of Fire.
Participants at the Last Flamethrower are escorted by the crew within a fenced zone and gifted with control of a major piece of heavy metal: An imposing device that projects a stream of burning gasoline into a garden of sculpture, making the various targets come alive with fire and light.
The Last Flamethrower is a part of the Charnival collection of interactive fire arts and games and is guaranteed to fill the darkness with heat and light.
At the Last Flamethrower participants have a unique and unforgettable chance to explore their personal interactions with power, fire, and all around bad-assery. It is an experience not to be missed.
Life Cube Project
The Life Cube is an engaging, interactive, art-driven environment for the expression of goals, dreams, wishes, and aspirations. Citizens of BRC inscribe their thoughts on message-walls and on wish-stick postcards deposited into the Cube. In the spectacular finale, the Cube and all the wishes are burned and sent out together into the universe. The Life Cube features a 24’ high architectural design with stairs, pillars, mirrors, posts, and high places inviting Playa visitors to walk through, climb, hang-out, touch and interact. The community can express themselves on write-boards, contribute to the tapestry wall, and watch painters creating collaborative murals all week long. At night the cube takes on new life with spectacular lighting that enhances the drama: wall-washers, spots, strobes, lasers, and psychedelic lights add brilliant color that changes interior rooms and spaces, sending rainbows across the dark Playa landscape and illuminating the art and people around the Cube.
Lightstriker Trial of Strength
The Light Striker Trial of Strength project is primarily inspired by the high striker game, which is most common to the circus sideshow and carnival setting. The Light Strikers will stand at an imposing but approachable 10 feet tall and will vary in form. Lighting will be embedded into the forms on hierarchical levels activated through the main track of the striker. The ball struck by the force of the lever will trigger switches to these lights, so that if the ball is struck to the top of the Light Striker then all the lighting on the form will be activated.
The main interactive component is the high striker mechanism. Attention is focused on the person wielding the hammer, and the blow that lands causes an primal spike of energy which emanates upwards and outwards. The goal of the Trials is to create a shared space of luminosity and exuberance on the playa. This would create a harmonizing space where and people can share these experiences and also forge new friendships.
Lil Al is a A 60′ long roaring wooden alligator effigy and symbol of the NOLA burners coming together as a community. It’s a group effort that raises awareness of our love for each other, Mardi Gras, and Burning Man. The first rendition of this art was created to represent our spirit at the T-Bois Blues Festival in Larose, Louisiana about an hour south of New Orleans on a family owned alligator farm. This installation is the embodiment of how Burning Man can bring so many wonderful people together like family and encourage them to drive a giant lizard 2,000 miles across the country just to watch it burn among friends.
Loquacious and Lovely
Two majestic unicorns, Loquacious and Lovely, face each other inviting participants to sit upon them. Brought to life by the riders’ rocking motion and voices of passersby, the unicorns begin their conversation. From idle babble to intimate gossip, no topic is spared as the unicorns discuss it all.
LOVE is a sculpture by Alexandr Milov. It demonstrates a conflict between a man and a woman as well as the outer and inner expression of human nature. The figures of the protagonists are made in the form of big metal cages, where their inner selves are captivated. Their inner selves are executed in the form of transparent children , who are holding out their hands through the grating. As it’s getting dark (night falls) the children chart to shine. This shining is a symbol of purity and sincerity that brings people together and gives a chance of making up when the dark time arrives.
Burning Man is a sexualized environment where participants try to channel their intentions and extinguish their frustrations. “Love Tester” challenges participants to harness a meditative state amidst the sensory overload of our physical environment, and calls into question the sexual vs spiritual aspects of love which are often obscured by desire.
It is said Kundalini, a snake, lies coiled at the base of the spine, close to the sexual organs. Traditions of Tantra claim that meditation can clear blockages at each “chakra”, thus permitting Kundalini to rise up the spine to the crown of the head.
This piece is inspired by the vintage arcade cabinet, “Love Tester”, where a grip is squeezed, causing a stack of rainbow light bulbs to rise, to a level supposedly indicating one’s aptitude as a lover. Rather than trying to raise the lights toward Kundalini and enlightenment, participants will try to extinguish the lights, top-down, in an attempt to quell their desires and quieten their mind.
Lumiphonic Creature Choir
The Lumiphonic Creature Choir is a giant twelve-headed creature by Synarcade Audio-Visuals that people can directly play and interact with.
