2019 Collaborative Arts Grant – Toxic Unicorn

Congrats Maddie and the Unicorn Liberation Front! In this post, SDCAP shares with you a Black Rock City Honoraria project headed to Burning Man that has been awarded a 2019 Collaborative Arts Grant! Follow this post for updates on fundraising and when to come help with the build.  Grants are available year-round (grant application), so it’s still not too late to get moving with an idea for this coming Burn!

Toxic Unicorn
Grant Awarded: $5000
Lead Artist: Madeleine Hamann

Toxic Unicorn is a mesmerizing, life-sized sculpture of a unicorn. She is made of translucent, rainbow-swirled, recycled HDPE plastic that is pelletized, extruded, wrapped, and molded onto a waffled plywood frame. The frame, designed to hold the weight of 5 adults, is laced with tri-color, addressable LEDs that shimmer like rainbow mist. Her mane and tail are fibrous strands made from 2L soda bottles with their edges left raw so that they are beautiful but scratchy and unpleasant to the touch. Her golden horn is wrapped in cow tape that delivers a safe but memorable 120V shock at 120 microamps. A spring mechanism attached to her tail opens a valve briefly to spritz water vapor, release ammonium sulfide, and dispel the smell of rotten eggs. She is supported by carousel pole that run through her centerline and beckons you to climb aboard, but proximity sensors on her back trigger disturbing, discomforting sounds if you stay too long!

Most Burners have run into a real-life Toxic Unicorn or two–those enchanting humans that draw you in until you realize there’s something a little… off.

Outwardly, Toxic Unicorn seems to encourage a superficial level interaction–a perfect prop for an insta-worthy photo. Her unpleasant reactive features, though, force participants to reckon with a playful, unexpected piece and her multi-level message.

On one level Toxic Unicorn is a shimmery facade warning that a focus on outward appearances can lead to disappointing, dissatisfying relationships rather than genuine interpersonal connection.

On another level, Toxic Unicorn’s composition begs us to reflect on humanity’s relationship with our favorite toxic unicorn material. Since post-war popularization, plastics have enabled incredible innovation and permeated human culture; now, we’re beginning to see something a little… off!

Though each will have a unique experience, Toxic Unicorn aims to instill curiosity and provoke reconsideration of those things in life that appear to be beautiful and perfect.

Toxic Unicorn is birthed by the Unicorn Liberation Front: a budding collective of artists, scientists, engineers, designers, and radical humans that stand to liberate the unicorn from its social stigma and the constructs of fantastical standards. We fight to end expectations about how we look, how we behave, and WTF we’re actually capable of. We will regain magical sovereignty and ultimately dismantle the delusional mythological-caste system. Join us! Oh, we make art, too.

2019 Collaborative Arts Grant – Pieuvre

SDCAP is delighted to share with you another project headed to Burning Man that has been awarded a 2019 Collaborative Arts Grant! Look for updates to this post as fundraising and the build get underway. Grants are available year-round (grant application), so it’s not too late to get moving with an idea for this coming Burn!

Pieuvre
Grant Awarded: $7,000
Lead Designer: Kelly Schott

“With arms outstretched and swirling in the sea of stars, we watch her as she dances gracefully through the dust… carrying lanterns of light to lead our way”

This beautifully ornate octopus will create an ethereal essence of submersion underwater into the deep depths of the sea by bringing the ocean floor to the BRC.

Made of stainless steel, copper, and brass textured metals – the body form will feature delicate seaweed filigree accents, LED lit suckers, and stained glass mosaics. An assortment of colors, textures, shape, line, and movement will be used to create contrasting visual effects and accentuate certain detailed decorative aspects of the body. “Pieuvre” will be grounded by the support in her home of beautiful coral reef, swimming fish, and delicate sea anemone flowers that dance by our feet as we stand beneath her alluring light show. She will hold fire lanterns to light up the night and heat passerby with her warmth.

ASAP Collective
A talented group of friends – welders, woodworkers, artists, and creatives who have been making beautiful things, building art, and integrating their work into the BM community throughout San Diego for the past couple of years.  Design team includes San Diego Community Members: Kelly Schott, Bryson Allen, Kristen Williams, Dawn Sardenas, Wiley Weldy. ASAP projects include: Kinetic fire sculpture, “Genesis“; Fire breathing, “Worm“; Venus firetrap, “Dionea“; and “The Punkin” Art Car.