Bringing Iconic London to Burning Man 2013

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It’s less than six months until Burning Man begins, so the large scale art installations and their creators are beginning to surface, making their needs for support known. Each year, hundreds of unique art installations are displayed at Black Rock City, the temporary community of 50,000-plus people that attend Burning Man every Summer. Large, medium or small, there are all sorts of amazing art projects that are brought to the gathering each year. One large scale project titled “London BRC” is beginning its campaign for support and it looks to be an amazing project if it can be made a reality.

The En!gma Crew are from the United Kingdom and plan to bring iconic symbols of their capital city to Black Rock City. Structures such as the Parliament Building, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London are all planned to be built in three phases. The buildings will be big and feature 4 floors of interactive rooms, an old fashioned ale house, movie theater and a working House of Commons (where participants can debate about any topic under the sun). People can climb to the top of Tower Bridge and look out at the river of activity as they dangle their feet off. There are also plans for a dungeon, a history room and even a theatrical style brothel. And… if you are wondering if it’s going to be burned at the end, the answer is yes.

Project lead Alan McCann was biking last year in the open desert of Burning Man when he found the inspiration for the project:

I realized that all these things I experienced in my past, whether good or bad, that you cling onto constantly refer back to when you’re living your life, they don’t have to be there. You can build them, enjoy them, or hate them, and then you could destroy them, burn them and erase them off the planet completely, much like Burning Man does every single year… and the beauty of that is you always come back to a blank canvas and a blank canvas will give you the opportunity to build and create something new and beautiful all the time. I think that was the point where the inspiration hit me that I wanted to do something because it was such a huge thing for me to realize, that I wanted to express that in some way on the playa if I could.

Last year, those that attended Burning Man enjoyed the large structures of Burn Wall Street by Otto Von Danger and crew. Now it’s time to hop the pond and bring London over to Burning Man. The London BRC crew is in need of support to begin their first phase of raising $20,000 (£13,228) and begin construction of the house of commons. They are a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas which is a non-profit arts service organization helping raise funds for creative projects.

Check out their IndieGoGo page or their website for more information and learn how you can get involved with the project. If you are considering participating at Burning Man yourself for the first time, be sure to read the Survival Guide to Burning Man.

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There are 8 comments

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  1. Becky Neil

    Whoa. This is seriously ambitious. I hope that there’s a huge crew to support this build and some very very experienced project managers & artists on the team; it’s a beast of a different color to bring large art to the playa. Good luck, because I’d love to see this happen!

  2. Squachek

    The project as a whole is meh. It doesn’t have anything to do with the Cargo Cult theme, it’s not innovative in any way, and it’s going to end up as a half-assed plywood replica that’s a pale shadow of this presentation, because there’s zero chance that a $20k budget will allow them to source and ship materials and build plans of this scale and finish. If Burners really want to have an impact on the world, they could spend, say, $5000 on making one really cool tower, and then use the remaining $15k to teach hundreds of kids about architecture.

  3. Matt

    Burners Without Borders collects donations of useable lumber at the end of the week… so much useful wood is going to end up being burned, amazingly wasteful. They should really reconsider burning it.

  4. Noodles

    Insanity! So excited for you… intense vision… extraordinarily ambitious!! We are Homojitoville and are rooting for you!!! We want to see your vision realized!!

  5. bethlbrc

    Hi Squachek ,

    Thank you for your comments as we welcome all feedback, both the good and bad:) The project was founded in October of 2012 before the anouncement of the Cargo Cult Theme, but we feel it works well with the theme chosen by Burning Man and look forward to incorporating it into the Playa. The project, in its finished state (the project is tiered based on resources and funding), will of course exceed 20k, as mentioned in the article that is our first phase and we hope to do our very best to build each phase to the fullest.

    Best regards and Cheers!

  6. bethlbrc

    Hi Matt!

    Thank you for your comment, we couldnt agree more and have already reached out to Borders without Burners in the hopes of working with them to donate the non essential wood before the burn.

    Very best and cheers!

  7. Burner

    Great idea. I hope it gets realized. Cargo cult is a stupid theme, people should avoid using it. Most of the large wooden art is burned. BM is inherently wasteful.

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