Follow the light, Children! Out past the Mausoleum, where dreams beckon and visions flutter in the night wind, there is a place where forgotten memories go- part Fellini film; part Grandmother’s attic, The Afterlife is a hallucinatory, peripheral, uncanny, sacred and profane light sculpture. The Afterlife is, above all else, what you make it come see for yourself!
The arena is a contemporary multi-medium installation filled with imagery of many dimensions. Symbols from Crete to classical Greece to Rome up to modern times provide powerful visuals as we humans struggle and interact to find our present and our future in the United States, our current empire, at the beginning of a new millennium. What do we honor now, what motivates us? What will we die for? Or better still &151; really live for? A circle of classical columns and flags 100′ in diameter will contain a laser grid, a classical fresco, two lions, a classical goddess, a spirit door, an interactive graffiti wall, four columns designed by different artists, and other artifacts. The arena is an invitation to create drama, to play, to compete, to cooperate, and to artistically express our torment, our pain, and our struggles in life as we search for some light in the world. The dualities of human darkness or struggle with mortality and the search and need for immortality will be clearly visualized and experienced through the art and the games which are all interactive.
Four towering black Madonnas with spinning bodies will form a circle; in the middle, the participant sits on a turntable and spins, stopping to face one of the Madonnas, from which a token will be given, to be carried on the journey through the Seven Ages.
The Bone Tree was originally created by Dana Albany for the ’99 festival, where it rolled around the wheel of time from dusk until dawn. With performance artist and Karmedienne KAOSMIKITTY leading a small ritualistic procession to the sweetly darkened strains of live and prerecorded BONE TREE soundtracks composed by U-R-I, a magickal spell was initiated and now will be completed this year in an even grander fashion. This years performances will not only feature a performance by a stunningly beautiful troupe of improvisational Butoh dancers moving in tandem with the now completed and released Bone Tree Soundtracks CD, but will also be moving to specific sites on the playa to do live improvisational performances of some of the most scintillatingly phantasmagoric music you could possibly find anywhere. Also consider this an invitation to those individual performers and musicians interested in joining the ritual ambiance and general procession. The only requirements are an appropriate Bone Tree Costume, a focus on the intent of the ritual, and ability to blend into the magickal mix rather than distort it. Also, anyone who has genuine BONES to add to the tree or to add to the costumery, PLEASE BRING THEM. Those of the greatest assistance will be rewarded with a special something. We are also interested in providing the BONE TREE as a sound system/ backdrop for a few other musical and performance acts that would like to do their own interpretation of the piece, asking only that we are allowed to audition your intended performance via CD, etc. Hint: think dark, beautiful, and emotionally compelling. Themes of death and rebirth, the Five Elemental forces, Bones and trees. The Bone Tree will mainly be stationed near the MAUSOLEUM installation, farthest from center camp, but functions also as a mobile installation, and will traverse the entire festival.
The Brain Game is a giant, glowing, translucent brain which is powered by the innards of a Milton Bradley SIMON game. A player will be greeted by a clear, plexi-glass box containing the brain and 5 illuminated, workable buttons. One of the buttons will start the game and the other 4 will be used in the competition. When the player presses the ‘start’ button, the sights and sounds of Milton-Bradley’s SIMON game begin. Except that this time the game has a twist. Instead of the normal 4 illuminated, multi-colored buttons, there are 4 illuminated portions of the brain and a button that corresponds to that portion of the brain. When an area of the brain lights up, the player must hit the corresponding button.
The Burning Man is a symbol of our shared humanity and equally represents men and women. Standing near the mid-point of this life course, he forms a moral nexus, a crossroads, and a central intersecting point that unites our life’s decisions. This year we plan to redesign the platform that supports Burning Man. Mounted atop this platform and the central pylon that forms the tower of the Temple of Wisdom, the Man will rise 70 feet in the air. As in past years, every participant will have access to the deck that forms the base of this platform. However, access to the interior of the tower will only be granted to those who furnish proof that they have passed (in any order) through the six previous Ages of Man. Within the hidden depths of this looming edifice, they will undergo a final initiation that allows them to travel upward through the tower of the Temple to a chamber immediately beneath Burning Man. Here they will enjoy a view commanding the entire span of Black Rock City. From this four-story vantage they will also overlook the mile-long course of a lifetime laid out before them on the Promenade. We are looking for participants who wish to help craft and assemble the Temple, preside over its gateway and initiate those who enter into this sanctum. We are also seeking artists who want to help decorate the entrance and interior of this edifice.
