A First Look at the Art and Artists of Burning Man 2019, Metamorphoses
As of March 12, 2019.
Please considering donating time, materials and money to the artists. Even small contributions help. We can help put you directly in touch with artists if you are unable to locate contact information.
Archaeopteryx — Nicholas DeBruyne — London, United Kingdom
Archaeopteryx is an interactive kinetic light sculpture. Centered around the theme of evolution, it draws parallels between primordial nature and the human condition.
Resembling bird wings in motion, ocean waves, wind in sails, or a bioluminescent ocean creature, the sculpture is a modular construction (approximately 10 x 5 x 7m) made primarily from timber. It will also have kinetic parts operated by participants, functional communal seating, responsive LED lighting, and interactive projection mapping.
The work is brought to life through a unique marriage of both physical and digital means of collaboration: Participants can physically activate the wheel that drives the kinetic motion of the wings. Projected video of vibrant real-time graphics illuminate the moving wings, where users can interact with other participants in a digital microcosm.
The fabric wings become a canvas for participants to explore via live generative graphics inspired by the work of pioneering computer scientist Allan Turing. As they are seated, pressure and proximity sensors detect and relay their presence into the projection canvas where one's virtual "cell" is able to grow, divide, and merge with other participants in real time.
The work is open to multiple interpretations. We like the idea that it might help one to see and situate themselves in an evolving and connected world. By drawing parallels between the primal nature of evolution and the current human condition, we believe it has a powerful message that empowers others to evolve towards a better future; one that is more inclusive, equitable, and harmonious. From the individual to the collective scale, the theme encapsulates the characteristics of something much larger than itself.
Awful’s Gas & Snack — Matthew Gerring and Crank Factory — San Francisco, CA
Visit Awful's Gas & Snack, Your Gateway to the Big Wild! See one of the few remaining gasoline stations, painstakingly preserved since the mid-21st century. Travel back to a time when hardy men roamed the "open road" seeking fortune & freedom. NO GAS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.
Bee Divine Hive Temple — Elizabeth Huebner and The Hive — Fairfield, IA
The Bee Divine Hive Temple seeks to empower female identifying participants by creating themselves as a Divine archetype and designing a customized ritual of worship for that expression. Each night Priestesses utilizing tools of sacred theater, shamanism and hypnosis will guide them into a state of heightened embodiment. This alchemy will take place as an interactive ritual theater open for all citizens to engage with. It’s set in a hexagonal Temple to the Divine Feminine and the bee, with fabric and LED woven walls, interactive altars and artwork. Dusk and dawn oracles offer truths to all who sit before them. This is an experiment of the imagination to explore how deeply one can dare to believe and how our belief creates reality. Imagine and Bee Divine.
You can support the project here.
Bee or Not to Bee — Mr & Mrs Ferguson — Alameda, CA
Mr & Mrs Ferguson have brought memorable art to Burning Man, including Penny the Goose in 2015 and Ursa Major (Penny Bear) in 2016, which was part of the Burning Man: No Spectators exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Their follow-up bear, Ursa Mater (Mama Penny Bear) for Burning Man 2017 was later displayed in downtown San Jose thanks to the joint effort of the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs and Burning Man Project. Currently, Ursa Mater is presiding in a public park in Tahoe City, CA. Mr & Mrs Ferguson created a bald headed eagle for Burning Man 2018 using their trademark pennies and also nickels and dimes. The eagle, called Let U.S. Prey was also shown at SF Decompression. (More here)
The honey bee is big. Comparing yourself to this sculpture yes, but so is the contribution a bee has to the world's food supply. Don't be intimidated. Get close. Draw your hands over its body. It has long hair, curved limbs, penetrating eyes. You're not at all vulnerable, but the bee species is.
We love creating a sense of whimsy with our installations, mostly through the materials we select. This year, we are choosing some new materials that will tantalize a participant.
Our first new material, nylon industrial broom bristle. Appearing as the long delicate hair of a bee, they will be delightful to run hands through, yet durable to bounce spring back into form. This 8 foot tall Bee will be hand carved from styrofoam covered in yellow and black concrete.
Multi-layered, deep gloss painted black eyes will be a drawing feature, while the legs and feelers will be made with steel covered with foam and hair. The wings will be fine mesh aluminum. The flower base is made of thousands of glass marbles, delightful to touch, a memory from childhood and durable. This glass marbles will also be the source that at night, where the bee is lit.
Our art installations are a visual trick that become a tactile experience. Touch is a sense often overlooked in our world of visual and audible stimulation. We have learned from past experiences with penny bears and penny birds that visitors stay longer with the art as they can touch and explore it. This year's use of broom bristles and marbles should deliver a unique tactile experience that we hope surprises participants once again. Some may realize that the bee hair is broom bristle and find that amusing but most participants will enjoy seeing and feeling cat's eye marbles as the flower.
