Phoenix Rising in 2019

Phoenix Rising is an interactive fire sculpture designed to feature as a major art piece at Burning Man in August 2019. It is also slated to travel to FreezerBurn Texas and Glastonbury Festival UK in 2020.

The Phoenix Rising Project is a recent recipient of a Burning Man Art Honorarium and has also been partially funded by FreezerBurnTexas, yet additional funds are needed to refurbish existing parts, re-design the legs, and build the bird’s Fire Effects System. This will include the purchase of materials such as propane tanks, hoses, pipes, fittings, gauges, steel, equipment, and consumables. Transport expenses to and from San Antonio, Texas to Black Rock City, Nevada must also be met. Your kind donation will assist with all of this, and also in the building of an infrastructure that will support the team which is traveling with the project to the desert- all this, so that we may provide a harmonious experience of collaboration where talented, skilled, and like-minded people join forces to bring this long held dream and vision to fruition.

Phoenix Rising looks very much like the mythical bird, a hybrid between parrot and peacock. Made of steel and repurposed objects, she also contains a flame effects system so that visually one sees and feels the heat of a giant Bird on FIRE!

Gaspo has designed an interactive element to the fire effects system which includes the placement of a pulse sensor on the finger of the festival participant. This remotely triggers a signal to the sculpture’s flame effects system and causes the flames of the Phoenix to pulse in unison with the beat of the participant’s heart. It will be exciting to see citizens of Black Rock City and attendees at other festivals experience the rush of one's own heartbeat pulsing through the Fire of the Phoenix!
29299716_1542415638761224_r.jpegFLAME EFFECTS 
Overall Dimensions of the Phoenix: 10’ H x 32’ L x 25’ W
Build and install of the flame effects system will began late summer in Doyle, CA with Scott "Gaspo" Gasparian as lead on fire, lighting, and interactive components. Two Systems:

System #1 — Flamethrower inside the mouth of the Phoenix 
System #2 — Wings & Tail A system of small copper pipes linked together and containing a series of holes wrapped with stainless steel wool.
Fueled by propane.
+ Interactive Component located at a distance from the sculpture for participant access.

Just before the new year, we began deconstructing in order to reconstruct the Phoenix sculpture, which sat dormant for four years after attending Apogaea Festival in the mountains near Denver, Colorado in 2014. The central structure for accepting the wings and feet has been re-designed, the body of the bird reinforced, and new feathers were cut to replace the old that were rusty and damaged by time. A new design for the wings has been implemented to include removable panels for the feathers, allowing easy install, and also leaving room for the flame effects system.

29299716_1576700349773144_r.jpegIsaac, Vanessa, Dustin, LT, Snoop-dog, Lisa, Gaspo, Ktoe & Moons.

Raising some bird legs.


29299716_156096741338884_r.jpegPHOENIX Head UP! @ Mission Road Shop with Jonathan & Dustin in from Houston helping on welding.

29299716_1560968142274290_r.jpegCutting feathers! Araselle Vivenza at work with the plasma; Jonathan welding.

29299716_1560969631182856_r.jpegPhoenix Rising from the Rust! Vanessa de-feathering the remains of the Bird from 4 years of outdoor storage.

Video! Thank you Jon, Dustin, Vanessa!

29299716_1560971259632097_r.jpegWing Panels in Progress. Arches for feathers being added by Lisa.

For further information, and to learn more about the artist go to PHOENIX RISING! 

29299716_1551131244298526_r.jpegLeft: Wing panels with Luis Rojas.
Right: Feather cut-outs from 55 gal steel drums. They will be stacked & assembled into "light towers" which will surround and illuminate the sculpture. Donated by Dave the Barrel Man,

The inspiration for this piece is based on our need as humans to shed our skin, destroy what is old and regenerate through the mythos of the Phoenix Rising from it’s own ashes to reemerge anew... Historically, “Feng Huang” are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang. In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no longer made, and they are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the Phoenix is now paired with the Chinese dragon, which is deemed male. So, the piece also addresses the topic of gender inequality in these current times of chaos in our country.

Dedicated to loved ones who perhaps passed before their time due to illness, or suicide; and especially to those we've lost most recently from our Burning Man community, Larry Harvey, Dana Harrison, Joy Orbella, and so many others from BM-DPW: Tex, Shooter, Johnny Blue Eyes, Eric... Tom Kennedy... Their spirits are held close in our hearts as this Phoenix Rises from the ashes and pulses anew.

This installation is being resurrected not only for participant interaction, but also for the experience of collaborating with others, passing on skills and knowledge in a communal atmosphere, and bringing creative expression to fruition.

29299716_155694987126124_r.jpegMock Up - one Wing Panel.

29299716_1556949519547982_r.jpegBird Parts with dimensions - transport specs.

29299716_1556949605774760_r.jpegPhoenix Feather Patterns.

Help us MAKE ART HAPPEN! Donate Today!
Any amount of assistance on your behalf will be most appreciated.

Donations ()

  • peter durand 
    • $25 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 6 mos
  • katiekatekate brinsmit 
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
  • Wendy Brazill 
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
  • Becky Sawyer 
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
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Fundraising team (2)

Lisa DragonMistress Nigro 
San Antonio, TX
Gaspo 1sky 
Team member
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