Sprocket and Shalaco’s Glorious 2018 Art Inspiration Round-up

“What would you do if you could do what you wanted? And not what you had to do to make a living? Reawakening those desires is a transformative experience; relearning how to dream, how to play, how to have desires that arise innately from your being, rather than selected off a shelf of preprogrammed experiences — and perhaps most importantly, to do all this in a community that brings you into living contact with your fellow human beings.”

Larry Harvey & Stuart Mangrum

I, Robot is coming to a Burning Man near you, and the 2018 grant cycle is already open. It’s time to get those gears turning and those Letters of Intent rolling. To inspire your creative flow, we’ve put together a little art tour of last year’s art for Radical Ritual, including 2017 Honorarium installations, completely self-funded projects and crowd sourced sculptures.

The Solacii

Tigre Bailando and Anastazia Louise Aranaga (Bad Unkl Sista)

Oakland, CA

The Solacii, an Honorarium recipient, is an interdimensional being who observes all of humanity across time and space. Above is its trusty guardian/creator crew, Gala Aranaga, Tigre Bailando and Anastazia Louise Aranaga.


Peter Hazel

Reno, NV

Peter Hazel’s Bloom was a massive endeavor that took every ounce of passion and determination from its crew. This 40-foot-tall jellyfish occupied the Center Camp keyhole and proved to be an incredibly challenging install. Volunteers from all over playa helped to ensure the success of this glass, neon and metal jelly.

Phoenix Rising

Nicholas Palmer/Friends of a Feather

South Lake Tahoe, CA

Friends of a Feather created The Phoenix Rising, a 18-foot steel phoenix wrapped in wood. The sculpture was designed to burn away the outer covering revealing the metal phoenix within. Unfortunately, the steel became too hot, and the phoenix fell into the ashes.

“Watching the Phoenix burn was bittersweet,” says Martin Cavada of Friends of a Feather. “It reminded me that everything in life is temporary and that nothing should be taken for granted. I really was anticipating the burn to finally show everyone the metal phoenix we had worked so hard on that lay within. Another reminder in life, everything doesn’t always go as planned. Not enough metal on the interior phoenix and too much slow-burning wood on the exterior phoenix meant that our sculpture within came crashing down. As this happened, Mel Palmer gave a good laugh, and the rest of the crew followed suit.”


Jerry Snyder and Kristen Straight

Reno, NV

MegaPrayer from Reno, NV was a monumentally scaled, illuminated rosary rising out of the playa. With the tagline, “God is busy, save yourself,” the MegaPrayer invited you to become your very own personal Jesus.

The faux-stained glass lanterns that adorned the MegaPrayer paid homage to famous Burning Man art of the past and were a favorite among both seasoned and virgin Burners. “What I really enjoyed about watching people interact with the project was seeing people take each other on these memory trips when they looked at the lanterns — the stories that started out with, ‘Oh yeah! remember that year when we saw…” says Jerry Snyder, MegaPrayer project lead. “It sort of validated our sense that we were referring to a developing culture that people felt was worth memorializing in that way.”


Pablo Gonzalez Vargas

Mexico City, Mexico

ILUMINA by Pablo Gonzalez Vargas was an interactive sound and light installation powered by people’s heart energy. Hundreds of Burners surrounded the sculpture at night to watch the show and add their vibration.



Los Angeles, CA

Múcaro was a beautiful representation of Puerto Rico and an homage to the power of teachers, how they guide us and share their wisdom shaping who we are. At the top of the owl was a moving dedication to the artist’s mother, Mrs. Hilda Alicea, who taught in Puerto RIco for over 45 years.

Ursa Mater

Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson Art

Alameda, CA

The 200,000 pennies of Ursa Mater created a rich texture and a gorgeous level of detail. This currency filled mama bear was created in Alameda by husband and wife team Lisa and Robert Ferguson. You may remember their other playa installation from 2015, Penny the Goose.

Tara Mechani

Dana Albany

San Francisco, CA

Tara Mechani was a past and future being combining the forms of the Buddha, Tara and a female robot. Artist Dana Albany is also the creator of the iconic Bone Tree. Originally created as the centerpiece of Burning Man 1999, The Bone Tree was a staple of the event for many years.

The Burning Man Honoraria Grant cycle for 2018 is open until November 28, giving you a little less than a month to submit your Letter of Intent. Of course, you don’t need a Burning Man grant in order to make a playa project. Now that the dust is settled, it’s a great time to shake out all those crazy ideas you had in the desert heat and bring them to life.

About the author: Jessi Sprocket

Jessi Sprocket

Jessi Sprocket is resident artist at The Generator. She makes large scale art for Burning Man and beyond including The Space Whale and The Pier. She loves working in community and inspiring others to build their dreams.

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