Posts in the shipyard

August 7th, 2009  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Environment, Technology

What would power look like if it was art?

The Shipyard has been home, storage or workspace for many Burning Man installations; Kiki Petit’s Eugiera, Nates Smiths first Fire Vortex, Ryon Gesink’s Eye Arch and Fuck Machine, Jim Mason’s Stockpuppets v2 and ICP, Jake Lyall’s Riot wheel, Borg 2, Liam McNamara’s ClocktowerNeverwas Haul, Lepidodgera by Rachel Norman, Mike Thielvoldt, Lira Filippini, and Jake Haskell.  Currently, projects for this year’s Burning Man, FishBug and Gee-Gnome, are busily being completed.  Non-Burning Man projects abounded here as well: Girlmark’s Jonny Appleseed processor, Kristies Flyer by Liam Mcnamara, Matt Synder, Peter Luka, Shannon O’Hare and Kimric Smythe, Exxon Valdez Disaster, the Peef-O-Matic powertainer off-grid solar biodiesel 3 phase power system, Destroy the Universe 4 and 2, Dan Goldwater’s Monkeylectric Project, Osseus Labyrint’s Modern Promethius performance (developed here), Barbara Kruse’s Firebirdees built as part of Therm and the Escape From Berkeley (by any non-petroleum means necessary) road rally.

Egeria by Kiki Pettit photo by meuon

Egeria by Kiki Pettit photo by meuon

Clockworks by Liam McNamara and crew photo by Gabe Kirchheimer

Clockworks by Liam McNamara and crew photo by Gabe Kirchheimer

Eye Archway by Ryon Gesink Photo by Mike Woolson

Eye Archway by Ryon Gesink Photo by Mike Woolson

In the beginning of its life, The Shipyard confounded the logic of proper Berkeley Building Department etiquette, by falling in love with the flexibility and durability of the Shipping Container.  Unfortunately, in Berkeley’s eyes, the shipping containers the artists favored as architecture were not considered proper building material.  This innocent misunderstanding prompted the city to turn off power to the facility.  Berkeley being in the dark as to the renegade gang that occupied The Shipyard, did not realize the avalanche of creativity and power hacking they instigated by pulling the plug.  The artists, scientists, gearheads and junkyard enthusiasts, promptly started making their own power and ran the facility off grid for five years.

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