Last night, the Penrose Triangle was installed on the Boston Common as part of the city of Boston’s First Night New Years celebration. After it’s round trip from the desert, it definitely needed a lot of work to get it to the point where it was ready to be displayed to the public. The paint had to be touched up to fix damage caused by climbing participants and general wear and tear associated with it’s shipment. Some wiring and lighting had to be repaired and/or redone. Additional measures had to be taken to enable the triangle to seal and protect the electrical systems so that it could sustain display in the unforgiving Boston winter. Surly Blake spearheaded efforts to get it prepared and by last night, all systems were go.
In order to minimize work done on-site, Surly hauled the triangle to the Common in four parts. The triangle itself was carried in three cube (highlighted here in yellow) and arm assemblies. Additionally, the base was carried partially assembled in one large chunk.
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.
For reasons having little to do with vanity, I Google image searched myself today. The result: I found a mention on the Gwenbeads blog of a very nice math person I met at the burn. At least I think that’s who I met.
Thanks for the kind words, Gwen. Maybe next year I’ll make it out to Math Anxiety Camp!
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…
I strolled out one morning to turn off the lights, as we had learned the hard way that it will run out of juice if we leave it running all day.
The lights were bright enough that you could see them in front of the sunrise.
Before shutting down, I climbed up and tried to do a panorama. Pretty even with the mixed exposure.
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.