The Sacred Journey (2017)
The Journey on Playa is meant to be a contemplative and interactive space for exploring the human experience. We're hoping for its iteration as a sacred space or temple at YOUtopia to be an even deeper introspective experience, exploring the concepts of origin, choice, meaning, and purpose. Quiet in aural presence, yet bright with flowing colors of light, we're aiming to create a reverential space.
The formerly closed structure will be transformed into a guided path: an intentional meditative experience. An overlaid spiral shroud will create a tunnel effect, inviting participants into the space. Another structural modification to the piece would be to increase the height of the central obelisk from 10 to 15 feet with an addition of nooks and alcoves for receiving offerings. The added height also allows for stringing and/or draping between the torus and obelisk, generating a mixed height structure. Vaulted walls and or kite-type sails will be used to enclose a sacred space.
We're visualizing a more subdued presence as a sacred space, relying heavily on meditative sounds: vibrational tones, instruments like gongs and chimes, and potentially even spoken word. The lights would be less frenetic, more shifting and undulating, with less on/off contrast than that experienced on Playa.
Beyond bringing an artist from New Zealand to shroud the structure, an additional layer of interest for us will be meditations from DJ Ümee Dee. Each day, at sunset, she will conduct live mediations at the sacred space.
We envision the sacred space as a place for people to bring items and offerings to lay within and around the obelisk. These items and offerings will be collected and then stored with care at the end of the event. The following year, the obelisk will make its journey to Playa and burn, along with the sacred objects, for those individuals who may or may not go to Burning Man. We feel this is a meaningful way for regional attendees to participate in the Gerlach burn.