Artwork By Ed Van Dyne & Gravie Train Productions
Burning Man Honorarium Grant Recipients — ARISE gets a sneak preview before the Burn
All across our globe the dragonfly represents a deep level of transformation, self realization as well as the true meaning of life and the lotus flower; the heart of symbolic pure unity and rebirth. The envelope encompassing the journey we as a community make as we embark on our radical yearly ritual at Arise Music & Arts Festival. A magical adventure filled with people who are not afraid to smile and being happy is still in style!
And that’s where we come in. Last year The Rocky Mountain High Flyers Guild built the Leonardo Da’Vinci flying machine out on the playa and flew it like a kite. Everyone said, “who gets to ride it”? So this year we proudly present “The Dragonfly Mating Ritual”. An interactive sculpture with transformation wings of flight in this ritual for love, so everyone can be radically included!
We want to build something that embraces the common bond of people all over the world. Something you don’t just look at but something that will awaken your mind, body and most of all, embrace your inner spirit through the sheer childlike enthusiasm that takes your breath away. A beautiful anomaly that harmoniously interacts with the festival experience on a multifaceted level through collaboration with the city around it.
As you approach this mammoth sculpture, you scratch your head, thinking “how can there be a giant lotus flower growing out of the desert, and is it bellowing fire 20’ out the top”? Once you get closer, the glory of what’s in front of you becomes apparent in this carnival style playground. Entering the 12’ around and 10’ tall flower pot through one of the hearts gives you a place to get in out of the sun, the wind and dust before ascending up the stem to the observation deck above. Once on the deck you will have the opportunity to gaze over the playa, enjoy the moment on one of the many dragonfly benches or grab a friend and turn the crank which magically creates a 50’ spanning mobile of 30 mating dragonfly pairs above you dancing through the sky in their radical heart shaped mating ritual position. Over 12,000 LED’s light up the sculpture from top to bottom with ways for participants to manipulate them to their pleasure or the sculpture can take on a mind of it’s own and decide to join the party based on it’s interpretation of the surrounding stimulation. A simultaneous expression of the 10 principles through art and the collective consciousness.
So what’s the story behind such a magnificent sculpture? As a representation of life, the dragonfly emerges under the water, essential to all things on earth it continually flows in and out of different states without ties of attachment but stays present in the symbiotic needs of it’s surroundings. The dragonfly larva moults over a dozen times, shedding the notion of old self each successive time until finally emerging as a winged messenger of the sky. An allegorical entity of flight, this winged phenomenon embarks on its radically ritualistic completion to the circle of life through the most beautiful display of mating in the symbolic shape of a heart.
This act of coitus represents all that is love and straight from the land of love itself this synergistic group of artist from Loveland, Colorado were brought together to make this representative dream a reality. Comprised of scientist, engineers, artist, makers, gardeners and hooligans from across the globe and led by a race car driving, MIT graduate, inventor and madman, the “Wingman” as he is known on the playa, we not only have the spiritual and creative skills but the the mechanical and engineering ability needed for such an eloquent display of the radically inspirational ritual of love.