Category Archives: Projects


by Drew Huening

Awarded $500

From a distance, the structure is low slung and flat. On approach, Participant sees two symmetrically curved walls. The walls point toward each other, almost making an oval shape, but interrupted in the middle by a pass through that acts as entry/exit. Entering the structure, Participant realizes the walls’ interior surfaces is made of dozens of flat wall mirrors.

DAY MODE (Lakes of Fire)
With just a few steps, Participant sees reflections of themselves and compatriots. A few steps in any direction shifts the reflections, re-reflections, re-re-reflections, and so on. Participant and compatriots are confronted with a hall of mirrors that provides opportunity for open ended kaleidoscopic play. After 1 minute or 2, Participant realizes that there’s a pattern to the structure and its many reflections. At this point, Participant might see one of two flat platforms near center of each structure half. On each platform are painted foot marks, implying the position and direction Participant and a Compatriot should stand.

After a minute or two of experimentation, the full effect is achieved:

Participant stands on one platform, Compatriot on another. Participant is surrounded by reflections of Compatriot. Moreso, Participant can see ALL of Compatriot: some mirrors show Compatriot in profile from the left, others show Compatriot in profile from the right. Staring straight ahead, Participant can see Compatriot’s front, but also Compatriot’s back.

Compatriot has the visa versa experience, seeing all of Participant.

(Burning Man, possibly Lakes of Fire as well) Participant enters and detects mirrors, using cues from ambient light, head lamps, glow, etc. There is opportunity for kaleidoscopic play, but it is limited, for a few reasons.

  1. It’s dark
  2. Half of the structure is cordoned off
  3. In the other structure half, there is a glowing button on a waist-high pedestal, commanding attention.

On approach the waist-high pedestal, Participant sees illuminated footprints, implying the position and direction Participant should stand. All that’s left is to press the large red button…  WHOOSH! From the cordoned off half of the structure, a propane flame effect bursts. For a moment, 3 of Participant’s senses are activated and surrounded:

  1. Sight: reflected images of the flame effect surround Participant
  2. Sound: reflected sound of the flame effect surrounds Participant
  3. Touch: reflected radiant heat warms Participant from all angles

Human Avatar Project

by Christopher Breedlove with Tom LaPorte, Stu Smith, Jordan Chabalowski, and Alex Love

Awarded $328

Statement of Purpose:
The HAProject is an experiment in social identity, group dynamic and personality harvesting. The project seeks to capture the ‘Collective Unconscious of the Participant Experience’ by allowing as many participants faces, personalities, and answers be recorded into The Human Avatar Library (HAL) which is then played back in a feedback loop to the very same audience on the face of the Human Avatar.


The HAProject has a two different phases:

  1. Structure: The structure for HAP is a hexiyurt. (10ft radius). Inside of the yurt is a large imac computer which has custom software on it. The computer is build into an ‘art wall’ which provide environment for the participant, as well as shelter for the computer. Only the mouse is available to the participant. The software plays an animation which explains the project, and then signals a small camera on the inside of the yurt to turn on, the participant is able to record their face for entrance into HAL.
  2. These videos are edited, on-site, into small reels. These videos are uploaded into a video player, and then projected from a pico-projector onto the face of The Human Avatar. The Avatar’s face is an ever-changing picture of motion and personality, music comes from the shoulder mounted speakers. The Avtar wanders around the event, looking for the right place and moment for its sighting.

Touchy Dutchess

by The League of Troubled Souls (Kurt cKurt Feuer, Jason Steakhouse Pritchett, Tom Dr. Shoebocks McGee, and Larry Dr. Lar McMann)

Awarded $500

The Touchy Duchess towers above supplicants, haughtily beseeching them to give her pleasure. She is not amused when participants fail to skillfully manipulate her, and her tongue is as sharp as her metallic visage. Participants who properly coordinate their effort, however, are rewarded with a fearsome spray of fire from the top of her head.

The Dutchess will be fabricated from 4’ by 4’ steel sheets stacked in five modular sections for a total height of 20 feet, plus her tiara above the top section. The face, body, and other designs will be cut into the front sections of the steel after programming the dimensions into a CNC plasma cutter for a precise, intricate design. Interior pilot lights to ignite the blasts will also provide ambient lighting to illuminate the design.

Four control panels arrayed before the Dutchess allow participants to push a button and trigger a blast of fire from either a series of six small blasters on her sides or the main blaster at the top of her head. If one button is pushed, only one small blast is triggered. If two buttons are simultaneously pushed, three side blasts will be triggered, and three simultaneous hits will trigger all six side blasters. The order of the blasts will be programmed to vary for each button and each combination of simultaneous hits, prompting the participants to listen to the clues provided in the Dutchess’s rude commentary to coordinate their efforts. When participants succeed in simultaneously hitting all four buttons, the mother load of propane is released from four 20 lb. accumulator tanks at the base of the tower, causing an approximately 40 foot flame plume to erupt from the head of the Dutchess at an angle over the heads of the participants.

Enchanted Jungle

Jasmine Harris, Rebecca DeCoster, Debbie Hilander, Angela Harris, Dave Hossler, Mike Janecek

Chicago Mural Project

Melissa Bruck, Zach Franzoni, Ellie Sorokin

4Square art project

4 Square

Larz Gaydos

BURN awarded an art grant to the 4 Square project – a series of fire blasters arranged in a grid.  4 Square originally made its debut at the 2009 Lakes of Fire regional burn.  Event participants could control each blaster, resulting in impromptu fire patterns which cast a warm glow into the evening.

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The Acid Tounge

Jason Pritchett & Brian Buckman

The Acid Tongue is an enormous welded iron face which fires sound-activated fireballs into the air.  Participants could speak into a microphone.  Their voices are then distorted and trigger massive flame effects.  Awarded in 2009 and first appeared at the 2009 Lakes of Fire regional burn.

Wonder Woman

Nichelle Lawrence

Wonder Woman was created in 2009 as an expose on one’s inner Wonder Woman.  Participants dress up and have their portrait taken in any way they like.  Portraits were first herpes outbreak later displayed at numerous art events.