Project image
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$2,071
pledged of $7,000pledged of $7,000 goal
23
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, August 7 2015 1:01 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 20, 2015

True Reflections Palace at Burning Man 2015

Mirrors to reflect the True You! See Yourself without being backwards at one of the most amazing Burning Man 2015 Installations!

True Reflections Palace at Burning Man 2015

Mirrors to reflect the True You! See Yourself without being backwards at one of the most amazing Burning Man 2015 Installations!

$2,071
pledged of $7,000pledged of $7,000 goal
23
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, August 7 2015 1:01 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 20, 2015

About

Burning Man 2015 - True Reflections Palace

Update 8/6/2015 

Hello Burners and Friends of Burners!  Sad to say, our Kickstarter failed to meet the funding goal, so we will not get any support from this venue.  I guess there's too many other great projects going on, and I am more focused on getting things done than running around promoting like crazy.  

Not to worry, we are still going, everything will still be beautiful and amazing, and the only downside is a big hole in my personal finances, but heck - its Burning Man - it always costs more than you think it will.

But...if you still would like to help out and also still get one of the amazing rewards offered, you can do directly to my website where we still have everything available, but just without the Kickstarter framework.  Any and all support is greatly appreciated, and we will see you on the Playa!!!  

Here is the support link, which will become active 8/7/15: http://truemirror.com/bm2015fundraiser/ 

John Walter, lead artist

...and now back to our story:

The theme at Burning Man this year is the Carnival of Mirrors, so we are going all out with the redesigned and upgraded True Reflections Palace.  This is a wonderful space that showcases amazing true reflection mirrors that show you without reversing left and right.  A truly tinkered view of you and completely mind blowing! We discovered that these mirrors allow you to See Yourself -  not just what you look like, but who you are and how you are.  This will be our 10 year anniversary at Burning Man, and we are ready to rock the Playa with some amazing art and beautiful interactivity!

True Reflection Discovery with the cook's tour of the experience by John Walter! photo credit Dola Photography
True Reflection Discovery with the cook's tour of the experience by John Walter! photo credit Dola Photography

The Experience

Traditional mirrors take all of our vitality away and present a flat and distorted version of ourselves. We are used to this version since childhood, but it is so wrong - we are much more than what is in backwards mirror reflections.

In contrast, looking into your own eyes, in real time, without that reversal does something surprising - our eyes and faces keep "working".  Whatever we are saying looks right, so we can keep saying it.  The net effect - you get to See Yourself. The real you, the one that we see.  It can be stunning to realize how much more alive we are than what we have seen in traditional mirrors our entire lives.  It's a function of right brain/left brain theory, facial communication and feedback loops.  There is both science and magic here, and on Playa it gets both explained and experienced to a degree unlike any other place on earth.

Inside the Palace 2013
Inside the Palace 2013

A "Tinkered" Palace design for 2015

This year we have been selected as one of the Burning Man Honorarium Art Projects, which has not only helped get us there, but given us amazing visibility for the full 8 days...placement on Inner Playa!

This presented both a challenge and opportunity - the Palace clearly had to be made bigger, plus the  4x4 and 2x4 construction was getting old.  Five years back and forth to Playa definitely takes its toll, plus the creative itch was was crying out for something new.  So what else can one use to build a 20x30x8 foot cube?  

John Walter, aka Exactly, the lead artist, came up with the perfect solution...what about using life size versions of those wooden building toys from childhood? They should be able to work (aside from the fact that they always fall apart - basic engineering additions could fix that). 

And so the planning and testing began, first in trying to make the wood rounds with a tree trunk, then by doing it right with a woodworker who makes wood columns by trade.   Then joining with 10 foot long poles covered in colored spandex, then colored curtains on the outside, and finally "cross-beams" for strength, and voilà - a brand new design that will be pretty kickin out there!  Form, Function and Art all rolled into one.  As a bonus, the colors will make it truly look like a Carnival Tent!

Scale model of the full new True Reflection Palace (complete with flags!)
Scale model of the full new True Reflection Palace (complete with flags!)
Life Size Wood Rounds compared to Toy Size (note: that is only one Burning Man sticker in there, and you can read it in the center image)
Life Size Wood Rounds compared to Toy Size (note: that is only one Burning Man sticker in there, and you can read it in the center image)
True Reflections Palace Floor Plan - a big part of the experience will be the explanation posters inside - there's a lot of science here!
True Reflections Palace Floor Plan - a big part of the experience will be the explanation posters inside - there's a lot of science here!

