Burning Man 2012: Big letters spelling E-G-O on the playa horizon. Designed to burn. Conceived and produced by Laura Kimpton (of O-I-N-K and L-O-V-E fame), and built by Mike Garlington.
Mike’s take on EGO: he and his girlfriend poured hundreds of gypsum plaster casts of evocative objects found in life and at the dump. The objects de EGO were then spraypainted gold and rigged onto the wooden frames loaded with firewood. The objects were designed to survive the burn. Mike instructed participants to dig through the ashes after the fire to find symbols that survived.
I obeyed and came back to the burn site at 3 AM. I found her (the picture above) in the ashes. Mike has instructed me to paint her with Resin so she lasts.
Three days after his art burns down, EGO artist Mike Garlington is driving highways 34 and 447 picking up trash left behind by Burning Man participants. He has worked this job for three years and is now Burning Man’s Highway Restoration Manager. He says he loves this gig and hopes he can keep doing it no matter what happens in his art career and personal life. He says the job grounds him.
But this year, MIke and some of his crew had to spend Wednesday post-event helping out the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe with the mess that was left at the I-80 Smoke Shop in Wadsworth. The store managers had left a dumpster with a sign that read “Trash-$5.00/Bag. Pay inside at store.” You can imagine what happened.
It was a day well spent. When the Smokeshop was clean, Mike shook hands with everyone and continued scanning the road. Next year, Mike would like to help the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe clean up Pyramid Lake camp sites.
EGO is important; as is our humility.
For more information on the EGO Artists: