The Coontie Pod
In 2014 we had our act together a little too well: We had already started construction on an effigy for that year’s Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE) at Burning Man, when we found out that there wasn’t going to be a CORE that year! The Coontie Pod therefore became a build for Element 11, and we made a much smaller version to go out to the Souk installation at Man Base for Burning Man. The Coontie Pod traveled around a bit, attending a rave at Saltair before living in the back lot of the Utah Arts Alliance for a while. It was eventually burned during the celebration of Bobby Gittins’ 40th birthday out at Bonneville Seabase.
The Secret of the Bees
In 2012 we were invited to submit a design for the Circle Of Regional Effigies at Burning Man, and I had the privilege of being the designer for that project. The Secret of the Bees was a giant wooden Bee Goddess effigy, loosely inspired by the Venus of Willendorf and referencing Utah’s identification as “The Beehive State.” Inside the effigy I placed a human-sized paper mache version of the Bee Goddess, and inside her open abdomen an even smaller gilt clay version. We removed the smallest version before everything else was burned. The little Goddess still goes out to our annual Bee Fest here in Salt Lake City every summer.
2008 was my sophomore year at Burning Man, and I was so inspired I had to build and bring art again. I built a small shrine for my adoptive father who had passed away four years previously. He’d been an accountant in life, so the $hrine was made of dollar signs. People wrote messages on my little “temple” and it was burned on Thursday night.