Project in progress
A playful tree-like sculpture doing a headstand, inviting all burners to interact with its environment. For the ones who seek, it provides opportunities to climb, rest, and congregate with friends and family. Its environment will encourage self-care, and remind the importance of quiet spaces.
Sirsasana is whimsical play on the typical tree sculpture, this upside down tree will grab any passerby's attention and make them think, "how can a tree do that?".
The tree will appear to be alive, welcoming burners to interact with it. This is achieved by using natural, burn-safe dyes for foliage and bark, and an intentional lighting design showcasing the flow of the tree's life force.
The tree will have a safe method to climb up its trunk and into its roots that form a nest. Once inside the tree's embrace, burners will notice its encouraging features to rest and to be grounded.
The trunk will be composed of a wooden hyperboloid which swells at its base and is topped with a wooden platform.
The roots, also made of wood, will create a safe railing around the top platform. Its canopy will be crafted from large leaves made of particleboard and painted with eco-friendly paint.
The canopy will extend out on the playa floor filling out a 24' diameter.
Climbing: at 12 feet high, the base of the roots provide a lounge for burners to enjoy the views of the playa-scape and sky alike.
Gathering: features like seats around the trunk, and resting areas formed around branches will naturally invite burners to gather and rest.
Lighting: a series of addressable LED strips will bring life to the tree, showing a pulsing, and breathing flow of life force starting from the tree roots. Similar to blood rushing down to the head when we are in a headstand. We have dreams to integrate different sensors which will allow for our LEDs to react to audio, touch, or motion.
Reflection: We will invite burners to leave sentiments on our foliage which will later be burned.
This idea spurred from an interesting thought experiment I had, if a human can do Vrksasana, the tree
pose in Yoga, then can a tree do Sirsasana, the headstand in Yoga? A pose that is very human centric. Sculptural art to me is dialogue between the participant and the physical manifestation of an artist's idea. With Sirsasana, a participant gets the pleasure to use all their senses to engage in this dialogue. I discovered for the first time this way to experience art at Burning Man. I have since decided to create more of such art. Art where one can touch what they see, one can speak out and be heard, and where one can smell the aroma of magic that's in the air. I want to burn just the foliage and roots using burn barrels, to me this act captures re-growth. One day this tree will grow again with fresh foliage and roots in a new environment.
The build will take place over the course of 6 months in our workshop located in the Mission District of San Francisco. It will involve numerous artists, structural engineers, welders, and most importantly volunteers!