It’s time to really kick off the 2017 Burning Man season. Behold! Here are this year’s art installations selected for Black Rock City Honoraria Grants.
Applicants really embraced this year’s Radical Ritual theme. We’ll find many opportunities for ceremony and ritual, honoring and elevating in shrines, altars, temples, icons, cathedrals — even tombs. Of course, this being Burning Man, it’s a playful mix of the sacred and the profane.
We’ll have the Temple as per (un)usual, plus lots of other temples dotted around the open playa: the Temple of Awareness from Utah, House of Enlightenment from Doug Ruuska, House of doG (a temple to honor animals), Altar de Reflexion, Pyramid of the Dead, Wishing Totem, The Shrine of La Santisima Muerte, Your own personal Jesus, and Sun Goddess, just to name a temple or 10.
Other projects will emphasize the more magical end of the spectrum. Kevin Clark’s 70-foot Flower Tower could be considered a cathedral, sure — except it’s covered in thousands of painted metal flowers that breathe flames. There’s a Field of Fairies by Bill Neely, and a field of fairy shrimp called Of a Temporary Nature. A 12-year-old from Massachusetts is building Flora Resplendica, a giant teapot bedecked with mushrooms and flowers.
Other pieces will incorporate movement and pageantry, as befits any ritual celebration. You’ll want to keep an eye out for Step Forward, a 20-foot articulated puppet girl from the street theater tradition of Spain named Euterpe who walks and converses. It’s her first time in BRC, and every day she learns, acculturates and transforms via interactions with participants. And hailing from France will be the Color Wheels, a spectacular parade of a dozen metallic wheels each day at sunset.
Still more will consider the natural world around us. Animals are always a popular theme, but check out how many species will be represented this year: mother bear and her cubs, jellyfish, dung beetle, dragonflies, fairy shrimp, huge owl, cosmic space worm, birds, fish, giant pink flamingo, a flaming steel rooster teeter totter, kinetic Australian insect, ravens, and gummy bears (if those count as animals).
And these are just a few of the pieces that can be easily crammed into categories. There’s so much more where that came from!
The 18th incarnation of the Temple — sticking with the plain and simple name, The Temple — will be designed by Steven Brummond, Marisha Farnsworth and Mark Sinclair. They were leads on David Best’s temples; two are architects and one is a structural engineer. It will be an impressive 80 feet tall and 120 feet across. They’re milling the lumber themselves, and most of the build will be at a sawmill in Sonora, CA. From their description:
Interlocking timber pieces in formation become a Temple that is both cloud and spire; inverted pyramidal columns suggest the negative-space of a forest canopy, simultaneously supporting a vast pagoda-like ‘cloud’ framework which in turn supports a central spire. In this way disorder gives way to harmony, and a group of dying trees is re-ordered into a cathedral of timbers stretching toward the sky; filtered sun rays will illuminate the intricate work of hundreds of hands building in unison; a collaboration that knits together a community as roots intertwine to give a healthy forest stability.
Many of your favorite BRC artists are coming back for more, including Flaming Lotus Girls, Iron Monkeys, Dana Albany, Dadara, Charlie Smith, Mr and Mrs Ferguson with the evolution of their pennies sculptures (Ursa Mater), Peter Hudson returning with his zoetrope Charon (last seen in 2011), Temple of Gravity by Zach Coffin will return for the first time since 2003, and last year’s smash hit La Victrola is coming back for an encore with its giant Art Nouveau gramophone spruced up for 2017.
The Illustrious Grantees
Burning Man Arts is funding BRC art to the tune of $1.2 million this year, including these Honoraria recipients, as well as the Shrines and Processionals in the city plazas and around the Man.
Eighteen international projects received Honoraria grants (up from seven last year): two in the United Kingdom, two in Australia and one each in Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, México, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Spain. Six Honoraria recipients have never been to Black Rock City, and 12 more are bringing an art installation for the first time. And no report on Burning Man art would be complete without mentioning that, of the 75 projects granted BRC Honoraria, 23 of them will play with fire.
Of course, most of the 300+ art installations in BRC are stuff people just do on their own, with or without outside funding. So peruse the 2017 BRC Honoraria projects, and if you have some vision that is missing from the list, you are warmly invited to make it happen.
Full project descriptions with images and links will be available later in the season.
