Desert Arts Preview 2016

  • Date and Time: May 01, 2016 @ 5 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Format: Event
  • Location:
    Gray Area Theatre
    2665 Mission St.
    San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Cost: $20 - $100 Sliding Scale

The 11th annual Desert Arts Preview

The Desert Arts Preview is a special evening where artists will share the projects they plan to bring to the Burning Man event in 2016. Presenters will share their inspiration and hopes for these works in progress, giving the audience an exclusive window into their imagination and creative process. It’s also the perfect opportunity to learn how you can get involved and support these and other artists at the Burning Man event and year-round as we increasingly seek to create interactive, collaborative and community-generating works of art in cities around the world.


Ascension | Rising in Love

Project Lead: Jeremy Richardson

Description: Ascension is a 20 foot tall, 10,000 LED climbable steel sculpture that creates a space for us to reimagine what it means to love others by first loving ourselves. It’s being built at The Box Shop in San Francisco starting in May.

Project’s needs:

Electrical engineering (LED programming), Structural Welding, Structural Analysis, General Man Power


Catacomb of Veils

Project Lead: Dan Sullivan

Description: Catacomb rises like a rocky outcropping off the desert floor, and as the dust swirls up and around, it evokes 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 of the Catacomb and from this vantage point the community begins its descent inward. Ancient relics of a collective history adorn 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 Sanctum of Veils– a confluence of concealment, revelation and sublime beauty.

Project’s needs:

We are always looking for people to join our community of builders.


Chiminea Planetaria

Project Lead: Spencer Edgerton

Description: Chiminea Planetaria is a model of the solar system based on how it was imaginined in the time of Leonardo and Galileo. The planets will be constructed as spherical steel chambers capable of acting as wood fireplaces on chilly nights. The Planetaria will act as a warm and festive gathering space on chilly desert nights.

Project’s needs:

The Chiminea Planetaria may be available for events other than Burningman, such as regional burns and music festivals. If you have an event in mind, let us know!



Dust Crusaders
Project Lead: Kate Greenberg

Description: Chronosydra is a reverse hourglass that will run for the week of Burning Man 2016. An art piece that mirrors the week-long transformation of Black Rock City and the way in which our time on the playa may reset, revivify, and refill us if we let it, this 11’ tall hourglass will flow upwards over the length of the event and stand full at exodus. Chronosydra will be pre-fabricated this summer at Box Shop in San Francisco by the Dust Crusader crew.

Project’s needs:

Chronosydra and the Dust Crusaders need your help to turn back time on the playa! We are seeking community hands to share our fundraising campaign; find volunteers for pre-burn build days, playa maintenance, and disassembly; source build-material donations and discounted fabrication shop time; and secure certified structural engineering review. Together, we can make the magic even bigger!



Project Lead: Matthew Davis/Common Kinetics

Description: The Disc-Go-Sphere is an interactive kinetic sculpture that gives the participant the experience of being inside a 3 dimensional moving version of Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” sketch. Fabrication begins in May and will continue through August 1 in Portland Maine.

Project’s needs:

We could use and extra Welder in Portland Maine, and a Lighting Designer/Programmer preferably based out of NYC.


Dusty Visions

Project Lead: Anna-Gaelle Marshall

Description: Flocons is a series of large-scale ornament-like sculptures, imagined and built by multiple artists, suspended from 8 foot tall circular metal display hangers. Each piece will be designed to spin, creating opportunities for art in motion and dynamic lighting effects.

Project’s needs:

Come out and support Flocons participating artists at FIGMENT Portland (July 30-31)


Equal and Opposite

Project Lead: Kerri Feazell

Description: A mobius strip of aluminum flashing (2 layers) with light emerging from punched holes in the pattern of the night sky at BRC the night the Man burns. Build in LA starting in late May. Dimensions are 6′ high, 19′ long, and 10′ wide.

Project’s needs:

Engineering/technical advice (especially for securing to playa and wind consult), construction volunteers, materials, tool borrowing, additional drill press borrow in LA area.



Project Lead: Christopher Schardt

Description: A vast, overhead canopy of LEDs displays celestial, playful, psychedelic, majestic images while classical music emotionally supports an enveloping, comforting, communal environment below.

Project’s needs:

Need classical musicians to come perform!



Kate Raudenbush
Project Lead: Becky Neil

Description: United States

Project’s needs:

Art, Fire, Perimeter, LNT guardians. Solar power, Donations.


Inside the Mind of daVinci

Mischell Riley
Project Lead: Lauren Hufft aka Twinkely Dots

Description: Being built at the Generator in Reno, this is a 10′ tall by 23′ long model of Leonardo daVinci’s head. Made from reinforced acid stained concrete, recycled glass & steel. Inside the brain area is an interactive gallery of lights, kenetic sculptures and artwork inspired by daVinci. Build starts late May.

Project’s needs:

Tickets for staff, Inside lighting support, Transportation to and from playa, On playa support via lifting project off and on flatbed, Trenches, Gas for generator.


Jar of Sand

Project Lead: Trish Dolman

Description: 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. The project is being built in Vancouver, Canada from now until the Burn, but marine plastic collection can happen anywhere.

Project’s needs:

I’m looking for ideas and help, engineering and technical advice to fabricate the jar itself. I’m exploring lots of options (as glass seems impossible and unsafe): acrylic, lexan, resin. Ideas? Also transportation support needed. Thanks!


La Victrola

Hand Crank Creative
Project Lead: nick fynn

Description: A 30 foot tall wood and metal Victrola with sound system and stage for live performance. Musical curation will focus on the period of 1890-1930, specifically jazz, blues, bluegrass, country and western. The piece is currently under construction in Bay Six of American Steel.

Project’s needs:

La Victrola needs skilled welders for ongoing structural work, volunteer/project management, and on-playa support.


Latrada with fire at night

Le Attrata

Project Lead: Margaret Long

Description: Therm’s Le Attrata is a 40′ x 40′ x 20′ installation of metal, light and fire. Three moth-like creatures perch atop crystalline spires, coming alive with colored fire and sound every night.

Project’s needs:

Help us with our kickstarter campaign.


Leonardo DaVinci

Project Lead: Dennis Sparling

Description: Statue of Leonardo DaVinci

Project’s needs:

On Playa Support


Renaixement – Renaissance

miguel arraiz
Project Lead: Pink Intruder (miguel arraiz + david moreno)

Description: Cardboard pavilion of 19x19x19 feet. Covered with a golden skin. Ground floor is a wooden mosaic of more than 10.000 pieces. On the interior of the pavilion cardboard sculptures made with the traditional technics of Valencia Falla’s festival will be set. Build has already started and we are planning to have the container ready to depart from Spain end of June first of July. We are building the whole project in Valencia, Spain. And sending it to Black Rock City.

Project’s needs:

Transportation. Container shipping from Spain, to playa and back. On-playa support for Spanish crew. Advice on transpo logistics from SF to BRC.


Shrumen Lumen

Project Lead: Joerg Student

Description: Shrumen Lumen is a cluster of interactive, origami-style,12-15ft tall mushrooms that change shape and color in response to the people and the environment around them.

Project’s needs:

Follow our Facebook page to see the progress of the Shrumens and stay informed about our needs for helping hands and equipment.


Sonic Runway

Sonic Runway
Project Lead: Rob Jensen

Description: Sonic Runway visualizes the speed of sound with light. 32 arches form a 1000 ft long corridor of lights, all driven by a sound system. As sound waves race across the desert, they trigger patterns of light that ripple down the corridor in sync!

Project’s needs:

Calling Sound Art Cars! Contact us about plugging into the Runway!


Tangential Dreams

Project Lead: Arthur Mamou-Mani

Description: Tangential dream is a climbable sinuous tower made from off-the-shelf timber and digitally designed via algorithmic rules. One thousand “tangent” and light wooden pieces, stenciled with inspiring sentences, are strongly held in position by a helicoid sub-structure rotating along a central spine which also forms a safe staircase to climb on.

Project’s needs:

Volunteers, transportation to the playa, off the shelf timber, PI Insurance, LED specialists.


The Adventure Vending Machine

League of Artists, Makers, and Entrepreneurs (LAME)
Project Lead: Rick Rothbart

Description: Can Burners be brave and redefine radical participation? LAME Arts, an Oakland 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!

Project’s needs:



The Koi Pond

Project Lead: JoeJoe Martin

Description: The Koi Pond is an installation art piece combining facets of a tranquil Japanese tea garden with large-scale light art. Hailing from the bay area, this approximately 1200 square foot installation incorporates a wooden footbridge, Japanese lanterns, a traditional torii, fencing and bike rail, and multiple benches surrounding a 500k pixel pond of graceful koi that react to their surroundings.

Project’s needs:

Docents (and/or performance artists?) as art guardians. Creative events welcome.


The Last Apothecary

Shing Yin Khor, and the Black Rock Civilian Defense Corps
Project Lead: Shing Yin Khor

Description: The Last Apothecary is an immersive, narrative haunted house installation. 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. We are building in Los Angeles, starting in mid June.

Project’s needs:

There is a call for props on our website! Come and play in our universe!


The Orca Project

Project Lead: Erik More

Description: The Orca Project is a large scale wooden sculpture of a pod of Orcas swimming through the playa. The largest of the pod will be about 20′ tall and about 45′ long. The build will begin in May with the smaller members of the pod being built in Vancouver, Canada, and the largest one being built onsite at Burning Man.

Project’s needs:

Volunteers during build and burn. Fire Safety Lead. Transoportation from Vancouver.


The Temple 2016

David Best
Project Lead: Maggie Best,

Description: This temple will be built in in the tradition of David Best temples, but with a significant departure from his usual style. 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.

Project’s needs:

David Best and the Temple Crew are returning to the playa for another Temple. This year’s temple will be decorated with recycled wood instead of the ornate plywood panels of previous versions. The temple build is a huge undertaking and we need help! If you would like to volunteer for the build, we are holding our first meeting on Saturday, May 7th at 11 AM at 451 Wilson St. in Petaluma.



Project Lead: Andrea Greenlees

Description: Trasparenza

Project’s needs:

Sourcing over 70 sheets of clear cast acrylic (Plexiglass/Perspex) 8ft x 4ft x 0.5inch thick. Laser-cutting services during July. Transport – probably several pallets from LA to Reno in August, or transport from Reno to the playa around the 22nd August. Build crew volunteers.


Ursa Major

Project Lead: Mr & Mrs Ferguson

Description: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 perceiveabley 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.

Project’s needs:

Volunteers to lay pennies in concrete. Donations.


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