Burningman 2007:

The Green Man


'Peering outward from behind a mottled screen of vines and leaves, the Green Man does not speak or sleep; he waits. His meaning and his origins are largely lost to time the Green Man wasn't named till 1939. We know, however, that this type of enigmatic figure was the work of artists, anonymous craftsman whose unsigned work adorns the crevices and walls of medieval cathedrals. This year we will appropriate the Green Man and the primeval spell he casts on our imaginations for a modern purpose. Our theme concerns humanity's relationship to nature. Do we, as conscious beings, exist outside of nature's sway, or does its force impel us and inform the central root of who and what we are?'
The theme of Burning Man 2007: 'The Green Man' has brought me very few inspirations. I've got a couple projects that I'm working on, but the only themed ideas are for contrary concepts. This will be the first year in 9 years of art that I won't be placing an art piece on the open playa.


1. Global Warming

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Because I have a thing for spheres of all sizes and materials, when I heard an idea from Matt Nanyt (a fellow silicon valley burner), I co-opted it.

The basic idea was to make a ball of wood and then roll it from camp to camp on the playa and ask people to add a scrap of wood so that the ball continues to grow like a snowball. (Native Californians may need a translator here.) Eventually, the now huge ball would be rolled into the Man-fire at the end of the week, much to the delight of the crowd.

Ball prototypes

Little things disappear on the playa, so for this to be much fun, it needs to be a BIG ball, but a big ball of solid wood would be very heavy. Being heavy wouldn't be much of an issue with the many people on the playa to help push it, but it IS an issue if it becomes impossible to attach the next piece of wood securely enough to stay attached to the whole when it is the one bottom piece in contact with the desert floor and a ton of wood is pressing down on it.

Instead, I'm currently thinking about making a mostly hollow wooden ball that may be as big as 8' in diameter that people can insert wood INTO or perhaps write upon or maybe attach little magnesium tags (with stamped in messages) to the surface.

Now a couple days later, I've decided that the ball will definitely be a globe (as of today in early May), and since I want to burn it, the project just got a name-Global Warming.

Back in 2003, I brought an 8' diameter fiberglass globe to the playa and constantly had to explain that I was not going to burn it. This globe I CAN burn. Also in '03, I bought a bunch of cheap chinese globe keychains to give out to folks who visited the piece. Kinda cheezy gifts, but ever since I find the random burner who is still carrying it with them, and others who remember me from those keychains. (It may be time to contact my chinese friends again.) I'm thinking that attaching a chain and keyring to the ball might be the way to go...

2. Glade® Plug-In® Labyrinth

Smell the freshness of the Great Out-of-Doors!

Imagine a 50KW generator powering over 10,000 Glade® Plug-In® air fresheners arranged into a maze of fresh smelling corredors. (Images coming soon)

3. Leaflet Airdrop

Since this is likely to be a preachy sort of theme with everyone jumping on the environmental bandwagon, I figured I'd like to do some preaching of my own. Imagine a mail drop of 1,000,000 fliers on our fair city with the following message: