2016 Honorarium Installations
The 10 Benches of Sitting Man
Each of The 10 Benches of Sitting Man represents one of the 10 Principles of Burning Man.
1. Radical Inclusion: A bench that expands beyond initial perception
2. Gifting: Lavishly painted, padded, and decorated, this bench conceals gifts to curious sitters
3. Decommodification: This bench is created entirely out of reclaimed and re-branded materials
4. Radical Self Reliance: Trash fence. Lincoln log style DIY bench
5. Radical Self Expression: Two benches facing each other with rotating speaking/listening horns mounted on sticks in between them
6. Communal Effort: An ornate and regal carrying litter provides an elegant sitting space
7. Civic Responsibility: A small shelter holds a safe space for the weary traveler with 3 low benches and a table
8. Leave No Trace: A clear plexiglass bench sits in the center of a light up zen garden
9. Participation: What is a Teeter-Totter if not a huge communal bench?
10. Immediacy: This bench is mobile. It seeks weary wanderers….
Adventure Vending Machine
Can Burners be brave and redefine radical participation? LAME Arts, a Bay Area art collective, is creating an Adventure Vending machine that dispenses adventures created by you! Push a button: go on a community-created adventure, receive a special token, and return to unlock a community-created gift!
The Adventure Vending Machine will be in the 9 o’clock side campanile at the Man Pavilion. Use it to find the next great thing to do at Burning Man!
From the back of a horse one becomes a spectator of their surroundings. Their placement is frequented by many but distant enough they emerge unexpectedly from a sudden whiteout. They are along the way to a desired destination but only increase anticipation as their constant trudging leads nowhere.
Awakening is a large scale interactive steel sculpture of a human head and two hands emerging from the ground. The head and hands are 20ft tall and the hands are placed an “arms” length away from the head with palms facing inward, as if the giant being is looking at its hands for the first time.
The interior of the head is a darkened room that participants can enter and serves as a theater for viewing the outside world through the eyes of the head, as well as a control room for movement of the hands. Using optical lenses in the eyes, the head is a stereoscopic camera obscura that focuses light from the outside and projects an image onto the back surface of the room. Participants are given 3D glasses to give the image depth with the perspective of a giant being. The field of vision of the projected image is nearly 180 degrees vertically and horizontally, which gives the viewer a sense of immersion. Each eye has a high-intensity spotlight to illuminate objects in its view at night.
The Black Rock Lighthouse Service
A crystal like cluster of Lighthouses ranging from 6 to 60 foot tall and some leaning as much as 20 degrees. Inspired by the juxtaposition of creating a destination of fun and shelter by something that is meant to warn you of danger. This adult jungle gym aims to become a destination where participants come to seek shelter, play, meetup with friends and navigate the inland sea that is the Playa. At night the Lighthouses will truly come alive with fire, light, and a few other surprises.
When we’re sitting by a fireside, all of our senses become absorbed in the experience. The calming focus of attention relaxes and calms us. The Burntanical Garden provides the multi-sensory stimulation of fire through a collection of one-of-a-kind art pieces. It is a respite from the chaos and sensory overload of the Playa.
Fire Art Pieces – Each art piece is a unique creation from a different artist. The fire-art pieces utilize standing flame to create a calm, sociable atmosphere; a place to keep warm, and to make friends. Individual art pieces are arranged within the garden, with seating, to create a space to appreciate each piece. Pyrocents ensure participant safety and answer questions about each art piece.
Fence – The 20’x30′ garden is bordered by a steel panel fence. Fence panels are constructed of rectangular welded square steel tube frames. Individual artists will ‘fill-in’ the blank canvas with cut sheet steel designs, which are welded in place.
Catacomb of Veils
Catacomb rises like a rocky outcropping off the desert floor, evoking Black Rock Point itself. It is a ruin of a previous society– a remnant of our collective search for moments of quiet, introspection and reflection. It is a journey of discovery and a descent into a subterranean world.
