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The unconscious works in funny ways. While scrolling through the cable television guide strange things became attractive. Oh, this Animal Planet show looks interesting: a team of scientists dissect a python in Florida, intestines laid across a table, lungs asymmetrical in size to deal with the uneven world of swallowing prey larger then yourself. On another show, the patterns of a deer blend in with the randomness of brush and forest, brown and green, white and blinding light from above.
The responsibility of the surfacing team started to weigh heavier on my mind and was coming out in a scientific sense: more nature shows, special attention to the coloration of flora and fauna.
What would a sea creature
or colony in the middle of the desert look like? What types of attributes would the Playa ecosystem create for its denizens blending into the alkaline dust of the desert? The flounder and halibut use sand and color changing cells to hide in a sandy estuary floor. There's an abundance of fur, leather and feather and sonic communication at Burning Man. In the dark void of the its depths there's a need for bio-luminescence to attract (prey? friends?) and avoid getting run over by things like twenty-foot ghetto blasters.
All of these things are currently weighing in their importance as we prepare for the first seed pods to be built. This is the shell, the exoskeleton. For the surfacing team, it suddenly has to make sense in a symbiotic manner in its connection to the wood material, the land, the interior support structure.
Nothing like this has ever been built, and despite the fact that the teams have been as exact as could be in constructing the random aesthetic in metal and wood, I'm anxious (no, no panic allowed) because we're still in R & D mode. The warm temps that we had in late June are gone, so the glues holding together my experiments aren't drying very fast. Parts of the wood will be covered on the bottom side too, so on top of weather concerns like rain, wind and dust storms, we have to deal with gravity. And then there's the fact that it's being burned.
"Oh yeah, it's important that the burn is clean," said Don Cain, Burn team lead. "There's concern that if there's hangups when it burns that the metal structure could be weakened." The first priority becomes producing strength that will deal with weather and burn cleanly at the same time. The glues and paints have to be all organic (cornstarch and possibly rice flour) and our surface design, burlap covering with the jute fiber as vines or capillaries, must be detachable as the piece must be broken down for shipping. It's a lot to think about, but being surrounded by veteran builders/burners makes it easier.
post script: We are still behind on our budget with four
weeks to go before
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we build on Playa. Any support would be greatly appreciated!