The Pier Group has spent the last several years making a name for itself with big beautiful art. The Pier, the La Llorona shipwreck of Pier 2 and The Ichthyosaur Puppet Project all worked to transport participants of Burning Man to fantastic worlds where a childlike wonder could be inspired and nurtured.
Throughout all these projects an even bigger idea has been brewing in our hearts and minds. Another fully immersive experience, another massive installation, and this time with the intention of using this sense of wonder to create a sacred, contemplative space.
Embrace is our testament to the moment, a cathedral dedicated to the beauty of immediacy. This is a sculpture made to honor all of the relationships in our lives, a pilgrimage route through our bodies and our minds.
We hope to create the first in a series of recurring projects at Burning Man. One that is built by a different group every year, a project that brings our massive community together in new ways and helps to further redefine and push the boundaries of Burning Man. We feel that the Man represents a celebration of the future and the Temple represents a release from the past. Embrace is for the current moment and the people we share it with.
As you approach, a towering couple rises forth from the desert, as if growing in place for hundreds of years. Over 70 feet tall, two massive tree people twisting into an embrace. A reminder of the people you love, the people you have lost, family and friends and everyone in between.
Inside Embrace awaits another journey, a pilgrimage through two mighty figures, through our very beings and into our minds.
Two large cathedral spaces make up the base of Embrace, each with a massive heart hanging from the ceilings. One heart is being built in Portland, with the second being built in Vancouver, B.C. Each heart is a unique piece of art that will beat and pulse, casting refracted sun light out into the vast sinuous mangrove cavities of Embrace.
Stairways then guide people up through the structure, past balconies around the hearts and up to the shoulders. The shoulders offer a rest from your journey, a chance to stop, reflect and look out upon the vast expanse of the Black Rock Desert and Black Rock City. The shoulders are a place to watch the sunset and converse with new friends while waiting to move up into the heads.
Inside each neck is a long spiral staircase leading to the head. Your journey becomes a little tight and claustrophobic before releasing you into the mind. Groups of people gather in each head, sharing stories, laughing and looking out the eyes upon the other head in a direct analogy to the nature of conscience. Each head contains a mandala, one dedicated to the act of Birth and creation, the other dedicated to logic and reason. The top is open to the sky, a place to gaze upon the stars and dream.
Embrace is an absolutely massive project. We have worked quite hard to build a strong team of volunteers to help build and support this dream. It is by far our biggest project to date. At over 70 feet tall Embrace has over 160,000 lbs of wood in it. We expect to spend $30,000 of our $265,000 budget on Simpson Strong Ties alone. We have had many, many gracious donations so far. All of our Engineering for the project has been donated by K2 Engineering (http://www.k2eng.net/K2/home.html) and we have had a wide range of groups and companies step up to help make this project a reality.
This Kickstarter is meant to fund Phase 1 of our project. If we succeed we will have all the funding we need to build both of the figures to a total height of 57 feet. Our plan is to then move forward on Phase 2 which will bring embrace to a total height of 71 feet.
All rewards include a pair of embrace stickers
Risks and challenges
So far we have raised over $106,000. Which leaves just under $160,000 left to raise. It is a lot of money, and every dollar helps make this project a reality. Outside of the money this project is a huge physical undertaking. It will test everyone on our crew and push us to our very edge. We expect to spend the next 5 months, nearly non-stop working on this project before we spend nearly a month in one of the harshest deserts in the world to physically build this project.
We have reworked our production system to ensure everyone gets their kickstarter rewards in a timely manner this time around. We have direct access to all the tools and artisans we need to create each and every kickstarter reward to our exacting specifications.
This journey is what we love, it is what we thrive on. It is a chance to do something amazing. We hope that we can inspire everyone who encounters this project to dream big and build big. We hope that we can encourage everyone to build the world they envision, and share it with everyone around.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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