The Bay Lights, artist rendering
Internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal has been attending Burning Man continuously since 1994 … in fact, he got his start creating LED and illuminated sculptures for the playa, and is a founder of Disorient. He’s gone on to have his light sculpture and installations presented at museums around the world, including the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. Today, Leo sits on the Burning Man Project Board of Directors and The Black Rock Arts Foundation Advisory Board.
We’re excited to tell you about Leo’s next (and most ambitious) project …
The Bay Bridge, which links San Francisco and Oakland, celebrates its 75th Diamond Anniversary in 2012. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, Leo will create an installation that will turn the bridge into a light sculpture of epic proportions: The Bay Lights Project.
The plan is for Leo and his team to secure arrays of 25,000 energy-efficient white LED lights to the vertical cables of the west span of the bridge, and create elaborate computer-controlled light animations to delight visitors and locals alike.
This amazing sculpture will be in place for two years, including during the America’s Cup yacht races, which are slated to draw an unprecedentedly large international audience to the Bay Area — and we fully support such a grand opportunity to show off San Francisco as a world-class city for the arts.
To learn more and see a video simulation of the project in action, visit www.thebaylights.org. To support the project, please visit www.causes.com/thebaylights.
Leo Villareal's Fine Art
Burning Man 2011 Ticket
If you were among those who purchased Burning Man tickets since they went on sale on January 19th, you’ve likely gotten your ticket to paradise in the mail already, or are about to.
We thought you’d be interested to know a little about this year’s ticket designer. Andrew Jones is a long-time Burner, professional artist and cultural instigator from the Bay Area who constantly innovates his craft and pushes the boundaries between technology and art. He’s passionate about sharing his gifts with his community.
Unlike some digital artists, Andrew uses technology as an accelerator for his visions, rather than a crutch for his limitations. He uses Photoshop, Painter and a Wacom tablet as effortlessly as the rest of us use our hands, and he uses them to incredible effect, manifesting stunning compositions of visual stream-of-consciousness, seamlessly mixing sweeping gestures with intensive detail and powerful imagery.
Andrew chose to have this year’s ticket image tell the story of Burning Man as a rite of passage. It’s the story each of us experiences as Burning Man makes its indelible mark on our lives. When you get your ticket, take a close look at the detail therein … it’s pretty amazing.
To see more of Andrew’s work, and to learn about his incredible Phadroid live painting performances, visit his website.
If you Build It…
The ethos of the Burning Man community continues to spread far beyond the orange trash fence of Black Rock City. From coast to coast and out into the far reaches of cyberspace, Burners are creating the conditions for communal effort, radical self-expression, and public art.
Part 1: Asbury Park, New Jersey
"Momento Mori" in Asbury Park, NJ Photo by Marah Fellicce
Since back in the Spring, New Jersey Regional Contact Marah Fellicce has been participating in an interactive art piece she calls “Memento Mori.” On a vacant condo lot amidst the suburban sprawl of Asbury Park, New Jersey, Marah uses wood pilings as the base for large fabric wrappings. Marah says the pilings were drilled into the ground in 2005 on what was to be the site of a new complex but the pilings have remained unused as construction has yet to begin on the lot. The first pieces Marah created were a part of “Sculptoure,” an annual outdoor urban sculpture exhibition presented by The Shore Institute for Contemporary Arts. The art work has continued to evolve since the May exhibition and has taken on a life of its own.
Superman, flamingos, and tikis, oh my! Photo by Ruby Re-Usable
Over the past several months, Marah has added elements to the football-sized art piece and has held space for others to participate in creating “Memento Mori.” A local grafitti artist was inspired to contribute and painted bright tiki faces on many of the pilings. Reflecting the idea of constant change inherent in this temporary sculpture, passersby also rearrange rocks and leave contributions such as a prom dress with colored stencils, pink flamingos, a brightly colored Superman bust, and other found objects that become part of the artful display.The lot has become a place for locals to express themselves and the eclecticism of the project inspires conversations. A writer known online as “Wizard 343” from the website Weird New Jersey happened upon Marah’s work and, after talking with Marah, wrote a lovely article on the artwork, on Marah’s creative process and on how Marah relates her art to the Burning Man principles. For photos and a great story, visit http://tinyurl.com/marahnj.
As an artist who has been creating work to display at the dust fest for well over a decade, I am fascinated by the process of playa art making. You might not know this but it is truly a unique process which you will not find replicated in the Artworld (captial A artworld). My Black Rock City artmaking process has been something like this: initial inspiration happens; next, the evolution of the conceptual framework; followed by the process of translating that idea into a proposal (well, most of us do this; Michael Christian doodles on a napkin, but he’s charming and produces provocative work, so he is a special case); then comes the obsessive build, build, build time, and finally struggling with the complications of the desert to install your work. All of this is done within a six month time frame.
I have been curious how other BRC artists approach their work; what they are inspired by and how they face the challenges of building art on our desert platform. So to fulfill my own curiosity and to give you some insight, I am randomly interviewing a few of this year’s Honorarium artists for your reading pleasure.
Project website: http://roxmund.carbonmade.com/projects/2002380
Jess Hobbs: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What might be pertinent to know about the creator of “Bio*tanical Garden”?
Rox Scapini: I’m an artist and I have been making sculptures for 16 years. Sculpture is my favorite form of art because it gives me the possibility of bringing my imaginary world into reality. Sculpture for me is not about materials but physical presence in space. My style is figurative but not realistic, and my sculptures represent something that “might” exist in this world. I have a strong fascination of cyberpunk literature (HR Giger is the artist that most influenced me, indeed) and a cynical view of our world.
JH: Have you produced work for Burning Man before? If not, what work has affected you the most?
Read more »