Intersection (Burning Man 2018)

Most of our camp members reside in Moscow so The Intersection was entirely built there. It was months of hard work on conception, design and production. As delivery fees are a big part of the budget, our camp cooperated with other camps from Russia to send everything in the same marine container.

Unfortunately, there were problems with the customs and departure delayed for a few days.

Finally, everything was packed and loaded and the ship with our art set sail to Los Angeles to arrive there on 14th August.

Beginning of August was a tense period of time when delivery date started to shift slightly towards September. After endless days of tracking online our container, the moment has come. On 8th of August we understood that there is no way it will make it in time – a new stop was added to ship’s itinerary and ETA extended for two extra weeks.

An emergency discussion was called in our camp’s chat. Some believed that we still could make it if we find an extra funding. Some thought it was unfortunately too late.

Despite ongoing discussion, the funding campaign have started. After thorough budget estimation, the goal was set to 17000 USD, which seemed enough to rebuild the art object.

Our cry for help in social networks was answered by a 500 USD grant from Russian burners community and some money received through fundraising.

Camp members covered the rest of the budget.

Time was running fast and a new set of dozen of traffic lights was ordered to be built in the same production site in Moscow. In just a week, they will all fly inside unicorns’ luggage to San Francisco.

The most expensive and heavy part of rebuilding the intersection was an “asphalt”: a few tons of rubber in original design replaced with plywood and rubber in its later version.

Several days prior to the scheduled start of on-playa assembly there were only few of us in San Francisco. Luckily, our beloved camp mate had an access to workshop in the city and re-building magic started to happen. The days were filled with metal shopping, welding, cutting, bending, loading and unloading.

21st of August was the last day I have spent in the workshop. We finished the bus stop and loaded a couple of tons of plywood with large metal pillars for traffic lights into the truck. That was the time to send the fruits of our labor to the playa again and start the construction.

The next morning we have loaded the bus stop, shiftpods and camp’s necessities to the trailer and took off to playa.

Other part of our team stayed in San Francisco to finish things and load the big truck.

It was 5:00 AM on 23rd of August when we got to our camp. Enough time to set up two shiftpods, inflate one mattress and head directly to the construction site.

We were short in time but that did not matter. Every day we had more and more Unicorns arriving on playa to reinforce us.

Not everything went as smooth as we desired.

People, who volunteered to help us, spent two days selflessly riding all of the surrounding hardware stores to find the proper rubber for the asphalt.

Traffic lights had some compatibility issues. At night, the developer was remotely connecting from Moscow to our on-playa server with a webcam to rewrite the code and test the traffic lights.

We did not finished The Intersection on August 26.

August 27 was a day for our last shot. Most of the unicorns have already arrived and we had a lot of fresh energy.

Officially, it is forbidden to build on playa after August 26. However, it is not forbidden to party. So we have decided to throw a “construction party”!

We have set up our loudspeakers and a DJ right on The Intersection. It was a surreal event full of music, screwdrivers, ladders, dance, paint, hugs, heavy lifting, laughter and lots of pink fur coats. Some of the unicorns have met each other for the first time there.

The Intersection 2018 was finished that night.

The original Intersection have arrived to Los Angeles in September, when the Burning Man was over, and is still there.

This year’s Metamorphosis theme ignited our imagination with what could have happened with this original intersection, abandoned in LA, if it was deserted for a long time.

I hope that we will finally bring it to playa this year in its new marvelous form.