This year will be my first burn, and I am thinking about creating at least one temporary spiral on the playa surface. For this project, I will need: A rake A length of rope or string several hundred feet long (with flags tied on at intervals for visibility) A spool (a 24" or larger sono tube to be either temporarily staked down or held down by an assistant) A volunteer or two.
I would unspool all the line, tie the end to the side of the rake, and keeping the line taut, rake my way back to the center. With a 2 ft. diameter spool, each full revolution would bring me about six feet closer. This would be best seen from a viewing platform vantage point, like the one that will be on Anubis.
The questions I have about this project are: Is it okay to lightly rake the playa? Is playa fairly easy to rake? Will I have to register and get placement for something that may only exist for a few hours?
I understand that wind, weather, and traffic will quickly reclaim the spiral back to the dust of which it is made. I chose this for a first year project for its ease of transport, interactivity, and temporality. It's also something that won't cost much money, and if I, or the weather are not cooperative, no big deal. I think it would be fun spending a few hours making something huge, but extremely temporary. I'm sure something like this has been done, if you have any pictures I'd love to see them.
Information, including guidelines, can be found here.
The BRC playa, however, isn't a beach. There are occasional dunes made up of very fine dust (about the consistency of flour), but they're spotty and depend completely on weather and wind conditions. Last year was probably the best weather ever, and even then such a project would only have lasted a few hours on a few days of the week. Be prepared for conditions where you wouldn't be able to see the results of your labors after just a few steps.
Don't let that deter you, though. Be prepared, and don't let it ruin your burn if we end up with a year that's as dusty as that all week. Then you and your team can rush out to create anew when the weather breaks.
Thanks for the advice. I will have to scope out a fairly soft spot in a good location. I like the garden weasel suggestion too. Maybe a wide one with lots of weight would work to be able to do it in a single pass. I also have the option of making it as large or small as I feel I can finish. Maybe start with a 100 footer, if that goes well then try for 200 and so on. The impermanence of the piece is okay by me. If it's able to last a few hours, and be seen and enjoyed by some people, then that is more than I could expect. If I finish it and it is immediately consumed by a playa dust devil, then that is fine too. So it goes.. As we get closer to the event, I will contact the Artery for any more info I may need, and to let them know what I plan to do
Registration for art projects is actually open now and runs through mid-June. And from what I understand, the ARTery guys are great to work with plus you get the benefit of your project being listed in the guide (if you so choose) and having some kind of reserved placement on the open playa.
I'm abandoning this project for the year. I will be far too busy with the build lead position on the CORE project to take on too much extra. I do need a few days on playa to just explore and roam. If anyone thinks this is a good idea, feel free to do it!
Yeah, after conference calls with the BORG yesterday, I now know I will be busy from Wednesday before the event until after burn cleanup Friday at noon. A lot of that will just be docent duties, and I'm totally looking forward to talking to people about our art. So glad I got hooked up with the CORE crew