Why are we doing this?

In the spirit of of the 10 principles of Burning Man, we are Gifting an amazing, wonderful and completely unique experience to thousands of people.  Radical self-expression is often the result as people look deeper and interact with themselves as never before.  And Immediacy?  We are  all about removing a barrier to recognizing your inner self and how you truly are to the rest of us - you can turn around and be yourself so much better from this experience. 

Prepare to be surprised if you have never seen this before...you as a real, vibrant, truly alive and happy human being.  Or a deep and genuine Burner with wisdom in your eyes. Or whatever - your true image actually reflects all your expressive information correctly, so you can continue to be true to yourself.  The experience is wonderful - as one burner said:  "When did I become the bright capable soul that this mirror shows?".  Or another: "I find myself liking what I see...and I find myself loving that concept".  Or even better, from a 5 year old: “Why are my eyes shiny in this mirror but not in that mirror?”  Says it all!  

True Reflection Discovery - look at her eyes as shes wondering "what is different here?"
True Reflection Discovery - look at her eyes as shes wondering "what is different here?"

Even more comments below really tell the story and why this actually is super important work we are doing. We thank you in advance for your support of our vision.

A sample of great comments - click picture for full resolution
A sample of great comments - click picture for full resolution

What we are using the Kickstarter Funding for:

We are looking for Kickstarter funding to supplement our other funding sources, especially since the project has grown quite a bit since our initial budget.  For instance, in addition to the main Palace installation, we are going to to put True Reflection Mirrors at the Purel stations on 15 radial streets at Avenue D. (aka Daily Mirrors with Affirmation Tabs).  Because mirrors will be everywhere this year, might as well put true reflection mirrors where they can be easily used, just like any other mirror, just so much better! 

The entire project has already topped $20,000, and we are only partially funded from Burning Man and some wonderful donors so far, including from the lead artist.  Basically here is a cost breakdown:

  • $6000 Structure: (includes, wood rounds, poles, couplers, spandex, tools, paint etc)
  • $2700 Giant 48x48 mirror:  (includes new truss kit)
  • $2400 8 18x18 Palace Mirrors: 
  • $3000 15 Daily Mirrors (one at each of D avenue Portapottie Purel stations) 
  • $500  Curtains: 
  • $450 Lighting 
  • $400 Decorations: 
  • $300 Posters 
  • $2000 shipping
  • $4500 Items from previous years 
  • Misc other items, including Kickstarter rewards.

About the rewards

The rewards are coming directly from the hands of the lead artist and photographers connected to the project.  As part of John's lifelong mission to bring these mirrors to the world, he does make them commercially as True Mirrors.  What makes them so special is that the distracting line in the center of two ordinary mirrors at right angles is virtually invisible, and it can be mounted on the wall just like any other mirror, just so much better.  Note: this is the only place in the world to get this kind of mirror...its actually quite difficult to make them perfect, but we think it matters that we do.

True Mirror production model (vase not included)
True Mirror production model (vase not included)

The production 12x12" model is offered here at a discount from the regular price, and the beautifully decorated one from Michele Palmer will be an amazing addition to any household, and the handcrafted wood 18x18" models will be gorgeous.  

On Playa, our $50 reward is to have your portrait taken inside the True Reflection mirror.  We have been blessed to see so many incredibly magical people with real sparkles in their eyes - something that is rarely seen in even regular portraits.  Capturing the essence of who you are can be a lifelong treasure

Comparison of Mirror Reflection vs True Mirror Reflection.  Note how blank her eyes are in the backwards version, and only a half smile, vs the full sparkle and depth in the True Reflection!
Comparison of Mirror Reflection vs True Mirror Reflection. Note how blank her eyes are in the backwards version, and only a half smile, vs the full sparkle and depth in the True Reflection!

Finally, the Liquid Nitrogen Fractured First Surface Bas-Reliefs are the result of a failed experiment that became beautiful art instead.  Trying to get better cuts, John experimented with making the glass very cold...as in Liquid Nitrogen cold.  Didn't work - the glass fractured into many pieces.  But they were perfectly fractured - you could put them back together like a jigsaw puzzle.  So he mounted them on a black background and framed them for  completely unique wall art 

Liquid Nitrogen, perfectly fractured mirror.  Note there are no shards and you could put the mirror back together again like a jigsaw.  Frame is representative only
Liquid Nitrogen, perfectly fractured mirror. Note there are no shards and you could put the mirror back together again like a jigsaw. Frame is representative only

Bonus - VIP Entrance: All contributions over $25 get VIP entrance to the Palace if there is a line, and we expect one almost all the time.  Note: this reward only works if there is someone at the "velvet rope" to take your VIP pass - since this is a 24x7 installation, there will be plenty of times there will be no one at the gate...so sorry, for those times you will have to wait with others. 

