Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Building an art installation or mutant vehicle? Planning to perform? Building a stage or performance space? Talk about it here.
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Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:42 am

or does it?

this thread is for all of the non-funded, personal artists that make for an audience of one.

those that are driven to create, those that know no other way to live, but to make Their Art.

show us your projects, your tiny worlds you create, the ones that live in the dreams of the Artist.

it is not the size, or how much money was spent on the spectacular, it's the sheer brute force of visceral emotion an artist brings to their work.

there are no commissions, there are no patrons, there is only you, and what you do.

post them here, let them be seen, tell us where they will be.

on the playa, the big things are so so easy to find, but the small, the precious, the intricate and the special often hide away.

remember, it really is the little things in life that make it sublime.


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Re: Size Matters

Post by Lip Bomb » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:46 am

Thank you Simon for this post. I look forward seeing what you all post!
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Re: Size Matters

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:55 am

every year, i am blown away by the art.

the big art is great. i love it.

but, inevitably, somewhere where i did not expect it to be found, i see or hear something "divine".

something so inspired and beautiful and well done that i have to stop....and breathe...

and it's usually in the outer limits, the 'burbs, or some random yurt.

but dammit, it's there, and there are 75,000 artists or potential artists waiting to happen, all with something to contribute.

call me old fashioned, but i like the hand crafted, personal touch that comes with smaller pieces, and the connection you make with the artist at that level of interaction.

one of the best times i had was during one of the monster dust storms of 2008...the whole camp pretty much huddled for safety in the kitchen dome, we covered the door, and for 3-4 hours we all sat around doing arts and crafts.




seriously.


we had all kinds of goodies that someone had packed, we made costumes, goggles, makeup, props...

nobody got hurt running with scissors.

but everybody MADE something and during that process learned something...




now THATS art.... 8)
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Re: Size Matters

Post by lucky420 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:22 am

Yes! Love the burbs random street art

Bringing some again this year

Am loving this thread and thank you for starting it
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Size Matters

Post by some seeing eye » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:13 pm

Thank you!

To bring anything out to the desert then disappear it with no trace is an accomplishment in itself. To my taste the biggest projects sometimes fail, like the snake of tanker trucks welded together, while others succeed. The success of the temple, IMO is not it's grandiosity, but that people write on it and make small shrines.

I think the BORG needs to put effort into transforming BM from a festival-following crowd to an art students crowd. I think many young artists would benefit in breaking down personality blocks as a result of BM experiences. And I think international artists participating anonymously, like Banksy may have done, should be encouraged. I'm an art geek, so I would not expect every ePlayan would agree with me.

My interest is interactive art. I developed the world's first stereo stethoscope (2001?) as an interactive costume-persona. It allows two people to listen to one another's heartbeat. So when I see two people when I'm walking around the playa, smile, and they respond, I explain it and offer for them to try it.

I love the interactive and social practice pieces that gather stories and surface emotions.
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Re: Size Matters

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:33 pm

You're calling the BigRigJig a "fail"?
One of the most remembered, attention getting, awe inspiring pieces of 2007?
Jeez, what's a "win"?
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:55 pm

i would have to agree captain.

and this thread wasnt meant to put down big art, but to promote smaller, unknown and unseen art past, present or future.
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by trilobyte » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:08 pm

I've nudged this over to the Art & Performance board, since I think that's a better fit for a thread talking about art projects at this year's event (though if I've misread this and it's geared more towards talking about past years' events it should probably live in Stories). I've also edited the thread title for a bit more clarity).

Great thread! Of course, small-ness or big-ness is all relative and probably depends on a person's perspective. I had a lot of fun in 2004-2007 working on what I'd describe as big art... mutant vehicles and events that would be seen, ridden on, attended, or otherwise enjoyed by large numbers out in the big open expanse of the playa. In that time I also made some small art that I'm really proud of, pendants and gifts to be shared with people I encountered directly.

In more recent years, I've focused my attention on what I'd call small art... even though some of it's pretty big. Camp art installations, poster pieces, and more pendants and gifty type things. Even when it's big stuff (like the steampunk airship outpost, the deli, or the ziggurat), it's still small. Displayed at the frontage of camp for far smaller crowds, and not intended for any kind of mass audience. Where the open playa and deep playa are kind of like a giant park for big art, I think of the streets of BRC as being the proverbial walls of the BRC gallery where so many treasures are on display.

That's where I'm at today. This year I'm working on the Brainy Bar (there's a thread about it in Theme Camps & Villages), it will encompass a number of projects. I want the bar to be a work of art, as well as signage, decor, and other stuff that make it all work. It's still early enough in the season that I haven't really settled on what I want to do for gifting.

