Burning Man Art Projects – Uncle Charlie’s Red Hot Cock & Tyson Ayer’s Shrine of Sympathetic Resonance

Check, one, two. Space. Cadet to mothership. Space. Cadet to mothership. Come in over.

Greetings, internet explorers! It’s your friendly techartist kk, and today’s story time will be an a pair of tales about the world of Burning Man. Before we dive in, shoutout to those following my vlogs and podcasts – you’re awesome!

The Road to Burning Man

Ah, Burning Man – that time of year when dust, dreams, and do-it-yourself magic converge in Black Rock City, Nevada. This year, I’ll be missing the world’s largest self-expression carnival, but my heart is with all those creative souls heading down.

In the past few days, I’ve revisited my archives, sharing photo albums and stories that immortalize my Burning Man experiences. It’s time to take you there.

A Journey Begun in 1998

My tryst with Burning Man began in 1998 when I was steering *spark online magazine. A fleeting chance, but fate had other plans. We were asked to cover the event and sent one of our writers. Fast forward to 2005, and another missed opportunity with Kim Cathers. More than a full decade later and almost 2, my destiny changed.

The Tyler Hansen KultureHaus Connection

It was at the Okeechobee Music Festival, working for Kulture Haus, where I met Uncle Charlie through Tyler Hansen.

Together, we were building and documenting the art and experiential community components of that incredible event. It was here that our paths intertwined, leading to many artistic collaborations.

Meeting Uncle Charlie

At the Okeechobee Music Festival, I met Uncle Charlie, the iconic Burning Man figure.

With a history of crafting steel monuments and sculptures, Charlie’s presence at Burning Man dates back two decades. His art is a legend, but his personality is an epic tale.

photos by Kris Krüg

We connected at Okeechobee over his astounding creation, the Fleeble Flobbler – a flaming eight-seater teeter-totter.

Fire, fun, and friendship forged a bond that led me to switch camps to be with Uncle Charlie’s ragtag band of merry misfits.

The next year, Charlie invited me to his Burning Man crew, A.S.S. Camp, perfect for my artistic inclinations. Together, we built a 50-foot tall metal sculpture, Uncle Charlie’s Red Hot Cock, a behemoth teeter-totter that rocked with energy.

Here’s the description from the official Burning Man guide.

“The Waking Bird Dog” AKA “Uncle Charlie’s Red Hot Cock” is a large scale steel and stainless steel jackal headed rooster teeter totter that burns wood. This interactive community built and operated mechanical wood fired cauldrons foot print is 12? wide x 30? long x 25? tall.

So, In the distance the sun rising a cacophony of noise rings from beyond. clankity clankity screech rumble rumble, sounds of laughter, screams of joy- complete chaos! as you near the crowd opens and you see the contraption

A giant metallic jackal headed rooster glowing red hot as it howls fire rocking to and fro across the sunrise smoke n flame belching from its beaklike jowls and mohawk toped head.

Someone screams ROCK THE COCK! as two large groups of participants start rocking the gigantic teeter totter! the sun rises as The shadows paint dynamic patterns on the ground as it rocks to a fro waking the day for all who is in its midst warming the participants and creating a congregational space for all to share!.

Burningman.org

Charlie’s Cock: A Fiery Spectacle

The magnificent “cock” was a fire-breathing masterpiece. It could consume two cords of firewood, burning several times during Burning Man.

A team of 40 worked relentlessly, loading wood, igniting the night, and cooking meats in its fiery depths. A daring feat, it became a symbol of creativity and audacity.

The Uncle Charlie Connection

Beyond art and shenanigans, Charlie and I have found common ground in our sobriety journey. His sense of community and magnetic leadership are awe-inspiring. I love you, Charlie! Here’s to future colossal creations!

The Quartermaster Role

In recognizing my potential, Charlie entrusted me with the responsibility of quartermaster, overseeing supplies and ensuring efficiency. Observing and orchestrating, I found joy in this new avenue of expression and enjoyed participating in the build as well as making photos and videos documenting the project.