By jumping onto different floor pads, Burning Man attendees can personally make each of the twelve audio-visual heads sing, beat-box or recite fragments of prose.
Part digital, part sculptural, part mystical, the work is a strange futuristic oracle that comes alive at night… pronouncing strange destinies to decipher and unravel!
Synarcade Audio-Visuals is interested in presenting a deeply interactive work that whilst being futuristic and showcasing the latest in cutting-edge technology is still startlingly human. The Lumiphonic Creature Choir literally showcases the human face and the human voice in all its strange wonder and allows the playa audience to become 21st century storytellers, remixing phrases and sentences from the Creatures into new narratives of their own.
These pieces playfully straddle in-between the mental and material realms resembling ancient artifacts of an advanced civilization with origins not necessarily earthly or human for that matter. There is sacred geometry existing throughout the structures, with surface patterning that could double as a symbolic language or hieroglyphs.
It’s meant to invoke in the observer a sense of our inner connectedness with a consciousness that seems to exist throughout the universe. The physical representation is of a clue, puzzle or mystery that points to the infinite story that started before us, and will continue long after us – like peeking through the keyhole into another place, time, or dimension, as if a portal had opened and this is what fell out.
Mazu Goddess of the Empty Sea
You walk through the dust and heat of day, beyond the heart of the city, and from the haze before you emerges a shape that is both plant and place, flower and temple, both open and contained. No fence keeps you out, but one hundred and eight lanterns mark out the space, like a fairy ring in the forest, like the hundred and eight beads of the Buddhist rosary.
Through the archway you walk. Up the long, low steps, the muffled sound of your tread meets the familiar clunk of wood; the music of a seaside pier rises from the dust, invoking the sense of some long lost place where water once stretched out to kiss the horizon. Below, the improbable sounds of water and the briefest hints of ocean blue tickle the imagination. From above, eight dragons of fire and steel peer down, watching you, or look out into the distance, waiting.
And again, the thing that is neither quite plant nor place seems to hover at the edge of defining, the green rooftop like a lily pad, the great lotus rising up out of the dried mud and the memory of water, each petal big enough to sleep in, open out from this improbable tree, this pillar of memories.
Inside, past and present blend and dance together. Old rites and new technologies bring fresh form to venerable, ancient practices. There is hidden circuitry here: casting the moon blocks reveals the will of the gods in a panoply of color and light. The breath of dragons explodes outward in answer to prayer. The goddess herself has been known to appear, if the moment is right.
You leave the temple, clutching message and map, and the sound of music finds your ears. Drums, gongs and shouting voices emerge from fantastical shapes, finned and spiny, nautilus-headed dancers and demons with a thousand eyes walk out of the dust, beckoning you to join them. You wonder, for a moment, if you are in fact in a desert, or in the memories of an ancient ocean, seeing the dreams of the sea floor dancing past.
Mechateuthis is a mechanical giant squid wriggling on the ocean floor. It’s many mechanical effects including arm and tentacle movement, eye movements, beak snapping, fin waving, and more, are controlled and powered by hand cranks to be turned by burning man participants. The piece is meant to show the strangeness and beauty of the natural world together with the fascinating mechanisms crafted by man.
Medusa Madness. Dare to stare lest you be turned to stone.
(Part of Charnival). The Mirror Blaze is a hall of mirrors with a secret hidden inside: a single flame effect, shielded by quartz glass and two-way security mirrors. The effect fires intermittently, filling the maze with its reflections. Participants enter via an opening on one side of the maze, then feel their way through in near-darkness – the ground level will be lit with LEDs – punctuated with fire.
Molotov et Immolato: Les Bouffons Brûlant du Ciel
(Part of Charnival). Two nondescript, bulbous shapes rotate slowly & serenely around a central, illuminated tower. One drops, the other rises, at the top of its arc, fire illuminates surface cutouts revealing Immolato or Molotov, flaming apparitions of the restless Burning Clowns of the Night Sky.
One good, the other evil, both aspects of the human senses of humor & amusement. Things are funny that are bad & things are funny that are good. This strong cross-over is unique among the emotions. It is damn near inexplicable to understand why one thing is humorous for one group of people, but falls flat for another. Ponder the mysteries of the funny-bone while enjoying the visceral attrraction of fire in the sky above you.
