About this project
ANNOUNCING THE STRETCH GOALS!
We did it! Yay! OMG! Thank you so much to our friends, family, and extended communities for making it rain. We're excited and inspired to bring you four amazing stretch goals:
$12K - We will make all the flowers on the hill light up brightly and beautifully in the night sky with LEDs.
$13K - We will bring a Fortean element to the cloud, making it rain cats & dogs, frogs, and other strange things playa. We will buy multitudes of rubber frogs to recreate that frog-raining scene from Magnolia, stuffed cats and dogs, and we'll stage and photograph these weird raining events.
$16K - We will throw an epic party in the Bay Area with the Cloud present and working. You can dance under the cloud all night. There will be performances, and throughout the night, the cloud will rain weird things. We're thinking of making the cloud rain things such as glitter, blood, money, candy, etc. Be excited. Bring an umbrella. It will be like this, but better.
$18K - At this party, we will have a custom 8-bit-inspired aerial rig that we build especially for the cloud. We will bring in some of the most talented performers in the Bay to perform unique routines created just for the Cloud.
WHAT IS THE ARDENT MOBILE CLOUD PLATFORM?
In 2013, everything’s gone mobile, and smart companies are moving to the Cloud. Ardent Heavy Industries is taking it to the next level: we’re bringing cutting-edge mobile cloud technology to Black Rock City. Introducing the AMCP: the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform.
Imagine a green hill, in 8-bit graphics style, covered with green grass. Laser-cut pixel-flowers and toadstools adorn its surface, each plant lit from below. A long, winding beanstalk reaches overhead to a fluffy white pixelated cloud. Extending 45 ft. (the height of a 4-story building) into the air, the cloud glows gently. Suddenly, an ominous rumble of thunder erupts. The cloud bursts into bright strobe lighting. You open your umbrella and hear the pitter-patter of rain, enjoying the stars in the clear sky over the dry desert all around you.
The Cloud Platform will:
- Rain on you, complete with thunder and lightning effects
- Provide mobile shade and mist during the day
- Gently glow at night, with mesmerizing sequenced light effects
- Serve as a rigging point for aerial acrobatic performances
- Distribute its own WiFi signal
- Feature performers in costume (angels, Zeus, moon-on-a-fishing-pole) to interact with participants
- Play music (everything from “The Rains of Castamere” to The Orb’s “Little Fluffy Clouds”)
In addition, the Cloud Platform will also play an instrumental part in decommissioning a previous Ardent Heavy Industries/Interpretive Arson project: Dance Dance Immolation. We are bringing DDI to the playa this year for one final run as part of the Charcade, and planning to put it out to pasture for good... by dropping a piano on it from the cloud.
The cloud sculpture itself will be made from an array of lightweight, laser-cut and folded, semi-transparent HDPE cubes. HDPE is the material that plastic milk jugs are made from. The cubes will be held together with nylon rivets, and supported by a lightweight steel armature. That structure will surround a custom-designed personnel platform built to conform with with ANSI/ITSDF B56.6-2011, and including wide steel fork pockets for interfacing with large, long-reach forklifts. In addition to people, the platform will carry a 100-gallon water tank with pumping system, speaker system, LED lighting and controller, power source, and wifi network hardware.The bottom surface of the cloud will sport mist nozzles, rain nozzles, rigging points for single-point aerial and trapeze, and lighting for illuminating performers.
The AMCP is being built by Ardent Heavy Industries (aka Interpretive Arson). We've been installing large-scale art at festivals worldwide since 2004. Our most well-known works are Dance Dance Immolation (making its final performance as part of the Charcade at Burning Man 2013!), Syzygryd, and 2πr. We've been lighting things on fire for years, and now it's time to try something different.
Your money goes entirely toward hard costs like materials, equipment rental, and transportation. Here’s a snapshot of our current budget:
$1025: Steel for the platform and the hill armature
$671: Water tank, plumbing, and pumping system
$750: Medium-pressure mist system
$325: Computer, WiFi router, LED/water control electronics
$225: LEDs, hill lighting
$603: LDPE sheet and nylon rivets
$881: Artificial turf
$135: Forged eyebolts for aerial rigging
$250: LF driver to repair a Mackie SRM450
$3300: Long-reach telehandler rental
$700: Telehandler delivery and pickup
$100: Water storage tanks
$60: Drum for fuel storage
$240: Diesel fuel
$175: Flower materials
$300: Misc fasteners, consumables, and paint
$419: Trailer rental, for transport to the desert
We have a super-soft American Apparel gray T-shirt custom discharge-printed by Forward Printing, just down the street from our shop in Oakland. We've printed shirts with them in the past, and they do beautiful work. Discharge printing uses dye directly to make images, which means the fabric still feels light and breathable under the print, and the design never cracks or fades. You will never see a cloud platform with a nicer t-shirt.
We're designing cute ultra-low-resolution flowers to plant on our grassy hill. The laser-cut polyethylene versions we're offering at the "Visionary" level will be the actual flowers from the vehicle, which we'll save and ship to you in all their dusty glory. The paper replicas at the "Growth Engineer" level we'll make just for you. They're equally beautiful, though not quite as durable.
The laser-cut Ardent MicroCloud™ is a small, personal cloud that you can take with you anywhere. To keep the MicroCloud™ mobile, we'll include your very own fork on which to deploy it. The prototype shown here is cut from more transparent material than the final product: imagine it in a more cloudy white color, the same HDPE as the AMCP itself.
Beautiful, original Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform concept art by Eden Gallanter, featuring her adorable, emotionally expressive stick figures. These are not prints, but the original pencil sketches and full-color artworks illustrating the Cloud's various modes of operation.
We have a very special reward for a single lucky backer at the "Angel" level: Making Amends, edition 2 of 3, by widely exhibited artist and Ardent member Nicole Aptekar. Nicole's surprisingly emotional, abstract works are conceived in CAD and brought to life through a combination of custom software, lasers, and magic. This piece measures 9.25 x 9.25 inches, and is made of paper, wood, acrylic, and stainless steel screws.
Make sure to check out the other rewards! We're also offering silly stock certificates, a Virtual Burning Man Cloud™ instance, a 45-minute "consulting" session, an original song written for the Cloud, and much, much, more!
Risks and challenges
Though this is far from our first time making large-scale interactive art, it's our first time making large-scale art on wheels. As a non-standard use of heavy machinery, we need to ensure that our operation is safe and will meet the relevant legal standards. Each vehicle operator will be certified to operate a class 7 (rough-terrain) forklift in accordance with OSHA regulations, and we will build the platform to meet ANSI/ITSDF standards.
As is true for all Mutant Vehicles, it is possible that Burning Man's DMV will fail to give us a licence to drive in the desert. Though they have pre-approved this project and we are complying with all Burning Man regulations, all art vehicles get inspected on the playa. If the Cloud Platform is grounded for any reason, we will park it at the Charcade and still operate all the non-driving aspects of the sculpture, such as the rain, lighting, music, and aerial performances.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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