As updates arrive in our planning and design process you will find them right here!
Hello! We are moving towards Burning Man so quickly! This week we have some great news! First, we will be featured in Burn After Reading Magazine on playa! Thanks so much to BAR for reaching out to us, we are so grateful to be in print this year! Also, Thursday night (tonight!) in Portland we'll be featured on KBOO radio 90.7FM tonight during a Burning Man art Preview! You can also stream it online at the KBOO archive until 8/27. Really exciting stuff! Thank you to Diablo, who made this happen, and to KBOO who is featuring all of the Portland art coming to the burn this year! Last but not least, Zooplankton is on display as of TODAY at OMSI! We worked all afternoon yesterday setting up a 12-foot section of Zooplankton in the technology lab and it will be on display for everyone to see until 8/20 when we need to pack it up for transportation. Becca will be down at OMSI on Friday, Monday and Wednesday from 12-2pm with a microscope and real specimens of Calocyclas monumentum, the species of radiolarian that Zooplankton is based on. So, come stop by OMSI and say hello!
Oh! And one last update! I wanted to thank all of our donors for their patience while we get our gifts out to you. We have printed all of the bandanas! The shirts and sweatshirts are at the shop and should be back before Burning Man, and we are still printing the medallions. Thanks again for your contributions and we will get everything out to you as soon as we can!
Hi everyone! Here's an update on everything that's been going on:
Our fearless leader Becca took the installation up to Critical Northwest, a Burning Man Regional event north of Seattle, WA, and people loved it!! We even had folks ask to put a few hammocks inside, and she said sure! She's had to go right back out of town again for business but as soon as she's back she'll upload all the photos she took and we can finally show you what Zooplankton looks like with all the spikes installed and lit up. Our Programming/Electronics team is still working away on the lighting system we're going to be using on playa, but Becca had temporary lighting for Critical and it really looked cool.
We're so happy that we've made it this far, and there's no way we could have done it without all of the amazing people who have come out to help us in so many ways. Art most definitely does not build itself, and we are so grateful for our team and our supporters. We're not quite done yet, though: We still have some final fundraising to do in order to cover the costs of transportation, some additional materials, and the supplies we'll need to burn Zooplankton on Thursday night of Burning Man.
Even if you can't donate you can share the link to our "Get Zooplankton To Burning Man" Indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bring-zooplankton-to-burning-man/x/10397079#/story . We also have some cool new rewards to offer: handmade art donated by local burner artists! Here's a few photos of some of the art that's been donated for Indiegogo rewards, plus a couple of adorable shots from inside Zooplankton as it enjoyed its first festival.
Thank you everyone, stay tuned for more soon! <3
HELLO!!!! Oh my, we've come so far in the last few weeks!!! Yesterday we called together a whole herd of beautiful burners to help us put the structure together as a test run so that Becca will be able to reassemble it easily when she gets to Critical NW on this coming Monday. It was wonderful to have so many hands helping to get us to this point.
We got all the 5/8" plywood bent around the walls of the structure, got the roof made and covered, all the holes cut, and the top tier and spire brought to the site so we could see all the parts together. Today and tomorrow we're finishing fitting all of the acrylic rods and lighting, and then it's off to Critical!!! Thank you again everyone. This has been a hard a frustrating and wonderful journey for two women who have never before led a build project, and we're so amazed at what we've accomplished, and so thankful to all the people who have given us their time and muscle and ideas and support. SO MUCH LOVE.
Hi guys! Oh man, it has gotten hot here in Portland and we have been busy bees working away on our baby. We've made a lot of progress since the last update, and we're getting SO close to ready for Critical NW :)
After days and days of measuring and sawing and drilling and adjusting and sweating we've gotten the framing for the sides and top of the middle tier almost completely done, and we couldn't have done it without help from some of our fantastic friends (plus a sweet little kitty who came to supervise)
The next step is to get some plywood and make the outer skin for the middle tier, cut all the holes and install the acrylic spikes, and then mount the top tier on top of it. Stay tuned for more updates as we progress. Thank you all for following our work and all your support <3
Hi all, Sarah Erratica here! Well we just got home from our first day of building in our new home at Control H! It's a fabulous hacker space/creator shop and we love it so much! Their wood shop is invaluable, and we have a nice spot in the back yard next to a bunch of other weirdos and burners, it's perfect! We got two of the big support rings for the middle tier done today, and building will continue next week in preparation for Critical NW, a fabulous regional burner event in Washington. Yay building!! YAY ZOOPLANKTON!!
Yay LEDs!! Tony & Paul have been working on programming our new LED controls. Paul is a mastermind! He helped us prototype the LEDs you'll see in the spikes of Zooplankton! Tony will use these lights and program them once we get all of the components we need, like the thermal camera and all of the rest of the parts. Thank you both for all of your hard work!