The Neverwas Haul is a 3-story Victorian house on wheels that is self-propelled by a motor driven from the ship’s wheel on the Command Deck. While riding the Haul, participants will be able to sit on the Lounge Deck or ride in the Engine Room to many of the art installations on the Playa. Participants are encouraged to tour the Haul while it is parked on the Playa or in our camp at 3 and G. The Haul is built from 75% recycled materials and has become the icon for the Steampunk movement and allows participants to go into a fantasy world where Victorian fashion and science fiction combine.
OWN WAY is represented by five heavenward stairways. Each of them leads to a certain room, a destination unknown in the beginning.
Just as we start moving towards great objectives, our own stars, we never know where we would find ourselves. Will the result be foreseeable or will we face something absolutely unexpected? No one is able to answer this question in the beginning.
Intersecting, stairways form a pentagram, the most ancient and probably the most ambiguous symbol. On the way of the humanity its meaning was changing so frequently and so strongly that it seems that this symbol also participates in this cosmic masquerade with us.
A rainbow which connects the sky and the ground crowns the piece.
I have designed four gates as the entrances to the Pavilion at the base of the Man. These are inspired by the entrances that traditionally welcomed visitors to carnivals around the world, in which one enters by walking into the mouth of an enormous head. There are 4 entrances: one is an evil-curious devil, the other is a pop music nerd girl named Lulu, one is a tiger inspired by William Blake’s famous poem, and the last is a pair of elephants with sad eyes that ask you to “abandon all despair” was you enter (should you prefer not to walk into the mouth of a frightening figure).
Penny the Goose
Landing on the Black Rock Desert is a 12 foot tall Canada Goose. Her feathers reflect the sun by day and ground illumination at night. Feathers that are made up from shades of both Canadian and American pennies. The attraction is in being drawn in by the illusion of pennies being feathers.Landing on the Black Rock Desert is a 12 foot tall Canada Goose. Her feathers reflect the sun by day and ground illumination at night. Feathers that are made up from shades of both Canadian and American pennies. The attraction is in being drawn in by the illusion of pennies being feathers.
The year marks the return of this sculpture which made it’s debut in 2013 at Burning Man with only Canadian pennies on it’s back. This year, Penny has been redesigned and will have American pennies on it’s front side. A brighter and more effective light scheme will also be used this year.
Pentamonium is an interactive carillon with 5 harmonious bells in its belfry. It is made of tubular steel and recycled bicycle parts painted in a variety of colors. A 16 foot column, supported by 5 arched legs, is topped with a mirror encrusted whirligig. Each leg supports a mechanism which rings one of the 5 overhead bells. Each mechanism invites interaction and the 5 notes encourage collaboration.
As one approaches Playaquarium, one sees a large school of fish on the bottom of a now dry lakebed. These are native fish to Black Rock City, 12000 years ago. There are shimmering mirrored columns flanking the fish giving the Burner a panoramic view of the school, but also transforming the playa. The mirrors compress the surrounding mountains, placing the playa in a different place or time.
At night as one gets near to the edge of the school bathed in ‘water light’ the fish at the edge glow brightly briefly and transmit their excitement to neighboring fish sequentially, giving the illusion of movement within the school.
Prairie Wind Chapel
Excavated from a dust bowl near the border of Oklahoma and Saskatchewan, the Prairie Wind Chapel was once the heart of the roving town of Aeolia until a tornado wiped it all from the map. As the sole remaining structure of this ghost town, the chapel captures the pilgrims’ peculiar affinity for worshiping the wind and the beautiful mysteries this silent force creates on the open plain. Twin copper wind harps flank the canvas chapel, enticing lost travelers with a dreamy siren song. Towering over the altar is a 40 ft. steel windmill which pumps a Victorian reed organ and two wood and metal pipe organs. Evoking the melancholic demise of the wind worshiping Aeolians, modern pilgrims can play three wind-powered keyboards, filling the restored chapel with the ephemeral sounds of yesterday. The Prairie Wind Chapel welcomes all wayfarers with its songs!
(Part of Charnival). An eight headed flame effect connected to a wireless EEG sensor, visualizing your brain’s electric activity with fire.
Constructed of steel rod and balls and covered in stainless steel mesh, with LED lighting effects, R-Evolution is a 48 foot tall sculpture of a woman, Deja Solis, standing firmly with both feet on the ground, eyes closed, arms open at her sides, palms forward, a peaceful expression- present.
