Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks for making installations of all sizes or making smaller pieces and jewelry.
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Paintking
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Camp Name: Grotto Quattuor Elementa

Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by Paintking » Tue May 09, 2017 1:01 pm

Seeking experienced wisdom!

First timer here and hoping to make it to BM 2017 with an interactive artwork. I don't usually do this type of artwork and I'm new to the playa, so I really don't have a clue how many people will get interested enough to interact with our project. Obviously it would help with our planning to have a ball park idea how many visitors we might be dealing with. Can anyone give me a guestimate on how many people might line up to "interact"?

I dont want to weight y'all down with tons of details, but I'm happy to supply as much as you like (so just ask). Basically this would be a camp based art project, not on the playa. I've applied for placement and early entry, but dont know if or when I'll hear anything back on that. I've requested placement in the quieter areas ("plazas" as I recall), not the main squares or roads. The project consists of a mural made from cast off aluminum bits (like bottle screw caps) about 4' x 12', an altar table, and an "acolyte" to clue people in and interact as much as people like. This will be outside, not in a tent. Open hours might be 9 - 11 am and 7 - 9 pm (but longer if we have some volunteer help (see my Spark post for volunteers, https://spark.burningman.org/ads/volunt ... -elementa/). I'm still planning lighting and signage, but both will probably be fairly minimal since I'm swamped just getting the artwork accomplished.

Short description:

Grotto Quattuor Elementa - A shrine to the four elements and a pilgrimage site on the sacred road to the burning man. See the creation mural, partake of the elements, pronounce a blessing or a curse. Balance your elements, increase your karma, and grow your sense of humor.

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lucky420
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Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by lucky420 » Tue May 09, 2017 1:12 pm

on my camps big Dye day (Dye with Dignity) I think we go through approx 400 scarves/sarongs. on this day we are open for business for about 5-6 hours. We do other smaller dyes (rogue out by the trash fence, family/friends day) It takes a person some time to dye their scarf, some longer than others. We offer Texas wine (it's a real thing :D and pbr ) and a place out of the sun to dye...

So numbers that youre looking for I guess you might want to factor in how long it takes for someone to partake of your art. You might get more visitors if you have a shill hawking your event. Thing is you wont be able to reach all the people at BM so plan for what you can do .
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Savannah
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Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by Savannah » Tue May 09, 2017 1:15 pm

That's hard to know. :) If your piece is visually arresting, noisy, placed on a plaza or listed in the What When Where guide, it could have a lot of visitors. If your art piece is staffed, and you act as a carnival barker, that will also obviously draw people. If you're not specifically placed and are not within the inner streets, on the end of a block, or inside a plaza, you may have less traffic.

If you can only staff your art at certain times, you might want to have instructions or post hours of operation, and list safety requests (such as "DO NOT CLIMB", although of course people may try.)

There are many art pieces that are not staffed in any obvious way, and people just explore them at will.
*** 2018 Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

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some seeing eye
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Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by some seeing eye » Tue May 09, 2017 1:24 pm

Good for you bringing an art project in your first year.

There are too many variables to answer your question.

If you are not placed, it will be difficult to let people know through the What When Where (look up the deadline). Talk to the Artery about additional ways to make your project known.

If you are near or next to something popular, you could receive many visitors.

The Plazas - circles on the city plan will have more traffic, and more traffic close in.

Set your hours around your life. In the first year, determine the number of items you gift by your budget and don't mention them in the promotion in the likely case they run out.

Invite the Placement Department and the Artery to visit. Document your project to the max, then use that in future year art applications. Invite critiques from other art projects and your visitors and take criticism with a huge swallow of playa dust.

Have fun!
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

Paintking
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Camp Name: Grotto Quattuor Elementa

Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by Paintking » Tue May 09, 2017 5:31 pm

Hey, thanks for all the quick and positive responses. Yeah, I know there are a lot of variables, even as virginal as I am.

Because of my virginosity, I'm thinking its preferable to be a little out of sight, dont make my signs too big, and keep the barking on the down low. My thought is to be a participant, add some art in a real way, and help others be participants, but dont go too big. I dont know what I'm getting me (and my buddy) into really, and I still want to see and enjoy everything BM has to offer. My ego isn't particularly big, so I dont need or want hordes of visitors to validate our project. But on the other hand I certainly want people to notice it and get interested, otherwise what's the point. And if I'm making something that's interactive, I want to have some idea how many "elements" to have and how much staffing we need.

