It’s time to really kick off the 2018 Burning Man season. Behold! Here are this year’s art installations selected for Black Rock City Honoraria Grants.
Applicants really embraced this year’s I, Robot theme. We’ll find all sorts of clever and not-so-clever forms of artificial intelligence, paired with every type of robot under the sun.
We’ll have the opportunity to interact with a whole host of science fiction creations, from a blockchain-based self-replicating plantoid life form to a mural-painting robot from Estonia; from a musical robot who pulls inspiration from the weather to a mechanical brass band of sousaphones. Other theme-related projects include a key-shaped encryption device incorporating dozens of locks and keys, 404 Technical Support which asks the question, “Who will provide technical support to the robots once they have taken over?”, and R.U.R. 18, a collaborative collection of robots designed by children across Burning Man’s global network. Lots of artists were inspired to name their projects something related to the theme — everything from Ei Robot to iSheep to EYE-Robot. Prepare yourselves for an experience that invites you to examine and explore our personal and cultural relationship to technology and AI.
What About Non-Robots?
Other projects will emphasize a more organic feel. Baba Yaga’s House, based on the old Russian fable, will be a life-size recreation of the chicken-legged hut of the ancient witch. There will be two unusual birdcage experiences: one, an ornate birdcage on its side with entwining flowering vines and flora and flaming flower fire pits. The other, a birdcage enclosing a white-picket-fenced home containing a bizarre world that explores the concept of space and time. Indonesian Wayang Kulit puppets will dazzle us with their shadows, while the Tree of Life will superimpose the energetic structure of the human body, the physical structure of a tree, and our connection with the cosmos.
Other pieces will incorporate movement and spectacle, like the Color Wheels, a sensational parade of a dozen metallic wheels each day at sunset. A collaboration between Sacramento and Reno, the Great Train Wreck will stage a moment from railroad history when trains were ceremoniously destroyed for public entertainment in head-on crashes. Yep… it’s gonna be a train wreck folks!
Still others will interpret the living beings around us. Animals are always a popular theme, but check out how many species will be represented this year: a giant colorful chameleon, a polar bear made from recycled car hoods, a gleaming eagle, a Tibetan dragon, an encapsulated octopus, a flaming rooster, musical dragonflies, an articulated spider, a mechanical rearing horse, a Huichol-beaded dinosaur skeleton (what?!), and a cosmic turtle with a city built on its back — since you know how we love to build cities.
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!
Many of your favorite Black Rock City artists are coming back for more, including Michael Christian, Dana Albany, Charlie Gadeken, Iron Monkeys, Charlie Smith, Christopher Schardt, Mr and Mrs Ferguson with the evolution of their penny-covered sculptures (now with nickels and dimes!), the FoldHaus Collective bringing a fantastic new undulating origami creation, and Mark Lotter of Cubatron fame who will wow us with the Hexatron. Christian Ristow is bringing a fantastic seated robot deity entitled With Open Arms We Welcome That Which Would Destroy Us.
And remember last year’s project Step Forward, the amazing 20-foot articulated puppet girl named Euterpe that charmed us all? Well this year she’s invited her grandfather Alberto to accompany her in BRC, and we’ll get to enjoy the two of them together.
A Note About the Temple
This year we created a new grant program just for the Temple. The Temple isn’t dependent on the annual theme, so we were able to adjust the timeline and start the submission process earlier in the year.
In December we announced the 19th incarnation of the Temple: Galaxia, designed by Arthur Mamou-Mani from the U.K. We are thrilled that work has been underway for several months already to build this spectacular structure.
The Illustrious Grantees
Burning Man Arts is funding BRC art to the tune of $1.3 million this year, including these Honoraria recipients as well as the Temple.
Fourteen international projects received Honoraria grants: three in France, and one each in Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Seventeen of the Honoraria recipients are bringing an art installation for the first time, including three who have never been to Black Rock City. And no report on Burning Man art would be complete without mentioning that, of the 76 projects granted BRC Honoraria, 19 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 2018 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.
