2021 Art Installations

2021 Honoraria Archive

1:44 Inter-dimensional Space Time Portal

by: Harlan Emil Gruber & Maraya - TransPortals
from: Taos, NM
year: 2021

Located at 1:44 on the Playa, two semicircular 14″ by 14″ thick arches 16 feet high and 32 feet wide crossing at right angles are aligned to north-south and east-west sitting on circular ring 32′ in diameter lying on the ground. This surrounds a central 12-stepped pyramid 11 feet high and 20 feet square that can be both climbed on and entered within, of which the geometry is based precisely on Mayan pyramids. Visually, from outside, citizens will see the Signature Patterns of the Timelines (a symbolic language) inscribed into the top of the ring and all four sides of the arches and illuminated from within. Once inside the pyramid participants will hear The Codes of Creation sung by Maraya, as given by the Elohim.


by: Weld Queen
from: Moscow, Russia
year: 2021

“Airfield 2.0 Tower” is the enhancement of our art object “Airfield for walking in the clouds”, created at Burning Man 2019.
This year “Airfield” will be upgraded with “The flight control Tower in the clouds”. It breaks fresh ground and symbolizes inexhaustible pursuit of our dreams and powerful energy of reaching them.
There are exits to the wings in the Tower, thereby enabling to enjoy widespread views of the”Burn Universe”. Wings are also equipped with rope swings or “space shuttles”.There is “fiery color tail” that is a tent and facilitates shelter from the sun including tea and chill space.
“Airfield Tower” is going to be the link between the Earth and all the distant parts of the Galaxy.

Autumn Spire

by: Eric Coolidge
from: Brooklyn, NY
year: 2021

The piece is inspired by the natural balance of organic and geometric properties in nature. The title refers to a red maple tree, a symbol of endurance and the passing of time. The tower combines gothic architecture and modern technology; new methods being used to resurrect an old style. The passage of time is important to me, and whether it is my perspective or an objective truth, society as a whole feels to be entering into a new season. It feels like something is ending, but as we pass from autumn into winter, so follows spring.

Black Rock Station

by: Black Rock Transportation Company
from: Felton, CA
year: 2021

Black Rock Station is a classic rural train station built in the mid-1880s to serve Black Rock City and the communities scattered throughout the vast Black Rock Desert. The station has come unstuck in time, unstable and oscillating through various moments over the last 150 years and beyond, with ghost trains heard but not seen, an ever-shifting interior life, and a subtle narrative that cuts against conventional historical themes.


by: Steven Brummond
from: Oakland, CA
year: 2021

Carillon is contained in a 36′ tall wood structure covered in slat wood panels. It has a 12′ square base and participants can enter the structure at the ground level. There they encounter levers, ropes, and a spinning pole. All of these devices control one or a series of bells each ringing a special note. The main tower is pyramidal in shape, but has a two pronged spire at the top. The panels that make up the exterior are made from recycled plywood slats arrayed to make an ornate pattern. This pattern filters light to make tower glow from the inside out. All of the wood will receive a medium toast with a roofing torch. This will make the wood appear dark and aged. The panels have the appearance of a fishbone or porcupine.


by: Ryan Mathern
from: Atlanta, GA
year: 2021

Two metal figures – nine-foot tall skeletons forged and fabricated from gleaming steel – are fearsome and flashing. They dance above a stage while an arch of fire frames them, spitting flame into the sky. These charnel lords are animated by the air and propane sent through their limbs and features: clattering, spinning, shrieking, and rattling in their wrathful dance.


by: William Nemitoff with Curious Form
from: New Orleans, LA
year: 2021

Coalescence is a pair of entangled metal orchids with interactive lighting in the flowing petals, seating on the leaves, and an ambient soundscape. The lighting and sound respond to activity on the leaves.

A symbol of beauty and fertility, the orchid serves as a complimentary analogy for the interaction of the universe’s smallest particles.

As with entangled quantum particles, each orchid’s stem react to input on the other. As with quantum superposition, the soundtrack is unknown until the orchid senses people. On the quantum level, reality is only the interaction of things and space is only packets of energy and matter engaging. By engaging with each other and the art, participants make the space, the community, and the artwork real.


by: Jen Lewin
from: Brooklyn, NY
year: 2021

Cosmos is a work that exists at the intersection of art, technology, and community. The goal of this sprawling work is to underscore the ripple effects that each individual has on their community and habitat, the energy of human connection, and the power of collective action. Cosmos imagines a universe in which every action we make shoots light out from ourselves and into the community around us. It demonstrates how each individual has the power to participate equally in the very “cosmos” we live in by choosing to act kindly, inclusively, and with the greater good of humanity at heart.

Council of Animals (What to do about the monkeys)

by: Quill Hyde
from: Tonasket, WA
year: 2021

What to do about the monkeys? A piece to put us, as an over-brained monkey plague on this planet, in our place, as one race in a diaspora of animal races. We are all in it together, all of us from the same line, cousins on the same planet, with nowhere else to go.

The judges are large, bulky, iconic. The piece is circular, the judges sit on one side – a polar bear, an elephant, and a rhino. The lawyer, the go-between, is a coyote standing in the middle of the circle, leaning on a burning-globe staff . There are pews arranged behind coyote, for the monkeys, whose participation completes the piece.

Crotalus AKA "Freddie" the Mohave Green Rattlesnake

by: Peter Hazel
from: Reno, NV
year: 2021

Crotalus AKA “Freddie” is a 20 foot tall Mohave green rattlesnake created with colorful mosaic patterns in ceramic and glass. Crolatus has LED lights illuminating his beautiful diamond like patterns running up his spine. This snake is a combination of handmade ceramic tiles and glass tiles made of reclaimed whiskey, vodka, and tequila bottles. Freddie’s design pays homage to the local Great Basin Rattlesnake, eclipsing the citizens of Black Rock City as he stakes his claim as the Playa’s rightful inhabitant.


by: Shminke Stanislav, Shminke Irina
from: Yekaterinburg, Russia
year: 2021

DIPTOWN is a sprawling landscape installation of a town buried in sand where only building roofs stick out of the ground.

Diptown was once a simply a local tourist trap situated in a dip. Something covered the town up to the roofline, and the dip was transformed into flat desert. What’s happened? Here we leave space for interpretation. Everyone can invent their own legend. We only present an image, and we invite people to give it meaning and stories.

Most of Diptown is hidden beneath the surface, in both the physical and metaphorical senses. Like an iceberg, it projects only a few feet above the surface. It will be up to imagine what else exists below the surface. It will up to viewers to fill in the rest of the details.


by: Kirsten Berg
from: Berkeley CA
year: 2021

Drishti” (Sanskrit): ‘the focused gaze’, vision… is a sculptural expression of a philosophical phrase, “Drishti, Srishti”, meaning: “As is your vision, thus is your universe”, a locus, and reflective symbol of focusing and elevating energies into positive directions in unity, as co-creators of our individual/collective vision and reality. Drishti’s mirrored pyramidal steel form lifts our gaze upward along its elegant angles to a taper, pointing to the stars. Drishti’s repeating patterns of rounded mirrors shimmer like an array of little suns, drawing us in to meet our gaze in the ‘eyes’ of the lens-like mirrors. Stepping back, our image merges with everyone else’s, framed in a mosaic of shared reflection, literally and symbolically.


by: Renzo Verbeck & Sylvia Adrienne Lisse
from: Boulder, CO
year: 2021

Empyrean is a temple of opportunity, inclusion, interactivity and experience, of our transformative multiverse. The experience of Empyrean is a construct of radicalized ritual, designed by radical inclusion, crafted to allow each citizen to find their path of meaning through experiential art and Architecture and the metaphors of Multiverse, Mythology, and the power of universal sacred geometry.


by: Zoe Fry and The Introverts Collective
from: Mill Valley, CA
year: 2021

The FIRE Installation is a grove of fire ravaged manzanita trees from a California forrest. Each tree will stand as a unique individual formed and reformed by natural forces. The charred wood of the trees will contrast starkly with the playa during the day and at night the trees will alight with simulated fire and smoke as participants enter the grove.
A book of fire stories, 2D art, cultural wisdom, and scientific fact related to the fire element will be on an altar next to the grove. The altar is constructed of reclaimed objects and animal bones from California wildfires. There will be materials for drawing and writing so that participants can add their own stories and art to the book.

Fractal Droid

by: Jennifer Finney
from: Austin, TX
year: 2021

The Fractal Droid sculpture will be a 12′ X 15′ tall biomechanical head extruding from the earth, cracked open like an egg with a curved ultra-wide face screen displaying HD content by our Visual Artists. The VR aesthetic draws our viewers in to explore the textures and programmed light designs within the sculpture.

The exterior aesthetic is created out of laser cut birch and CNC cut plywood painted with high gloss finishes and covered in programmed LED strips, spot lights, and ambient speakers, the sculpture is a high functioning playscape of social connection experiences integrating technology and human energy.

The fractal droid is interactive sculpture that is a bridge way between the integration of man and digital art technology.


by: Mr & Mrs Ferguson and David Moreno Terron
from: Alameda, CA
year: 2021

Scared of snakes? Maybe not if you get close to this western diamondback rattler. As you are drawn in, you’ll see that it’s scales are actually gilded flowers and leaves. Delightful to admire and touch. A deceitful serpent from the Garden of Eden? A rebuke to the end of this second gilded age? Maybe it’s just a beautiful, shiny snake. Your perception.


by: Roy (TheWiz) Trammell
from: Portland, OR
year: 2021

Chaos and Resonance. Cycles and Epicycles. Movement evokes sound. Forms are implied. Unexpected order arises. Harmonia is a highly interactive sculpture with spokes animated by light in harmonically related motion. It’s a 30 foot hemisphere of 64 spokes and 13,000 LEDs. A nearby touch screen kiosk turns it into a great big toy which can be played like a visual instrument.


by: Michael Christian
from: Oakhurst, CA
year: 2021

Heave: The act or effort of raising or lifting something, Often as and upward movement except in nautical terms where you just sort of stall or rest. The sculpture will stand 16ft tall and be fully climbable.

I Heart Mom

by: Ryan Stevens & friends
from: San Francisco, CA
year: 2021

With this 20 foot tall wooden sculpture of the traditional style I Heart Mom tattoo, we hope to bring all the beauty, struggles, highs, and lows associated with Moms (or other loved ones) who have shown us true, selfless love. This is more of a dedication piece but not specific to one person, it can be anyone in your life that you love wholeheartedly and made you the person you are today. Unfortunately not everyone is able to bring those people out to BRC to experience Burning Man so this is a way to honor them on the Playa.

Illumina Radiata

by: Eric Zann and the Illumina Radiata Art Guild
from: Kirkland, WA
year: 2021

Inspired by art and architecture from personal travels around the world, this metal sculpture respectfully blends design elements and motifs from the many countries and cultures I’ve visited. A 36-foot tall vertical center pole supports 3 evenly spaced, intricately patterned hanging panels. These “wings” will be welded bent steel tubing and plasma cut steel as a framework. Varying colors, textures and layers of reclaimed materials and painted metals will be used to further define the patterns, designs and motifs. Colored LED spotlights will create infinitely variable patterns at night. The effect will be much like looking up at a tall set of stained glass windows with fluctuating lights. Light and airy, the art will look untethered yet grounded, reflecting our own freedoms and attachments.

Infinite Stare

by: Kelly Smith Cassidy
from: South Lake Tahoe, CA
year: 2021

“Infinite Stare” is a monumental sculpture of a head full of ideas by day and cosmos at night. From the distance, the head will look familiar; as if a forgotten culture had left it a millenia ago.

This installation represents ourselves while in ego (represented by day) and in Oneness (night); that we are all a part of universal consciousness.

Where the face and should be is a blank area representing the melding of all faces. Inside the hallowed-out head is a place where people can sit. Drawn inside the shell of the head are all kinds of ideas with pictograms depicting ideas that can filter through a person’s head. At night, the pictographs are superseded by light images of cosmos representing our infinite minds beyond the mind chatter.

Kukulkan's Portal

by: Abram Santa Cruz
from: Long Beach, CA
year: 2021

Abram Santa Cruz chose Kukulkan to represent the encompassing cube to the merkabah because of its encompassing theological meaning in Mayan and Aztec culture. Kukulkan was the conduit between the physical world in the spiritual world. “Kukulkan is the god of wind, sky, rain and Sun. He is also gave mankind his learning and laws.”

‘Spiritually, the Merkabah is the divine light vehicle allegedly used by ascended masters to connect with and reach those in tune with the higher realms. “Mer” means Light. “Ka” means Spirit. “Ba” means Body. Mer-Ka-Ba means the spirit/body surrounded by counter-rotating fields of light, (wheels within wheels), spirals of energy as in DNA, which transports spirit/body from one dimension to another..”


by: Aromatic Designs Unit
from: Burlington, VT
year: 2021

Loop is an analog human~powered rhythm generator manufacturing melodious moods.
Routine becomes revolution as the musical flywheel is spun by the spirited; motion generating emotion.
After dusk, beats trigger lights.
Each evening a new arrangement is programmed into the mechanism; each day a new mood to be experienced.

