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The Trojan Horse Project - Sparkle And Sizzle's video poster

Please, help make this beast a BEACON OF LIGHT out on the Playa! Read more

Vancouver, Canada Art
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pledged of $11,800 goal
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This project was successfully funded on August 29, 2011.

Please, help make this beast a BEACON OF LIGHT out on the Playa!

Vancouver, Canada Art
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About this project

Sparkle! Sizzle! Crash! Burn!

The Trojan Horse is a 50' tall, 20-ton wooden, mobile and participatory art installation for Burning Man 2011. In addition to our creative illumination designers, Black Rock FX signed on to the Horse’s Pyrotechnics Team with “Pyro Jack” Schroll as lead. The work of BRFX is the stuff of legend and includes pyro for the Angel of the Apocalypse and Mutopia by the Flaming Lotus Girls, Rock Opera, Megatropolis, Raygun Gothic Rocket, and Crude Awakening.

With this incredible team in place, now we need the powder, dust and LEDs to make this beast a BEACON OF LIGHT out on the Playa!

The Trojan Horse 2011

The Trojan Horse Project is a multidisciplinary effort combining sculpture, light installation, music, performance, and dramatic arts into what is destined to be a highlight of this year’s Burning Man. Standing nearly five stories high and weighing 20 tons, the horse will be composed of large dark triangles, a modern, cubistic version of a familiar form. Surrealistic rooms within and spectacular lighting effects inside and out make the beast even more remarkable.

If Vancouver-based Art Director Douglas Bevans and his international project team achieve their goals, a thousand or more Burners will participate in pulling this huge Trojan Horse across the Playa to where it will be set on fire with flaming arrows. In addition to those pulling the horse, the Grand Procession will include hundreds of players costumed as Greek deities or mortals and an international corps of brass players, drummers, and percussionists who will play Bevan’s latest composition.

The Trojan Horse Project is a global undertaking, having already attracted hundreds of volunteers and collaborators from around the world.Why don't you join us? While managed from Vancouver, Montreal, Seattle, and San Francisco, the project is truly a global Burner community effort. And we need your help to make this beast come to life!

The Sparkle - Fireworks Details

The Trojan Horse will begin its last “rights” of passage on Friday, September 2 at sundown. Columns of Burners will pull the 20-ton beast on its massive cart across the Playa and through the Gates of Troy.  After the Horse has entered the gates, a short, intense fireworks display will erupt as the installation is positioned in its final resting place.

Then, nearing midnight, Artemis, Apollo, and their band of archers will shoot flaming arrows onto the upper reaches of the beast. In a spectacular conflagration featuring additional pyrotechnics, the Horse will begin to burn. Zor – Fyre God, portrayed by Karl Wood, will enter the scene and display his unparalleled talents as he circles the beast and lights the legs and underbelly to put the beast to rest.

Orchestrated by Black Rock FX, the show will be an aesthetic delight. “The BRFX Team,” Schroll says, “just seems to have pyro in their blood. Once you’ve smelled the smoke, it doesn’t let you go. We have created quite a show to accompany the death of the Trojan Horse.”

Fireworks show by Black Rock FX, Crude Awakening, BRC 2007
photo credit RussellR

Why burn it, you might ask? The last and final rite of passage, burning the horse, will challenge assumptions about the permanence / impermanence of art. Combining fire and art is an essential part of Burning Man. Douglas Bevans, Artistic Director of the Trojan Horse Project, offers these thoughts: “Artistically, my hope is that burning the piece will serve as a reminder that art does not need to be permanent. It can be both ephemeral and changing, as are all things in life. To a large degree, working on this project for the past year has been a central expression of art. Manifesting the installation is just one of many steps in this creative process. Regarding the sustainability of the project, there is a duality. On the one hand, we’re creating this amazing ephemeral art piece. And on the other, we’re burning roughly 20 tons of wood that could have otherwise been used for more permanent structures. While the negative consequences are undesirable, in this instance, art takes precedence. To mitigate the impacts of the burn itself we will combine carbon offsetting and support forest conservation efforts internationally via Conservation International."

