About this project
We have almost hit our first stretch goal and are mere days away from the clock counting down! One final push towards the finish line....
Each stretch goal gets the tower closer to our team's full vision, but with the clock counting down we can't do it without the support and signal boosting by our amazingly supportive community! Keep the signal going!
Stretch Goals — and Why They Matter
Our Kickstarter’s $10K mark is actually the bare minimum we need to bring a lean version of this project to Burning Man: it covers trucking, fuel, and other logistics not funded by the grant program. But we will need to spend beyond that—about $15K total—to STRETCH the structure for our delightfully surprising high-traffic placement, which nobody could have foreseen during the grant process! Setting a 15K target is daunting in Kickstarter terms, so we'll take a leap of faith and call the rest Stretch Goals. Your Stretch funding through 14K will help us achieve vital structural improvements for the 6 o’clock plaza: Larger cupola to allow more visitors A double, spiral-helix ladder (instead of just one single-file) Fatter tower to support the enlarged cupola, and fit the two ladders A few more lights needed—to light the interior, and achieve the planned exterior effects Added safety features for ladder climbers But a little more will go a very long way! Our other stretch goals aren’t a stretch to imagine: Add a rotating, mirrored beacon to the spire, making the tower a functional lighthouse by night. Make the light show triggered by the real-time activity in the Spark Chamber itself -- and other wow! lighting enhancements. Galvanize all steel used in the structure, making it durable, and more beautiful. Surround the tower base with handmade benches to offer a contemplative gathering area. Any of these improvements will also help us bring Cosmic Praise and its components back to playa in future years—and maybe a town near you… …to infinity and beyond!
Thank you all so much for your continued support and interest!
A monument for the ever-curious traveler of the Universe, Cosmic Praise is a 5-story minaret illuminating the invisible forces around us, providing a glimpse into the unseen sub-atomic world. It will be visible from all points in the City, a pulsating beacon towards discovery, or simply a way to mark your journey Home.
We’re thrilled to have received a Burning Man Honorarium Art Grant and placement at the 6-o’clock keyhole overlooking Center Camp—but we need YOUR help to make our dream of revealing the quantum world to the denizens of Black Rock City a reality.
It’s not just a tower…
In Cosmic Praise’s observation deck lies a curious secret—a mid-20th-century particle physics detector called a Spark Chamber. Spark chambers allow you to actually see the tracks left behind by Cosmic Rays. Within a glass compartment of noble gases is a stack of 27 aluminum plates, each 1 cm apart. When passing muons ionize the gas between the plates, the high voltage “senses” the lower conductivity path and discharges across the gaps, giving rise to a series of sparks that reveal its track as it hurtles through the glass. Cosmic Rays—highly energetic particles spit out by Supernovae and other cataclysmic events throughout the Universe—invisible, ever-present shrapnel from the explosions of far-away stars. They can travel through space for billions of years, and finally, some of them at least, end up passing through the Earth, its atmosphere and everything else, including all of its inhabitants, including you!
“Most of these things look like toaster ovens.” — an anonymous physicist
Unlike “typical” spark chambers, Cosmic Praise’s other-worldly contraption is as much a work of art as it is a lesson in particle physics. (If you know of any other unique or attractive spark chambers, let us know!) Ours has several notable differences:
- Round, symmetrical glass chamber
- Component design derived from Persian architectural elements
- Artist-designed braces and housing, in metal and wood, will complement the open air cupola where the piece is experienced
- Visible from all sides
- Experienced at the top of a 50-foot tower, not a lab or science museum where clothing is not optional
For extra coolness, we are placing this detector high up in a minaret so that you can climb above all of the dust and chaos below allowing you the opportunity to look inward at processes that involve the Universe, while at the same time being able to look outward on the works of Man. We are taking the architecture of religion—usually used to call the faithful to prayer and by adding some science—turning it into a call to the curious for the faithful who want to better understand the underpinnings of the Universe that they find themselves born in.
The Divine Geometry of The Minaret
The unconventional tower base structure is a mathematically elegant and awesome-looking shape known as a hyperboloid of revolution, where straight lines make curved surfaces. In this twisted column, steel struts interlace in a hyperbolic curve, which will be exposed to display its beauty of form. The bottom of the structure will be skinned in canvas covered in designs inspired by Moorish tilings, and Feynman diagrams of the quantum mechanical interactions taking place within the Spark Chamber. It also is a nice spot to duck out of the sun or desert winds.
Cosmic Lighting and Effects
The lighting on the tower will consist of several connected systems, which we intend to make triggered and controlled by the Cosmic Rays themselves—non-repeating patterns of effects set into motion by events that happened up to a billion light-years away. The lower skirt of light-reactive paint will be illuminated by color-changing LED spotlights. The tower itself will have 200-meters of RGB LED strips outlining the structure and responding to the detection and energy of the incoming Cosmic Rays. The spire will also have rings of lights ascending it, and possibly (should the stretch goal be met) a powerful 250W LED searchlight capable of casting a 500-foot beam of light.
We Need Your Help
As recipients of a 2014 Burning Man Honorarium project, this artwork is made possible due to a grant from Burning Man. Thanks to the BMorg’s generosity, our large team of East Coast artists, fabricators, friends and Burners, have already begun construction. But the grant will only cover a portion of our costs and we need your help to bring Cosmic Praise to the Playa—primarily for transport logistics, and new structural enhancements made after learning of our 6-o’clock placement. Please, please help us fund this project and get it out to the Playa as our fully-realized vision of the union of art and science.
Yes! Helping Can Get You More Than Just Good Karma
Here’s a sneak preview of some of our reward gifts, with more items to be added soon. Thank you for your support, or simply for helping to spread the word. We cannot do this without you—every donation at any level really helps!
As production continues we will add new updates and rewards right here on Kickstarter and on our blog. Join our Cosmic journey or talk back at us via Facebook and Twitter, or ask us questions in the Kickstarter FAQ section.
Risks and challenges
We are a dedicated team of hard-working, passionate, over-achievers and we are focused on making this project happen. That being said, there certainly are challenges, otherwise, why bother?
A major portion of the Cosmic Praise Kickstarter funding will go directly towards transportation costs from Boston, MA to Black Rock City, Nevada and back again. Turns out, renting a box truck for a month for a 5,000+ mile round trip is not cheap!
Being honored as the project chosen for the 6-o'clock plaza has its own challenges. Originally intended as a deep-Playa refuge for contemplation, the new location necessitated some structural changes to handle more people and subsequently more time, materials, effort and money are needed.
Thank you for your time and consideration... most of all thank you for helping bring art to the Playa. We couldn't do it without you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (31 days)