A day of rest/recovery, then strike begins…

We got a little mention from ABC news here, talking about how Snakey was a crowd favorite. And the Sydney Herald wrote a nice article about White Night, featuring a sweet image of the Serpent.

A few more pics of the show:

joshy from the roof

A nice minimalist shot from the rooftop. photo by Josh

methanol shot mills

A view from the fuel depot of this triple methanol shot, with Denise and Marisa in prox suits on egg shooter duty. This was from the show we did for the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. photo by Mills.

slinky lights the spine mills

Slinky lights the spine. photo by Mills

diesel shot mills

Diesel shot at dawn, after the longest night ever. photo by Mills

jt mills

This is JT, our production contact. He spent a lot of time on site with us, and we folded him into our socializing plans. One time after a particularly awesome night of partying, JT crashed out on our couch, and got renamed “Couch Roadie.” Hats off to you, friend, for enduring our company and supporting our build! photo by Mills

We spent yesterday in recovery mode after our marathon shift on Saturday night. Most of us started the day in the early afternoon and by the evening we were all gathered up again for a social gathering with the organizer liason folks who helped make our trip possible. And today we were right back at it, on site at 7am to strike the snake.


Mills and Denise team-torquing on a pipe, Carolyn massaging electrons, Slinky singing love songs to the manifold, Margaret whispering dirty things to the nitrogen tanks in the fuel depot. photo by Diane.

marisa by mills

Marisa secures the sling to a vertebrae section, while Margaret steadies the ladder. photo by Mills

all crew

Crew shot! In the blue hat on the left is Shaye, our site manager. Couch Roadie is holding our White Night site marker. And your Melbourne Snake crew from L to R atop the propane tank: Diane, Ted, Denise, Mills, Sam with the ears, Milli. Ground row: Slinky, Marisa, Margaret, Xa, Carolyn and Steve with the flamingo, our newest crew member. There are 5 people flexing with pipe wrenches in this photo, can you find them all?

permit mills

Mills and Margaret mugging with the AGA permits, which allow us to run our sculpture. Margaret is holding a special trophy that she earned for her undying efforts in answering hundreds of technical plumbing questions, in the weeks leading up to our trip. Did you know that Gmail batches email conversations by the hundreds? Bravo, Margaret.

in compliance mills

Mills and Margaret pointing at our safety sticker on our trusty vaporizer Joulie. photo by Mills


Twelve hour marathon show: White Night Melbourne, 2018

Friends, it is nearly 7am Melbourne time, and your humble author has absolutely no business still being awake. Our heroic final shift is wrapping up the last shot of the night as I type this — our final line-cleansing diesel shot. Here are some images that summarize the last 2 days. There will be more, better ones in the days to come, but the short version is that we CRUSHED IT. The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull even turned up, and took a front row spot to watch our 2nd methanol shot of the night.

margaret fills vessel

Margaret fills the big pressure vessel.

Despite some weird unforeseen problems here and there, we met every challenge with some sort of solution, and they very nearly all WORKED! The people of Melbourne thoroughly enjoyed pushing the buttons, driving the head, and gawking at the brilliant methanol shots. And from the fuel depot, despite a few weird hiccups, we had a damn blast.

steve h diesel

Steve H got this nice pic of a clean, strong diesel shot.

diesel shot ted 2

Ted took this chaotic photo from the fuel depot, atop the scaffolding for our pressure vessel.

black diesel

This black plume of death triggered the particulate smoke detectors at the Melbourne Museum. So even though we’d called the Fire Brigade ahead of time to warn them, they still had to come out for this little mess we caused. Ugh. Sssssssorry everybody.

dielsel shot ted

Plume of death. photo by Ted.

michael m* diesel shot

Michael Matione emailed us with this amazing pic of the huge diesel plume we caused from our daytime shots. Damn we made a little mess here.

fire trucks s

Not one, but two (2) fire trucks.

fire trucks

Fire brigade, on site. Sorry about that, guys.

so safe

We are IN COMPLIANCE and safe af.

fire brigade

Members of the Melbourne Fire Brigade chatting about controlled burns, in front of our yellow container which held all our methanol and diesel.

We enjoyed the entirety of Saturday off, to rest up ahead of our 6:30p call time. According to FLG historians, twelve hours is the longest continuous show we’ve ever done. This is an incomplete version of how it looked — as folks share more images with me in the coming days, I will add them too.


The White Night folks were able to bring a small group of us up onto the roof of the building across from the museum, where Denise got this pic of Snakey shooting methanol.

frozen tank

We froze our gigantor 4200L liquid propane tank. This is a first for us. Ohhhh physics, why you even gotta.

wet ground

In an attempt to unfreeze our big propane tank, we spent a while hosing it down with water. It made a biiiig muddy mess, and it made us miss our adventures in Calgary.


More to come. First tho… sleep.

The build continues smoothly…

We are water-testing our lines right now, while your humble author hides from the searing, ozone-less sunshine and contemplates her own jet-lagged mortality. But those members of our crew with stronger constitution are making solid progress, and we are right on schedule. Here are some pix:


A few of our vertebral poofers needed repair, so part of Tuesday morning went to brushing out ptfe tape and swapping out sheared-off streets.


Using this rad butane-powered soldering iron, Denise repairs a poofer apparatus whose cable got destroyed in transit. photo by Ted


Xa and Slinky run the LPG hose along the spine.


Lex and Xa couple pipe.


Xa and Margaret join the schedule 80 pipe that brings the fuel from our depot out to the Snake.


Sam stares down the jaw, and ponders the nature of man versus beast. photo by Ted


Bolting the head into place is an all-hands job.


Per the Australian safety authorities, Sam installs a special drop bear alarm system module into the Serpent’s upper jaw.


Hooray for the ball valve farm! Here is where we sort out all the hoses that come into Snakey’s spine. photo by our local Melbourne-based FLG Steph


Ted and Margaret wiggle the egg shooter apparatus into place. photo by Steph


One of the last things we do is attach the inside-halves of the vertebrae. You can see them placed all along the ground — they don’t get bolted on until all the propane and electronics have passed leak- and click-testing. photo by Steph

And here are some random things:


… sure.


This sticker, on the back of the VR — er sorry, telehandler. ell oh ell. y’all quirky here.


These are soy sauce packets. Far better than those rectangular pouches that are difficult to open and drizzle everywhere, these little plastic fishes are far easier to dispense, and WAY cuter!

The build begins…

We were on site before the sun came up, jet lag be damned. We made a lot of good progress today, and the weather was cooperative, hooray for that! And we bolted together the vertebrae sections from #1 all the way up to #18, which is a tie for our best record in a single day. Here’s the summary, in photos:


Dropping the container on site as the sun comes up…


Mills breaking into our container — during transit, they put a tamper seal on it. It didn’t take us too long to defeat this obstacle.


Mills and Margaret, cheesing in front of our build site at the Melbourne Museum.


Removing the egg from the container, while Sam staggers away from a near-collision with a drop bear. THEY’RE OUT HERE.


This is a VR handing off the head rack to a fork lift, all while doing a complicated dance amidst the trees by the build site.


We love flow charts.


Splitting the head rack to access the ladder parts.


Love notes from our past selves.


Surveying from the egg to the fuel depot.


We start at the egg and spiral the tail outwards. Here is where the vertebrae rises up off the ground.


“Persuading” the vertebrae outwards with the VR.




Meanwhile, Marisa discovered our initials already adorn a wall here on Flinders Lane in the Central Business District…