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A life-size fake gas station set 100 years in the future, designed to help people envision a positive future after the climate crisis.
72 backers pledged $7,078 to help bring this project to life.

About

Awful's Gas & Snack - A Fake Gas Station from the Year 2120 project video thumbnail
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$7,078

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Update: We are funded! Thank you so much to our backers.

Stretch Goal: ELECTRIC SUV TO THE BLACK ROCK DESERT. Help us make this happen!

We are 95% there!
We are 95% there!

Awful’s Gas & Snack is a life-size fake gas station, set 100 years from now, designed to help people imagine a positive future after the climate crisis. It's both a love poem to roadside America, and an obituary for a way of life whose time has come and gone.

Attendees of our behind-the-scenes open house chatting it up under our glowing OPEN sign
Attendees of our behind-the-scenes open house chatting it up under our glowing OPEN sign

It's is a fully interactive, immersive art installation, built for an audience to step inside and explore. As the audience interacts with the gas pump, tries to get a snack from the mini-mart, or explores the employee break room, they'll learn more about the lives of the characters that live in the vicinity of Awful’s and the world they live in. They'll also learn about all the ways the people of the future misunderstand the present day.

Our crew undertook an intensive process of research and collaboration to imagine a bright future in the year 2120, where civilization no longer runs on fossil fuels, and places like Awful’s are a relic of history. It's not only bright and positive, it's a future we can actually reach. We built Awful's to enable people to step into that future and experience it on an intimate, personal level.

A volunteer team of artists, journalists, engineers and activists came together to conceive and build this project. Construction started in April and is very far along. By the time it reaches the playa, it will include a fully-built gas station, with a shade overhead and a real, working gas pump; a mini-mart complete with a real live attendant and real snacks; a radio station with 9 hours of original music, news, announcements, and ads from the world of the future; and an employee break room with art, personal details, brochures, maps and other artifacts from the future.

The installation will also reward those who explore more, with a deep and involved mystery game that will take you on a wild ride to the weird fringes of the future.

Our assembled gas pump, along with curators  Madeline Fried (flyer) and Matthew Gerring (base)
Our assembled gas pump, along with curators Madeline Fried (flyer) and Matthew Gerring (base)

We are deeply committed to walking our talk on climate change. We are not just building an art installation about positive solutions to the climate crisis – we are living in the world we're trying to imagine as much as possible. We're using only recycled and sustainable materials, we are transporting our installation to Burning Man using electric vehicles to the extent possible, and our crew is participating in an ecosystem restoration work day with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe pre-event.

Awful's Gas & Snack is part of the 2019 Black Rock City Honoraria. We received partial funding from Burning Man, but it's up to us and our community to close the gap! We still have to purchase a solar and battery system, additional electronics components, snacks for the mini mart, paint, decorations, and whatever liquid is being dispensed from the gas pump (trust us, whatever it is, you'll love it). We also have to arrange for transportation to and from the playa, and make sure we have some money set aside in case something unexpected happens, which it will – this is Burning Man, after all.

Crew member Dina Chipiga trimming the internal walls of the break room
Crew member Dina Chipiga trimming the internal walls of the break room

Our rewards will let you take home a piece of the art. We're offering a range of gifts, including effusive thank-yous from our whole crew, a USB drive of 9 hours of Awful’s radio recordings, an official Awful’s jumpsuit and snack care package, a calendar from 2120 and a map of Black Gold Junction (where Awful’s is situated in the not so distant future). For our most generous supporters, we're offering a dinner, prepared by the crew with sustainable, climate-adapted ingredients, with the whole team (and the gas pump!)

Another reward that’s dear to all our hearts is a sourcebook, which will contain all the research, drawings, news clippings, and inspiration for Awful's, as well as reflections from the team. This will include our worldbuilding wiki, which we've used to write an incredible amount of detailed information about the future, and which will not be available for viewing at Awful's or in any other place! You'll get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create big, immersive, narrative art.

