A CHILDHOOD DREAM…
Giganty’s Bouncing Infinity Gadget is a childhood dream manifested. As a kid, I saved quarters to collect those little rubber super bouncy balls you buy from a gumball machine. When I had several big mason jars full of superballs, I’d dump them from the 2nd floor above the tiled entryway and watch them gleefully rebound chaotically in a big splash of color and motion. I dreamed of a machine that would keep the balls constantly in motion in an endless splash of ideas and imagination: BUT CONTAINED - so I didn't have to pick them up!
Later I got interested in astronomy, and I realized the entire universe and everything in it are born out of the constant balance between order and chaos and the dynamics of creation and entropy. And that balance translates to our individual lives in the relationships between work and play, industry and leisure.
For example, I grew up in Colorado and always noticed the grain elevators and sugar beet processing plants. I asked endless questions about how those related to how we got food for dinner and dessert. My father was an engineer and a patient man who loved answering these questions (btw mom was the artist who taught me to paint!).
BROUGHT TO LIFE THROUGH ART.
Through my art, I wanted to shine a light on how almost everything we consume or use had a life before, involving some industrial process which is the backstage of the grand play we are all living in. I wanted that machine to represent those juxtapositions of order and chaos, imagination and intention, and industry and play - while bringing joy and inspiring imaginations!
So in 2019, I created the first iteration, Bounce Back, a kinetic people-powered gadget that utilized a farming industry bucket elevator to create a machine that symbolizes child’s play and so much more. However, it was only the start of the grand vision!
There is no better way to stress-test an installation than to bring it out to the Playa. That environment is the most challenging place to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your vision. We learned A LOT from the first iteration of the project, and we’re using that knowledge to build the entire version that I originally dreamed of - something bigger than myself.
Bounce back was only a kernel of the full installation I imagined. Considering the size of the universe, I always wondered what entities might be out there, and if they visited us, how would they play? What would they wish to communicate?
Giganty is that entity from my dreams of the wider universe. The Bouncing Infinity Gadget is really Giganty’s plaything that she is offering up to us: to remind us to activate our dreams! Giganty’s Bouncing Infinity Gadget is the culmination of the installation's evolution.
WITH A PLAN…
We are creating this grand vision in stages. For 2022, I’ve revised the design of The Gadget itself with new engineering. I added a second tower to house the machine and improved interactive elements. We are adding analog sound using upcycled musical cymbals. We are improving the lighting that will now be solar-powered with a new roof system to support the solar panels and to provide dappled shade. And we are creating a view chamber to see the gears and ball return mechanisms at work.
AND A FUTURE…
In 2023, Giganty will appear on the Playa as a fully climbable 30 ft tall giant playing with the Gadget.
Giganty, being an entity from another space and time, has a unique artistic language that mixes letters from our human languages to create artistic symbols - each one unique. We call these Sigils, and Sigil magic involves meditating on your Sigil symbol to create the energy to manifest your dreams.
So Giganty is encouraging you to manifest your dreams. She believes the sigils can generate sparks and momentum to mingle with the infinite bounty of the universe. If you look closely this year in 2022, you might see Giganty’s eye reflected in the windows of the Gadget.
THE NITTY GRITTY…
Everything on the project is being created with certified engineering and fabricated to high standards so the project will not only stand up to the challenges of the Playa, but will be able to be displayed in a public art setting in the “default” world. The goal is to create a work that will not be destroyed, but will live on for others to enjoy into the future.
Sassy Galaxy Art is a different kind of art team. The Creative Team designs, builds and installs the work. We are professional welders, builders, fabricators, designers, musicians, riggers and artists. We're also organizers, producers, planners, accountants and CEOs who get things done, and that's a creative force right there! Anyone who works on the piece gets the credit and recognition they deserve – it’s all about collaboration, not egos - we don’t send our art out to be made by anonymous fabricators. We’re also working with the excellent engineers at RBHU to ensure solid, safe design and construction.