Bounce Back — Sarah Gonsalves and Sassy Galaxy — Los Angeles, CA
Bounce back a large scale, hand fabricated, pedal powered kinetic art installation that signifies resilience, juxtaposes order/chaos and industry/play and reminds us of the transformational magic of imagination while encouraging cooperation to achieve a spectacular visual and audio spectacle. The oddly paired elements of industry, science & leisure objects each carry weight, literally and metaphorically. Human interaction and patience is required to activate & transform the installation for each group that encounters it. It "sings" in beautiful notes when activated! For art on Playa, the challenge to create a visually stimulating yet contained art piece (no M(atter).O (ut) .O(f). P(lace)) necessitates function informing form and begs the question - which is more valuable, the solid infrastructure & human effort behind the spectacle, or the spectacle itself?
Carousel Zarya — Alexander Dovydenkov and Carousel Zarya — Moscow, Russia
Cathenge — David Normal — Stinson Beach, CA
Cathenge is a Cat Temple. Think tall, elegant, mystical cat statues, nine of them, standing in a circle like the standing stones of Stonehenge….
Standing 13' tall, the 3D printed sculptures symbolize the nine lives of cats. Each one is an interactive musical instrument which when touched and petted emanates harmonic purring frequencies.
From the eyes of these imposing Catoliths beam lasers. The combined effect of the lasers, 18 lasers from 9 sets of eyes, creates a geometric array, a mandala of interweaving beams of light creating a tapestry of spiritual truths expressed as geometric patterns. [More]
Chakra Cannon — Joshua Pipic — Oakland, CA
Chakra Cannon is interactive installation revolving around a large-scale "Light Cannon" powered by the human voice. The light source is a massive custom LED spot light with a liquid-cooled core. The cannon will generate a super bright beam of light that will blast upward into the sky when participants collaborate, making sounds into microphones to create a shared vibration. The installation encourages releasing one's individual chakra energy and using the sculpture as a conduit to channel the group's vibrations that will be visualized as a beam of light. This sculpture aims to communicate the true potential and beauty of our collective voice.
The lead artist is Joshua Pipic a Creative Director at Obscura in San Francisco, specializing in bringing large-scale installation art to special events around the world.
Chapel Perilous — Robert Leifheit and Enchanted Booty Forest — Los Angeles, CA
Only two walls of the ruins of Chapel Perilous still stand, sunken heavily into the ground over time. From the Black Rock City, the chapel appears dark and mysterious, but from inside, four stained glass windows and a large rosette illuminate the piece. Custom light patterns and ambient sounds engage visitors to learn more about the eight circuits of consciousness and the trappings of Chapel Perilous — a state one enters when facing truth that disagrees with their notion of reality. Once you enter, will you ever leave Chapel Perilous?
Enchanted Booty Forest (collective art space in Los Angeles Patreon link.
Circus Fabulae — Benjamin Jones and Populus Ludere — Brooklyn, NY
What is Circus Fabulae? It's interactive art heading from Brooklyn, NY to Burning Man in August 2019! More specifically, what is it? Circus Fabulae is a two story swing set with beautiful, custom designed mosaic roof and circular play space for performances of all kinds. At it's a heart a community space produced by a community of artists for the community to interact on. Circus Fabulae is a whimsical colosseum structure of telephone poles two levels tall and 30' in diameter. Ladders are installed along the outside structure so that people can get up and down.
The first level has six porch swings facing inward onto a circular performance space. The second level has six porch swings all facing outwards that can pivot inward to view the performances below. The ceilings will be etched/laser-cut panes of plexi-glass to create a stained glass effect. The floor and ceiling above the center performance space is cut away to give a view through to the sky above. Each swing and roof panel will be designed and executed by a different artist or group. On the inside of the entire structure for participation encouragements will be written like "Tell a story" or "Play telephone", in the hopes that the community will take the lead and initiate an interactive exchange.
Visit Circus Fabulae’s GoFundMe page to learn more about the project and to contribute.
Cosmo — Roger Heitzman — Scotts Valley, CA
Roger is an artist that specializes in wind sculptures.
Critonium Clock — Alena Starostina — San Francisco, CA
Elephantes: Hommage au Dali — Jack Champion — Oakland, CA
In 2016, Jack Champion brought his first solo artwork to the playa at Burning Man: a group of five resin crows collectively called Murder. Champion later cast this pair of sturdier, oversized bronze birds in the image of the originals.
Observing how the vastness of the desert landscape at Burning Man has a tendency to fool the eye, Champion began making the crows to play with perspective. The birds appear small from afar but then overwhelm viewers with their unexpected scale up close. Crows play a meaningful role in Champion’s life: his grandmother kept a pet crow when he was five, and later at Burning Man, an uncanny encounter with the creatures in the desert spurred the creation of this series. He still feeds the crows outside his house in Oakland.
Fan Coral — Bryson Allen — San Diego, CA
Fragments, 2019 — Marc Ippon de Ronda and ATO Designs Studio — Paris, France
Marc Ippon de Ronda is an internationally recognized arts. Hequestions space, movement and time through light sculptures and abstract pieces. Alongside his artistic production he has worked on immersive stage designs as well as digital art experiences as creative director of ATO Studio. Fascinated by the human eye and vision, his work is focused on the perception of light as a limit to reality.
Click for visualization of Fragments.
Fucking Useless — Amy Lamboley and Don’t Trust Wizards — San Francisco, CA
Giant Pinball Machine — Benjamin Newman — Roseville, CA
Benjamin Newman lives and works with his wife and two sons near Sacramento, California. His art reflects a passion for vintage transportation parts and the natural world. Recently, he completed a book titled Recycled Insects.
Global Fire and Flow Nexus — Nick Heyming and The Emerald Village — Vista, CA
Nick Heyming first attended Burning Man in 2006, and has been involved in other playa projects, including in 2007 helping to build a massive solar array in the shape of the Zia sun to power the man, setting up time-lapse cameras, and preparing for interviews of all the technologists arrayed under the man. In 2017, Nick brought a mobile flow tool library to the playa (as well as his regional burn Youtopia).
The Flow Nexus will be a place for burners to gather and get out of their heads and into their bodies. This multi-tiered exploration zone allows for participants to learn and flow using hundreds of publicly available fire and movement arts tools and balancing equipment. By day, the shade and the flooring provide respite from the sun for impromptu workshops, by night the play zones will be lit with the glow and fire of dancers of all skill levels and backgrounds. The goal is for ultimate accessibility and fun - anyone can play and try whatever way of moving strikes their fancy.
I.L.Y. — Dan Mountain — Portola Valley, CA
I.L.Y.. It will be 27ish feet tall. It will have a steel framework. The fingers and hand will move. There will be flames and pyrotechnics. There are more secrets and surprises.
Internal Exposure — Jessica Levine — South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jessica Levine is a metal sculptor from South Lake Tahoe, CA, who is interested in the idea of reality in physical space versus the one that exists within the mind. Never quite feeling “real” even as a child, she creates art to bridge the gap between the space inside her mind and the space in the physical world her body (and so many other bodies) reside in. Jessica studied fine art and sociology at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she found her unexpected interest and area of focus in metal fabrication. In her sociological studies, she discovered that many ideas humans perceive to be truths are actually learned ways of thinking, further inspiring her exploration of ideas of reality through art. Jessica has exhibited her works at festivals internationally and completed private comissions.
More information on Jessica Levine’s 2017 & 2018 playa projects here
Le Metamorphose Des Animaux Extraordinaires — Esmeralda Nadeau-Jasso — Winlaw, Canada
Le Metamorphose Des Animaux Extraordinaires will be a lifesized pop-up book, which will not only be whimsical but is also designed to teach about a few of lesser known creatures of nature.
A video of her vision can be found here.
Liberty Neko - Jose Maluenda - Santiago, Chile
The project is the result of a sculptural "collage", which presents the head of the Statue of Liberty, mounted on the body of the Maneky Neko Cat, an oriental origin symbol of money attraction.
These objects share something in common, both of them refer to economic prosperity and, when mixed together, offer a new meaning that reflects the state of current global economy and political situation.
The recognizable shape, the constant brightness of the mirror gold color, the movement, the interaction with the viewers and the landscape make this a living work, which paradoxically is perceived as a ludic object, as a giant toy with which you can "play".
The Liberty Neko team is: Jose Maluenda (artist and architect), Ignacio del Real (artist invited), Tomas Sturm (Engineer), Juan Valdes (3d moderator). Liberty Neko may be contacted here.
Mariposita — Chris Carnabuci — Cold Spring, NY
Chris has previously created a smaller scale egg as part of the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt New York in 2014. He will bring a larger version of this concept to the playa in 2019.
MÚCARO - by El NiNo Alicea - Puerto Rico & Los Angeles
Got Framed in 2015 & 16 was El NiNo's first art installation for Black Rock City. This marked him as the first Puerto Rican artist to ever bring art to Burning Man. In 2017 he was honored with the Burning Man Honoraria Art Grant to create MÚCARO. An art installation highly praised by the event's participants and the Burning Man organization. “Built to burn, our desert owl is gone, but our love for Puerto Rico lives on and is stronger now more than ever after the island was hit by 2 Category 5 hurricanes in September of 2017,” says NiNo.
