Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Circle of Light

1.       What inspired you to create this art piece? 

 I enjoy light, so I hoped to create a space where people could revel in the light during the evenings.

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

An interesting sight?  A comfy place to sit?  The next viral instagram background?  I try not to have expectations, I hope the viewers do not have expectations either.

Circle of Light in the making – created by Lasso of Dark Dances in Wonderland

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

Always make sure your LEDs have multiple redundant data lines.  i.e.  use the 2815 strips over the 2811.

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

All the fun people that I have danced with at Flipside over the years.

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Usually Existence Conceals Itself

1.       What inspired you to create this art piece?

At least four inspirations led me to this project. I’m sure there will be more by the time I’m finished. The progress photo is only a small sneak peek of the final product. I was first inspired by an installation at Hopscotch that used these awesome LED balls, so I wanted to do something with those. I was then inspired at the envelope making art night to abandon my original project idea and think of something that would be more permanent and that I could use as a test right for future art project. I was then inspired by the envelop art that Anna Rosethal posted to the Flipizen page. I asked her if I could use her design as inspiration for a piece, and she happily agreed. I was then inspired by a passage from Sartre’s book Nausea to come up with the name: 

“It took my breath away. Never, up until these last few days, had I suspected the meaning of “existence.” I was like the others, like the ones walking along the seashore, wearing their spring clothes. I said, like them, “The sea is green; that white speck up there is a seagull,” but I didn’t feel that it existed or that the seagull was an “existing seagull”; usually existence conceals itself. It is there, around us, in us, it is us, you can’t say two words without mentioning it, but you can never touch it.”

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

I hope people see the blinky lights from a distance, wander over to take a closer look, and are inspired to light up the night themselves. If they see me wandering around and messing with the lights, I hope they come chat and learn how everything works. I’m also hoping to see everyone else’s blinky blinks out at the art piece on Saturday night at 10. I’m having a Blinken Thangs Gathering there and would love to chat about all things that go blink in the night. 

Usually Existence Conceals Itself – created by Chris Creel

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

I learned a ton: 1) This is a great community with lots of people willing to help; 2) Folks here will show you how to use a hydraulic saw, which is super cool; 3) International wire transfers are super expensive, so it’s best to just ask if the owner of the LED company in South Africa has a PayPal account; 4) I can fit 10 foot sticks of steel in my tiny ass car; 5) It’s cheaper and safer to buy lighting truss than to try and fabricate it yourself; 6) and so much more that I’d love to chat about on site.    

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

I’d like to thank Chris Hudson who helped me and at least one other project out. Dude isn’t even going to Flipside and is still giving his time to provide resources and expertise that is needed for burner art. He helped me work through tests of the design, welded it up, and more. This piece definitely wouldn’t have come together as I imagined without him. I’d also like to thank Ignition Philter for assisting financially in the project. It definitely helps motivate me to have all y’all as patrons. I’d also like to thank my family for putting up with all the crap I’ve had strewn around the house for the past several weeks. They might encourage me to do something burnable in the future because it’s all coming back on Monday.  

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Ultra Rain Lamp

1.       What inspired you to create this art piece? 

This art piece was inspired by the old-timey “Rain Oil Lamps” that used to be in maybe your grandma’s house, hung in a corner. They were typically a few feet tall, used a small motor to pump oil up and drip it down the clear lines with a small garden or statue inside.

Ultra Rain Lamp – created by Puzzle & Guzzle Camp

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

Our hope that people will stop and look at our piece for a moment to be mesmerized by its beauty.  This typically follows next by how does this thing work? The secret, it uses a fountain pump and then the power of gravity to drip down an astonishing pattern that is relaxing and calming. The LED light show intensifies the experience by lighting up each drip of oil like a tiny universe.

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

We learned that mineral oil is very oily! (Duh) But seriously, we have to clean our machine thoroughly after each use otherwise it is quite a mess!

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

The Art Team that built this project knows they are appreciated, we also want to thank anybody who stops by and spends some time with the Ultra Rain Lamp!

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: The Beat

My name is Cristina Sims, Camp SimWittEd, and my project is called “The Beat.”

What inspired me?

