Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 29, 2013.

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A mobile cloud platform bringing rain, music, shade, WiFi and performances to Black Rock City.

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.

A conceptual rendering of the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform by Lee Dotson
A conceptual rendering of the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform by Lee Dotson

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.

AMCP major components diagram, by Eden Gallanter
AMCP major components diagram, by Eden Gallanter

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.

The Cloud in progress. Clockwise: the finished steel platform that we welded, prototypes of the cubes, the type of telehandler we're all being certified of learning how to operate, and a snapshot of the LED software code-writing process.
The Cloud in progress. Clockwise: the finished steel platform that we welded, prototypes of the cubes, the type of telehandler we're all being certified of learning how to operate, and a snapshot of the LED software code-writing process.
Emmie, attaching a completed voxel.
Emmie, attaching a completed voxel.

BUDGET

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

Total: $9834

REWARDS!

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.

A mockup of your t-shirt. Design by Nicole Aptekar.
A mockup of your t-shirt. Design by Nicole Aptekar.

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.

Ardent MicroCloud™ prototype in transparent polypropylene
Ardent MicroCloud™ prototype in transparent polypropylene

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.

Original AMCP concept art by Eden Gallanter
Original AMCP concept art by Eden Gallanter

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.

Making Amends by Nicole Aptekar, edition 2 of 3
Making Amends by Nicole Aptekar, edition 2 of 3
A concept design for the 8-bit laser-cut flowers by Lyra Levin. We're still in the brainstorming phase, so colors/shapes are subject to change!
A concept design for the 8-bit laser-cut flowers by Lyra Levin. We're still in the brainstorming phase, so colors/shapes are subject to change!

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 Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    28 backers

    INTERN. Thank you! You will receive a download of the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform theme song. This song will be composed especially for the AMCP by Star St. Germain, cellist from indie chamber lounge group This Can't End Well. We'll also put your name on our site so the world will know how awesome you are.

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    11 backers

    SERIES A. Digital stock certificate. We'll email you a digital copy of our sweet pre-IPO Cloud Platform stock* with your name on it, plus everything from the INTERN reward tier. *not actually redeemable on any stock exchange

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    14 backers

    SERIES B. Physical stock certificate. We'll mail you a cold hard copy of your personalized, certified authentic* Cloud Platform stock certificate, plus everything from the INTERN reward tier. *not actually certified or authentic, really you can't cash this in anywhere.

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    SERIES C. A Cloud™ instance! You'll receive a secret, personal link that provides you daily summaries of your virtualized Burning Man experience. For example: "Broke an arm at Thunderdome, go to Med Tent." Reload daily for exciting new experiences! We'll also also send you everything from the INTERN reward tier

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    EVANGELIST. 8-bit styled flowers from The Cloud™. We'll mail you a bouquet of laser-cut paper flowers. These will be replicas of the pixel flowers covering the base of the Cloud Platform. Plus, everything from the INTERN reward tier.

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    8 backers Limited (7 left of 15)

    SYNERGY. 8-bit styled flowers from The Cloud™. We'll mail you an even more lush, full bouquet of laser-cut paper flowers than in the sold-out "EVANGELIST" tier. These will be replicas of the pixel flowers covering the base of the Cloud Platform. Plus, everything from the INTERN reward tier.

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    STEAKHOLDER. Your own personal Ardent MicroCloud™. It's a tiny cloud on a fork! Laser-cut from the same HDPE material as the AMCP itself. Fork included. Plus, everything from the INTERN reward tier.

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    1 backer

    HOSTING. Host your website on the cloud! Physically! Provide Ardent with a copy of a website of your design and choosing to host on the platform during the event, in paper form. Your site will appear on paper in a binder, cabled to the railing. (For example, you could mirror GOATSE on our art piece... if you're a really evil person).

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    50 backers

    STRATEGIST. A stylish and limited Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform™ t-shirt, discharge printed on high quality shirt stock by the artisans over at Forward Printing. The super-soft American Apparel shirt will be printed using the highest-quality process, discharge printing. This process lifts dye from the shirt, showing the shirt's natural fiber instead of laying a thick layer of ink on top of the fabric. Plus, everything from the INTERN reward tier.

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    0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)

    SCHMOOZE. For $75 you get to come schmooze and rub dirty shoulders with the best and brightest of our Cloud architects at our shop in Oakland on one of our Saturday work days. You'll get up close and personal with the AMCP and the AMCP crew while enjoying ice cold Tecate in our highly exclusive Ardent Ultraloungue (AKA those couches we put in the loft of our shop). If you've ever wanted to see what it really takes to make big art happen, or if you just want to hang out with a bunch of metal fabricators (including a few who will be embracing the ideal of "safety third" and be working in a pair of booty shorts), then this is the reward for you! Come play a game of DDR, watch the cloud come to life, and marvel at the heaps of old projects in the shop!

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    10 backers All gone!

    VISIONARY. Plastic flowers from The Cloud! We'll send you a laser-cut plastic 8-bit styled flower straight from the base of our cloud platform! We may even brush some of the playa dust off it first. Plus, everything from the INTERN reward tier, and the AMCP t-shirt!

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    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    NINJA. Plastic flowers from The Cloud! We'll send you a laser-cut plastic 8-bit styled flower that will be a replica of the ones we will use at the the base of our cloud platform! Unlike the ones in the sold-out VISIONARY tier, these will be shiny and new. Plus, everything from the INTERN reward tier, and the AMCP t-shirt!

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  • Pledge $110 or more
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    6 backers

    EXECUTIVE. Cloud media package! We'll put your name on our "thank you" page and send you a mess of AMCP media. You'll get a physical stock certificate, a t-shirt, a MicroCloud™, a Cloud Instance, a paper bouquet of pixel flowers, a song download, and we'll add your name to the "thank you" page.

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    GURU. One original concept drawing for The Cloud, signed by artist Eden Gallanter. In addition, you will get a physical stock certificate, a t-shirt, a MicroCloud™, a Cloud Instance, a paper bouquet of pixel flowers, a song download, and we'll add your name to the "thank you" page.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    CORPORATE SUMMIT. A 45-minute conference call with executive members of the AMCP team offering business, logistical, and creative advice on your venture. In addition, you will receive a t-shirt, stock certificate, a MicroCloud™, a song download, and your name on the "thank you" page!

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    ANGEL. An original laser-cut paper sculpture from internationally-exhibited artist and Ardent member Nicole Aptekar. "Making Amends" edition 2 of 3. In addition, you will receive a t-shirt, stock certificate, song download, and your name on the "thank you" page!

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    BEST OF BREED. We will bring the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform, complete with rain, thunder, lightning and music, to your 1-day event in the continental US. In addition, you will receive a t-shirt, stock certificate, song download, and your name on the "thank you" page! Note: your location must be within 50 miles of a heavy equipment rental facility. Please contact us for more information before pledging!

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Funding period

- (31 days)