WHAT WE ARE
Shady Asylum (noun). Shady Asylum is a two story shade pyramid carpeted with live grass. As a functional art installation, we create a public shade structure and invite people to take off their shoes, come inside, and rest with us.
Shady Asylum (verb). Shady Asylum is a daytime sanctuary from the direct beating rays of the sun, from the dry and unrelenting heat of the Playa in August, and from the sometimes overwhelming experience of Burning Man.
Want to know more? Read on, or visit us at http://shadyasylum.org!
WHY THIS PROJECT IS SPECIAL
Imagine standing outside on the playa - hot, dry, the sun beating down on your beautiful dusty face. Now imagine seeing a pile of bicycles and shoes next to a nondescript but tall black pyramid. Maybe you found us in your what/where/when guide. Maybe you were just walking wherever the playa took you, and your feet/bicycle/mutant vehicle brought you here.
Regardless, here you are.
A greeter at the door invites you in. You approach, you take off your shoes like a supplicant, and barefooted you duck down to enter the pyramid. Immediately, the temperature feels like drops 10-15 degrees as your eyes adjust to being in a dimmer, breezy, shaded, and humid environment. Your toes sink into live grass and squelchy mud. Disarmed, you step forward and find a patch of grass to sit on.
Maybe you join an impromptu picnic. Maybe you sit next to someone new and join a conversation. Maybe you lean back and make a grass-angel like a muddy chinchilla. This is what makes Shady Asylum so special. Creating a comfortable haven from the elements with a whimsical, utterly out-of-place microclimate also creates a common meeting space for burners from all walks of live to unwind, connect, and participate in developing community.
To the best of our knowledge, we are the only camp that still has permission to bring live plant product onto the playa. This will be Shady Asylum's ninth time on the playa, but the last of those was in 2007. For the theme Fertility 2.0, we especially wanted to resurrect this project, have some living earth on the playa, and share the incredible experience of muddy toes, humid shade, and open hearts with our city.
Specs for the build:
The Shady Asylum is a public shade structure with live grass as a floor, in the shape of a pyramid with 60’ sides and 24’ feet tall. The structure is created by hanging 6 20x20 pieces of agricultural shade netting (weaved, 90% shade) off of three 20’ tall masts which will provide shade to the live grass flooring and the dusty Black Rock Citizens within. Modular scaffolding will then be used to create a 15’ tall triangular tower in the center of the structure. This tower is 8’ on a side and supports the center pole to complete Shady Asylum’s triangular top. Three 10’X10’ pieces of agricultural shade material are then hung from the center pole to the three masts, finishing the pyramid. Additionally, at 15’the tower supports a platform, rated to hold over 15,000 pounds. Safety rails and the roof of Shady Towers both serve to restrict unsafe access to the platform’s edge.
Additionally rope lighting will be strung along the steel rope to illuminate Shady Tower at night, and three floods inside Shady Tower will facilitate nocturnal community interactions. Base Area (BA) = 1558 ft. sq.
WHERE DOES YOUR MONEY GO?
100% of funds paid out from this successfully backed Kickstarter project will be devoted to creating the 2012 Shady Asylum Art Installation at Burning Man.
- 1,700+ square feet of live sod
- 1,500+ gallons of water to keep the sod alive
- 5,000+ square feet of muslin to help keep the sod root system hydrated and viable
- Gas and vehicle to transport all these (heavy!) supplies to/from Reno
- Heartfelt kickstarter rewards for donors
- (30 days)