2012 Art Installations

All artworks in these listings will be presented by these artists on the open playa in Black Rock City. Honoraria Art H has been awarded a grant by Burning Man Project. Registered Art includes all other projects that have registered for placement on the open playa in BRC. You can learn more about the BRC Art program here.


by: Michael Christian and Dallas Swindle
from: Berkeley, CA
year: 2012

Arc Harps

by: Jen Lewin
from: Boulder, CO
year: 2012

The Arc Harp is an outdoor 60-string light sculpture designed for public
play. It is part of Jen Lewin’s Light Harp series, which includes
several other large public interactive instruments dating back to 1990.
2012 the Arc Harps will return to the playa for the 3rd time! Lewin is
collaborating with Johnny Dwork and his amazing team to create a new,
more dynamic sound installation, based on Johnny’s sound and art design
with his L’HA! laser harp.

Bapteme De Feu

by: Anton Viditz-Ward
from: Telluride, CO
year: 2012

Bapteme de Feu is a twenty-four foot diameter, steel spinning bowl of fire. It is similar to spin art, where a canvas is spun and paint is poured onto the spinning canvas. In my case I use a steel canvas & burning wood is my paint. The result will be lots of sparks and fire.

Bicycle Arpeggio

by: George Rahi
from: Vancouver, BC
year: 2012

There is a musical quality to riding one’s bicycle: the rhythm of pedaling, the click-clack of shifting, the drone of the wheel. Bicycle Arpeggio harnesses the dynamic sounds of bicycles for the collective act of music making. As a series of pedal-powered instruments, this gamelan (orchestra) of recycled bicycle parts reveals the inherent tones of these revolutionary machines.

Burn Wall Street

by: Otto Von Danger
from: Oakland, CA
year: 2012

Burn Wall Street (BWS) is a very political piece coming from a neutral point of view. We see the Tea Party and the Occupy movements as very similar. The are both groups of Americans that know that things must change. One group has been hijacked by the Right wing extremists and the other the Left wing extremists and using wedge issues keeping them both from the actual goal of reforming Wall Street and saving our economy. We are not 1%ers or 99%ers, we are all Americans that need to fix this. Because the rest of the world is linked to our economy this affects the whole world. We’re asking people to put down their Bibles and Communist Manifestos so we can get together and come up with actual solutions from a rational perspective.

Char Wash

by: Christopher Schardt
from: Oakland, CA
year: 2012

Every few minutes, a group of 10 or 20 proceeds to the center of the dome. Surrounding them are four rotors, each with two propane burners. The gate is closed and the burners fire up. The rotors begin to spin from the burners’ thrust. The carriage holding the rotors starts to rotate too, slowly at first, then faster and faster. Soon, it’s like being inside a car wash with flaming brushes twirling all around. Then someone presses the “spin” button. All eight burners spin furiously – flowers of flame dancing cacophonously, burnishing, charring, washing, rinsing, polishing, melding the elements of destruction and cleansing that are the essence of the burn – a phoenix’s fertility ritual in the form of a classic meme from automotive Americana.

City of Lights

by: Gary Long
from: Los Angeles, CA
year: 2012

City of Lights installs solar-powered street signs around Black Rock City. We provide people with a basic solar light and metal stand. Individuals create their own light sculptures with their own materials. Artists & Non-artists are welcome to play.

Dragon Smelter

by: Danny Macchiarini
from: San Francisco, CA
year: 2012

By daylight the Dragon Smelter has the presence and physical appearance of a gold and black “Viking” Ship. In an arch, its head and tail swing up off a 12′ wide deck which sits 3′ off the playa and has an attached metal step ladder for public access.
By night, the Dragon Smelter adds colored flashing neon all the way around it and up the head and tail which also expels fire-effects, sending flames 25′ out both the head and tail of the installation. Under our safety supervision we allow anyone who wants to trigger these fire effects to do so with a remote-controlled key-fob! It is fun and exciting and gives immediate gratification to all participants who use the remote. We participate at night, “fire talking” with other fire-effect installations on the surrounding playa during BM nightly.

