Posts tagged with "Burning Man":

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Burning Man 2020 won’t go ahead after all, moves online

Despite prior assurances just two-and-a-half weeks ago, Burning Man 2020 won’t be going ahead as previously planned thanks to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As The Burning Man Journal announced on April 10, instead of building the real Black Rocky City in Nevada’s desert of the same name in August, the festival will move online. Organizers have already set up a virtual Black Rock City (VBRC, accessible here) where burners and the public alike can check out this year’s Multiverse-themed festival installations. Although Black Rock City is an impressive feat of urban planning—so much so that books have been written about the meticulous calculous involved—cramming 80,000 campers into an area the size of a sliver of Midtown Manhattan would have been suboptimal for preventing the spread of communicable disease. In the same article, the festival organizers explained that they had previously hoped that the festival could go on as scheduled due to the multitude of stakeholders, artists, organizers, participants, and municipal planning involved with each Burning Man. However, other than COVID-19, it seems that the festival this year also faced additional restrictions from the Bureau of Land Management (Black Rock Desert is a national conservation area with strict requirements about what festivalgoers can do and bring on-site).
“Beyond our concerns about the coronavirus, new impositions and unnecessary cost requirements from the Bureau of Land Management have seriously threatened the viability of producing Black Rock City in the Black Rock Desert. If Black Rock City is to be built on public lands in the future, we have significant challenges to overcome with the BLM.”
The virtual version of the “Playa”, VBRC, will be available to access for a fee—and participants still need to reserve tickets—and Burning Man organizers have estimated that they’ll see attendance around 100,000 this year as a result. Whatever form the digital festival takes, it will, unfortunately, preclude the construction of some of the monumental pavilions and open-air art pieces Burning Man is famous for. Although there won’t be an Empyrean temple or BIG-designed sort-of mirrored ball going up this year, an in-person meetup event could still be scheduled for the first half of 2021 if coronavirus conditions improve and stay-at-home orders are lifted.
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Burning Man will proceed as normal, with some digital side content

Despite the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and numerous restrictions across the U.S. intended to keep people indoors and away from each other, Burning Man organizers have announced that Black Rock City 2020, the 50,000-plus strong temporary city built in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, will rise after all. This year’s festival, themed “The Multiverse,” will be held from August 30 through September 7. While that period might seem far off, planning and erecting the monumentally scaled art pieces that will adorn the mesa takes time. In the interim, the festival’s organizers, as they noted in the Burning Man Journal, have had to close their physical offices and cancel a number of pre-events. The Theme Camp Symposium, for example, where congregants can share their ideas for bettering this year’s event, has been moved to a Zoom meeting on March 28. Of course, the assurance that Burning Man 2020 will move forward was offered cautiously, with a warning that while the novel coronavirus could level off before the summer, it was entirely possible that things wouldn’t return to normal by then. Still, the call has been put out for Multiverse Civic Design Plaza proposals; organizers are looking for ways to utilize the four main sites around the base camp and “create imagined space-station landing sites and teleportation lift-off platforms for Black Rock City citizens who travel through the Multiverse.” The 2020 Black Rock City Honoraria Grants are moving ahead as well. Seventy projects will receive funds from the Burning Man Project, as well as promotion, heavy equipment, tickets, and other non-monetary support.
“This year, the artworks will reflect our love of PLAY (Play with Your Food, Chilopod, Loop, M- Theory Mechanica, The Möbius Harp, Small Hadron Collider); our sense of PLACE (from planes to trains to the Cosmos); and our love of the WEIRD (Though the Mind’s Eye, Mebuyan, The Autumn Spire, The Anomaly). “The Multiverse theme inspired a fun range of creative interpretations. Among the most original, the Ukrainian artwork Merman will be an 80’-long human figure, swimming and emerging from the playa surface, startling us into realizing that other realities may be coexisting and layered upon our own. Schrödinger’s Rat turns the classic thought experiment on its head, Unbound deconstructs a library, and the Multi-Verse pokes fun by having Burners compose multiple verses of songs and poems (ha, get it?).”
As previously reported, this year’s 200-foot-diameter Empyrean temple will take center stage at the festivities. The star-shaped structure will stretch to 70 feet tall and house an electric “flame” at its tip, guiding burners across the playa.
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Burning Man's radiant 2020 temple is revealed

