Astral Dune

Burning Man



Ephemeral Art Proposal

Client: Burning Man

Design Team: Maetherea (Cristina Morbi)

Location: Black Rock City, Nevada Desert


Combustion Performance
Astral Artwork
Environmental Landmark
Observation Tower

Astral Dune is an ephemeral artwork celebrating the connection between astral movements and human rituals in the landscape. The structure resembles a dancing skirt moving in the wind: the concentric language of pagan dances, mystic circles, and astral maps are the design guidelines used to create a radical landscape of performance. It is an architectural transposition of the mountain, the observation tower shaped by the weather, a silent observer and a point of meditation.

The intricate pallet composition creates a staircase towards the sky, rising from the sand to the sun. At the top of the structure, we reach a stage and viewing platform, precisely orientated towards the sunset and sunrise axes. Once we reach this platform, the structure acquires the effect of a dress - completed by the view of the performer who is wearing the sculpture.

The project is a large-scale intervention in the landscape. The project is designed to address both the scale of the landscape, where it becomes a landmark, and the human scale, understanding the body and its interactivity with the piece. The design is a radial system with a maximum footprint of 98ft radius (30 m) and a 19ft (6)  height

The pallets are disposed to create an intricate pattern that functions as a reversed amphitheatre - allowing citizens to contemplate the landscape, interact, and physically engage with the structure, using it as a stage and theatre. The concentric platforms create a staircase with a protected path leading to the top viewing platform. Here, the structure resembles a wide-open dress embracing the landscape. Hidden in the pallet structure, pyrotechnic powder will be revealed as the final act, with a performance of fire and colour.

We aim to shift the narrative of performance, stage, and theatrical archetype towards participatory-driven devices, which become a stage on the landscape. The amphitheatre, conventionally oriented towards the performer, is oriented towards the natural cycle of light, where nature is the actor and spectacle and represents a rite of passage.

The scale of the installation merges the human body with the wider astral geometry and natural topography, envisioning cooperation with the drawings of the universe.


- Related Performances -





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