Mementomorium

Burning Man Art project

for happier human beings


Full Version — as planned for Burning Man 2020

The chimes of harmoniously tuned large brass bells lure burners to the installation. Upon arrival, they can join in co-creation of rhythmic bell patterns, miraculously arising out of random strikes and sustained through attentive participation. BRC citizens can enjoy the artwork; read witty epitaphs and pithy quotes; share their thoughts on the vitreous message boards; observe symbolic burial ceremonies, or dare to star in one... and then emerge back after a session in a sensory deprivation casket to see and hear the Playa anew, internalize the experience, and shepherd the next "generation" into the journey.

The Specs:

  • Nine sensory deprivation wooden caskets, sound-insulated, ventilated, and cushioned for comfort.
  • The caskets are built into a wooden deck in a radial pattern, resembling the BRC shape. The caskets lids are at the level of the deck's surface and can be swung open to one side.
  • The caskets' headstones face outward and together with caskets' lids serve as canvases for original artwork by individual artists.
  • The Host Station located at 12 o’clock serves as the entrance into the Inner Sanctuary encircled by the deck.
  • The Bell Circle, built with wooden posts and crossbeams that form interconnected "doorways", encircles the deck a few feet from its outer edge.
  • A large brass bell hangs in the middle of a chain that is connected to the tops of adjacent posts. The bells hang in every two out of three doorways, so that when illuminated, each doorway pair together with the chains and the bells form the Mementomorium's logo (two connected letter Ms.)
  • A vitreous message board made out of translucent PVC in a form of a tube wraps each wooden post.
  • Four bike-racks are located at the corners around the installation.
  • At night all message boards, posts, brass bells, and artwork are illuminated.

The Secret Ingredients:

  1. Art: we need aspiring and renowned artists for headstones and caskets artwork on the theme of Metamorphoses
  2. Team: besides artists and builders, we'll need a team to host the installation in 2 hour shifts of 2 – 4 persons to answer questions, manage admission, conduct ceremonies, and provide gentle welcome-back post-session care
  3. Safety: no smoking, candles, or freaking out inside the perimeter ;)
  4. Feat: "Do you want to be immortal and why not?" daily talk
  5. Vampires: may skip the line during daytime hours only!

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