Three large metal animals - Elephant, Polar Bear, and Rhino as judges. Coyote, with his fancy burning earth talking stick, as lawyer. There are benches for the monkeys. Sit! Discuss! What would are animal brethren say about us? A Burning Man Honoraria project for 2020, interrupted by COVID. so, 2022!
The Council of Animals (what to do about the monkeys) is a piece to encourage dialogue amongst the planetary family. Three large metal animals - an elephant, a polar bear, and a rhino - make up the judges. Coyote is here too, with his fancy burning earth talking stick, as lawyer. There are benches for the monkeys. If they could talk, in a language we could understand, what would the animals have to say about the way we treat them?
The three judges are faceted steel, their massive bulk and iconic character rendered in clean geometry. They're all seated, on their butts, focused on Coyote and the 2-leggeds. Coyote stands on 2 legs, like his clients, leaning on a fancy talking stick for support, and standing on a metal platform. His talking stick has a globe-themed burner at the top. Behind him are benches of reclaimed wood.
The sculpted animals are large and visually striking enough to draw people in, the benches provide a resting place for dialogue. Which is the real goal of the piece - under the focused gaze of the judges, the participants will be encouraged to have meaningful conversations about what we're doing as planetary cohabitants. Or just hang out and enjoy watching Coyotes flaming staff light up the sculptural forms. Or make some new friends. Of course, they'll probably want to climb all over the animals, and that's OK too.
It was a surprise, as a young person, when I realized that none of my classmates thought of themselves as animals, that they thought of themselves as somehow separate, superior, like we were dropped in from another reality. I grew up close to the dirt, with animals as friends and foes alike, as equals. So it was a shock, in that fifth grade classroom -wait, what? I've been thinking about it ever since.
We are one family, on one planet. The human race, the elephant race, all of the animal & insect & fish & plant races, we are all part of the same family. Humans are not special! We are just good at using our hands, and equipped with powerful language-equipped minds. We can use them to do better, we can make up for our past mistakes, we have a judgement to answer to. And we can. We can make the world a wonderful place for all of our family. But we must choose to do so, and engage a positive future.
So, this piece. To be judged, by the animals. We're all in it together, we are one family. Let's talk about it.
I design these animals using CAD, and then generate cut patterns for my CNC plasma cutter. That's a lot of work in itself, but then I actually have to manipulate the sheets into 3D!
I'm going to have a fundraiser going soon, am still dragging my feet as I frantically work to finish the CAD work - it takes a lot of computer time to generate the cut files. And time is tight! Patreon works much better for me, https://www.patreon.com/quillhyde, if you want to support the project. Projects, really, I have lots of ideas for the coming year. But one at a time.
What I will need, also, are volunteers! I'll be building Rhino, Polar Bear, and Coyote this summer. It'll be lots of grinding and welding and plasma cutting hilarity as we art it up. No expertise required. Bring gloves, safety glasses, and ear-plugs. Respirators or dust masks are nice too.
The shop is a safe space, a non-toxic creative skill sharing environment, and we have a lot of fun. I really enjoy working with volunteers, sharing what I know, learning what I don't. And, of course, you will have access to lots of tools and materials to make stuff of your own.