MEET THE TEAM
Our Core Crew:
✯ Sarah G. Firefly, aka Sassy Galaxy
, is our Sculptural Artist Lead, Fabricator and CAD Designer: A sculptural artist who has been bringing or working on installations and theme camps on Playa since 2005. Off-playa, she has spent the last 20 years connecting people with the arts through education, artist collectives and arts and entertainment management. https://www.sassy-galaxy.com
✯ Kevin Bourque, Ringmaster
, is our Creative Producer: Kevin Bourque is an Emmy-winning editor working in TV and film. He also composes music and was a member of the band Mutaytor, his own multi-media performance SKIN, and he created the live circus spectacle CIRQUE BERZERK. He has built and created many projects over his 24 years at Burning Man, including Kaliadome, Red Nose District, PedalBump and Mega Mega. https://www.NuclearPicnic.com
✯ Michael Dignum, Diggs, is our Build Captain: After winning a national engineering competition in the UK, he moved to the US to work for Lockheed Martin where he quickly made the move to the film industry. A burner for 12 years, he created the Steampunk Saloon in 2011 and was the Lead Builder on Mega Mega in 2019. Diggs is often assisted by his teenage son, Taylor who also helped on Mega Mega for his first burn in 2019 – Taylor jumps in to learn and help wherever he can.
✯ Art Lazaro
is our Visual Artist Lead: An artist who has been involved with various Burning Man related projects since 1999; including Steampunk Saloon, Cirque Berzerk, and Thunderdome, among others. In the default world, they work as an LA-based digital artist in film, TV, and live entertainment. https://www.fictiontech.net
✯ Shawn Stang, Chick-a-dee, is our Ball Wrangler: A Los Angeles native with a taste for adventure. She was an artist/designer on PedalBump from 2013 – 2015, the Lead Overseer on Bounce Back in 2019 and is joining us once again to bring her magical talents to the Gadget. She is also our Base Camp R.I.D.E. lead.
✯ Jason Hansen is our Lead Fabricator: A 30 plus years member of the special effects community for film and television. He is a designer, rigger, welder, and builder. His specialty is conceptualizing and bringing to life the wild and wonderful ideas from the page to the screen. Jason also brings his teenager, Alex, to the build to help set up, do finish work on some of the pieces and help organize in general.
✯ The Flying Morgans – The Infamous Gary Morgan and his daughter Bonnie Morgan, aka Bendy Bonnie, are our Rigging and Roof Team: They are Hollywood’s own Circus Royalty performing under Big Tops and on Stages and Screens in more shows than we can count. They roam Burning Man from their Red Nose District base camp, bringing next-level costumed clowning hilarity and creating smiles and laughter everywhere they go!
✯ John Weissman is one of our Fabricators Extraordinaire, also leading the Roof Team: Husband, father and Weis Council. I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me. Be All In. He is joined by his own build crew, Alec and Tom, and they all lend tools, expertise and muscle when needed.
✯ Cosmic Tracy is Co-Lead Window Guru and LNT Captain: She is a third-generation U.S. Navy veteran, and she has a background in film production, contract management, logistics, and event facilitation. When she isn’t dancing on the playa, she is volunteering her time helping veterans transition to civilian life or planning her next creative project.
✯ Astro Dave is our Co-Lead Window Guru and Structural Consultant: He is a Brit who arrived on these shores five years ago for work, fell in love and never left. His love of travel, adventure & sports has seen him visit over 30 countries so far and attend 4 Olympic Games (as a spectator!). When not working on "The Gadget" can be found enjoying a warm beer and planning his next travel adventure with Cosmic Tracy.
✯ Bryan Doyle is our all-around project support and cladding specialist: An Accountant by day, this will be his first burn, so he’s diving in with a project and the energy of a virgin. Don’t worry, we’ll take good care of him and get him nice and dusty!
✯ Patsy “Enara Hug” sews fabulous things for us: She describes herself as a Little old lady. Young in spirit. Go granny, go! She has worked on PedalBump, is part of the Monaco Crew and sewed all the bouncy ball bench covers for Bounce Back that will be re-appearing this year with the GADGET.
✯ Matty Wilson: Custom Parts Designer/Welder: He has an ever-exciting career in the world of movie and TV practical special effects as a custom fabricator and on his own as an artistic designer/welder for private commissions. He has been a savior to many projects on Playa with the Art Support Services team at the Burn.
And here are a few of our many AWESOME Volunteers
Larry Law, an editor by day, jumped in to kick off our welding work!
