Jrs V12 I11


Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 12, Issue #11 – The Art Edition
March 11, 2008

What would Burning Man be without art? Shudder. We don’t even want to think about it.

This is one of our favorite times of the year … it’s time for our annual Art Edition of the Jack Rabbit Speaks. Now’s the time to really start to get excited, anticipating the amazing artwork that you’ll have the opportunity to experience and interact with out in Black Rock City.

First, we’ve got a preview of all the art grants (or “honorariums”) being awarded this year, so you’ll get a taste of the art installations that part of your ticket price helps to fund. That’s right, YOU play a part in making this art possible, so thank you.

Not only that, we’ve also got a couple of very exciting announcements about this year’s temple. First … yes, there will be a temple. Second, it’s going to be way cooler than this Rabbit’s proposal to construct a full-blown replica of a CostCo warehouse. Seriously though … this is going to be really cool. Read on to learn more about it, and how you can get involved and help make it happen, in “Latest News”.

Then, we’ve got some important information about the community’s effort to stem the increasing vandalism to artwork out on the playa. In recent years, it’s been getting worse, and we’d like to see it stop. It’s only radical self-expression when you’re destroying your own stuff, folks. If you didn’t make it, don’t break it. Please read below for more on how you can help.

We encourage everybody to get out and create artwork of their own, or to join on with a crew … it’s truly a unique and inspiring experience, and an altogether new way to experience the event. If you’re going to be creating “dangerous” artwork (you know, the good stuff: the things that burn, explode, shoot fire, swing wildly, thrust, parry, impale or whatever), we’ve got some words of advice and links to some important information before you get started.

Finally, we neglected to put the durn URL for the project registration questionnaires in the last JRS. Silly Rabbit. It’s (wait for it … wait for it …) http://forms.burningman.com … so there ya go. That’s the first step in registering your theme camp, village, art project or mutant vehicle.

Burn on, everybody. And remember … if you’re not making art, then BE art.

-PQ (Associate Rabbit)

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The Burning Man Art Department is pleased to announce the funded projects for 2008. This year we are funding 38 projects, an increase from our usual 30 or so, as we are funding more small projects. Less than 1/3 of the projects are from the Bay Area, and we received many more proposals from abroad than ever before. We have four overseas projects this year: two from London, one from Amsterdam, and one from Wales. (Note: grants for the Man Base art installations will be announced in a future JRS.)

The funded projects are:

Altered State, by Kate Raudenbush, New York, NY
http://www.kateraudenbush.com (Click on New: Altered State)

Amazing Jellyfish from Y12K, by Jared Gallardo, Salt Lake City, UT

Basura Sagrada, by Shrine, Tuktuk, and the Basura Sagrada Collaboratory – Pasadena, CA and Portland, OR

Bummer, by Myk Henry, New York, NY/Geneva, Switzerland
“Bummer” is a super size Humvee measuring 38 feet long x 18 feet wide x 16 feet high. Half of the Hummer will be painted in military khaki and the other half a bright sporty color. This sculpture epitomizes this country’s obsession with power and the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the American dream.
mykrodot (at) yahoo (dot) com

Celtic Forest, by Laura Kimpton, Bob Hoffman and Jeff Schomberg, Nicasio, CA

Chasing the American Dream, by Hedy Siroco, Wynnewood PA

Checkpoint DreamYourTopia, by DADARA, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Drum Wagons, by Quill Hyde, Brooklyn NY

Elevation, by Michael Christian, Berkeley, CA
Elevation is a fully climbable sculpture constructed of winding tube steel ladders that elevate to a seated perch for one, on its peak. The height of the piece will be 56 feet.

Fleeble Flobbler, by Charlie Smith and Jaime Laudet, Atlanta, GA

Free Flight, by David Boyer, Reno NV
“Free Flight” is a sculpture that celebrates the ultimate freedom, the escape from the bounds of earth. Consisting of six wind-driven kinetic birds, this sculpture is in constant flux as the winds of the Black Rock grow, recede, shift and change.