Hello everyone!! Well, we have definitely made some progress, though we haven't reached the finish line yet. We did some long work days, Landon and Sarah and I, and got the skin fitted on the frame, cut some holes, and attached the acrylic rods, and it all looked great! The wonderful Tony got all the lighting done on the spire and more LEDs to illuminate the acrylic spikes and away it went to SOAK, our regional Burning Man event in the Tygh Valley in Oregon. People LOVED it!!! They loved the lights, the structure, the idea, and they definitely loved looking at real radiolaria through our recently acquired microscope. Our first public viewing was all we could have hoped for.
Now we need to get going on the rest of the structure, and we need your help. We've got some funding but we'll need more to get this baby finished and ready for Burning Man. If you aren't able to donate you can share our project with friends and family, or anyone who you think appreciates crazy creators who love making art and sharing creams. Thank you all so much for your support, and we'll keep updating as the project progresses :)
Today was Day 1 of building, and it went great! Today we began building the very top tier of Zooplankton (the rounded part on top with the twisty spire) to take to SOAK, our local Burning Man Regional. Our Leader and mastermind behind the idea of Zooplankton, Becca, was a champ with the wood cutting, and Build Lead, Landon, did an amazing job and spent SO many hours designing and organizing and making a great plan for exactly what we needed to cut and all the angles and how to mark each piece so we all know what goes where. It felt so good to be building again, and even with the drizzle and having to buy a new saw blade we had a blast. We'll be having another build party next week, and I think we're going to have something really special to share with the community at SOAK. Thank you all so much for your support and for following our progress. More updates and pics to come!
Our Indiegogo campaign is live! After a few hiccups and hoops to jump through on the website I'm so glad that we're up and running. It's been a really exciting time for me and the crew. Thank you to our initial funders - in just our first 24 hours we've raised $605 and I'm thrilled that our project has been so well received. Putting art out there makes me feel vulnerable, in a way. I'm expressing myself and everything inside of me. I appreciate everyone who has taken a look at our project, and I hope that hundreds more will participate in our fundraising campaign. I can't wait to be standing in front of Zooplankton at Black Rock City this September. Thank you again, for your love and support.
We received word from Burning Man Arts that we were not granted Honoraria this week. Although we are sad that we will not have the benefit of receiving an art grant from Burning Man, this is not going to stop Zooplankton from going to the playa this year! Our team is hard at work developing a fundraising campaign, finalizing our build plan, and move forward. We hope that you will join us on our journey!
We have great news to share, and we're a little late to get it up on the website. We've submitted our LOI to Burning Man Arts and it has been accepted! We are incredibly delighted to have the opportunity to apply for the Honoraria Grant through Burning Man Arts and we're working hard to come up with all of the required plans, like leave no trace, build, and fire plans. We have encountered many challenges like coming up with a timeline to include fundraising and our build, when we haven't even fundraised our project yet! The great news is we have plenty of interest in our project and we cannot wait to get started. We also have a brand new rendering of the Zooplankton for this final Burning Man Arts Honoraria Grant submission. Also in the works, our engineering guru Tony has been tinkering with thermal cameras and computer programming for the nighttime display. He's got a shopping list ready for our bioluminescence, and we are so excited to get started on our fundraising campaign which will be organized during February. Stay Tuned!
Upon further debate we have changed the way we'd like to structure the Zooplankton. Originally I really wanted to do the panel and joint method so that we could laser cut out pieces designed in CAD. However, based on the time and experience level of myself and the other members who have shown interest, none of us know how to do that. However, I feel totally capable of working with the crew to design and build an internal skeleton frame and then a skin on top of it, not unlike the David Best temples of 2012, and 2014. This is the method we are going to move forward with.
One of the crew also ordered a thermal sensor, which we hope to incorporate in the lighting design of the project. He is currently experimenting with it. I don't want to give too much away, but it is going to do some really awesome effects with the lighting at night.
Our next step is the letter of interest to the BMORG once the details are released on the website (any day now) to apply for the Burning Man Honorarium Grant!
(I realize that my math is off by a foot in the drawing... It was a rough sketch at a bar)
A cool update - Rob Bell the designer of Zonotopes has offered his advice and support for this project! I sent him an email with a few questions about joints and panels I am very happy to have had the chance to chat with him. More to come soon.
We had our second meeting on September 29. This meeting was to flesh out some engineering ideas. We have decided to go the route of a flat panel and joint design. We chatted over some photos of a similarly structured project "Zonotopes" and discussed how the joints could act as a skeleton within the structure itself.
Kelly went home and came up with some interesting ways for the spikes to be implemented into the panels, so I thought I'd show you what that might look like. Sarah has some great ideas for materials that light up with a small light source like an LED, that the spikes can be made out of.
That's all for now! I'll be doing a bunch of research on how to create a structure that uses joints and panels to build and hold up our Zooplankton!
Our very first planning meeting was on September 17! It was a super success with 10 people, most of which I had never met before. We discussed many options of the skin of Zooplankton and how to construct the internal structure. We have been contacting various structural engineers for help on developing our ideas further. I plan to post some concept sketches when we have them!