This is Chris “Kiwi” Hankins, leader of the 2011 Temple crew, with a scale model of the Temple of Transition. Those of you who visited the Megatropolis installation in 2010 will recognize its colorful silhouette, which should give you a point of reference. Yes, that’s to scale.
This year, a largely international Temple crew will construct a circle of six structures: five 58-foot-high outer temples, and a 120-foot-high inner temple. The temples will be connected with 60-foot-long walkways. The entire installation will have a diameter of 200 feet, and will be taller than the Man.
To build something on this scale, as Burners well know, you need an impassioned leader. Enter Kiwi, an experienced builder who’s been constructing the Man at Kiwiburn (New Zealand’s regional burn) for several years, and who has also lent a hand to build Black Rock City as part of the Department of Public Works.
Kiwi’s latest achievement is Megatropolis, which he and the International Arts Megacrew built last year.
“Before we were even finished building Megatropolis, I was already thinking ‘what are we gonna build next?'” Kiwi says. Later, as Megatropolis burned, a friend turned to him and asked, “What do you think?”
“I think I want to do the Temple,” Kiwi replied.
Of course, Kiwi isn’t doing this alone. He’s surrounded with people like Irish, Beave, Risky, Teresa, Smooches, Diva and plenty of skilled and dedicated crew members. The Megacrew is solid, and they love working in Reno. “This is our home away from home,” Kiwi says, “and we knew we wanted to build it here.” When the project was announced, “support from Reno was amazing. People were jumping through hoops to help.” The local community has donated resources, man-hours and political support — city councilman Dave Aiazzi has even helped with the build.
This weekend, I joined my friend Dusty Bacon (Burner fashion blogger at Dusty Couture), and we went down to Hobson Square to see the work in progress.
Kiwi says that over 300 people have already donated their time to help build the structure, which is about 60 percent done.
We also ran into some crew members at this weekend’s Reno Block Party, where they were raising awareness for the project. Megacrew volunteers are putting in time, effort and their own materials to support the Temple of Transition however they can.
How You Can Help!
At this point, the project’s needs are very specific: Money and materials make the world go round.
Through July 7, you can donate to the Temple’s IndieGoGo fund. (Past that date, donate via WePay.) They’re looking for at least $27,000 to cover the remaining materials, plus the cost of transporting the project to playa.
If you’re in Vancouver, Reno or New York, come out to your local Temple fundraiser. And bring friends!
Truckee-Tahoe Lumber has provided huge amounts of materials at a deep discount, but there’s still a need for more. According to Kiwi, they’ve already used 1,000 sheets of half-inch plywood. 2×6, 2×8 and 2×10 boards are also in demand.
To raise the structure, they’ll need 1,500 feet of rigging cable and a very large crane. And, of course, trucks and drivers to transport it all to Black Rock City.
Reno locals: The crew can use skilled labor or even someone to help with cooking and cleaning for workers at Hobson Square.
The on-playa crew list is full, with 140 members enlisted to work. Some 90 of those crew members are flying in from overseas.
The Temple crew has always had international members, but this will be the most varied group yet. In this, as in other things, it truly does represent a transition, an evolution and a community endeavor for the cities of Black Rock and Reno.