Hand of Man, by Christian Ristow, Taos, NM

Harmonic Geometry, by Glenn Easley and Rikk Carey, Vashon, WA
glenn.Easley (at) gmail (dot) com

Hydrogen Economy, by False Profit Labs, San Francisco, CA

Illusion, by Benson Trent, Provo, UT

Ketchup, by Bruce Bender, Marshall, NC

Legends of America, by James Cole, Auburn, CA

Lepidodgera, by Rachel Norman, Mike Thielvoldt, Lira Filippini, and Jake Haskell, Palo Alto, CA

Man Gwyn Man Draw?, by Defaid Daf a Joe, Wales
bleiddes (at) googlemail (dot) com

McEnlightenment, by Michael Brown and Violet McKeon, San Diego, CA

Mutopia, by the Flaming Lotus Girls, San Francisco, CA

Net Work, by David Bengali, New York, NY

Nowhere Ominibus, by Pete Johnson, London, UK

Pictures of You – Images from Iran, by Yechdosay Chahar, Crested Butte, CO

Pool, by Jen Lewin, Boulder, CO

Popaver Rubrum Giganticum, by Gary Miller, Wyndmoor, PA
Popaver rubrum giganteum (giant red poppy) consists of three hundred 10′ tall poppies in various shades of red. The design allows for variation in the layout and placement of the individual elements.

Pswarm, by the Dept. of Spontaneous Combustion, Oakland, CA

Pyrocardium, by False Profit Labs, San Francisco, CA

Shiva Vista, by Dave King, Reno, NV

Shrine of Fortuna, by Art Farm, Graton, CA

Shrine to the Oven Mitt, by Steven Goodman, Mountain View, CA

Spaghetti West Ten, by the Mutoid Waste Co., London, UK
A 12′ long, by 15′ tall motorized apocalyptic horse, part beast, part rust-ravaged machine, pulls a punked-out parody of a pioneer’s covered wagon, which contains a stage for musical acts and performance.
ohmissblues (at) googlemail (dot) com

Swarm, by Michael Prados, San Francisco, CA

Tantalus, by Peter Hudson, San Francisco, CA
Tantalus is Peter’s fourth large scale zoetrope. Participants must engage a laboriously intense mechanism that puts a modern spin on the myth of Tantalus while reflecting on the seemingly dwindling fruits of such labor.
hudzo (at) earthlink (dot) net

The Cave, by Chassy Cleland and Henya Emmer, New York, NY

Wheel of Thwarted Ambition, by Anton Viditz-Ward, Telluride, CO
This kinetic fire sculpture represents change, rebirth and creation. Driven by a hand crank, a wheel containing buckets of burning wood is spun around, creating a ring of fire and producing lots of fireflies.
antonviditzward (at) hotmail (dot) com

You are All so Many of Me, by Michael Emery, Santa Cruz, CA
A multitude of small cut mirrors provides the opportunity for both literal and metaphorical reflection. During the day, the viewer perceives a cubist self-portrait smiling back. At certain points during the night this reflection will be enhanced with a variety of images projected by LCD upon the mirrors. The viewer is invited to interact with images of fire and water as well as a racial/gender spectrum of other humans. The viewer is invited to contemplate, and perhaps to help create the American Dream of FREEDOM FOR ALL.
miko111 (at) comcast (dot) net

ZsuZsu, by Mister Jellyfish, Sparks, NV

Congratulations to all the artists and crews!



The 2008 Temple will be built by Shrine and Tucker, who did the Tasseograph Tea Temple in 2007, and it’s called BASURA SAGRADA (“sacred trash”), a reference to Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.


Tucker writes:

“We are extremely humbled by this opportunity and hope to create a temple worthy of the name. The responsibilities that come with a project like this are incredible, but we are happily moving forward. Burning Man has been generous in their support of this project, and yet we know that it will take much more to realize the vision. If this is truly to be a temple for the community, then we need your help to make it happen. More than that, we want you to be involved!



