Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 18, 2012.


CarouShell is San Diego's offering for BurningMan's Circle of Regional Effiqies this year. We build it, you ride it, it burns on Playa.

CarouShell is San Diego, CA's burn sculpture offering for this year's Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) project for Burning Man

2011's CoRE burn featuring 22 regional effigies - photo by John Curley.

The Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) consists of 35 effigies created by Burning Man Regional groups around the world. They will be placed in a ring several hundred feet around the base of the [Burning] Man. These effigies are a celebration of the Burning Man Regionals and their efforts to support the Burning Man ethos as a global cultural movement. All of the CORE projects will burn simultaneously at 9:00 pm on Thursday of the event week.

Dating back to 500 A.D., carousels are among the original interactive art structures. CarouShell is a human-powered merry-go-round made from wood and other burnable materials.

CarouShell is inspired by San Diego’s historic Balboa Park Carousel.

The structure will be a rotating, 20 foot diameter carousel with a spiraling, conical shell top and will present ride-able surf board and sea creatures. Participants will be able to climb aboard and mount one of six different steeds while friends grab the handles and give them a vigorous push. We will paint sub-aquatic images on the ceiling and skirting of CarouShell of an early 1900’s style. The stationary central column of the piece will offer participants a ladder to climb amongst its kelp forest to a top platform at 14 feet above playa. A pull of the brass ring triggers the lighting effects. From afar, the structure will appear as a large, turning spiral shell. The hypnotic rotation and brilliant lighting will draw in riders from across the city.

We're going to build CarouShell here in San Diego and then transport it out to the Black Rock Desert for this year's  Burning Man festival  for all the citizens of Black Rock City to enjoy.

Then we're going to set it on fire. 

Quemaduras del Sol: San Diego CoRE's burn project 2011

As part of the CoRE burn on Thursday night of the Burning Man event week, all of the regional effigies will be lit simultaneously. While the (actual) Burning Man fire is the center of the festival on Saturday night, and the Temple burn has more of a solemn atmosphere on Sunday night, Thursday night's CoRE burn has both an intimate and a large scale community effect. This bonfire will be something San Diegans as well as all Burning Man participants can be proud of and celebrate.

The 10 Principles of Burning Man ( ) dictate to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather and to attempt to leave such places in a better state than when we found them. After Caroushell's final embers are extinguished, we will clean up the site as part of the Leave No Trace efforts.

Where your donation goes to for YOUR project: Right now we need money for lumber, hardware, tools, and other supplies to actually build CarouShell here in San Diego.  After it is constructed, we will need money for transportation and fuel to bring CarouShell out to Black Rock Desert. Our entire budget for everything is about $7,000.

Thank you for taking the time to look at our proposal.


UPDATE: 03-Jun-2012 CarouShell is starting to take shape! With your help, we can make this Merry-Go-Round GO!

It's starting to take shape! (as of 02 Jun 2012)
It's starting to take shape! (as of 02 Jun 2012)


  • The six ride-able CarouShell steeds featured in our menagerie will include: the Green Sea Turtle, Pacific Sea Horse, Short-Beaked Common (Pacific) Dolphin, California Sea Lion, Great White Shark, and the most dangerous ride of the ocean: a surfboard.

    We can't promise you a specific one (I have a feeling the shark is going to be popular), but we will keep your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice in mind along with the order of which you donated. If there is one that you would absolutely be bummed out to get (i.e. you have Delphiniphobia = fear of dolphins), please let us know that as well.


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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    25 backers

    In appreciation of your gift of $10 or more, you will receive our custom made sticker of Caroushell Inscribed with "San Diego's CoRE Burn 2012"

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    17 backers

    For your gift of $20 or more, not only will you receive a sticker, but we will also send you blank postcards printed from photos of the finished project.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    6 backers

    By donating $50 or more, not only will you receive the sticker and postcards, but we would also like to thank you by sending you an 8X10 photo (printed on real photo paper!) of the finished project on fire!

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    15 backers

    In appreciation of your gift of $100, in addition to the rewards described above, you will also receive a custom pendant featuring the CarouShell effigy. Wear this pendant on CoRE burn night in front of the CarouShell and one of the project leads will give you a cold San Diego based brew to enjoy as you watch CarouShell burn! (Must be 21 or older to collect prize)

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    2 backers

    With a donation of this amount you get the sticker, postcards, picture, pendant, AND we will laser burn your name or a phrase of your choice (as long as it doesn't violate BRC principle #3) on the CarouShell effigy itself for all the citizens of Black Rock City to see!

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    With a gift of $500 or more, you can have all of the above and your very own CarouShell steed! You can participate by "naming" it (by having a laser burned etching of a name or phrase) as well as have it as your San Diego CoRE project souvenir! If you would like to keep it, we will remove your steed before the CoRE burn night and deliver it to you on playa (or back in San Diego upon our return)! However if you want to watch YOUR steed go up in blaze of glory on CoRE burn night, we will cheer right along side of you!

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Funding period

- (38 days)