Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Wish*

*This piece is in need of support/help. For details, please see: https://www.burningflipside.com/art-project/wish

1.       What inspired you to create this art piece? 

The Winter Games closing ceremony in Korea.

Make a wish!

2.       What do you hope people get out of your piece?

A sense of whimsy, an appreciation of nature, a visual kaleidoscopic experience.

3.       Are there any stories/lessons learned that came out of the creation of this piece?

There is never enough time to get things perfect, “Done is better than perfect.” ~CidKid

4. Is there anyone you’d like to thank or acknowledge? 

The Art grant crews for PDF and Transformus were pivotal in creating this piece, thanks!

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Sophie

1.       What inspired you to create this art piece? 

I wanted to “build a big one” ( it had been awhile). I don’t honestly know why a giraffe…I’ve joked that my recent trip to Japan inspired it (Japan…giraffes…yeah, right…). The one item that set the scale is a leg from a wood burning stove, that became the bridge of the nose.

2.       What do you hope people get out of your piece?

 A sense of fun! Inspiration to create something themselves.

Come find Sophie! Created by Ellen Hinds.

3.       Are there any stories/lessons learned that came out of the creation of this piece?

 I’ve learned a lot of safety lessons over the years, working in metal. Eye protection, ear protection, leather gloves. Nothing loose around your neck, an angle grinder could strangle you if your scarf gets caught in it. Bandana, I value the little bit of hair I have and burning hair smells awful. Always with the heavy closed shoes, pant cuffs *over* the tops of the boots, never tucked in, etc. I do have a bad habit of working in short sleeves (it gets hot in a metal shop in Texas, yo)…got the scars on my arms to prove it. Overall this was an enjoyable, comfortably paced work. The most annoying part was rethinking an aspect that was a PITA to change after the fact, it would have been so easy to do before it got “caged in” by the skinning.

4. Is there anyone you’d like to thank or acknowledge? 

My mother, for birthing me. In all seriousness, I work alone. I love incorporating bits from other people’s art, so a special shout out is due to Prost for supplying the hinges, they were part of his Calavera project that went to TTITD in 2014 (it’s taken me awhile to figure out how I wanted to use them). There will be immense gratitude for whomever helps me get this 7.5’ tall heavy af piece out of the shop and onto the trailer! 

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Lines of Flight

1.       What inspired you to create this art piece?

Last year Unbroken Spring, the Houston regional burn, was offering art grants and the art lead encouraged me to apply because they were familiar with some of my origami work and knew i had ideas about translating it into large scale sculpture. Lines of Flight was my first attempt at playing with scale using the form of an origami dove, chosen for both its aesthetic grace, simplicity, and reproduction ease.

Lines of Flight is registered with Sensation Station. The Artist is Hot Potato.

2.       What do you hope people get out of your piece?

I hope people enjoy the simplicity and elegance of the form. That it acts as a way to guide them when they need it, whether it be to a place of respite in our dome some night or back to the playa and the people. 

Lines of Flight

3.       Are there any stories/lessons learned that came out of the creation of this piece?

I’m a designer/ artist/ craftsperson and i wanted to make art for the burn for awhile, but i was also a camp lead and compulsive volunteer, so it never happened. Lots of folks from the community have seen my various work on my Instagram(RatEatCat) and started asking if i ever intended to bring art to a burn. Those questions made me reevaluate my priorities and helped give me the push i needed to make something that i could share. Making time for art is deeply satisfying and a totally worthwhile way of giving back to the community. 

Lines of Flight

4. Is there anyone you’d like to thank or acknowledge?

I’d like to thank my camp lead for registering my art because i totally forgot to. I’d also like to thank everyone who encouraged me or said they enjoyed the work – it’s satisfying to make it for it’s own sake, but knowing that people enjoyed them is hugely motivating.

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: The Forge of Hephaestus*

The Forge of Hephaestus draws inspiration from a lot of places, but primarily from the allegorically dense theme of the burn this year, Sisyphean Celebration. Greek mythology is really rich with ideas and characters, many of which Sisyphus interacted with in one way or another. We chose Hephaestus, the god of Fire (sculpture, metalworking, masonry, and forges) because he was a patron of the arts and a bit of an odd duck. Of all the Greek pantheon, Hephaestus and Dionysus (wine, fertility, ‘ritual madness’) would perhaps have appreciated Flipside the most!

*The Forge of Hephaestus concept. This piece is in need of support/help. For details, please see: https://www.burningflipside.com/art-project/the-forge-of-hephaestus

The Forge is constructed out of more than 2000lbs of white limestone, a building material favored by the ancient Greeks. In order to design, build, and moop the Forge we will be hauling all this stone at least six times, quite a Sisyphean task! Hopefully, unlike Sisyphus, we will reach our goal.

Our goal is for participants to feel they have been transported into Greek myth. Electricity (lightning) and fire are some of the origins of ancient stories of magic and divine power, and for many in the modern era electricity still has a mysterious and magical quality. By hiding a very high voltage device inside our limestone forge, and by building our enclosing structure using appropriate Grecian architectural elements, we hope to create an environment and atmosphere that feels authentically ancient Mediterranean, The structure itself will appear to be burned and blasted from within, giving participants a chance to feel they are wielding a mythical and extraordinary power.

