today on the BRC blog: our art-sisters in Calgary!

We are brimming with pride today as we read the latest Burning Man blog post. It’s a profile of the Blazin’ Lily Gals, our art sisters in Calgary, Alberta. The BLG have been creating lovely for some time now, and they credit FLG with inspiration! We’ll be visiting with them next month when we bring the Serpent Mother to Beakerhead!


three BLGs in the shop, mugging with tools of the trade. photo by Sarge, from Sprocket’s blog article

Read the whole thing here!


ok folks, set humor to low-brow… and check out our HOT PINK BOXES!

In the early days of FLG, we used to use these metal ammo cans in our sculptures to house electronics.


But in the 11 years since the Serpent was born, we’ve had to open them up and dig around in them to fix stuff enough times that we’re ready to upgrade to an easier layout/configuration. Maybe something that’s more environment-proof. In subsequent sculptures we’ve been using Pelican cases, and more recently a similar brand called Seahorse boxes. Since we’re redoing all of Snakey’s electronics, it was time to source some new relay boxes.

A quick Amazon search yielded our replacement items; we knew it instantly when we saw the picture. We were so excited, we could only communicate in frantic pointing and yelping. When they arrived in the mail, they came in this packaging:


extreeeeeme happiness? that’s a tall promise… photo by Denise



holy, fucking, shit. photo by Denise

We set to work carving out their side walls to house our panel mount connectors.


Margaret’s socks and Robyn’s nail polish match our new relay boxes, and the universe is in perfect harmony. photo by Ted

PINK BOXES YOU GUYS.  It’s like they KNEW. Come see the Serpent Mother at Beakerhead this September and you too will know our glee.

Snakey goes to Calgary!

Meanwhile, in the midst of all the chaos of building a new sculpture, another crew of FLGs is prepping the Serpent Mother to bring her up to Calgary, Alberta to a five-day science party called Beakerhead!

Gearing up for its 5th year, Calgary is getting ready to host this massive event that features “large-scale mechanical public art, celebrations of space, concerts, performances, science-themed culinary experiences, hands-on workshops, bizarre vehicles, and spontaneous acts of technical and digital artworks.”

Beakerhead isn’t until mid-September, but we’ve been busy for months already, as we are redoing our electronics system, rebuilding a good deal of plumbing, and replacing any old/icky/broken bits we’ve just never had the time to get to before.


Margaret and Carolyn fiddling with cables. photo by Crystin


Robyn, Margaret and Amanda rebuilding the accumulator subassemblies after a successful solenoid inspection. photo by Crystin


Amanda, Margaret and Ted putting connectors on the poofers. photo by Denise


Ted buffed all the rib button units, and the results are deeply satisfying! we FLGs really love shiny things. photo by Denise


Rhiannon working on an accumulator subassembly. photo by Denise


Denise and Ted prying something apart and probably bitching about it. photo by Denise


Mills on top of a vertebrae rack. these racks are how we secure all the vertebrae when they live in our efficiently-packed shipping container. photo by Crystin


Mills and Margaret removing all the plumbing from our accumulator tanks. yes, those are repurposed fire extinguishers.


Robyn removes an accumulator subassembly from a vertebrae. photo by Crystin


Sam and Amanda fiddling with the Snake’s tail. photo by Mills


Margaret and Cynthia removing old accumulators… photo by Mills


this is the cleanest we’ve ever seen Crystin. photo by Mills


We are especially excited to be in the hometown of our international sisters-in-fire, the Blazin’ Lily Gals! Hopefully we’ll get to work with them on site, as — despite all our preparation, testing, recounting and double-checking — we’re sure to have some last minute “fires” to put out, so to speak. We’re also excited about going out partying in the funnest parts of Calgary… juuuust as soon as we install our entire sculpture, pass our fire test, and get the green-light from all the appropriate inspectors.

But that’s in the future — for now we gotta get this Snake completely fixed up and packed back in her container, and shipped off to Canada!

Busy times in the shop…

Yup, it’s that season again. Come down to the Box Shop on any given night and witness the insanity of crunch-time productivity as different crews are working on their art cars, sculptures, tricked-out bicycles… you name it.

Actually, you don’t even need physically be in it to feel it — step away from your email for 2 hours, and you’ll return to find dozens — and I wish I were exaggerating — of messages. Requests for a ride to the shop this evening, announcements about where we’re at on this part of the sculpture, pleas for picking up an additional item (or seven) on your next run to the hardware store… And of course, all-caps reminders that we need all hands, /your/ hands, down at the shop, yes tonight, yes every night.

We had a fabulous time at SPARC last weekend, with a write-up of the day here:


Merope on fire! photo by Gregg

Meanwhile, Noetica progress continues at an increasingly productive and frantic pace!


heated discussions about minutia. photo by Denise


shining up the panels. photo by Denise


Natalia’s first night in the shop. we immediately threw her into deep geek work, soldering PCBs. photo by Denise


Kathy looks positively THRILLED to be measuring the hinges! photo by Denise


contemplating how to best move this giant pipe, in order to begin chopping it into shorter pipes… photo by Denise