Honor Roll - all contributors will have their names on a large poster inside the palace as another thanks and recognition of your support - even the smallest amounts mean a lot to us, it goes a long way to showing how you value this experience, both at Burning Man and elsewhere.

Who we are

The True Reflectors Crew consists of amazing people who have been part of previous year's installations and/or those who are so moved by the experience that they are completely ready and willing to bust it both here and on Playa.  Super grateful to everyone!

  • John Walter - Lead Artist
  • Amy Tolliver
  • Dusty Lashes
  • Alexandra Tobyk
  • John Dalton
  • Katie Cole
  • Jeffrey Michael
  • Marlu Bishop
  • Rodrigo De La Parra
  • Ashley Hervas
  • Willow Olsen
  • Robert Green
  • Plus more contributors on Playa (you too if you want to play, especially Docents to explain the experience - please contact us!)

Risks and challenges

The Palace has a ship deadline of August 8, when the NYC Container heads out to Playa - we are more than 2/3 complete. There have been a host of key milestones that have been reached, such as getting the 35 wood rounds made, the spandex cut and sewed, and the poles cut to size There are a lot of other tasks to do, but we are on schedule so far, with a number of work weekend set up for the final push.

Structurally, we have tested each element - the concept is good with plenty of strength coming from the actual pieces - the whole thing will not require any wires or staking into the ground.

The biggest risk outside our control is that the containers don't make it on Playa in time, but so far they have an excellent track record. If they are late, we will just work extra hard to get it going for the burn. If they don't make it, well there's always next year

There will inevitably be challenges on Playa with the environment, but we think we will be able to adjust as needed. This is the 10th year on Playa for these mirrors and the Palace, and most of the logistics will be familiar once we get there. 3 days of building, 8 days of showing, 1 day of strikedown. We expect more than 15000 people to come thru during the burn!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Any amount between $5 and $25 - thanks so much for your support - it means so much that you give us your thumbs up on the project . We will have an honor roll in the Palace on which your name will appear.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Framed and signed print of the True Reflections Palace and crew, 2015. Honor Roll and VIP Entrance to the True Reflections Palace for you and your guest when entrance is manned.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Special unframed portrait of you looking into the True Reflection Mirror taken by a professional photographer. Note, there will be very specific timeframes for this to be done, not Playa time! Honor Roll and Cook's Tour of the Palace by the lead artist for you and your guest when entrance is manned.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Liquid Nitrogen Fractured First Surface Bas-Reliefs. These are framed art pieces that came out of a test to figure out how to cut the mirrors better...turns out the test failed, but the effect is pretty amazing - completely fractured mirrors, but with no shards, perfect edges, and affixed as an exploded bas-relief to make an interesting and beautiful work of art! http://www.truemirror.com/liquidnitrogenart.jpg. Honor Roll and nd Cook's Tour of the Palace by the lead artist for you and your guest when entrance is manned.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Special pricing on a True Reflection Mirror made by the artist, John Walter, signed and numbered. This is the only source for these wonderful optically precise, true image mirrors in the world, regular is $200. Come home from the Playa to your very own True Mirror. Honor Roll and VIP entrance to the Palace for you and your guest when entrance is manned.

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Specially designed True Reflection Mirror with beautiful sparkly things and even feathers by artist Michelle Palmer (Jan Delivery), or other artist to be named (November Delivery). The optics of these mirrors makes it so that anything becomes a beautiful mandala. Here is just a small sample of what it will look like: http://www.truemirror.com/MichellePalmerTrueMirrorDesign.jpg. Honor Roll and Cook's Tour of the Palace by the lead artist for you and your guest when entrance is manned.

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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    Special designed 18x18 True Reflection Mirror with beautiful wood custom crafting. Your choice of wood finish. A true artisan work of art. Honor Roll and Cook's Tour of the Palace by the lead artist for you and your crew when entrance is manned.

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Funding period

- (30 days)