The Possible Selves Conglomerate - call for participants!

When = 6pm, Friday Sept. 3rd
Where = 6 O'clock on the Wheel of Time
at the Hall of Possible Selves

The Possible Selves Conglomerate is a parade of individuals that will travel with the Funeral Procession for the End of Time on friday night at Burning Man. The Selves are people of uncertain time, place, and identity - representing lost souls and the people we might have been.  They will march with the procession to be symbolically recognized, mourned, celebrated, and set free. 

To be part of the procession, feel free to be as creative as you would like with concept of self.  There are many varieties of human selves, as well as animal, plant, and perhaps even mineral ones. Fantasy, alien, or future selves are also encouraged to appear.  Because time and character are intricately linked, and we will be moving through the Wheel of Time, participants could consider shape shifting, or perhaps choosing a couple of personalities that conflict within themselves.  Pick an identity or identities you can really connect with.  If you enjoy acting or performing, incorporate those skills into your creation.  Go wild!

The boundary between selves near the end of time is very thin - there is in little separation between the observer and the observed, the possible and the real.  To represent this concept the Conglomerate's color is silver - like liquid mercury which plays with our perceptions of what is solid, and mirrors, the classic symbols of transformation.  To bring the audience into self contemplation, we will scatter them with their own reflections as we walk. This use of silver and reflectivity in costuming is essential for participants, not only from a philosophical standpoint, but also from a visual one.  The Conglomerate must have a strong overall esthetic, so as to be viewed as a collective body.

Sure, the idea is somewhat esoteric -- but it's full of possibilities and open for tons of creativity. I'm not expecting that everyone that sees the Conglomerate will understand the full idea.  The point is to create a fantastic spectacle of a parade, participate in Burning Man and the friday night Procession in a fun and meaningful way, and explore the possibilities of time and identity in the process!

If you're looking to participate, or have any further questions or inspirations, please contact: bm_squirrel@yahoo.com

Hope to hear from you!

Here is an example of what one group is doing - they are taking three casts of their faces with different expressions, then creating a headpiece showing four different moments of their existance at the same time, one of which is their 'current' face - very cool!

The Hall of Possible Selves

The Hall of Possible Selves is an art installation that plays with the idea of identity.  The structure will incorporate pre-existing images of people, in the form of photographs printed on transparency, and the images of people walking through the space. The idea is to incorporate the audience by using their own reflections and shadows as part of the art piece.  As people walk through investigate the structure, they'll become part of it at the same time. Hall of Possible Selves sketch

The project will fit in an area 20 ft. by 20 foot square and be around eight feet to ten feet tall. It'll be constructed of 6 columns of transparent tubing, six feet long per tube, with lighting that illuminates each column from inside.  I'm hoping to use some type of battery to run the lighting, as opposed to running a generator at night, but time will tell as I start experimenting with electrical systems. By using Mylar and other reflective materials in construction, particularly inside the tubing itself, people's images will be captured and distorted.  Their shadows will be used in the webbing between the columns.  Black and white photographs will be printed on transparency, and worked into the outer layer of the columns so that people must look through them to see their own distorted reflections inside.  As the structure begins to develop,  more materials and visual trickery will probably be used that cannot at this moment be anticipated.

The hall has a few different layers of meaning and experience.  The first, most surface layer, is simply to be a fun and interesting structure to interact with.  It's supposed to be a spectacle, to play with at night when people discover that while wondering across the playa.  The next layer is about contemplating the self and all the people we could've been.  It's about playing with the images of ourselves and others and thinking about our identity as it relates to our current time and circumstance.  The Hall of Possible Selves also goes hand-in-hand with The Possible Selves Conglomerate.  The hall is the home and meeting place of The Conglomerate which will walk with the Funeral for the End of Time.

Please note, at this time no volunteers are needed for this part of the project.

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