Burning Man 2023 "Animalia" 

Art Installations

RAT Technical Advisors mentored and assisted about twenty-eight artists and four theme camps in powering their art installations with renewable energy

Andas by Susannah Weinholt

RAT Technical Advisors: Doug Hanson and Bruce Cooper 

Click above to view the video.

Video above by Susannah Weinholt

Andas, meaning breathe in Swedish, is a delightful luminescent turtle with a sensory deprivation room representing its heart, located underneath its shell. Andas aim to bring a sense of otherworldliness yet serenity, while also cast light on our carbon footprint by its solar powered fulcrum.

“Big Spinning Wheel” by Josh Cohen:

RAT Technical Advisors: Steven Queen, Sara Pugh, Andy Flint and Kim Cairns 

Photos above by Josh Cohen

Simple, yet complex! "Big Spinning Wheels" are not for the faint, but rather the open of heart. From near or far, these kinetic sculptures evoke a secret and sacred tantalizing beauty. Placed at the bounds of BRC and the edge of reality ... patience is a virtue.

"Cactus of Life. A Mirror of truth. Awaken your true self" by David Lombrozo, Tania Ordoñez, Pablo Fernandez and Humberto Wong

RAT Technical Advisor: Bruce Cooper

Photo above by David Lombrozo, Tania Ordoñez, Pablo Fernandez and Humberto Wong

Cactus of Life is a sculptural piece that offers a glimpse inside of oneself. The Mexican traditional Tree of Life and the iconic cactus come together as one. Here all are welcome to see themselves as they are, no prejudice. By doing so, all can share a better version of their self with the world.

The first symbol comes from the Mexican artisan tradition of the “Tree of Life.” Made of clay, this tree is adorned with many figures related to different themes such as the sun and the moon.

The second symbol is a cactus, the desert plant that survives harsh conditions and welcomes all beings who come to find life. Cacti also contain psychedelic properties that help the recipient to see inside themselves.

 “Delata” by Lynn Bryant 

RAT Technical Advisors: Huggy and Sheepy

Invited artists will create their own character illuminated 'parol-heads' touching on the theme of creatures known as Sigbin, from the Philippines. Inside each head is a diorama world to peek into from behind.

DELATA is a word for canned food in the Philippines, the container delivering the contents of protected and sealed 'food' inside. Islands adopted canned food after its introduction in World War II and because of being an import was considered 'prestigious' to eat.

Canned food today can denote the lack of fresh grown produce and loss of basic farming knowledge.

DELATA is itself, mobile art gallery delivering art content.

"Dopamine Molecule" by Lynn Strybosch

RAT Technical Advisor: Bruce Cooper

Photo above by Lynn Strbosch

This large scale replica of the dopamine molecule is a visual representation of the role and impact of dopamine in our lives.

“Duck, Duck, Gaggle” by   Meghan Rimelspach

RAT Technical Advisors: Huggy, Giuseppe Cimmino and Sheepy

Photo above by Megan Rimelspach

Duck, Duck, Gaggle is a circular bench with a gaggle of whimsically dressed geese sculptures that invites participants to rest, commune, preen, or play a game of duck, duck, goose. Geese are social creatures and this piece is meant to support connections. It is an invitation to turn inwards, or to play and run outwards. 

 Six colorful geese sculptures, semi realistic in shape, 1:1 scale are perched on a circular wooden bench facing inward. The orientation of the geese will draw participants into the middle. There is space between each goose for humans or other members of animalia to sit and rest, commune, preen or play a rousing game of duck duck goose. The geese sculptures will be wearing handmade cloth outfits that are changed throughout the week to create added visual interest.

“Flamin-go with Love” by Fiona Aboud 

RAT Technical Advisors: Huggy, Andy Flint, Kim Cairns and Sheepy

Photos above by Fiona Aboud

"Flamin-go with Love" is a project born out of the serendipity of human love that I have experienced during burning man.  The flamingo has been a symbol of spreading love and spontaneous community building.  This piece is a celebration of the love that burners gift throughout the world.  

