Beneath a giant sledgehammer, moving industrial images of frantic workers are visible through skylights on the ground, suggesting the enormous power turbines underneath the city at Burning Man need a "bump start". Infinity power tunnels, whirling roof vents and a submerging conveyor belt further the illusion. The sledgehammer stands 37 feet tall with the hammerhead itself spanning seven feet wide. The exterior is high-polish reflective aluminum.
Three regular-sized lightweight sledge hammers are the tools for interaction. When you and two other participants slam them down on their respective targets, a thunderous "boom" sound shakes the ground. The more simultaneously the three hammers are slammed, the higher the 25 foot long flames travel up the giant hammer's shank. A stall at the top of the trajectory like that of a metal weight makes the interface reminiscent of the "High Striker" carnival attraction. If you and your friends get the flames all the way to the top, the hammerhead spins with liquid fire that shoots out 100 feet, unfolds, and reflects dazzling shafts of light downward like an infernal disco ball as the underground turbines groan up to speed. Strength and accuracy matter not-- it's all in the timing.
Dressed as Rotwang from the 1927 silent film, Metropolis, a crazed barker with German accent engages the crowd from the stage into joining in as together they give the three hammer-shlammers the count "Eine... zwei... drei!" igniting a mutual obsession to restore power to the city and resume the status quo.
Ein Hammer (German for One Hammer) is a tribute to workers as one-- that with all of our grand ideas, promises, or sales of derivatives, nothing happens unless the workers work... together.
The project has received partial funding from a Burning Man honorarium art grant, two fundraisers held in the Reno, Nevada (home base for the project), and a grant from the Reno Burners, LLC and we're now making the final hammer-shlam-- with your help. The goal amount of this Kickstarter will be used to rent and fuel a large, 25,000 watt electric power generator. As it turns out, simulating a giant power source on the playa takes more power than was initially imagined (how embarrassing!). Anything above this Kickstarter goal will go toward transportation of the artistic elements and feeding the crew of over 40 "Wërker" volunteers during the installation and removal of the massive structures.
Thank you for your interest. Please pledge any amount you wish and be sure to say hello on the playa. Watch videos and follow along with the project at our progress blog:
- (41 days)