Sci Fi – In a world increasingly controlled by smart machines, who will be master and who will be the slave? Burning Man 2018 celebrates freedom of expression with architectures, mesmerizing installations and fluorescent art cars responding to the I, ROBOT main art theme and reflecting on our digitalized and robot-controlled society.
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I, ROBOT is the title of a Isaac Asimov’s iconic sci-fi novel, from here the temporary metropolis of Black Rock City which rises from its ashes every year in the Nevada Desert invited its own inhabitants to free their mind from the many forms of artificial intelligence permeating our lives.
“From the humble algorithm and its subroutines that sift us, sort us and surveil us, to automated forms of labor that supplant us.” Explain at Burning Man.
• Enjoy Phil of Drones‘ aerial view of Burning Man 2018.
Galaxia, the Main Temple
How to convert digital technologies into a physical space for spiritual gathering? London-based studio Manou-Mani Architects has 3D-modeled, built – and the burnt – Galaxia, a spiralling wooden pavilion formed of 20 timber trusses that coil up and form a tower as they converge. The building celebrated “hope in the unknown, stars, planets, black holes, the movement uniting us in swirling galaxies of dreams” and was inspired by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation by American series.
Perpetual Consumption Apparatus
Apps, internet banking and automated delivery… How fast has consumerism become in the digital era? Australian artist Clayton Blake Thompson has created a 10 meter tall spiraling architecture made from shopping trolleys which could be climbed up to gain a different perspective.
If airplane carcasses could blossom which type of flower could they have? Randy Polumbo created a “techno-organic flower” blooming from a stem made from a military aircraft. Named after the Polar star, or Lodestar, the surreal plant attracted people as if the were bees.
Bjarke Ingels and Jacob Lange of studio BIG built THE ORB, a huge reflective sphere with a diameter of nearly 100 feet scaled to 1/500,000th of the earth’s surface. The structure was supported by a 32m long inclined steel mast firmly anchored to the ground with strong foundations and a a large baseplate.
Inspired by a single-celled beings, the five-stories tall RadiaLumia installation by FoldHaus Collective merged biology with kinetic mechanisms. Its breathing skin was composed of origami shells and radiant polypropylene spikes illuminated with over 100,000 LEDs. Inside it offered a platform for people to retreat as well as to look out to the surrounding landscape.
Mark Lottor created a forest of 486 20ft tall iridescent LED light poles, arranged in a hexagon shape and displaying 3D computer controlled effects. The result was a mesmerizing psychedelic effect revealing the power of new technologies to craft serendipitous emotions.
Robots! Robots! Robots!
Many were the UFO, android and bot-looking creations standing or driving across The Playa. Among them, Robot Resurrection, a human piloted sculpture made from discarded objects raising awareness on how much we waste and how much we can all do for the environment. On show also Xuza, a part-dragon part-alien art-car recalling Giger’s creatures.