Burning Man Art Fiscal Sponsorships

The Black Rock Arts Foundation is pleased to offer fiscal sponsorship to a select number of projects produced for exhibition at the Burning Man event in 2014. We hope that this pilot project will help Burning Man artists raise necessary funds for their art by enabling tax-deductible contributions to their projects.

The deadline to donate to 2014 projects has been extended 12 Midnight on Tuesday September 23rd.

Worthy projects are still underfunded! Donate now!


BRAF has been funding off-playa projects since 2001. As the original offspring non-profit organization of the Burning Man event, BRAF recognizes that the art projects shared at the Burning Man event meet and actualize BRAF’s mission to a high degree. BRAF was founded out of the sincere wish to support, in every way possible, artists who are breaking the traditional mold of public art, who are prioritizing community involvement, and sharing their art with their community in the spirit of generosity and service.

Read more about BRAF’s Fiscal Sponsorship program for Burning Man projects.

You can make a tax-deductible donation to any or all of these projects here, or by mailing a check to:

Black Rock Arts Foundation
660 Alabama St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Please make sure to note to which project you are contributing in the check memo an/or a letter enclosed with the check.

Read on for more information about all of the 2014 Fiscally Sponsored projects that need your support!

Temple of Grace
By David Best and the Temple Crew
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $93,500

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This year David Best and the Temple Crew return to the playa to build the Temple of Grace which will be in the traditional Best style that Burners have long embraced.  An exquisite structure featuring intricately cut wooden panels and detailed accents, it will be set in a walled-in courtyard that will also include several altars and will afford separate contemplative spaces for reflection and grieving.

Artist's rendering of the Temple of Grace

Artist’s rendering of the Temple of Grace

Each year the Temple is the emotional centerpiece of Burning Man.  It is a unique, special work of art given to the community and is a spiritual refuge where thousands gather, each to engage it in his or her own way.

The cherished tradition of the Temple needs your support.  All contributions will go directly to the building of the Temple.

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Between Dimensions
By Nathan Kandus
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $1,000

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Between Dimensions is a large scale interactive live video fractal generator bound for Burning Man. Utilizing concepts first outlined by James Crutchfield, Between Dimensions utilizes a camera to capture participants exploring and playing. These images run through analogue and digital feedback loops to create fractals which are manipulated by participants with a midi pad. These fractals are then projected onto 794 screens rear projections screens resting on two parallel 20 by 30 foot walls. The screens are laid out in the pattern of a Sierpinski Carpet, one of modern mathematics earliest fractals. The fractals can be seen on the outside of the screens and in the corridor between them, where one will be completely immersed in their own fractaline world.

Artist's renderings of Between Dimensions

Artist’s rendering of Between Dimensions

Fractals have captured the attention of the public mind. These repeating patterns can be found throughout nature: the spiral of a shell, the branching of lightning, and the growth patterns of plants. They help us understand how silt flows down a river, and are utilized by computers to generate images. Fractals have a non-integer dimension. In other words, a fractal can have a dimension between the first and second dimension, the second and third dimension, third and fourth dimension, etc. Between Dimensions is a platform that enables direct creative exploration of these strange objects.

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Celestial Mechanica

By Gescykae Welz
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $3,300

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“We live in this solar system and yet we cannot see it. We see clues of it every day but we never see the bigger picture. The tides ebbing and flowing; the sun rising and setting; the waxing and waning of the moon; the rotation of heavenly bodies. We’ve used these heavenly bodies for centuries to navigate our own planet. I have always wanted to see what this amazing system looks like so I want to build a version that I can actually touch and see. Taking something that is absolutely massive and shrinking it down into a tangible experience making it truly reachable to a human’s tiny scale. A chance to see a million years of movement in one moment.” – Artist, Gescykae Welz


Artist's rendering of Celestial Mechanica

Artist’s rendering of Celestial Mechanica

Celestial Mechanica is a 20 foot tall kinetic steel representation of our solar system. In Celestial Mechanica, nine overhead planets rotate around their own axis while simultaneously orbiting around the Sun. Inside the Sun’s core is an ambient continuous fire effect which burns throughout the night, while the outer skin of the sun rotates around these stationary ambient flames. Ports cut into the Sun’s outer skin allow flame to periodically exit these holes, simulating the effect of a solar flare. The mechanics used to rotate the planets will be actuated by one large electric motor with a long shaft going up the sculpture. This shaft will have roller chains and sprockets at locations that coincide with the individual planets and the different sized sprockets will determine the speed of the planet’s orbit.  The nine planets themselves a unique, stand alone art piece, and while rotating are lit internally using high power LEDs.