A path winds up to the Narthex at the eastern Pyramid and from this vantage point, the inward descent begins. Ancient relics of a collective history grace the walls as shafts of light illuminate effigies and offerings. These are moments in our primeval memory, inviting us further downward and inward into ourselves. The journey culminates in an inner sanctum– a sanctuary of veils– a confluence of concealment, revelation and sublime beauty.
Celestial Mechanica is a glimpse of our solar system that is only allowed by means of an artistic lens that we are providing for you. Because of the massive scale of our solar system it is very difficult to imagine what all of it looks like working together as one. Celestial Mechanica will allow us this privilege. From a distance it may not be clear what we are looking at but as we approach it becomes instantly clear what this is. First we step into a loosely fenced area that is for pedestrians only where all of the Gas Giants are whirling above us. As we get closer to the Sun we can see the Rocky Planets at eye level spinning around their orbits around the Sun. It is now time to step up onto the catwalk via 4 staircases that lead up to an elevated walking area where we can really view the complex mechanics, feel the heat from the Sun’s fire effect and see the orbiting Rocky Planets, now slightly below us and separated by a handrail so that we do not disturb their delicate orbits.
A cluster of fiery hearths to warm up your nights! “Chiminea Planetaria” is inspired by the solar system as it was known in the time of Leonardo da Vinci. The traditional alchemical signs, names and attributes of each planet are cut into large steel spheres, transforming them into functional burn barrels. Burners feed the fires with wood from the “Sun” at the center of the system. As more participants join in to feed the “Planets” the fires shall burn brighter! During daylight hours, the decorated spheres become strange black globes on the stark white playa, a sculptural solar system landmark.
Chronosydra is a reverse hourglass that runs for the week of Burning Man 2016. An abstract timepiece for Black Rock City, it sits deep in the playa awaiting your discovery. The hourglass is filling upwards with small particulates that float unhurriedly from bottom to top chamber; its translucent pellets catch the sunlight during the day and swirl like fireflies when LED lit at night. Like a meter that measures the growing creativity and energy around it, this hourglass fills steadily over the length of the event and stands full at exodus; full like an hourglass that has just been turned over, full like time itself has been turned back. Chronosydra is an art piece that mirrors the week-long transformation of Black Rock City, and playfully reflects on the way in which our time at Burning Man may reset, revivify, and refill us if we let it.
Visually the installation represents a giant diabolical clockwork bacteriophage infecting the playa or planet. Symbolically the installation represents the connection between people, technology, and the environment.
Dreams of Flight
Two near-human scaled wire figures. Constructed of handwoven aluminum wire. Each with 120 high intensity LED lights illuminating every inch of wire.
Floating above the playa, suspended below large helium balloons, which often disappear against the night sky.
Whatever meaning the viewer brings will have to suffice. Typical comments involve beauty, wonder and uniqueness.
Dust City Diner
The neon sign of the Dust City Diner beckons visitors to have a seat at its horseshoe-shaped counter. A classic coffee urn brews fresh coffee while a short order cook works the griddle, his silhouette framed by a stainless steel backsplash. Bee-hived waitresses serve up grilled cheese sandwiches and ‘top off’ your coffee with a bit of sass. Every aspect of the diner – the sound of dishes clinking, the 1940’s music, a flickering neon sign are designed to embody the all-night diner experience.
The Dust City Diner is moved to a different location in deep playa each evening.
The Dusty Supper
A Burner version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, the Dusty Supper is not just for the Burnier-Than-Thou’s, but for all apostle-tively amazing Burners to celebrate the simultaneous divinity, mortality, and variety of the human experience.
Electric Renaissance (A Tribute to Cadillac Ranch)
An homage to Cadillac Ranch. In 1974 the artists collaborative Ant Farm buried ten Cadillacs in the Texas prairie, leaving only the tail fins visible. Cadillac Ranch has come to symbolize the demise of the dinosaurs that brought the American automobile industry to the brink of extinction. The emergence of the nose-section of a zero-emissions vehicle turns the image of Cadillac Ranch on its head. It suggests that, after a transformational journey through the bowels of earth, the automobile is being reborn as an environmentally-friendly descendant of gas-guzzling ancestors.
