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.

Flipside 2018 Art Spotlight: Crank Baby

The Art Spotlight is intended to highlight our community’s artists and provide a tease for the pieces they are bringing to the event. The countdown to Flipside is on! Start getting excited about the ART!


Mitch ‘Giraffe’ Hoffman – Crank Baby 

1.       What inspired you to create this art?

This piece has been bouncing around my mind for a few years now, and it seemed like the time! I love bicycles, mechanical shit, loud dissonant noises, and interactive art! Crank Baby is the fusion of these things.

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

Laughter and satisfaction!

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.)

When consulting experts in machining and high-tolerance moving parts, I learned that there isn’t much crossover between the art world and the industrial world! I’d love to change that!

Also, 7/16″ is not actually that close to 1/2″.

Pyropolis Art Guild Presents- Art Nights At Lloyd!

Working and interacting with other artists is a great way to get motivated to make more art. It’s easy to find ourselves in a slump when we’re on our own.  Need a little kick in the pants, a little inspiration? We’re here to help. The Pyropolis Art Guild is hosting Art Nights At Lloyd to give our varied art community a night to come create together.

 Regular Art Nights will be held in the air-conditioned meeting room, so plan your projects for that space (unless there’s a specific class/workshop/art focus, keep this in mind in case you were wanting to bring a project that requires lots of noise, smells or mess).

 Some nights will be focused, with life drawing, workshops, speakers, etc. Many more will be a gathering to paint, weld, make blinky light projects, crochet, collaborate with other artists and much more. Let your imagination be your guide.

 We’d like to stay focused on art and leave social connecting for Church Nights, so please bring a project or find one when you arrive. Let’s make some amazing!

Art Nights At Lloyd

3106 Industrial Terrace, Austin, TX 78758

Launch: June 15 2017


(Currently scheduled for every other Thursday- check the Facebook group for updates)


**As with all things Lloyd, this is a Leave No Trace Event**


What To Bring:

Bring Your Own Art and Supplies

(or find out what is available onsite to work on- please get in touch with a host)


Pyropolis Art Guild:

Was created in order to help the artists in our community mutually support one another by sharing past, present and future art related projects, as well as encourage success through learning together and from each other. To learn more and to join the Pyropolis Art Guild, find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1344728312220948/

Image: Tom Etheridge by Bean Noneya

Art Spotlight #4: THE LIGHTBOX

 I have some info about Lumination’s Lightbox art piece for Flipside this year! This info was written by my camp mate Michael Daross.
Is there anything you want the Flipside community to know or understand about your piece?
   -The Lightbox is an 8 foot cube covered with string lights and various reflective materials (usually CDs) which participants can come inside of to dance, contemplate the universe, abuse their lungs, or just ogle the pretty shinies. It’s had a number of iterations, but has always been about entering a doorway and being transported to a place of beauty and tranquility. We usually have some refractive glasses or a Darth Vader mask lying around to enhance the effect, if your brain can handle it. This year, we’ve significantly upped the ante by replacing the white incandescent lights with 16 rows of programmable LEDs, controlled by Arduinos. There shall be rainbows. We’ve also added a floor so it’s not as muddy, and we usually have some downtempo music playing (unless we’re next to a sound camp).

What inspired it?

     -At my first or second Flipside, I saw some fire spinners with a wall of CDs behind them, and thought it looked really cool. And then I remembered that I had an entire crate of CDs taking up space in my garage (from a failed album release of mine, which we need not discuss). I thought, “What if you could be completely enclosed by lights and reflections?”  My campmate Maples and I were looking for an art project to contribute to camp, so we collaborated on the structure and design, making tweaks over the years, with help from Anthro, who is the electrical wiz, and other campmates. Our favorite part of the piece is just watching people enjoy it in various surprising ways; we’ve had a number of participants tell us that being in there saved them from being in a bad headspace.

Any funny stories or challenges in the creation?

   -The main issue has been people not realizing there was a door and trying to drunkenly force their way through the walls to get inside. (We’re taking some steps to mitigate that this year.) And at least one group of people thought that the whole piece was some kind of guerrilla marketing campaign for the album, which would have been weird given that we basically destroyed the CDs in the process of making it.

Anything you want to say about yourself?

I am a marketing wizard, using my Flipside art to promote my musical failure by somehow getting people to pay for it even though it’s covered with adhesive tape.

Art Spotlight #3: STARS

Is there anything you want the Flipside Community to understand about your piece?