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Crossroads of Curiosity

By David Normal
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $33,000

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David Normal, an early contributor to Burning Man, returns to Black Rock City to bring you the Crossroads of Curiosity – essential theme art for 2014.

Artist's rendering of the Crossroads of Curiosity

The Crossroads of Curiosity is a suite of  four large-scale light boxes, “Illuminations” (Normal’s unique mode of art display), that will be prominently installed in the “Caravansary” at the base of the Burning Man. The Illuminations are double-sided and can be viewed from both sides imbuing the painted images with an almost sculptural presence.

The four 8’ x 20’ Crossroads will be arrayed on the ordinal points (NE, SE, SW, NW) surrounding the Man.  These epic images expand the idea of a “cabinet of curiosity”.   At the Crossroads of Curiosity incongruous people, things and places collide portentously outside of time and the orderly confines of a cabinet to encompass dynamic human drama.


These works are collage based paintings that are derived exclusively from 19th Century book illustrations culled from the vast archive of antiquarian book illustrations released to the public recently by the British Library. The finished work, 8’ x 20’ double sided Illuminations, have the glowing quality of stained glass and the painterly feel of fresco. The work is a culmination of digital collage making, hand-painting in full color with acrylics, and large format printing to create the final glowing pieces at a size of 8’ x 20’.

Please support this project and make a generous donation!

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Eidolon Panspermia Ostentatia Duodenum (ePOD)
By Michael Christian
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $16,500

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Eidolon Panspermia Ostentatia Duodenum (ePod) is a voronoi-inspired open-cell mycelial ovoid structure representing a possible matrix manifold of the panspermia transportation vesicle designed to inspire a profound sense of apophenia. In other words, ePOD is a 21 foot tall and 22 foot wide interactive steel sculpture featuring a rotating, climbable structure with a central lighting system.

Artist's rendering of ePOD

Artist’s rendering of ePOD

ePOD is a jungle gym of lacy lattice work designed specifically for the fun of climbing, hanging, swinging and playing. It’s five tons of twisted spinning steel straight from your childhood dreams! After the suns sets, light will emanate from its central orb sending shadows stretching across the playa. This playground mothership will allow you and your friends to scramble and climb trans-dimensionally around the massive oblate spheroid.

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Flying Mantis
By Heather Dessel
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $500

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“Flying Mantis is a metal mantis, spread-winged and ready to fly. He’s a lover and is all fired up, ready to find his mate. Made of galvanized steel and lit up at night. He blends in with the leaves, stalking his prey, protected. His power pose represents the strength and importance of nature, something to which we should all humble ourselves.” – Artist, Heather Dessel


Artist's rendering of Flying Mantis

Artist’s rendering of Flying Mantis

“Participants lounging inside the abdomen will be able to feel like they are a part of its beauty and also will feel protected. Near the end of the week, Friday or so, my camp mates will help me to move the old mantis from our camp to sit right in front of this new mantis, as if they are mating. This represents humor in love, and looking lovingly back in time while moving forward.” – Artist, Heather Dessel

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The Infinite Infant and the Trail of Toys

By Charles Smith
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $4,400 (Fundraising goal reached!)

Completed project on playa Burning Man 2014

Completed project on playa Burning Man 2014

The sounds of a child crying in the distance – metal squeaking, a modest crash – bang – boom! Then, suddenly a big, maniacal, dunce cap wearing, flag waving baby made of steel is coasting along the skyline. Wait! As it appears from the dust you notice the baby is pulling a string of strange metal play toys along behind it. What? More? This baby is shooting fire from its head! It’s turning around and heading towards us! While muttering playful baby talk sounds, the infant turns creating a semi circular space with its train of toys. This trail of sculptures is accompanied by a crew of deranged characters. They flutter about these strange, yet familiar toys… then all at once POOF! Fire pours out of the toys and a fun filled congregation of humanity assembles surrounding the baby and its toys to celebrate throughout the night!