The EGO Project

by: Laura Kimpton And Michael Garlington
from: Fairfax, CA
year: 2012

This year at Burning Man 2012 Laura Kimpton and Michael Garlington give you EGO. For The fourth year Laura Kimpton brings you a Large word. This years larger-than-life word is EGO. EGO will be made out of Wood and 10,000 gold replicas of Trophies. EGO is 20 feet tall and 60 feet long. After the week of enjoying this beautiful EGO sculpture we will light it on fire, symbolizing the burning of our EGOs and beliefs of superiority.

The Front Porch

by: Zac Carroll
from: Mill Valley, CA
year: 2012

The Front Porch is a mobile art piece from our collective Americana memory. Historical perspective is an important ingredient to our cultural future, as much wisdom can be gleaned from times bygone when our ancestors forged the concept of radical self reliance. That, in a nutshell, friends, is what the Front Porch is all about.

Harmonic Fire Pendula

by: Matthew Dockrey
from: Seattle, WA
year: 2012

The Harmonic Fire Pendula creates a constantly changing pattern of waves through the motion of 16 flaming pendula. The simplicity of the device is contrasted against the complexity of the visual patterns being generated, providing a meditative reflection on the nature of life and other emergent phenomena.

Labyrinth of a Colorful Cloud

by: Rob Fischer
from: Miami, FL
year: 2012

Labyrinth of a Colorful Cloud is a huge interactive maze made of translucent hand-painted panes of glass. The sculpture is inspired by and in honor of Micheline Charest. While she has passed from this world, she will be present when her son Eric Charest-Weinberg marries Elizabeth Fate.

Humans attempt to explain their lives by citing the series of critical choices and dramatic moments that shift and divert their path. They attempt to “become” something or someone, but it is usually the minute, unnoticed decisions that shape their existence. In retrospect, people realize that it was a series of both beautiful and painful moments that define who they are.

Luminous Passage 2.0

by: Predock/Frane Architects vs. Anderson/Predock
from: San Francisco, CA
year: 2012

Luminous Passage is a 200′ long structure consisting of a minimal and elegant cable system used to support electroluminescent wire composed in such a way as to create a porous “land bridge” taking people from the city to the Man. Luminous Passage offers the audience a transition from the hardscape of the urban environment of Black Rock City to the natural spaces in the open playa.


by: Laurence Symonds/Sarah Cockings
from: Falmouth
year: 2012

Are we on the verge of a digital and transcendental revolution? A tussle between the physical and the virtual. Can we reconnect with nature but also move beyond it. LUNE & TIDE is a fantasy vision of a Utopian/Dystopian future. A surreal yet playful excerpt from an unwritten science fiction novel.

Man Base Pistil

by: Gregg Fleishman
from: Culver City, CA
year: 2012

The Man Base Pistil is a 35’ tall double helix tower of modules nested on an octet truss space frame. One helix is a honeycomb structure of five cubic geodesic modules, each with 12 panel parts and 24 connector parts interconnected in a spiral array based on a 3D checkerboard. The second helix is an octet truss space frame in the same spiral including broad stadium steps providing both continuous seating as well as a wide stairway. Made from router cut Finland Birch plywood and fit together without metal fasteners, it is imminently reusable. The structure represents a flower pistil (the female reproductive organ of a flower) surrounded by the stamen which is the Man Base. Each helix can be climbed, providing an opportunity for participants to swarm the pistil like bees pollinating a flower.


by: Chelsea Jenkins
from: Alta Loma, CA
year: 2012

MetaMorph is a spiral structure that can be manually spun with the help of Black Rock City Citizens. The spiral is constructed of butterflies made of vinyl records. The butterflies start in a dense cluster and eventually thin out to a single butterfly. The cluster of butterflies signifies community as a fertile ground for individual growth. The single butterfly at the top embodies the final product of an individual who has been nourished by the community to grow into its full potential. Participants can spin the structure manually, sit inside the structure and watch the swarm of butterflies spin around & above them, or spectate from an outside perspective and enjoy the show. At night each butterfly is lit with a blinking LED light to give the swarm a true to life flying effect.

