Burning Man 2013 Honorarium Project / Impossible Triangle Now Made Possible
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The Penrose Triangle
Burning Man 2013 Honorarium Recipient
By Blake Courter and Blake Courtney

Discovered by mathematician Roger Penrose who promoted it as “impossibility in its purest form,” the Penrose Triangle is a 3D illusion offering an escape from rigidity within straight lines.

It’s an aesthetic obsession found in the works of MC Escher, countless tattoos, and between the covers of the tattered notebooks—the simple doodles of teenagers aching to stay awake during 5th period.

It’s an escape from our everyday existence, challenging the ways we examine and navigate our own space and define what is real and what may not be so real.

The Penrose Triangle at Burning Man 2013 

As a 2013 Burning Man Honorarium installation, we want to show the world the impossible is possible. From afar, it is an illusion. When one stumbles upon it, it is 17-foot climbable steel sculpture evoking the childlike wonderment discovered in the playgrounds of our past. Some will see a complex jungle gym. Others will regard it as a postmodern reimagining of a conventional truss structure.

At night, the illusion deepens as individually-addressable LEDs trace the contours of the illusion. Much like Black Rock City itself,  the Penrose Triangle celebrates both visceral immediacy, and our own personal transformations that occur when we choose to examine and embrace what we see from more than one angle.

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Original proposal submitted to Burning Man

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