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Update July 2019:
Our big, sweet dreams are coming full circle! We test-built the bottom two tiers of the MEGA CAKE at The Hermitage Museum and Gardens in Norfolk, VA. It was amazing to be back at this special location for our team, where the magic all started for us at last summer's groundbreaking "Art of Burning Man" exhibition. We invited our local community to come out and interact with the cake before it heads to Black Rock City. Thank you to all the donors and supporters who came out to see this colossal confection - we love you!
Update on January 29th 2019
We had an AMAZING adventure bringing the miniMEGACAKE to The Love Burn in Miami! The top two tiers were a huge hit at the event and a great exercise in transporting and assembling this complicated confection. Thank you to all who came out to sing Happy Birthday, celebrate and dance on our passion project - we hope to see you at the big burn this summer, too! WITH THREE MORE LAYERS OF JOY!
Update: The World Below the Brine is Complete!! So proud of all the teamwork that went into making this vision a reality - and now we can get back to baking!
Update on August 1, 2018
Dear MEGACAKE supporters, friends, and family –
What’s a birthday without a surprise? Well… SURPRISE! I am pleased to announce that our Cake crew won a commission to make a large piece of public art for the City of Virginia Beach!! … AND it’s due to be installed and open to the public in September 2018!!! This is a hugely exciting development for our team, but one that arrives with some heavy residual effects – the largest of which is that the installation of MEGACAKE in Black Rock City is being postponed until 2019.
The past ten months since we began the project have been an incredible period of productivity , community-building , and artistic growth . We knew that we were taking on something truly MEGA when we made the first ambitious sketches and put it out in the world. We also knew that we have a responsibility to do it right – to make it every bit as spectacular and FUN as our crew and our generous supporters desire it to be. So when this incredible opportunity arose to make a project in our home town, we were faced with a tough decision: try to juggle both projects and cut the Cake down to a more manageable size OR give ourselves the gift of having our Cake and eating it too, by throwing ourselves full tilt into our local project and adding twelve months to the MEGACAKE timeline. We chose the latter and feel that it is a win-win for both our local and Burning Man communities. And our sanity. We sincerely hope you agree.
We will resume our Cake-making in late September. In the meantime, we’ll see you in the dust where we’ll be supporting our fellow campers’ iSheep project or at the Beach in the World Below the Brine!
Thank you so much. Please send any comments or concerns to [email redacted] and I will promptly reply.
Piece of Cake Productions
And Work Program Architects
UPDATE! on June 2, 2018
MEGACAKE Construction is going full speed ahead. The First Tier decks are complete and the first X-brace frame is standing tall... 9 feet tall! Time is of the essence now to complete our fundraising so that the remaining wood, lighting materials, and flame equipment can be purchased and the trucks that will transport it to the desert can be reserved. Your help is greatly appreciated. There are also numerous tasks that volunteers can help with at the Dream Factory where our MEGACAKE Workshop is located. Our normal build nights are Monday and Wednesday and then all day Saturdays. Come lend a hand!
Piece of Cake Productions was born out of a wave of community vibrancy surrounding the Art of Burning Man show at the Hermitage Museum in Norfolk, VA.
Our intrepid crew is on a mission to build a 44-foot tall wooden birthday cake (complete with fire-shooting candles) in the challenging conditions of Burning Man's Black Rock City.
MEGA CAKE is an interactive art space and meeting place which draws on iconic symbols of time to celebrate the common experience of our birthdays. Imagine 70,000 people playing together all week on a giant cake and then singing "Happy Birthday" in unison as we watch it burn to the ground!
MEGA CAKE plays with scales of interactivity that directly address the mission- to examine and celebrate the significance of our births. On a city-wide scale, it stands as a beacon to our common experience. Group birthday parties, gift making, and "blowing out candles" (with electronics!) will bind participants together. On a personal scale, one will encounter a physical calendar that will serve as a place to record birth dates and messages, and to exchange gifts. An interior spiral stair provides access to elevated decks where participants can take in a "365°" view. A slide will provide quick travel to the playa and act as a playful symbol of one's birth anew. On a universal scale, the cake serves as a marker in time- a point to deliberately consider the significance of each being and celebrate a deeper understanding of self and community.
We have the know-how and the experience to pull off this extraordinary feat, but we need help from our community to defray the costs of materials and transportation.
If you are a member of the Burning Man community, or if you fell in love at the Hermitage Museum's Art of Burning Man exhibit this year, or if you've ever had a birthday - WE WANT YOU TO BE A PART OF THIS!
We will gratefully inscribe the names and birthdays of ALL donors upon birthday cards within MEGA CAKE. If you've always wanted to go to Burning Man, this is a way to send a little part of yourself on an incredible journey.
MEGA CAKE is a wood-framed structure resembling a 5-tiered cake. It is 12-sided and stands 48' tall with a 36' diameter base. LED-illuminated fabric panels line each faceted tier and have perforations which recall cake icing embellishments while letting the wind pass through. There are 12 candles with blown glass flames illuminated by LEDs and 1 center "poofer" candle with flame effects. The interior, accessible through an opening on the ground level, provides a shaded gathering space for play and exploration. In the center of the space stands an interactive calendar broken into each month with small cubicles – one for every day of the year. MEGA CAKE is an instantly recognizable icon that beckons the curious to further explore its gifts.
- William Brown
- Jennifer Richter
- Leah Villanueva
- benjamin wright
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