Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Burning Man 2014: Alien Siege Machine

The alien siege machine- really far away, but you can see it's pretty big.
The Alien Siege Machine was out local large sculpture on the open playa.  In other words, it was the closest large-scale art installation to our neck of the woods.

I went out to see it with my two brothers, Dan and Phil, aka Fango, and Nostrildamus.  I regret not having my camera with me at that time, but my phone battery was dead at that time, so I just had to enjoy it in the moment.  And now I have only the description of the experience to share.

It was quite large, some four or five stories tall, and shaped something like a trojan horse, with the head of a Ridley Scott-designed alien from the Aliens movie series.  At the base was a large platform that could be climbed up to from the treaded tank-wheels surrounding it, or a number of other ways.  One could also enter the base through a door or window, and, crouching below the low ceiling, navigate a series of hallways, decorated up with alien imagery.  One ended with a cluster of what looked like alien eggs in goopy ectoplasm, glowing in the black lights.

Moving up the sculpture, there were a series of ladders, stairways, and other ways to climb up, of which I don't recall the exact order, but suffice to say that there were many clever ways to navigate up, down and around the magnificent piece, as though we were hamsters in a habitrail.  The upper deck was a control room of sorts.  What looked like a bomb was suspended in the center, which we learned later was to be part of the big pyrotechnics show to take place later in the week.  There were ornately carved table legs on swiveling mounts to resemble alien ray guns that participants could point at targets on the ground.  One could even climb into the alien head, and peer out the mouth.  I'm sure there were many other interactive features I'm forgetting, but the point is it was a complete piece of work, that combined the work of what must have been hundreds if not thousands of people.

Anyone seeking better pictures, and a more complete description of this piece need only search the web for Alien Siege Machine.

2014 Burning Man Story Menu

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