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Speleo Mountain is an art installation for Apogaea 2017.  A choose-your-own-adventure structure to climb, dance, and play on.
Speleo Mountain is an art installation for Apogaea 2017. A choose-your-own-adventure structure to climb, dance, and play on.
87 backers pledged $9,255 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Speleo Mountain is the latest and best iteration of our physically interactive art that the Apogaea community has thoroughly enjoyed for 7 years. The piece consists of two 24 foot high half pyramids with a bridge spanning between the pyramid peaks.

The timber structure is a variety of maze-like paths from mild to wild. The Speleo Box will be assembled in it's original configuration butting up against the back of the central platform.  This will also serve as a launch platform for the rope swing which will be suspended from the bridge.

The structure will also be a canvas for performance with acro happening on the central platform and aerial acrobatics suspended from the bridge above.

The Speleo-Mountain installation anchors a larger village which will contain physically interactive art pieces from other artists. This village will serve as the backdrop for the Wardrobe MalFUNKtion sound camp creating the most interactive, engaging and fun place to be at Apogaea 2017.

Speleo Tower 2016
Speleo Tower 2016

Families and Kids

One of the things we have loved most about building these physically interactive art installations is the role they fill for Apogaeans with kids. Many of us have young children and finding places where both the kids and the adults can have a good time can be hard.  We've been proud to provide a space at Apogaea that entire families can enjoy.

Unicorn Playhouse and Camp 2013
Unicorn Playhouse and Camp 2013

Structural Safety

This project is culmination of everything that we've learned from previous years.  Our goal has always been to create things that facilitate open ended play.  Each year our structures have gotten safer and more accessible to a wide range of participants.

This year's project is by far the safest and sturdiest structure we have built.  Our models have been examined by multiple experts in the field of engineering and construction, all of which concluded that everything is well within the right tolerances for the kind of abuse that burners are likely to dish out.

Three reasons to contribute

First, we make pretty awesome stuff.  We personally love art that you can climb and play on and it seems that the Apogaeae community does too.  We also throw a decent party.

Second, you aren't just funding a project for 2017.  Our building design lets us re-use our building components year after year.  Not only will all of this come back in 2018 but it will come back in a completely new form.  This isn't a one-time thing.  This is an investment in the future of Apogaea.

Third, Apogaea is growing up and so is the art that comes to the event.  We are trying to bring the biggest installation Apogaea has ever seen, but it won't happen without the support of the community.

The Team

In addition to the leads listed here, this project has a huge number of other people involved to help make this project amazing.

Piper Merriam is the head of this project. He ran the majority of Fucking Unicorn Camp from 2012-2015. He spearheaded the Fucking Unicorn Art Car which was present at Apogaea and the big burn in 2012. He was a co-lead on the Unicorn Playhouse. He created the Speleobox in 2015 and the Speleo Tower in 2016.

Peter Lyons is in charge of logistics as well as being one of the lead builders. He served as music director and performer for Apogaea's first full-length circus production Circus of Illumination in 2012 and 2013. He has been a part of the construction and operation team for the Unicorn Playhouse, Speleobox, and crate stacking. He has been to Apogaea four times and Burning Man thrice. Off playa he performs music regularly with Gora Gora Orkestar and performed in Fractal Tribe's production of Lucid for the Boulder International Fringe Festival.

Diana Sabreen is in charge of the dance and climb-ability for the project.  She has attended Apogaea every year since 2010. She has been a lead or participant in the building of the Unicorn Playhouse and the Speleo Tower. She is a media and visual documentary specialist, created this video, and has photographed each of our projects from beginning to end.

Seth Herd is a lead builder for the project. He was involved with the Speleo Tower last year.  He has BA in physics and PhD in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. He spent two summers as an apprentice builder doing framing.  Seth has attended the main or regional Burns in three of the last four years.

David Piqueira is in charge of lighting.  He is an Aerospace Engineer by trade. A burner at heart, David has gone to the big burn and Apogaea every year since 2011. David was part of the Speleo Tower team in 2016.

Ian Bates was supposed to be a co-lead on this project but has been missing since January.  He was last seen in Panama building a hippie commune. He is a 15 year participant of Burning Man, and 8 year participant of Apogaea. During that time he has lead, or co-lead 6 large-scale art pieces. This includes Unicorn Playhouse versions 1.0 through 4.0, SpeleoBox and Speleo Tower.

Project Budget

The overall budget for this project is estimated at $20,000.  We have already secured an art grant from Apogaea CATS for $6969.69.  We'll be achieving our total budget through a combination of the funds from this campaign, our art grant, and personal funds. 

The money from this campaign will be spent on the following things.

$2500 will be spent on a 40 foot shipping container.  This will be how the project is transported to and from the event as well as serving as the storage location for the project until 2018.

$2000 goes towards the transportation costs associated with getting the container to and from the event.

The remaining $4500 will be used to purchase actual materials used to create the structure.  This will primarily include lumber, hardware, and LED strip lights.

Make Speleo Mountain Happen

Join us in taking Speleo Mountain from a mere Idea into reality at Apogaea 2017.

Risks and challenges

In the event that we are unable to complete construction prior to the event, the structure will still be erected, but in a smaller configuration. In the event that Apogaea itself is cancelled, this project will be brought to the 2018 event. Both of these risks are graceful failures that still provide the Apogaea community with a wonderful art piece.

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Funding period

- (28 days)