Zooplankton: The Adventure Begins

So every year for the last five years I’ve joined a Burning Man building project to help with. Often as not, all I’m able to do is document and take photos, because my back and various health issues won’t allow me to do much more, but it’s still so rewarding. If you go to this link (<< click the words) you can learn about my friend Becca and who she is and how she came up with the idea, as well as watch the video and see the design and what our dream is going to look like when it’s done. Every build project is full of frustration and unexpected issues and long days and grumpiness and fantastic people who volunteer their time and skills and love to make something wonderful, not for pay or fame, but for the love of art.

For the last few weeks Becca and the crew have been building the top third of Zooplankton to take to our local Regional burner event, SOAK, and here are some shots of the work so far. Designing, engineering, and actually building a structure like this out of nothing but plywood and 2x4s is a challenge to say the least, but it’s been so much fun. Becca is a first-time build project leader and so far she’s doing an amazing job. Landon, the handsome young man you see in several of the photos, spent countless hours working with Google Sketchup to figure out how to engineer the structure, and has spent even more hours sawing and drilling and being an absolute gift to us, and we’re so sad he’s moving away to pursue his Masters at the end of the month, but when you’re a burner builder, you learn to appreciate dedicated people like Landon and Becca.

I just got home from the last work party before they leave for SOAK and I couldn’t be happier. In the coming months I’ll definitely have more photos to share as the team really gets going on the structure. YAY ART!

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Becca ate so much sawdust that day. Heehee.

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End of Day 1, the frame is done!

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The spire goes on top of the structure and is going to be covered with programmed LED strips.

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That’s Tony in the background, he’s doing all the LEDs and programming for the top spire.

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Inside Zooplankton. It’s like an awesome spaceship fort in here!

Acrylic rods for the spikes, and they'll be lit from the inside with colored LEDs.

Acrylic rods for the spikes, and they’ll be lit from the inside with colored LEDs.

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