The Sizzle - Lighting Details

To illuminate our dark beast at night, we use two different lighting schemes, that - individually and in combination - will accentuate the Horse’s malevolent presence on the Playa. Both lighting schemes will be programmed to create the impression of a pulsating and throbbing interior.

Mounted onto the Horse’s body will be 2000 feet of flexible red LED strips, outlining the triangular skin-panels. When the Horse’s dark body fades into the darkness, the abstract red wireframe effect of the rope lights will highlight the polygonal outer-worldliness of the Horse’s cubistic form (it’s the Trojan Tron-Suit). Segmentation of the whole 2000 feet of lighting material into separate control circuits will allow animated effects to be played out across the Horse’s body.

In addition to the Horse’s own light-suit, it’s body will be illuminated by an array of color-intensive spots positioned around it’s site. A mix of blue, green, magenta and orange metal halide lamps will flood the Horse’s body with radiant color gradients and make it clearly visible to everyone from afar.

The Pulse - Interior Illumination

Participants climb ladders and stairs in the Horse’s rear legs to reach the rooms in the belly of the beast. To enable safe ascension into our beast and all it’s hidden rooms, we’ll use EL-wire and LED-strips outlining steps and all of the Horse’s many edges. In the main room in the Horse’s belly, where the absinthe ceremony will be performed, several lighting elements will be choreographed to create a red-flooded vibrating atmosphere. From here, Burners will be able to ascend a further flight of light-marked stairs to the lookout in the Horse’s head. In the hidden oracle room, a set of color-changing LED strips will create a monochrome color field to evoke the Ganzfeld effect in the viewer.

The belly of the beast will be a surrealistic space designed to play with the mind and senses. Simply experiencing the interior’s sensory overload of sights, sounds, and smells; the tactile interior and décor; the taste of absinthe; the arduous entry and exit, will be a rite of passage.

Get your Swag!

If you help us with a financial contribution you'll earn our sincere gratitude and some of these great rewards:

  • Faux ancient Greek coin emblazoned with our Trojan Horse!
  • Trojan Horse Freaker from : This amazing one-size-fits-all knit koozie will keep your drinks cool and your hands dry!
  • Having your message shot into the heavens with a flaming arrow used to ignite the horse.
  • Novelty Trojan Horse T-Shirt - One-size only, extra small, stylized red outline of the Trojan Horse at night. Useful for holding beverage cans and bottles.
  • Trojan Horse 2011 Documentary - The real deal captured live as the project unfolds
  • Ready-to-wear Greek/Trojan costume and an original Jordan Betten sketch are some of the rewards for major donors.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    3 backers

    “Trojan Horse – An Evolution in Stills" : View the evolution and making of the Trojan Horse 2011 in stunning stills!

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    14 backers

    A faux ancient Greek coin emblazoned with our Trojan Horse, PLUS stills

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    10 backers

    Get your own Trojan Horse Freaker! This amazing one-size-fits-all knit koozie will keep your drinks cool and your hands dry! ... PLUS all the rewards from the previous donation levels.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    5 backers

    Have your own personalized message shot into the heavens with a flaming arrow, used to ignite the horse, PLUS coin and stills

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Trojan Horse 2011 Documentary : The real deal captured live as the project unfolds, PLUS all the rewards from the previous donation levels.

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    1 backer

    APHRODITE Level : Greek / Trojan Costume! We’ll customize a ready-to-wear costume for the event, PLUS all the rewards from the previous donation levels.

  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    ATHENA Level : Jordan Betten sketch! One and only, priceless. AND a pod at Troy! Your own getaway for the week - high above the action, directly in the action for your and your group to enjoy the sights and a little Trojan pampering... PLUS all the rewards from the previous donation levels.

Funding period

- (27 days)