Otic Oasis – A Wilderness Outpost on Playa

Otic Oasis Concept Drawing (click to enlarge)

Now and again, amongst the incredible things that are headed to the playa, something particularly interesting comes across our radar, and we like to bring those to your attention.  The Otic Oasis fits the bill. Its planners write:

“The Otic Oasis is not an art installation or theme camp, it is our community defining a need and all of us contributing to make it happen!  During our residence in Black Rock City, we all experience the ubiquitous thump/thump of the deep bass beat of the electronic/trance/Burning Man branded music 24/7. This year, there’s a new installation that intends to bring citizens an audio antidote by providing an alternative of peace and quiet. The OTIC OASIS will be the first structure in a cordoned off wilderness area in the City, a part of the City where no motorized vehicles are permitted and large scale sound systems don’t penetrate – deep in walk-in camping. At last, a wilderness retreat where the aural options are in keeping with the indigenous stillness and aesthetics of the Black Rock desert.

If embraced by the community, the OTIC OASIS is intended to be a perennial structure: to return each year, as the Center Camp Cafe does, to continue to provide shade and shelter to weary travelers who might require a bit of tranquility in order to recharge.

The OTIC OASIS is comprised of a 35-foot geometric cluster structure that provides shade, shelter, comfort and individualized spaces for quiet and contemplation of our natural surroundings. It is made completely of interlocking wood, with no nails, glue or metal fasteners, with the struts fastened together with patented “connectors” that fit together in an ingenious manner, and provide a great deal of strength and support. It will be a crystalline, honeycomb structure of 15 interwoven modules for individual, as well as group use. The “burningmimicry” and biomimicry of the design will complement the Black Rock Desert backdrop and offer a manmade structure that takes inspiration from the rocks, mountains, caves, and plateaus found in nature.

Ways to learn more about and get involved in the OTIC OASIS:

  1. Go to its Kickstarter page.
  2. See a scale model of the OTIC OASIS and speak to its creators at Precompression on June 18.
  3. Come to a party and fundraiser for the OTIC OASIS on June 19, from 4:00 – 8:00 pm at BlueSky Studios, 2325 3rd Street, Suite 434, San Francisco (near 20th). Silent auction, DJ music, a “raw” bar featuring fresh raw juice alcohol drinks, and an incredible professional level photo gallery to take professional style portraits.

The OTIC OASIS can be reached only by foot or bike, enhancing the desert calm. And in keeping with the walk-in regulations of this area, all materials will be hand-carted in to the Oasis’ wilderness location, and it will be erected without use of any motorized vehicles.”

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art headquarters) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, then transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009 to become Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He's the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Voices of Burning Man blog, and content manager for Burning Man’s websites. He also manages the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social networking efforts.

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