"Infiniswing" by Sharón Chandally Pedrini

RAT Technical Advisors: Bruce Cooper

 Photos above by Sharón Chandally Pedrini

The Infiniswing is a face-to-face swing framed by a double twisted Möbius loop. By allowing participants to move together, the piece creates the conditions for spontaneous communication and play. Part swing, part upside down see-saw, the Infiniswing is a single, unified structure, but one that can only be propelled when at least two participants consciously choose to sit on opposite sides of the swing and work/play together. The swing then becomes an experiment in creating cooperative motion.

“Ignus” by Jordie Laidlaw 

RAT Technical Advisors: Bob Wolff and Jay Heaman

 Photos above by Jordie Laidlaw

Ignus is a steel sunflower that blooms in flame in the desert. Two upstretched burning leaves illuminate the playa while the inverted flames of the pistil warm participants below.

The petal design chronicles the life of the sunflower growing and blooming only to wither, drop its seed and die. This is not the end, the seed is reborn in flame and the new sunflower grows to warm those in its presence.

The idea of Ignus was born from the feelings of hopelessness and sorrow experienced by the artist working in the ICU throughout the pandemic. Socializing around a fire was a core part of our species development and Ignus scratches that primeval itch.

"Los Animales de la Playa" by Scott Hadley

RAT Technical Advisors: Ken Rehor, Bruce Cooper and Bob Wolff

Marin County Fair Winners!

 Photos above by Scott Hadley

Los Animales de la Playa are a fun interactive expression of Oaxacan folk art. Each colorful animale, jaguar, armadillo, hawk and wart hog are designed to be ridden like a rocking horse.

"Museum of No Spectators" by John Marx and Absinthia Vermut

Renewable Energy by Wes Skinner

RAT Technical Advisors: Bruce Cooper and Ken Rehor

 Photos above by John Marx and Absinthia Vermut

Out in the dusty playa of Black Rock City lies a different kind of museum. As you approach this intriguing and mysterious building with its unusually shaped galleries, appearing part machine, part creature, part abstract and surrealistic form. It may appear as a blank slate, the letters spelling Museum of No Spectators hovering above. Its dynamic shapes appear otherworldly yet grounded. It is waiting for you to approach and become a part of it. MoNS encourages participants to enter through its Gifting Shop, where you will be assisted in making a gift before entering. The building guides you along, as a partially covered hallway leads you to galleries on either side, until you have spent time in all eight galleries.

"Mutopia" by Caroline Miller, The Flaming Lotus Girls

RAT Technical Advisors: Steven Queen, Sara Pugh, and Andy Flint

Photos above by The Flaming Lotus Girls

Mutopia has germinated and is evolving, creating an zone of growth, mystery and possibility. Starting as one strange Seedpod, each successive plant evolves as it matures and adapts, willfully incorporating features and forms of the plants, animals, and machines it interacts with in its surroundings.

Mutopia’s series of evolving plant beasts is an exploration of the evolution by mutation that underlies all life. It creates a fantastic space for all manner of playa creatures to play in. Embrace the joys of kinetic fire effects and scruffy tendrils. Did they think you were just a plant? They didn’t realize you are on a journey.

"My Body, My Home" by Ray Frost

RAT Technical Advisors: Huggy, Andy Flint, Kim Cairns and Sheepy

Photos above by Ray Frost

My Body, My Home is a larger than life coyote skeleton participants can climb inside. She represents resilience and survival – she lived through her worst traumas and died peacefully of old age. This project is meant to remind participants that they have all survived their worst traumas and offers them a place to leave a reminder of those traumas so they can let them go and move forward without them.

"Nosotres" by Brenden Darby, Simón Malvaez, Ollie Newth, Evan Connelly, Sergio Garrido-Ramirez, and Cruz Ramirez

RAT Technical Advisor: Bruce Cooper

Photos by the NOSOTRES team

NOSOTRES is a monument to the ancient history of the queer community. Standing at 50′ tall with depictions of nonbinary faces and Mictlan (The Aztec Underworld) this evolution of our 2022 Burning Man Piece, THEM, Serves as a reminder that queer people have been here since the beginning of time. Queerness represents our past, present and future and we honor the many deaths of our past selves that help us move forward.

"Ourcelium" by Josh Olson

RAT Technical Advisors: Bob Wolff and Bruce Cooper

Photo above by Josh Olson

Ourcelium is a light and music instrument in the form of a mushroom fairy ring. Gently touching the pads on the mushroom caps produces sound and light that multiple people can play together.