Loop is an analogy:
The wheel, a symbol of possibility;
Motion weaves a story, makes a melody;
Always changing, yet the same for eternity.

Lost Frequencies

by: Shelby Dukeminier
from: Las Vegas, NV & Durango, CO
year: 2021

Large scale anatomical human heart with a beat that glows and pulsates a high energy healing frequency.

Lux Lepus

by: Jen Law
from: Seattle, WA
year: 2021

Three sculptures of jackrabbits, each a cluster of three hares. Each triad consists of mirror image transparent cut-outs, with block print style images casting shadow images of themselves during the day and luminous by night. The detailed facial features, human scale, and gaze of the rabbits is meant to engage the viewer on an emotional level, inviting a sense of connection with the animal. An illustrated display accompanies the piece providing information about and depictions of local flora and fauna for those interested in learning about the year-round residents of the Black Rock Desert and surrounding area, as well as the mythology and symbolism of the hare.

M- Theory Mechanica

by: Matt Parkhurst
from: Truckee, CA
year: 2021

M-theory Mechanica is a kinetic sculpture that uses human power to propel reclaimed golf balls through a track system in what appears to be chaos much like M-theory in physics it unifies all the participants just like the unification of string theory. It is tall complex and engages the imagination through light sound and of course flame effects.


by: Leeroy New
from: Queson City, Philippines
year: 2021

Suspended above the ground, Mebuyan appears as a colony of interconnected bubbles. This structural network of spherical forms evokes an imaginative, spatial visualization of a “multi-verse” that can be experienced firsthand. Each orb is intricately constructed from an assortment of collected materials and discards, transforming each pod into a kind of meditation room for isolation or connection.
Mebuyan is a goddess of death and fertility from Bagobo mythology in the Philippines, described as having breasts all over her body to nurse the spirits of dead children into adulthood, providing them with the strength to continue their journey in the afterlife. The Mebuyan vessel aspires to embody this principle of nourishment and transformation.


by: Andrii Krapyvchenko and Merman team
from: Kyiv, Ukraine
year: 2021

Every day we move forward, keep ourselves afloat, but sometimes it seems that we are about to drown. Up or down is our sole choice. Everyone is a bit пLOVEц (Swimmer) here: looking for the coast and new discoveries. We make important decisions every day and it depends only on us whether we get stuck in place or continue moving.

The art piece is a wooden sculpture of a half-visible swimmer. There are only his back, head, and arm “outside” of the playa surface. During a dust storm, it will look like a person “swims” in the dust. Art will consist of CNC-cut wooden panels, with 2,75 inches gaps between them. Metal tube blocks will be placed inside the main form as a frame and the arm will be reinforced by a metal truss to keep it stable and safe


by: Ron Rodrigues
from: Mill Valley, CA
year: 2021

From a distance, a glowing low wall with a rainbow bridge arching out from its 50′ square space. Upon entering the double gates of the dog park, sculptures of different dogs will come into view. From Great Danes to Chihuahuas, some in playa gear some glowing from within, all dogs will be enjoying their very own playa dog park. Some dogs may speak/bark back to you as you pass, some will be playing on the agility course. Puppies will be hanging out inside Snotty’s dog house. Three physically challenged dogs will be looking for a Best in Show award. Here, in this dog park, we hope everyone can make a connection to human kind’s best friend.


by: Hayden Harrison
from: Oakland, CA
year: 2021

Light and sound, in perfect correspondence, travel around a sphere. Various orbits are represented via sound and light. Participants are able to manipulate these sound and light patterns and find symmetries – or chaos – within these systems.

Parallel Self Embraced

by: Matthew Pagoaga
from: Los Angeles, CA
year: 2021

Twin 12′ by 12′ square panels made of wood stand parallel, a foot apart, with wooden stairs leading up to the center of each panel on either side. Lines of the structure radiate from the outside of the square inward toward human-shaped negative spaces. By day the piece appears as an abstract dark metal sculpture with lines radiating out. By night, LED pixels along the radiating lines light up. When a person enters either of the human shaped negative spaces, they trip a variety of interdependent Arduino sensors (eg. pressure sensors) that connect to the LED strands.

