Building art for Burning Man always seemed to be part of my yearly cycle. I love what I have been a part of creating in Black Rock City; I have grown up and cut my teeth building art out on that remarkable desert canvas. Over the last several years, though, I’ve found myself bringing more art to life out here, “beyond the fence.” Thanks to the efforts of so many, we can now cite several instances of Burning Man art in many cities around the world.
At FLUX we have created 12 works of art in our 4 years of existence. This is something we are truly proud of. We’ve successfully made interactive art accessible to a wide audience, and we use this art as a platform to engage people in the core values we have cultivated as Burning Man artists. Our works have been experienced by people in Oakland, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and now, San Francisco. Sometimes, we are so busy building we forget to take a moment to celebrate and share what we’re creating. In this case, we are celebrating our newest interactive sculpture, Carousel.
Inspired by the shared experience and wonder of the swing rides of childhood carnivals, Carousel uses a variety of materials, a playful color palette and communal interaction to create an immersive environment. In this space, people will contribute to a cumulative visual expanse, reflect on inspiration, and engage in conversation. Participants will return to a sense of wonder as they sit beneath and contribute to its creation.
Carousel has been commissioned by the Abundance Foundation and built for Making, Thinking, Understanding, a conference created by Harvard’s Project Zero. The conference will start tomorrow, October 10-12, 2014 at Lick Willmerding High School in San Francisco.
At Project Zero Perspectives conferences, educators from all contexts are invited to learn from and alongside Project Zero researchers and practitioners. The Project Zero team includes leading researchers, writers, thinkers and leaders in the field of teaching and learning. Their interests include investigations into the nature of intelligence, understanding, thinking, creativity, ethics and other essential aspects of human learning.
With the overarching theme of Making, Thinking, Understanding, the conference will invite educators to reflect deeply on ways to create and sustain engaging, enriching and rigorous learning opportunities. In exploring tools, strategies, and frameworks developed at Project Zero and inspired by the host school’s goal of “developing the head, heart, and hands” of students.
Do you notice some significant parallels to the values inherent in the 10 principles? Immediacy, Participation, Civic Responsibility – What other principles do you see?
It’s funny how projects happen. In the case of Carousel, the seeds were planted a few years ago with FLUX’s TweetHaus project at Park Day School in Oakland. Abundance took notice of this innovative “learning through doing” program, and they introduced us to Project Zero. We had some great conversations with the Project Zero team, but we couldn’t yet figure out exactly what to create together. This summer, the right time and place for collaboration happened. The result: stunning new interactive sculpture bringing to life the Burning Man principles that infuse our work.
Like all of our sculpture, it takes a whole lot of amazing FLUX artists to make beautiful interactive art!
Many thanks go to a stellar team of creators. Here are they are in no particular order – Thwen, June, Sterling, Will, PK, Ben, Jen, Chris, Katie, Paul, Jonny, Max, Steve, James, Cliff, Dalia, Catie, Jordana, Kip, Elizabeth, Lish, Summer, Ashley and a few more good souls I’m sure forgetting.