In 2019, El NiNo & the Parliament Art Crew were honor to received the Burning Man Global Art Grant to create a new version called "MÚCARO for Puerto Rico" (#MÚCARO4PR). Their mission is to not only build a beautiful, sustainable sculpture for the community to enjoy, but also to empower local Puerto Ricans with skill-building workshops that will help them improve and rebuild their lives. Standing tall at 22', MÚCARO will be a safe space for exploration, creativity, and education on subjects such as renewable energy and building.
The exterior of the owl will be constructed from repurposed fallen trees and rubble from the hurricanes Irma and Maria, including materials from destroyed structures. “We yearn to build with community, for the community. All materials and tools for the project will be bought locally, and we want to encourage local artists, teachers, youth and children to participate in the construction of MÚCARO,” says NiNo. Once built, the space will be used as a classroom by our various partners, like RuckusRoots and The Ricky Martin Foundation, all seeking to provide skills and support to the people of the island, evoking imagination and creative solutions.
To find out more about MÚCARO for Puerto Rico, please visit their crowdfunding page!
Night Light Tree — Kathleen Smith — West Hollywood, CA
Niloticus — Peter Hazel — Reno, NV
Nirmanakaya — Michael Emery — Santa Cruz, CA
I've been exploring in the world of art for most of my life. I began seriously exhibiting my artwork in 1982. I began professional production in 1985. I've been teaching Art to High School students in Santa Cruz, Ca. since 1987. I began attending Burning Man in 2000. Every year on the playa I find my love for artistic expression reinvented and reinvigorated. I've installed or will install my sculpture on the Black Rock Playa every year from 2005 to 2014 (with the exception of 2012).
No Place Like Home — Trey Watkins, Mara Greenberg, Alan Becker and Frogma — San Francisco, CA
In 2019, they intend to expand their work with an installation featuring a farm house in poor repair, with a whimsical path leading to a fire feature.
O NOME DA ROSA – Solar ignition fire & mechanical energy generator — Nuno Paulino & Artelier? TNR Studios— Loures, Portugal
“The Rose is "the Godess’s" playa name, a fire sculpture waiting for the sun. After traveling 97 million miles in 6.8 seconds, the Sun's ray arrives to the desert concentrating power in the Fresnel lens center, producing...Fire. Time to put the Rose upside down and see the goddess burn in a perfect fire beam shape. Night and day inspiring presence, an impactful Art Form, and a sun and Bioenergy generator all built in sustainable materials because we believe that there´s no true aesthetic without an ethic.”
Ilustration and art : Jose Baetas : 3dArt : Eduardo Caramujo : Assistence : Tiago Poeira
View a rendering of the art here.
Read about the lead artist here: Article on artist in Portuguese
Optical Illusion Wheel — Joe Culpepper — Outremont, Canada
Dr. Joseph Culpepper is a performance scholar, magician, and magic consultant.
Joseph has a head full of secrets and hands that know how to use them. He is a Mitacs Elevate postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University’s department of English and Cirque du Soleil’s C:Lab. As an Associate Researcher and instructor at CRITAC (the Center for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer) at the National Circus School of Montreal, he teaches magic history and its adaptation to the circus arts. He is a cofounder of the performance collective Ars Mechanica, a member of The Magic Circle in London, and works as a consultant for both private and public organizations.
Dr. Culpepper holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Toronto. His dissertation, “Reception and Adaptation: Magic Effects, Mysteries and Con Games,” analyzes how individuals experience magic through various media. A recent profile on his current research can be found here.
Paraluna — Christopher Schardt — Oakland, CA
Enough said? One of the best installations returns in 2019.
Penguin Colony and Acavallo Roost — Quill Hyde and Acavallo — Tonasket, WA
The colony is to draw in people that are in transit, going in or out past the keyhole - a burner trap, as it were, to cause participants to pause in their rush, and meet each other and hang out for a minute or an hour. The fires provide comfortable warmth, the benches a place to relax, the penguins a visual treat. The shack a secret place, rewarding the curious with crackers and anchovies.
The roost is able to hold a swarm, big enough to bring together a community, but with spaces at a personal scale - to encourage both large and small interactions between the participants. You can climb the towers, cozy up in nests, array along the planked jetty, dance on the deck, interact with the carousel and all the other art-cars it'll draw in. Designed to be accessible at any physical ability or comfort level - ramps to reach the lower levels (jetty, stage, and lower nest), ladders to reach the upper nests, and on up to the top if you want to - but always with ropes at easy reach, and a net beneath.
A daytime chill-space, nests for lounging burner-birds, secret under-pier space for shaded dialogues, a tree-fort for grown children and their little ones to enjoy. At night, the carousel party, all sexy ambiance and fat beats, a spontaneous and constantly shifting dreamscape as participants flow through the piece.
Pieuvre — Kelly Schott and A.S.A.P. Arts Collective — San Diego, CA
This beautifully ornate octopus will create an ethereal essence of submersion underwater into the deep depths of the sea by bringing the ocean floor to the BRC.
Made of stainless steel, copper, and brass textured metals – the body form will feature delicate seaweed filigree accents, LED lit suckers, and stained glass mosaics. An assortment of colors, textures, shape, line, and movement will be used to create contrasting visual effects and accentuate certain detailed decorative aspects of the body. “Pieuvre” will be grounded by the support in her home of beautiful coral reef, swimming fish, and delicate sea anemone flowers that dance by our feet as we stand beneath her alluring light show. She will hold fire lanterns to light up the night and heat passerby with her warmth.
A talented group of friends – welders, woodworkers, artists, and creatives who have been making beautiful things, building art, and integrating their work into the BM community throughout San Diego for the past couple of years. Design team includes San Diego Community Members: Kelly Schott, Bryson Allen, Kristen Williams, Dawn Sardenas, Wiley Weldy. ASAP projects include: Kinetic fire sculpture, “Genesis“; Fire breathing, “Worm“; Venus firetrap, “Dionea“; and “The Punkin” Art Car.
See other past projects here.
Plaza of Introspectus — Iron Monkey Arts — Seattle, WA
The Plaza of Introspectus is a 60’ wide gathering space laid out in the shape of a compass. In the center, a tall pedestal supports a large steel armillary. Benches and fire zen gardens fill the space offering rest and reflection.
The perimeter is defined by four arrow shaped alcoves pointing inward. The alcoves will be made out of curved steel panels and each will have a solitary bench inside. Participants seated on a bench will be privy to a view of the playa augmented by a bright polestar hanging in front of them.
In the center stands an 8’ tall steel paneled pedestal. On top of this is a large steel armillary. Inspired by celestial maps, the armillary is 6’ across and will be lit at night with copious amounts of propane fire. Inside the perimeter will be four ornate, two-person s-shaped benches. There will also be four fire zen gardens which are steel bowls filled with sand and piped with propane. Many components of this project are repurposed pieces from past projects.
Portal — David Oliver and Art City Monsters — Ventura, CA
About the Artist:
Greetings and welcome. I've been drawing and creating art since my early childhood. Over the years, many people told me I should be an artist. So I became a monk!
At the age of 21 I joined a Hindu monastery to lead an idealistic lifestyle. I lived and served there for over 16 years. That was a very rewarding period for me and has shaped me into the person I am today. Due to a series of sudden and unexpected events, I had to leave the monastery and start a new life. Pursuing a career as an artist was a natural decision.
Having been inspired by and saturated with the universal principles of spirituality for so many years, I seek to convey the same through my art. The primary intention behind my art is to inspire, educate, and promote higher thinking. In short, I seek to quicken the spirits of those who view my art. However, you'll also find me occasionally depicting topics of a more lighthearted and whimsical nature. I find this helpful in counterbalancing the more solemn aspects of reality.
Purr Pods — Paige Tashner and Laser Eyes of Love — Richmond, CA
Experience the healing power of the purr.
Feline forms gaze with Laser Eyes of Love and envelop participants in sonic vibrations. Snuggle down into the cozy bellies of the Purr Pods and be revived.
Read more about the Purr Pods here.
Paige has been a long time participant, and brought her first art to the playa in the form of a mutant vehicle in 2014. In 2018, she created her first installation art piece, Stardust (pictured below). More on past work can be found here, and here.
Puzzles and Prayers – Reinventing the Prayer Wheel — Gwen Darling, Gwen and Josh Art— Reno, NV
Prayer wheels have been used in Tibetan culture for almost 2,000 years as a visual aid to guide prayers for compassion and enlightenment. It is said that the spinning wheel radiates the prayer written within and is as spiritually potent as if the prayer was spoken aloud. I'd like to reinvent the prayer wheel. Typically, seen as individual wheels aligned in long rows, the "Puzzles and Prayers" wheel components will be arranged in a grid. Each ceramic wheel will be a puzzle piece. When spun into alignment with the rest, the wheels will compose a beautiful mural. It will give the participant a unique opportunity to interact with this spiritual tradition as well as discovering the hidden image of the contemporary mural. [More]
Quality of Life — Josh Vaile — Reno, NV
Past work of Josh Vaile.
