The Dancing Serpent

Horizontal barrier.

Just as we are a sect of homo-sapiens which grows lush in our desert habitat, I like to imagine that everything about our city - the striped tents, the night beacons, the strange crawling vehicles, the unexpected flames - are equally living products of the rare atmosphere of the playa. I think of what creatures might evolve there in the heat and the dust, with the sun and the wind for power, with a peacock's urges to be admired day and night, with a joy in the solitude and the rough edges of the natural world that spawned them. What life forms might develop as the denizens of the Carnival of Dreams if their constituent molecules were dust and rust and sunlight?

The Serpent participates in this vision as a creature that has evolved to take advantage of the special affordances of Burning Man. It is an encouragement to seek beauty from what might otherwise be rough metal and glass, energy from the movement of the wind, and to treat with respect, and perhaps a little fear, those strange entities - human, canvas, metal, plastic, wooden - that make up the city around us.

The Serpent is a perfectly balanced mobile formed of a series of bent-metal pipes which each carry a segment of the serpent’s body. Lateral motive forces on the lead segment create wave-like motions through the entire sculpture. Flames rise from the spine of each segment like a mane of fire along the serpent’s back. The external structure of each segment will form the counterweight that balances the remaining segments.

It is not important to me to create a work which will be visible over the horizon from Gerlach, or whose flame cyclone penis lights the sky in Cedarville. But I do want to create a work which will interact with its audience, draw them into its world, and make them feel, for a few instants of contemplation, that they are not the only conscious, highly evolved beings in the dust.