Like mushrooms, we all are linked by unseen connections. As below, so above. We are one, and I love you.

"Portal" by Yoon Son

RAT Technical Advisor: Doug Hanson

Click on the image to view the video.

Photos and video by Yoon Son

Transporting the user to take a moment and be immersed in a surreal dream space of magic, motion, colors, and the discovery of one's light.  A journey into one's self. The many realms that we walk in physically and mentally. The endless possibilities of a Portal.

"Sanctuaria Oasis" by Cecilia Pagkalinawan and the Sanctuaria Regenerative Art and Architecture Collective

RAT Technical Advisors: Huggy, Ken Rehor, Bruce Cooper and Sheepy

Photos by Cecilia Pagkalinawan

Sanctuaria Oasis is a haven and sanctuary for all Animalia and inhabitants of Black Rock City. The structure emulates the aesthetic of a cave though with a modern architecture exterior inspired by a crystal cave. Sanctuaria is a refuge from the harsh elements of the playa, from scorching heat and blistering dust storms. Within the safety of Sanctuaria, Animalia can contemplate, feel, and heal.

Sanctuaria is a solar powered art installation and its accompanying oasis will be powered 100% with renewable energy. Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) tiles will be used to construct part of the cave facade. The structure is built with sustainable materials including timber from trees which have been killed by recent droughts and wildfires.

"Temple of the Heart" by Ela Madej and Reed Finlay

Renewable Power by Starchild and the Solar Power Team

RAT Technical Advisors: Ken Rehor, Bruce Cooper, Huggy and Bob Wolff

A very tired RAT leader and Technical Advisor Ken Rehor shows how the solar power system the RAT assisted with designing and building powered the Temple of the Heart.

Photo by Scott London

Photos above by Rand Larson

Temple of the Heart is the official 2023 Burning Man Temple. She’s a vessel for reconnecting with our hearts and a space for communal healing. Holding space for anyone processing grief, She helps channel it up to the sky. Through flowers, Eastern European lacing, and warm feminine energy, She induces the feelings of maternal love, acceptance, and protection.

“Trust" by Paige Tashner

RAT Technical Advisors: Steven Queen, Sara Pugh and Andy Justice

“Trust" artist Paige Tashner discusses working with RAT mentors and how they have helped Paige with designing the renewable energy system that will power "Trust" at Burning Man 2023. 

You can support Paige in making "Trust" happen by donating to her art project fundraiser.

When a cat shows you her butt, she absolutely trusts you. She’s like, “Here! You’re my human and I feel good about it.” And it’s funny!

Trust is a circle of 5 large, metal, cat sculptures with their butts and tails in the air, buttholes facing inward. Each butthole is decorated differently.

Within the circle of cats, participants will find a scratching post themed podium with a binder of laminated pages of trust exercises. People can explore and interact with each other inside the “ring of trust.”

Trust provides comic relief to help people let down their guard and, hopefully, feel safe to trust themselves and other people they encounter within the ring.

Photos by Paige Tashner

"The Ursas" by Jen Lewin

RAT Technical Advisor: Bruce Cooper and Ken Rehor

Photo by Matt Emmi

Named after the constellations Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, The Ursas features two towering polar bears. In 2022, Ursa Minor, a 13-foot tall sculpture debuted on playa. Inspired by Polaris, the work’s glowing and multi-paneled infinity-mirrored body reminds us to “Look Up.”

In 2023 Ursa Minor will return, but this time with her big sister. Standing over three stories tall, Ursa Major’s hollow body is filled with glowing infinity mirrors, each reflecting mosaic drawings of extinct animals from the past 12 months.

The pair, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, stand in solidarity.

Ursa Minor in hope, looking up.

Ursa Major, as a cathedral and tomb, to species lost.

On Playa Drop-In Art Installations

Elder Mother by Charles A. Gadeken

Eternal Inquiring 

Expanse by Laurence Renzo Verbeck

Good Wasabi

Montek X100

Phoenix by Olexii Say

Wings of Glory by Adrian Landon

Unless otherwise noted the art installation descriptions, photographs and graphics are provided by the artists, the Burning Man Project and the RAT.