Reared In Steel’s Fire Kethedral — Kevin Clark and Reared in Steel, LLC — Petaluma, CA
Skywhale: The Not ShyWhale — Blake Marcus and Accidental Adventure — Amherst, MA
Sputnik Theremin — Ulf Ljungdahl — Oxelosund, Sweden
Stone 27 — Ben Langholz — Berlin & other points worldwide
You will be invited to walk among the stones, the highest of which will be 20’ above playa. There will be 28 stones total, 27 of which are hanging. Each stone will weigh about 500-800lbs
Stone 27 invites you on a journey between the energies earth and sky. Temporarily experience a alternate reality where potentially destructive energy has been harmonized with our most basic law of nature to create a moment of physical and mental elevation as you make your way along the path of 27 floating stones 20 feet off The Playa floor. The project’s website includes more information and photos. They are also seeking volunteers, space in for fabrication in Reno and financial contributions on their website.
The Tetractys is an ancient symbol used to represent the geometric organization of known dimensions and the four classical elements (fire, air, water and earth). Our installation is an ancient forge of eternally reflected flames paying homage to the monoliths and obelisks of old. Within the heart of Tetractys is a sphere of fire embodying the power of the stars and mirroring the magnificent phenomenon that is humankind’s fleeting yet purposeful moment within our observable universe. The massive expanse of the cosmos can feel dark and overwhelming, yet we aspire to find meaning and purpose, carving out a small corner of consciousness while illuminating the darkness around us. Humanity has seen fire as both an agent of purity and symbol of righteousness and truth; of creation and destruction. Fire cleanses and allows new growth while also captivating and offering moments of self reflection and wonder to those who watch it’s dance. It is an explosive metamorphosis of bright energy, much like humanity itself.
DESCRIPTION & INTERACTIVITY
Tetractys will be a tripod structure featuring a giant fire kaleidoscope with a tapered mirror system that creates a faceted sphere. Mirror finish stainless steel is used in lieu of glass mirrors, & the fire feature affixed to the top of the pyramid acts as the object chamber & will come down into the center chamber to maximize the sphere effect & feature tiered geometric metal art with different flame & diffusion effects. The kaleidoscope sits on 3 legs, made of structural steel tubing, where participants will stand beneath the piece & gaze up into the depths of the pyramid, viewing an infinitely reflected fiery globe which will appear to extend beyond the inside of the structure. The exterior will feature several layers of laser-cut art that will remind the viewer of a futuristic yet neolithic obelisk, lit with LEDs to create constantly changing patterns & keep the piece visible to bikes.
Six to twelve burners at a time will be able to stand beneath the piece & look up as a huge ball of infinitely reflected fire dances & amuses from above. While the piece itself will be perspective shifting & passively interactive in nature due to the fusion of hypnotic kaleidoscopic fire effects & our custom geometric art, we plan to create a control panel allowing several user controlled flame effects within the kaleidoscope.
The Bard’s Branch — Pamela Ward — San Francisco, CA
The Beat Box — Frank Myers and The Phage / The Institute — Richmond, CA
The Dollhouse — Tiana Husted and House of Strange Rituals — Eugene, OR
The Flybrary — Christina Sporrong — El Prado, NM
The Folly — Dave Keane and Folly Builders — San Francisco, CA
The Heads — Jeremy Suurkivi and Major Crimes — San Francisco, CA
The Head Maze - Matthew Schultz, The Pier Group - Sparks, NV
Head Maze is a 4 story mediating mind, resting on one hand and ripping its face off to reveal a crystalline stained glass being. Inside of the mind is an immaculate interactive 4 story, 18 room maze of our subconscious and dreams. It's a massive collaboration dedicated to the complexities of cognition, our common struggle between body and mind, nature and nurture and our persistently fluctuating perception of self. At its most basic, the Head Maze is our attempt to help everyone who struggles with their mind know that they are not alone, that we struggle too, and it’s ok to feel a little mad in this society that we have created. The Head Maze will premiere at Burning Man in 2019 and return to Reno for permanent display in 2020.
The Head Maze is a purposeful juxtapositions of 2 forms, a peaceful meditative reflection and our inevitable struggle with the nature of our cognition. Its a monolithic mind caught in time between multiple selves. The head towers 40 feet over the playa floor, encased in mulberry paper and epoxy modeled after the work of Yoshio Ikezaki. The head, rests in repose while its left hand claws at its mind fighting to reveal a crystalline stained glass structure being akin to The Space Whale inside.
A series of hidden doors in the mouth, wrists and head open into a 4 story, 18 room maze. Each 10 x 8 foot modular room creates a unique space dedicated to the nature of our minds, our struggles with being and the weird and fanciful process of dreaming. An interactive participatory playground hidden inside a beautiful monumental mind. .
