Meet the Builders of CORE: Constructing on the playa

With about a week to go until the event begins, the playa activity starts to shift to artists and those that support them. Honorarium art gets an early start, large projects arrive and the CORE teams unload and finish the work they have been focused on for months.

Team work and safety are critical for proper placement of the first wall
Team work and safety are critical for proper placement of the first wall

Many of the CORE teams create a shade structure and a support camp near their site right from the start. Others dive into creating the basic structure of the project in the heat of the sun. Different techniques depend on how many crew are still expected, how massive the project is and how close that team’s theme camp housing is located to the project.

A ditch digger makes the trenches for the power lines leading to CORE
A ditch digger makes the trenches for the power lines leading to CORE

Before any team arrives, power for the sites of each CORE project must be placed. Trenches are dug, lines are laid, and a solar panels are installed. Snow Koan Solar provides a power station that supplies all of the CORE projects with power while also offering device/battery charging to the participants during the event. They marched across the playa like a well drilled unit and had all of the power installed in just a single day.

Snow Koan Solar's installation is being wired to give power
Snow Koan Solar’s installation is being wired to give power

The layout of CORE probably made the task easier for the power team, since they only had to serve four central points, with extension cords radiating from these points to the projects. Each of these four quadrants feature a tight circle of six art projects, feature a mix of nearby, distant and international teams.

Currently in the south quadrant the Reno team builds alone. First CORE to arrive on the playa, they are also the first to get started. Two walls were lifted and connected on Monday, with the rest of the structure to follow the next day.  Nearby, tidy piles of decomposed granite (DG) lie ready to be spread for the other projects … it’s used to protect the playa surface from burn scars.

Source Maui CORE starts spreading their decomposed granite ("DG") to function as a burn platform for their piece.
Source Maui CORE starts spreading their decomposed granite (“DG”) to function as a burn platform for their piece.
Portland CORE is unloaded and in place. It just awaits construction.
Portland CORE is unloaded and in place. It just awaits construction.

In the west quadrant many teams are preparing to build. Midburn from Israel, Houston, and the Dutch CORE teams are all unloaded and have small support camps in the works.

In the North, San Diego, South Bay and Source Maui are already at work with their burn platforms raked out and their main structures being assembled.

Just by luck, the East quadrant is getting a late start, with few items unloaded there. But over this next week the teams will be working and collaborating, bringing elements that express their region to the big event.

The daytime highs are in the mid-90’s, but weather seems to be holding out, with wind low and only clouds of the non-threatening kind apparent. Perfect for building, if you get regular shade. These amazing projects should be ready for participants to explore just a few days before the gates open on August 25th.

Midburn CORE team makes shelter a priority for the team
Midburn CORE team makes shelter a priority for the team
Coosh Coosh of Midburn takes a well deserved five minute nap
Coosh Coosh of Midburn takes a well deserved five minute nap
Houston CORE starts on the frame of their project
Houston CORE starts on the frame of their project
San Diego CORE starts on the gantry that supports their project high in the air
San Diego CORE starts on the gantry that supports their project high in the air
Houson CORE's head rest atop other elements of the piece
Houson CORE’s head rest atop other elements of the piece

South Bay CORE unstacks the walls of their project in preparation of building
South Bay CORE unstacks the walls of their project in preparation of building
San Diego CORE is being built on a proper skeleton
San Diego CORE is being built on a proper skeleton
San Diego CORE starts on the gantry that supports their project high in the air
San Diego CORE starts on the gantry that supports their project high in the air

 

Reno CORE lifts one of the walls of their structure
Reno CORE lifts one of the walls of their structure