PeepShow: Land of Lost Encounters

by: Ashley Stracke
from: Los Angeles, CA
year: 2021

PeepShow is a wooden replica of classic vaudevillian movie houses that adorned the American landscape in the early 1920s. The theater features two frontages, each with unique entrance and outdoor lobby area designed with period marquis, posters, and dedicated ticket booth. Unbeknownst to the entering Burner, each side will determine the nature of the experience in a classic magic lantern-esque cinema encounter— either “audience” or “performer.”

Pendulum of Fire

by: Pyrokinetics
from: Sebastopol, CA
year: 2021

The Pendulum of Fire is a kinetic sculpture utilizing pressurized propane jets to create motion. The frame is built from 2 ½ inch steel pipe, rolled into a ½ circle. The “C” shaped frame is tilted forward so the pendulum can hang down and swing freely in all directions. The pendulum “bob” dangles from the frame by a tubular boom made of hard copper pipe, which delivers propane to solenoid valves in the bob. An operator controls the pendulum’s movements by remotely opening the valves to create 15 foot jets of ignited propane that thrust the bob towards the sky. By alternating patterns of thrust, a skilled pilot flies the pendulum higher and higher to the delight of the crowd. It’s loud, fast and visceral.


by: David Oliver
from: Taylor, AZ
year: 2021

Petaled Portal resembles a giant Lotus flower. Built from steel and stained glass, Petaled Portal stands 27′ tall, 27′ wide, and 27′ deep. 27′ from it’s center ring entrance.. a re-creation of it’s predecessor that debuted at Burning Man 2019.. Portal, is where one stands to view all 9 petals to the same scale through an invisible viewing plane. In actuality, away from this point one will notice the back petal doubles in size from the one that is in front. This is a play on perspective.
Petaled Portal’s center ring is a flowing mosaic coated with stained glass tile representing a color wheel. It’s 9 petals are also lined with glass tiles flowing the same color pattern in the opposite direction.
~ Portal to possibility.

Play With Your Food

by: Bryan Saunders & Keegan Havelock-Rice
from: Edmonton, Canada
year: 2021

This installation imagines a Great Unknown with a land of oversized food items that are not quite as they seem.

This immersive, multi-sensory playground is at first ordinary looking… until the participant inspects it more closely. Close up, viewers will be surprised with a birthday cake slide, a coffee cup merry-go-round, & watermelon seesaw.

Participants are invited to break the rules: to play with their food. To touch the art. And to imagine a world where things do not smell or look or feel as we know usually them.

Participants are invited to experience “discovery” again. To discover a cup of coffee, a piece of cake, & a slice of watermelon again… but to really experience them in a deeper, joyful, and more meaningful way this time.

Quadrupod 2.0

by: Scott Parenteau
from: Sacramento, CA
year: 2021

The Quadrupod 2.0 Is a mechanical walking machine that is operated from controls inside its protective pod. Locomotion is provided by four legs that uses Dominique Studer’s version of Theo Jansen’s leg geometry. This produces a very efficient and animal like stride. The Quadrupod’s appearance has been described as a steam punk mechanical gorilla. Although somewhat intimidating it’s purpose is actually to explore the possibilities of electric legged vehicles that can travel where the roads stop. Quadrupo 2.0 is a prototype proof of concept electric vehicle that will leave no more footprint than a bison or small elephant


by: Barry Crawford
from: Elko, NV
year: 2021

RatchetFish is a Mechanical fish based on the deep sea hatchetfish which swims around in the air. Turning the cranks on the fence will control RatchetFish’s movements.

Schrödinger's Rat

by: Philipp Blume & The Department of Precision and Soul
from: Vienna, Austria
year: 2021

Schrödinger’s Rat is an interactive art sculpture, inspired by Schrödinger’s Cat – the original thought experiment by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger. A cat is sitting on a large triangular box, staring at the quantum world inside, while the citizen entering the box is turned into a lab rat, the cat’s uncanny prey. This experiment encourages the citizens of Black Rock City to shape reality through various states and perspectives.

Honored to be the recipient of a Black Rock City Honoraria Grant in 2020!

