BURN IN THE FOREST 2017
EFFIGY PROPOSAL KINETESTHESIA

Kinetics is the science of movement. The suffix “-esthesia” relates to sense or feeling. Kinetesthesia is the sense or feeling of movement. We created this word.

By Tango
and
Dayna “The Mixtress”

Introduction

Kinetesthesia will be a 24 ft tall kinetic sculpture made of wood. It will be 12 sided and have six rows of panels with cut out designs. The top four rows of panels will be hinged at the bottom and will be connected to eccentric wheels by wooden spokes. As the wheels turn, they cause the panels to open and close in succession, with a very smooth and flowing motion. Each of the four rows will be independently controlled by a computer, which will allow for patterns of sweeping motions to programmed and controlled. This will create the illusion that the tower is wobbling and pulsing.
Four doorways will allow participants to enter the structure and view the movement from the inside. Looking straight up from inside the structure will show four layers of 12 spokes moving, sometimes independently and sometimes in sync.
At night, the sculpture will be lit from the inside pointing out which will cast dancing shadows on the ground all around it. Lighting will also point straight down which will cast shadows of the four layers of 12 spokes onto the floor.
There will be four fire poofers at the top of the structure that will be fired as part of the computer controlled patterns of rotation.
Please see the attached photographs of the model. We will also have the model at the presentation.

The Team

The team co-leads are Dayna and Tango.

Dayna has been an artist for most of her life. Her many means of artistic expression include drawing, painting, sculpture, jewelry, sewing, costuming, cosplay, and haberdashery.
Dayna works as a colour match specialist at a commercial/industrial paint store. She has an exceptional eye for colour and aesthetics.
Dayna was co-lead with Tango in the building of the following BitF effigies:

  • 2016 “Incendimus the Dragon”
  • 2015 “Templo de la Luna”
  • 2014 “Platonic Love”
  • 2013 “The Organizer”

She was primarily responsible for the artistic design and the painting of the projects and she was involved in all phases of the design and build.

Tango has been an active participant at Burning Man and regional Burner events and parties since 2003.
Tango’s main occupation is operating a residential renovation business. He is skilled in virtually all aspects of construction and renovations, including structural design, framing, painting, plumbing, electrical, drywall, tile, etc. He owns all tools required for construction projects. Tango has managed renovation contracts exceeding $60,000. His education background includes a diploma in Civil Engineering Technology from BCIT.
Our design for the 2017 BitF effigy was chosen by the community. Incendimus the Dragon was a 20 ft tall, fire breathing dragon, with a motion-tracking, animatronic head. The design and build of this project pushed the limits of what we thought possible for a wooden sculpture that was built to be burned. The head had movement in three planes as well as a jaw that opened and closed. The dragon breathed fire and had glowing eyes. The movement of the beast was controlled by a smartphone interface that was designed in-house. It also had an automatic mode in which it would react to and follow the movement of people walking up to the sculpture. The burn went smoothly and the whole project was very well-received by the community.
The community chose our proposal to build the 2015 BitF effigy, Templo de la Luna (Temple of the Moon). This structure was a 20 ft tall temple, designed to appear to have risen out of the ground in the moonlight. There was a star projector inside to add to its etheric qualities. It was a place of gathering and contemplation for the event participants. We received much positive feedback about the temple. The project was designed and executed exactly as we had planned, including its transportability and ease of assembly.

The structure was not burned due to a fire ban. It was dismantled and graciously taken by the Portland, OR, burner community. The structure was incorporated into the temple for their regional event and it was burned in May 2016.
Our proposal to build the 2014 BitF Effigy was accepted by the community. Although, it was by acclamation since there were no other proposals. Platonic Love was a 17′ tall geometric structure based on Plato’s “perfect solids”. The structure had an interactive lighting display that could be controlled by participants. The project was built and burned very successfully. The project was well-received by the event participants and it actually inspired one participant to get a tattoo based on the design of the Platonic Love structure.
The community chose our proposal to build the 2013 BitF effigy, The Organizer. This was an 18’ tall stylized pipe organ. The project was built on time and on budget. The project was well-received by the event participants. Unfortunately, it was not burned due to a fire ban.
Tango received much positive feedback and accolades for the 2012 BitF effigy, Fungus Humongous, the 20’ tall stylized mushroom. The project was designed and executed without a problem. The structure was not designed to be moved. However, it was readily moved twice to evade the rising river. The mobility of the structure was an unexpected side benefit.
Tango was half of the design team and the primary builder of the clock face for the 2011 Vancouver CORE effigy, which was taken to and burned at Burning Man.
Matt Beaton will provide computer programming for the project. He did the programming for Incendimus the Dragon. He is also half of the team responsible for the Venus Raver Trap art vehicle.

