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Raygun Gothic Rocketship

August 6, 2010 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Black Rock Arts Foundation is proud to collaborate with artists Sean Orlando, Nathaniel Taylor, David Shulman, and their talented crew (FiveTonCrane.org) on the installation of the iconic, large-scale sculpture, The Raygun Gothic Rocketship at Pier 14 on San Francisco’s waterfront.  We held an opening reception for the work on August 6th, 2010.  The Piece is scheduled to remain on display through September, 2012. 40 feet tall, The Raygun Gothic Rocketship offers a retro-futuristic, highly-stylized vision of space travel circa 1930’3-1940’s science fiction and is the latest in a series of temporary public art exhibitions sponsored by BRAF with the aim of enlivening and activating public spaces.

The Ragun Gothic Rocketship at Pier 14. Photo by David Yu

The Ragun Gothic Rocketship at Pier 14. Photo by David Yu

Thank you to this project’s sponsors and supporters!

Deg Logo

Paul and April Buchheit

Rachel and Loren Carpenter

Freddy and Helvetica Hahne

The Rock Paper Scissors Foundation

Chad and Drea Lester

The Edwards Family Fund

Steven and Jennifer Schimmel

Michael Raneri

Philip Rosedale

The installation first landed at Burning Man 2009, and has subsequently appeared at NASA Ames for Yuri’s Night, and at Maker Faire. The piece is comprised of a single rocketship, poised as if to board passengers for a typical run to a nearby stellar destination. When installed in San Francisco, the sculpture will be accompanied by a descriptive exhibit, in the form of a “rocket stop”, which tells the story of the rocketship, provides route, schedule and other information. The installation will be illuminated for nighttime viewing.

BRAF expects to exhibit the Raygun Gothic Rocketship for fourteen months at Pier 14, adjacent to the Ferry Building on the San Francisco waterfront. The display is funded in part by a $15,000 grant from the San Francisco Port Commission. BRAF and the artists have initiated a public fundraising campaign to raise the remaining $45,000 needed for the project.

Help BRAF continue to bring outstanding public art to San Francisco and the world!

“I believe the Raygun Gothic Rocket team uniquely captured the emotion and wonderment each kid has felt with space travel at some time in their childhood. In fact, their creation stirs the child in each of us as we remember those emotions and why we feel that continued support for developing advanced technologies that push the boundaries of human knowledge and capability is essential.

I applaud the team for tapping that emotion in a unique and creative way. I believe it has the potential to make a personal and significant impact to each who encounter it.”

Joel Walker
Director, Center Operations
NASA Johnson Space Center
Chairman of the Board, Space Center Houston

About the Artists

David Shulman’s fabrication experience began with wooden furniture & soap box derby cars built with his father, and has expanded to include everything from electric vehicles to rocketships, on scales large and small – but always with friends. www.dbshulman.com

Sean Orlando has been tinkering and inventing for as long as he can remember. He says that creating three dimensional artworks resonates more than any of the other art practices he’s tried; the engineering challenges, collaborative creative process and immersive potential of large-scale installations have allowed him to explore a whole new level of art making… with friends.www.engineeredartworks.com

Nathaniel Taylor was born with a tool in his hands. He is the Chief Operating Officer and creative mind behind Radio Robot, has worked at The Exploratorium in San Francisco, and appeared on television. www.radiorobot.com

Five Ton Crane (5TC) is a diverse group of artists and inventors from the San Francisco Bay Area, most of whom collaborated with the larger Raygun Gothic Rocketship crew to create the Rocketship. The name implies the intention: 5TC does the heavy lifting that the individual artist couldn’t do on their own; by pooling resources, interests and talent to create opportunities for bigger, better and bolder Art. From giant projects like the Raygun Gothic Rocketship to individual blogging, group shows and private, client-based work… there is no job too big or too small that Five Ton Crane can’t lift to great heights.  www.fivetoncrane.org

To read more about the Raygun Gothic Rocketship’s history and the crew that created it, visit www.raygungothicrocket.com


Degenkolb Engineers and Leslie Pritchett Public Art Consulting are also providing invaluable administrative and technical support to make this project a reality.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation extends warm thanks to the following supporters of this project.
  • Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation
  • San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund; Grants for the Arts


August 6, 2010
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Pier 14, San Francisco Waterfront
Pier 14, San Francisco, CA United States
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Raygun Gothic Rocketship Crew