Mooving Sculptures

by: David Boyer
from: Reno, NV
year: 2012

“Mooving Sculpture” is designed to be something fun and whimsical. The installation consists of three windmill towers. At the center of each windmill is a mechanism that moos when rotated (similar to the old children’s “moo can” toy). The motion of the windmills combined with the “herd of cattle” sound effects makes for a fun sensory experience.

Neverwas Haul

by: Shannon O'Hare
from: Vallejo, CA
year: 2012

The Neverwas Haul is a 3-story Victorian house on wheels that conveys the members of the Travelling Academy of Unnatural Sciences on their quest to circumnavigate the earth without the use of a Zeppelin. The Haul is a whimsical, fantasy steampunk vehicle that could not otherwise exist in our world.

Otic Oasis 2.0

by: Gregg Fleishman, Artist; Melissa Barron, Conceptor; Lightning Clearwater III, Project Manager
from: Oakland, CA
year: 2012

The Otic Oasis 2.0 project multiplies from last year’s seeding (oticoasis.org). The first art installation in Walk-In Camping, a zone free of motorized vehicles, loud amplified music, and bright lights, it provides a play structure as well as shelter, tranquility, shade, and comfort for appreciation of our natural surroundings. This wilderness outpost is only reachable by foot or bike. Fluent in the language of geometry, the focal point is a 35’x35’x35’ giant wooden honeycomb, assembled without the use of nails, glue or metal fasteners. Built on a pyramid frame with cascading interlocking “Rhombicube” modules, it provides private spaces or gathering spots to view the panorama. Seven satellite stand-alone 8’x8’x14’ modules radiate outward from this “mother plant,” taking root at random distances, offering remote spaces where complete privacy can be found in the desert stillness.

Perception in the Absence of Reality

by: Dave Clay
from: Seattle, WA
year: 2012

Perception experiments with the concept that what we perceive is intimately tied with our interactions such that the two cannot be separated. Perception is a wall of transparent windows illuminated with color; one can always see through each window while the color and intensity shifts. How you see through Perception is changed by interacting with it. Things seen through the windows have a familiar form, an objective reality, an existence apart from one’s own… yet are connected only loosely through its manipulated windows. One’s vision can be tricked, confused, influenced; nerves backfiring from intentional overload or depletion. Like this digital society, modern politics, heads-up-displays in automatic cars aiming us towards some pre-programmed destination. Even at the quantum realm the superposition of multiple realities collapse only to a personal, relative world when we search for answers. The color of reality changes, moving and creating our own worlds.

Pier 2

by: The Pier Group
from: Reno, NV
year: 2012

The Pier, a relic of a lost land, sits upon the desert waiting for its ship to come in. Or maybe it waits for its ship to dislodge and move on.


by: Tom Woodall
from: Kennewick, WA
year: 2012

Pins is a an oversized version of the ever-popular desktop pin board toy that will allow participants to reproduce all or parts of themselves and create designs, messages and esoteric symbols by pushing on the 4,400 pins (no, they’re not sharp… apologies to the masochists in the crowd) that pass through the center panel. The Art Nouveau-style frame presents a stylized penis entering a welcoming vagina where two plumed spermatozoa address a hyperactive ovum… fertile ground for creative play indeed! It is hoped that while at play, the participants will be able to take a moment to dwell in the Joy, Gratitude, Serenity, Interest, Pride, Amusement, Inspiration, Awe, Hope, and Love that surrounds them on the Playa.


by: Noah Rosenthal
from: Cleveland Heights, OH
year: 2012

The PyroPodium is a nondescript platform from which a series of flame effects can be controlled. There are no instructions, and the participant discovers how interaction on the stage translates into light, heat, and percussion. It is a rediscovery of the body in the act of communication with the artwork.