Enunciation is a cocoon of playable light. The piece creates space for participants to interact with the sculpture and each other. It contains many layers of interaction: viewing from afar, entering, playing the light field, and finally, using the light field as an instrument. The structure is made of triangular boxes of metal. On the interior-facing side, each box is outfitted with a laser cut back lit panel. The lights take input from simple buttons mounted in the center of various panels. With input, the panel alters the lighting scheme. Each press spreads effects and color across the surrounding panels, allowing for interplay between participants. Enunciation is a meditation on learning how to articulate oneself. The sculpture’s primary function is to create an instrument for shared interaction, which offers more articulation with increased input of people and their time. Enunciation offers a strange way to communicate, but with practice, much can be articulated without speaking.
A vast, overhead canopy of LEDs displays celestial, playful, psychedelic, majestic images while classical music emotionally supports an enveloping, comforting, communal environment below.
Flocons is a dynamic and evolving series of large-scale ornament-like sculptures, imagined and built by a collective of artists, to be displayed in a garden-like manner. Flocons is a shared creative experience in participatory art that displays the beauty of human collaboration and communal effort. As participants approach the series, they will find a collection of large free-floating sculptures, each as unique as the artists who created them.
AeolianFyre by Joshua Rooker & Chloe Veneneux
Alpha, Beta & Wings by Anna-Gaelle Lucy Marshall
Dreaming of Trees by Francis Kanach
Momotombo by Rachel Babenar
Fly Fast by Casey Bage
Planet Janet by Elizabeth & Mel Adams
Smoke Cloud by Kevan Christiaens
Snow Crystal by Sara Sebby
Fabrication by Seth Byrnes
Each Flocon is a window into the artist’s creativity, but each sculpture is only a small part of the whole. Not only will each piece be a reflection of an artist, the collaboration of artists in creating a larger work makes the whole larger than its parts.
For centuries, people have claimed that math is the language of the universe. It has been used to describe phenomena both comprehensible and absolutely unfathomable. Math can also be descriptive of patterns that people find mesmerizing and beautiful.
Fractal Rock is a sculpture built using fractal math. The artist team of Pooja Shah and Stijn van der Linden created the shape using custom software and equations, methods seemingly so rigid, to create its fluid, organic shape. It appears as a twisting ebony helix that looks like it has risen from the earth.
The team is passionate about math, mathy art, and using technology to build complex shapes, among other things.
The Giant Weta
Giant weta are endemic insects native to and only found in New Zealand. Their genus name, Deinacrida, is Greek for “fierce grasshopper.” Larger weta can be up to 10 cm (4″) long not inclusive of legs and antennae and it is one of the heaviest documented insects in the world. Due to introduced mammals the weta is now an endangered species.
We are making a 50:1 scale model of real life giant weta and making it shoot flames.
It is being built in Auckland, New Zealand, taken to Black Rock City, returning to New Zealand for Kiwiburn and then finally being installed somewhere in New Zealand as a permanent installation.
Visualized as a grove of beautiful low hanging trees, Grove is an interactive art installation that uses breath sensors to create a meditative and immersive experience. A reflection on the interdependence of breath, Grove uses biofeedback sensors, connecting our inner workings with tangible art installations.
Grove brings together artists from India with neurotechnologists and architects from America, making it a truly global collaboration. Grove is a meditation on the interdependence of breath. Every time we breathe in, we inhale the ‘out breath’ of a tree around us, placing ourselves in a constant state of union between the macro-forest outside, and the micro-forest of alveoli within our lungs.
Grove uses technology related to the quantified self, to break down the idea of self entirely and to remind us that we are all interconnected, through breath, to every living creature on this planet; from the leaves on trees to the sand of the desert.
