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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Burning Man Art Ideas

Burning Man is about art, which can take many forms. The best art affects people emotionally and hopefully makes them think. Whether it's beautiful, challenging or nasty, pushing the limits helps us to hone our creative edge.

Over the years, I've had too many Burning Man art ideas and not enough time and resources to try them all. So I hereby gift them to those who seek inspiration. They are listed from the more visual to the interactive and finally the most challenging...

Zen and the Art of the Playa

The point in this group is to find a Zen art form where the playa itself provides the creative elements. Sort of like, get out of the way and let the playa express itself. You'll see this theme in lots of my favorite ideas...

Light Chimes - lasers hitting mirrors on strings in the wind so the beams in the dust flash about as an expression of the wind.

Flaming Man - A twelve foot Burning Man with mylar on the arms blowing in the wind and red lights to simulate fire.

Shade Man - Belt Mounted poles suspending Mylar or Nylon fabric for shade.

Cross Pole Sun Shade - works well but difficult to control in the wind. (From here I started using the hammock on my deck as a foundation).

Floating Words - Hammock holding up a Nylon canopy with words about wind written on it.

These two ideas expanded to become the Zen Hammock in 2004 and 2005. But I used Satin instead of Nylon or Mylar. And I dropped the words in a nod to Zen. It turned out to be my best work so far.

Wind Dome - Hinged hex doors on top of a center support structure diverting wind down into a fabric dome to keep it inflated most of the time using playa wind.

Playa Worm - A large painted fabric windsock "worm" with its mouth pointed into the wind.

A Huge Playa Worm - an even bigger version wrapped around my motor-home with PVC ribs.

Wind Hug Machine - this uses rows of vertical pieces of fabric on PVC pointed vertical to the wind so that people could walk through and be buffeted and hugged by the fabric blowing in the wind.

Playa Organ - pipes in the wind. I've since seen this done but could have lots of interesting variations.

Mylarian Radiation Shield - BIG Mylar shade for Heliophobe like me.

MegaShade - 20 x 20 feet - this got MUCH bigger and ended up as the Tyvekian Radiation Shield in 2005, 2006 and 2007 but you could still do LOTS of variations.

Wind Puppet - shoulder harness to hold torso above catching wind to inflate the skirt below. Eyes holes at belt-line with poles to move "arms" and "legs".

Mylar "Umbrella" - with weights at the ends of the tassels so that when you spin the handle it goes horizontal

Drip Sculpting - Leave water trails in playa dust from a pendulum hose, then let the playa wind blow away the excess dust leaving the mud shape as it builds up over time.

Ice Sculpting - place ice shapes in a dusty white-out to see what form the mud takes.

Dust Sculpting - use existing objects and water sprayers.

Cyclops - Glowing head on top of white robe as alien. Actually created and used in 2004

Kerilian Toad Man - made with Taco Bell cups

Burning Films - project movies on the playa surface from a tower

Fiber Lights - A BIG bundle of PVC with tip lights to simulate a twenty foot fiber-optic lamp with the lighted PVC blowing around in the wind.

Steps that ring with each foot-fall to play a song as you go up and down the stairs.

Interactive Art

Free Association - as a gift, respond to comments with prepared random thoughts forming the opposite of communication, but in which people would try to find meaning.

Origami Man - attach arm and leg panels made of ridged Mylar triangles to "hide" under a Mylar structure until someone walks up. Then SURPRISE!

Anonymous Hugs - use a wall of stretch fabric with people on each side pushing and moving the fabric in different ways.

Hugmatron - A body suit with finger and chest switches driving 96 LED lights in 4 x 6 groups of red, blue, green & white LEDs controlled by a 4 x 4 matrix of body switches and 4 hand controlled color switches so that when you hugged someone, others could see your points of contact on your back to allow the hug take on a visual form.

Vibrating Hands - Mr Tingles. In 2007 I actually found and used some factory made gloves with vibrating finger tips. It worked quite well, as you might imagine.

What Women Want - Vibrating body suit like the gloves, but an all over a body-suit with lots of vibrator points for VERY intense hugs.

Burning Man - Infrared laser as a remote heat gun - just to watch the reaction and confusion. Keep it below a blister.

Burning Mirror - Use Mylar to focus and create a solar furnace for setting fire to things as demonstration. Works well.

Vapor Lock - Rum punch in a pressurized mister that you could spray in people's mouth as they breath in. - Tried briefly in 2004 and gave quite a kick within a couple of seconds, but should use PURE alcohol to keep non-vapor materials out of the lungs.

Playa Blindfolds - Hand out blindfolds to one party of a couple so people can explore trust.

Playa Award - Give recognition with Blue Ribbons to recognize various art forms - all 1st place of course. Here are some examples...

Beyond Belief
Nicest Hooters
Most Unexpected
Sweetest Raisins
Cutest Smile
Warmest Hug
Most Giving
Best Booty
Best of Burn
Just Nasty!

Art Cars

Playa Dumpster - Take one of the large curb dumpster and put a car battery and electric motor in the bottom then sit inside and drive away when someone approaches with garbage.

Gangcycle - many bikes driving one large platform w/ shade

Wind Car - Egg-beater style wind-mill driving a gear down and shaft and art car VERY slowly.

See and Be Seen Art Car - Voyeurs go below, exhibitionist go above to the second floor where they can dance on a transparent floor.

Gotta Go - A Porta-pottie on wheels that drives away when you get close.

Exams to Go - Powered Gynocoligist's Table with Stirups. You could stand at the one end in a white lab coat as you drive around looking for patients.

Socially Challenging Art

Pregnant Nun - Nuff said. Been done. Take it somewhere new.

Nun's Habit - Nun's habit from the waist up, fishnet stockings below. These last two ideas were for Beyond Belief in 2003 and I've since seen various versions.

Lick Your Plate - Leave No Trace. Used in 2005.

Aural Sex Camp - home of the Nape Raper, where erotic things get whispered in your ear.

Mylar Mystery Booth - which became Mylar Surprise in 2007.

Blinking Nude Woman - This uses the one way mirror effect at night. It would be some kind of costumn a woman would wear that was a bulky dress or hoop skirt made of semi-transparent Mylar that just looked spacy until a stobe went off underneith. The flash should occur in a random fashion and last for less than a second but long enough to display a silhouetted naked figure.

I haven't found a volunteer yet.

Let me know.