The Rocketship: A Burnable "Temple" Project

Yay, I can confirm this is go now: I’m bringing a big art project this year, dubbed The Rocketship! (we’re all in rocket mode this year it seems :smile: )

WHAT: A tall wooden structure in the shape of a rocket, lit up at night with solar-powered lights. It’s a shrine to the cosmos (inner and outer), an empty vessel for your thoughts. If you could write down a message to be sent into deep space, what would it say? Here’s your chance!

WHO: You! Write (or draw) anywhere on the wood: your hopes, fears, sorrows, joys, wisdom… there will be a few pens available, but bring any media you like. Then on the last night of camp, we’ll move the wood panels into a fire ring, and set them ablaze for an epic blastoff (bonfire)!

WHY: This is a “temple” not in a religious sense, but is a concept shamelessly stolen from the Burning Man tradition known as The Temple: a wooden structure is built each year by a different team of artists, then filled up with memories and intentions of thousands of people over many days, and at the end of the week the whole thing is burned in a spectacular fire.

WHERE: It will be set up in the quieter, sparser outskirts of Red Camp, a bit away from everything where you can see the stars. To burn it, we’ll disassemble the panels and bring them over to a fire ring a little closer to the camps, to keep wayward space explorers warm.

WHEN: All weekend, all the time… then burned on Sunday night. Everyone is welcome to join us.

Also, HUGE props to Moparskunk for doing construction! You rock, dude!! Everyone give him hugs and booze.

If anybody has questions, ask me here for find me there. :slight_smile:


This is fantastic! Much of the approves.

Thanks! I’m glad people seem to like the idea so far. :slight_smile: I don’t think we’ve had anything like it at CFT before, so it’s an experiment first and foremost.

Here’s an Artist’s Rendering™ of what I’m hoping it will look like:

…as long as my UPS package with the lights gets here tomorrow like it’s supposed to! :tada:

By the way, thank you for doing this.

It was even more cathartic than I expected it to be.


it was a trippy art piece to stumble upon.

any pix? whqt happened sunday?

You’re welcome. :slight_smile: I’ve heard the same sentiment from a few different people - it’s one of those things you just have to experience to really understand, I think. I’m happy that you got something from the experience (or rather got rid of something!) and others did, too.

Also, there’s just nothing out there quite as satisfying as watching a really bright, really HOT fire! :fire:

I am glad you thought so :slight_smile: Next year, note to everyone: bring MOAR trippy art pieces

Here’s how it went:

Sunday night around 10 or 11pm, Kilo and a bunch of people whose names I forget (ack, I’m sorry guys!! feel free to remind me who you are, you were awesome) helped to disassemble the panels and stack them on top of my car. I drove them over to the central firepit at our camp, and propped them up against the car with a few pens so people could write on them last-minute.

In hindsight, it might have worked even better if I’d let people write on the panels right before the fire for more than a few minutes… maybe half an hour or something… there was a big crush of people wanting to write things at the end! I was too exhausted to wait long, though!

We burned 1-2 panels at a time (2 small ones, or 1 big one), and there was already a good fire going in the pit so it was incredibly easy. :slight_smile: Maybe 10 min each to burn down to coals. Each one burned differently, some in really cool ways I wasn’t expecting - we even got a couple of tiny fire whirls!! (Fire whirl - Wikipedia)

A good number of people came to watch, too… I actually didn’t think to head-count, but I’d say maybe 30-40 at the peak? I was mostly focused on watching the fire, and making sure it stayed inside the ring :stuck_out_tongue:

I didn’t get very many pics, unfortunately - just a few on late Sunday afternoon:

Sadly, I got no pics at night, or of the burn, because my camera battery died (and I forgot the charger’s cable, argh!!)

If anyone got pics or video (especially at night or of the fire!) I’d love to see them. :slight_smile:


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I only caught two while I was there.

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Before it was burnt, some friends and I found this during the night while definitely not under the influence of 5HT2-A agonist tryptamine-class hallucinogens like LSD. It was by the main road next to a tree decorated with paper lamps, lending the piece a sovereign/somber glow. It was emotionally impactful in ways that I can’t easily describe - like the humility you feel when you come across a 2000-year-old gnarled pine when hiking and try to comprehend what it has weathered. You could almost feel the imbued feelings, regrets, and ambitions of those who wrote on it.

I can see why this was a thing at Burning Man. It was well put together, and it felt like a psychologically healing and empowering ritual.

A++. Would conflagrate again.