This year, Burning Man will be getting an eight-pointed star structure called Empyrean as their official temple. Designed by architect and artist Laurence “Renzo” Verbeck and artist Sylvia Adrienne Lisse, who met while working on the 2019 temple, Empyrean will take a central role in Black Rock City, reaching 70 feet tall and spanning a diameter of 200 feet. The Burning Man journal wrote the project was selected for its “lovely geometry and inclusive design,” though it is not immediately clear what “inclusive” might mean in this context. The structure will feature eight wooden canopies arranged like the spokes of the wheel ,which start off solid on the ground and are cut with tessellated patterns towards the top to allow sunlight in. Within the triangular canopies will be spaces for offerings. Along the way, visitors will pass under “saffron-colored” fabrics. They can also write prayers on “Empyrean Flags” which will be hoisted up. According to the temple’s Kickstarter, after giving the prayers to the wind they will be burned alongside the entire structure. Multiple entrances will lead to a central gathering space. Above this atrium will be a wooden structure containing the “flame,” which is meant to be visible from across the Playa (for everyone’s safety, the flame is not real, just an electric simulation). As Lisse told Burning Man’s journal: “The Temple is a subtle and humble beacon that radiates at an indescribable magnitude.” According to Verbeck and Lisse, the eight-pointed star is a “symbol brought forward from our early human understanding of the intelligent order that underlies our universe” that has “represented hope, abundance, transformation, direction, justice, balance of duality, and harmony between the profound and mundane.” The geometric arrangement “activates the temple as a transformative healing portal” for Burners while the pointsdisgorge their energy skyward.” Visitors can enter and exit from any point, all passing through the physical and spiritual center of the temple. This multidimensional experience is meant to resonate with Burning Man’s 2020 “Multiverse” theme which “explores the quantum kaleidoscope of possibility, the infinite realities of the multiverse, and our own superpositioning as actors and observers in the cosmic Cacophony of resonant strings” and invites attendees to investigate if their realities will be “augmented, bifurcated, or omnidimensional?” As the official website notes: “Only time will tell. Or has told. Or is telling.” The temple’s title is derived from the theological term which denotes the pinnacle of heaven, in most cosmologies to which it is applied, home to the fire element. While Burning Man has provided $100,000 in funding, the creators are seeking an additional $100,000 to realize the project.
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This year's Finnish Burning Man pavilion will let visitors steam in the desert

Helsinki-based architects at JKMM are designing this year's Burning Man pavilion. In true Finnish style, the installation will be a full-fledged sauna. Each year, the organizers of Burning Man, the festival-slash-anarcho-communist gathering in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, ask designers to envision and execute singular works of art. For the festival's 2019 edition, organizers tapped JKMM and Sauna on Fire to design Steam of Life, a usable installation that's intended to energize participants with a good schvitz and introduce people to Finnish sauna culture. The circular Steam of Life will be built from timber, and its spiraling program is meant to gradually transition visitors from the harsh and arid conditions outside into the moist spa bliss within. According to JKMM, a curving passage will beckon the sauna-ready through a darkened area as a soft transition from the desert's brightness. The interior, meanwhile, is furnished with wooden benches and a stove. After the session, visitors will file into the shaded atrium at the center of the pavilion for a final cool down and relaxation. JKMM CEO Samppa Lappalainen selected architects Marcus Kujala, Hannu Rytky, and Päivi Aaltio from his firm to design the project, which will be built by Burners (Burning Man attendees) at the end of this month. JKMM's collaborators at Sauna on Fire are sponsoring a camp at Black Rock City—Burning Man attendees sort themselves out into camps—districts—organized around the burning effigy for which the gathering is named. Following this year's theme of "metamorphosis," Steam of Life's core values, according to its designers, are " [co-creation], volunteerism and inclusion of diverse participant backgrounds. Through self-organizing as an organization model, we aim to empower participants to learn new skills and foster a positive spirit for learning via decentralized decision-making via the build of a sauna installation to Black Rock City. Moreover, in the long run, this way of organizing could foster new types of civic engagement and even address social problems such as marginalization in society. Ultimately, we wish to distribute our learnt [sic] knowledge about the co-created content to a wider audience." But there will be no funny business along the road to a better society. A concept packet released by Sauna on Fire maintains it is not a "party camp" or "XXX," and notes that there should be no "wild sex orgy in the sauna." Keep it clean, y'all. The earnest design of Steam of Life will complement this year's Burning Man central temple. Designed by San Francisco architect Geordie Van Der Bosch, the temple references the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine in Kyoto, Japan. For those who have tickets, Burning Man begins next Sunday, August 25 and runs through September 2.
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Burning Man's 2019 temple gets back to basics

