The room (15×24) has black external walls and mirrored clothing inside. To get into the room participants go through a narrow passage (5×24) that has black clothing strips hanging from the ceiling at all of its length creating a claustrophobic sensation. When a person finally enters the space they see a glowing platform (15×10).
Participants are greeted by a Krivis (shaman) who leads them to a mirror altar in the center of the platform which comes alive as a musical instrument if you interact with it. The altar allows participants to compose music as easy as Lego pieces: sound loops of basslines, drums, melodies & vocals can be combined in thousands of different variations by placing special controllers on the instrument’s surface. This includes recordings of Baltic folk artists using traditional instruments, electronics, hip-hop and more. Up to 4 people can interact with the cube at the same time, creating their unique melodies.
Carnal Connections: Love is an Illusion
Is it Love or Lust? Carnal Connections explores the duality of sexual desires, infatuation, obsessions.
Love has become an Illusion: quick hook ups, casual encounters, and religious condemnation.
Look in the mirror, see: true self, illusion, lust, limerence.
Cock 'N Candy
One game of skill, one game of chance, and one cone of cotton candy!
Doktor Malvoye's Travelling Stationary Clinic & Puppet Theatre
Doktor Malvoye Knows All! Doktor Malvoye Heals All! Something is ailing you and only Dr Malvoye can treat it. Be seen, be healed at Dr Malvoye’s Travelling Stationary Clinic.
Daily hours posted.
~ All treatments fully guaranteed not to be deadly ~
The clinic is never actually closed! Come play at the Dr Malvoye Puppet Theatre…. it’s always open! No previous medical or puppeteering experience needed for this totally random interactive show.
Dr. Hyas Balze Boardwalk Soul Exchange
Deep in the back alleys of the carnival midway, the flickering lights of a forgotten marquee beckon you. A hooded figure calls to you, offering you tokens in exchange for a glimpse at your soul. Just beyond, behind the curtains, the colorful games appeal to your sense of whimsy and excitement, and all it takes to play is for you to weigh your soul. Will you place a token on the scales and join the dark merriment?
Dr. Thelonious D. RUM Medicinal Thump Thump Magical Healing Excursion
Dr. Thelonious and his family of Vagabonds each with peerless pedigree, through the use of rhythm making bait, captivate and inspire the clever and naïve.
Trawling the crowds, mesmerizing and enticing chumps and marks with peculiar oddities found, burners vie through games of chance for the opportunity to express their “unearthing” as they build their drum.
All candidates are gifted with carny totems and icons; only the courageous stay and build, those perennial souls who hurl themselves into the unknown of their personal darkness and light.
This installation is a vehicle whereby intimate interactions are cultivated while supporting the burner making their own art on site. Ideally, this art is vital and poignant, illustrating the journey towards what lies beyond the mask with each drum being a personal canvas. Capitalizing on the “immediacy of the interaction” and the “possibility within the moment,” the facilitation team acts as lead, rudder, usher and guide as both move towards their mutual unmasking.
FoxCarn & the Betel Store
Race against the robot overlord of the Chinese factory floor. Win demonically sexy Taiwanese treats and perils in the betelnut booth. This is a parody of Foxconn, the Taiwanese-owned manufacturer of iPhones, both villain/hero of our consumer society. The betelnut beauty, unique to Taiwan, is a provocatively dressed woman vending legal stimulants in neon-lit booths on the roadside. Evocative of the carnival peep show, she is also a lightning rod for debate about gendered labor.
FoxCarn lets burners experience both forms of capitalist exploitation. They enter for a chance to outrun the robot overlord through the factory floor obstacle course, performing menial tasks like putting stickers onto goods, assembling tangrams, taking naps. If they win, they can “escape” to the betelnut booth, where they must use their bodies to create desire for the goods they just made. Manufacturing, commerce, consumption, exploitation, and spectacle coalesce into a garish temple to modern consumerist society!
When he comes near the tent, it attracts him with flashing arrow “In-Sight Out. Come, if you dare.”
There he sees a sign with a challenge: “Come alone or with a few friends. Take a trip into your soul.”
Then he walks into the tent to see that it is almost empty, except for a few paintings in the shadows. It is dark in there, he can barely see. But just enough to find his way to one of the paintings. Then the faint light quenched. He sees the scene there:
A man who craves power so much, that he sacrifices the lives of others. He sees that this man is him, it has his face. It’s part of he who craves power much more than looking after others.
He goes further and sees another scene. Again illuminated with another faint light. He sees himself covered in luxury furs, and a horrible death of many animals.
After a few minutes and more paintings, he finally comes out. Outside of the waxworks of the human soul. His soul.
Everyone carries demons. It is up to us if we give them life.
