As an official regional Burning Man event, YOUtopia and the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project are proud to be able to assist many of the artists who gift their talent and skill to the fair city of YOUtopia, by budgeting up to $90,000 in art grant money to facilitate the presence of the art you can experience and interact with during your stay at YOUtopia.  The list below reflects the art grants awarded in 2018.


Art A - E

Airbrush Transformation Station

Come and join us at the Airbrush Transformation Station, introduce yourself and get an airbrushed body, painted by our expert airbrushers.  Play and decorate you or your friends with our collection of airbrush stencils and stencil masks.

An Art-ery!

"The Artery" will have color changing LED strips as well as all 4 interior panels covered with art and photographs and places for people to put more art!


This art piece is a place to contemplate and reflect and will draw you in with an intricate series of pointed arches, all of which point to the heavens. Repetition and simple materials; wood and canvas and light, make it so the space is not overstimulating but calm. Participants are encouraged to write on the structure about what they reflected on that day.

Bacon Station

Imagine burnt fence planks with bio-glowing blue hue in between the planks. An 8’ counter serving bacon. Menu stating times of special omelets and deep-fried twinkies. Metal sign and accents to the structure.

Bitches Couch

The Bitches Couch will be a giant playatech cushioned daybed. This thing traps all the hippies at night! There will be the Bitch Bar and shaded table area. The Primp Station will complete the frontage space. Everything will be decorated. Like rainbows, Bitch!

Black Rock Observatory

This dome built of interlocking plywood pieces with no metal fasteners will house a 20" telescope built for viewing deep sky objects including nebula, galaxies and globular clusters as well as planets.

Blazing Death Ship

8,000 pounds of steel triangles forged in blood, crackling with the energy of electro-booby ghosts, topped by the head of the mighty smage and detailed with elegant handcrafted cedar paneling.

Buffer Bush

7 buffers suspended from 'fishing poles' over a soft fur-lined circle. Fiber Optics and fur everywhere.

Camp Blow Me

A playful environment where people can drop in and art, make something awesome, and take it with them. The center of the installation is rectangular large tents covered in butcher paper and sheets, with one of the indoor walls being covered in bubble wrap. The inside will be lit by black lights, and much of the floor covered with inflatable toys. There will be art tables set up stocked with materials (paint, markers) to decorate the walls of the tent. There will be inflatable balls and kazoos that participants can take with them after decorating.

Cat Loaf Cafe

Cat shaped cafe with LED face and small gazebo with stools and seating, all painted as the inside of the cat's body

Century Plant (Muppet's Poofer)

A rusty metal, life sized representation of the beloved Mexican century plant. It has metal flowers with flames at the top, and a wired-remote-controlled poofer.

Dance Music Production 101

This class will be held in a large bell tent with a projector inside for viewers while I create a track from start to finish over the course of the event. Viewers are invited to use their computers, note pad or mobile device to follow along/take notes. I will cover the creation of drums, bass, synths, melodies, and talk about how to incorporate vocals, mixing, EQ-ing, and sound design, etc.

Digital Cocoon Presents: 2018 Youtopia Prom: Under the Sea

The Digital Cocoon dance stage structure will have deep sea creatures, that are self-illuminated, hung and displayed inside the structure. There will be lights hanging across the dance area along with a banner stating the Prom theme: Under the Sea. Everybody attending will be crowned King or Queen with a crown and sash. There will only be slow jams played. There will be a prom photo area where we will take polaroid photos and hand them out.

Dionaea – Venus Fly Trap

Dionaea will be a large Venus Fly Trap that shoots programmed fire blasts. The fly traps are made from steel and recycled metal. It's 5 stalks will stand approximately 4'-7' and lit with LEDs and/or fire at night. Dionaea allows onlookers to take over and control the bursts of flame as well as warm themselves on its multiple propane heaters. 

Divine Feminine Warrior Goddess (Power of the Pyramid)

DFWG represents the 4 facets of a woman’s essence-Divine, Feminine, Warrior and Goddess. It consists of 4 plastic forms of female torsos, each decorated with “jewels” and uniquely lit to represent the artist’s vision of each element. Each torso has the corresponding letter (DFW or G) in lights above her. During the day, the jewels take prominence in portraying the message. At night, the unique lighting of each torso is more prominent, allowing an alternative perspective. The torsos will be placed as anchors and sentries at the 4 corners of a large pyramid. The pyramid is the symbol for Spirit and the element of Fire. The Power of the Pyramid is its ability to channel or collect energy from the higher realms of the Universe and deliver it down to Earth. Inside the Pyramid installation will be a square wooden bench designed for meditation and reflection. There is also an archway which acts as a portal to the Pyramid.

Do You Trust?

The art piece is a huddle of 4 human-like figures standing over 9’ tall, which represents the tribe always having your back. Their heads are touching to suggest a unified vision and accordance. A few participants can fit inside of the huddle and seek shade, refuge and a meditation space. There is an audio element to the piece, providing a guided meditation on trust, surrender, acceptance. These benevolent guides watch over you so you can fall back into trust.


8 - 8' tall lamps with 20 “ diameter shades distancing over an 64' path

Art F - J

Feel the Burn

Feel the Burn is an interactive low pressure flame bar in the shape of a bicep, the Camp Swole mascot. Sensors will be used by participants with the help of camp members to enter their target HR, speed or power and will use the Camp Swole workout equipment to attempt to reach it. When the target threshold is reached (high enough heart rate, speed, etc.) the result will be the flaming bicep representing when a person achieves their Swole-goal.

Fish Food Bar

Fish Food Bar will be a destination on the map that encourages interactivity instead of just drinking n dipping. The front of it has a shitty blob fish in a fish tank backlit by LED strips. Flanking either side of the bar are laser cut sealife lanterns. On either side of the bar are inflatable fish kiddie pools. will have a "drink wheel" that spins.

Foolproof Shower Karaoke

A structure made of metal conduit opens on two sides with shower curtains. The participant climbs inside the space, which is decorated to look like a shower. They may choose to close the curtains and perhaps enjoy some protection from stage fright. A song is chosen using a faucet hacked to a keyboard and lyrics show on the screen, and the participant sings along into the showerhead/mic. No water is involved in this experience.

Galaxy Girls are Outta This World

2 matching Aerial silks rigs

Henna Happy Hour

Come get happy with henna!

I'mma Break This Now

On the center camp stage there will be a stash of things to break. A demonstration will be made to break them in different ways.

In the Depths Redux

One of the newest additions to In the Depths is a 15’ bioluminescent viper fish. We are making another group of bioluminescent jellyfish with internal lights and long tentacles. All of our fishes/creatures have their own light source and will be a party in the deep ocean. An important part about this installation is the comment of one-time use plastics found in our oceans. The art is dark, maybe a little creepy, but the colors and lights that these fish produce will be the real beauty.

Iron Daddy's Blacksmith Village

Interactive Blacksmith Village with forges and anvils, oh my!

Jam Lab

There will be 2 desks/tables, one on either side of a walkway facing each other. PA speakers facing the walkway placed on either side of one of the tables, a subwoofer under the table, a variety of sensors and LEDs on either table that will connect to an arduino board. The arduinos will transmit the sensor data wirelessly, as well as reactively shift LED patterns. One table will generate percussive sounds, the other will trigger synth sounds using capacitive touch, pressure, and potentiometers. As people walk by, the sensors will pick up their motion to modulate the sounds being played at the tables.

Art K - R

Love Letters

A simple table stands on the path, loaded with colorful stationary. Supplies are protected with anti-mooping holders, and a mailbox acts as a letter collector. Participants are welcomed to write affirmations to each other, volunteers, or addressed to no one. Place an affirmation in the mailbox, or peek inside to read others' work.

Medusozoa Intelligentes

Medusozoa Intelligentes is an illuminated jellyfish chandelier that listens and responds to its environment. She will also have a microphone to listen to her surroundings; the cascades that shoot down her tentacles will respond to changes in sound level. Medusozoa will be hung as the centerpiece and main lighting of a 20’ geodesic dome, which acts a lounge space for Ocean Tunnel and Camp Celestial Side Show.

Megasonic Ultraspace Portal!

The Megasonic Ultraspace Portal is a portal into another dimension, appearing simply during the day as a giant mirror surrounded by a hand-painted wooden portal frame. As with any portal, the magic happens when you step within. Stepping through a curtain doorway in the side of the portal, you’ll enter into the interior space where you find yourself with a full mirror at your back and a 2-way mirror to your front. You will be able to look out and watch your amigos contemplating their own existence in their reflection, unaware that behind that reflection lies a separate consciousness. While inside, you are given the opportunity to completely observe the world around you, while simultaneously disappearing from it. When dusk falls, the combination of a darkening outside world and an LED-illuminated interior will cause the direction of reflection to flip. From the outside, observers are now able to see through to the inside of the portal. Now, you find yourself within an infinity mirror of epic proportions. The Megasonic Ultraspace Portalis a unique juxtaposition between individual and group experiences, allowing people to have joined experiences, but sometimes without the ability to see who they’re enjoying them with.

Metroplayitan Expanse

An expansive, complex scene resembling a psychedelic cityscape, where humans imitate the underlying patterns and processes of nature to create a space of self-expression and harmony for millions of people. Colorful buildings take the form of giant flowers, diatoms, and even human heads. Arcologies and vertical farms can be seen amid giant balloons and other structures.

Myriapoda Robota

Myriapoda Robota, a 30' mechical centipede from the future, finds home at YOUtopia through the culmination of interactions!

Night Blossoms

3 metallic flowers top translucent stalks, adorned with metal/fabric leaves and petals. Vine-like LED protrusions create a lighting space and drape over a round flower-bed and platform. Each flower’s bud diffuses the light of a powerful rgb LED, petals are infused with fiber optics, and each stalk is threaded with LEDs as well. A proximity sensor allows the project to beckon passersby with dramatic lighting changes and the base of each flower contains a gesture sensor, allowing participants to summon changes as well.

Ocean Tunnel

Ocean Tunnel is a long walking tunnel designed for installation at Burning Man 2018 and modified for YOUtopia.  Ocean Tunnel's purpose is to bring awareness to the impact of climate change on our oceans.

Party Oasis at "Triptych - Destination: Music Island"

A collaboration between Dance Music Initiative (a 501(c)(3) non-profit collective focused on dance music culture & 2-year YOUtopia attendees) and Triptych (7 year YOUtopia veterans). Stage, dancefloor, bar, and decor to match our theme.

Personal Space

Personal Space is a wearable perimeter, printed with "Personal Space" 360 degrees around the wearer. A 3” Safety Orange banner stretches over 7’ wide wire hoops. This ring, much like a flat hula-hoop, is suspended by fishing line attached to a vest. As part of the performance I'll be engaging with YOUtopians, however with obvious setbacks that come with enforcing and 7’ personal boundary. What a shame I can't reach past my own boundary.

Art S - Z

Sci-Fighter / Night Out Workout

Sci-Fighter is a fully engineered and integrated temporary demountable aluminum truss structure designed specifically for mid-sized outdoor installations. The structure provides support for LED lighting, automated LED lighting, fog effects, low power laser effects, and a small PA system. We project video behind the structure to add to the environment. During the Sci-Fighter Show Experience a custom control interface is used to deliver the entire multi-sensory experience in perfect unison. We are really excited at the prospect of taking some Youtopians on an unforgettable ride through space and time.

Shenanigan Wagon

The Shenanigan Wagon is a portable PLAYGROUND that merges American west pioneer VINTAGE transportation with FUTURISTIC adornments of lighting and sound.   Resembling a covered wagon, YOUtopians one and all are invited aboard as it traverses ye old trails of the La Jolla Campground seeking new adventures and places to make spontaneous and temporary homesteads of music and dance.  


We plan to build a small skatepark out of recycled wood/metal/misc materials. We plan to lay a wood foundation and several curved ramps/banks for skateboarding. If we can acquire and transport a large enough corrugated metal pipe we may turn that into a skateable pipe also. We will encourage participation from passerby to help modify and build additions to the skatepark, allow anyone to paint on the ramps as a large canvas, and of course ride the ramps with extra skateboards or simply hang out.

Space Bar

SureaL Sztar

This will be a 6’ diameter flower of life sphere. Each bottle will be frosted. Inside each bottle will be an LED strip that will go from end to end. The inside of the sphere will house the power supplies and controllers that are required. Around that will be LED’s to cast a light through the structure of the sphere. The flower of life shape will be shown through the forecast of the interior lights. All lights will be controlled through wireless controllers. The sequencing can show images and Trippy patterns.

Tempted UV

Tempted UV is a huge interactive UV art area. The first part of the area is a giant maze made out of paper-covered plywood. We supply all of the UV non-toxic bio-degradable paint, paint brushes and markers for anyone to come walk through the maze and create whatever their hearts desires on the walls throughout the weekend. The maze is under black lights to make the area glow beautifully. Another part of the area is called the tree of thoughts. throughout the weekend the bare wood tree gets covered with leaves that I supply for people to write whatever their thought is on it and the tape it to the tree. By the end of the weekend it’s a beautiful tree of thoughts. Each year I bind all the leaves from the prior year so people can look back to see what they wrote or get inspiration from what others have written. I provide chromedepth glasses as well for people to go through the maze and around the area so all the art, even their own art on the walls, becomes 3D. Another area we have is the bar/ ice water bar. Two of the nights we host an alcohol bar. We create a photo stand-in that is specifically themed for YOUtopia including the name and year so people have a way to remember the memories. The experience I am trying to share is one where everyone is welcome to enjoy themselves, have fun, communicate and work together comfortably in a very fun interactive area that inspires people to create art and new relationships from making art or playing games together.

Thaumaturgist Terrace

Slightly elevated platform with roof and two walls and a curtain in the back. Lights and two small projectors will be mounted on the stage, and sound equipment will be included for performers. Performers will bring their own equipment otherwise (turntables/synthesizers, etc.). The design is intended to offer an anachronistic counterpoint to stages with more traditional dance oriented programming.

The Anomaly Ver 4 / Kid Disco

20x10 shade structure with a 12x8 backdrop of multicolored light panel/wall, with other misc. lighting, fog, and projection effects, set to a live rock and roll music performance by The Anomaly (solo electric guitar and vocals w/ backing tracks) synced to a multimedia projection played on a translucent screen in front of the performance. and a kid disco

The Burning Seed

The blazing seed will be an interactive fire metal sculpture with movable parts. Extruded in layers, the seed of life will consist of 5-7 layers (Mirror Depending), splayed out from the central base. 3 hoops (of 6 total) will be combined in a trio on either side of center, and will spin on axis. This will give the illusion of animated sacred geometry and participants will either view their friends through the piece on the opposite side of themselves, or see far into the depths of the infinity mirror! With the mirror, having the additional layer of fire will really add an extra "wow" effect to the stunning visuals already presented. Fire will line the base stand and when not in use, the rings that make up this piece will be lit with LED light strips so it is a functioning piece at night.

The Blown Traveler

Imagine walking through the trees and coming to a giant lit up dandelion pulsing with color. The Blown Traveler will start with a conical base that shoots upward to a metal stalk. A frosted plexi polyhedron that juts out in thirty directions just like a dandelion in nature. Through the hollow core of each element used to construct The Blown Traveler will be programmable LED strips wired in such a way to independently control the translucent core of the dandelion and its branches. The Blown Traveler invites people to bring the since of childhood wonder into adulthood, not through nostalgia but a direct link using a pure and beautiful icon that we’ve all taken for granted.

The Bus Stop

The Bus Stop features an upcycled park bench. The shelter will hold a Ruben’s Tube (a standing wave flame fire element), Youtopia Map, LED sign and message board. The Rubens Tube and LED sign will respond to music played through a small speaker. The LED sign will also be programmed to highlight events around Youtopia and there will be a moop-free message (chalk) board.

The Existential Dead

The Existential Dead are neon skeletons engaged in eating, drinking, fucking and carousing in various settings throughout the camp grounds with signs, speech bubbles, and writings around them asking contemplative questions about the nature of consciousness, free will, the meaning of an individual's life and our relationships with each other. There will be 4 scenes and 10 skeletons, bathed in ethereal light by solar powered fairy lights. There will also be diaries, blackboards and other places where participants can leave their own thoughts and questions.

The Garden of Unearthly Delights

Erupting from beneath the surface of the earth comes a cluster of pod-like forms. Each form sits perched atop a stem and cracked open like the shell of a broken egg. Rough, almost jagged on the outside with a texture of stone or gravel. Inside shiny and metallic, reflecting any light trapped within. Five forms in total, each of varying height, resembling a bouquet of flowers. No more than chest high, they create an altar to gather around. When night falls pulsating flames emerge from within, creating a warm rhythmic glow. Surrounding this central altar are five additional forms creating a perimeter and defining the space. Each of these forms resemble a stone bulb partially sunken in the ground. Extending from the top is a twisted metal stem curving upward and holding a dangling pod. Similar in construction to the central pods, as night falls these forms will contain soft steady flames which will fill in but not detract from the center space. Running down the outer spine of each of these additional forms will be a row of colored lights to help enhance the otherworldly effect and add safety at night.

The Guru Pond

The Guru Pond is made up of the pond and the Guru tent. The pond is made of a blue tarp base and is lighted by a wave light. The tarp is inside a handmade sheer and iridescent cover. On top of the tarp is hundreds of tiny lotus flowers handmade by reusing plastic bottles and other recycled crafting material. The Guru tent is a reused broken tent and is decorated to look like a very celestial dwelling. Inside the tent is the giant lotus flower meant to be sat on by the Guru. The Guru is any camp member or participant who wishes to speak wise words. The hope for this project is for any participant to feel a sense of wonder and beauty.

The Jungle Gym "Under the Playground"

A 21’ tall quad aerial rig structure. This year we would like to contribute to the vintage playground by offering our version of what an old school "youtopian" jungle gym looks like to us, as if when you enter our space you just stepped off the beaten path and into the jungle.

The Museum of Folly

The Museum of Folly will recreate the experience of visiting a museum within the YOUtopia microcosm. Within the museum, YOUtopians will find a selection of exhibits showcasing various follies throughout history. We aim to complete 6 exhibits for our showing at YOUtopia. The list of candidates are: * A 3-part view master-style exhibit telling the story of “The Great Emu War,” * A display showcasing the travails of reddit user coconutthrowaway69, who recounted a cautionary tale in which his teenage self, while living in Mozambique, copulated with a butter-lubricated coconut. * A display celebrating the 4-pests campaign, in which Maoist China sought to rid itself of rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows. * An exhibit looking at a particularly harmful medical folly in which early 20th Century doctors, having only access to cadavers of lower-class individuals, mistakenly thought that many children had enlarged thyroids which they then treated with radiation in order to induce shrinkage. * A belt-vibration style exercise machine. The Curators believe this one is self-explanatorily stupid. *An exhibit about filled-milk, which is a substance made from skim milk, but reconstituted with vegetable fats. It was sold to the public unwittingly in the early 20th century, causing vitamin deficiencies. * A Wall of Folly where visitors can write, sharing their own follies.

The Punkin Project - Chapter II

The Punkin - Powered by a vintage tractor, a giant 12’ x 10’ Punkin will hold 14 passengers and move them around the event like the prince or princesses they are.

The Tipsy Turtle Nail Salon

A comfortable manicure station with lighted sign to guide you to The Tipsy Turtle Nail Salon. I will give you a beautiful manicure with mad amounts of tender love and good conversation. I want you to leave The Tipsy Turtle feeling like a badass!

The Triptych Obelisks

We will bring (5) large scale art installations that range from 14ft to 19ft tall. Each installation has an 8ft x 8ft footprint that provides a lounge space for people to relax and/or party within. They will be brightly lit with high powered LED lights that will illuminate the custom laser cut and fabric panels that will match our island theme this year. In addition to the structures themselves, connecting them will be a beautiful fabric canopy that will enclose the entire space and create an intimate dance floor/relaxation experience.