The central temple for Burning Man 2019 has been revealed, and architect Geordie Van Der Bosch has chosen to keep the building simple and linear. As opposed to last year’s digitally-fabricated, fractal-invoking Galaxia, 2019’s Temple of Direction references traditional Japanese torii gates and presents a clear entrance and exit. Burning Man takes place on the "playa" of Black Rock Desert in Nevada every August, and 70,000 attendees are expected to crowd into the temporary Black Rock City this year. The theme for 2019 is “Metamorphosis,” and the Temple of Direction is appropriately supposed to represent a journey for the viewer. The 180-foot-long, 37-foot-wide, 36-foot-tall temple specifically references the gates of the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine in Kyoto, Japan. Visitors will pass through a narrow opening that gradually widens to a great hall in the center of the temple before they pass into an open-air gap and exit through the other end. The four entrances to the temple have also been aligned to the four cardinal directions, and the entire installation will be encircled by eye-shaped fencing.
According to the Burning Man Journal, “This linear form reflects the passage of life with its beginning, middle, and end. Throughout the structure, there are areas that reflect this journey: narrow & wide spaces, bright & dark spaces, and tunnels that create intimate physical settings. Meanwhile, a large central hall, an altar, and many shelves for offerings create the setting for our collective experience.” The San Francisco–based Van Der Bosch has lived in England and Japan previously (near the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine his temple is based on). He’s also an avid Burning Man attendee, having been to seven previous festivals. Interested in helping realize the Temple of Direction? Festival organizers are currently looking for volunteers to help fabricate the temple in Oakland, California, and will begin fundraising to cover the construction costs soon. Of course, as is the Burning Man way, the entire temple will be set on fire and razed when the festival ends on September 2.
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The ORB, Bjarke Ingels's floating silver sphere, rises at Burning Man

Fans of large metallic spheres rejoice: The ORB rises. Despite not meeting their crowdfunding goal, Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange of Bjarke Ingels Group have successfully created their installation at this year's Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. The pair launched an Indiegogo campaign earlier this summer with a goal of raising $50,000 for the project. At the time of writing this article, the pair had raised $34,251 pledged from 127 backers.

#Burningman artists impress. #burningman2018

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AN spotted the ball in Burning Man's official Youtube live stream of the event. The stream peers around the site of the event, known as the Playa to festival-goers, who are also known as Burners. Jakob Lange posted a construction image of The ORB last week to his Instagram account, but neither architect has released official imagery of the project. Burning Man is a temporary event in the Nevada desert where thousands of participants camp, build temporary structures, and engage in various activities of a psychedelic nature. In recent years Burning Man has become synonymous with Silicon Valley and the way in which counter-cultural experiences can be commodified as expensive entertainment. Basic tickets to the week-long festival cost upwards of $300. According to the architects, The ORB will be "a new planet to sci-fi fans, a wayfinder for travelers or just a huge disco ball to those who love a good party!" Although it appears to float above the ground, the 83-foot sphere is held up by a 105-foot steel mast. Renderings and prototype studies showed a mirrored metallic surface to the object, although in the live stream it appears to be either duller or covered in desert dust. The structure will be up during the festival this week, when it will be presumably be dismantled or destroyed along with the rest of the festival's structures.
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Bjarke Ingels is crowdfunding a floating mirrored ball for Burning Man

Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange of the Bjarke Ingels Group (and BIG Ideas, the studio's in-house think-tank) have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for its Burning Man 2018 project. ORB is an 80-foot-wide reflective sphere that, if funded, would bring an elevated mirror, wayfinding symbol, and “temporal monument” to the Black Rock Desert’s Playa in Nevada. ORB borrows the Earth's form (at 1/500,000th of the scale) to create a 360-degree mirror that will reflect the sky above and goings-on of the Burners below. Although the ORB will be inflatable to reduce the project’s environmental impact, the piece would be hoisted into the air via a 30-ton, 105-foot-tall steel arm. BIG partner Jakob Lange writes that the installation is a “tribute to mother earth & human expression,” and the piece will seamlessly blend into the desert sky at night as the festival lights dim. Below, the ORB will create a “light shadow” and help visitors navigate the festival's transitory metropolis, the 50,000-strong Black Rock City. The studio is looking to raise $50,000 before the start of this year’s Burning Man, which will run from August 26 through September 3. Backers can pledge to receive engraved stainless steel orbs of varying sizes, with a 40-inch-wide ball going to those who pledge $4,000 or more. Ingels is no stranger to the mind-expanding arts and culture festival, having thoroughly documented his prior trips on Instagram. The ORB will share Playa space with this year’s headlining temple from Arthur Mamou-Mani: the spiraling Galaxia, a timber tower inspired by the movement of planets, galaxies, and the universe as a whole. No word yet if Anish Kapoor will set his sights on the ORB.
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In upstate New York, a DMT-inspired psychedelic temple rises

Tucked away on a tree-studded, 40-acre plot just a quarter mile from the Hudson River, one of New York’s most unusual construction projects is underway. The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM)—a transdenominational church and registered nonprofit—has been constructing the Entheon: “A place to discover god within.” The three-story windowless art space will be a temple to, among other things, original “visionary art” from the church’s husband-and-wife co-founders, Alex and Allyson Grey. The couple, who have been together since first meeting (and dropping acid) in 1975, previously ran an art space in Manhattan. After closing down their Chelsea outpost in 2009, Alex and Allyson moved upstate, where they have been running their collective and a psychedelic variant of a bed-and-breakfast. Their Wappingers Falls location hosts monthly full-moon festivities, as well as large concerts and events. Placing art at the very center of their faith, the estate already features large-scale architectural artworks, such as the three-story gazebo-temple Altered States made by artist Kate Raudenbush, who describes herself as “New York-based, Burning Man–bred.” Alex Grey is perhaps best known for his hyper-detailed paintings of human bodies set on trippy backgrounds that reveal the figures’ underlying circulatory systems, musculature, and spiritual meridian points through translucent skin. Grey's audience has not been limited to a cult following of the chemically inclined; he exhibited at the New Museum in 1986. For members of CoSM, visionary art is at the center of their cosmology—like pre-iconoclastic medieval clerics, they understand art not just as a gateway to the divine, but as the manifestation of the divine itself. It’s only natural that this artist-pastor couple would need to build a sanctuary for creativity. Selecting a point on their 40-acre plot that aligns with the solar plexus of a projected goddess, “the kabbalistic sephirot of justice,” CoSM has begun converting a former carriage house into a three-level, 12,000-square-foot concrete structure replete with modern amenities, including an ADA-compliant elevator. As with the foundation of the Greys’ relationship and their church, psychedelics and entactogens play a central role in the eccentric design of the Entheon. It was, in fact, a (then legal) shared MDMA experience that showed the Greys they should not sell their work, but rather build a chapel to share it with a “worldwide love tribe.” Though currently a bare concrete structure, there are big plans for the Entheon. Highly detailed renderings by Ryan Tottle (an Academy Award-winning animator who has worked on major films such as Disney’s Frozen) promise an architecturally complex and spiritually rich exterior. The proposed building is a veritable mythological bestiary. Four-faced ancient-Egypt-inspired “Soulbirds” guard one door. Another door features a design that returns Adam and Eve to the Garden of Eden. Winged “Angels of the Creative Imagination” punctuate the facade, interspersed between the larger “Godheads” that comprise the bulk of the outer walls. These Godheads “bear symbols of different world-wisdom traditions above each Cosmic Eye.” “DNA dragons” rise up from the corners of the roof to its center—liquid and vibrating creatures whose sides are a continuous double helix, a form that, according to a likely false urban legend, was discovered by British molecular biologist Francis Crick under the influence of LSD. Allyson’s “secret writing,” a script using a 20-letter unpronounceable alphabet, will run the upper edge of the Entheon and be guarded by sculpted “Angels of the Four Directions.” And these are just some of the building’s creatures and spiritual guardians. The roof—trypophobes beware—is a concentric array of eyes; called “Collective Vision,” the imagery inspired by a DMT experience of Alex’s that Allyson had the insight to suggest as a roof pattern, a “canopy of consciousness.” As a free e-book on the Entheon points out, “Collective Vision” is a visual motif that has appeared in the graphics and on the stage sets of “America’s number one cult band, Tool.” The collective hopes to use cast concrete, 3-D printing, and other technologies to realize this energetic facade. The three-level interior of the Entheon is intended to be equally elaborate. Through the ornate gold doors there will be, among other spaces, a Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, with its Gothic-style arches; the All One gallery; a museum shop; and a reliquary room featuring the spectacles of the first person to both synthesize and take LSD, Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman, and the ashes of the legendary Harvard professor and psychedelic evangelist Timothy Leary. Leary’s famous Millbrook mansion, the site of so much psychonautic exploration, is just over 20 miles away from CoSM’s own estate. Fundraising for the Entheon continues. The first cycle of fundraising began in 2013 (plans to build began around 2012). According to its website, the church has raised $2.3 million so far. For devotees, the Entheon is the logical next step in their faith of art and love. As Alex told Mushroom Magazine in July 2015, “We believe the inevitable consequence of love is the building of temples.”
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Burning Man goes to D.C. with new show at the Smithsonian Museum

