THE ALTAR OF INTENTIONS
ART ON THE PLAYA
I've interviewed Vinicius Luz on Burning Man before but this time we discuss a different art piece, one of my favorites called The Altar of Intentions. I rode past it several times and circled around on my bike with no clue that he was part of this wonderful creation, one that aimed to capture the energy of Burning Man.
This year for the theme " Radical Ritual", the Brazilian Burners decided to bring water to the playa with a spiritual and energetic objective: to analyze how water molecules, before and after burning the man, organize themselves. They collected clean and pure water samples from a vortex they created before the burn and then one day before the man burned. Their idea was to motivate burners to bring intentions and see how their energy modified the organic shape of the molecules while creating an art piece representing the universal energy flow. . They invited the Masaru Emoto Water Institute to help the water analysis process and are currently waiting for the results.
Leila there are so many people I need to thank that made this Playa art piece possible so before I answer your questions I want to give credit to several key people:
- Daniel Strickland is the first artist to represent Brazil in Black Rock City. and Since 2015 he is also the head of the Brazilian Burners crew, the main Brazilian Camp at Burning Man. He is known for his artwork that combines physics and organic elements. We've collaborated in electronic culture festivals and events since almost a decade ago merging decoration, art installations and video mapping and was invitedby him to work on the visual concept, 3D modeling visualization and lighting for some burning man art pieces. Last year we came up with the idea to recreate one of his most special projects, and upgrading it to one very unique art installation mixed with a quantum physics experiment. The water vortex with fire inside the water containing two of the strongest elements in harmony with the flow dynamics of the universe.
- I also have to thank graphic designer Marcelo Jaz who designed the engravings in the acrylic sheets, Tiago Lopes and the VERY SPECIAL participation of Akiko Stein ( MASSARU EMOTO OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER).
- The project came up to reality thanks to the participation of honorary consul from Brazil in Poland Greg Hajdarowicz and his friends, Chili Beans and all the Brazilian Burners Crew as well as all the campers who believed in our idea.
How long did it take to create The Altar of Intentions?
The concept of the installation was the result of 8 years of deep research and understanding about the Vortex concepts. But it was last year that we decided it was time to bring it to the playa. Its taken all year to plan the creation but we started building it about 45 days before BM in California.
What was one of the most interesting reactions to the piece?
The Vortex is a very strong natural phenomenon , with the capability to hypnotize people. People were constantly in awe when they came to visit and we heard " wow " thousands of times in the course of the week. The use of water in a desert environment is also very strong, so it attracted visitors who were curious, others who wanted to meditate close by, and others who felt like praying in silence. Many visitors wanted to engage and interact either by hugging the tank or feel the energy with their hands. The most special response to the piece was a couple who asked us permission to get married there, because they wanted their ceremony to take place in the most magical place and wanted to connect with each other with the energy they felt at the altar.
Challenges or obstacles you had to face?
Making one big water sculpture in the desert is definitely a big challenge. You can confirm this by checking how many times in the 32 years of Burning Man anyone has seen something like that.
Keeping the water clean for visual results and to keep the water quality for the molecular experiment at Akiko Stein Laboratory was another challenge as Keeping the Altar crystal clear resisting to dust storms took many cleaning missions.
Coming from overseas with this operation , and also coordinating 120 people from 10 different countries in our camp. There really is nothing easy or simple about mixing water and fire in the desert. But we still want to keep challenging ourselves so for next year, we will increase the interaction, so you guys can expect version 2.0 of the Altar and a few more surprises.
Highlights from this years burn?
It's very difficult highlight something at burning man. For me the experience was a little bit better than last because the reaction to the installation was much more intense. This year was more spiritual and introspective for me. The Altar of intentions definitely confirmed for me a sensation that this year, we the Brazilian burners created something special at the playa and we are now waiting for the results of the water analysis to see the molecular water crystal we all made together with our intentions and energy.
I was also reunited with loved ones and made new friends, (ones that feel I've known for many years)- thats part of the Burning Man magic.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I hope we can bring this installation to Dubai and to different places around the world, we are looking for partners to make this possible.