Infinite Community is the Los Angeles Burning Man Midway art project for the Carnival of Mirrors. Six of Matt Elson’s Infinity boxes will be placed in the Midway for interactive transformational experiences.
Journey Into The Mind of the Man
See what he sees,
Hear what he hears,
Modern technology has allowed us travel on a fantastic voyage into the very eyes, ears and mind of the Man.
No telling what you will find inside…
Macabre Penny Arcade
Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe themed penny arcade brings forth an era of the Carnival Midways of the past to the present. It is a place of interactive fun and spectacle; an asylum of playfulness, mysticism, arcana, and swinging pendulums.
A traveling circus from the nordic lands has arrived! The frozen north hides humor and horror and requires you to be resourceful to survive. To make it through the winter you must preserve your food, your thoughts, and your experiences but you never know what will come back out of the jar. Come to our Tivoli where you can play a game to make a change, and winning will cost you an arm or a leg.
Professor Grimaldi’s TENT OF MARVELS & MYSTICAL MIDWAY makes a command appearance at this year’s festival, called in from realms both STRANGE & MARVELOUS!
The Midway opens its gates to those who would peer into its mirrors and encounter its Characters.
Guest may SPIN FORTUNA’S WHEEL and discover their ALLIES.
A “Mythopoetic, Commedic Ritual Initiation’ awaits inside THE TENT OF MARVELS to those who would dare dive deeper into its mirror.
You may encounter such Midway Characters as:
PROFESSOR GRIMALDI: Who are you on The Mythic Stage?
LADY FORTUNA: How do you call upon the power of insight?
The DARK HARLEQUINS: How do you kill your own joy?
The SNAKEOIL SALESMAN: How are you fooling yourself and others?
The BLUE MYSTICS: How can you rewrite a better story? What inner Magic do you wish to share more of in the world?
Mr. NOBODY: What fear do you wish to release?
His HOLINESS SOCKANANDA: Do you wish to achieve SOCKHEAD?
ROYAL ORDER OF MYSTIC JESTERS: How are you or can you be of service to others?
Mythic Mirrors & Catalyst Cards
A small but infinite playhouse of frames and mythic mirrors… where you can inquire and crystallize keys & gifts into the form of Catalyst Cards, get reflections from the Mythic Oracle, and capture your multi-dimentironal self in the Shape-Shifter Photo Studio. The Oracle reflects back our own dazzling beauty, our archetypes, allies, true essence, and our deepest desires, dreams, and inspirations. You walk away from this catalyst portal with not just an experience but a card to remind you or a whole deck of playing cards to make your whole adventure more mythical and interactive.
New Orleans Sunken City Sideshow
Set in the middle of a bayou the backdrop from a long forgotten 10 in 1 Sideshow with entry arch framed by posters proclaiming assorted “freaks and oddities” presents a stage of assorted carnival acts, mischief and improvisational performances with something much more mysterious once you are lured into the inner sanctum
The human mind resembles a monkey – constantly moving, lightly hopping from one thought and emotion to another one, stopping for long at one issue and in brief at another. We absorb the information in the quantities we are unable to digest, we “play monkey”, share the information with other people in and out of place not always realizing the meaning of words.
Such is OraculTang – hairy anthropomorphous eager to have any talk about life, God, love, currency rates but mostly about the conflicts of a modern human, primarily about inner and outer freedom.
OraculTang is watching the audience acutely with his only eye reacting to their behavior, replying gesture to gesture, word to word. Its cage – covered with mirrors top to bottom – gives the impression of an endless abyss from which our oddish prophet is addressing us. The speech of the monkey first incoherent still reveals age-old wisdom.
Philly Phreak Show
The Philly Phreak show is a museum of Oddities and a Phreak Show celebrating strange artistry, one-of-a-kind talents and stories that connect us with our humanity. Curiosity will lure the audience into our tent of rarities. Cabinets will be filled with “specimens” and a variety of artifacts in a spooky Victorian inspired atmosphere. Nightly a museum curator, evil scientist, creepy clowns, etc. will greet guests to enter for intimate performances and games. Our regional inspiration is Philadelphia’s favorite strange medical collection, The Mutter Museum.
You enter a zone where your identity is fluid. Who are you? Alive or dead, male or female, popular or isolated? It all can change.
Sask Playa Odditorium
Come to the Sask Playa Oddirotium featuring the oddest and most exotic species from the Orient, South America, and North America. Refresh yourself with midnight tea, ancient skin remedies, and join us for our taxidermy animation courses (electricity not provided).
