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. 

The Island Wants Your Art!

Amidst all the wonderful, creative swirl of Flipside, the Island is set back a few paces from the chaos.  

Just over a bridge, on the way to one of the most well-used beaches, this year the Island is being set up to exhibit some of our citizens smaller and mid-sized art. Power and lighting will make this a night time destination, as well as a chill spot to spent time during the day. So…

                      The Island Wants Your Art!!! 

Do you have some small to mid-sized art you’d like to share with your fellow Flipizens? Requirements are minimal: it needs to be somewhat weather resistant, and fit under a tree canopy of roughly 10′. If it is Really small, we will work to find a way to secure it to one of the display stands (read “stumps of various sizes and heights”) we have on site. If you have a piece, or pieces, of art you would be willing to share with Flipside, please contact JadeRumour, Island Lead, at  We have some wonderful submissions already headed that way, but could use 5 to 8 more, depending on size. 


Ste. Michelle Judges Your Art!

Burning Art: Flipside 2017

Hello, and welcome to the inaugural edition of Ste. Michelle Judges Your Art.  In this series, Ste. Michelle plans to judge your art by assessing its ability to burn and how spectacular it will be to witness its burning destruction.  A necessary caveat:  Don’t Burn Other People’s Art, no matter how cool I make it sound.  

I’ve got a lot of art to judge before Flipside, and I may need to postpone some of it to after the event, but I literally just thought of this idea, so that’s my own fault for not thinking of it sooner.


Community Masterpiece

A blank canvas for the community to create a masterpiece (or just paint and have fun).

The artist for this art describes it as “A 5X8 blank canvas(es) with paint supplies open to the community to express themselves day or night.”   This one is interesting, as it doesn’t provide enough detail of the materials to properly assess it.  So I’ll guess.  According to Google, canvases are typically cotton or linen stretched across a wooden frame.  Although, at this size, that would be pretty costly, so there’s a good chance this is not a stretched canvas.  This is where I have to split into two factions: Team Paper and Team Canvas.

Team Paper

Team paper means the canvas will be some sort of large paper canvas, like we used in grade school for our water colors.  This version is super simple to light on fire, a single match, a lighter or even a lit cigarette could ignite a paper canvas.  No amount of paint will make a difference, even soaking wet, paper will ignite.  Any structure that is supporting the paper will be harder; a wooden frame probably won’t ignite if just the paper is lit.  But with a little kindling or sustained exposure to a fire source, a wood frame will ignite, relatively easily.

The fire would be fast, the paper would light and burn up completely in a minute if it’s lit in the middle.  The first few seconds would be fun to watch the flame spread, but fairly quickly it would be over, except for the embers which would be light and float off.  A night time burn would allow them to appear pretty as they float away.  The frame would be slower, but it would like flame up and collapse fairly quickly.  It may even get extinguished before it’s completely burned if the ground is wet.

Ease of Burn:  Very Very Easy

Quality of Burn: Short and kind of dull.


Team Canvas

Thick woven cotton and linen are much harder to catch fire than paper.  They will eventually burn when exposed to normal flame (like a lighter), but will burn slowly and without much excitement.  (I suppose if you put the canvas on top of an already lit fire (really hot) and it would be a little exciting if it got caught in an updraft and the flaming canvas flew out over a crowd, but you’d really have to work on that and it would require more infrastructure than is planned.)  The frame would be dried softwood, so it would burn fairly quickly (maybe faster than the canvas if it wasn’t wrapped in canvas to start with.)  A slow steady burn with a small collapse and minimal flames.

Ease of Burn: Very Easy

Quality of Burn:  Not long and kind of dull.


Regardless of its makeup, this art is probably more interesting not on fire.  


Freefall Simulation

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

The Freefall Simulation is a giant gyroscope with a VR headset and a bunch of fans that will make you feel like you are plummeting towards earth from very high up.  Which sounds pretty neat.  But I need to know:  Would it burn?  

Once again they didn’t list their components, but I’m going to guess that the gyroscope device is steel and/or stainless steel, the fan is one of those big ass metal fans, and the electronics are plastic, PVC or polyethylene coated copper or aluminum, silicon circuitry and steel cases.