8 entrances and exits allow participants to easily flow through the Maze, with clearly marked exits in every room. Enter through the mouth and play with an interactive voice box. Pick a door and travel into an undersea stained glass world or into a mad extremists hermit cabin. Each room is a fully realized reality, meticulously crafted, richly detailed, compelling and interactive. The rooms are each designed by different teams of artists including over a dozen guest artists with each of the rooms building up a vibrant narrative to be discovered as participants play, explore, experiment and collaborate with each other to discover all of the paths through the mind. Wonder into the madness of the creative mind, through a gentle garden and out onto the 3rd story balcony of a Gothic cityscape. Riddle your way through the puzzles in the Nuclear Control room or discover the buried stories of the denizens of the mind through their notes and journals. Who lives in the mind? What is it trying to share with us?
The Intersection X — Anna Yudina and Invisible Pink Unicorns — Moscow, Russia
The Man’s Army — Michael Ciulla — Los Angeles, CA
The Monumental Mammoth — Tahoe Mack, with The Protectors of Tule Springs, Dana Albany, and Luis Valera- Rico — Las Vegas, NV
The Sabbatical — Andrew White and Neophyte Nexus — Toronto, Canada
The Shrine of Sympathetic Resonance — Tyson Ayers and Sympathetic Resonances — Oakland, CA
The Shrine of Sympathetic Resonance immerses participants in the phenomena of 20,000 musical strings sympathetically resonating the sounds they make while inside. The wonder & joy induced by this experience invites participants to play with their own sounds by singing, laughing, crying, or howling. [More]
The Spa at Lake Lahontan — Catie Magee, Jennifer Blakeslee, Ben Anderson & Aaron Dana, FLUX Foundation — San Francisco, CA
The Towers of Crete — Daniel Fennelly — Oakland, CA
The Tree of Life — Tyler J. Rivenbark & The Institute for Human Creativity — San Francisco, CA
The Tree of Life Project is a long term art, innovation and environmentalism project with the objective to transform and improve our relationship with the natural world. The project includes the creation of a large scale interactive art and architecture piece, and the long term activation of programs that are focused on environmentalism. The 10-story art piece, reminds us of our deep connection with each other and all life on this planet, while inviting us to participate in opportunities of transformation and creative interactivity. This large-scale art installation will be showcased at Burning Man 2019, and placed in a permanent location after. We are grateful to have received an Honorarium from Burning Man Arts and thankful for all the volunteers helping with this vision.
This project will be seeking a permanent home after Burning Man, which could include a city, organization or a private patron location.
The Wheels of Zoroaster Resurrection — Anton Viditz-Ward — Telluride, CO
The fiery banner at the top of this article is one of Anton Viditz-Ward’s past projects. Here are some others.
Welder, architect, artist, Anton Viditz-Ward works out of an abandoned mine several miles outside of Telluride Colorado, and showcases his work there as well. Working with heavy steel on a large scale, Anton constructs living, breathing shapes that he loads with wood, torches and spins via huge axles.
Theophany — Matthew Goodman and Coup De Foudre — San Francisco, CA
From a distance, the observer may see what appears to be a larger and life lantern or lighthouse. As they get closer, drawn by the warm light, they discover that the swirling flame is fed by intricate helical latticework of curved glass forms.
The visitor pulls a curiously large lever. Suddenly, the flame shape shifts to a louder buzzing blue trail, culminating in a cacophonous blue electric arc swirling through the fire. [More]
More of the artist’s past work.
Toxic Unicorn — Madeleine Hamann and Unicorn Liberation Front — San Diego, CA
Toxic Unicorn is a mesmerizing, life-sized sculpture of a unicorn. She is made of translucent, rainbow-swirled, recycled HDPE plastic that is pelletized, extruded, wrapped, and molded onto a waffled plywood frame. The frame, designed to hold the weight of 5 adults, is laced with tri-color, addressable LEDs that shimmer like rainbow mist. Her mane and tail are fibrous strands made from 2L soda bottles with their edges left raw so that they are beautiful but scratchy and unpleasant to the touch. Her golden horn is wrapped in cow tape that delivers a safe but memorable 120V shock at 120 microamps. A spring mechanism attached to her tail opens a valve briefly to spritz water vapor, release ammonium sulfide, and dispel the smell of rotten eggs. She is supported by carousel pole that run through her centerline and beckons you to climb aboard, but proximity sensors on her back trigger disturbing, discomforting sounds if you stay too long!
Most Burners have run into a real-life Toxic Unicorn or two–those enchanting humans that draw you in until you realize there’s something a little… off.
Outwardly, Toxic Unicorn seems to encourage a superficial level interaction–a perfect prop for an insta-worthy photo. Her unpleasant reactive features, though, force participants to reckon with a playful, unexpected piece and her multi-level message.