Those in search for enlightenment in the dark will step into our tent of mystery to discover three aura meters with two sets of corresponding buttons/switches by their left and right sides. Each meter has an ascending order of color LEDs representing chakra points on the body. Players will compete with others in their race to light up all the chakras, by holding down the correct order of matching buttons, thereby triggering the corresponding chakra lights to turn on. The buttons will have an image/phrase that correlates to the respective chakra meaning, in some way… Some of the buttons might be tricks! We hope to reignite the true search for one’s own elightenment, chakra alignment and openness by guiding players towards their personal discovery, beyond traditional meditation, with satirical stimulation and tickling of their senses.
Sideshow Sven and Professor Lena's Midway Spectacular
The Minnesota Midway booth, Sideshow Sven & Professor Lena’s Midway Spectacular, occupies a 20 x 24 foot booth in the Midway. It has several large props including an ice fishing game, fortune teller box, wheel of fortune, raised stage, photo cutout booth and mosquito circus. Participants are sporting Paul Bunyan inspired circus clothing, and the space has decorations to match.
The Sacramento Sparkade is an attraction that is designed to bring people back to the hot, dusty, shady, arcade of the annual Carnival. When the lights went down, the carnival awoke. Carnies tantalized and promised, hemmed and hawed. “Passerby beware, but not over here!” was the promise. Behind the tents, the seedy and profane were flowing with ease for those that were willing to venture back. As participants approach the Sparkade the first thing they will notice is the Wheel of Misfortune Twister game wheel mounted to the informative and clearly labeled facade. As their eyes dart to the floor, the ominousness Twister pattern overtakes the entire floor space. Upon entering the stall, the participant will be drawn towards either the Self-Serve Selfie Station, Love Machine, Swag Glory Hole, or the Cock Ring Toss.
The Discombobulater is designed to be a large machine that appears to function as a fair style penny press machine. The front facing portion of the machine is a booth that has a live gypsy style fortune teller. On the side of the machine you encounter turning gears, noises, lights & play along improv as your token transforms. As you follow the coin’s progress along the machine you stop at several different points of interactivity, each designed to challenge your perception of what a real carnival game should be. Witty banter is the game here & a positive attitude & willingness to play along is how you win.
The Gallery of Infinity
The Gallery of Infinity is a sideshow attraction of reactive infinity mirror corridors. The LEDs within the infinity mirror panels change based on the movement of visitors. This art installation includes 3D sculptures built from multiple touch-reactive infinity mirrors and showcases infinity mirror paintings from Santa Cruz, CA artists.
The Love Tester
Come and see the colossal Love Tester, whose fame folds in the great orb of this earth! The Glass of Fashion! The Mold of Form! The highest of high class attractions! Test your love, seek the truth! At last, the marvelous and wondrous Love Tester before you! An enormously expensive and endeared challenge, taken by over Eight Crowns of Europe, now awaits your touch! Carried by hunchbacks from the humid and violent swamps of Florida, the stupendous Love Tester seeks a great lover in you!!
The Mask Factory
Welcome One and All to the Fabulous Mask Factory. Enter the Magical Workshop to Create a New Face with lots of Wonderful Artists. You can Make a Face to fight your Fears. Or Make a Face to Change your Future. Or you can Make a Face to Find Real Fun! Enter the Workshop as one person and leave the workshop as another! You can Make a Mask that will become an heirloom for your grandchildren to make up stories about. Yaaaaaay!!! Meet new People! Become a New Person! Make the Face you want to become and walk out onto the Playa as That New Creature! Come One and Come All……To the Fabulous Midway of Fun Filled Fantasy…..and Masks!
Venus Lift - Mega Mikoshi
Borrowing some tradition from Japanese festive occasions, Mega-Mikoshi is a portable shrine that will carry the ideal beauty “Venus” in a giant flower bud as an idol supported by fans who physically lift the Mikoshi. As it goes out for a parade from the Midway booth, the flower will bloom at its climax when the music reaches its hype.
Meandering along the Midway and you find yourself pulled into a vortex where time and space are one: Wonderlust Arcade! This impossibly long hallway lined with overly large childhood games is decorated in a 1920’s style. Games like: Simon, Connect 4, Battleship are being played by others consumed with Wonderlust. Exploring this hallway of coalesced time, you feel as if you are getting larger! Space is also compressing! By the time you reach the hallway’s end, you are GIANT! There you find a live Zoltar waiting! Searching for an escape, you enter a portal into another dimension ruled by the rich tones of a handmade organ performed by another chrononaut. This calmer world lacks spatial compression, the walls and floor are covered with curves, spirals and fun house mirrors, leaving you with the spins. You try your hand at the keyboard… As if your fingers were possessed, that tune you played as a kid fills the air. Your song ends and you make for the door, now with a sense of Wonderlust!