The Convergence Ritual of Welcoming

A few weeks ago Charlie Smith, who is based in Atlanta, came to California to do a little fundraising, have a workshop to teach a little welding and other skills while building community and working on his 2012 Burning Man Honorarium Installation,“Timing is Everything – The 24×7 Time-Star”. We stopped by to take a few photos since we have know Charlie for years, and MonkeyBoy got to weld a little and I sat down and did a little filing.

We had a great time. Charlie’s cousin, Mary Gilbert, lives in San Francisco and helped put the weekend together.

This is what she had to say about this amazing installation:

Charlie Smith is an alchemist connecting people and communities through the creation of symbolic, ritualistic works. He uses group conceptual thinking, symbolic expression through shapes and textures, and the challenge of learning new processes and techniques like metal fabrication creating a powerful team dynamic. This year Charlie, and his community of visual, fire, and performing artists will be celebrating “The Convergence Ritual of Welcoming” around the 24×7 Timestar, a large burning hexagonal teeter-totter star that represents the flow of time, male and female working in harmony to create balance. Each night at midnight, the Timestar team will usher in the new day through a performance of the seven sacred rites: Sculpture + Fire + Symbolism + Music + Vocabulary + Dance + Communion. Each ceremony will welcome and invoke the god Andrealphus a child of the desert night. In this symbolic year of Anu, god of heaven and earth, Andrealphus returns to bless his children with the fruits of knowledge and the pleasures born of love.

Conceptually Charlie joined forces with musician Jason Floyd Hatcher to define the rituals and symbols for this work. The sculpture itself was built through a series of workshops in Atlanta and San Francisco where participants created symbolic elements and were hands-on welding the elements together. 2012 is a powerful year of transition and this ritualistic experience is designed to focus that power forward.

We hope you will stop by and see the completed work, they will be happy to meet you.

About the author: Affinity


Affinity, a Burner since 2000, was legally married on the Playa in 2001, was wedding coordinator and then training coordinator at Burning Man, before becoming the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) Social Media Coordinator and an Advisory Board Member. An attorney, she served on the Board of Directors of the Western Pension and Benefits Conference. She interned with the Human Awareness Institute for 10 years. She writes about how art is envisioned, produced, created, installed and its afterlife.

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