E Pluribus Unum

Submitted by Kelly Cassidy

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Client: Burning Man Project

Location: Black Rock City, NV, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $18,000

Project Team

Lead Builder & Engineer

Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith

Contract Organization

Burning Man Project (formerly Burning Man Organization)

Burning Man Project

Lead Carpenter

Marianne Rosenfeld

Forest Furniture

Overview

Grant piece winner: Burning Man’s first civic gathering spaces call for entry. E Pluribus Unum are three LED lit 25′ in diameter amphitheaters with 15 giant LED flowers lining the tops. The pieces invited people to gather and create activity within.

Goals

The project had very specific grounds: interaction, a place to gather and lighted. My inspiration for the amphitheaters was the layout of Burning Man's Black Rock City of centrifugal semicircles. It was very important to me that the design was inviting for those who gathered to create an environment for themselves.

Process

I worked with former Burning Man Temple Build Lead, Lauren Smith to engineer the pieces so that they could be easily assembled through the use of 8 modular pieces for each amphitheater.
The crew consisted of 5 main builders and an additional 10 volunteers for installation and de-installation.

Additional Information

The most fulfilling moment of this piece was when I visited the night that the Man Pavilion was opened. 50 or so people were at each amphitheater and each had something different going on. At the first one, a woman was leading a Disney sing-along. At the second, people yelled "speech! Speech!" and those who went to the center had time to do something like a speech or an act. At the last one, the seats were filled with people singing Bohemian Rhapsody. It was during that song that I felt incredibly fulfilled to have created such a gathering space.