Size doesn't matter, in that not only can small stuff be great... so can big stuff. I've been bouncing around a few different ideas for my own big art projects, and when the timing is right I look forward to making them happen.... because ART!

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by tamarakay » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:22 pm

I keep trying to work up the nerve to bring some paintings for a gallery at the hut, but so far it hasn't happened.
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by lucky420 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:16 pm

Yes ^^
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by AntiM » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:08 am

tamarakay wrote:I keep trying to work up the nerve to bring some paintings for a gallery at the hut, but so far it hasn't happened.
You certainly should! I have painted on cloth or canvas for camp art, with grommets to hang it up. Or you could do a small scale chicken wire wall and hang some of your work. Do it!

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by Simon of the Playa » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:00 am

AntiM wrote"Do it!"


some of the most important words any artist needs to hear...and heed.
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by somebodys-mom » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:09 pm

Does small art include articles of clothing to be worn or would that merely be a costume? I like to create fairly elaborate clothing and walk around in it just for shits and giggles (and stares because why else do we dress up or dress down there?). Just wondering if by creating small art, we mean sculpture or paintings.

You know, if it didn't create MOOP, I'd bring my portable watercolors and a big pad of paper and create paintings to give away on site. I'm sure the paintings would end up flying down the playa, though.
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by tamarakay » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:50 pm

somebodys-mom wrote:Does small art include articles of clothing to be worn or would that merely be a costume? I like to create fairly elaborate clothing and walk around in it just for shits and giggles (and stares because why else do we dress up or dress down there?). Just wondering if by creating small art, we mean sculpture or paintings.

You know, if it didn't create MOOP, I'd bring my portable watercolors and a big pad of paper and create paintings to give away on site. I'm sure the paintings would end up flying down the playa, though.
Do it, slightly modified. They sell water color paper psostcards, or just do smaller size. I found it it fits in a pocket or backpack, it won't get mooped.
And in my opinion costumes definitely count as art.

Edited to add: and I would so stalk you to try and get one of your works. I adore art gifts.
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:45 pm

"Art," whatever the definition, can be hard, difficult, a challenge. I have done "art" and my experience is the challenge is self criticism. Self criticism can evolve the art through changes and experiments or it can block the art when you give up and make nothing.

There is a whole movement of "outsider art" and "self-taught art." (Just search) If you look at those finished works, you might see your work is A-OK!

On playa, and off, the story of you and the work gives it wings. Don't be afraid to show any art on the playa. Maybe think about how you label, talk, publicize; you, and how you made it. That is special on the playa and unique in the world.
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by AntiM » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:21 pm

tamarakay wrote:
somebodys-mom wrote:Does small art include articles of clothing to be worn or would that merely be a costume? I like to create fairly elaborate clothing and walk around in it just for shits and giggles (and stares because why else do we dress up or dress down there?). Just wondering if by creating small art, we mean sculpture or paintings.

You know, if it didn't create MOOP, I'd bring my portable watercolors and a big pad of paper and create paintings to give away on site. I'm sure the paintings would end up flying down the playa, though.
Do it, slightly modified. They sell water color paper psostcards, or just do smaller size. I found it it fits in a pocket or backpack, it won't get mooped.
And in my opinion costumes definitely count as art.

Edited to add: and I would so stalk you to try and get one of your works. I adore art gifts.
They sell art paper for watercolors, pencil, or acrylics in business card size.

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by somebodys-mom » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:10 am

I do have pads of the postcard-sized paper, btw. I also have watercolor crayons, pencils, and a portable set of paint.

My real question is, would clothing count as art?
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by tamarakay » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:05 pm

somebodys-mom wrote:I do have pads of the postcard-sized paper, btw. I also have watercolor crayons, pencils, and a portable set of paint.

My real question is, would clothing count as art?

Absolutely!
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by vargaso » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:22 pm

I'm not alone in this, but the most inspiring, moving, memorable pieces on the playa, for me, has always been the smaller and unexpected art. I'm sure the serendipitous aspect is a big part of that, where you're wandering around the outer streets or playa and stumble across an installation that literally takes your breath away. And then, in many cases, the creator will be standing right next to it and totally excited to share it and talk about it with people. THAT is Burning Man, to me. I'd GLADLY do away with the stadium pieces, as incredible as many of those are (and count me in with the people who thought Big Rig Jig was fucking incredible). I'd go even further and say the BMORG should not be funding art, period. It would reduce the scale, and perhaps make those looking for selfie backdrops think twice before coming.

And of course, the small moments are even more indelible than the small art. My two most memorable moments provided by other people on the playa had nothing to do with art installations:

1 - After a particularly raucous street party, we were cleaning up and a man wearing a dress and playing the most sublime violin strolled by. We all just stopped, stunned, the music was so haunting and plaintive.