Remembering Cap’n Jim

by: The Tuna Guys
from: Coos Bay, OR
year: 2012

We build a replica of the Captain’s Tuna Boat as a place to sit and enjoy the Playa all around us. This project means everything to us as so many members of the Tuna Guy family are spread around the country and are unable to gather in one spot to mourn the loss of the Captain, who Burning Man Organization describes as “The Tuna Guys are an iconic playa legend, part of the fabric of Black Rock City, and an enduring icon of Gifting at its best” in the Jackrabbit Speaks. We feel that it is only fitting that there is a place specifically dedicated to the Captain for our friends and family to feel that they can pay final respects.

Reno Star Cosmic Thistle

by: Mark Szulgit
from: Sebastopol, CA
year: 2012

The Reno Star Cosmic Thistle stands 46′ tall and 60′ wide. Made from repurposed salvaged steel from the city of Reno, its design was inspired by the idea of ripping structural steel box-beams lengthwise and utilizing their inherent internal tension to emulate the natural arcing properties of the high desert plants found in the Great Basin. Its short visit to the playa precedes its permanent installation in Reno.

The Serpent Twins

by: Jon Sarriugarte & Kyrsten Mate
from: Oakland, CA
year: 2012

The Jormungand (Midgard) and Julunggul (Rainbow) serpents sit between 2 worlds; the old world that needed and revered them and the present which has shunned such monsters as fears metamorphosed into mythical form. The two 50-foot kinetic mobile sculptures are rendered in metal and cast off materials using modern science; restoring ancient mythos to the Burning Man community.

Singularity Transmissions

by: Troy Stanley and Team RX/TX
from: Houston, TX
year: 2012

“Singularity Transmissions” is a sculptural interactive tower designed to simultaneously converge the voices of up to 16 individuals into one unified voice through the use of tin-can phones. The crude analog phone transmission is recorded digitally at the tower’s sound board apex in real time and output into a womb-like listening chamber at the tower’s base. The echoing quality of the purely analog and nostalgic tin can phone brings the participants back to a simpler thread of humanity. Experiencing in the listening chamber one may pick up the intimate vibrations of a subtle song, a boisterous speech, a declaration of humanity, or screams of exuberance all layered upon each other in the playa stream of consciousness. All transmissions are recorded for future remixing into art, music, performance available to the entirety of the Burning Man community.

Star Seed

by: Kate Raudenbush
from: New York, NY
year: 2012

Rising 40 feet from the desert dust, and made from both organic and galactic forms, the passer-by may pause and reflect upon the scene: is it a giant seed growing up into space, or is it a spaceship landing and putting down roots on Earth? Three sets of curvilinear tree roots loop their way down and offer a pathway of ascent into an astral bower of light, inviting connection around a galactic seed pod in the sky.
“Star Seed” occupies that space where our earth-bound bodies root in the dust, gather together, and rise to meet our higher selves.

Starport 2.012

by: Carey Thompson
from: Novato, CA
year: 2012

Starport 2.012 is the portal bridge between the Man and Center Camp. Approaching Center Camp from the Man one sees an inviting creature arching over the avenue with a myriad of colors dancing upon its surfaces. Traversing through the portal, a subtle or maybe not so subtle shift occurs deep within as its transportative powers inspire the mysteries and wonders of our multidimensional humanity to unfold. Galactivation initiation.

The Sub-Sonarium

by: Benjamin Carpenter / Daniel Yasmin
from: Oakland, CA
year: 2012

The Sub-Sonarium is an exploration of the psychology that surrounds the associations between sound and emotions. It is an immersive, kinetic, interactive sound sculpture that synthesizes uncontrollable forces in a controlled environment. Standing eighteen feet tall with an equal footprint, it has two opposing doors that lead to the center where visitors are encouraged to sit, relax, listen and participate.

The Sub-Sonarium mimics the chaotic sounds of rolling thunder via acoustic, percussive mechanisms. Its chamber contains a series of long, dangling springs that are connected to large membranes embedded in the ceiling. Interacting with these springs causes movement to travel up to the membranes creating random vibrations in the surrounding air.