Chamber of Creation
This sculpture will be approximately 30′ and 15′ tall, consisting of a horizontal ring of fire with two vertical half circles crossed over creating a domed effect (the sides of the sculpture will be vertical to a point of 8′); a double DNA helix/vertical spiral center column which will spin in high wind and/ or when lit (see below). The entire sculpture will be hollow, drilled steel pipe, excepting the center column which will be made of copper tubing, and fixed to a level base plate sitting on a lazy susan. The whole thing will be pumped with propane and lit on fire at night. It is meant to be enjoyed as a spatial installation by the citizens of black rock city day and night for the duration of the festival, with emphasis on the added nighttime visual element of fire.
Confi-Duck is a four foot “Rubber Duckie” floating in a bathtub that both attracts and disarms passers-by. The warmth and safety that most people associate with the image is amplified by it’s size, and is a conduit for interaction. With a remote walkie-talkie in both eyes, a conversation is begun from a remote location with a curious on-looker. The exchange which can be heard, seen and recorded with a cordless camera in a small opening in the ducks mouth is designed to reveal and record naughty little secrets!
Participants enter the Cradle by passing through one of three 6-foot vaginal openings that flank the bassinet. When they have passed through the stretchy fabric lips of the vagina, they find themselves in the dark and cushioned Womb, listening to soothing lullabies. They are birthed into the 16 X 16 foot cradle proper, where they are spanked as a welcome to life. The “baby” is immediately overwhelmed and immersed in the brilliantly colored rainbow sea of balls, through which they must crawl towards the bassinet area, which symbolizes the comfort and security of the Mother’s embrace. Upon reaching the end of the Playpen area, the baby must crawl beneath the red curtain that covers the Bassinet, and enters the rich and intimate inner sanctuary. Purple carpeting covers the floor and curved seating platforms, and Mommy’s 6′ breasts dangle enticingly overhead. Upon reaching the top platform, Baby is coaxed to speak his/her first word, and receives the stamp of the cradle, before exiting via a steel slide that takes one into the Playground. The Cradle allows participants to experience the wonder and excitement of birth and the overwhelming sensory overload associated with viewing the world for the first time as a newborn, and finally, the warmth and security of resting in the Cradle of the mother’s arms.
Contemplate your own passing at this single bed and simple night stand with books and objects.
Death Comes Rocking
What do all mortals fear? The chance that death will come knocking on the door. Now death will come rocking on the playa. We are building 20 tombstones with scalloped legs that will rock in the wind. They will vary in size from 2′ to 8′ tall and will be about 2-3′ in width. All will be painted black with chalk attached for participants to create inscriptions.
A ruby red neon heart on a 30-foot copper mast. Red xmas lights outline the 6 guy wires, forming a skirt from just below the heart to the base. The power for the neon can be modulated with audio output, making the heart beat to music, drums, or one’s own heartbeat.
Dizzyhead is a metal head about 12 to 14 feet tall mounted on a rotating table, upon which one can climb. This guy spins and twirls all day long and into the night, when he’ll stop nobody knows.
Draka the Dragon
Draka the Dragon will be Black Rock City’s first Official Public Transportation System!
The Route: The Dragon will be departing from the Main Dragon Stop at Center Café every 2 hours starting at 4PM and running till Midnight. Riders may also catch a ride (space permitting) from one of the other 6 Dragon Stops: 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 8 o’clock, 10 o’clock, behind the Man, and one way out in the Playa.
Lisa Nigro designed and created Draka in 2000. Draka was repaired in 2001 by Thomas Sepe, Suzanne Johnson, Sue Glover, Tanya Story, Dea Million, Jenny-Jo Leeder, Doyle, Miles, Sam Weddenburn, Jim Brietrick, Attila, Dark Angel, Flynn Mauthe, and crew.