Construction

Kinetesthesia will be 24 feet tall, 10 feet wide at the base, and 4 ft wide at the top. The structure will have a wooden floor. The design utilizes readily available building materials, such as 2X4s, plywood, screws, hinges, and bolts.
The components of the structure will be fabricated and painted prior to transport. The structure will be assembled and erected on site. We have all of the tools and ladders necessary to assemble the structure.
Advance preparation of the components will be handled by our main team and one or two other volunteers. We have a large facility available to us for the construction of the components. Pre-construction will take place on weekends during the eight weeks preceding BitF.

We expect to need the assistance of two or three people for a total of about six to eight hours to assemble and erect the structure on site. We will not require skilled volunteers although volunteers who are comfortable on ladders would be helpful.
Kinetesthesia will require continual access to the event power grid, as in previous years. The sound design will run 24 hrs/day and the lighting design to run from dusk until dawn.

Sound Design

The effigy will have a small sound system consisting of an iPod and computer speakers. It will be playing at low volume at all times.
All sound components will be easily removable for when the structure is burned.

Lighting Design

Kinetesthesia will have spot lighting on the inside pointing out. These will be controlled by the computer. The lights will cast shadows though the designs cut out of the moving panels. There will also be spot lights pointing down to cast shadows of the spokes onto the floor.
Some of the components purchased for the effigies from previous years will be utilized in the lighting design this year.
All lighting components will be easily removable for when the structure is burned.

Kinetics Design

The four levels of rotating wheels that move the panels will be moved using electric motors controlled by a computer.
Some of the components purchased for the effigies from previous years will be utilized in the kinetics design this year.
The components will be easily removable for when the structure is burned.

Fire Effects Design

There will be three fire poofers at the top of the sculpture. These will also be controlled by the computer. The fire poofers will only operate while the project is under direct control by authorized personnel.
We understand that all fire effects must be approved by the BitF Fire Lead.

Fire Design

The interior of the structure will be coated with beeswax to provide waterproofness and improve flammability. The interior of the structure will be loaded with firewood when it is being prepared for burning.
Water-tight wooden boxes will be fabricated to contain gasoline at strategic locations in the structure. The lids of the boxes will contain the vapours to eliminate flash-fire risks. As the boxes burn, the gasoline will be released. This system worked very well during the burning of the 2014 and 2016 effigies.
In preparation for burning, some key structural points will be weakened to encourage the structure to collapse faster and to collapse in on itself.
Naturally, all aspects of the fire design must be approved by the BitF Fire Lead.

Safety

We understand the importance of using materials that have low toxicity and low environmental impact. The exterior of the structure will be painted with a light wash of water-based paint. One of the serious issues with past effigies (excluding the past five years) is having it get wet from rain and then not burning. The exterior surfaces will be painted for aesthetic appeal and protection from the weather.
The design of the base of the structure will be simple and stable. Minimal excavation will be required. It would only be for levelling the structure. There should be no issues with the structure falling over due to wind loading.
We are reasonably confident that the design of the structure will discourage it being climbed by over-enthusiastic event participants. It will be difficult to climb and will, therefore, reduce the likelihood of injuries from participants falling off. All work during assembly will be accessed by ladders.

Leave No Trace

Due to the simple wood construction of the structure, clean-up should be limited to screws and bolts. There may also be a few unburned pieces of wood. Clean-up should only require a few volunteers for a couple of hours to pick up the debris.
If the structure is not burned due to a fire ban, it will be dismantled and likely disposed of and/or recycled back in Vancouver.

Budget

This is the estimated budget:

  • Lumber $1320
  • Fasteners $230
  • Lighting $90
  • Electronics $510
  • Fire Effects $300
  • Paint $60
  • Miscellaneous $100
  • Total $2610

Our anticipated budget exceeds the available funds for the project. We will seek alternative funding for the project or we may self-fund. Or we may have to prioritize aspects of the project e.g. eliminate the fire poofers.

Conclusion

We think that Kinetesthesia will be a beautiful and mesmerizing effigy for BitF 2017. The design, lighting, and movement will likely make it appealing to the Burning Man community, both during the day and at night.
The effigy will be an attractive meeting place for the participants. The lighting design and the fire effects design will provide a delightful sensory experience, both inside and from afar.