2018 Black Rock City Honoraria Recipients
>< Bridge (Gap Bridge) — Richard Latrobe-Bateman & Architect’s Vacation — Reno, NV
404 Technical Support — Darren Fitzpatrick — Dublin, Ireland
All Power to All People — Hank Willis Thomas & Kindred Arts — New York, NY
Baba Yaga’s House — Jessi Sprocket Janusee and Baba Yaga’s Book Club — Sparks, NV
Big Pollinator — Jakob Bokulich — New York, NY
Blacksmith Shop — Anton Standteiner — Truckee, CA
Bloom — Peter Hazel — Reno, NV
Cadence — Dana Albany — San Francisco, CA
Camera Lucida — Bill Evans — San Francisco, CA
Cirrus – A musical robotic soloist who pulls inspiration from the weather — Matthew Pagoaga & Shibumi — Los Angeles, CA
Come-Million! — Amit Weissenstern & BatzBatz — Brooklyn, NY
Cosmic Voyager — Martin Taylor & Chromaforms — San Francisco, CA
CROWN — Charles Gadeken — San Francisco, CA
Digital Dalang – Shadows Out Of Time — Ali Ardie & Digital Dalang Collective— Jakarta, Indonesia
Dragon Fossil — Ryan Mathern — Atlanta, GA
DragonFly Instruments — Robert Hoehn & High Desert Wind Instruments — Acton, CA
Dust City Diner — David Cole and Michael Brown — San Francisco, CA
Ei Robot — Spencer Edgerton & LaunchPad — Tucson, AZ
Eight — Adeline Callaghan & Box City Pseudosciences — Reno, NV
Em-Pathos (EYE Robot) — Michael Emery — Santa Cruz, CA
Encrypted Data — Benjamin Vedrenne — Montreuil, France
ethereal fleeting — Lukas Truniger, Itamar Bergfreund & Bruce Yoder — Zurich, Switzerland
FloBot — Jessica Levine — South Lake Tahoe, CA
Free Squirt — Abraham Carmi Raphael & Free Squirt Camp — Agoura Hills, CA
Great Train Wreck — Debby Brower & Collaborative Artisan Reno-Sacramento (CARS) — Sacramento, CA and Reno, NV
Hexatron — Mark Lottor — Menlo Park, CA
ICHIRO “Sacred Beings” — Marianela Fuentes, Arturo Gonzalez & Sarahi Carrillo — Mexico City, Mexico
In Case We Miss Each Other — Ilya Barannikov & Soul Oceans — Pasadena, CA
iSheep — Bardia Saeedi & DC Regional Artists — Alexandria, VA
Jokeatron 5200 — Natali Leduc & American Consumer Consortium — Victoria, BC, Canada
Kim Chi — Shane Evans & Robot Crisis Unit — Denver, CO
Kinesios — Brad Norris & N/D Collective — Nashville, TN
Let U.S. Prey — Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson — Alameda, CA
Listen — Aaron Fowler & Erin Desmond — Gardena, CA
Long View, a polar bear stands in the desert — Don Kennell & Arctic Burn 505 — Santa Fe, NM
Luna Flora — Elana Novali & Acrosanti Cooperative — Mayer, AZ
MEGALOPHONE — Benzy & Megalocrew — Felton, CA
Musica de Playa — Kevin Necessary — Long Beach, CA
Myriapoda Robota — David Date & Art To Be Continued — La Selva Beach, CA
N-Spire — Roy Trammell — Beaverton, OR
OVER | GROWN — Iron Monkey Arts — Seattle, WA
Pan Genius — Amy Munson — San Diego, CA
Paraluna — Christopher Schardt — Oakland, CA
Plantoid Garden: A Blockchain-based Life-form, Featuring the Photo-synthesizer — Primavera De Filippi & Okhaos Creations — Paris, France
Point of You — Mihkel Joala & Pixel Ninjas — Tartu, Estonia
Project R.U.R. 18 — Danielle Kaltz & Detroit Replicant Factory — Detroit, MI
Quadrupod — Scott Pareteau — Sacramento, CA
RadiaLumia — Joerg Student & FoldHaus Collective — Oakland, CA
Rayactivation — Douglas Ruuska & Divide by Zero Labs — Brighton, MA
RE-CYCLONE — Martin Taylor & Chromaforms — San Francisco, CA
Rearing Horse — Barry Crawford — Elko, NV
Remembered Light — Dan Benedict & Derby Kinetic — Anaheim, CA
Resolute Arch — Richard Rhodes — Seattle, WA
Ring Theory — John Pertsch — Hillsborough, CA
Robot Resurrection Shane Evans & Robot Crisis Unit — Denver, CO
Rossum’s Original Band of Tubas – R.O.B.O.T. — Roger Carr — Berkeley, CA
Sailing the Dead Seas: Rockin’ The Boats — Gabrielle “Gigi” Clark & Rituals Arts Collective — Oceanside, CA
Scriptorium — Gray Davidson & Majorelle Arts — Oakland, CA
Seesaw Wave Machine — Ryan Elmendorf and Nick Geurts — Wheat Ridge, CO
Singularity — Rebekah Waites — Los Angeles, CA
Sisyphus: Technology through the Ages — Dylan Fairbanks & Sisyphus Collective — Alameda, CA
Spider Sweet — Bryan Argabrite — Santa Cruz, CA
Stardust — Stephanie Paige Tashner — Richmond, CA
Step Forward – Joining Minds — Miguel Angel Martin Bordera & Carros de Foc — San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain
tbd — Michael Christian — Berkeley, CA
The Altar Of Intentions — Daniel Strickland & Brazilian Burners — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Color Wheels — Philippe Freslon & Compagnie Off — Indre-et-Loire, France
The Orb — Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange, & NĀBO — Valby, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Spirit Dream Machine — Miguel Guzman, Iyvone Khoo, and David Gerstein — San Antonio, TX
The Tree of Life — Tyler J Rivenbark & The Institute for Human Creativity — San Francisco, CA
This too shall pass – Moondancer — Lekha Washington — Mumbai, India
Trace — Kathryn Greenberg — San Francisco, CA
Uncle Charlie’s Red Hot Cock — Charlie Blackcat Smith & Art of Such n Such — Atlanta, GA
With Open Arms We Welcomed That Which Would Destroy Us (Short: With Open Arms) — Christian Ristow — Berlin, Germany
Worm Watch — South Bay Burners Art Collective — San Jose, CA
(Top image: Cosmic Voyager by Martin Taylor and Chromaforms Collective)