A preview of some of the major art installations on the playa
Yep, the event opens on MONDAY and the art is just about all here. I spent my lunch hour yesterday riding around the playa, visiting some of the biggest art installations. Most of these artists (or art collectives) have been out here for at least a week assembling their pieces; and of course, each of them represents a year-round commitment by the artists and their assistants and volunteers.
All of these pieces are mostly assembled, but none of them is finished. Without any further ado, then, I give you:
This is a pair of statues made all of scrap metal: a mother, 30 feet high, and a child 20 feet high. Fire will pour from the mother’s hand to the son’s, and a trail of flaming footprints will stretch out behind them.
Dan DasMann and Karen DasWomann came up with the idea for this piece after they realized that Kids Camp is the largest camp on the playa. The statues represent the passing on of Burning Man’s culture from one generation to another.
It’s a doozy. A monstrosity of wood and metal, full of cogs and gears and shafts and arms and wings, and constantly emitting strange sounds and smells… It’ll be operated by Burners who stop in and take a few turns at the drive wheel. Each turn of the wheel will raise the Machine’s arms (wings?) a miniscule amount; after about 60 hours of turning, the arms will be fully raised.
Then, on Friday night, a parade will start from the Machine’s camp, weave along the Esplanade, and finish at the Machine. After a ceremony with fire dancers and performance artists, the arms will come crashing down – all 25,000 pounds of them – onto the playa.
Life Size Mouse Trap!
Rube Goldberg would be so proud.
The Life Size Mouse Trap is modeled after the board game we all used to play – but it’s much, much better. It’s bigger and noisier, first of all. The entire contraption weighs 25 tons, and uses a bowling ball in metal tracks… and then it drops a real, life-size safe.
Add to that a crew of carnies and performers that will be giving shows throughout the event, and you’ve got yourself a major event. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to seeing this for years. You should be, too.
It sits in the middle of the Promenade that leads from the Man to the Temple: a submerged blue head, surrounded by spires.
This piece is intended to represent surrealism and its connection with the psyche, and also includes a fire pit so that ceremonies can be conducted here.
…Okay, I know I’m missing a lot of amazing art, including things like the Temple – or Zachary Coffin’s “Colossus”. I can’t do it all, but let me make it up to you:
The Man is up! He’s here, he’s queer, and he’s waiting for you to come and burn him. So, get here as soon as you can. And when you’re here, you can see this year’s art for yourself.