The Infinite Infant... The baby of the universe… The child of all time…
The ever present infantile status of our culture on earth. Always in need of care, needing to be held, the Infinite Infant symbolizes unconditional love, trust and innocence. This infant is so innocent, yet also the bearer of bad temper & fear of the unknown. The Infinite Infant travels about in exploration of the playground of life. Here on the desert floor this big bad baby will tote 3 of its favorite toys around the playa nightly bringing celebration and community engagement into experience.

The Library of Babel

By Warrick Macmillan
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $4,500

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library_of_babel (1)

Any piece of art is defined not by the person creating it, but by the individual observing, interpreting, and interacting with it. The Library of Babel, a Burning Man 2014 honorarium installation being build at The Generator, in Reno, Nevada, is a project whose boundaries have intentionally been left open to ensure that it is not a static concept that separates those who create and observe. Everyone involved in building (on playa, and within our greater community) will, by default, share the role of artist and observer.

Inspired by Borges’ short story, The Library of Babel is about a universe which is an indefinite, perhaps infinite library which contains every possible book, within which are “all the possible combinations of the twenty odd orthographic symbols.” Our intention is to interpret and expand Borges’ ideas by building a real library, and asking participants to become the librarians.

The theme of this project is simple: that we are unlimited in thought and creativity. Our ability to express ideas begins with words, but diverges into many realms of nonverbal language. The Library asks participants where this distinction lies. Upon entering the space, one will feel compelled to address this enigmatic question. Whether reading what others have written, composing one’s own stories, sketching an idea, or simply admiring the mood and discussing its values with a friend or stranger, this Library will inspire one to explore the range and limits of language.

It is an endeavor continually progressing through the interactions of those people who use the space through writing, drawing, and reading the books. It will define a unique narrative of the playa; indeed, it has no individual owner or author, but rather a more universal presence whose uncountable layers are defined by an intangible, inexpressible evolution.

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By Dan Benedict
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $2,900

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“This piece is about loss, healing and release. Profound experiences in the temple during my first burn last year inspired me to contemplate the relationship between engineering and spiritual healing. During this post-burn contemplative period I experienced a health scare that sent me even deeper into this introspection. This sculpture came to me while navigating the emotions I was experiencing. In a way I don’t yet fully understand it’s meaning, which draws me to it even more. I hope to gain a better understanding of it through observing others interactions with it.” – Artist, Dan Benedict


Artist's rendering of Parasolvent

Artist’s rendering of Parasolvent

Parasolvent is a large, upright, rotating ring with parasols attached at the circumference. As the viewer turns a crank, the collapsed parasols rise up through the chest cavity of a human figure. As they rise the parasols open, reaching full extension at the apex, and close again on their way down.

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Pulse and Bloom

By Saba Ghole
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $800 (Fundraising goal reached!)

Pulse and Bloom is an interactive art installation that visualizes the heartbeats of participants with the hope of syncing human heartbeats in a rhythmic pattern. Composed of 25 mechanical lotuses arranged in a circular matrix shape with LED lights embedded inside each lotus, Pulse and Bloom is activated when individual participants physically interact with a lotus. Each lotus is equipped with a pulse sensor that, when pressed by a participant, translates their heartbeat into flashing LED lights within the lotus. As more people begin to interact with the different lotuses, visualizing their heartbeats in flashing lights, we will begin to see the effects of each person’s heartbeat on the other and the effect of meditative synchronicity unfold.

Artist's rendering of Pulse and Bloom

Artist’s rendering of Pulse and Bloom

Each lotus will be made of laser cut acrylic and wood with a dimension of 1’ H x ’1’ W x1’ L on top of varying height pedestals made of polycarbonate tubing and wood. Each lotus will be separated from the neighboring lotus by a distance of 5’ and the overall area of the installation will be a circle with a radius of 25 feet (3,925 sq ft). From far away, our installation will appear to be a field of floating flowers, glowing in the desert.

Return of the Racken!
By Tyler Fuqua
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $500 – Fundraising Goal Reached!

Return of The Racken! is a giant 9-piece octopus bike rack that appears to be climbing out of the ground. Able to hold over 100 bikes at any one time, The Racken! is constructed of tube steel and skinned with reclaimed bike wheels and gears. On the side of the 12’ tall head is the funnel, which is normally used to propel the cephalopod forward underwater. In this case, it is where you can enter the head where a platform and motion activated lights await!  The Racken! also has illuminated eyes and illuminated tentacle suckers.

