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!