It was designed to bring temporary relief from hyper-reality and commercial driven anxiety through immersion in an audible, low frequency environment. These frequencies are similar to those used to bring shifts in consciousness and achieve meditative states.

Sun Bugs

by: Adel Kerpely
from: Brooklyn, NY
year: 2012

This project is a Stonehenge-like series of 15 sun-bug sculptures placed in circle. People can sit on these bugs and take photos of each other. Playing all the 15 photographs one after the other will appear as a stop-motion movie of a crazy bug ride.

Super Street Fire

by: Seth Hardy
from: Toronto, ON
year: 2012

SUPER STREET FIRE is a simulated fighting game in the style of Street Fighter. However, instead of playing a traditional video game, the participants interact with the game with motions and thoughts. Instead of an actual fight, the participants face off by controlling a ring of 32 flame effects, creating fire of their own color to attack and defend.

Each participant wears a pair of gloves that reacts to specific gestures and a headset that reads their brain activity. A punch will send a single wave of fire towards the other player’s side; raising a hand in a blocking gesture will create a stationary pillar of fire that will block the oncoming wave; a consistent focused thought will send a rapid pattern of flames across the entire ring.

Players can try to win by making simple attacks, or looking for moves inspired by video games they played long ago…

The Temple of Juno

by: David Best
from: Petaluma, CA
year: 2012

The temple is returning back to the traditional style of temple that our community is familiar with, that we have built over the years as a temple crew.

The temple grounds will incorporate a central temple building sitting within a large walled courtyard. The courtyard is accessible by four entrances, on each of the temple sides. Benches line the exterior space, and surround the temple. The scale of the central temple building is smaller than the last years of the temples, but will be the most detailed temple we have built. The central building will have altar space, occupied floors, and a tower. Intricately cut wooden panels and shapes will cover the courtyard walls as well as the interior space and the altars.

The temple’s large enclosed exterior space, along with its interior structure and altar space is intended to address the needs of our community, to reflect and meditate in private.


by: James Reinhardt, Scott Chico Raskey, WIll Gibbs
from: seattle, WA
year: 2012

Walking up to this piece you see 216 dots with connecting rods in a giant metal cube with spinning mirrors on the edges. It looks like the dots are fire terminals and when someone registers with the 3D sensor, they are able to create all kinds of shapes in the cube out of fire.

The Third Space

by: swissnex San Francisco with Greutmann Bolzern und Alexander Rehn
from: San Francisco, CA
year: 2012

The Third Space: this light, see-through, fragile landscape structure invites you to relax and free the mind. It is made out of hundreds of thousands of recyclable zip ties and it astounds to find such sensuous quality, various capability and great flexibility within this material. The installation is a proof of poetic simplicity and shows how we are still able to create a unique universe with very simple material. 52 students created the installation in order to make interior space sensible.

Through the Gorilla Glass

from: Toronto, ON
year: 2012

Gorilla Glass is a scratch-resistant durable glass used in many mobile devices for the touch-screen interface. This artwork is a kinetic sculpture that explores the ideas of interface and communication at a base mechanical level, and as a physical and spatial experience. From a distance, the project can be seen to produce illuminated dancing wave patterns. As visitors approaches the project, they will see the project is made of many simple mechanical arms waving in sequence. The arms are made to move at a different points along the length of the sculpture by visitors. Waves of musical movement are triggered as one engages the sculptural interface. As the machine moves and reacts, it triggers a separate series of sensors and lights, designed to respond to specific movements. GUILD wishes to look past the surface our contemporary ideas of interface, by engaging the audience in actively driving technology and art.

Timing is Everything / 24-7 Timestar

by: Charlie Smith . art of such n such
from: Atlanta, GA
year: 2012

What is this thing! Closer and closer, there are people, they are all laughing, playing, hugging, talking, loving this time of the day and their lives!

