Folding-Time - Timewave Panorama of Black Rock City

Folding-Time 2003
A Timewave Panorama of Burning Man Showing the Rise and Fall of Black Rock City
Burning Man Festival is Aug. 25 thru Sep. 1, 2003. Theme is "Beyond Belief".

International Design Competition
Call For Proposals:

Create an outdoor art installation for the Folding-Time Machine,
using the
Folding-Time camera tower at the 2003 Burning Man Art Festival

LogoProject Goal
Design, install, maintain and disassemble an art experience using the Folding-Time Machine tower as a base.

Project Description
This is a call for proposals to use a uniquely placed temporary structure at a highly unique temporary event. Folding-Time is a multiple perspective, time-lapse project capturing the rise and fall of the Burning Man Art Festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. ( In this barren desert, the temporary Black Rock City, population 30,000, springs to life and then quickly vanishes without a trace - all within a month's time.

TowerA four week project documenting the rise and fall of Black Rock City, Folding-Time is one of the first structures to be installed on the playa and one of the last to leave. Partially funded by the Burning Man organization, this installation has unique playa access and placement. The Folding-Time tower is located in the center of the massive festival grounds, on the promenade on the way to the Man. It is in a prominent, high-traffic location.

The Folding-Time Machine is a highly specialized camera module placed atop a 25-foot tower, anchored to the ground via guy wires and ground anchors. The workable triangular space below the tower has sides roughly 30 feet in length.

The Folding-Time team offers the tower and adjacent ground space as a platform for an art installation. See a large picture of the Folding-Time Tower.

Project Guidelines
Project responsibility
Art contestants must propose a design which they or their team will install, operate, maintain and disassemble at their own cost. They must provide transportation to and lodging at the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert for themselves and their materials, including all survival necessities such as food, water and energy.

Tower specifications
The 25-foot tower is a slightly modified triangular radio tower. Each of the three sides are ten inches wide. Six guy wires (three from the top and three midway) anchor the structure in place. The unit control and power supply box (approx. 3 x 6 feet) will be at the base of the tower and will need to be worked around (See diagram for further details).

Design possibilities
  • A light tower with changing colored light shining on mini mirror balls within the structure casting color light beams onto the playa below.
  • A platform for a large electro luminescent wire animated sculpture.
  • A daytime shaded way station and a themed night time lounge.
  • Use of agricultural netting for shade but is somewhat wind transparent.
  • Use of guy wires for rope lights or electro luminescent wires.
  • A laser tower for projecting images down onto the desert floor.
  • Any combination thereof, or anything else the imagination can conjure.

Lighting Suggestions
A number of lighting sources are welcomed. LED and electro luminescent (EL) wire displays a plus. Lasers, rope lights are possible suggestions as well.

Design Considerations
Positive Criteria
  • High level of interactivity with festival participants.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Event theme based: Burning Man 2003 theme is “Beyond Belief”.
  • Project theme based: the Folding-Time Machine.

Negative Criteria
  • The installation cannot cause vibrations of the camera module.
  • Night time light sources cannot affect or blind the cameras.
  • Installation materials cannot come loose and become debris.
  • Team members must be able to climb up one side of the tower for maintenance.

Environmental Challenges
All designs must take in account the extreme environmental conditions of the open desert. The installation must be able to withstand extreme heat, wind, rain and sand storms. Wind gusts can be up to 70 mph. Periodic ferocious dust storms coat everything with dust and can damage unprotected mechanical and electronic components. To see dust storms in action, view the Folding-Time videos.

Power Limitations
Very limited solar power is available for use, so energy efficient designs are favored. Alternatively, you can supply your own solar photovoltaic energy supply for the art installation (a small hush-quiet generator is possible but not encouraged).

24/7 Operation
If possible, installation should function both day and night. Installation should be easily maintainable in all weather conditions.

Selection Criteria
The Folding-Time Design Competition is open to everyone, from anywhere in the world. This includes previous Burning Man participants and those who have never attended Burning Man.

If accepted as a first time festival attendee or art provider, we will provide contacts with long time festival artists and collaborators to help identify key issues and what to expect.

Submissions must be accompanied by short bio(s) from submitter(s) along with a description of any relevant experience.

Selection Process
Form of Proposal: All entries must be provided in electronic form. Links to HTML formatted proposals vastly preferred. We can provide ftp directions for larger files.

Email: Entries to be submitted via email to

Judges: A Distinguished Panel of Judges from the art and technology world will judge each entry. Judges range from members of Burning Man Senior Staff to nationally recognized artist, curators and technologists (to be announced).

Information: For further information and/or answers to any questions you may have, send email to

No budget is offered for your art installation. Selected participant(s) will be awarded:
  • A premium, high-profile space to display your work at Burning Man – the world’s premier art festival.
  • One week free accommodation for two people in a rainforest paradise at Hana Palms Retreat in Hana Maui Hawaii.
  • Two pounds of super premium Cabaret Dessert Chocolates.
  • One autographed version of Drama in the Desert: The Sights and Sounds of Burning Man.
  • Your project documentation and interview on the Folding-Time DVD.
  • Links and references on the Folding-Time website.
  • The pleasure of making 30,000 people happy through your artwork.
  • Special yet to be determined playa treats.

Important Dates
  • May 01: Call for Proposals
  • July 29: Selection Notification
  • August 11: Folding-Time tower installation (our part)
  • August 20: Tower art installation (your part)
  • August 24: Fully operational art installation (your part)
  • August 25 to September 1: Burning Man Art Festival
  • September 02: Art installation take down (your part)
  • September 11: Folding-Time tower take down (our part)

Folding-Time | Home | 2005 Movies | 2003-2004 Movies | 2002 Movies | Order DVDs | Event Timeline |
2005 | Installation | 2004 | Installation | 2003 | Installation | 2002 | Installation | Magical Panoramic Photography and Folding-Time Video Global Challenge for Algae Food & Energy Visionary Forestry That Works for Generations Network of Independent Algae Consultants Resources for Spirulina, Algae, Green Superfoods Green Visions for an Ecological Future Vacation in Paradise in Hana Maui Hawaii Connecting Bamboo Visions with Green Architecture • © 2002 - 2011
Robert Henrikson, PO Box 909, Hana, HI 96713 USA • 808.264.8184 •