Got an old car you want to get rid of? An ancient barn that is falling in on itself? A ton of windows, doors, or perhaps a giant victorian clock/chandelier/toilet? Well we want it.* We are developing our website but should soon have the ability to allow you to post up your stuff and see if we can use it. Meanwhile, go ahead and send info/images of your junk offerings to basurasagrada (at) gmail (dot) com

*…maybe. it will depend on whether you can get it to our workplace and whether it will fit into the overall design.

Perhaps you don’t have an old stained glass window or church steeple lurking in your garage. No worries: You can still offer something deeply personal to the temple project. In the past inscriptions were written on the lower levels of the temple during the event. That will still happen, but we would like to take that a step further, and give the citizens of Black Rock the opportunity to contribute both physically and emotionally to every level of the piece.

Much of Shrine’s work consists of repeated shapes that create an impact from the accumulated whole. To that end, we will be publishing a series of shapes that can be cut out of cardboard, inscribed with your prayers, blessings, dreams and elegies, and sent in over the coming months. These pieces will be used to form design elements and flourishes throughout the temple’s various structures. We would love it if people could come together and create these shapes as groups and mail or hand-deliver them to us.

Perhaps the most important way you can get involved is to volunteer for the temple effort. While we will be working with a dedicated crew, from time to time we will need extra people in the Bay Area to help us gather materials, move it around, build it up, and make it beautiful. Got a skill? A truck? A paintbrush? Got a junkyard? Bring it on. The work will be meticulous and hard, and offers nothing beyond the opportunity to eat large amounts of cold pizza with some amazing people, and help provide a necessary sacred space for 40,000+ like-minded souls!

Once we get started, we invite you to come by our East Bay workspace and see what we’re up to.

While the playa is one of the few places on earth that eschews currency, it inevitably takes big money to build big art. To build something as large as a temple, worthy of the name, we will need more than just prayers. We will need money. After securing a grant from the Burning Man organization, we now have our footing to move forward. A big part of that is fundraising. If you cannot contribute in another way (or even if you can), consider a monetary donation. We are a non-profit effort, and in collaboration with a generous 501(c)3, we are making any donation tax deductible. Please visit our website for details, and to see what we are up to: www.basurasagrada.org




Over the last several years, Burning Man has seen a disturbing trend growing in Black Rock City: more and more art installations are getting vandalized or damaged every year, including everything from tagging to outright destruction.

Artists work exceptionally hard to create artwork for the playa at great personal expense. Understandably, they are deeply affected when their work is destroyed or damaged – and participants who would have otherwise experienced the piece as it was intended are also affected. While some participants may see vandalism as their personal form of “radical self-expression”, ultimately, personal expression needs to be tempered by the realities of co-existing within a community, which requires mutual respect to thrive.

Please help us spread the word: if you didn’t make it, don’t break it! Help stop mindless vandalism to artwork on the playa.

Some of the artists tell their stories below, in a letter to our community from Kate Raudenbush, who created the Guardian of Eden last year. We reprint them for you here, in the hopes that their words speak more persuasively than any missive we could craft. We know that most JRS readers are unlikely to be the culprits of vandalism; we hope you will help by taking time to share in watching out for the artwork in our city.

Kate writes:

“Dear Burning Man family,

My fellow artists and I were comparing stories and notes about our creative efforts from the 2007 Burn. As wonderful as this year was, we all noticed a disturbing pattern of behavior that has grown over the years and seemed to come to a climax this year. I am talking about the vandalism, tagging, willful destruction, and deliberate arson of our artwork. It made me think that some of us come to Burning Man and don’t really get what it’s about. Some people seem to think that the expressive freedom that you are afforded at Burning Man can come at the expense of others. It doesn’t work that way. With freedom comes respect: tagging, breaking, burning, pissing on our art is an act of disrespect, not creativity.