2017 Black Rock City Honoraria Recipients
Action Figure Family — Jeff Allen Ricks — Palm Springs, CA
Altar de Reflexion — Andria Dawn — Mariposa, CA
Aluna — Juan David Marulanda & Team Aluna — Bogotá, Colombia
Aqueous — Jen Lewin — New York, NY
Blacksmith Shop — Anton Standteiner & Blacksmith Shop — Truckee, CA
Bloom — Peter Hazel — Reno, NV
BRC Historic Landmark Plaques — Heyu Kelley & Ski Patrol — Chicago, IL
Celestial Field — Eleanor Cranke — London, United Kingdom
Charon — Peter Hudson — San Francisco, CA
Cosmic Space Worm — Tyler FuQua — Eagle Creek, OR
Dance For The Dawn — Karolis Misevicius & Lithuania Burners — Vilnius, Lithuania
Daruma — Angela Chang & The Daruma Project — Los Angeles, CA
Desert Eyes — Pooya Kamranjam — Detmold, Germany
Efflorescence — Stacey Scriven & the Blazin’ Lily Gals — Calgary, Canada
Field of Fairies — Bill Neely & NF/Observatory LTD — Silver City, NM
Fire Ancestor — Trey Watkins & Frogma — San Francisco, CA
Fire Spinner — Anton Viditz-Ward & Deep Creek Experimental — Telluride, CO
Flight of Illumination — Iron Monkey Arts — Seattle, WA
Flora Resplendica — Mayahuel Morse — Malden, MA
Gummie Bear Mandala Pyramid — Karla DelCarpio — Long Beach, CA
Heardt — Tomáš Bukáček & Blok_4 — Úhonice, Czech Republic
Hispatext — Mariano Rodriguez Ribas & Gauchos del Fuego — Buenos Aires, Argentina
House of doG — Daniel Garcia — Denver, CO
House of Enlightenment — Douglas Ruuska & Divide by Zero Labs — Brighton, MA
Hurry up Slowly — Freetown Christiania — Copenhagen, Denmark
IN CASE: A UKE — Justin Lange — Brooklyn, NY
Incinerator for Obsolete Resentments — Anton Viditz-Ward, Duncan, Claude, Gary, Pepper, Adrienne, Jake, Dan & Deep Creek Experimental — Telluride, CO
Interspecies Communication — Ela Lamblin & Lelavision — Vashon, WA
La Victrola — La Victrola Society — Oakland, CA
Light Years Away — Wynn Buzzell — Denver, CO
Macchina Naturale — David Boyer — Reno, NV
Magnetic Waltz — Frankie Meyers & The Phage/The Institute — Richmond, CA
Margareta Appalachia — James Michael Eros — Houston, TX
Methuselah V.2 — Misha Naiman, Gray Davidson & Majorelle Arts — Oakland, CA
Múcaro — el NiNO Alicea — Puerto Rico
NOETICA — Flaming Lotus Girls — San Francisco, CA
Of a Temporary Nature — P. Michael Quinn — Beechgrove, TN
Paragate — Michael Emery — Santa Cruz, CA
Phoenicopterus Rex: Welcome Home — Josh Zubkoff — San Francisco, CA
Photomaton — David Cocciante & Bertrand Lanthiez — Brooklyn, NY
Pleiadian Oasis — Nathan Starchild & Gang Star Gazers — Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia
Pulsefield — Brent Townshend — Menlo Park, CA
Pyramid of the Dead — Tomas Burkey & La Calaca — San Miguel de Allende, México
Reaching Through — Jessica Levine — South Lake Tahoe, CA
Seesaw Spiral — Feifei Zhou & Department of Ontological Theatre — DOT — London, United Kingdom
Shibari Sanctuary — Kinoko Hajime & Benjamin Langholz — Tokyo, Japan
Solipmission – an initiation into Future Realities — Dadara — Amsterdam, Netherlands
Step Forward — Miguel Angel Martin Bordera & Carros de Foc — Alicante, Valencia, Spain
Sun Goddess — Daniel Popper — Cape Town, South Africa
Sysimetsä — Helena Rivas & The Landing Ravens — Ukiah, CA
Tara Mechani — Dana Albany — San Francisco, CA
Temple of Gravity — Zachary Coffin — Alameda, CA
The 11 Benches of Sitting Man — Amber Coutts & Art To Be Continued… — Santa Clara, CA
The Color Wheels — Compagnie OFF — Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, France
The Dragonfly Mating Ritual — Ed VanDyne & Rocky Mountain High Flyers Guild — Loveland, CO
The Dung Bug — Brennan Steele & friends — New Orleans, LA
The Flower Tower — Kevin Clark & Reared in Steel, LLC — Petaluma, CA
The Gates — Kat Caric — Santa Clara, CA
The Shrine of La Santisima Muerte — Marco Turrubiartes — San Diego, CA
The Solacii — Tigre Bailando — Oakland, CA
The Temple — Steven Brummond, Marisha Farnsworth & Mark Sinclair — Oakland, CA
The Temple of Awareness — Bobby Gittins & Utah Builders Community (UBC) — Salt Lake City, UT
The Thing We Share — Michael Glen & The High Focus Institute — Brooklyn, NY
The Tomb of Nahtaivel — Eric Coolidge & Sons & Daughters — Brooklyn, NY
THUNDERBIRDS — James Tyler — Haverstraw, NY
Time Machine Elevator — Josh Yeo & Starving Heartist Films — Los Angeles, CA
Tonglen — Ryan Mathern — Atlanta, GA
Torch Song — Matthew Gordon & Hydrocarbon Collective — San Francisco, CA
Totem Orchestra — Joan Harmon & ArtShape Mammoth, Budo Kiba — Haverstraw, NY
UKI – Utility Kinectic Insect — Callan Morgan & Make Mob — Melbourne, Australia
Uncle Charlie’s Red Hot Cock / The Waking Bird — Charlie Blackcat Smith & Art of Such n Such — Atlanta, GA
Ursa Mater (Mother Bear) — Mr & Mrs Ferguson Art — Alameda, CA
Wishing Totem — Miguel Guzman — San Antonio, TX
Your own, personal Jesus — Jim Cavera — Phoenix, AZ
Top image: The Temple by Steven Brummond, Marisha Farnsworth and Mark Sinclair