Toon Yourself!

This installation brings together hand drawn cartoon animation, custom recorded sound design and music with an interactive experience. The whole structure will be a large screen with these elements projected onto it, and depending on how participants move in front of the screen, different animations will play out. It’s pretty fun y’all!

Under Construction

Under Construction consists of 10 to 15 A-frame construction barricades with round, yellow incandescent lights on top. The frames are made of wood, painted white, with OSHA-orange zebra stripes. Painted on the bottom rung of the sign is "YOUDOT". The warning light on top is standard translucent orange, with the old-style incandescent lights inside, for a soft and pleasing glow. The frames are 3’ wide, spread about 2’ at the base. Installed, the frames are staggered in a line, about 10’ apart from one another. Upon approach, the signs are facing you, exactly as if you were approaching from the highway. As you get closer to them, they sense you, and will all be flashing. But they are not flashing in the steady-but-random way you might see in the real world. They might flash faster as you get nearer, they might be doing the wave, or maybe they’ll try to engage you in a game of whack-a-mole. It’s up to them.

Vinyl DJ Lessons by Dance Music Initiative

We teach the fundamentals of DJing. Topics of instruction include the gear, history and culture of DJing, cueing and dropping a track/record, and basic mixing. Our classes are hands-on using real DJ equipment.

Wire Wrapping Workshop

Guided class of 10 attendees to learn the art of wire wrapping


Wonderland is a forum for learning, exploring, and reawakening curiosity. We will curate events and activities that fuse art and science. Some of these activities include creating an interactive liquid light show, hosting a psychedelic trivia game, guiding meditations, providing a reiki workshop, and hosting safe, interactive science experiments. We will also have a Wonder Wall where Youtopians can ask and answer their burning questions, an interactive plasma lamp exhibit to demonstrate the effects of electric fields, and a station where participants can measure their brainwaves using a meditation headset with auditory feedback. The physical space includes a geodesic dome, onto which we will project the liquid light show. Inside will be the plasma lamp, Wonder Wall, and projector for creating visualizations to accompany the events. Outside the dome, we will have a decorative bar for serving drinks and a common meeting space for events.

XSL Presents Funkin' Flowergasm

This year the XSL is bringing back the ever popular XSLounge! Join us at the XSLounge to listen to live music while experiencing a black-light 3d experience. Grab a drink at the fully stocked bar while enjoying the live music under a jungle-like canopy over of 3,000 hand-crafted and painted flowers. Each handcrafted flower, made out of recycled bottles, takes an hour to make. That means over 3,000 hours just in the bottles alone. This year we’re creating a psychedelic garden like entrance along the frontage. As you enter the main flower petal arch, you’ll go through a small black lit tunnel that will funnel you into the ‘theatre in the round’, which is a seating area outside of the lounge structure. The interior of the tunnel will also be black light reflective and will include some fun black light textures and features using cloth and other manmade and natural materials. The XSLounge will also be hosting early evening happy hours Th-Sat, so come on by and have a drink! Want to get on stage? Well, the XSLounge will be also hosting open mic sessions along with the always popular late night Drunkaoke!


Zap is a Praying Mantis with a lightweight metal frame. While designed to be in the upright stance with four walking legs on the ground, arched thorax/head and raptorial forelegs in “praying” position, her midlegs will be adjustable to raise or lower the body as desired. The abdomen is made out of expanded perforated metal to allow for interior visibility with misc. repurposed metal objects randomly dispersed to create artistic detail. The wings are designed to expand or collapse depending on space limitations wherever installed. We are incorporating 2 visual elements for nighttime display: lighting and fire (the LEDs will be situated in such a manner that both elements can be used simultaneously when desired). Lighting: LEDs will accent the frame and programmed for numerous effects. The eyes will be a steady red. Fire Element: Depending on placement and safety there will be two fire elements: (1) a low flame and (2) a poofer - A low flame will glow from inside the abdomen and the tibial spines will be poofers when raised. The poofers will be activated by buttons on the control panel allowing for participants to interact with Zap.