The Grid will be a rectangular lattice of laser beams a foot off the ground. It will cover about 70 feet square in the center of the Coliseum, and form a game grid for players there. The squares will be around 10 feet on a side, made from green beams that will automatically shut off in one millisecond if blocked by stumbling humans. You can hop over them, roll a ball under, or just feel trapped like Captain Kirk in an energy field. If we shut off one of two separate beam paths, you get long rectangles that go along the diagonals of the installation. Come visit the Coliseum, make up a game, and pretend you’re Roman being tested by historians from the Future.
The Hanged One will function as a satellite “contemplation station” from the age represented by “The Justice” and the Maze. The Hanged One idea comes from one of the cards in the Tarot deck that symbolizes the acceptance of initiation that comes through meditation on the deeper rhythms of life. Besides its role in the “Seven Ages” theme at this year’s Event, the Hanged One will function as a quiet space and a gateway at the Burning Man perimeter to the desert playa beyond. Solar lamps inside the lantern-top of the Lantern Tree will illuminate the lantern canopy by night. A set of rotating mirror-kaleidoscopes, also solar-powered, will reflect a prism light show on the white lantern skins during the day. In the middle of the tree trunk, recessed shelves will house reading material from desert hermits such as Carlos Castaneda, Thomas Merton, Edward Abbey, and whomever participants want to leave or swap. The rock garden will provide a meditative environment for participants wishing to spend some time reading, raking, and hanging around. By day, the black rocks will gather heat and create a sea of heat that participants can traverse by paths of whitish flagstones. At night the black gravel will radiate this heat for a few hours after sunset.
From our hearts to yours, we are returning with ours & we’re bringing Hearth back to the playa to burn again. Each evening we’ll be loading Hearth with wood in preparation for a nightly burn. Come be a part of the loading and lighting ceremonies, and bring wood and combustible offerings to help fuel the fire. Gather lovers and strangers and share in something of your own design.
Ten paintings in three installations – 20,000 square feet of canvas and steel. Revocable interventions, perpetual abstract form generators, living interactive shapes that recreate and redefine them selves and their immediate landscape. They transform the environment by investigating the interplay of natural and synthetic forces allowing people to explore abstract form, color, wind and sound, in ways that are direct and engaging, He strives to create beautiful, interactive and inventive art, whose meaning can be seen from 1 mile to 1 inch away. He has joined realization (the art) with destruction (the fire) to create a new union where planning, creation, transition and remembrance become art.
Collaborators: Jose Libao, Meagan Clark and Syd Klinge
Infanity is the glowing, fire spitting, primal carriage of the infinite infant, the fire child within us all. Built to withstand the depths of the mind as it travels across the sparse regions of imagination bringing the warming gift of the sun at night, this 13′ tall steel structure on wheels was a Burning Man 15th Anniversary present to Larry Harvey, given on Sept.1, 2001 after the burn.
A seventy-foot long, twelve foot high mobile wooden construction of the word “LOVE” on wheels with a slide, a swing, a hammock and seats built into the letters.
The magical ring of 2000 lights surrounding the man is back again for it’s third year on the playa. New this year are the Gateway Pyramids. Pairs of shining silver pyramids will mark the four gateways into the ring. Each will allow interaction with the ring patterns, and other surprises!
A mobile lighting unit with an array of lighting fixtures including scanners, pars, color changers, an assortment of disco effects, smoke and lasers will illuminate the Temple of Wisdom.
Manatee Love Society's Spinning Anemone Carousel
The Spinnin’ Anemone is an underwater adventure on a pedal-powered carousel. Participants pedal six sea creatures around an inner musical reef. There are also hree seats to make music from while others pedal the carousel around. All is decorated with fabulous fishy-ness and lots of flowing and glowing oceanic colors. The actual carousel is 30′ in diameter, taking up a total space of 50 feet.