The culmination of The Bliss Project, a series of three monumental sculptures of a woman, Deja Solis, expressing her humanity, R-Evolution like Bliss Dance and Truth is Beauty, is intended to demand a change in perspective… to be a catalyst for social change. She is intended to challenge the viewer to see past the sexual charge that has developed around the female body which has been used for power and control, to the human being. We hope to inspire men and women to take action to end violence against women, making room for women’s voices, thus allowing both women and men to live fully and thrive.
Reflection presents this years burners with an intimate setting in which to share their inner most confessions, secrets and tales, with the option to do so both openly face to face, or retain the mystery of their identity by sharing with a stranger through the pavilions semi private screen.Created as a result of rigorous testing of origami the pavillion is made of eight Spiralhedrons mirrored along all axis in order to create the enclosing plywood form and subtly embody Burning Man’s theme ‘Carnival of Mirrors. By providing an interactive base for participation Reflection is never fully accomplished without the burners involvement. By sharing their stories, burners create a unique experience manifested through the ideals of trust and sharing, which facilitates a special bond between the burners. Upon its burning at the end of the festival, ‘Reflection’ becomes a resting place for the confessions, secrets and stories of its burners, allowing new bonds to be formed.
Reflections of a Fire Sprite
Reflections of a Fire Sprite is a steel/wood structure made to rise and fall while set on fire. This segmented piece will be kept under tension via a spring-loaded base. A hand ratcheting mechanism will be used to drop the sculpture to the ground as well as erect it from a pile of burning debris. The project will be re-clad in wood and set on fire each night.
An interactive musical playground attracting participants from near and far with engaging instruments, resonating sound, and reflective surfaces. The instrument installation will have reflective plate gongs hung vertically over large resonating chambers that will be placed in a circular formation.
The Charnival will be comprised of rides, games, and themed interactive installations designed to mimic Coney Island at the height of its popularity. Gates, decorative carnival elements, lights, and sounds will direct visitors in the heart of the Charnival where the vibrant ambiance is in full swing, spectacles abound at each turn, and the carnival as we know it finally lives up to its thrill‐seeking potential. The center of the Charnival will feature Riskee Ball, our bank of 10 fire‐erupting skee ball machines.
Although the Charnival is made up of more than a dozen different fire art projects, built by hundreds of people from across North America, it is intended to be experienced as one massive installation. All pieces within it will be united in one footprint, encircled by themed art, colour pennant flags, bright lights, bike racks, and a whole lot of flames.
Rube Awakening - Magic Bike Rack Transformation Station
Rube Awakening – Magic Bike Rack is a glowing beacon on which to park and lock your bike while magically liberating your inner rube. Spark the emergence of your true playa self when fantasy becomes reality and vice versa at the transformation station.
Libertate to Rube’s delight
Lock your bike by day or night.
Sound and light by which to wonder,
Don’t forget to check your number!
The Serpent Mother is a 168′ long sculpture of a skeletal serpent, coiled around her egg. Propane fire runs down her spine, with 41 poofers erupting from the top of her gleaming vertebrae. Reaching 20’ in the air, her hydraulically-actuated head and jaws chomp at the sky.
The serpent is a highly kinetic, participant-controlled installation. Fire effects are a major interactive and sculptural element of the piece, controlled by pushing buttons located on the ribs. The audience is invited to direct her movements, using controls that move the head and jaws, effectively making each show a unique event created by the participants.
Twice every evening, the operator crew will perform methanol shows, shooting multi-colored flames 40′ in the air from the egg, illuminating the night sky.
Shrine of the Man
Simon Fire Edition 2.0
Simon, Fire Edition 2.0 is inspired by the golden-age of arcade games. “Carnival of Mirrors” evokes the need for tests of skill: e.g. milk jug ball tossing and popping balloons with darts. Simon, as a memory game, is by definition a test of skill and meets the Principle of Radical Inclusion by being easily accessible by its basis as a childrens’ game. The principles of Interactivity and Immediacy are met by a flame effect game. That is, the sculpture is animated by Interactivity and rewards the participant with immediate gratification proportional to the interaction, setting up a virtuous cycle. What the original game lacks, this project delivers: a win-condition with lighting, sound and flame effect display. Bluntly, we feel that a game of Simon within the “Carnival of Mirrors” theme with a light, sound and flame effect display is a winning combination.
