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Join us in bringing the beauty of Islamic art to Burning Man and make a permanent home for this light sculpture in the American desert.
Join us in bringing the beauty of Islamic art to Burning Man and make a permanent home for this light sculpture in the American desert.
250 backers pledged $21,272 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

ROSHANAI ("Illuminate") for Burning Man 2016 project video thumbnail
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$21,272

250

Charles Gadeken presents a unique new light and sound experience for Burning Man 2016: ROSHANAI

 

ROSHANAI - Farsi for "Illuminate" - is a path of enlightenment, shifting colors in static form. Along this corridor, perspectives change and opposites unite. Islamic mathematical art is married to the great Western landscape, serenaded with the speed of sound.

My wife and family are Iranian, and I am very alarmed by the anti-Muslim sentiments that are currently rampant in the US. By incorporating Islamic mathematical art motifs in this work, I hope to foster appreciation for the beauty of this ancient and diverse culture, and thereby do my small part to counter the racist propaganda. With ROSHANAI, opposites unite and art conquers all.

Roshanai render in Black Rock desert
Roshanai render in Black Rock desert

During the day, the long white wall of ROSHANAI blends in with the desert and appears from afar like a surreal mountain range of dust. As you approach, you see repeated iterations of Islamic geometric patterns are cut into the outside panels. These are lit from within to illuminate the patterns and cast fantastic shadows at night. As you walk along the 100-ft long wall to the ends, you encounter the overwhelming entrance gates inspired by the Imam Mosque of Isfahan in Iran - pointed arches filled with 3D sacred geometry. You walk through them onto the illuminated path.

Imam Mosque of Isfahan, Iran (shutterstock)
Imam Mosque of Isfahan, Iran (shutterstock)

ROSHANAI is an experience. A journey. As you walk down the narrow corridor, you are surrounded on both sides by colored light on smooth walls. Above you, the sky is a narrow strip, transformed from the vast overarching expanse of the open playa. Your perspective shifts from outside to inside, from dusty taupe to pure vibrant color. The path stretches far in front of you. Metal hammers strike out Middle Eastern percussive melodies, like the Tabla drum.

ROSHANAI inside - the path of enlightenment
ROSHANAI inside - the path of enlightenment

 We have received an honorarium grant from Burning Man that will cover much of the cost for bringing ROSHANAI to Black Rock City. We are asking for necessary funds to finish and make this work of art permanent - galvanization, solar arrays, and quality rotary solenoids for the metal hammers. We intend to buy land and install this piece in the Nevada desert, where you can come and visit it. Your contribution will make it possible for ROSHANAI to weather the elements in this harsh environment and become a permanent art installation. Our stretch goal will be funding to buy the land, exact parcel TBD.

Join our campaign. In addition to being a crucial member of the Burning Man arts community, you will help to bring permanent public art to the Nevada desert, as well as receive the exclusive rewards listed and our undying gratitude!

Once you back us, please be sure to share ROSHANAI with your friends!

Risks and challenges

I am a professional artist of 30 years, making large sculptural art for Burning Man as a Flaming Lotus Girl and under my name since 2000. I work with a wonderful group of designers, engineers, metal workers, scientists, artists, and friends to make this art come alive. We do this at the Box Shop, a community artspace I created in San Francisco that provides work space and access to high-quality tools for local artists and makers.

I know what it takes to make big art for Burning Man and I will not disappoint you!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Digital Wallpaper

    A digital image of ROSHANAI installed in the Black Rock Desert. Even if you can't be at Burning Man to experience it, you can see what you helped to make possible!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    ROSHANAI cut-out pendants

    These are actual pieces of metal cut from ROSHANAI, powder-coated white and holes drilled for your jewelry or keychain collection. Get yours now!

    Plus stickers, tattoos, and digital wallpaper

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    33 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Sticker pack

    All previous gifts + a pack of ROSHANAI stickers to show your enlightened state. Keep an eye on updates for designs!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Bandana scarf

    East meets West with this desert necessity, imprinted with the geometric designs of ROSHANAI. Wear as a head covering or a cowboy collar to show your support. Plus all previous gifts

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Custom Keychain light

    All previous gifts + Let your light shine with this custom keychain LED flashlight, printed with ROSHANAI logo.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ROSHANAI Mosaic Wall Art

    Steel wall hangings CNC plasma cut from the same metal that made ROSHANAI! Painted white like the sculpture (10) or clear coated to preserve the silver metal finish (10), signed by the artist. These are designs featured in the sculpture - see rewards update for pictures.

    Plus digital wallpaper, stickers and tattoos, and your choice of bandana or flashlight.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Rumi Poem Metal art

    We have inscribed 20 poems of Rumi in Farsi onto the crossbars of ROSHANAI, which hold the structure strong against the winds of the desert.

    Receive one of these verses etched in ROSHANAI steel (2" x 30"), plus digital wallpaper, stickers and tattoos, and your choice of bandana or flashlight.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ROSHANAI Mosaic Wall Art - New Release!

    A new limited edition release of the steel wall hangings CNC plasma cut from the same metal that made ROSHANAI! Painted bronze, signed by the artist. These are designs featured in the sculpture - see rewards update for pictures.

    Plus digital wallpaper, stickers and tattoos, and your choice of bandana or flashlight.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    T-shirt

    All previous gifts + Share the light with your custom ROSHANAI T-shirt. Keep an eye on updates for designs!

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    31 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Hoodie

    Feel the warmth and share the light with your custom ROSHANAI zip hoodie. You will also receive stickers, bandana or flashlight, and digital wallpaper.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ROSHANAI Heart Sculpture

    These steel standing hearts are made from drop metal of ROSHANAI. You can see the shapes cut from the star mosaics in the outside panels of the sculpture in the desert. See rewards update for pictures.

    First come, first pick until they are gone! Because of the bulk and weight, these are limited to backers in the Bay Area that we can deliver to.

    You will also get digital wallpaper, stickers and tattoos, your choice of bandana or flashlight, and T-shirt.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ROSHANAI Calligraphy

    Hand-written Farsi calligraphy of "Roshanai" on archival paper, matted for you to frame!
    Plus digital wallpaper, stickers, bandana or flashlight, and your choice of T-shirt or hoodie.

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

    Artist date

    A guided tour of Roshanai at Burning Man with the artist Charles Gadeken.

    If you are not able to attend Burning Man this year, we can provide you a digital tour with Charles, or make a date to tour ROSHANAI at its final location in the Nevada desert!

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Funding period

- (32 days)