In resonance with the Leonardo’s Renaissance – the era of rebirth – Helios calls upon every citizen of the playa to activate their inner fire that is essential to illuminate our present era of darkness. Inside an interactive chamber of six Vitruvian activation platforms, participants offer a private statement of their highest selves to a central mirrored witness, and then ritualistically and physically project light beams to illuminate others and collectively light up the night sky. Helios is burned in ritual celebration of the light we collectively must shine to illuminate the darkness.
At first look Horizon Lines appears to be a cluster or ‘forest’ of twenty five wooden posts rising out of the Playa. The top portion of the posts are painted black, with a golden line between the black and raw wood sections and the sides of each post painted to a different level. When Participants come to the properly marked location looking directly North, South, East or West at the sculpture, the painted portions visually align with the horizon or mountain range behind it. The golden stripe creates a gilded horizon line. The moment the paint on each post and the natural backdrop line up, you will see the optical illusion of the merging of the foreground and background to make one whole image.
HYBYCOZO - Heart of Gold
Sculpture 1- The Improbability Drive will consist of an all-pipe skeletal frame connecting into a mirrored hypercube shape made of mirror. The inside shape, a rhombic dodecahedron, has an optical illusion that looks like 3 different shapes in 3 different perspectives. The mirror shape on the inside will reflect the outside edges, creating a 4D dimensional hypercube effect.
Sculpture 2- The Heart of Gold – will consist of a skeletal frame of a rhombic triactohedron and from its top-most point will hang a super intricate laser cut HYBYCOZO sculpture that will cast shadows far into the playa. This outer skeletal shape is the most complex shape that DaVinci drew and will form a super fun dome-like jungle gym.
Sculpture 3- Hyperspace Bypass- A stacked set of 11 HYBYCOZO rhombic dodecahedrons shapes set on top of each other tessellating perfectly in 3D space. Its form is reminiscent of an iceberg or a 4D pyramid. In the day it will looking like a gleaming gold multifactored pyramid.
Identity Reorganization Portal
Identity Reorganization Portal is a steel gazebo-like structure. The portal’s footprint is narrow and circular with a diameter of 48″. Its total height is 11′. The entire structure, covered with thousands of small irregularly-cut mirrors, shines from a distance. Unable to avoid shiny objects, myriads of Black Rock citizens will be drawn closer only to find their own reflections scattered, reorganized and blended with the reflection of others nearby. This installation endeavors to raise important questions in the group mind about the nature of Identity. Passing through the center of the portal reveals one’s reflection now compressed by the inner concave nature of these mirrored walls. Two lighted buttons inside the portal activate a random set of verbal instructions for successful identity reorganization.
Identity Reorganization Portal is designed to be a gauntlet thrown down before the apparent solidity of the assumed “I”.
Blue mirror-steel butterflies hover 17 ft over the desert, wings lifted as if just alighted, yet ready for takeoff. Stepping beneath the delicately-perforated, arching wingspan, vivid blue light scatters, encircling us in a vaulted, luminous space of geometric patterns/reflections. “Imago” holds a space, in structure and feeling, that is light and uplifting, like an intimate temple or futuristic shrine.
The elevated butterflies are easily-resonant metaphors for the transformative experiences that compel so many migrations to Burning Man: immersion into a place of imagination, to be renewed, transformed.
Butterfly metamorphosis mirrors our Playa experiences: intense preparations, followed by the suspension of mundane life, to immerse into a dreamlike space that is safe-yet-undefined, full of potential. When the time of cocooning is over, we emerge, high on imagination. Just as the mature butterfly, known as an imago, returns to the wider world, ripe for creation and pollination.
Intention is an immersive and interactive tensegrity structure that treads the intersections of art, engineering, and science. The sculpture disrupts the horizon as a form of jumbled symmetry, six struts held together purely in tension and compression, seemingly weaving through thin air.
From the human body down through the cellular level, we are tensegrities ourselves. The form of the structure is inspired by Donald Ingber’s research on eukaryotic cell construction and biomechanics. A complex network of tensioned filaments connect the struts, with a nucleus suspended inside that is the mathematical DNA of the tensegrity. At night it comes alive as a structural data visualization and beacon.
Intention explores the fundamental building blocks of our bodies by allowing the participant to immerse themselves within the responsive architecture of a nucleated tensegrity structure.
Jar of Sand
Jar of Sand is a large-scale (8′ tall x 4′ diameter) canning-style “glass” jar filled with plastic collected from beaches of the Pacific Northwest. By engaging people to clean up our oceans, Jar of Sand intends to create awareness and encourage action. Domestic garbage and pieces of garbage from the Pacific Trash Vortex—the massive island of floating trash—are carried across oceans and wind up on our shores, telling a story of resource extraction, production, and consumption. In this time of climate change and excessive use of fossil fuels, this art installation is a reflection and commentary on our plastic consumption and ultimately unsustainable waste. Participants are welcome to bring plastic that they have collected from the ocean and beaches to the playa and put them in the Jar. The collected plastic will be creatively layered in an over-height custom fabricated jar that will be displayed at Burning Man .
Jedi Dog Temple
An art project for children designed by a child. Sagan Bocskor (4.5 years old) designed the structure using the tools he has – his building blocks. “Jedi Dog Temple, But Everyone Is Welcome” was selected and submitted to Burning Man by him and his parents. Sagan has been creating and his parents have been photographing his progress since he could stack blocks… about 2.5 years ago. We have scaled up his toy/block design to make it a child’s play space, perfect for a few 5 year olds.
Sagan asked for other kids to decorate the inside, so the kids & community of Las Vegas got together to create the art for the little space for little people.
The Koi Pond
The Koi Pond is a large-scale interactive installation which immerses participants in the serene setting of a Japanese garden with a high-tech twist.
The Last Apothecary
The Last Apothecary is an immersive, narrative haunted house. It is a narrative about an outer colony space apothecary obsessed with Old-Earth, and also about the persistence of ritual, the space immigrant diaspora, and the obsessive nature of archiving and collecting.
The Last Apothecary is meant to be stumbled upon in deep playa, a strange and imposing structure that evokes nervous curiosity. The interior is built to someone’s idea of an Old Earth apothecary, clutter and warm wood reminiscent of 14th century pharmacies and Chinese medicine shops. There is no masking the anachronism, though – there are infomercials for anti-gravity yoga, and promised cures for all sorts of space ailments. The room is filled with odd and wonderful artifacts, an amulet to heal small wounds, vials of a green powder from Europa for nausea. The counter too, is strewn with artifacts that weave between truth and hoax, asking the participant to stay a while, explore, and maybe share a remedy or two…
After the Events of 2175, the perfect storm of industrial pollution, population explosion and the destruction of biodiversity raged. It was only a renewal of the vows between science and nature that saved us. The amount of horrendous wastes we had piled up over a millenia- much of it toxic and flammable- was daunting. The Fuocco Falene are a crux of biomech, artistry and divine intervention. Fire moths- drawn to the most noxious of wastes, able to consume the wastes and leave a benign byproduct. Their consumption of fuels is spectacular, so much so that Falena became sought after for their beauty. It has become fashionable to convert outdated civic fixtures, like fountains, to be attractions to the Fuocco Falena. Le Attrata is a prime example of such an installation, its jagged spires providing perches for the Falena, the curved benches housing seating for people, and the Falena chrysalises lighting the way throughout the night.
The Light is Inside You
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world… It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson
Lord Snort is a wild boar roughly 20′ tall and 30′ long which balances on a shaft, allowing it to rotate 360 degrees. Made of steel, it is rough and unbreakable and people can climb all over it. It will serve as a gathering point for unimagined interactions.
The MechaGator is New Orleans’ own big beautiful flaming hot Kaiju creature. She is a fully interactive puppet made of steel and upcycled junk and is the protector of the swamp.
