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A sculptural tree of translucent suspended figures for Burning Man 2012 by Kevin Christman, i.e. Big girls rolling around the Playa!

A sculptural tree of translucent suspended figures for Burning Man 2012 by Kevin Christman, i.e. Big girls rolling around the Playa! Read more
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on August 4, 2012.

About this project

The Tree of Transmutation is an interactive sculpture to be installed at Burning Man 2012.  This sculpture is part of the Transmutation Series by artist Kevin Christman.  It is his vision of his artistic ideas brought to the scale of Black Rock City to share with the unique community of Burning Man and to continue beyond the Playa.

Reward for a $250 Donation
Reward for a $250 Donation

Description

From a distance the sculpture looks like a tree or chandelier with strange translucent fruit or lighted pods suspended from stems radiating out from the center. 

Tree of Transmutation Sketch
Tree of Transmutation Sketch

The tree is made of fabricated steel branches that spring from the Playa and carry the suspended figures out from the center trunk.  Upon inspection the six pods appear to be female forms, two times life size, in various positions, suspended in space. 

Cocoons!
Cocoons!

We have added a new feature to this project..Cocoons!  These suspended fabric cocoons will be hung between the branches so anyone can become fetal and emerge as the beautiful butterfly that they want to be.

Pyramid
Pyramid

In the center is a ten foot tall wooden pyramid pieced intricately together like the stonework of a Mayan wall.  The top is capped in three feet of copper plate with the tip intersecting a three-foot diameter ball of half life-size skeletons with a ten-inch iron version of the larger female figure suspended in the center.

Inner Core
Inner Core

The delicacy of the gesture appears as the figures rotate in their hanging positions. This sculpture engages a viewer from a distance, transforming as the figures interact on the Playa.

Artist Vision

This piece is a continuation of my Transmutation series, which refers to the alchemical process of evolution that we are perpetually undergoing.  At this point in time, it feels important to keep balanced, go inward, and know oneself before expanding to our ultimate potential.  The female figure in the fetal pose represents a place of nurturing in a safe environment, returning to the fertile womb, the cocoon that provides the enclosure for transmuting from chrysalis to the butterfly.  These ideas are explained more eloquently by Dr. Bruce Lipton  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcacx_i6MIE

Engaging the viewer is the one of the most important elements that I strive for in every piece I create.  I am intentionally creating many layers of interest, from the initial visual hit to the curious close intrigue of the details.

I have always viewed the actions of my life as if I was looking at myself, removed from everything in the world.  Just my naked self in a vacuum of white space, how would my actions appear?  Would I be the crazy one reacting to someone else's hostility, or would I be centered in the face of the storm?  My experience at Burning Man in the middle of a dust storm was precisely such a vacuum.  Since that moment I have wanted to bring this project to the desert. 

 On the Playa

This sculpture is intended to engage the viewer through tactile inter-activity with the sculptures.  The female figures are removable from the tree and are free to roam the Playa, and return again to the tree in the evening for illumination.  The early hours of dusk the tree would begin to illuminate and when all figures have been returned to their branches a dynamic light show would occur that celebrates the final return.  The lighting will act as a metaphor for coming together to complete the transformation into a new brilliant future.

The Crew

We are so honored to have received an Honorarium from Burning Man.  This has made it possible for us to start to make this project come to life on the Playa.  We also could not do this without the enormous effort of so many friends here in Oregon.  We thank you for your support and would like you to join our Crew

  • Kevin Christman - the artist and visionary, www.kevinchristman.com
  • JulieO - mother of the crew, www.julieodwyerdesign.com
  • Steve Sirianni - making it all work, www.wallsoftimebuilders.com
  • Lynda Sirianni - holding the heart of the idea
  • Jason Hutchins - our welder
  • Zac Snow - Kevin's right hand man..and a Ginger!
  • Ken Becker - Aaaaaah!, www.safeworld.com
  • Rachel Rose - on the Playa coordinator extrordinaire
  • Greycloud - telepathetically solving all problems
  • Marya - get-it-done kinda girl
  • Inger Jorgensen - artist assistant and great lady
  • Mark Millner - transport support and fun guy on the Playa
  • Annabel Allen - videographer and wardrobe guru
  • Noah Kay - Kevin's left hand man
  • Todd Ellis - the prop master
  • Gabriel Lipper - fellow artist and antagonist
  • Saione Penn - the heart of the art
  • Navin Mahabir - archivist and best tan
  • Brian Dunagan - engineer god
  • YOU!!!!!!
The Crew
The Crew

FAQ

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10 USD

    The Keepsake of all Keepsakes - "Go Fetal" sticker. If you are at the Burn or Not, this will be a happy reminder of helping us make this project happen. We want to see them in every state!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    Receive a handwritten thank note from our Crew. We couldn't do this without you. May bring a tear to your eye, PLUS a "Go Fetal" Sticker

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    Haven't you always wanted a Autographed Crew Photo added to your Thank You card? It can be yours! Perfect for a place of prestige on your mantle. PLUS a "Go Fetal" Sticker

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    Come have dinner at Camp Oregon. "Tree of Transmutation" crew will be serving up our favorite Orygun specialties on the Playa. Perfect time to meet the artist Kevin Christman and the crew that makes it happen. Don't forget your "Go Fetal" sticker!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250 USD

    Have something to really remember this project and a beautiful piece of art! Kevin Christman has produced a limited number of 9" x 8" x 5" cold cast bronzes of "Transmutation" just for you. See an image in the project description. We will also send you a hand signed thank you card, crew photo...and don't forget the "Go Fetal" sticker!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500 USD

    Kevin's hands are always busy creating and you will receive the fruits of his labor. A limited edition of 20 original prints of the Transmutation Series by Kevin Christman, signed by the artist. This will be added to your "Transmutation" figure, crew photo, and thank you card....PLUS 2 "Go Fetal" stickers (one for you and one for a friend!)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    A limited number of polyurethane sculptures from Kevin Christman's "Moment Field" sculpture, one of the first in his "Transmutation" series, http://www.kevinchristman.com/3d/3d.html
    Along with this unique sculpture we will include your "Transmutation" figure, crew photo, and thank you card....PLUS 3 "Go Fetal" stickers (one for you, one for a friend, and one just to give away!)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000 USD

    If this is you, then you are lucky enough to now own one of Kevin Christman's "The Holding" sculpture, female or male, cast in Bronze. This singular figure floats above a cast stone pedestal as a reflection of the "Tree of Transmutation" figures out on the Playa. Each piece is signed and dated by the artist.
    Along with this unique sculpture we will include your "Transmutation" figure, crew photo, and thank you card....PLUS 3 "Go Fetal" stickers (one for you, one for a friend, and one just to give away!)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000 USD

    So you really want to have a "Girl" of your own...well we can make that happen! We will create an original translucent fiberglass casting of the figure from the "Tree of Transmutation" and bring it to you! This twice life-size figure will be all yours to roll down your lawn, hang from your ceiling, or just adorn your garden. She is really big so we are limiting this to be sent to any city in the continental US. If you are beyond that area, well....we will work out something. Especially if you have a nice bottle of wine ready for us when we show up.
    AND you get one of everything else we have mentioned in the previous rewards.

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Funding period

- (32 days)