Ephemeral Art Proposal
Client: Burning Man
Design Team: Maetherea (Cristina Morbi)
Location: Black Rock City, Nevada Desert
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.