Half-buried in the dust and covered in hundreds of years worth of rust, Mechan 9 is a giant fallen robot. It looks like it’s centuries old, yet there is something very futuristic about it as well. Sprawled out and damaged, the giant metal creature is covered in mysterious text and secret hatches.
But where did it come from, what was it doing here, and who built it? The answers lie in the text. One must decipher it to reveal the answers to unlock the mystery.
The participant sees an 8-foot wheel with someone walking inside of it, creating beautiful music.
The art responds to user’s desires by means of an input musical seed, but only if they are willing to generate the motive force making it play. Thus it becomes a more powerful & versatile object. The old & the new meld together: mechanical linkages & controls work in concert with computationally intense algorithms creating a delightful musical instrument for everyone.
This goes beyond the limitations of expectation for the original; music boxes usually play one short tune. Here is shown that things do not always behave according to one’s expectations.
The viewer is the catalyst necessary to fulfill its potential, becoming an integral component of the creative process. They become the artist, only one that is making a unique, ephemeral creation, the music, by means of their input & operation, all played out on the canvas of our device for the delight & appreciation of all around them.
Dare to stare and be mesmerized
Octavius is a giant octopus covered in a bright mosaic of hand-cut ceramic tiles in shades of orange, blue, and purple. The eyes and suckers are molded glass, and glow with the light of hundreds of LED bulbs, symbolizing enlightenment from within. Representative of the octopus spirit, Octavius inspires the participant to adapt fluidly to new or uncertain circumstances and explore deeper emotions. He also invites participants to open their hearts to the natural wonders of the world, deciphering complex puzzles and thus finding answers that may have seemed difficult or impossible at first.
Piazza di Ferro
This year the Iron Monkeys will pay homage to our craft by building a functional, participatory blacksmith shop on playa. Encircling the shop will be a public gathering space, encouraging the community to observe, discuss, and contribute to what is happening in the shop.
Plug 'N Play
A confluence of elements in African-American, Caribbean, & Latino culture in New York in the ‘80s gave rise to one of the most formidable music genres of the century: Hip-hop. Plug ’n Play pays tribute to the essential power of hip-hop & its foundational elements: Emceeing (oral), Deejaying (aural), Breaking (physical), Graffiti (visual), & Knowledge (spiritual).
Plug ‘n Play is a large orange wooden electrical plug protruding upwards. Surrounding the Plug are five Quad Boxes with interior exhibits; each visually represents one of the five elements of hip-hop.
We plug in; we explore & examine the almighty vinyl record, the mic, & the crowd. In our DJ Dojo, feel with your hands what it’s like to drop the needle on the record & physically engage with actual vinyl. Passersby can tune in on turntablism demonstrations, scratching lessons, & roundtable sessions on the Elements. We’ll also have lectures, films, sonic history trips, & other interactive moments. “If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it.”
A portal acts as a gateway to a distant and magical world. Pulse Portal is a freestanding laser cut parabolic archway made from steel and tessellated dichroic acrylic pyramids. Juxtaposing futuristic materials that reflect the viewer and the rugged landscape will provide a sense of awe and inspiration as they step onto the playa. The combination of these materials and geometric design will create an effect that simultaneously feels space age and classic effectively placing the viewer in a time portal.
Renaiximent - (Renaissance)
A combination of geometry and sculpture with techniques used in the Fallas festival from Valencia, Spain.
A reinterpretation of grotesque decorations from Valencia Silk Market, UNESCO Heritage building from XV century.
Grotesque decorations at this building were used by civic society to laugh at and face against established power and rules.
Molds and pieces hang in the inside of the installation and create a space for participants to interact.
A golden cube in the desert to attract people inside, where they become part of an art installation that mixes the contemporary language of the latticed architecture of the pavilion with the cardboard pieces and molds of a traditional Fallas guild.
The cube lays over a wooden mosaic of thousands of pieces assembled by social collectives. The debate between traditional and contemporary is held over the floor that has been built by the collective. Neither the tradition nor the experimentation have a future without communal effort.