Each participant will wield enormous limestone hammers and manipulate hidden stone dials on the Forge to blast a wooden artifact with fire and lightning. When the smoke clears they will have a powerful token of the favor of the gods to take home with them.

We have just started construction but we have already learned a lot about limestone. Its an incredibly malleable material (and cheap!), quite easy to drill and cut for LED and electrical channels. We’ve also learned that its quite a pain to move even a very short distance without heavy equipment! So we can see why the Greeks loved to use it, the only downside is you need an army of laborers to get anything done!

I’d like to thank our growing team of artists and volunteers (which anyone is welcome to join) who are going to help us realize this dream. We would also like to thank Ignition Philter for partially funding the project with an art grant, and our future donors for helping us get across the finish line.
If you would like to donate to the project, check out our fundraising page here. If you would like to help us with wood, stone, fabrics, painting, blowtorching or anything else, please email me at duncan.anderson44@gmail.com

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: The Glitterbox

The Glitter box (formerly the light box) was featured for several years at LumiNation. Visiting the luminarium structure inspired the light box.  Initially, and for a few years, the lights were white blinky string lights with rows of CD’s behind them and refractive glasses for added effect.  It’s a small, mellow space where people can transcend the mud and craziness and experience a moment of wonder, encircled by light. Last year, we added a super sparkly floor, and modified the lights to programmable led’s. Hopefully people will get the same joy out of it that they’ve gotten in the past, but even more sparkletastical!

The Glitterbox!

Lesson learned: The extra effort you put in before the event to make the piece easier to set up and tear down is well worth it. Spending hours putting your art piece together on-site (and getting dehydrated in the process) is not a great way to start your Burn.

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Big Top Mountain*

Welcome to the 3rd annual Flipside Art Spotlight blog series! These are designed to bring some well-deserved attention to a pretty dang important part of our community and event: ART and the badass talents that create them! Flipside without the art would be a bunch of bored people in a field.

These will be posted every few days in the order received until the event. If you are an artist and would like to participate (and did not receive initial interview questions [check your spam folder,] please ping me at seacircle@gmail.com. Thank you, thank you for all your passion, ambition, love and sweat!

*This piece is in need of support/help. For details, please see https://www.burningflipside.com/art-project/big-top-mountain

1. What inspired you to create this art piece?

It came down to the Theme. I truly believe that the Theme for a burn is essential and matters way more than some do. It legitimately inspired this piece. A “Sisyphean Celebration” put me in the mind set of “unwinnable/unattainable” goals But also a fun aspect of it. My mind immediately thought, Carnival games. Truly unwinnable. Well, where do you have carnival games? A big top tent. The ball kept rolling in my head to the point of having a ramp along side of it and a “Sisyphus” rolling a ball up he ramp and before it burns, the ball rolls back down and the whole thing catches fire. That image was stuck in my head. I want to see that.  So i got to work figuring out if it was possible. I really wanted to be able to submit the full scale for the big effigy however, my work schedule during the run up for Flipside precludes me from doing much other than work. So i took the time and one non burner friend and scaled the whole model down and thats what i hope to see burn at Flipside.

2. What do you hope people get out of your piece?

Im an idiot with  0 build experience, and skill. I hope that people can take away that they potentially can build and bring art to Flipside. Id like people to rethink how they feel about the importance of a theme. This project would not have been dreamt of with out it. Id like to see smiles and stupid joy over this dumb thing and i hope they would like to join me with burning it. I also hope that i dont have to keep explaining what it is, but maybe i dont mind it that much.

3. Lessons Learned

Math is hard, Octagons are full of math. In reality, I think one of the big lessons i got was to trust the vision and you can do it. I had to get this thing done before Christmas this past year. Proper planning helped, reasonable goes and im excited for the potential that the thing i saw in my head is very close to a reality. And If i can do it, others can.

4. Acknowledgements

I could not have done this without my non burner friend Brian and his Wife Cheryl for letting me use their garage for 6 straight weekends. Their help was invaluable to me and i really hope they get to come out this year. Bo & Carol Reynolds for always encouraging me when i came to them with art projects. Kaleb Allen for his insight into builds and his encouragement, even if i couldn’t do a full effigy proposal, he still said i should build it anyway and bring it.

Flipside 2018 Art Spotlight: Glass Cascade


1.       What inspired you to create this art?

I have been doing mosaic stained glass art off and on for almost 15 years. I got into it in college when I moved into a house where the previous occupant left me a giant box of glass cuttings. I tried the Tiffany style copper foil method, but it involved way too much planning. I then started making tables and lamps that were built organically–often based on the shapes of the materials or patterns in the glass/stone. In the last few years, I’ve also gotten into programmable LEDs run on Arduino using the FastLED library. I’ve never combined the two hobbies before, and this seemed like a good time to try it out. I also have some sweet glow in the dark rock that I’ve been looking to use.