Some people might think that tagging is some form of radical act of ‘stickin’ it to the man’ but in this case you are sticking it to your own family. You have no idea how hard we work making this art for you, yes, YOU. We don’t get paid to do this; we do it because we love it. Months of work, sometimes the better part of a year’s worth, is destroyed in a few minutes, and entire teams of artists and builders are devastated. Here are a few examples (there are many more):

‘Three people loaded on to the front of the sculpture while some guy grabbed the end of the tail and repeatedly jerked it up and down until the tail buckled and broke off.’ – Bryan Tedrick, Artist

Museum of Reused Items
‘On Monday night the entire exterior of the structure was ruined basically by the ugliest bulls**t tagging you’ve ever seen in your life. I knew this would happen to some extent, but I was still devastated when I saw it. I hadn’t even been able to take hi-res pics of it before it happened. I was down in the dumps for days. Some of the a**holes who f**ked it up even put their playa addresses. Can you believe that?’ – Treiops, Artist

Guardian of Eden
‘The glowing mirrored light fixture above was stepped on, then fixed, then not 24 hours later crushed beyond repair, the vandal leaving their underwear and trash and cigarettes in the broken mirrored dome afterwards. The sculpture light was ruined for everyone for the weekend of the burn. Also, some one set up their personal hammock between the lower legs and lounged there all afternoon creating a bend in the metal where it was attached.’ – Kate Raudenbush, Artist

America Empowering the World … Again
‘Early Sunday morning my futuristic Statue of Liberty had become a 10′ cinder; my trailer, generator, scaffold and all of my tools were bent, melted and mangled wreckage. The arsonist(s) had dragged the generator to the trailer, removed the gas cap and dumped it upside down on top. A spent, pocket-sized butane canister lay among the wreckage. I welcome any evidence from the community. It has seriously affected my ability to support myself as a carpenter, and to express myself through my artwork.’ – Matthew Welter, Artist

‘The metal skin of the sculpture was heavily damaged by people trying to climb it. It was clearly not intended to be climbed.’ – Michael Christian, Artist

Big Rig Jig
‘Just hours after the piece was opened, the crew smelled spray paint and caught a guy tagging the base of the sculpture. He said he thought it was ok because it was the base! The crew refrained from strangling him, and instead made him clean off the paint and succeeded in educating him as to how devastating tagging is to the artists.’ – Mike Ross, Artist

Burning Man is not just a party in the desert. It is a community, a family – and a sacred, absurd, erotic, liberating, empowering, humbling, enormous, ecstatic canvas of possibility. That is why we are part of this community. We all need to realize how special that is and celebrate, teach, and live it, not destroy it. As artists we build art not just for us, but as a gift, for you. This is our act of gifting to the community. And we love sharing it with you; this is why it hurts so much when this act of generosity is taken for granted and vandalized. I know that we as a community are better than this. Please spread the word. Taggers: Feel free to tag YOUR OWN ART! Build a wall and have at it. But please respect the art of others.

– Kate Raudenbush”



If you’re going to be creating artwork to bring to Black Rock City, it’s a good idea to read through a few web pages before you start … especially if you’re going to be doing something dangerous … like things that burn, spew fire, or otherwise might endanger people or property. Nothing puts a damper on a great time like a bad injury, or damage to the playa. Ultimately, it’s the socially responsible thing to do. And we are, if nothing else, a community. So, do the right thing … go read:

Creating Dangerous Art Safety

Playa Protection & Burn Scar Prevention

Finally, please submit an Art Installation Questionnaire, found here:

Thank you from the Burning Man Art Department!

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Oooops … in the last JRS, silly Rabbit forgot to provide you with the URL for the questionnaires to register your art installation, theme camp, village or mutant vehicle for 2008. Doh. Here ya go:


Remember, if you fiddle with it too much, it might just fall off. Just sayin’.

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