The Floating Man Project: Building an Isolation Tank

The Floating Man Project: Building an Isolation Tank

Postby envisionary » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:43 am

Greetings fellow Burners!

I am beyond thrilled to finally be attending Burning Man for the first time this year, and despite being a newbie, I have a special project in mind that I would love to contribute. Myself and a small team of friends are aspiring to construct an isolation tank (aka float tank, sensory deprivation tank) on the playa, so that we can share the experience of floating with the people of Black Rock City. I have been a float fanatic for a couple years now, and consider it to be the most relaxing experience one can possibly have! It is also a sanctuary for reflection, contemplation, and rejuvenation, that would complement the harshness and sensory overload of the desert. To the best of my knowledge, this has never been done before on the playa.

Our small team is super lucky to have the guys of Float On helping us out. Float On is the largest float center on the West Coast, located in Portland, OR. With 4 tanks in full service, they know what they are doing! Several of them are experienced Burners as well. Their website is http://www.floathq.com if you are interested in learning more about them and floating in general.

The biggest obstacle we are facing right now is getting clearance from the Burning Man organization on our plans. We are aware that no public showers or pools are permitted, yet our plans do not quite fit either description. In addition, it would only be servicing a small group of people, 100 at most, on a selective, single-serve basis. All of our water and gear will be transporting in and out by us. The tank itself would be contained within the back of a large moving van, and the water would be filtered and kept clear, abiding by the Nevada State Health specifications.

We would very much appreciate any advice or ideas on our project. Though we have a fairly good idea of how to construct the tank, we want to be absolutely sure we stay within the guidelines and spirit of Burning Man.

Here is our Facebook page if you are interested in learning more: http://www.facebook.com/FloatingManProject. Once we have word that we can move forward, we will set up a Kickstarter page as well. Thanks and cheers!! =)

-Michelle
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:12 am

I've tried float tanks before; interesting experience. Something fun to share! Good luck!
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Postby lucky420 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:29 am

I've always wanted to try one. Good luck hope you make it.
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float tank?

Postby hancockjonathan » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:54 pm

whats a float tank. Can i lie down in a body of water surrounded by a tank for an hour. How much time are you giving people? Is it user decided?
I would like to participate in this can i help in any way?
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:30 pm

That is pretty funny, sensory deprivation in a place that is 24/7 sensory overload. :D
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Postby envisionary » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:07 pm

hancockjonathan:
There's a good description of floating here: http://www.floathq.com/floating.html, especially the beginner's guide on the right. You pretty much lie in a pool of shallow water made super buoyant with a high percentage Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). This is all contained in a light-proof, ideally sound-proof room of sorts, usually 4' x 8' or so in diameter. Floats usually go for 60 or 90 minutes since that's enough to get you to the uber-relaxed, theta wave state towards the end.

We'd love your help, thanks for offering! We are hoping to have volunteers help keep watch over the float station for 4-hour shifts. Keep an eye on the facebook page and I will post any more news I can give you as we figure this out in more detail!

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Exactly!! :D I love the irony. What I think will be especially awesome, it how floating really intensifies every sensory experience when you emerge- every sight, smell, touch, feels like the first one! And in the sensory wonderdome that is Burning Man, this could be simply ecstatic! Not too mention, there's the awesome endorphin high. (Obviously I'm slightly addicted lol... ;)
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Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:46 pm

not exactly what you are doing, but this was pretty cool too, from 10 years ago...
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Postby envisionary » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:13 am

Hahahhaha! :lol: Looks like he was stuffed into a giant rubber glove, or perhaps an oversized condom?? That's freaking awesome.
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Postby AntiM » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:36 am

The survival guide does say pools and communal baths are not allowed. Perhaps a quick call to the BMORG and/or the Nevada Health Department would be useful for concrete information purposes. I could see the Health Department not getting on board with the idea if they classified the float tank as a pool.

From the Survival Guide:
WATER

Burning Man does not provide water. You must bring your own. Public pools and showers will not be permitted. Water for private use that entails full body contact or consumption must be "potable" and come from Nevada State Health Division approved water sources. If you have any questions, contact the Nevada State Health Division: (775) 687-7548.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:45 pm

The fact that it is part a performance piece, and not a public anything might help it squeek by.
Look at the Duck Ponds slip-n-slide as an example.
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Postby Bob » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:38 pm

As a member of a camp that helped initiate the ban on such watery installations in 1998, I wonder why you think you're more special.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:43 am

There is no such "ban' in place, regardless of the muddy mess that old couch helped make.

