I haven’t been to Burning Man since 2002 and the one of the things I miss the most about going is seeing some of the amazing art that is out there each year. By far one of my favorite installations this year was Big Rig Jig, two giant tanker trucks, curving around each other while balancing on the Playa. It was build by Brooklyn artist Mike Ross and crew of artists at American Steel in Oakland. Big Rig Jig was one of the art installations funded by Burning Man this year as part of “The Green Man” theme.
Big Rig Jig is a rumination on power as manifest in the relationship between humankind and nature. We hope to instill thoughts of wonder, fear, instability, nature, and beauty. And we are going to do this by literally cutting up pieces of the oil industry and thrusting them into the air. The sculpture is fashioned from real oil tankers and filled with lush silk plant life, a reminder of the ultimate source of the black gold once transported inside them.
Our source objects are fundamental to the world’s oil distribution infrastructure, and are pertinent examples of our culture’s unmatched production of carbon dioxide. By altering these symbolically rich objects, the sculpture is a celebration of humankind’s raw power on earth, a visual metaphor for non-sustainability, and a contemplation of our unique ability to recognize and change our most destructive actions.
Colleen Morgan shot a photo of Big Rig Jig, which I had previously used with my write-up “Burning Man 2007, Remote Access via Photos, Video, Blogs”. Apparently that caused the photo to gain a bit of popluarity (it’s had over 46K views so far).
There are a bunch of photos of Big Rig Jig on Flickr, including some from Eddie Codel (the one at the top of the post), Sean Alexander and Herve.
Brian Doherty wrote about Big Rig Jib for Wired: “Doing the Big Rig Jig on the Playa”
Mike Connor has some photos of Big Rig Jig under construction at American Steel in Oakland and there are more construction photos on the Big Rig Jig blog.