Thursday, May 29, 2014

Genie Bottle Update 2

The Genie Bottle, a Burning Man Honorarium Art Project is progressing. Marty Kenny designed all of the cutouts to be cut into the wood, and Paul Brown inserted them into this Solidworks rendering. If you click on the photo, you can see we also added some of our favorite math equations to be cut out of the wood. In the spirit of Arabesque art, we wanted to add some "calligraphy" and in the spirit of genie magic, what's more magical than beautiful mathematics? The math IS the genie!
Using Paul's computer model, Christy Burback and I made a little scale model out of card stock and tape.  It's about 1/18 of actual size. We cut out and traced the pieces using the specs from Paul Brown's design.  Here you can see Christy with her arm up inside the bottle.

While I am the lead artist on the Genie Bottle, for most of the tasks for designing the Genie Bottle, I've delegated them to other crew members.  I've been leading the designers and engineers towards a particular aesthetic for the overall piece, but like the cutouts for the wood and the lighting, other member of Struggletent are leading the efforts to design and build individual components.  The finished Genie Bottle and its burn will truly be the work of a group of people, my campmates of Struggletent.

The one component I'm designing are the tassels, although I won't build them all myself.  Fortunately, we have lots of helping hands.    My vision is to have a set of 10 large tassels and cording to hang inside the bottle for decoration.  This is my drawing for how I want them to look, more or less.  I haven't decided what color to paint the finials yet.
This is some of the wool we will be using.  This is about a pound of wool.  You can also see the wooden finial that Mike Ryan made for me.  It's got a hole drilled in the center, meaning it's a giant bead. Painted wooden finials like this will top each tassel, effectively turning them each into a big bushy mop with a handle.
Making these tassels requires dying a lot of wool, over 7 pounds of soft springy Merino. (In two dye pots, I can dye 3/4 of a pound at a time; so it's taking me days and days to dye it all!)  This is what the purple wool looks like in the dye pot before the dye has soaked in.

Finial Master Mike Ryan also did a practice burn of the bottle last week at a camp out.  You can watch the video of the burn here:
A structure like this will fit inside of the Genie Bottle and will be built inside of it on burn night, tentatively scheduled for Friday at Midnight.  "It is designed to be an anaerobic burn and has minimal oxygen, That's how the smoke is developed. Once a heat source reached a stoichometric point, it ignited."  That's why it shoots fire out the top.

While we're on Burning Man art, I thought I'd share some updates about Bat Country, our previous Burning Man Honorarium Art from 2008, 2009, and 2013.  First, we're published in The Washington Post this week in a slide show titled, "A New Way to Look at Math."  We're #7.

I also got some really nice photos from photographer George Post of Bat Country from 2013.
Here you can see the whole crew at the top as I hold up the very last ball to be attached at the apex.  THIS was a very exciting moment for me and the whole Struggletent crew, and I'm so pleased that George sent me a photo to commemorate it.
And here's a really stunning photo of Bat County and the Temple of Wholiness.
Thanks George Post.  And thank you for looking.
Here you can read Genie Bottle: Update 3.  Here you can see photos of the finished Genie Bottle at Burning Man.

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