The mandala will be made up of 7 vertical rings, each a unique art piece based on the seven ages. The first ring describes birth. The final (and outer ring) is a radiating ring of fire representing death. In this way, the mandala will describe the finiteness of existence. The rings can be spun by the participant at different speeds and in different directions. Because each ring is built with mixed media materials, the spinning will vary the light and sound of the mandala: giving it a voice and a message. When the participant aligns the rings together by standing in the correct location, the spinning images create an ever-changing tableau of light, sound and movement. In other words, they create a kaleidoscopic mandala that is unique to each individual conveying an individual message of chance and truth to the willing mind.
In the maze, participants will crawl around, up and down hallways to find their way to the ‘inner sanctum’, or ‘holy of holies’ of the Temple of the Man. There will be 7 stages of progress within the maze, and each ‘square’ will have visual guides showing where participants are currently (both physically and spiritually) – and which direction they should go in. All advice will be coded in language and images from the world’s religions, adopted for the Church of the Man.
Monolith and What Lies Beneath
What lies beneath appears to be a 15 ft tall cylindrical organic column, somewhat like an oversized nest of a long extinct amazonian bird… outwardly an observer will see something that resembles a sushi rolling matt, turned on end with a “waist”. Inside is a steel structure that in a primitive way describes a humanoid form. The outer covering will be burned away the night of the burn to reveal what lies beneath. The monolith is a black structure, 10 feet tall by 5 feet wide and 1 foot deep that will roam the playa when no one is looking. Observers will encounter monolith where they least expect it and there are some light and subtle sound effects that will be activated when someone approaches.
A fuzzy caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly! A Mardi Gras-style float features a paper-mache caterpillar that will be ‘cocooned’ with fibrous upholstery batting by caterpillar-costumed attendants. When it is burned, as the layers of fiber burn away, a metal moth hidden within will be revealed as its wings swing upward triumphantly. Blasting torches will be activated, shooting flames into the lacy moth wings. After this burn, the float will be a moth. In this form we will parade to the man on Saturday to participate in the burn.
NRA Package Deal
The NRA Package Deal is a life size coffin made of over 120 smashed guns, placed in front of the Temple of Tears. The coffin is one of a series of sculptures of smashed or melted weapons made by John Ricker and the non-profit Guns into Art. Guns into Art is always looking for more guns to transform into art, so if you have a weapon you’d like to see destroyed please contact us and we will transform it into art for you.
Finley Fryer and crew bring us a 2-story temple of recycled plastic collected by the residents of their town, Dunsmuir, CA. Illuminated from within, the Chapel appears to be made of stained glass and provides a reference point for night-time playa travelers. Its second-floor stage will be the setting for weddings and passport stamps for this station.
Play Plane Crash Ground
Three interactive toys made from airplane parts:
The Flaming Wreck consists of the fuselage section of an airplane; inside the cockpit area will be controls for operating flames that will emanate from the engine. Participants may come in and fire the controls while supervised by a uniformed ground crew.
The Wing Slide is made from a large commercial airplane wing, set at a 30-degree angle. There will be a ladder for participants to climb up to the top of the wing and slide down.
The Ambient Cockpit is the nose section of a plane with a twenty-four foot long parachute tunnel. People can journey through the tunnel and gather inside a small cabin with chairs and futons. Near the control panel are a set of headsets participants can don and listen to a selection of twenty airplane sounds and music while looking out of the plane windows onto the playa.
Space to contemplate pre-birth memory. Absolutely everyone is a member.
Rising Phoenix Cemetary
When your body enters the grave, and your soul the next life, what remains is more than rotting flesh. What remains is your life imprint on the universe.
The Shadow Engine consists of two curved walls, one 6′ long and the other 15′ long, separated by 8′. The shorter wall (made of Lexan) has an array of over 1000 LEDs, the longer wall (made of aluminum rails) has an array of an equal number of light sensors. The LEDs directly illuminate the light sensors, and a computer in between controls the LEDs in response to what the light sensors read. So on its own, the Engine feeds back on its own light, constantly changing what it displays in response to what it senses. People can play between the walls, and their shadows block the light.
Fifteen reflective skeletons mounted on metal posts will create a field of rotating, fluttering skeleton wind vanes on the playa. Skellavanes dance in celebration of muses and mentors, of those who have departed but are not forgotten. With fond remembrance and messages of good will, the Skellavanes provide contact with the spirit world.
