Art is a medium of expression, it’s a tool for learning, it’s inspiration, it’s infinite. In developing countries some of the work we do is education through art. On playa we are creating sustainable. Our 2019 Burning Man plans include a 12 meter tall thermite foundry that will melt damaged irreparable mooped bikes to cast them into sculptures. Each night during the event participants can come participate in the castings adding there intentions into the sculptures and taking with them an understanding of circular.
The Foundry is a giant thermite foundry that recycles damaged bicycles and metal moop by melting the materials with thermite and casting steel sculptures. Thermite is non-explosive pyrotechnic that burns at over 2500 degrees. Wild Card had the idea to chop up the bikes and mix the steel bike pieces with thermite powder tod melt a ton of bikes in minutes. And as it turns out it’s totally feasible.
The molten steel will be captured in molds casting new sculptures that symbolize time as structure for metamorphosis. The frame of the structure will be made from bricks we make from a local privately owned playa. From bikes to sculpture and playa to bricks, time is the constant that enables waste to turn into wealth, an empty desert to absurd city, and for our dark minds to become openilluminated.
Bikes, Bikes, Bikes……A beautiful balance of sustainability and efficiency. Our mission is to serve the playa with it’s bicycle needs. On playa we offer a place for people to get their bikes fixed. If you have a flat, we have spare rubbers. If your chain has kink, we can an unkink you (although we wouldn’t suggest it). We even have a graveyard you can come scavenge bike parts or framkenstein yourself a whole new one. In addition to bike repair, we also give away bikes to burners who had their’s stolen, lost it on the road to the playa, or just couldn’t afford it. We are also utilizing bike for camp furniture, art on playa, and other camp infrastructure. And lastly we help take care of all of the bikes after the event. To date we have collected over 1800 bicycle donations, collected and returned an additional 600 bicycles, and help the ORG round up all the magical mooped playa ponies.
We have to give back. The opportunity we as humans have to give someone something is perhaps one of the highest points of our existence. Gifting is one of our favorite principles of Burning Man. And in fact, it’s why we do what we do.
What makes our camp different is our direct global impact. We take the principles of gifting from Burning Man and are applying them to business, disaster relief, economics, development, and education. In some sense our camp is a Robin Hood camp. We take from the people who have money for a bike rental and allocate those profits to help people in the least developed countries who lost their homes, livelihoods, friends, and family. Sure there is a lot of work that needs done everywhere, but we are here to give to those who have the least.
Circular Economics, Open Access, Sustainable, Decentralized, Commonly Owned, and Decentralized are some of words used to describe our valuesa. Our first project is Ujwala. We had to purchase nearly 1500 bicycle lights from Chinese manufacturers. Totally unsustainable. So instead we have designed and are now prototyping a sustainable bike light made from recycled plastic and damaged inner tubes. The first sustainable bike light on the market.
We will be launching a new not-for-profit bike light company in late March so stay tuned. The business itself is unique in that it is a decentralized model of production. We can provide small scale home recycling machines to homeless encampments and individuals who are desperate for income to support their family, rebuild their homes, pay rent, or eat. Since the lights are made from waste, we not only provide economic opportunities, but we also help with pollution. (Check out the guys from the lab making our injection molder and the plastic sorting facility at the first homeless encampment we are distributing our machines in)