As children, we lazed and adventured on piers around Lake Tahoe. Motor boats and trout anglers came and went, and we began to notice our favorite piers weren't just thruways for the maritime activities we liked to watch; they were trebuchets for our imaginations, launchpads for our wanderlust. Piers were the rustic, rusting vantage points from which we thought the thoughts that made us the vanguard vagabonds we would become.
Experiencing the pier goes something like this: From a half mile away, you can see a long, angled platform shading enough square feet of desert ground to provide a meeting place. At night, a seductive blue glow beckons lovers, loners, loafers, and rovers. From 100 yards, it seems we stole the blueprint straight from a National Geographic spread on scrappy entrepreneurs of the Vietnamese fishing industry. Salt-worn nets and the bare feet of leisure-seekers dangle from the edges. Sailors pass bottles of rum. Buoys mark the perimeter. Mermaids, lulled by the gentle call of ocean waves, gather offshore, and Poseidon finally uses his three-tipped fork for its intended purpose: roasting five-pound marshmallows over a Coleman 2-burner.
We intend "The Pier" as a meeting place, a transit point, a public performance center, a shady refuge, a wheelchair-accessible climbing structure, a place to dance, laugh, and look at the stars.
"The Pier" is a 300-foot-long, six-foot-wide, Southeast Asian style pier. The low end will be sunk into the playa, and the structure will slowly rises to a height of 10 feet. "The Pier's" 1.9-degrees rise should be almost imperceptible to someone walking on it. We anticipate the sight of the long, gently diagonal structure against the open playa will create some interesting optical illusions. From a distance, the eye will be tricked into misjudging size and distance.
"The Pier" surface will be constructed mostly from recovered wood (such as scavenges deck planks and a former barns), which will give it an aged look. "The Pier" will look like a relic from the developing world, with some sections appearing weathered, others looking recently repaired. The decking will be a bit chaotic and the board spacing erratic.
Both sides of "The Pier" will be decorated with oceanside items. Ropes will run from the supports down to small boats and dinghies on the ground. Buckets of fishing poles will invite people to grab a seat and see what they can catch. Life jackets and flotation devices remind people it may not be so safe to swim. Old tires secured to the sides provide a bumper so mutant boats may safely dock.
We would like to install a more robust lighting system and a simple audio system. For the lighting, we would like to install about 50 hanging lights on 10-12 foot poles. The low wattage halogen bulbs will sway in the wind casting a warm orange glow on the deck of "The Pier". Below the deck will will install about 400 Blue Led lights, emulating the blue reflected light of stars on the ocean below.
Our audio system will consist of a 24 hour seaside audio loop. Waves will gently crash on the shore, seagulls fighting over last nights catch and a flotilla of ships coming back from a long day at sea. This soundtrack will emit from 10-20 hidden speakers in "The Pier" itself.
This project is a labor of love. The work of 20+ dedicated friends, parents and Burners working hard to make a simple dream happen. We are a partially funded Burning Man 2011 Honorarium art project, and we just need a little more help to make this dream a reality.
Please visit our website, www.thepier2011.com if you would like to volunteer :)
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. :)
Commander Janky aka Matthew Schultz: One member of The Pier Group, a large collective of artists and builders dedicated to producing accessible collaborative public art for our community and around the world.
Here is a quick break-down on what we will spend the money on:
- About 15 % ($450) will go to kickstarter rewards.
- About $1500 will go to lighting.
50-70 Light bulbs
50-70 light fixtures
30 16ft steel or aluminum poles
500ft threaded steel wire or chain
700ft electrical wire
Misc connectors, fuses, brackets, etc,...
- About $500 will go to our generator fund
- About $550 will go to audio
Old car stereo deck
10-20 old speakers
Lots of speaker wire, about 1000ft
Any extra money raised from kickstarter will go into wood (we slowly continue to modify the design to support more and more people) and decorations for the project.
If you cannot donate money, but still would like to donate and you have any of the items on the list please message me. We love getting little trinkets and parts in the mail. Makes me smile from ear to ear and it seems more in the spirit of Burning Man.
- (45 days)