 –When we were kids most of us recall a time period where, perhaps we’d go to the park and we’d see all these other kids playing and we could just run up to them and start playing too. No questions asked. You were just accepted. At some point in adolescence, the differences in our backgrounds start creating these divides between us. You start noticing where you belong (and where you don’t belong). At some point, you learned that it’s suddenly become weird to go up to a stranger and say, “Hey, will you be my friend?”. By the time you’re an adult, it’s so hard to make a new friend. It is for me anyway. The thing that’s amazing about the stars is they bring out that inner child in every single person who receives them. These stars are not only gifted in masses at festivals, but to people I meet in day-to-day life.

 -What inspired it?

A friend kind of twisted my arm always trying to get me into glass art. I was really busy and not that interested until one day she brought it up again and I thought maybe it would be cool to make a glass star. As a person who is both artistically and mathematically minded, I am an incredibly obsessive perfectionist. I hate looking at my paintings because all I see is their flaws. I double-triple check all my work in fear of ever being wrong. I may be the most “worryingest” girl you will ever meet, I worry about everything and am so self-critical. Sometimes I’m surprised I have any friends at all, I’m probably such a drag to be around. The stars were different. I loved looking at them. I became really obsessive, making star after star after star. Before long I had hundreds of these little glass stars and I just loved picking them up in handfuls and admiring each of them again and again. However, I was accumulating hundreds of stars and I kind of didn’t know what to do with them, so I just sort of started giving them to people. Of course, I considered selling them at first, people offered to buy them, and still continue to, but I never sold one. Thank god. I’m so glad I can say I never sold one because I think that’s one of the things that I think keeps them “pure”. In this society where so much is about ego and money, I’m thankful to keep the stars separate. So, I just continued to give them to people and hopefully, I’ll continue to be in a position to keep giving them for as long as I live, because I think they are really special. The whole project has been kind of a god-send since I’m so shy and apparently such a difficult person to get to know. Small talk is really hard for me. People think I’m weird (and not in a cool way), but now I get a pass on that. When I sit next to someone on an airplane, I get to skip that awkward period where they are acknowledging you, but you don’t really know if they want to actually engage with you. It always bothered me, that the universe may have distributed that person to sit next to me on this plane for a reason, but I’m just reading my book. Now I have a solution, I just pull out a bag of stars and say, “Hey, look, I have a bag of stars and I give them away to people for free, which one do you want?”. Whoever sees them turns into that little kid on the playground. EVERYONE loves looking at, and picking out a star. It doesn’t matter who they are. I have seen the most tired business men, all stuffy looking in their suits turn into beaming little boys so happy to get to be playing with stars on a plane. They are so thrilled to be able to take something home to their kids who miss them because they travel so much. It’s the best.

 -Any funny stories or challenges in the creation?

 I’ve gifted thousands of stars now for years. I’ve gifted them to homeless people, kids in hospitals, neighbors, people who just got out of prison, astronauts, rich people, poor people, blind people, waiters and waitresses, the tow truck driver, my cat’s vet… sometimes I even leave batches in random people’s porches. One story that has always made an impression on me, was I was at this music venue that was run by a group of felons, people who had clearly had rough lives, been to prison, and were trying to make a new path for themselves in life with running this business. A bunch of college students were celebrating their recent graduation from a very prestigious university at this venue. I happened to be at this place with an unusually large bath of stars so I busted them out all over a table and everyone swarmed around. The observation I made was that I noticed that the newly college graduates would look at a star and say, “THAT is the one I want. THAT is the star for me” and they would take it with confidence and be really enthusiastic about it. The people who had been in prison, that ran the venue, hesitated. When they saw a star they liked, they said “I really like this star but I don’t want to take the best one”, and I had to assure them that they really could have whatever star they wanted, that all these stars were going to strangers and yet they continued to behave as though they didn’t feel like they should take the star they liked the most.

 -Anything you want to say about yourself/the creative force about the piece?

I’m really boring to actually talk to when you get past the stars.


Art Spotlight #2 : Interactive Neon Yarn Art

My string art was inspired by trying to come up with an interesting and fun interactive art form by using a recycled trampoline.  We have brought it to Flipside four years in a row and every year it takes on new and exciting shapes and colors . This ever changing art piece is lots of fun for whom ever wants to partake. It’s truly simple –  just pick up some yarn, loop it around the frame, and throw it to a friend on the opposite side, loop it again around frame and throw it again.  Make a dream catcher or spell your name the possibilities are endless. This year we added dancing lights and music.  But most of all have fun.