She is the keeper of stories, holder of memories, steward of dreams. In a fairytale world where animals talk and children shouldn’t wander the woods at night, an enchanted home inside of a grand boot lures us. It beckons to wayward passersby with a promise of fantastical delight and dark mystery.
Temple of Promise
A Temple’s purpose is to provide a safe space where the diverse and essential needs of the soul can take root and grow or surrender and find solace. This year, the Temple of Promise welcomes participants through an archway soaring 97 feet overhead. Once inside, the structure curves in on itself, tapering in width and height down to just 7 feet tall. Along the way, alcoves formed by the supporting arches, as well as wooden sculptures reminiscent of stones in a stream, create altars and semi-private spaces for individuals and smaller gatherings. The lines of the curved wooden walls draw the eye inward and create a canvas for written messages and mementos. As the path continues to curve, it opens into the contemplative altar and the heart of the Temple: a grove of three sculpted trees. The branches are initially bare. Participants will write messages on long strips of cloth and attach them to the trees, creating the gentle shade of Weeping Willows, increasing as the week progresses.
Temple of Sound
My installation will envoke emotions that only sound can create by using the power of the wind. There are 8 “D” shaped Aeolian harps which are complimented by four bamboo structures located on the primeter of the structure which will also produce sound when the wind blows through different sizes holes cut into them.
Totem of Confessions
Come one, come all to the mystical Totem of Confessions, Michael Garlington’s newest Chapel! Experience cathartic release as you liberate your secrets, unearth the hidden lives of those around you, and test your fortune and powers for uncovering concealed nooks and hidden compartments holding relics and gifts from the artists’ own hands.
Upon approaching the 50′ edifice, whose design recalls ancient Khmer and Vedic architecture, revelers bask in the beauty and chaos of black and white photography in assemblage with salvaged and re-purposed mixed media. In the middle of the great room, a golden confessional stands as a portal to revelation and interaction with the art and other participants.
Mysteries and discoveries will reveal themselves in the installation’s details and will, in turn, inspire visitors to explore their own hidden meanings and inner worlds.
(Part of Charnival). Toxic Bloom stands about 4 feet high, made of repuposed steel, and appears as a mechanical, rigid flower, with the petals opening up, exposing its stamen to the air. The piece was built in a manner to evoke both biological and mechanical elements, and is modeled as a hybrid between a Phage (the viruses that infect bacteria) and a plant.
The stamen emits the pollen of bloom, a 3-5 foot jet of colored fire, with fast switching between bright red, green, and yellow colors. As Toxic Bloom fires, it emits a howl from the venturi, a natural cry to its breeding partners as it emits its gametes.
Tree of Transformation
The Tree of Transformation is a 20ft tall interactive musical tree. It takes the form of a twisting steel pipe tree trunk sprouting from a full-size upright piano. Three main limbs branch out to form a canopy and support nine steelpans with a four octave range. When the keys of the piano are pressed, solenoids are actuated to strike the pans in the correct location to play the corresponding note. Because some notes overlap between pans, there are a total of 99 solenoids but only 48 notes, which means that some notes will have multiple pans being struck resulting in a rich, complex sound, much like a steelpan orchestra.
As you approach the piece at night, you will only see the piano by way of a piano lamp which illuminates the keyboard, and a piano bench which sits in front of the piano inviting you to play. When a note is played, each striker also has a high intensity white led light that flashes, lighting up the branches and pans in a sequence following the notes being played.
TrEeD is a giant tree bike rack that will will stand about twenty feet tall and will have roots that stretch out about twenty feet in four directions. The roots are made from square tube steel and every bend is a perfect ninety degrees. As they continue downward the parallel lines create the bicycle wheel holders. TrEeD will be able to hold 80 or so bikes.
The trunk of the tree will be about 3′ in diameter and there will be a bench that goes around the trunk creating a space for people to sit and chill. e branches will start. The branches will be made of all round tube steel to contrast the square steel of the roots. The branches will also have an organic flow to them and no two will be the same. At the end of each branch there will be a six inch round plastic globe covered in white fur. The globes will light up with color changing LEDs.
TrEeD is dedicated to Ted Welles, a beloved burner who was lost last year.