Temple of Memory
The mausoleum will be a place where participants can commemorate, remember, venerate, bid farewell, excoriate, exorcise, celebrate, and above all, honor those whose loss has moved them. Parents, friends, loved ones, ancestors, the unborn, those who chose to exit this plane by their hand… in short anyone who has had a loss and that means everyone, is welcome to pause and meditate on the meaning of pain and loss. We will provide small wooden blocks for participants to add the names of their honored and revered and/or despised and reviled lost. All will be housed in a magnificent wooden filigree temple and ziggurat.
TOGETHER is the yearning we feel to find or reach a soulmate, lover, or friend. Struggling through Time, Matter, and Mind, two bodies try to reach each other to connect, but cannot. They’ve limited their perception to the physical, but it it only as their true selves, their spirit, that they truly connect. Join in the celebration of their shifitng awareness from physical to spiritual each night at dusk.
Toss the Cross
In front of a backboard will be a large metal garbage can and ten feet in front of this will be a pile of wooden crosses. The object of the game is to toss a cross into the garbage can, where they will be burnt on the night of the burn. The inspiration for this was a conversation I had with a good friend, when after telling him about my ten years as a born-again and how the programming from that time still haunts me. He simply said, “Toss the cross”. This installation is to be a catharsis for exorcism of the negative guilt based conditioning of the Judeo-Christian mind set.
Triumph of Sisyphus
The participant pushes a button next to a 15-foot tall ladder, sloping up at an angle on a platform. A larger than life-size steel skeleton noisily and slowly climbs the ladder only to slide clanging back down when it reaches the top. When the figure reaches the bottom 4 balls of fire erupt 15′-20′ high from 4 corners of the platform. When I am present certain spectators will be able to ride up the proverbial mountain of Sisyphus literally on his back (piggyback if you will) and enjoy a heart stopping ride back down. THIS IS PURE PLAY AT ITS MOST CHALLENGING AND TRANSCENDANT. It is the journey not the prize and you may as well enjoy the long climb up the mountain for you just may fall or get bumped off the top when YOU GET THERE Mr. or Ms. King of the Hill. Participating becomes a rite of passage and theatrical. I use technology to put people back in touch with intense real life experiences. Fear of death brings about social change. The pieces become a form of interpersonal communication through touch and force-feedback technology, a project to explore intimacy and social interaction. In a fun, conceptual way my work attempts to generate the kind of enlightenment gained by some near death experiences.
Have your wedding photo taken on top of a 12-foot high elegantly decorated wedding cake made of wood. The photographer will provide props like garter belts, bow ties, veils, bouquets, ball & chains, dog collars, etc. He will give participants a printed copy of their wedding picture and plans to post all the photos on his website at a later date.
Conceived on the streets of San Francisco and built from pirated antique farm equipment, junkyard scraps, and a big-block V-8 motor, the Wedding Chariot is a bicycle built for four, a medieval battering ram, a flamethrower and a 2,372lb blender of fabulous Tiki drinks. It will be the chariot for newlyweds at the wedding chapel. Get married, get a drink, and ride away with your hand on the valve of a 100-foot flamethrower. And your parents thought eloping was disgraceful!
Based on the geometry of golden proportion a wood structure of playful richness rises from the playa. Four interlocking spiral ramps covering an area of approximately 50′ square create a stepped and swirling form designed to engage the impish citizens of Black Rock city. Reminded of the school yard jungle-gym but on a significantly enlarged scale, a player on recess from the world can ascend the big steps of any of the ramps and climb to the top arriving at an observation deck 20′ (3 stories) above the playa. Attached to each ramp a musical whirligig is available for impromptu jams. An interactive neon kaleidoscope is mounted at the top of the structure on the observation deck. Four 6′ high marbles roam around the base of Ziggurat pushed about by playful participants. They are waiting to be loaded onto the top of the ramps in preparation for the inevitable burn. The whirligigs will initiate a final musical fanfare as the fan blades are made to spin from the rising and increasing heat. Once aflame the marbles will release and bowl down the ramps where each one will encounter a different set of art pins to strike or spare before resting in a burn podium.