Wanna get in touch and stay tuned? Just LIKE our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/SchroedingersRat

Secretly Abandoned Spaces

by: Valerie Elizabeth Mallory
from: Oakland, CA
year: 2021

Every abandoned space retains a feeling of what it once was. Abandoned buildings retain a beauty of that which has been forsaken; it’s the loveliness of disintegration. This piece is about the beauty of loss and decay of a building, a community or of a loved one. Elegance emerges from loss as the world takes back its own. The house becomes a church of ideas that have died and long passed. The cast figures upon the staircase is a theatre, or a play. The interplay of figures tell their own stories. The figures will also be ornate as structures of antiquity. Secretly Abandoned Spaces in a museum of stories that have been lost in antiquity.

Small Hadron Collider (SHC)

by: Everything Good Studio - Jack Kalish and Rachel Ciavarella
from: Brooklyn, NY
year: 2021

Small Hadron Collider is an interactive LED light art installation that lets users launch “particles” of light along a 50-foot long glowing tube that comes up off the ground into a loop 10 feet in the air. When two people jump on the footpads on either side of the loop, beams of light shoot in both directions through the tube. A colorful animation plays at the point where they collide.

Spacecats2020: Mothership Landing

by: Ayda Keshtkar & The Adenium Collective
from: Chicago, IL
year: 2021

The year: 2020. A purrfect time to complete a cat-tastic cycle. The curious Spacecats board the mothership and head back to Black Rock City for one final mission. Find the clouder of Spacecats deep in the playa unified in their matching uniforms as the mothership towers over all in its glorious, categon shape with its tongue slide. Climb inside the Rocket to find a retro, atomic-inspired interior with human sized cat toys to live as cats do. These Spacecats evolved from stardust and the crew of Catstronauts travels far and wide. This whimsical tableau serves as a memorial to our departed furry friends and provides the opportunity to step into a different reality.

Square Root of Growth

by: Shane Evans
from: Denver, CO
year: 2021

“Square Root of Growth” is a 15-foot tall steel and stainless steel abstract tree sculpture built completely with straight lines and 90-degree angles. The trunk of the tree will have a wood burning fire cauldron up the center trunk and the tree canopy will have three large propane fire ceilings within its branches. This project will take on a very organic nature, only using straight lines. The aesthetic will be sturdy, yet delicate, giving the tree a mathematical elegance. While the shape of the tree will seem unnatural due to its strict straight lines and sharp angles, the concept is that this tree may be naturally occurring in another unfamiliar universe.

Temple of Masks

by: Jason Gronlund
from: Guadalajara, Mexico
year: 2021

The Temple of Masks is a pyramid-like structure covered from top to bottom with unique masks of different sizes made of steel. The six-sided hexagonal spire at the top connects the three leaf-like legs and supports a poofing flame halo at its highest point. Inside the temple are three removable masks that can be worn by the participants. Each mask has a different expression, shape, and detail that sets it apart from all the rest. The masks will explore themes, expressions, and ideas meant to resonate with the viewer’s ideas of what a mask is both literally and metaphorically. The physical act of putting on the masks will mimick something that we usually do mentally as we face others in our lives.

The Buddha at the Trash Fence

by: Ali Agus Ardie & The Dalang Project
from: Bali, Indonesia, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Reno, USA
year: 2021

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reincarnate!
That is the mantra of The Buddha at the Trash Fence, a 30′ tall, recycled puppet bust of Buddha. Seated atop a wooden lotus, the Buddha will be constructed from 695 PET plastic bottles (the amount the U.S. throws away every second). Participants can move the Buddha’s head, arm & fingers via pedaling, braking & turning a repurposed mounted bicycle at the Buddha’s lap. That bike controls puppet mechanisms made from similarly recycled bicycle parts & gears. Using reincarnated steel & lighting from previous art installation, Digital Dalang, combined with locally sourced, donated recyclables; The Buddha at the Trash Fence installation aims to be 90% recycled, powered only by you, your trash & the sun!

The Dreaming Goddess

by: David Bell
from: Phoenix, AZ
year: 2021

It has been our experience that many of our peers deeply desire spiritual meaning in life but find traditional religions to be legalistic, hypocritical, and out-of-touch. It’s our hope that by imagining a new religion (or re-inventing how an old one could have developed) we can spark people’s intense joy and longing for the spiritual without preconceptions or baggage.

Diana has historically been the Goddess of the wilderness and the hunt. She was thought to have guardianship over the crossroads and ushers supplicants between life and the afterlife. Her symbols are the moon and the stag.