True Reflections Palace
For the Carnival of Mirrors theme, the True Reflections Palace completely re-tinkers your perception of who you are with optically perfect, true reflection mirrors. They show you not just what you look like, but who you are and how you are as an animated, living human being! Backwards mirrors take all of our vitality away and present a flat and distorted version of ourselves. The design of the Palace will be using Giant Tinker Toys. Who knew you could build something big with them? Inside will be a warm, softly lighted environment that offers a host of interactivity and a truly unique experience – magical even! There’s a lot of science involved too, you can read some of the posters available. A lot of this makes perfect sense for why it should be so different, and so much better.
Prepare to see something surprising about yourself…you as a real, vibrant, and truly sparkling and happy human being. Or deep and genuine burner, with wisdom in your eyes. Or whatever is true about you – your true image actually reflects all that information correctly, so you can continue to be true to yourself. But be aware – you have to “be it to see it”. Don’t just stare at yourself – look in your eyes and interact! Ask questions about who you are, how you are, what’s going on. Look with a friend, eye to eye, smile, then look back as you see the real version of you. Who is the person that we see, who do we know, who do we love? You may need to get past your initial sense of how unusual it is, and no, you are not as asymmetric as your perception can be telling you. But then you can see something truly magical…the amazing burner that you really are!
To really make the point, look back to one of the backwards mirrors in the side panels, and notice how poorly mirrors reflect your true nature. Notice that the sparkle and light in your eyes just stops and you are staring, and more often than not, you become serious and doubtful.
Twisted Bristles 2x
Two 24′ Fiber Optic toilet brushes, helping guide burners to bathroom bliss amidst their deep playa excursions.
Well of Darkness
Courage, Temperance, Wisdom, Justice, Honor, Gratitude
Well of Darkness is the third chapter in the mythology of The Guardian of Dawn. In this chapter the Acolytes, inspired by experience gained in the Agora of Light, leave their brethren and shatter forth, embarking on individual pilgrimages of virtue.
For the first time in their lives they were alone in the world. Initial interactions with people were bright with conviction and exaltation, each Acolyte advocating from the pulpit of their chosen virtue. However, they observed those with courage act without honor, justice act without wisdom. Idealism shaken, each wondered “How can any single virtue be the only light that guides one towards a life worth living?”
After an eternity of seeing only hope on the horizon, a dark, distant well appears. As each labored step brings them closer to The Well of Darkness the Acolytes begin to recognize their friends, who, just like them are dragging a box heavy with the weight of virtue.
Wheel of Self Reflection
Seekers stand before the wheel on a slightly raised platform, beneath a lighted tetrahedron pyramid. On the platform is a qi field data collector pad. Above the platform, at the base of the pyramid, is another qi field data collector. The wheel has discs that are set to the seeker’s animal, element and polarity (based on Chinese astrology). The seeker selects a tarot card to act as archetype (and clicker as the wheel spins). The seeker then expresses qi into the collector pads, aligning the wheel with the seeker’s qi field. When the qi field is aligned, the seeker spins the wheel, which stops on the seeker’s fortune.
Sometimes the seeker is unable to grok the fortune. Our cosmologist sits in a special handling space toward the back of the tent. The calibrator refers cases to the cosmologist. Some seekers self-refer.
Wooden Nickel Carnival
The Wooden Nickel Carnival has traveled almost 100 years to your door step. Built brand new in the Spring of 1918, the Wooden Nickel Carnival is here to provide you with a good old fashioned time. We have many attraction to choose from! Come test your skills at one of our many booths. Looking for a job? We are hiring! Think you got what it takes to be a carnie? Well step right up and prove it! No matter what you are looking for, we got it all right here for you!
Word of the Burning Bramble
(Part of Charnival.) The Burning Bramble, a flowering, trailing plant of steel, brass, and copper, arcs nine feet into the air, hears participants’ questions or earnest desires for prophecy, and delivers its Word through flame.
WTF?? What, the Fork??
WTF?? What the Fork?? consists of two sculptures. The most prominent is a 16′ tall shiny fork, stuck into the ground. It represents the fork in the road, a point of decision and departure.
Standing in front of the fork is a 10′ tall obelisk in the shape of a turning post. Atop the post are motion sensors. When activated, hands pop up pointing the way to a new direction.
Spiraling down the obelisk is a plaque which bears the conundrum: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” This is synonymous with the seeker who has many roads to choose. On the Playa there are no roads so the choices are limitless.
You are Who?
You are Who uses lighting mechanisms and reflected images to playfully challenge visitors conceptions of self, engaging them both visually and mentally in a illusory experience.