Submit the application, and good luck!
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Postby toaster » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:35 am

Cool... I wanna try
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Postby Bob » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:50 am

Public pools and showers will not be permitted. Water for private use that entails full body contact or consumption must be "potable" and come from Nevada State Health Division approved water sources. If you have any questions, contact the Nevada State Health Division: (775) 687-7548.

cite: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/safety.html
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Postby Bob » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:02 am

Nothing personal, just generally wonder why people think exceptions should be made just for them wrt public bathing, decorating with trees, gifting DPW everything they don't want to carry home, etc.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:51 pm

I wonder too. Do you suppose that it's the rabid egoism brought on by constant advertising?
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Postby oneeyeddick » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:40 pm

Bob wrote:Nothing personal, just generally wonder why people think exceptions should be made just for them wrt public bathing, decorating with trees, gifting DPW everything they don't want to carry home, etc.


Not public at all BOB, read the OP again, and quit being such and old raggedy couch, huh?

envisionary wrote:. We are aware that no public showers or pools are permitted, yet our plans do not quite fit either description. In addition, it would only be servicing a small group of people, 100 at most, on a selective, single-serve basis. All of our water and gear will be transporting in and out by us. and the water would be filtered and kept clear, abiding by the Nevada State Health specifications.
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Postby Bob » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:06 am

Alrighty then, an exception obviously should be granted, just for this project.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:22 am

There's a good couch.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:23 am

Bob wrote:
Public pools and showers will not be permitted. Water for private use that entails full body contact or consumption must be "potable" and come from Nevada State Health Division approved water sources. If you have any questions, contact the Nevada State Health Division: (775) 687-7548.

cite: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/safety.html


Does that rule out the carcass wash?

BTW, the water is normally doped with Epsom salts to allow the subject neutral buoyancy.
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Postby Bob » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:25 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Does that rule out the carcass wash?

BTW, the water is normally doped with Epsom salts to allow the subject neutral buoyancy.


Maybe the carcass wash has friends in the org, or found some loophole. Not sure what Epsom salts has to do with anything, makes as much sense as saying that playa mud has healing powers.

The health dept issues in 1998 included certifying the water source, sanitizing any container or hoses the water contacted in accordance with their requirements, testing to verify this, no reuse or human contact with used bathing water, etc. They threatened to shut the event down if our shower/mudbath and a few similar installations didn't cease spritzing people with water. Rather than put its own collective tit in the bureaucratic wringer, the org thereafter banned anything resembling public bathing, due to the huge hassle of taking responsibility for whatever stupid thing 50,000 participants might want to do.

Shirley, it's not impossible to do a public bathing installation in a way that satisfies the health dept. The org has staff showers on the playa, just like they have a commissary kitchen, coffee & ice sales, potable water service, and so on, all inspected by the health dept. Just saying that it looks a little unfair to make an exception of one project while denying others as a 'rule'.

Whatever.
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Postby graidawg » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:55 am

oneeyeddick wrote:not exactly what you are doing, but this was pretty cool too, from 10 years ago...
(I am in this video somewhere, can you see me?)


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB5GbruPeU4[/youtube]
i know its not relavant to this thread but if you watch the link above you can get to guns - n - gardens and episode 2 is filmed on the playa. its like my favorite things all together
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:00 pm

Wouldn't it be great to have a temporary autonomous zone where you could get away with things like this?
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Postby Lowz » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:52 am

yeah good idea a space for freedom ...
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:56 am

Lowz wrote:yeah good idea a space for freedom ...


It already exists, it's called Burning Man.

As long as the water and equiptment is up to par, even a public shower can happen there...properly disguised as art, of course.

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Postby Bob » Mon May 02, 2011 4:34 am

What the fuck ever.
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Postby katy potaty » Mon May 23, 2011 7:08 pm

So, what's the word on the flotation tank project?
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue May 24, 2011 4:51 pm

Here's what it's like.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbYT3UclhNY[/youtube]
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Postby steppingrazorr » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:59 pm

im surprised noone has mentioned the usage of these on the show Fringe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJIhngSp ... re=related
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:03 pm

did someone say fringe?


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