Jrs V11 I17


Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 11, Issue 17 Art News – URGENT
August 9, 2007

This quickly inserted before regular issue, still on the way….man, y’all have a lot of news to compile this year!!


Two of our most ambitious honorarium projects for 2007 are BigRigJig by Mike Ross and JIm Mason’s Mechabolic: Cyborg Speculations in Machine Metabolism.

Although Burning Man funded both projects, each has exhausted their budget and is in need of financial support.  We have never before approached the community for help like this, but we are unable to further fund these projects, so we are calling on our readers for help in a few ways.

Mike Ross of Big Rig Jig – (see the project at http://www.bigrigjig.com – it’s literally awesome) – reports:

“Things are going well on the project.  We are on schedule, and ramping things up dramatically for the last few weeks.  Several new core crew members just arrived from New York with a burst of energy and enthusiasm.  We are working full time, 7 days a week, from about 2pm to 4am (last two nights till 5am, actually).  Its an amazing group of people that can sacrifice months of their lives, working that hard to pull something like this off.  Im lucky to have them around.  And we are all lucky to have Burning Man provide the opportunity for us.

Unfortunately, despite our best and continued efforts, we are out of money.  Putting two big rig trucks 40 feet up in the air is enormously difficult, especially when you come from out of town (we moved our entire operation from Brooklyn, NY to California in order to build this sculpture).  We received the majority of our funding from the Burning Man grant, and immediately began seeking additional sources to make up for the remainder of our budget.  But between setting up a new shop, finding our materials in an unfamiliar environment, and actually building the project, our time is stretched thin.  The long and short of it is that we have so far failed to find the additional funding we need.  As of two weeks ago, the project is being funded by personal credit cards, which is difficult as I have no source of income right now, and have already spent my savings on the project.  If you know of any emergency funding opportunities, or other helpful people or resources, we would be much obliged.  You can help with in kind donations of materials, too.

If you can help, please contact mikenon (at) gmail (dot) com Donate via PayPal to: donate (at) bigrigjig (dot) com

Funding Needs: To meet costs, we need to raise approximately $20,000.  Any donation, large or small, helps.

Some specific in kind donations would help reduce this.  Wish List:

* I-beams: 72 feet of W14x109 I-beam (or approximate equivalent)
* Road Plates: 5 road plates (or approximate equivalent) borrowed or purchased
* Chrome Truck Accessories, such as: air filter assemblies, exterior “chicken” lights, bumpers, exhaust “stacks”, rims
* Lighting: exterior par cans or other lights which can project onto the surface of the sculpture
* 20 kW generator, or approximate equivalent, for use during 2-week pre-event installation
* Transportation Services: 3 full-length flatbeds from Oakland to the playa before the event, and from playa to Oakland afterwards

Also, we can always use more volunteers in Oakland of various skill levels, from skilled metal fabricators/welders, to anyone willing to spend a few hours holding a grinder.

Jim Mason – http://www.mechabolic.org – tells us:

“Logistically we are about as ok as can be expected.  The time is stressful, but we are making it, and the sculpture working very well.

Our real problem is money.  This remains a much more expensive project than we were funded for.  Building a 120 foot, trash-to-fuel, land speed racer slug scavenger continues to be, well, difficult and expensive.

The fundraising and extra personal money I expected to put towards this project has been extremely challenged by the shipyard vs city of berkeley situation (http://www.theshipyard.org).  Though we stopped the city shutdown, the shipyard continues to hemmorage money.  All rent-paying citizens have had to move out, but all liabilities to the landowner remain, as do a ton of city interventions and the associated architects and permitting fees.  This has more than consumed all the extra resources I hoped to apply to the Mechabolic when we were planning all this back in the naive and saladicious days of March/April.

Deficit spending started in earnest this past week.  Finishing important details in the project, as well as sanely transporting it to and from the desert requires us finding another $20k.

If you want to help, contact me at jimmason (at) whatiamupto (dot) com.  Donations can also be sent directly via paypal address jimmason (at) whatiamupto (dot) com.  As you know small donations are as meaningful as big ones.  Many 10 or 20 or 50 dollar donations add up to significant amounts.

Here is our list of needed inkind physical type things.  Finding these without having to buy them of course reduces our project costs.


-stainless steel tubing (specifically 0.120″ wall 1.5″ rnd tube, but we can use any rnd/sq tube, sheet, or plate)
-clear tubing, 1-8″ (acrylic / poly-carbonate / etc)
-scientific and high temp glass / pyrex (tube, sheet, dish, etc)
-shade cloth / window screen / mesh / alumaweave)
-2 front truck axles (medium to heavy duty w/ knuckles and hubs). ford f-350 superduty front axles ideally.
– polished aluminum diamond plate sheets.
– big block chevy bell housing and starter motor
– 5th wheel and kingpin assembly from a semi tractor and trailer
– 4×4 transfer case, or over/under gear down box
– potted orchids
– good planting soil

-work lights on stands (we’ll buy the bulbs)

-weldors/fabricators (i.e.  competent in layout with strong mig, plasma skills)
-mechanics (specifically for hydraulic systems and/or helping bring an insanely built performance 427 to turn-key)
-machinists (we have a full shop)
-shop god/goddess (anyone who loves MIIP ‘matter in its place’ and can help combat the resultant chaos of fabrication frenetics)

-shipping (Yeah, who doesn’t? The creature will break down to fit in a 40′ container, or on a 40′ trailer and the internals should fit in/on a 20′.”

ALSO: Those around the Bay Area…  Peter the Boston Regional is out here helping with Mechabolic and he sent this to local regional contacts:

“The team is looking for people that can commit a couple of nights and a weekend or two of work and provide general fab skills…  but if you can just assist in the labor, “hold this here, carry this there” you are probably welcome.

As Jim Mason wrote, ‘the crew is tired.  we need your fresh face and youthful enthusiasm. good food and drink returned daily.  as well as participation in a rather interesting project.’

It would be a great project for others to be involved in and you get to work with some really smart, fun and otherwise interesting folk.

Contact Jim at jimmason (at) whatiamupto (dot) com or Babalou at bbl (at) babalou (dot) com if you can lend a hand.”

The JRS hopes everyone will spread the word about these two amazing projects and the ways we can help them get to the finish line on the playa.

Make art go.  Yyyyeah!

Meow, as the kitty would say.

23 days until we burn.

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