Favorite Art from Metropolis

Posted: October 9, 2010 in art, Burning Man 2010

I don’t know how Metropolis compared to past years — it was my first year — but the art blew me away.

Below are photos and brief descriptions of some of my favorites.


Bliss Dance by Marco Cochrane (photo by Michael Holden)


Bliss Dance. This was one of the most jaw-dropping things I saw at Burning Man, period. I could go on and on about the Belle of the Ball — how animated she was, what a powerful magnetic force her mere presence exerted, how she oriented me no matter where I was on the playa, how she changed at night; this was sculpture at its finest. I have barely seen anything as impressive in the Default World, and I have been to the Uffizi, the Met, and MoMa.


"Home" by Michael Christian - photo by RenoTahoe



“Home” (or The Globe as I came to know it) was a beautiful piece of interactive art on the playa. It spun, it lit up at night, it cast an amazing procession of shadows, it sounded amazing while spinning. I envy the guy on top in this photo who had the bright idea to climb to the top. I have some video I took of it spinning that I hope to work into some sort of video montage. Truly a gift.


Honey Trap by Preston Dane / Animus Arts Collective - photo by Dan Dawson


“Honey Trap” is a Fibonnacci spiral, constructed according to the mathematical principle of the Golden Ratio, which is a naturally-occurring ratio . . . oh, just read the rest here. One of my favorites not just because it looked cool, and felt cool to climb on, but also had something useful to say about our relationship to the natural world, something that was almost instantly understandable upon climbing into it. You got into a man-sized honeycomb and immediately felt like a bee, and were able to look out at the other bees in their individual combs, and wonder — what do we all have in common?

Also an ideal cuddle-location (though I unfortunately didn’t get to use it for that purpose).


Piano in the Desert, by (unknown), photo by Hunter Luisi

Piano in the Desert, by (unknown), photo by Hunter Luisi


I unfortunately have not been able to find the name of this piece. It is a giant piano keyboard in the desert. Each key has its own stand-alone speaker, and stepping on the key causes the key to sound. Riding bikes across the keys was a crowd favorite; as was “Happy Birthday”. This was low-profile art, easy to miss unless it was being actively “played”. Sounded just exactly like a piano.

This is the best photo of the art I could find, and I have to say, that guy has a fabulous Samurai costume.


Phone Boothes by (unknown), photo by Pedro Sagüés

Phone Boothes by (unknown), photo by Pedro Sagüés


There were several phone boothes at Burning Man. A few were direct lines to God. Others were of what I came to call the Phone Sex variety — two phone booths, some distance removed from each other, and for each one, picking up the receiver would initiate a phone call to the other one. It was quite amusing to wait for strangers to wander by the opposite booth, and place a call the instant they came parallel with it. I had several interesting nighttime conversations with complete strangers by this method, though (sadly) no phone sex — not for lack of trying. Talk about interactive art.

My other idea for utilization of these booths was to have actual sex in one of them or, better yet, in both of them at the same time, while on a connected call. Maybe next year.

I’m sure I missed a majority of the amazing installations at Metropolis. What were some of your favorites?

  1. Honored that you’re using my photo of Bliss Dance! 🙂

  2. playa hanjin says:

    Of course! You have some of the most amazing I’ve seen of her. You also have the construction photos, which I have not seen anywhere else – truly amazing. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. PlayaBurner says:

    Bliss Dance was definitely one of my top favorites of 2010, if not my favorite! One day I got to see her from the top of a tall art tour bus. Seeing her from a higher place really changed my perspective – I almost felt to be her size, whereas when I viewed her from the ground, she was a giant!

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