2.       What do you hope people get out of your piece?

I hope they enjoy it at all different light levels. My hope is that it will have a wholly different feel during the daytime and at night. Who knows how it will ultimately turn out, but my plan is to use mostly opaque glass with lots of reflective nooks and crannies to have the max enjoyment during the day when it isn’t backlit. I’m then hoping to focus the led lights on creating movement in the ungrouted negative space between the tesserae (fancy word for the individual pieces that make up a mosaic).  Also, I have intentionally shown  next to nothing in the teaser. That little sun will be there though. For the rest of the image, there will be a waterfall/river cascading down on a left to right diagonal across the window. It will end in a pond of glow in the dark rocks. The top right third will have a mostly pink sunset with some wispy clouds. The bottom left third will be some sort of forest, most likely one that is on fire.

3.       Are there any stories/lessons learned that came out of the creation of this piece? (For example, I learned not to wear flipflops when using a wood router.)

It is incredibly hard to find time to do this stuff when you have small children. Especially when you don’t have an easy work area where it’s ok to have tiny shards of glass all over the place. I’ve still got a long way to go before finishing, but I think I will appreciate the limitations in scope I placed on this project. I’m not trying to get fancy, I’m just trying to get done.

Flipside 2018 Art Spotlight: The Very Small Effigy

Hi this is Chickenmoon talking about wee burn and The Very Small Effigy.
I really love the way imagination, play, and general ridiculousness thrives at Flipside. I get so much joy at seeing people doing their thing, together, it’s amazing. Wanting to make basically a I-love-you-so-much-Flipside valentine back to the community led to a last minute idea… making Wee Camp, which came out two years ago as an unofficial piece. Much love and gratitude to Glam for letting our small first silliness happen by them!
The Very Small Effigy idea came out of Wee Camp thinking about events we could offer to the community, as a legit theme camp. In SF I’d seen  the incredible sculptures the artist Scott Weaver makes out of toothpicks… and laughed out loud at the idea of Wee Camp using toothpicks to build a Very Small Effigy. Which we’d need to then burn, obviously. Registering last year’s unicorn sculpture as burnable art was immediately hilarious, safety felt like our project was obviously going to be pretty safe (“if it’s not going to be more than two feet tall. Is it?”) and while I’ll leave the details to those that were there the Very Small effigy burn had some amazing support and I think we shared a hilarious and beautiful thing. To thank the folks involved would give too much away in case this year will be your first wee burn but they know who they are and I think we’re all still laughing. Omg. THANK YOU.
Something I learned… wow, the power of community. Making a crazy thing that is completely accepted and loved by this community is an amazing experience. This is for everyone. Wee love you.
Wee burn is back again, Saturday night at midnight, in the road in front of Wee Camp. This year wee burn the shadow!

Flipside 2018 Art Spotlight: Bunnies Dream of Synesthesia


1.       What inspired you to create this art?

The project started from a desire to create a recognizable landmark to help me find my way home. Along the way, it has evolved into something more interactive by watching how people experience the piece. At the end of the day, though, I love when light and sound harmonize and hope I’ve created a canvas that attracts other visual and sound artists to come create.

2.       What do you hope people get out of your piece?

For me, I’m constantly amazed by the possibilities available to an artist with our current technologies.  However, to the casual visitor, I hope they gain a sense of wonder and joy, and that the piece becomes a piece they want to return to  to see what happens next;  whether they simply walk by and watch all the colors dance around or they step inside to be transported away for a moment as their senses are enveloped by the display.

3.       Are there any stories/lessons learned that came out of the creation of this piece?

 I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as starting a project too early, but I’m working hardest on accepting when something is “good enough” that I can move on to the next task. I’ve also found that no matter what you intend to be the function of your piece, if you want to discover the best way to interact with it, watch a 6 year old experience it for the first time – and do what they do.


Flipside 2018 Art Spotlight: Pretty Perilous

Hi!  I’m Ste. Michelle, Patron Saint of the most dangerous, small, stationary, art project that doesn’t involve fire, Pretty Perilous.
It all started by my strong desire to gift a village at Burning Man with something heartfelt, but also terribly dangerous for no good reason: a bunch of uncapped rebar (it was going to be labeled “Rebar Garden” and just appear overnight).  That didn’t happen because I over booked myself to my first big burn, so for year two I decided I should make it pretty, by attaching jagged edged cut metal flowers to the rebar.  And someone in that village wanted to create a safe space that was stupidly dangerous to get to, and so we worked together and it would have been great if we had our shit together, but we didn’t, so it was merely mildly amusing.
THEN, Misty said she wanted a Metal Garden, and I was all, I’ve got a dozen metal flowers on rebar that I would like to actually install somewhere, and where better than Flipside’s 20th year.  So, kismet.
What I most want people to get out of the art is not tetanus, not impalement on uncapped rebar, and not arterial spray from the sharp edges of the flowers.  A girl can dream.
During the nearly three year process of getting this art installed somewhere, I’ve learned the same lesson I always learn at burns, you can’t really schedule stuff at burns that involves someone else.  So if you want something to happen, bring everything you need to do your shit, even if they don’t show up.  Also, that copper is pretty flexible, but it’s not as flexible as paper, so making a copper whirly gig is virtually impossible without actual real instructions from somewhere, and maybe better tools than I have.