When presented with flame, and it will take a lot of flame, the first to go up will be those tiny cables and the plastic VR frames.  If there’s any glass in there, I’d expect it to crack and fall under the flames pretty quickly.  After that comes the gyroscope.  If there are any lubricants to make it move smoothly, those will burn off fairly quickly (and smell awful), but the steel itself will take a lot more that your average flame thrower.  My research indicates that steel wool will ignite with just a lighter, and all of the other sites that discuss igniting steel involve 9/11 conspiracies, and I’m not getting put on that list anytime soon, so I’m just gonna make some wild assumptions based on my understanding of physics I learned by watching movies and studying medieval metallurgy (aka watching the history channel).

Steel is hard to ignite, but it can melt if you have gallows and plenty of combustible material to heat it.  So if you yanked the fans out of from under the gyroscope, replaced it with a bunch of hardwood lit that wood and the used the fans to force air into the fire, you could melt the whole thing in place.  Though you might need a way to encompass the heat of the fire.

Perhaps if you were to toss some thermite in there, that would speed things up a bit.

Ease of Burn: Very Very Hard

Quality of Burn: Initially interesting and smelly, overall a grueling dull process with little to show.  Unless you use thermite.  


It really seems like it would be more interesting to play in, and not light on fire.

Flipside Art Spotlights!

Imagine you’re skipping merrily down a path at Flipside. It’s a lovely clear evening and you are making your way back to your camp to get ready for the night’s affairs, when suddenly, you see something off in the woods. It may be a mysterious light, a particular intriguing sound, a tall figure, or…giggling? You creep closer to the installation.  What is it? What was the artist thinking about? Is there a particular message? Also, who is the badass that built it?

Leading up to Flipside 2017, we’ll be having an Art Spotlight, focused on the art pieces that your community members will be bringing to the event.  This is a chance for you to get a preview of the pieces, to get excited about seeing them in person, and also to celebrate the person(s) who put their sweat and time and creative brain into making such a thing for our community to enjoy. Self-expression is one of the main arteries of our event. It’s time to focus on the art!


Art Spotlight #1 : The Ectoplasmic Stargon Rainbow Generator (ESRG)

-Is there anything you want the Flipside community to know or understand about your piece? 

 This year’s art is a spin on past years pieces.  ESRG starts with all the basic pieces including my favorites PVC, Bungee, ZipTies, Rope, 80lb test line, spray paint and did I mention PVC.  After breaking out more power this year for even more light, ESRG will illuminate the night and brighten the spirit in all of us.

-What inspired it?

Just being mesmerized by pretty lights and spinny things.  A fun theme this year adds a little more spice. 

-Any funny stories or challenges in the creation?

As with previous years this years art starts off in November in my back yard.  Being rather large it draws many lookers from the community.  I guess where I live in Marble Falls I’m getting to be known as an official nut job. 

I feel unbelievably honored to be able to exhibit this art piece to the many many people who make Flipside possible and the wonderful participants that make it real.  It is a great pleasure to be involved in a 1 week event that lasts literally the entire year.



Sven Camps In Parking

Meet Sven

Sven and I have been together for over two years.  We’ve been to Flipside together twice and really enjoyed our time together there.  But.  Sven doesn’t camp with me.  Because, Sven is a car.  And cars camp in parking, not in the city.

Sven’s job is to get me there safely and while some other cars will get dressed up for the event, Sven is demure, and doesn’t like costumes.  Sven is no mutant vehicle.  So Sven spends the event with the other cars not dressed for the event, in parking.  He tells me that he has fun in parking, and enjoys the companionship of the other cars (Sven spends a lot of time at home alone with my junk in the garage).  

If there ever comes a time where I need Sven to camp in at Flipside, I know that he will appreciate being off the road, and covered.  Maybe even in something decorative.  Because, although Sven is shy and reserved, he knows that we are in this together and he will take one for Pyropolis and wear a costume, for me.  For us.

Because this city we build is not like other cities, where all the cars hangout in front of the houses.  This city is for people.  It’s for art.  It’s for the Flipiziens.  It’s for leaving the real world for something better.  There’s just not enough room for shy and reserved cars in our city, when we want to fill it with awesome.

Cars camp in Parking.  People camp in Pyropolis.  

-Ste. Michelle

(Need more info? Of course you do- go read your survival guide)