Kevin Camino and Torie Stover get in there and do the unglamorous yet rewarding jobs of Materials Prep
Gabe Rockets and Missy Botchatey are aces at all the measuring and precision work needed for welding and building
Virgil Petri is always the best all-around Crew Support - he jumps in for whatever is needed, going on runs for supplies, feeding the crew, lifting heavy things.
Shakir Manners handles power tools and paintbrushes with equal finesse.
David Goldsobel is helping with wiring on the Solar
Charlie Bruchez always helps with practical building and truck tetris organization.
Michael Allen of Digital Debris, is donating and programming lights!
Esther Rovin is lending her welding and painting expertise!
Kenney Abney always teaches us skills and lends a hand (or heavy machinery) and a good story when we need it most!
Special thanks to everyone at Big Art Labs, especially Crunchy and Sara McChristian, and many more joining in and helping to make the GADGET Dream Come true.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
With your support, we’ll be able to bring the full installation to the playa. The new and improved Gadget in 2022 and the full Giganty in 2023.
Everyone who donates will have the chance to be a part of the project in a variety of ways! Direct donations to this gofundme fundraiser are great, and definitely needed, but there are more ways to support! Perhaps you want to add your own superball to the mix, or get a print of some of the artwork, or maybe even have a personal Sigil in Giganty’s language created. Please click over to https://sassy-galaxy.com/works/giganty.html
for more ways to support and be a part of the project from afar.
Even if you can't donate at this time, please consider sharing our story. Any extra funds raised over the costs for the Gadget, will go towards adding Giganty in 2023. All of the CAD design and fabrication labor is being gifted by the core crew and other volunteers.
Why Donate? – Funding for the arts can be difficult when there seems to be so many worthy causes to support. But public art has the power to help people thrive by activating spaces and providing dynamic interaction to spark joy and inspire. We are dedicated to creating public art for all. Please consider giving your support so we can continue to evolve and create this project everyone can enjoy not just in 2022, but also for years to come. Everyone on our crew is volunteering their time and energy so ALL your donations go towards tangible materials and processes that we need to get this built and tested so it shines at Burning Man and beyond.
Every donation counts, and your generous financial support will help pay for the following new components of The Gadget.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
The Bouncing Infinity Gadget New Expenses.
While we are re-using many parts from our Build in 2019, we have a slew of new expenses as we improve and give the project new life including:
• Engineering and Anchoring Systems- We have procured professional engineering analysis from RBHU and have implemented new massive earth anchors and additional base plates to the existing base plates to secure this piece to the ground and make sure it withstands the high winds or other forces that may occur at Burning Man
• Metals and Processing – This is one of the biggest expenses as the price of structural steel and the specialized laser cutting for the hexagons is ever-increasing – why build out of steel? Because it will last a lifetime!
• Plexiglass – With the newly added Bucket Elevator tower and view chambers comes new, unbreakable plexiglass window panels so that no superballs escape to become M.O.O.P.
• Gearing and Mechanical Components – With the new design, we’ve improved the gearing and interactive components for a no-fail system with backups for those harsh desert conditions! These are professional-level drive shafts, sprockets and chains, clutches, levers, hand crank wheels.
• Hardware and Rigging – We’re using structurally rated hardware, as specified by the engineers, for our cable wire and all the nuts and bolts. We’re utilizing 400 welded nuts and bolt tabs for the windows and cladding panels to provide a safe, secure viewing experience.
• Solar Power System – We are being mentored by the RAT (Renewables Artist Team) – a group of veteran Burners dedicated to sharing knowledge about solar. Our project lighting will be powered by the sun!
• Roof Panels – We are integrating the solar components into the design and have repurposed an 8’ steel hexagon but added perforated metal and a welded support bar to support the solar panels, plus four more 6’ hexagon aluminum panels with professional rigging that will all provide dappled shade to the gadget components and people working or enjoying the machine.
• Transportation – Big Art needs Big Trucks! We rent, drive, load, unload and clean them ourselves!
• Crew Support – Making sure everyone stays hydrated during our hot L.A. and possibly even hotter Playa workdays is crucial, and it does add up.
• Work Space – We do have to rent space so we can fit all the new components, tools, shade structures, machines, etc.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out! We are so excited to be building this crazy GADGET this year and getting GIGANTY to the playa next year.