RotoFuego is a retro-future exploration of the art of sculpting in fire. Participants create and manipulate a fire tornado. The tornado is spun up by a fan that is mechanically driven by a stationary bicycle. Interaction transforms an ordinary propane fire into a sculpture made of fire. Participants breathe life into the fire vortex by pedaling the bike-fan. Participants can shape the vortex, alter its rotation, width, height and intensity by varying their pedaling speed and adding bursts of propane via a handlebar mounted “booster” button. RotoFuego will also serve as a gathering spot on cold playa nights — a place for comfort and conversation, an opportunity to rest, warm up and make new friends. The fire will be surrounded by benches for folks to sit upon and interact with one another and enjoy the flaming beauty their fellow participants create.
Rube Awakening Magic Bike Rack
Apparent to the eye is a bike rack constructed from practical materials, however, Rube Awakening will not reach its full function without interaction and use by Black Rock City residents.
Magic Bike Rack shining bright
Glowing beacon rube’s delight!
Lock your bike by night or day,
Liberate to rube’s dismay.
Seeing humanity for what it really is
This artwork consists of two massive gorillas in different lifelike poses wearing wings inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of flying machines.
The pieces have a wooden armature. The wings will be in wood. The details of the work are made out of cardboard that the artist wraps and glues around the armature to give it it’s realistic look. The cardboard is recuperated from stores and recycling bins. The animals will be disposed in a way that people can walk between them.
Art is a not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.
This concept drives my creative process.
The goal of this piece is to raise the awareness of the human population to the devastation being wrought by our species on the oceans, which give life to our planet.
The piece will rotate on a central bearing when it is actuated by human interaction. A gentle push will cause the rotation to simulate the movement of a school of sharks, swimming lazily in a rising spiral current. My goal is to underline the contrast of the beauty of schooling sharks in their ocean community, and the wasteful horror of shark finning by the human community.
From a distance, the low profile of the turntable will show the school, to draw the playa community closer until the view is of the small cloud of sharks from below. Here will be placed the Ghost Shark on its back, as if lying finned and dead on the bottom in stark contrast to the live animals swimming above.
Shrumen Lumen is a garden of oversized mushrooms, made of folded geometry that allows their bodies to undulate in various patterns. Building off a similar aesthetic and folding strategy as Blumen Lumen, a garden of flowers on the Playa in 2014, the new garden aims to have a more significant kinetic movement and improved lighting. People will be able to interact with the mushrooms and affect how they move simply by being present in the sculpture garden. At night, the flowers light up internally and will react to the sounds around them.
The Space Whale
The Space Whale is a 50 foot tall full-scale crystalline humpback whale mother and calf diving through the sky built from steel and stained glass. A monumental testament to family, our relationships with nature, time and space and our responsibility to preserve our environment. First appearing at Burning Man and then traveling to 6 countries around the world. The Space Whale is a monument meant to inspire people to create the change needed to herald in a future of environmental balance and space travel.
Spire of Fire
The Spire of Fire is a work of fire art that stands grand and high on the expanse of the open landscape much like a skyscraper in a metropolis. The tower’s height, geometry, metal textures are designed to reflect the evolution of modern metropolitan architecture. Its sheer size and presence will draw your attention from afar. At night the piece will come alive with brightly colored lights and bursts of rhythmic flame.
Tangential Dreams is a climbable sinuous tower made from off-the-shelf timber and digitally designed via algorithmic rules. One thousand “tangent” thin wooden pieces are held in position via horizontal pieces rotating along a central axis, gently moving in the wind like leaves of a giant tree. The pieces are stencilled with inspiring sentences, and dynamically lit by LED strips during the night time. In line with this year’s theme, the piece is reminiscent of Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man’s movement and helicoid inventions as well as his deep, systematic, understanding of the rules behind form to create art. From a wooden flame all the way to a giant desert cactus, the complex simplicity of the art piece will trigger many interpretations, many dreams. The audience will read and discuss the poetry written on each tangent coming from the Burners’ community itself via our crowd funding campaign like a collage of sentences creating a serendipitous “cadavre exquis” of thoughts.
