Meet the Builders of CORE: Interacting with the art

Since Monday, Burning Man participants have been enjoying and interacting with the products of artistic labor from around the world. They’ve been animating fish, receiving gifts or just meeting the builders in the shade of their temporary art. You can even get brisket and margaritas at the Houston CORE structure while dancing to the music they are spinning.

At night the pieces glow with colored or animated light, showing participants a new face.

Day and night, morning and evening, the area where the CORE projects stand are buzzing with activity. Below are many images of the activity around the CORE projects, as well as photos of the completed artwork by these dedicated builders.

Jasmyne uses a handle to animate a fish sculpture on the New Orleans CORE piece
Jasmyne uses a handle to animate a fish sculpture on the New Orleans CORE piece
Zed and Yando hold a re-commitment ceremony at the Reno CORE piece
Zed and Yando hold a re-commitment ceremony at the Reno CORE piece
The multi-colored scale fish of the San Diego CORE piece climbs a gantry holding participants
The multi-colored scale fish of the San Diego CORE piece climbs a gantry holding participants
The Fibernachi-inspired spiral of the East Bay CORE piece is both a tower with a view and a shelter from the sun
The Fibernachi-inspired spiral of the East Bay CORE piece is both a tower with a view and a shelter from the sun

The Dutch CORE windmill turns by The Coyote. The painted panels brought overseas by the team are striking against the colors of the playa.
The Dutch CORE windmill turns by The Coyote. The painted panels brought overseas by the team are striking against the colors of the playa.
Petroglyphs on the Utah CORE piece sparkle in the morning sun
Petroglyphs on the Utah CORE piece sparkle in the morning sun
CORE day and night-8
“Havoc” watches from the upper deck of the Indiana CORE piece
CORE day and night-7
“The Year the Playa Stood Still” is a UFO crashed into the area of the Minnesota CORE project
CORE day and night-6
The designs of the Idaho CORE project spin and shape the daylight and heat
"The Canines", as these participants choose to be called, have a intimate moment with their camera in the shade of the Victoria CORE project
“The Canines”, as these participants choose to be called, have a intimate moment with their camera in the shade of the Victoria CORE project
A greeter at the East Bay CORE project offers lovely enamel pendants to all
A greeter at the East Bay CORE project offers lovely enamel pendants to all
This photo does not do the chasing light effects of the Midburn CORE piece justice. It is a cascade of pulsing light and vibrance in the night.
This photo does not do the chasing light effects of the Midburn CORE piece justice. It is a cascade of pulsing light and vibrance in the night.
The Austin CORE piece shifts and dances via light play
The Austin CORE piece shifts and dances via light play
The detail on the Maui CORE piece is highlighted by their lighting
The detail on the Maui CORE piece is highlighted by their lighting
A climber ascends the Washington D.C. CORE piece
A climber ascends the Washington D.C. CORE piece
The New York CORE project is indeed the "Star of The City" when night falls
The New York CORE project is indeed the “Star of The City” when night falls
The Lithuanian CORE piece glows with ever-changing light
The Lithuanian CORE piece glows with ever-changing light

These are the last images most will see before all of these structures are ignited in unison at a massive Thursday night burn. The night play ends at dawn and the CORE teams prep their wood for the final display in flames.

About the author: portaplaya

Todd Gardiner, aka "portaplaya", is a professional photographer in Seattle and a long time documentor of Burning Man. After years of working with CameraGirl, he moved on to documenting the event for various other teams, such as the ARTery. Back in Seattle he was part of the regional arts group, Ignition Northwest, acting as a member of the art funding council. A perennial volunteer, he is a five-time Black Rock City Ranger, a past theme camp laborer, has done his time with DPW, and is currently a supervisor for Exodus Flagging; in addition to being a photographer every single year. Some say he is just an obsessive collector of official-looking laminates to wear to high school reunions. Either way he spent time working for others ever since his first year at Burning Man in 2001.

One thought on “Meet the Builders of CORE: Interacting with the art

  • Wow, the CORE pieces have really stepped up, some of the coolest art I’ve seen out there. What a great aspect of the burn it’s become. These pics are a nice breath of dusty air while I sit at my desk working. Thanks!

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