This installation is inspired by the authors that shaped my worldview as a young seeker. The ideas and items presented capture my fascination with the archetype of “the writer”. Sometimes lonely, usually tormented and always a voice that defies and challenges. I have created this desk as an alter to that romanticized figure in my mind. 

The Beat by Cristina Sims

What do I hope people get out of the piece?

I want people to sit and explore; experience the vibe. There are stories to read and stories to tell. The typewriter awaits! Write a poem, have a smoke, read a passage and inspire the mind to know. There are gifts to find and mysteries to uncover all while the sweet sound of jazz fills the air.

What did I learn?

The installation became a voyeuristic experience for me and transformed my expectations about the what I had created. As I watched, the piece became less about the objects and arrangement and more about the grace of the lingering cigarette smoke, the way the lamp light glows on the curve of her neck, the sound of the keys clacking when a fevered idea goes onto paper and the items that were left behind as offerings. It came to life in a way that surpassed my intention and imagination. 

I would like to thank Nessa Reed for sewing the desk covering and my dear, sweet husband Jason for his unwavering support for all my endeavors. 

I would like to dedicate this installation to my mother, Martha, a well read woman.

Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Rejuvenation Chamber*

*This piece is in need of support/help. For details, please see: https://www.gofundme.com/rejuvenation-chambers

1. What inspired you to create this art piece?

I was at the Burning Man last year and had a personal experience that started me on this unexpected journey. Like most introverts, I use more mental resources in processing external stimuli: I am more sensitive to light, noise, and especially people. So, one day I came back to camp tired and in need of some personal space away from everything. This is hard to find at Burning Man. I was lucky that my mini-trailer had no windows and the white noise from the a/c blocks sounds from outside. As I laid there away from everyone  in the darkness, my mind wondered so freely! Just a few minutes later I felt so refreshed, that I was ready to go back outside. I could not believe how fast I was restored back to full function. So I thought it would be amazing to share this experience with others. When I came home, I did some research on sensory deprivation and started building.

Come be rejuvenated! Created by Shy

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

The sun is down. You had a great day so far at the Flipside. Maybe you are a bit tired from all the wonderful interactions you had during the busy day? And the night is young! Music blasting from multiple directions, bright lights blinking everywhere. Or it’s way after midnight and your senses are a bit overstimulated and you are debating with yourself whether you are too tired to keep going? This is the time to visit the Rejuvenation Chamber!

As you step inside the enclosure, you find yourself in a beautiful tranquil space. The Rejuvenation Chambers you see there offer you the sensory deprivation experience which reduces stress, calms the nervous system, and helps one to enter a deep state of relaxation. After the overwhelming day you had so far, this sounds amazing, so when the attendant invites you to climb in, you decide to give it a try!

You climb into the chamber and lay on the soft memory foam. Your body sinks in. You feel like you’re floating. As the lid closes, you feel fresh air on your face. It becomes obvious that the chamber walls are covered in sound absorbing materials, since you can no longer hear loud noises from outside. You let the darkness and quiet envelop you, and you meditate or just rest… It is almost like you are deprived of most of your senses which allows your brain to relax. A few minutes later, a timer brings you back out to reality. The chamber opens, and you see and hear the world anew. You have been rejuvenated! You wave goodbye to the friendly attendants and head out refreshed and ready for new adventures!

3. Lessons Learned

Rejuvenation Chambers stated as a much larger scale project. And I actually put together a proposal and applied for the honorarium grant from Burning Man hoping for beginners luck. I am glad I did not receive it this time. I learned that, although I am very creative and my ideas are worth implementing, I would need a dedicated team and, most importantly, a team manager to do a large scale project. In the mean time  the chambers I designed are being used as a prototype for a component of MementoMorium project that is going to Burning Man 2019.

4. Acknowledgements

I need to thank my friends Oleg and Olga who supported the idea for the project from the moment I verbalized it. Without their extensive involvement, Olga’s help with electrical components, Oleg’s financial support the project wouldn’t exist. I am so glad, that their project MementoMorium is now benefiting from my experience in return. And then there are all my friends in the Houston Burner community, who helped me during the build, some above and beyond  what I could have asked of them. If this wasn’t enough, I would like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have been contributing to the fundraiser.  Thank you so much! See you all at the Flipside!

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! Created by CidKid

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.