2014 Fiscal Sponsorship Project Return of the Racken!, by Tyler Fuqua.

Artist’s rendering of Return of the Racken!

The Racken! was designed by Tyler FuQua of Eagle Creek, Oregon and was created with a grant from Burning Man in 2013. The Racken! will be returning to the Playa again this year (with assistance from Burning Man once again) with a new tentacle layout, new lighting, and a new location. As it is both functional and artistic, it is truly one of the only art pieces that people are supposed to lock their bikes to!

Silicone Meadow

By Ieva Marija Dautartaite
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $500

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The Silicon Meadow is a special place – an oasis at the desert where caravans and travelers can stop to have a rest for their body and soul.

Artist's rendering of Silicone Meadow

Artist’s rendering of Silicone Meadow

“The installation sculpture looks like a meadow oasis in the middle of the desert. Meadow is made from silicon tubes. It means that you can step on them and they would be strange to the touch. The silicon tubes will be attached to a plywood platform shaped like a simple labyrinth. In the middle of the meadow I want to grow a silicon tree with roots made from silicon tubes, which would be a perfect place to sit, lean on and rest. Those silicon tubes would be made from semitransparent silicon, and each of them would be lit separately with LED lights from below through the holes on the platform. Also I want to use programable LEDs to imitate the meadow swaying with lights. There would be different insects’ sounds for the night and for the day (bees, for example).” – Ieva Marija Dautartaite

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Warp Detour
By Grant Toland
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $5,600

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With a light at the end of a tunnel, too often do we focus on the light. Too often do we focus on our journey’s end. Stories, whether they be from books, film, or reality, are not about the destination but the turns and detours along the way. These turns and detour make up the adventure. Warp Detour offers a different turns and changing perspectives that allow a unique experience at every encounter whether it be from outside or from within.

Mock-up of Warp Detour by Grant Toland

Small-scale model of Warp Detour by Grant Toland

Warp Detour is made of rotating square wooden frames lined up in a sine wave to create a tunnel that appears to be falling over. These will be held up and together by threading rebar through the bottom legs and corners. At the opening, facing west, there will be a detour sign pointing toward the entrance. The piece will be oriented with openings facing east and west to optimize the way the lighting and shadows change on the piece and on the playa. In addition, LED rope light will be threaded through the corners to illuminate inside and out at night. From afar the installation will look like a snake during the day and a strand of DNA at night. To power this there will be a solar panel & battery station set away from the structure composed of two solar panels charging deep cycle batteries that will power the rope lights all night.

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Wheel of Fortune
By Anne Staveley & Jill Sutherland
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $6,000

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Wheel of Fortune is an interactive installation & divination tool featuring the 22 Major Arcana cards of the tarot. Each image is created through double and triple exposure film and digital images. For the installation, these images will be blown up and placed on a circle comprised of 22 doors with an elaborate gazebo and fire chandelier made from salvaged materials.

Artist's rendering of Wheel of Fortune

Artist’s rendering of Wheel of Fortune

There is a wheel in the desert, unlike any other. This wheel contains your fortune, your future, your fate, revealed to you in a way that you have never experienced before: self truth; universal connection; resonance. This is where the hero’s journey begins. Be brave, hero. Your destiny awaits. Which door will you choose? Or which will choose you?

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Wind Sound Sanctuary

By Robert Hoehn
Fiscal Sponsorship fundraising goal: $5,400

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The Wind Sound Sanctuary’s purpose is to create a interactive space of reverence to celebrate the wind and to experience the weather and nature with sound. Working in concert with the wind, it will be built of elemental materials, mechanical-not electronic, to create spontaneous music with nature in a sanctuary gathering space.

Previous work by "Wind Sound Sanctuary" artist Robert Hoehn

Previous work by “Wind Sound Sanctuary” artist Robert Hoehn

The Wind Sound Sanctuary is a quartet of wind powered musical instruments: two 15 foot wind harps, plus a 30 foot tall windmill which will power a vintage reed organ and a bank of large church organ pipes. Both of the organs will be playable using two different styles of keyboards. All these elements will be within earshot of each other so that participants will be interacting with the wind and each other. There will be a shaded (but windy) sanctuary hall with benches to provide a gathering space. There will be stationary bicycles to provide supplemental power for the organs on calm days. The participants/keyboardists will be seated on these bikes while playing so that it will accessible by a solo individual as well.

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