Burning Man Light Field

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The burning man festival proposal is a light field generated by abstracting the star map of the night sky. Each angled upright element is influenced by hidden forces to generate a sculptural light installation in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The conceptual notion itself references the collective participation and expression of the 50,000 individuals that collectively make the arts and music festival an extraordinary event.

top view [Converted]

The star locations influencing the field are determined by their celestial location on the night of the annual ritual of the burning of the man effigy, the symbolic climax of the festival. The stars composing the series of constellations that are present on the night of the burn, are used as charged locations that influence the angle and direction of individual elements within the field.

The abstract representation of the night star field is transmitted through a series of tubes, each containing colour range emitting LEDs lights which are programmable to change colour, pulsate  and display patterns. Individual elements consist of simple acrylic tube, re-enforcement bar anchors, lights and internal fixings. In total there are 924 elements composing the light field. The lengths of individual elements are sorted according to their locational proximity to Polaris, the North Star, in combination with a series of Sin curve graph maps. The shortest elements are removed to created void spaces within the field to encourage exploration, provide space for performance, rest or contemplation amid unusual surroundings.

The project evolved from early research into the digital and physical representation of vector field conditions, as symbols of the intangible forces generated by magnetic charges, streamlines and vector currents.

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