Zooplankton: The Adventure Begins

So every year for the last five years I’ve joined a Burning Man building project to help with. I’m always happiest when I’m helping create something awesome and challenging to take out to the desert, and this year I’ve devoted myself to Zooplankton. If you go to this link 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 we’ve 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 day of building before they leave for SOAK and I’m sweaty and stinky and sore and I couldn’t be happier. In the coming months I’ll definitely have more photos to share as we really get going on the structure, and if all goes well I’ll have even more photos from Burning Man to share this fall. YAY ART!


Becca ate so much sawdust that day. Heehee.


End of Day 1, the frame is done!



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



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


Thank goodness I have a skinny butt

Thank goodness I have a skinny butt



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.