Esplanade 255

2002 - 2003 - 2004
Conceptual Framework

Urban Plan
Sound System
The Dome
The Wall & the Stage
The Lounge
The Cool Bubble
Mobile Unit


New Forum (test)
Photo Base
Slide Show

Life On DisOrient by Bacchus
Coordinator: Leo
Tech: Ben

The Wall: lights will be installed inside the scaffolding. We'll use 8 1000 watt lights hooked to DMX dimmers. Leo has one and will buy another. He'll create a stand-alone, maintenance-free microcontroller program that will run the lights. The idea is to have them be always shifting and active. It will look fucking awesome from across the Playa. We need to limit the light in the center so Firmament doesn't get washed out as it was last year.

Firmament (on the playa, facing the Man): Firmament is a light sculpture by Leo composed of 80 strobe lights on a sixteen-foot diameter circular iron frame. The lights are very very bright white lights and they move in computer-controlled sequences, performing a half-hour long piece that goes from stars to fireworks to amoebas. This year Firmament will be mounted vertically about 40' away from the Wall in front of our camp to act as a beacon.

Strobe Display: This year Leo plans on taking 2 (maybe 3) pre-built Strobe Displays out to the Playa. That means having frames welded out of aluminum, attaching strobes in their housings to the frames, wiring-up a microcontroller. This work will be done in NYC and shipped ready to plug in in the container.

Leo: "I imagine one out at Reorient as a beacon, another on the Disorient Express and maybe a third on my friend Harlan's vehicle. Not sure if I need volunteers for this...

Strobe display is a sculpture I created for Burning Man in 1997. It has been out there every year since. Basically it is a matrix of 16 strobe lights that flash in patterns and rhythms. It was created as a navigational aid (like a star) that helped guide us home to our camp. There are lots of flashing lights on the playa but this beacon stands out because of its unique sequencing. See for some Quicktime documentation. The piece has a lot of history and I am very attached to it. I would like to put such a beacon on the Disorient Express. In past years, people have used it as a point of orientation. This year it will serve as a point of disorientation as the thing will often be in motion and constantly shifting location...

The piece would have to be rebuilt (an aluminium frame, new strobes, controller) and could easily be mounted to whatever is pulling the trailer. Because it is just a frame work, there is little wind resistance. It is fully weather proof, uses a minimum amount of power (only 4 strobes per side are on at any one time). It runs off a microcontroller that is super robust--plug and play. I have used 16 strobes in the past but think that it would be good to use 32 for the Disorient Express so it is visible from both back and front. Here is my kooky drawing but I think it explains it..."

Disorient Express (AKA Mobile Unit): Leo is happy to help design, source, but many others will have to take this one on. He'll make a Strobe Display (described above) for it.

The Lake: undulating blue lights projected on the floor of the Arena. We will put up to 8 powerful blue lights pointed at the ground. They will dim as well, creating the illusion of a pool.
Leo: "The dimmers are about $400 each for a 4 channel dimmer (1200 watts per channel). if we have 8 undulating lights that means $800... I can talk with Chris Reddish about this. Maybe we can get away with 8 500 watt lights; that might reduce the cost of the dimmer... This might work... If we use 500 watt lights, this could handle 4 of them..."

Vortex: The Perimeter of the Arena 16 lights are installed at regular intervals under the vehicles that define the arena including 4 spots (3 degree-beams) attached on the wall and pointing at the road in front of the camp to complete the arena light circle. (still (48K), animated (3.8M))

Leo: "The easiest way for me is to have one central place all the wires run to. that means a lot of wire. It is OK though because wire is relativley cheap (250ft for $20)."

Ideas for the future (not likely to happen this year): Light patterns are sent to those different light sets. Each set can play individually giving many overall lighting options for the camp, enabling rapid switch from one ambience to another at night. If the light patterns were MIDI controlled the same patterns could be used by LJs (laptop jockeys) for ambient music. Would be nice to prepare/create/gather a set of patterns (Newclueless, Leo, Ned, etc.) that could be applied to different media (light, sound, what else?)

Next: Video »

You can help

Volunteer to help Leo with any of the following:

- 1000 watt lights (8) (Leo) for the Wall;
- 4800 watt DMX dimmer (2) (Leo) for the Wall;
- Wire (500 ft), wire nuts, zip ties, saw horses, wire strippers, small screw drivers, long serial cable (Leo) for Firmament;
- Some sort of robust orange lightbulb 60 watts max. (14 units) for Vortex (1 volunteer needed);
- Controller board (Leo) for Vortex;
- Loads of wire (calculation needs to be made) for Vortex.

- Firmament (Leo, 2 more volunteer(s) needed): try to prewire, assemble frame, attach strobes, wire, test, house circuit board. 5 hours.
- The Wall (Leo, Chris Reddish): Program gate, install lights and wiring. 4 hours pre-Playa programming, 2 hours on the Playa.
- The Disco Floor (Leo): ? ? hours.
- Mobile Unit (2 more volunteer(s) needed).
- The Vortex (Leo, 2 more volunteer(s) needed): set-up, wire, build circuit boards. 6 hours in NYC to program the controller, 10 hours on the playa.

Take down:
- Firmament (Leo, 2 more volunteer(s) needed): unwire, take off strobes, put in box, unbolt frame. 3 hours.
- The Wall (Leo, Chris Reddish). 3 hours.
- The Disco Floor (Leo): ? ? hours.
- The Vortex (2 more volunteer(s) needed). 1 hour.

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Copyleft 2002 Anakin Koenig