It all starts with this little spike decorated with fluorescent pink tendrils, marking your spot on the Playa. I'm not sure why this little marker makes me so happy, maybe just being placed somewhere, build it here, right here, an unveiling of months of work.
I admit the last few months have been rather intense. I worked every single day on the Flybrary starting early May. I have never before been as focused on a project, and I really understood how much of me it would require. In those four months, my family and everything else took the back burner. Now, as the dust is settling there is finally time to digest the experience...so here it goes...
Some of the many pictures of the experience, starting with one of my new favorite peeps, Brian, holding it together in the air. Thanks to his and Johnny's amazing wrenching hands, there was not one bolt missing. Three day build, VR forklifts, a tow-behind-pneumatic ground anchor driver, a boom lift, Christian's Hiab crane and a huge 75 ton crane for the bird truss. That's something!
I had good help, but even managing people is a lot of work. I am grateful for being prepared both physically (thanks to ketosis) and mentally to make it happen. And it did.
My lipstick cladden forkie, Margaret. Bad ass inspiring.
I had a fantastic crew, and they all got along as well, an important factor in keeping it all going. Big shout out to you all!
The camp at BM, known as the Flybrary Art Support Camp/ Taos Camp, was lovingly planned and put together by a few and was hands down one of the best camps to date.
The food was amazing. The weather was incredible. To those of you who have not ventured out to Black Rock City, this may be no big deal, but to those of us who have- we know that crew, camp, weather and food will make or break you.
Anka flew in from Berlin to cook bacon and eggs..amongst other things..
Sabrina joined us for a few fun moments.
..a small repeat from 2018 of the three musketeers, repairs on Atlas..
And I got to fly! Really, after almost 20 years I finally got to see it from above in a tiny Cessna. A real treat, thanks Firefly!
The Flybrary was so much fun. We checked out books all week, spontaneously opening whenever we wanted, the Flybrarians jovially steering the mood within the head. About half of the checked out books came back, which is great. The response was impressive and I think most all had a memorable moment in or around the sculpture.
Harlan joined us for the family portrait.
We all are looking fuzzy sharp after my presentation at the ARTery.
I had invited two Danish members of the Human Library to stay with us in camp. I had never met them before, and it was to be their first time at Burning Man. Sif and Kay turned out to be fun loving adaptable people who will remain friends far past the playa.
The Human Library was a complete hit at the Flybrary. We checked out human books almost every day, and as the word spread more and more people came to check out the books. It was tremendously moving to see the interchanges between "book" and "reader" and to get some feedback afterwards. Lots of discovery happening there. Burning Man seems to be a fitting environment for this model and I can see the Human Library returning for years to come.
some reading going on...
We had trucked the sculpture to BM on one commercial truck and the rest of the components on Christian's awesome crane truck, Atlas, as well as full size trailer. It always looks like a circus is coming to town when we transport our work, and so picking a safe route across the States is important. We chose to go through Arizona, as Flagstaff is such a welcome hub for us...but just outside of that liberal bubble of a town we got pulled over, and "put out of service". The stress this caused was unnerving, as we had to reconfigure our load with the addition of yet another truck, backtracking to save the day. We re-arranged the load again once we crossed the border into Nevada, for they seem to have seen it all in Nevada. Except I did get a ticket for driving too slow! That would be towing a travel trailer with a 20 year old Toyota, not an easy task.
I've seen more of Gerlach in this trip than over the last 20 years. Enough said.
We drove home lighter and faster, Atlas carrying the travel trailer and the Toyota zipping right along. We skipped Arizona and came through Utah this time. That's pretty creepy too though.
Clearly we were all relieved to make it home, and the Flybrary came back on two trucks, weathered but well.
Ulanova taking a moment.
Where to next? I do not know yet, but I hope its second life will be somewhere semi permanent or permanent. There is interest and more is brewing. That feels great, as it has been such a labour of love, and I believe the message in all of its forms is timely and relevant.
More soon. xo