The psychedelic stylings of Burning Man will be reaching a wider audience with the installation of No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. Visitors can enjoy photographs, sculptures, and interactive installations from the annual festival, usually just ephemera, only a stones-throw away from the White House. The challenges of translating a massive outdoor festival (where sculptures are designed to be burnt to the ground at the end) to a museum setting wasn’t lost on the curators. Art cars and sculptures, some originally on display on the Playa and others commissioned for the show, jewelry, and even experiences­–through VR–in an institutional setting reveals an underlying tension between the disposable, freewheeling nature of Burning Man and the typically more stoic nature of museum exhibitions. Large-scale installations in the gallery form the heart of the show, but the Renwick has partnered with Golden Triangle Business Improvement District to spread six outdoor pieces throughout the neighborhood. From March 30 through December 2018, residents can spy: No Spectators will put multiple large installations front and center, many of which were commissioned specifically for the show, including a temple from sculptor David Best. Despite taking place in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, Burning Man has always had a heavy architectural and planning component to the festivities. Technically complicated pavilions and temples go up every year, such as 2018’s digitally fabricated Galaxia, and the temporary city that houses 70,000 residents every year serves as a proving ground for radical urban planning ideas. No Spectators sprung partially from the desire to spread the Burning Man gospel, as organizers admit to the Times, as well as the opportunity to tap a wellspring of previously un-exhibited work. For the Smithsonian’s part, the museum has committed to upholding the festivals’ ideals, having kept corporate logos away from the art, hiring local “burners” to help patrons appreciate the pieces, and commissioning a history of the festival to contextualize the works. No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man will run from March 30 through January of 2019.
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Burning Man's 2018 temple revealed