The temple this year will be built in the tradition of David Best temples, but with a significant departure from his usual style – this temple will be hand-built without CNC cut materials. It will be extremely ornate, with a large interior altar and a large chandelier. This temple will take on an ancient air, patina’ed with organic water-based stains, and look as if it were built hundreds of years in the past.
There will be 8 altars placed around the courtyard, which is walled off to create a protected, quiet, respectful space. The interactivity will be the usual function of the Burning Man temple: it will be a place for the community to come and express their emotions, reflect on the losses of friends and family members, and celebrate the lives of people around them. The temple will be built with the consideration of the community, with adequate space to accommodate the needs of people in the temple and the surrounding courtyard for reflection, safety and privacy.
The Traveling Sound Museum
The Traveling Sound Museum is a collection of ancient sounds stored in jars for centuries and mounted on a timeless cart, wheeled from continent to continent. The collection has passed through the centuries, taking different forms in different eras, and contains sounds previously thought lost to history.
What did it sound like when the Mongols swept down from the steppe to invade Europe? Or the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands a hundred years before Darwin? An early morning walk through a fish market on the outskirts of Constantinople a thousand years before it became Istanbul?
Fortunately the Traveling Sound Museum will be making a stop in Black Rock City this year, as part of its never-ending journey through time. So burners who discover it on the playa will have an opportunity to find out.
Reaching to grab what is within her grasp is Ursa Major, a 14 foot tall, grizzly bear sow. She may simply be reaching for berries but perceivably she is reaching higher: to the northern sky and the constellation that is her name, Ursa Major. In navigation, the constellation is useful in pointing the way to the North Star.
Ursa Major’s pose is inspiring, she brings the gaze and hopes of the participant skyward. She also demonstrates respect for the bears and nature, her pose is not like a taxidermy bear. She is in her natural state and unthreatening.
With a durable, unique material that was used on their previous Burning Man project (Penny the Goose), Ursa Major’s fur will be made of US and Canadian pennies. The pattern and feel will be like fur.
Wittgenstein, Da Vinci, Rachmaninoff: A Recursive Wooden Design
Wittgenstein, Da Vinci, Rachmaninoff is a hexagonal pavilion whose bamboo faces are carved with intricate knot designs by Leonardo da Vinci. Para-cord woven into one of the knot patterns will span over the hexagonal void. A pedestal holds spools of para-cord underneath. Laser-etched patterns on the pedestal provide a template for the six knots as a guide to anyone who wishes to create them with the para-cord. The panels will have laser etched quotes from Wittgenstein’s philosophical writings, and the podium will have a sound system playing Rachmaninoff piano compositions. The title – Wittgenstein, Da Vinci, Rachmaninoff: A Recursive Wooden Design – is meant to evoke Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, a book by Douglas Hofstadter that explores deep questions of consciousness, and particularly the intertwining layers of thought that occur when we compartmentalize our minds into nested layers of recursion.
روشن کردن - Roshanai (Illuminate)
ROSHANAI is a path of enlightenment, shifting colors in static form. Along this corridor, perspective changes and opposites unite. Islamic mathematical art is married to the great Western landscape, serenaded with the voice of your heart and the whisper of the Playa.
ROSHANAI comprises two double-walled panels that create a 108-ft long tunnel of light and sound with a 3-ft corridor. The sides of the hallway rise from 8-ft tall at the ends to 12-ft tall at the apex in the middle. Simultaneously, the panels sink into the ground to form a shallow valley. Fractal arrangements of Islamic geometric patterns are cut into the outside panels, lit from within to illuminate the patterns and cast fantastic night shadows. The entrances will be 16-ft tall gates inspired by the Great Mosque of Isfahan in Iran, pointed arches filled with sacred geometry. The inside walls are smooth and lit in solid colors by daylight-visible LED spotlights embedded in the edges of the floor.