The Illumination Project #15

Illumination Project #15
"Bodies on the Wind"

20' x 500'
Black Rock Desert Burning Man 2000

Click here to see the Movie.

This movie is 5 min. long and 10 mbs. streaming 

The canvas was sewn, dyed, hand painted and silk-screened. It was held aloft by six 20-foot steel armatures anchored to six steel ground plates with eight ground anchors. The canvas hung on 500 ft. of 1/4" stainless steel cable with 150 brass groumets.

"Bodies in the Wind" was painted with famous and infamous images of the body. The canvas was desiged for public interaction. During the two-week life of the work of art the painting was lowered to the ground and Burning Man participants were encouraged to shed the clothing and apply paint to the bodies for full body prints on the canvas. Slowly building image on top of image until it begins to represents the thriving multitudes of Burning Man participants. The armature that holds the painting aloft was illuminated creating patterns the rise 30 feet in the air.

The installation was placed along the grand promenade near the Illumination Village.

The painting-sculptures was visible throughout the duration of the Festival from almost anywhere in the city. During the day it was seen rising and falling as the wind changes. At night the sculpture was illuminated by eight theater lights that changed color dally. These light effects created a magnificent floating waves on the night skyline.

duringt the installation, the public was offered an opportunity to add their body image to the canvas. We lowered the painting allowing the bottom third to lay on the ground. Then we proved high quality body paints and a verity of brushes and sponges. Then encouraged people to team up and create. These images added a personal dimension to the canvases as they fluttered in the wind. They also communicated the creative process to the larger audience of those looking at and interacting with the sculptures.

We are creating an expression of the human experience and providing a place and moment in which each participant can express themselves. Because of the impermanence of the artwork, there is no fear of retribution; there is no commitment to permanence. The huge overall images combined can be compared to a Tibetan Prayer cloth slowly desolving in the wind until the elements of nature assimilate them. It was a beautiful expression of a large group of people sharing their images in the moment. When the canvas transformed, through the pure energy of fire, these people and the images of there bodies were propelled into the flames of truth that are a fleeting moment in time, while the entire painting dances and disappears into the wind. We encourage people to allow their bodies to raise their conscience. They take that moment to reflect and to reconcile these conflicted emotions of impermanence.

The Illumination Project provides an opportunity to bridge class, gender and racial boundaries through interaction and creation. The Illumination Project is not be just another art installation, rave or carnival. Our project teaches and requires elements of communication, teamwork, imagination and organization. We believe this work of art ahas invigorated thousands of new and old participants and of Black Rock City.

Illumination: That which dispels all illusions and allows one to see reality as it is.

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