In November, Burning Man HQ made a major move from Sixth and Market to 660 Alabama Street in the Mission. The new office is a big, open, light-filled space consisting of two open-plan floors and a mezzanine with plenty of wall space on which to display our sizable art collection.
In addition to showing the art, we wanted to tell a story, one which included the Ten Principles, so that first-time visitors to the office, perhaps new to Burning Man, could learn about our history and values via a walking tour.
We’re especially proud of the History Wall, hung salon style by the front entrance; the Regional Burn wall, featuring the Beast from Burning Flipside; and the Gallery with its prints and paintings inspired by Burning Man and three recent Man Base models.
In addition to several hundred pieces of art we already had, including framed or mounted photographs, posters, drawings, prints, and objects, we commissioned fifty new mounted photos from Mural Arts Studios, Burner-owned and located in nearby Potrero Hill, keeping the work in the community and in the neighborhood.
We wanted to have our community’s artists represented in the office, so we worked with six local Burners who have loaned or donated work for display.
One of the first pieces to be installed was Erick Dunn’s Invasive Species, which first appeared on the playa in 2013, where it functioned as a stop on the ARTery tours, complete with a bench and signage. Changing multi-colored LED’s illuminate the “tree.” The letters at the top of the piece spell out “Art Tours,” and each letter represents an iconic piece of Burning Man art, including Big Rig Jig, the Man, Crude Awakening, the Rocketship, and more. Many thanks to Erick for installing his work and letting us display it in our 4th floor cafe/Zocalo space.
Thanks to Jane Russell, whose five-sided mosaic, “Fire Dance,” hangs high in our cafe, and to Neon Mike of Santa Cruz, who has loaned us two of his neon pieces, made from old neon signs he dismantles and reassembles. We have “Big ART” at the third floor elevator and a red flame on the mezzanine.
We also thank Mad Dog, whose big wooden signs have graced the entrance to the playa for several years. He has made smaller versions of the Fertility and Cargo Cult signs, which now hang in our library and third-floor kitchen. He also brought us several framed photos of the signs on site.
Painter Josh Coffy of The Gift Prolific has generously donated two of his paintings to us. Josh is the embodiment of gifting; in 2012 he displayed nearly 350 paintings on the playa, and gifted them all on Friday of the event. Many of the paintings represent gifts he has given each day. In our Zocalo hang “All the beautiful birds find their way home” and “52 weeks,” a road map for Josh’s 2014 daily gifts. Thank you, Josh!
We are anticipating a mural to be painted on our roof, where we have an outdoor dining/fresh air space. Muralist Mona Caron currently doing a residency in Brazil, will submit a plan for one of her Weeds series to be executed on her return. We’re also planning a fabulous lobby, featuring the Man’s head, the original Burning Man sign from 1996, with bullet holes and more, after we paint the lobby walls to match the office colors.
All told, we now have 385 pieces of art displayed at the office, and about 50 pieces in storage. Many thanks to all the photographers, painters, printmakers, sculptors, sign-makers, and others who have been inspired to participate in and contribute to our visual history.
Here are some more snapshots of the art in our new office: