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Mechateuthis to Burning Man 2015

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I am Barry Crawford, artist, inventor, and a Burning Man participant. I fell in love with Burning Man when I first came in 2012, and have returned every year since. In 2013, I brought Helicopter Dragonfly On Mechanical Plant to the playa. For this year’s Burning Man, I am creating Mechateuthis.


Mechateuthis is a mechanical giant squid driven by 8 hand cranks to be turned by Burning Man participants. Each crank will drive different mechanical effects from arm and tentacle movement to beak snapping, pupil dialation, and more.

Mechateuthis will be about 7’ tall and spans an approximately 25’ circle. The construction is mainly steel, with some use of stainless steel.

Why I Need Your Help

While I was given a generous grant from Burning Man Arts that covered the majority of the materials, there are a number of items necessary for the project's success, and that impact functionality and the aesthetics of the sculpture, that still need to be funded. I also need an air suspension booster spring kit for my pickup for transportation of Mechateuthis to Burning Man.

Additionally, building Mechateuthis has been, and will continue to be until Burning Man, a full time job. I have been working on this project 10 to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for the last three months, with another 2 months to go. Because of that, I have had little opportunity to produce work that I can sell immediately. Any assistance with keeping food in the fridge and the lights on while I finish this would be greatly appreciated.

Flex shaft cable martials: $150
Arm and tentacle segment bearings: $450
Waterproof LED strips: $175
Deep cycle battery (for LED strips): $100
Air suspension booster spring kit for transportation: $250
Living costs (because this has been a full time job for a few months now): $1700


Keep in touch and up to date with Mechateuthis at the fan page:



  • Tamas Kalman
    • $10 
    • 9 yrs


Barry Crawford
Elko, NV

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