Transcendental Cube

by: Joseph Quinn/Tosca Rivola, Avi Davis/Dragon Scouts
from: Los Angeles, CA
year: 2012

During the day, this art piece looks like a glowing sphere within a square structure. A world within a parameter of ideological structures. At night, all of it glows…regardless of its origins.

This reminds me of Burning Man’s theme this year- that future growth hangs in the balance of the digital age. And also, Fertility and its balance in the ever burgeoning Burning Man community.

Transformoney Tree

by: Dadara
from: Amsterdam
year: 2012

The Transformoney Tree is a tree with brightly colored alternative forms of banknotes hanging from its branches. (Banknotes are from the Exchanghibition Bank, which last year was gifting Zero banknotes to those who filled out a Spiritual Karma Laundering Contract). Participants will be able to pick those banknotes from the tree, while decorating its bark in an interactive process by gluing one-dollar bills onto it. In that process the dollar bills will lose their financial value, but will add value to the artwork. Money has become almost a part of our Nature, so it’s difficult to realize that for a big part of their history humans have lived without Money, and maybe this will be the case again in the future. But even long after Money will be gone, Nature will still be there and we might still be able to pick things of real value from trees.

Tree of Transmutation

by: Kevin Christman
from: Talent, OR
year: 2012

From a distance, you see a tree with strange translucent fruit suspended from stems radiating out from the center. The tree and its branches spring from the playa and carry the suspended figures out from the center trunk. Upon closer approach, the figures appear as female forms, twice life size, in various fetal positions, suspended in space. In the center is a wooden pyramid pieced intricately together like the stonework of a Mayan wall. The top is capped in a copper plate with the tip intersecting a globe of half size skeletons with a small female figure suspended in the center. The large figures are suspended from hooks to freely rotate and be removed for physical interaction in a variety of creative ways to make them silent voyeurs of Burning Man. At nightfall the figures return to be illuminated as dazzling suspended gems.

The Universe Revolves Around YOU

by: Zachary Coffin
from: Atlanta, GA
year: 2012

A human-powered merry go round of stone and steel with mass akin to a freight train.

Yoga Robot

by: Scott Harris
from: Telluride, CO
year: 2012

Yoga Robot is on the playa to lead students in the finer aspects of robotic yoga. Lessons are available all hours, although recommended class times would be after dark. Once you have found her, you approach Yoga Robot with awe and respect. You press the large shiny button, and do as yoga robot says. Namaste.


by: Flux Foundation
from: Berkeley, CA
year: 2012

Fertility can be understood as the space and propensity for growth. The most unlikely of things must conspire to create something unexpected. A deceptively small, almost unknowable thing can take root and flourish into something far more complex, unknowable and unpredictable from its inauspicious beginnings. A thought can grow into a revolution, an encounter into a relationship. It all begins with a seed.

To describe this process Zoa unfolds and reveals in three parts; first, a beautiful, elegant, translucent structure inspired by seedpods rises from the playa floor; next, an awe inspiring mid-week burn; which then reveals an unexpected sculptural array which has been hidden within.

Zonotopia and the Two Trees

by: Rob Bell
from: San Francisco, CA
year: 2012

The Zomes of Zonotopia arise from the playa like ancient jewel-like radiolaria of epic proportion. Each structure, composed of interlocking wooden rhombic panels, creates a space of meeting, greeting and playing. The energy within harnesses a nostalgia for the primordial with a deeply meditated vision of the future.

These beautiful intercelestial escape capsules free the imagination from constraining thoughts and previous perceptions regarding structure.

The Zomes form a courtyard embracing the Two Trees of Zonotopia. Towering above the playa the Trees of Silver and Gold represent the duality of nature.

One of Silver, like moonlight, masculine, silent and strong, illuminated like falling rain on a moon-lit night.

One of Gold, like the Sun, feminine, fiery and fierce, illuminated like fire, giver of life and the source of all things.

From Duality a union is formed,
a Unity thus begotten.
A future child of hope and love
and a past not forgotten.

zome mani padme zome