2 - Very late night/early morning in deep playa listening to Robot Heart while very altered, eyes closed, I felt someone touch the area around my heart. I open my eyes and look down and there's a heart sticker on my shirt. I look ahead and there's a young woman smiling broadly at me. Total stranger. We look at each other for a few seconds, then hug, and then went our separate ways.

So yeah, god bless the small art and the people who bring it. And the small, spontaneous acts. God bless the AMATEURS, mostly. The people who create in their spare time with spare money.

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by BeeWeeDee » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:32 pm

tamarakay wrote:I keep trying to work up the nerve to bring some paintings for a gallery at the hut, but so far it hasn't happened.

How much interest would people have in a "leave no trace" art gallery. I'm thinking of setting up gallery space (monkey hut with 3 or 4 chicken wire panels - 4'x6' and a bunch of clothes pins). Display your art. Ice cream for artists. Take your art home or it goes to Anti M.
The next morning you will wake up pretty much your old self except that a very unusual 16 hours will have been added to your store of life experience.

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by tamarakay » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:37 pm

BeeWeeDee wrote:
tamarakay wrote:I keep trying to work up the nerve to bring some paintings for a gallery at the hut, but so far it hasn't happened.

How much interest would people have in a "leave no trace" art gallery. I'm thinking of setting up gallery space (monkey hut with 3 or 4 chicken wire panels - 4'x6' and a bunch of clothes pins). Display your art. Ice cream for artists. Take your art home or it goes to Anti M.
That's exactly what I was thinking of setting up in the hut. But the challenge is transporting my art from Texas. We already have space issues.
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by lucky420 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:32 pm

tamarakay wrote:
BeeWeeDee wrote:
tamarakay wrote:I keep trying to work up the nerve to bring some paintings for a gallery at the hut, but so far it hasn't happened.

How much interest would people have in a "leave no trace" art gallery. I'm thinking of setting up gallery space (monkey hut with 3 or 4 chicken wire panels - 4'x6' and a bunch of clothes pins). Display your art. Ice cream for artists. Take your art home or it goes to Anti M.
That's exactly what I was thinking of setting up in the hut. But the challenge is transporting my art from Texas. We already have space issues.
Ship it to me!
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by masho » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:36 am

Cool post. Totally agree.

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by chiefdanfox » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:25 pm

vargaso wrote:So yeah, god bless the small art and the people who bring it. And the small, spontaneous acts. God bless the AMATEURS, mostly. The people who create in their spare time with spare money.
You sound like you would be surprised at how much of the big stuff is exactly that. They are just bolted together to make a bigger piece, made by amateurs, many who have never held the tools of the trade before, working on weekends and in the evenings to make the selfie backdrops.

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:31 pm

You'd be surprised how many expensive, time-consuming, big heavy MVs show up in BRC by amateurs with zero funding, zero help and tight budgets!
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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by AntiM » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:12 am

BeeWeeDee wrote: Take your art home or it goes to Anti M.
That sounds like a hell of a threat ....

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by BeeWeeDee » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:46 pm

AntiM wrote:
BeeWeeDee wrote: Take your art home or it goes to Anti M.
That sounds like a hell of a threat ....

Considering the caliber of "art" I bring you now - it is!
The next morning you will wake up pretty much your old self except that a very unusual 16 hours will have been added to your store of life experience.

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Re: Size Matters (Smaller Scale Art!)

Post by AntiM » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:36 am

Ah, but all the art you bring to the Home gets adopted, meaning it has value and appeal to several someones out there. Don't under-rate your work just because you're not a "gallery artist".

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Re: Size Matters

Post by melomel » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:39 pm

some seeing eye wrote: I think the BORG needs to put effort into transforming BM from a festival-following crowd to an art students crowd. I think many young artists would benefit in breaking down personality blocks as a result of BM experiences.
This is very much so me. I had been making art all my life, but it was deprioritized over other skills and so I was taught to devalue it, despite always finding myself back into that realm for comfort and in the privacy of my home.

I appreciate that Burning Man has been a venue for me to practice some of the skills that I know have been holding me back such as going up to random people and asking to shoot photos (terrifying to me) and placing my art up in a venue where more than 20 people would likely see it and completely random people would be looking at it and able to talk with me about it (everyone was pretty awesome and encouraging if they said anything.) That was fucking terrifying, but I did it and it was so worthwhile. For some of us, those are more of the skills we need help with in addition to the actual art skills and luckily Burning Man is a pretty safe, self motivated and directed school with a higher degree of freedom to experiment than in most parts of life. If you want to push yourself, you probably can.

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