With our reinterpretation of Diana’s worship we want to have people experience a spirituality of the wild spaces, both in nature and in the soul. A spirituality that emphasizes the wild nature of humans and the human nature of animals. A spirituality that mirrors the moon with change, death, and rebirth. A spirituality that reveres the sacred feminine rather than suppressing it.

The Importance of Small Things: Plecoptera

by: Ela Lamblin, Lelavision
from: Vashon, WA
year: 2021

Plecoptera is a Stonefly Nymph crucial to stream ecosystems, and a building block of ecological diversity. A 40-foot, stainless steel and aluminum Plecoptera is dancing upright on the horizon. Her life-like motions and glittering metallic colors are attracting passersby like a Siren. This smiling six-limbed goddess with compound eyes, delicate antennae, and silky metal leg fringe, anal gills, and cercus is a warrior insect from another dimension. Her inquisitive antennae and six limbs swimmingly stir the air, simultaneously producing music: deep gongs and chimes as people, small below the huge stonefly, pull ropes at the base of the structure. The small action below causing large action above reminds us of the importance of small things.

The Midnight Museum of That One Time at Burning Man

by: Jerry Snyder
from: Reno, NV
year: 2021

The Midnight Museum will be 25 faux stained-glass lanterns depicting artworks, events, and people of significant interest within Burning Man culture. Each lantern will be a box 3′ tall and 2′ wide on a 3′ high stand. Each will consist of a wood box housing a faux stained-glass panel on each vertical face. Each lantern will be lit from within and will be topped with a light pole. On the top of each pole will be an LED beacon that will display a variety of enticing colors designed to draw viewers in from across the playa. At the base of each pole will be a button that, if pressed and held down, will cause the beacon to dim. The lanterns will be arranged in a regular square grid with the lanterns 6′ apart on center.

The Prism of Possibilities

by: Emily Nicolosi and the In Theory Collective
from: Salt Lake City, UT
year: 2021

The prism of possibilities showcases a multiverse of potential climate futures. Spinning outward, the prism offers portals to three different worlds, from best to worst case scenario climate-impacted earths.

Our world is barreling towards a future of 4 degrees C warming by the end of the century: the worst-case scenario described by scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And yet, we continue to live the status-quo of exorbitant fossil-fuel combustion. Perhaps our inability to act is related to our inability to imagine potential futures. If we can find hope in such an exploration, perhaps we will find the motivation to make moves in a direction that will allow a happy future for the earth and all of her inhabitants.

The Restaurant at the End of the Multiverse

by: Iron Monkeys
from: Seattle, WA
year: 2021

The Restaurant at the End of the Multiverse is an opportunity to sit across the table from friends or strangers and share a moment in time and space. A 7′ wide armillary commands the center of the restaurant reminding us of our place in the universe. At night, tables and armillary will be on fire.

The Resurrection of the Clothes Peg

by: Usha Seejarim: Project Aikido
from: Johannesburg, South Africa
year: 2021

The wooden clothes peg features prominently in my own work and has come to signify the female. A domestic object, rudimentary in nature. In its amplified form it speaks of the pedestrian functions of our lives and in particular the lives of women. The function of the peg is to hold together, to support, to secure. But “The Resurrection of the Clothes Peg” is not a full peg. It is half a peg. It is incomplete yet familiar and recognisable. It is stripped of its utilitarian purpose and magnified. The sculpture constructed from negative shapes and the form is a result of the collective. Its strength lies in its collective despite is perceived fragility and incompleteness. An innate power that women around he world are beginning to discover.

The Self Help Yourself Bookshelf

by: Brie'Ana Breeze and Crew
from: Alameda, CA
year: 2021

Not just another library on playa, the Self Help Yourself BookShelf has a few surprises in store for for those seeking some dusty enlightenment. Come laugh at the punny titles, but stay to get some wisdom dropped.

The Solar Shrine

by: Antwane Lee
from: Chicago, IL
year: 2021

The Ancient Egyptians and Nubians believed that the Sun was a deity, Ra, who had metaphysical powers as creator of the universe and the giver of life on Earth. The Solar Barque would carry Ra across the heavens during the day and through the underworld at night in preparation for Ra’s rebirth in the east. Thus, The Solar Barque is a wooden model of a boat on an altar as an artistic expression of the Ancient Egyptians and Nubians cosmology.

Hardwood panels with gold reveals in-between are on the exterior. The altar is highlighted with a darker/reddish brown hardwood near the base. The boat has a reddish color to match the accent hardwood panels. There is a gold disk on top of the boat as well.