Once again, thanks everybody.

Paintking

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gaminwench
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Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by gaminwench » Tue May 09, 2017 5:51 pm

Welcome!

You haven't said how your piece is interactive.

Do guests add to the mural?
Do they need supervision?

Esplanade camps and well-established camps (popular bar/adult/music spaces) are really the only camps that get slammed with folks.

Our interactivity requires at least two people to run/bark; it is better with four or five, especially at night.
We requested inner city placement several years ago because the traffic on the main drag had become exhausting.
We're much happier in the 'burbs where we can choose when to 'open' based on whatever.
The result is that we're 'open' noon to 1AM every day, but our traffic is a steady stream of folks rather than a herd, and our campers don't feel pressed to 'work'.

Every once in a while an MV will pull up with a full load and we have a full house, but that is more a 'special occasion' than the norm.
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Token
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Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by Token » Wed May 10, 2017 12:15 pm

42

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Chowski
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Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by Chowski » Wed May 10, 2017 2:08 pm

I have run a camp for almost ten years. Since you are new, I will assume your placement will be nearer the back of the city - this isn't an insult, it's just the way it is. And honestly, it's better for new camps to try, and maybe fail, farther out. When we were a G and beyond kind of camp, unattended art pieces got maybe a dozen or two dozen people an hour during the day, far fewer at night. Particularly if you are on a letter street (G, or H, or I) off of one of the main number streets (7:30, 9:00), the amount of traffic going crosswise is pretty minimal. Most people near the back will head to their nearest number street and turn toward the man, heading into center or out to deep playa. Someone camped on 8:00 and I is unlikely to take 8:00 for more than a block or two since going around the circle is SOOOO much longer the further out you get.

Consider this a good factor - you will have lots to focus on and master your first burn or two. Plus the people you do get to interact with will be either the curious kind who seek out the farther reaches for intimate experiences, or people who live very near you - neighbors are the best! What you will avoid for the most part is crowds of EDM dance zombies chasing Default World Celebrity at the major sound camps.

Enjoy your first year, and know that although your piece won't be seen by thousands a day, those that do see it are much more likely to engage with it than if you had been placed at a high-traffic area.

Paintking
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Camp Name: Grotto Quattuor Elementa

Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by Paintking » Wed May 10, 2017 2:26 pm

RE: Gaminwench's question about interactive specifics:

Interactivity at the Grotto is at the altar and/or with the acolyte. At the altar visitors can physically consume the elements: earth, air, water, and fire (in safe non-destructive form) or pronounce blessings or curses to affect their inner elemental balance, sorta like saying three "hail Mary's" to atone for a sin with Catholic confessions. Notebooks will contain basic blessings and curses, some from real sources, others of invented and playful nature. Visitors can add comments to the notebooks or their own blessings and curses. I've also thought about leaving prayers on scraps of paper that would end up in the main temple burn (if I've got that practice straight). The visitors can engage with the acolyte for elemental balance advice, discussion, confession and general banter.

To be clear, the history of the four elements is real and the basis for many belief systems, but it is only a spring board for the creation of this art work. We aren't representing a real belief system or trying to indoctrinate anyone. In my mind the ancient belief that the four elements underlie all things can be a uniting idea that everyone can relate to on some level. Partaking of the elements, making blessings and curses at the Grotto is cross cultural "radical ritual" that attempts to add to the mythology of Burning Man and further the ten principals as I understand them. I guess my description here doesn't sound particularly humorous, but humor is definitely part of the project.

Paintking

Paintking
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Camp Name: Grotto Quattuor Elementa

Re: Seeking Advice: How many people visit an art project or camp?

Post by Paintking » Thu May 11, 2017 5:51 am

Chowski wrote:I have run a camp for almost ten years. Since you are new, I will assume your placement will be nearer the back of the city - this isn't an insult, . . . Enjoy your first year, and know that although your piece won't be seen by thousands a day, those that do see it are much more likely to engage with it than if you had been placed at a high-traffic area.

Bingo! Just the insight and advice I was looking for. Thanks Chowski and everyone else. Now if I can just get tickets.

Paintking

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