Please help us reach our goal, and bring this positive vision of the future to life!

Concept design for the Awful's breakroom, by Madeline Fried
Concept design for the Awful's breakroom, by Madeline Fried

Risks and challenges

This is a large art installation consisting of a full-size building that has to meet a variety of engineering constraints. Things can break, or fail, or someone could drive a truck into it, making it impossible for us to take the installation to the playa (or continue staging it once it's there). We could run out of money to transport the piece to the playa. We could run out of money or time to produce the snacks and sundries that will be dispensed from the mini-mart. We could experience a catastrophic computer crash and lose all of our digital media assets.

There are many moving parts, and so lots of failure points. But there's also enough going on that if one piece is missing, the whole will still work. There is still a risk that the fully realized vision won't make it to the playa.

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Environmental commitments

Visit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.

Sustainable materials

We are using 100% reclaimed or recycled wood for this project. There isn't a single scrap of first-use lumber anywhere in Awful's Gas & Snack. All the furnishings and decorations were either found or purchased secondhand. Our gas pump was diverted from a landfill, and we are recycling all the components we were unable to use.

Sustainable fulfillment and distribution

First, with respect to delivering the installation: we are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our transportation to and from Burning Man. We will deliver the project, and as much of our gear as possible, using electric vehicles. We have a plan in place to do this and we will extensively document what we did so future projects can follow our example.

Second, the rewards: we are committed to using only recyclable or biodegradable materials for our rewards. This includes biodegradable snack packaging. We are working with a sustainable packaging expert to achieve this.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    24 hr Sale! Awful's Patches $20 each!

    Hey! To celebrate hitting our initial goal we have made available awful's patches for the low price of $20 each!

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Personalized Thank You Message

    We will send you an Awful's branded, personalized thank-you message. We will also include your name in the credits!

    Includes:
    • Personalized Thank You
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    Limited 16 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Awful's Gas Radio - 9 hours of content!

    Take a piece of the future home with you -- 9 hours of future radio, delivered to you on USB.

    Includes:
    • USB Stick with 9 hr. Arrangement of Awful's Radio
    • Personalized Thank You
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    Limited 6 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Future World Map & 2119 - 2120 Calendar

    Come explore our world! We spent a ton of time building the world of Awful's Gas and Snack - immerse yourself in our alternate universe by scoring these awesome future cultural artifacts for yourself!

    The Map shows the region around Black Gold Junction, the fictional setting for Awful's.

    The calendar is full of fun facts and weird happenings unique to the year 2120.

    Includes:
    • Future World Map
    • 2119 - 2120 Calendar
    • Personalized Thank You
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    Limited 11 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Jumpsuit & Snacks

    We will send you a gift basket with one of each of the sundries offered at Awful's Gas & Snack along with your own Awful's branded jumpsuit! Perfect for working, partying, or hanging out.

    Includes:
    • Jumpsuit - specify your size in your donation message please!
    • Basket of Snacks
    • Personalized Thank You
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    Limited 11 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    Awful's Gas & Snack Art Source Book

    All of our notes, research, concept sketches, blog posts about progress and photos gathered in a beautifully designed, cool keepsake book.

    Includes:
    • Awful's Source Book
    • 2119 - 2120 Calendar
    • Future World Map
    • Personalized Thank You
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    Limited 2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 850 or more About US$ 850

    Dinner with the Team and our Gas Pump

    Come dine with the crew of artists, designers, builders, technologists, and storytellers who put this project together. We can have a real conversation next to our fake gas pump while enjoying the best of Northern California Cuisine.

    Includes:
    • Jumpsuit - specify your size in your donation message please!
    • Awful's Source Book
    • Basket of Snacks
    • 2119 - 2120 Calendar
    • Future World Map
    • USB Stick with 9 hr. Arrangement of Awful's Radio
    • Personalized Thank You
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (25 days)