Burning Man, a summer festival located in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, is something of an architectural bonanza. Each year, dozens of artistic displays and sculptural forms are erected in Black Rock City, the temporary metropolis that hosts the festival. Temples in the past have included a wide range of designs, from pagoda-inspired structures to Wicker Man-eqsue towers. Galaxia, designed by architect Arthur Mamou-Mani a professor at the University of Westminster and the owner of the fabrication laboratory Fab.Pub, has been selected to serve as Burning Man 2018’s main temple. The temple will be constructed of twenty spiraling timber trusses, crowned with a 3-D-printed mandala. A series of alcoves are formed between the timber trusses, allowing spaces of congregation for attendees. According to the Burning Man Journal, the distance between the timber trusses will be wide enough to facilitate movement to the core of the structure. The Galaxia structure “celebrates hope in the unknown, stars, planets, black holes, the movement uniting us in the swirling galaxies of dreams”–a description fitting for the international designs of the festival as well as the broad scope of its attendance. The architect, Arthur Mamou-Mani, has designed installations in Black Rock City for the last six years. Based in London, Mamou-Mani specializes in digitally designed and fabricated architecture. As reported in the Reno Gazette Journal, the 2018 temple will be pre-fabricated and mostly built off-site as a collaboration between a crew of artists using a range of robotic tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters and robotic drill arms. Through this digital fabrication process, Mamou-Mani hopes to reestablish the architect as craftsman, allowing for a closer connection between the design and construction processes. Shipping the interstellar structure will also prove to be quite a feat, requiring the use of flatbed trucks to transport them to the center of Black Rock City. Regardless of the architectural and engineering efforts going into the Galaxia, the structure is nonetheless temporary and will go up in flames on the last night of the festival, in accordance with Burning Man principles.
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AN's top five picks for this week's news

Missed some of our articles, tweets, or Facebook posts from the last few days? Don’t sweat it—we’ve gathered the week’s must-read stories right here. Enjoy! Gehry Partners to design Extreme Model Railroad Museum in Massachusetts The firm is replacing Gluckman Tang as architects of the Extreme Model Railroad Museum and Contemporary Architecture Museum in North Adams, Massachusetts. What happened to speculation in architecture? Architects are not really thinking about new ways of living and relating to the world outside of our own history and discourse. What happened? Gorge yourself on Burning Man's annual exhibition of weird and wonderful architecture The Architect's Newspaper takes a look at the best art and architecture at Burning Man. The 2017 edition of the desert gathering kicked off this week.. Thanks to big data, all architects will face a major professional crossroads bigger than CAD or BIM Should we architects cede our authority to algorithms, it’s likely we’ll lose all control and influence over the forces that reduce great design to mediocrity. Irishtown Bend in Cleveland could be in line for a massive transformation Cleveland non-profit LAND studio and CMG Landscape Architects are proposing radical changes to Irishtown Bend in Cleveland, Ohio. Jenny Sabin's selling furniture from her MoMA PS1 installation Well, we lied. There's actually six top news items today, because we just couldn't resist this: Jenny Sabin Studio's "spool stools," the seating for Sabin's MoMA PS1's Warm Up installation, are now available for purchase. Prices start at $150.
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Gorge yourself on Burning Man's annual exhibition of weird and wonderful architecture

It's that time of year again. The time when scantily clad, goggle-wearing Instagrammers take to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada and post pictures of the exotic sculpture that populates the central area, commonly known as the playa. This year's theme for participants was "Radical Ritual." The festival officially started today and as always, there is a wealth of whacky art to feast upon, all of which ranges in scale and eccentricity. Notable installations include: Tree of Ténéré by California foursome Alexander Green, Mark Slee, Zachary Smith, and Patrick Deegan, a 32-foot-tall tree made from 25,000 leaves and 170,000 LEDs that reacts to biorhythmic and sound; Gummie Bear Mandala Pyramid by Long Beach artist Karla DelCarpio, which is made from 100,000 hand-cast gummy bears and rises to 12 feet; and Zachary Coffin's  Temple of Gravity, a returning installation that encourages visitors to climb on hanging rocks. Images of these, and more can all be found below. A full list of the 2017 Black Rock City honoraria recipients can be found here.  
 

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