The Traveling Sound Museum Presents: The Anomaly

by: Chris Cerrito and Mike Rosenthal
from: Emeryville, CA
year: 2021

Deep in the Black Rock Desert there is a trans-dimensional energy disturbance, first discovered by Walter Williams in 1807. This disturbance is considered to be the “Old Faithful” of multiverse energy vortexes, and the National Park Service erected this viewing station so all could observe the strange disturbance in 1972. Thanks to a slight repositioning of the trash fence this year, the viewing station is now accessible from inside Black Rock City for the first time.

Through The Mind's Eye

by: Launa Eddy
from: New York, NY
year: 2021

Through The Mind’s Eye might make you wonder if Salvador Dali and Jeff Koons had an ectopic dream baby. Colorful, animalistic, surrealist and absurd. It’s a big bright toy that wants to be played with. And while your inner child goes ‘squeee’ over its fun-ness, you also notice that deep in its soul (and also glaringly on the surface) this sculpture is about struggle, and the beauty and wilderness that could very well emerge from the darkness within… if you dig your heels in and keep your head up. Ex Umbris, Ad Lucem = Out of Darkness, Into Light.


by: Ryan Elmendorf and Nick Geurts
from: Denver, CO
year: 2021

Tremolo is 50 freestanding wind or human powered musical instruments, each one with a spinning wooden enclosure that also serves as the sounding box mounted to a steel pole that is set in the ground. The height of the musical elements vary based on the tone of the notes that it creates. Each one spins in the wind or by human activation and has an electro-mechanical assembly within that resonates three metal bar chimes that are tuned to produce a three-note harmonic chord. The elements are designed to cause a warbling sound as they spin, which is referred to, in musical terms, as a Tremolo.

Unbound: A Library in Transition

by: Jules and Dave Nelson-Gal
from: Mountain View, CA
year: 2021

Unbound is a neo-classical building clad in pages and covers from over 3000 books with sound of voices emanating from the walls. Curiosities, furniture and chandeliers made from books finish this transformed library.

From the debris field of stars, atoms are the raw material that make up our world and everything in it. Unbound’s materials represent the debris field of human thought. Words, illustrations, and covers–the remains of books decommissioned from libraries–illustrate the power of human ideas and serve as historical evidence. Like the debris of stars, these materials have been processed through time, space and energy, and are reconstituted into this work rising from the Playa, anew.

Unpopular Music (or UNPOP)

by: Evidence (Stephan Moore + Scott Smallwood)
from: Chicago, IL and Edmonton, AB
year: 2021

UNPOP, or “Unpopular Music,” is an intimate, 8-channel listening environment. It features exquisite, detailed sound works, including field recordings, abstract electroacoustic music, ambient textures, and other non-beat-oriented sonic experiences, presented in a comfortable, minimalist setting. Encompassing a space 40 feet in diameter, the piece is built around a circle of eight custom-built Hemisphere speakers, which enclose a listening area with soft couches. Each night’s 12+ hour dust-til-dawn program is unique, drawing upon a library of multi-channel audio works by over 60 composers and sound artists.


by: Michael S Emery
from: Santa Cruz, CA
year: 2021

VIMOKSHA consists of two rectangular standing steel panels mosaicked with thousands of irregular cut mirror. VIMOKSHA provides the wandering acolyte a shimmering reflection of the desert surround defined in two rectangular frames. Closer approach reveals the seekers own reflection bouncing in and out of the frame. Still closer, brings the wandering sadhu into communion with his/her/their own visage broken into a multitude of fractal possibilities. VIMOKSHA might be understood as a window through which we see ourselves altered and reflected back reorganized into a multidimensional world that is unknown and new. In this new world, alternative possibilities arise. VIMOKSHA reminds us that we are already liberated, Everything is possible.

What to Expect When Expecting

by: Future Problems Art Collective
from: Portland, OR
year: 2021

A pair of pregnant belly casts, each mounted on a separate small platform face each other. Both have been collaged with images of climate catastrophe. As a participant walks up on a platform, they step into a belly cast, and inhabit it for themselves. On either side of the belly are curtains of strung mirrors for reflection. This piece hopes to inspire questions as participants see themselves in the mirrors. How do we hold hope in the face of chaos? What might it feel like to be in this pregnant body for months? What choices are made as we bring new creation into the world? It’s an open ended opportunity for empathy and contemplation.