Tyson, Lee, and the Shrine of Sympathetic Resonance

Through Tyler again I was introduced to Tyson Ayers and his partner, Leah Desjardins. Tyson’s dream of building sound caves and Leah’s enchanting tea ceremonies led to the creation of the Shrine of Sympathetic Resonance.

Five sound caves, piano harps, and a giant pagoda made of 55 grand pianos – an architectural marvel resonating with Earth’s frequency. The building process was a celebration, uniting makers into a tight-knit community.

photos by Kris Krüg

Explore the Philosophy of Sympathetic Resonance with Tyson Ayer’s Shrine. The concept highlights a natural phenomenon where sound vibrations interact with objects tuned to them, continuing to echo even after the original sound stops. What if every action we take continues to resonate in the world?

photos by Kris Krüg

Sound Cave Projects invite participants to interact with thousands of musical strings that echo back any sound, raising questions about the longevity of these echoes and their effect beyond our hearing range.

photos by Kris Krüg

The shrine became a versatile space – a venue for concerts, weddings, photo shoots, and even secretive romantic encounters. Unlike Uncle Charlie’s steel sculpture, this wooden marvel met a spectacular end, burned to the ground in true Burning Man fashion.

Here’s the excerpt from the ‘official Burning Man Guide’

The Shrine of Sympathetic Resonance is a sanctuary dedicated to letting participants experience the phenomena of sympathetic resonance. All the walls of this epic structure are made of piano harps, surrounding the participant with 20,000 musical strings that echo back every sound they make. All the strings are tuned to pentatonic scales based on the Schumann Resonance, the earth’s fundamental frequency, so that anything played on the strings sounds musical.

Burningman.org
photos by Kris Krüg

Shrine Credits:

  • Tyson Ayers, Lead Artist and Project Lead: Creating since 2006, Tyson’s collaboration with artists worldwide resulted in the magical Shrine of Sympathetic Resonance.
photography by Kris Krüg
  • Leah Desjardins, Project Lead and Collaborating Artist: Invaluable in creative design, fabrication, and programming, Leah has contributed to numerous Soun Cave Projects since 2017.
  • Nicholas Christie, Engineer: An enthusiastic engineer part of the Dr. Brainlove build and Wind Flute artist.
photos by Kris Krüg
  • Shannon Riley, Project Manager: Founder of Building 180, Shannon’s confidence and love for community shape her inspiring work.
photos by Kris Krüg
  • Brent Bishop, Lighting Director/Collaborating Artist: LA-based director, animator, and musician with a passion for activism and super hot dance moves.
photos by Kris Krüg
  • Charline Formenty: San Francisco-based artist with an extensive theater background and founder of Carte Blanche.
  • Mike Brezinski: Social worker and musician who thrives in improbable situations.
photos by Kris Krüg

Reflecting Moments and Building Connections

Being a photographer and a part of these projects has been a treasure trove of memories. Connecting with remarkable artists, fueling creativity, and contributing to the essence of Burning Man has shaped me.

photos by Kris Krüg

Burning Man Appendix

The Burning Man festival has always been more than just a week-long gathering. It’s aglobal community that celebrates art, self-expression, and self-reliance. From magnificent art installations to awe-inspiring performances, the playa is a canvas for creative minds.

The principles of Burning Man extend far beyond the event itself. Radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy are the tenets that guide every Burner.

Whether you’ve been a part of this incredible experience or not, the ethos of Burning Man transcends boundaries and connects people from all walks of life. Here’s to the spirit of Burning Man – may it continue to inspire and ignite creativity across the globe!


Appendix: Explore the Artistry

Dive into the visual world of Burning Man with these curated photo galleries. Witness the evolution of two extraordinary builds that encapsulate the spirit, creativity, and community of this iconic festival.

1. Uncle Charlie’s Red Hot Cock: Explore the making of this fire-breathing masterpiece, from its inception to its awe-inspiring presence on the playa. This gallery captures the essence of collaboration, innovation, and audacity. View the Gallery on Flickr

2. Tyson Ayer’s Shrine of Sympathetic Resonance: A journey into the creation of sound caves and a giant pagoda made of 55 grand pianos. From construction to concerts and ceremonies, this gallery resonates with the Earth’s frequency and the heartbeat of Burning Man. View the Gallery on Flickr


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