Burning Man 2013 Honorarium Project / Impossible Triangle Now Made Possible

Penrose is in the Commons

One of the exciting parts of a Burning Man project is the challenge of installing the work in the middle of a desert.  This evening, we learned first hand that Boston offers just as exciting challenges.  Surly, Jacob, John Dill, Ronny, and I each spent a few hours today in 37°F heavy rain, fumbling with bolts (and it Ronny’s case climbing).  Now, I am delighted to say that thing is sitting in Boston Common!

When I first moved to town, almost eighteen years ago, I took a long walk through the Common and Garden, and recall being surprised by the lack of modern art.  There are plenty of bronze statues, including adorable ducklings, but nothing that, in my opinion, provokes interpretation.  I never would have dreamed that I would have had a hand in doing something about it.

Here’s about the most pleased or wet you’ll ever see Surly or me.

Container Unload

Well, the round trip is over.  On Friday, the container returned, and we spent the better part of the day on Saturday disgorging the thing.  Everybody likes getting dusty one last time.  Mostly everybody.

Max took a few snapshots.  Here we try to remove the first of the arms.  I think everybody was afraid to put the flanges on the asphalt for some reason.

Next, we tried to hand them to Surly driving the forklift.  That worked okay.

Many folks showed up on time, helped with the unload, and made tidy piles of other peoples’ crap.

By the end of the day, that pile had mainly evaporated.  The container gets picked up at 4:00 AM.  Now, we’re all just left with one more pair of dusty clothing to launder.

Time to find the triangle its next destination…


Thank you Solar Snow Koan

We had a little problem with our solar supply chain at the last minute, which meant we might have to cart our batteries all over the playa to charge them or deploy a smelly, noisy generator.  Thanks to the excellent networking skills of Terry Dovidio,  Snow Koan Solar came to our rescue, supplying us with these handsome panels and a charge controller.

Here’s Adam from Snow Koan, doing the installation for us.  Thanks so much guys.  It still amazes me that this thing was powered directly from the sun.

Installing the Electrical Boxes

In perhaps the most nuanced GIF of the series, here’s half the crew, doing the things they do.

Dewb’s in the foreground, fussily trying to cram everything into one of the boxes.  For a variety of reasons, they boxes were much tighter than anyone would have liked.  Dewb persevered for what seemed like days, but made them work.

At the far side of the base, Surly attaches a box while Jesse feeds him the right fasteners.  It is very important to feed Surly the fasteners, or he will reject them and toss them wherever he sees fit.  You can make a small fortune following Surly around with a magnetic rake, FWIW.

At the top, by now I’m sure you’ve noticed Ronny doing something sketchy.   However, on closer inspection, he is just taking a sip from his water bottle.  Damn you Ronny, I thought I had something to tease you about!

One more shot, mostly of Surly.  I have no idea what operation requires a long screwdriver, impact wrench, ratchet driver, spanner and a pry bar.  Oh, right, the electrical boxes didn’t fit around the bolts when assembled.  I wonder who designed those.  Anyhow, Jesse seems impressed.