On one level Toxic Unicorn is a shimmery facade warning that a focus on outward appearances can lead to disappointing, dissatisfying relationships rather than genuine interpersonal connection.
On another level, Toxic Unicorn’s composition begs us to reflect on humanity’s relationship with our favorite toxic unicorn material. Since post-war popularization, plastics have enabled incredible innovation and permeated human culture; now, we’re beginning to see something a little… off!
Though each will have a unique experience, Toxic Unicorn aims to instill curiosity and provoke reconsideration of those things in life that appear to be beautiful and perfect.
Toxic Unicorn is birthed by the Unicorn Liberation Front: a budding collective of artists, scientists, engineers, designers, and radical humans that stand to liberate the unicorn from its social stigma and the constructs of fantastical standards. We fight to end expectations about how we look, how we behave, and WTF we’re actually capable of. We will regain magical sovereignty and ultimately dismantle the delusional mythological-caste system. Join us! Oh, we make art, too.
Transmutation — Arturo Gonzalez and Arte Conciencia S.C. — Saltillo, Mexico
Traversing Through Dust — Ramiro Martinez Jr. and MATH Collective — San Diego, CA
Life can sometimes feel as though we are aimlessly traversing through the dust while we try to get to our destinations. The path is not always clear or visible, or for that matter, the path may not even exist. A bridge is defined as a structure carrying a pathway or roadway over a depression or obstacle. A bridge is also defined as a time, place or means of connection or transition. Traversing Through Dust aims to remind participants that the means for transition/bridges are ours to create. In the end the decisions and self-reflections we make, pave the path to where we want to be and whom we choose to become.
Out of the dust citizens of Black Rock City will see a metal bridge made up of 5 towers with 6 decks suspended from the towers. These decks will be made of wood and held up with lifting cable. Decks will start at ground level. They will rise to a height of 20 feet. The bridge will take up 6 sides of an octagon. Participants will be able to interact with lights which will be attached to the towers. The lights will produce shadows and trail effects that will cause participants to question their reality. Participants are encouraged to write on the structure about their experience at designated locations. Participants will be able to climb the structure.
The MATH Collective is comprised of a talented group of individuals ranging from the fields of architecture, engineering, mathematics and electronics. Our Design team includes San Diego Community Members: Mark Anderson, Max Elliott, Diane Hoffoss, David Timms, Brenda de la Cruz, Jazmin Arredondo and Ramiro Martinez. Collective project experience includes the following projects, Wonderlust Arcade, Critter Art Car, Unfolding Humanity, Cabina Exuro,Caroushell, Quemaduras del Sol, Starfish, Isis Pyramid and The Journey. Their mission is to bring new experiences to the community using Architecture, Engineering and Electronics that evoke the minds of Participants.
Welcome Home — Joey Howell and Salt Mind — Salt Lake City, UT
Burners call the playa home. Home not because of the location, but because of the people we share it with; friends, family, lovers, strangers. Welcome Home creates an absurdly normal setting by taking a space associated with default homes and bringing it to our true home. This fully decorated parlor in the sky invites wanderers to climb, explore the interactive elements, and enjoy the view.
See more at www.saltmindslc.com
Windchest — Ange Sarno — Watertown, MA
Windchest is an interactive architectural landscape comprised of art deco styled columns surrounded by actuator pads. The sculpture is reminiscent of a pipe organ and aims to combat cultural isolation through group curated play. Participants collaboratively activate Windchest by jumping on nearby LED-lit pads that compress like bellows which sends a signal to one column to produce sound and light.
Windchest fosters singular creativity through group action and expression, encouraging not only large scale participant play, but facilitating collaboration and interactivity among groups of strangers. From afar, Windchest is a series of softly lit monolithic columns rising and falling out of the desert, reminiscent of ancient architecture and evocative. Upon arrival, users enter an implied space, delineated by the pads strewn across the playa around the columns. Participants will feel tentative at first, reluctant to step on the pads, but after testing their surfaces, feeling the platforms sink under their weight, they are rewarded with the immediate response of light, fire and music from the columns. Bringing the sculpture to life encourages participants to experiment with the other pads and encourages others to join in. Participants weave in and out of the space between columns to immerse themselves in the music as others run from pad to pad to play the sculpture.
Windchest is being brought to the playa by a diverse group of fabricators, architects, engineers, and pyrotechnicians based out of Boston, MA. We are looking to build up our crew and engage in fundraising to ensure that our fire system becomes a reality. If you’d like to get involved we’d love to have you join our community! You can join our project or keep informed by following us on Facebook. Let’s Build Art Together! Sign up to help.